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Posted by on Jun 11, 2015 | 0 comments

Dawn and Tim’s DIY Living Room Expansion

Dawn and Tim’s DIY Living Room Expansion

What do you do when the furniture you really want won’t work in your living room? You do what Dawn and Tim did – you “simply” move a wall. “It all started with getting a new couch,” says Dawn. “We moved into our new house and the space screamed for large sectional. Upon finding the perfect slip-covered sofa from Red Barn Mercantile,  we realized it nearly bumped up against the hallway and entrance wall.” I drew a crude (not to scale) sketch of the front entrance, stairs, and living room to help visualize what they did. You can see the dotted line, which is the original living room wall, with a hallway to the side. The stairs go up to their Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO) rental. The plan was to tear down the wall and move it 2 feet right next to the stairs as the hallway was wasted space. They determined that the wall was not load bearing, so they were good to go. Here is the original...

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Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 | 0 comments

The Del Ray Kinderchoir Makes Its Debut

The Del Ray Kinderchoir Makes Its Debut

Fond memories of their first childhood choir experiences led Paula Thomas and Kay Sidahmed to create the Del Ray Kinderchoir, a group of boys and girls in grades 1 to 4 from the Del Ray neighborhood. Listening to the children rehearse, you can’t help but admire their concentration and joy in equal measure — a tribute to Kay and Paula’s vision, dedication, and love of music. Kay and Paula strive to foster the children’s natural musical gift and singing voice. They don’t audition the children because they believe that all children can sing. Their mission, they say, is to provide an opportunity to experience the joy of group singing in a non-competitive environment. Kay and Paula teach the children a repertoire from the rich heritage of American and international folk music. The children learn vocal exercises, choral language and discipline, and learning to sing in solfege (a way of teaching pitch and sight reading), basic music theory, and singing games. Kay, who serves as choir director, is a German-born...

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Posted by on May 29, 2015 | 0 comments

DIY Design at Ease Yoga in Del Ray

DIY Design at Ease Yoga in Del Ray

We’re excited to welcome the new Ease Yoga & Cafe to Del Ray and are especially taken with the tried-and-true DIY elements they’ve incorporated in their interior design. Owner Tara Casagrande gave me a tour recently and pointed out a few of the fabulous projects she worked on with friends to personalize the space. The showpiece is the wooden paneling that runs underneath the Cafe bar, here in its unfinished state. Tara’s friends came by to hand-paint the wood in a kaleidoscope of muted chalk paint colors. It really turned out great. Above the bar, she installed mason jar pendant lamps. And she is hiring a chalk artist to draw a menu on the chalkboard painted cabinets in the cafe. Tara also has an artist painting a mural in one of the yoga studios. We’ll return to see how it all looks during the grand opening this Saturday, May 30 and in the weeks to come. Visit the Ease Yoga website to learn more about the range of classes...

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Posted by on May 27, 2015 | 3 comments

Maria’s Kitchen Renovation: The Reveal

Maria’s Kitchen Renovation: The Reveal

Maria couldn’t be happier with how her rowhouse kitchen renovation turned out. Ultimately, she decided to emulate Mark and Sally’s eat-in kitchen with built-in banquette, while making some unique layout choices and adding her own design flourishes. Her “before” space was divided into small rooms. Here is the original dining room… And here is one wall of the original galley kitchen. The opposite wall where Maria has her sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator didn’t change at all. Maria kept all of the same appliances and cabinetry in her new kitchen overall. Maria’s contractor took down the door frame to the dining room and the center wall and then rerouted the ductwork. Which created the space for a cozy eating and lounging space in the dining area. Maria purchased a tall vintage cabinet to go against the far corner of the dining room that doubles as her pantry. She also added new butcher block countertops to go next to the oven, which is now on the wall opposite the back door and...

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Posted by on May 19, 2015 | 0 comments

Summer Cocktails with Homemade Grenadine

Summer Cocktails with Homemade Grenadine

If you’ve had classic cocktails like the Pina Colada and Tequila Sunrise (and who hasn’t had a Shirley Temple at least once in their lifetime),  you’ve tasted grenadine. When I discovered what really constitutes the syrup, I couldn’t resist making it from scratch for our recent food swap. There’s no corn syrup and food coloring in the homemade recipe, unlike store-bought grenadine. I gathered the supplies to fill six bottles, equaling 8 cups total: 1 1/2 cups of sugar 100% pomegranate juice – two 32 oz. bottles (I had some left over.) 2 lemons 6 stoppered glass jars Following a recipe from the Kitchn, I used a sauce pan and made the grenadine in batches of 2 cups at a time, which meant doubling the recipe. I started with 1/2 cup of sugar…. …and 2 cups of the pomegranate juice. I set the burner on warm to dissolve the sugar. Then, I turned up the flame to high to get the mixture boiling. I let it boil for about 5 minutes until...

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