Industrial Bistro Kitchen

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The latest post of the Style at Home magazine featured a beautiful kitchen renovation of a historic Victorian home in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood.

Designer Ingrid Oomen was faced with a challenge; to create for a client a kitchen, an eat-in area and a family room that were light and airy as well as family friendly, and all this from a kitchen which originally was very long and very dark and completely closed off from the rest of the house.

Judging from the below photos this designer delivered what she was asked for and perhaps even more, as the reno results are stunning. She created an open plan concept, featuring a beautiful bistro style kitchen with an industrial feel, which lately is a pretty cool trend in the interior design.
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The dark metal open shelves, unique pendant lights and the metal stools give this kitchen the “industrial stamp”, and the shaker cabinets painted in light gray perfectly blend together with these details.
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Using the existing bay window, she created a beautiful banquette seating.I love the cozy feel created in this nook using the banquette, these white slip covered chairs and the round black accent table. So homy, fresh and inviting feel.

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Black accent windows deliver depth, and make the furniture and other accessories pop out.

Even though this kitchen has an industrial feel, the designer managed to preserve the traditional feel of this Victorian house by using shaker kitchen cabinets, and adding only some industrial details such as metal open shelves, the pendant lights and the Tolix stools.
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Hope that you enjoyed the photos of this beautifully designed kitchen and living space.

Thank you for stopping by.
Besa

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Birch Bark Vase

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The long hike we took the other day with my husband proved to be quite rewarding for me. Beside getting the much needed exercise and fresh oxygen I sourced, for free, the material for my next DIY project.

In our 14 km hike route we came across so many fallen trees in their decomposing phase, and one in particular caught my eye. I think that it was a birch tree and it was in its early phase of decomposition and most of the bark was almost detached from it. I stopped to check how the nature works out this process, and removed a big piece of bark. Then I figured that I could craft something out using this piece of bark!

On my way home the big bark chunk had split into smaller pieces, so I used these pieces to make two cute rustic eco friendly vases.
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I used storage jars as a base, and in order to wrap the bark around the jar I rolled the bark (while it was still wet) and inserted into a glass vase as shown in the collage. The next day I removed the bark from the vase and it had kept it’s curved shape. To complete the project, I wrapped the curved pieces of bark around the jar and secured them with a piece of white ribbon.
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Pretty simple DIY project, and as a result I got these two cute, unique, nature inspired vases.
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I am loving them, and hope that you will like them too.
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Thank you for stopping by.
Linking to: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday; Faboulosly Creative Friday (Jenifer Rizzo)

Thanks to the following blogsites for featuring this post: The Cottage Market; The Dedicated House; My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia; A Stroll Thru Life; THe 36th Avenue; The Turquoise Home; This Silly Girls Life; The Romance on a Dime; View From The Fridge; Setting for Four; My Repurposed Life; What Megan Makes; The Shabby Nest; The Pink When; Architecture Art Designs
Besa

Tuna Sauce Fettuccine

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Aren’t pastas everyone’s favorites? They are mine, for sure. I make them using various sauce recipes, but mostly I just create my own sauces using whatever I have at hand.

Last evening I made these delicious fettuccine with tuna sauce. This sauce recipe is one of those which I created playing with ingredients that I had at hand.
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Mostly, I use fresh tomatoes for making pasta sauces, but not always I have plenty of tomatoes to make the sauce, and that is when the jar store bought sauces come into play. Even though I sometimes use jar sauces, I always start making the sauce with at least one chopped tomato, and a few cloves of garlic and then I add other ingredients of choice. Using at least one fresh tomato and fresh garlic cloves makes the sauce taste like homemade from scratch.

So here is the sauce recipe.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic- minced
1 medium onion- diced
1 large tomato- diced
2 cups store bought pasta sauce from jar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
dash of freshly ground black pepper
handful of baby spinach
2 cans of tuna chunks in water (drained)

Tono Linguini Collage

Preparation:

In a large pan heat the oil over a medium heat and add garlic. Cook garlic until golden brown and add onion. Cook for about 5 minutes and add diced tomato. Cook tomato, garlic and onion for 2-3 more minutes; add jar pasta sauce and tomato paste and cook until bubbles start to appear. Add salt, sugar and pepper followed by tuna. Cook five more minutes, add spinach and continue cooking for about 1-2 minutes.
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Cook pasta according to the package instructions, and serve the prepared sauce over cooked pasta.
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Enjoy.

Thank you for stopping by.

Besa

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

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Everything started with crepes topped with fresh cream and strawberries which I made today for breakfast.

I did not intend to make this breakfast as cute as it ended up to be, and let alone did I intend to have it outdoors. Surprisingly, after all the rain last night the day started with a clear sky and pretty nice warm weather so after making a bunch of frilled crepes I thought that it would be a nice idea to set the table and have our breakfast at our backyard.
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I do not make crepes that often as I find the process time consuming, but I wanted to make them for my husband on Valentine’s Day. He went out, early in the morning, to walk our dog and I thought it would be a nice surprise for him to find fresh crepes waiting for him on the table when he is back.
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After making them I added a cup of fresh whipped cream on top and garnished with a chopped strawberry.
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For a fancy Valentine’s Day look I made some strawberry roses and attached them to long bamboo skewers, and I made them following this tutorial.
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The strawberry roses added a Valentine mood to the table.
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For further styling I used the Valentine’s Day thumbtack art used for Valentine’s Mantel decor and some fresh seasonal flowers.
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Milk glasses decorated with red ribbon contributed to the look of the cute Valentine table setting.
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After a long walk our dog Plisi came back all cheerry and happy, but luckily he did not pay attention to the deliciously looking crepes. He was patiently waiting for my husband to get a treat for Plisi, and I took the opportunity to snap some shots placing him at the centre of “the event”. He is such a handsome boy, isn’t he? He is now eleven-months-old, but very, very childish yet. We love him dearly, just the way he is.
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After taking some more shots, we finally sat to have our Valentine’s breakfast. The crepes were delicious and we enjoyed the nice and cute setting.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!
HAPPY Valentine's
Thank you for stopping by.

Besa

Eye Candy – 10 Beautiful Entryways

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I have a small problem which of course could be easily fixed, but I need to come up with an idea. My current home lacks a formal entryway, and a proper place where we or our guests can hang their coats. Our entryway (which is also our living room) seriously needs a little help so next time our guest come over, I do not have to grab their coats before they inevitably ask, “ umm…where do you want me to put my coat” which would translate to, “ You should fix your coat rack problem! Will you please?”.

On the other hand the entryway sets the tone for visitors and is the first and last spot you’ll see as you come and go. Therefore, having a nice and functional entryway is kind of “a must have” for every home.

In search for entryway ideas I hit the Pinterest, and I was lost there. There were hundreds of beautiful entryway pictures that I started pinning furiously, reminding myself few minutes later that I am pinning something that is not applicable to my entryway situation.

In any case I continued pining for the sake of “feeling nice” seeing all these beautiful design choices and ideas.

I hope that you will enjoy viewing these eye candy entryway photos, as much as I enjoyed collecting and commenting on them.

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Bright and simple entryway with a beautiful rustic wooden repurposed console table, which fills the space with character . Oversized repurposed glass “vases” and branches make the entryway feel airy spacious, and natural.

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Beautiful mix of colors give this entryway such a welcoming and cheery feel.

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Dress to impress- is what this entryway suggest. Beautiful white washed console table is all dressed up with turquoise lamps and silver accents. Oversized hand wood carved mirror adds character and the orange roses enhance the glamourous look.
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Informal and very inviting entryway featuring an oversized round mirror and a simple console table made from recycled material.
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I call this Tuxedo entryway. Elegant, white and black striped, lampshades, black console table and gold accents are intended to infuse the formality into this entryway; however, the modern white transparent based bench as well as the fake animal skin carpet makes this entryway feel fun, cheery and inviting.

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I love how this bare wall in this entryway was turned into a beautiful gallery wall. A simple black shelf was used as a nice display and several drawers below provide for plenty of storage. Natural color palette makes this entryway feel cozy, homy and welcoming.
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Another simple, yet very homy entryway. A board with hooks serves as a dual purpose: place to hang coats and other stuff, as well as a wall art display. The black bench grounds the space, and it is being used as a shelf and as a place to sit when putting on or taking of boots or shoes.

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Very elegant entryway suitable for a small space. Transparent legs of the console table makes the space feel more spacious. Nickel lamps add such a sophisticated and polished look. I love the color palette; very balanced and yet colorful.
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The repurposed farm table as well as the oversized jar have added a tons of character to this rather very polished entryway. The contrast of the polished, and the repurposed materials has added an inviting and welcoming feel. Everything has been so perfectly choreographed together so every item in this entryway feels like e piece of art. I love it.

Hope that you enjoyed the photos and I wish some of them have inspired you also.

Thank you for stoping by, and have a great week.

Besa

Açma – Turkish Bagel

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Winter and cold weather keeps me wanting to escape anywhere where is warmer and sunnier. However, chances to escape to warmer climates for me at this time are slim, so the only thing left is evoking the sunny summer days.

When, evoking summer time my thoughts go to Turkey and our summer vacations spent there almost every year. Vacations for me there mean sun, sea and terrific food; bread, baking goods and various types of cheese (there are about 500 types of feta cheese) being at the top in the list, so yesterday I had a craving for a turkish Açma (pronounced “Achmah”) which is similar to a bagel but differs in texture and the way how it is prepared.
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While bagels are bathed in boiling water before being baked, the Açmas are softer in texture and no such bathing is involved in the making process.

Acma is the second most popular pastry in Turkey, after Simit being the first; and these two pastries can be found fresh anytime of day at each bakery, markets and at the streets where street vendors with their small little carts cary always freshly baked, warm Açmas and Simits.
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Paired with black tea and goat cheese Acmas make one of a kind breakfast or lunch. I made them yesterday, so I will share the recipe and my version of preparation:
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Ingredients:
2 eggs – yolks and whites separated
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (250 gr) butter or margarine – melted
2 cups of warm water
5 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast or a small 1 inch cube of fresh yeast
200 gr fetta cheese – optional
1 tablespoon balkan style yogurt
black sesame seeds (Nigella seeds) – optional
ACMA PREP

In a mixing bowl combine egg whites, sugar, salt and stir thoroughly so the sugar is coated with egg whites. Add melted butter or margarine and continue stirring. Add warm water and proceed with adding the flour and instant yeast.

Note: If using fresh yeast, dissolve it first in a lukewarm water and then mix it together with the liquid ingredients.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it sit for an hour at a warm spot.

Preparation:
Sprinkle generously the working surface with flour and transfer the dough from the bowl. Fold in the dough gently to form a big ball.

Flatten the dough ball with a rolling pin to form a rectangle about 20X15 inch (50×38 cm) in size.
Sprinkle the flattened dough with feta cheese crumbs.

Place the half of the rectangle on the top of the other half to make a sandwich like shape, and proceed with cutting one inch (2.5 cm) thick vertical stripes using a pizza cutter.
Swirl each stripe and close their ends forming a circle. Place them in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Beat the egg yolks and yogurt together and brush the tops generously. Sprinkle them with black sesame seeds (optional), and bake them in the preheated oven in 400 F (220 C) for about 25 minutes or until the tops get golden brown.

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Enjoy them with black tea and cheese.

Afiyet Olsun ( “Enjoy” – in Turkish)

Thank you for stopping by.
Besa

Valentine’s Day Mantel

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I am really not into Valentine’s Day, and I have never decorated my home for this LOVE-ly holiday; however, the blogosphere these days is full of Valentine’s decor ideas, so I thought I should add my two cents and pull something together for this day; something quick, easy and LOVE-ly which would be a post worthy for sharing it in the blogland out there.

Yesterday, I rolled up my sleeves up and pulled together two supper mini thumbtack LOVE-ly pillows which I attached them (temporarily) onto the already existing framed wall art, and created a Valentine’s Day wall art decor.
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I already had the thumbtacks and some scraps of white fabric, so I thought making these small pillows would allow me to easily attach the thumbtacks on them.These small pillows also could be easily attached and detached (after this LOVE-ly day) from the preexisting wall art featured HERE

To make these pillows I cut the scraps of fabric to match the size of the center of the preexisting wall art (the center is 7X8 inches cavity which holds a small piece of hand painted glass) and machine stitched all the way around leaving a small opening for stuffing. I turned the pillow inside out, stuffed it and closed the opening.
Val Wall Art
Using the letter stencils I traced the X and O letters and proceeded applying the thumbtacks. After I was done I inserted the sides of the pillow into the wall art cavity, and here they are.
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For further styling, I used what I could find around the house; such as this white lampshade which was decorated with the red LOVE ribbon, purchased the other day at a dollar store.
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Just to add some splash of traditional red color, I cut some paper hearts and hung them on to these branches snipped from the outdoors.
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For some more splash of red, the matt of the white frame was lined with red paper.
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So all in all it was an easy and very quick project to tackle, and most importantly it was non costly and so fun to put together.
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Hope you will find this inspiring, and will create something for this day. I am sure that if nothing, you will have a lot of fun putting something together.

Thanks to the following blogs for featuring the Valentine thumbtack wall art: Megan Makes; The Cottage Market
Thank you for stopping by.

Besa