February 11, 2017

newport beach chic

Here’s what happens when a 1950’s Newport Beach home meets the chic eclectic style of designer Melissa Palazzo. Here in her own home, the décor is a mixture of vintage and antique finds that are transformed to create a unique modern style. It's all streamlined and fun!

Large windows were added and ceilings raised during the initial phase of her remodel. As you can see, this breathed new life into the mid-century home. 

It’s amazing how a little lacquer paint can transform a dull antique into something so modern and elegant!

As you can see, black and white are the 
shades of choice throughout the home. 

And the addition of the right bright colors
 elevates the look!

Love the contrast in each room.

“I have simplified how we live,” Melissa says. “I’m really moving away from over-designed rooms. For me, spaces need to be beautiful but simple.”

ciao! fabiana

via Orange Coast Magazine

February 10, 2017

5 things i love about Room and Board

Room and Board has made it even easier for us to pick the perfect furnishings for our homes. They now offer a selection of beautiful pet-friendly fabrics, a new line of leathers, a variety of new rugs, unique globally-made accessories and an easy way to choose a group of pillows that coordinate with each other for a room.  

1. Pet Friendly Fabrics 
If you love to cozy up with your dog or cat on the sofa, consider these pet-friendly fabrics that resist stains and pilling, and are tightly woven to stand up better to playtime.

At Room and Board, you can customize your new furniture with a choice of more than 300 amazing fabrics and leathers, many of them are pet friendly.


2. All New Leathers
They are now offering a great variety of high-quality upholstery leather choices made in Italy. You'll find everything from traditional leathers to unique stonewashed and screen-printed designs, plus family-friendly and pet-friendly leathers. Not only are they stocking more leather furniture for fast delivery, but any sofasectional or chair can be customized with any of their new leathers.  

3. New Rugs 
Rugs have the power to transform a room, and now there are more sizes, colors and styles available than ever before. And if you have a challenging space, most of their rugs are available in custom sizes.

4. One-of-a-Kind Accessories 
Room and board now carries unique, one-of-a-kind finds from around the globe. Some of these vintage pieces have been transformed into stylish accents and artwork. 

Each one tells a beautiful, purposeful story. Created by select artists from around the world, you'll find items like Helm Vintage Nautical Flags, pillows made from Turkish kilim rugs and Gouro African Textiles now coordinating with classic Room and Board furnishings.

5. Pillow Grouping 
To make it easy for you to shop and create the perfect mix of patterns, textures and colors, Room and Board took their complete assortment of pillows and arranged them to show some favorite combinations. No matter how you combine them, their pillows are designed to look and feel great together.

ciao! fabiana

photo credit: 
Room and Board on facebook

February 9, 2017

chocolate cupcakes for your valentine

Here’s a lovely little chocolate cupcake recipe,
just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Cupcakes

2 stick butter
1½ c. sugar
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ c. all-purpose flour

1.  Heat oven to 350ºF. Line 12 regular-size (2 ½” diam) muffin cups with paper liners.

2.  Beat butter, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl with mixer on low speed 1 minute or until well blended. Add eggs; beat 2 minutes or until fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla (batter may look curdled), then flour just until blended.

3.  Spoon scant 1⁄4 cup batter into each muffin cup, filling each about 2⁄3 full.

4.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in centers of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes before removing from pan to rack.

5.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining batter. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting and decorating.

Each recipe makes 24 cupcakes. If you have two 12-cup muffin pans, you can bake them side by side on the middle rack of your oven if space permits.

For the ganache: Gently heat ¾ cup of heavy cream over medium heat, then pour over 8 ounces of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate. Let sit one minute; stir until melted and smooth. Evenly spoon ganache over each chocolate cupcake. Let set for 30 minutes.

For the lettering: Microwave 3 ounces of white chocolate at 50% in 20-second intervals until melted and smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with 1.5 tip, then decorate as desired! 

ciao! fabiana

via Womans Day

my kitchen rules

Have you all been watching “My Kitchen Rules” on  Fox, Thursday nights? It’s a fun cooking competition show hosted by chefs Curtis Stone and Cat Cora, and features celebrity duos competing against each other in the kitchen and in the dining room. 

It’s basically a dinner party competition, which I really like. I especially love seeing their table settings, and I’m convinced they have professional help with their tablescapes, because they look a little too perfect!

Anyways, the teams this season are Lance Bass with his mom Diane, singer Brandy & her brother Ray J, Naomi Judd & her husband Larry Strickland, Brandi Glanville & her friend Dean Sheremet, and Andrew Dice Clay & his wife Valerie. 

They'll also visit the home of David Arquette and other celebs for dinner parties as well. Originally an Australian show, the American version has been pretty fun to watch so far.  

The teams prepare an appetizer and an entrée in their own kitchens and then serve the other participants and judges in their own dining rooms. I love getting a little peek inside their homes, especially the kitchens

Each team then has to rate each course of food for each team. Often times, the scores are strategically tabulated… you must watch and see!

So far, one couple has been eliminated.

It’s kind of like being a fly on the wall at someone else’s party, lol!

And they must wear monogrammed 
aprons while they're cooking…

Most of the food looks pretty good!

Aren't the tables pretty?

As you can see, the teams take turns hosting an intimate dinner party to impress their rival competitors and the professional chef judges. Since the show is filmed in southern California, many of the dinners are alfresco.

Up close and personal.

And everyone plans a set menu on personalized cards.

Let me know what you think of the show, if you tune in!

ciao! fabiana

February 8, 2017

a cozy cottage in fullerton

This 1929 Tudor looks quaint and sweet, but it wasn’t so cute when the homeowners bought this Fullerton cottage in 2015. Now fully renovated and filled with charming antiques, this home even was featured on Fullerton’s Historic Hillcrest Walk.

Antiques are left in as-is condition with only the addition of fresh, new upholstery, if needed. The rustic patina of the vintage furnishings only enhances the look and feel of this home.

A variety of chairs and a distressed farm table create an inviting cozy look.

The kitchen was taken down to the studs and re-imagined in an updated vintage style.

New little spaces were created during the remodel. Who would feel at home here in this nook curled up with a good book?

From the curb, the original Tudor cottage style evokes thoughts of Grimm’s fairy tales or visiting grandmas house. And, I love the updated landscape design. It's so welcoming!

ciao! fabiana

orange coast magazine

February 7, 2017

ladies of london host midsummer

Any Ladies of London fans out there? This season, the friendships between the women have shifted around a bit, somehow the drama was kept mostly civil, compared to the American housewives. And, they know a thing or two about fashion. 

They ALL have great style, and you can’t beat those fabulous British accents. 

Well, over the past few weeks, we’ve watched them traveled to Scotland, where we got a glimpse of Dundas Castle, they visited Julie Montagu at Mapperton, the Downton Abbey-like home of the Earl of Sandwich, and last week Caroline Fleming hosted a Midsummer party, complete with authentic Scandinavian food, flowy dresses and flower crowns.

Pictured above are Julie Montagu, Juliet Angus and Caroline Fleming. Seeing this gorgeous party makes me want to start celebrating midsummer night! Actually, my husband’s home town of Geneva, Illinois has a fabulous Midsummer celebration called Swedish Days. We’re thinking about visiting this year for this extra special weekend! 

Juliet Angus and Marissa Hermer

Julie Montagu in a lovely ivy and flower crown.

Dancing around the Maypole.

Caroline Fleming, who’s a fabulous cook, catered the whole event herself with authentic Danish and Swedish foods. 

Sophie Stanbury, Adela King and Marissa Hermer

Midsummer, also known as St. John’s day, celebrates the summer solstice and usually takes place around  June 24th.

Midsummer is considered magical, and anything to do with nature has a special gift. Gathering flowers to weave into wreaths and crowns is a way to capture nature’s magic and assure good health in the coming year.

Midsummer has been celebrated since the times of the Vikings, when the tradition started of making large bonfires to ward away evil spirits.

Well, the season finale of Ladies of London airs tonight. It’s sad to see the season end so soon, and I’m not sure about it returning next year. Caroline Stanbury has moved to Dubai with her family and Marissa Hermer is now living here in Los Angeles.  

We’ll have to wait and see. 

Until then, Skål! or Cheers!

ciao! fabiana


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