Simplest Ways To Make Your Home Look Elegant

Having a high-end looking home can be difficult, especially if you have a tight decorating budget. Fortunately, there are ways – even on a budget – that you can get the high-end look you dream of.

Interior designers have shared a few secrets over the years that have given homeowners some insight on how they can make their home look elegant without breaking the bank. From adding pillows and a fresh coat of paint to window treatments and hardwood floors, these are simple solutions you need to know about.

Here, you will discover 10 of the simplest and least expensive ways to make your home look elegant. Take the time to keep reading – you just might be surprised at these simple tricks to fooling your guests into thinking you live a high-end life.

1 ) Crown Molding – Details Matter

It’s all in the details. When it comes to decorating your home to look high-end and custom-made, details are key.  In this instance, the detail is crown molding.

Crown molding has a way of making a room look complete or finished; it brings the ceiling and the walls together, giving them an elegant appearance. Without this finishing touch, rooms tend to look cheap or unfinished.

Fortunately, crown molding is relatively inexpensive (especially the plastic, paintable versions), making it affordable on almost any budget. There are many widths to choose from, but if you want a greater impact, chose the widest trim that your budget will allow.  For the ultimate in glamour, try adding all types on molding to your home, i.e. crown, high baseboard, ceiling beams, columns, ceiling medallions, chair rails etc..

2) Paint – Color Matters

Paint color is perhaps one of the most difficult decisions to make when decorating a room, especially when the remaining décor will be based off the color palette. However, if elegance is what you are after, there are certain colors that add instant glamour to your home.

The Residence - House 1

Choose one of these two color options—bold and dramatic OR soft, understated hues. These hues allow you to add instant elegance to your home. It simply depends on your color personality in terms of which option you choose.

Painting interior doors black is another great idea. It automatically creates an expensive feeling, without causing much damage to your wallet. If you choose this option, however, be sure to add some black accessories to the space to tie the overall design together.

 

3) Lighting Makes a Difference

Most contractors will choose standard lighting fixtures, which are probably the same they have used over and over again in all the homes they have built. However, designer light fixtures will add more elegance to your home than the standard chandelier.

kitchen lighting

Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to get the high-end look without the high-end price. Start by looking at flea markets and second-hand stores. You will get a unique piece at a budget-friendly price. Or try this bloggers trick of adding a drum shade around an old chandelier to get the custom look everyone is craving right now.

Some pieces may require a little buffing or a new paint job, but can look like a million dollars for just a few bucks. In addition, be sure to have several different light sources, including table lamps and floor lamps throughout the home to increase the elegant feeling.
Read more: Freshome – How to make your home look elegant

Chicken Wings with Fiery Barbeque Sauce Recipe

Chicken Wings with Fiery Barbeque Sauce

chicken wings
Chicken wings or drumettes (I always fry two pans full at the same time)For years my husband has wanted me to open a restaurant with this recipe alone! You can’t stop eating these wings, so make a lot and have lots of napkins handy!

Flour

Salt and pepper

Generously salt and pepper wings or drumettes. Lightly dust in flour and fry in vegetable oil until nice and crispy

Fiery Barbeque Sauce

(I double this recipe when I make it, because we like lots of sauce)

½ cup water

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons catsup

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

4 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground paprika

1 teaspoon ground red pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan; cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.

To serve: Get individual large round and deep bowls. Put about 4 or 5 wings at a time in each one, and pour lots of sauce on top. Then with your fingers get down in the bowl, pick up the wings with all that barbeque sauce and start PIGGING OUT! There is never any left at my house!! Enjoy!!

A Simple Buying Guide For Juicing Beginners

It’s not super hard to decide on a juicer but sometimes you do wonder if you’re getting a right one. A question often thrown out there is why would you waste money on a juicer when you can obviously enjoy a delicious smoothie made with you home blender. Well, juices are certainly much more healthier than smoothies as it detoxifies, cleanse and even heal your body. You will find that when you go on a juice cleanse, you will feel much happier and you don’t need to use a highlighter for that artificial glow!

Types of Juicers

As there are many types of juicers, you should only know these two which is the masticating juicer and the centrifugal juicer. Other than those, you have the wheatgrass juicer and the citrus juicer. Knowing about the triturating juicer which uses two gears to juice is not that important as it’s usually way too pricey for a juicer. If you’re a beginner, I would definitely recommend you to get a centrifugal juicer.

This juicer is fruit and vegetable friendly. However, you should only use hard fibres and not leafy greens. It saves time, doesn’t hurt you wallet too much and it’s super easy to clean. On the other hand, the masticating juicer is not that easy to clean but it does preserve the essential vitamins of the ingredients. Leafy greens, herbs, and even frozen fruits, this machine really swallow them all.

Material You Should Pick

Always go for the stainless steel juicers. Whether you’re choosing the masticating or centrifugal, this material reduces oxidation process and does its job efficiently. Some cheap juicers such as Black & Decker 400-Watt Fruit and Vegetable Juice Extractor comes with stainless steel blades but a plastic exterior. This should be fine as the blades will juice the fruits and veggies precisely. (More: 3 main types of juicers)

The Budget

Essentially, you pay for the material you pick. The stainless steel juicers are more expensive compared to the plastic ones. The cheapest stainless steel centrifugal juicers can cost about 100 dollars and they can rise up to 300 dollars. This is because stainless steel juicers definitely last more longer than plastic juicers.

Masticating juicers starts with the 200 dollars price tag and the lightest it can weigh is at 4.5 kg. You wouldn’t mind the price tag when you noticed the high juice quality coming out from it. The higher juice yield that you get is definitely a bonus. There is also a selection between vertical and horizontal juicers. Definitely check out the Omega or the Alpha masticating juicers.

Quick Cleaning Advice

A quick cleaning advice if you would like to purchase a centrifugal juicer. Breville sells the best centrifugal juicers on the planet. They also sell these plastic biodegradable bags that is really helpful. Just place these bags at the pulp container and after you have juice them, throw the bag into the garbage.This way, you don’t have to wash the pulp container!

Source: Euro Juices

The best espresso machines – For the perfect brew!

If you are someone whose day does not really begin without a steaming hot cup of espresso or cappuccino, then you need the perfect machine for it. Choosing the best espresso machine that fits your budget can be quite a confusing task. So we make it a tad bit easier for you by presenting the top espresso machines in the market right now. These coffee makers are highly recommended and will be a great asset to your kitchen.
make espresso

Lavazza Espresso Machine, Model- Point ECL

This budget machine from Lavazza is as good as one of their professional models. It gives you two cups of steaming espressos (due to the double cartridge) in a single brew. The grinder, which is always the most important aspect of any coffee maker, is great for the price and grinds the coffee beans to the perfect size. It is extremely user friendly, portable and very easy to clean. The proof as they say lies in the pudding, or in this case, the cup of coffee which imparts the perfect aroma and gives you the right kick of caffeine.

Capresso Pro Espresso and Cappuccino machine, Model 118.05 EC PRO

For the perfect rich crema is your coffee, the 15 bar pump provides just the right pressure. It also features two espresso filters for control and convenience. So Whether you are a beginner or a barista, you can brew the perfect cup of coffee and over time, you can improve your technique to achieve café style results. If you are looking for a cup of coffee at the press of a button, then you probably should not buy it because this machine designed is for connoisseurs of coffee to control their brew every single time, which requires dedication and work. The foam created is extremely fluffy and is at par with professional machines. The machine allows you to create one or two cups of cappuccino or espresso at a single time.

Nespresso Pixie- Electric Titan Espresso maker

If you are looking for a more compact machine which will not take put a lot of space on your kitchen counter, then look no further than the Nespresso Pixie coffee maker. The espresso produced is perfect with rich thick crema on top, thanks to the 19 bar pressure pump. The water reservoir is however smaller, which means that you would have to refill it frequently. the machine has two cup capacity options, espresso and lungo , but it can be reprogrammed for custom volumes. A welcome kit with 16 Nespresso capsules of coffee beans is included with the machine so that you can try different aromas and choose your favorite.

Mr Coffee café barista machine, Model-BVMC-ECMP1000

This machine has three pre programmed options for latte, espresso or cappuccino. It also has reservoirs for milk and water which are easy to remove and clean, and an automatic milk frother. Perfect, rich espresso is crated using the 15 bar pressure pump. Choose your drink from a single panel on the machine, press the button and voila , your coffee is ready. It can’t get any simpler than that. You also get a book with 20 beverage recipes that you can create using the machine, so you can make the most out of it.

So, go get your espresso machine today!

Crab Cakes with Chardonnay Cream Sauce Recipe

Crab Cakes with Chardonnay Cream Sauce

Crab Cakes with Cream Sauce

The secret to the crisp coating in this recipe is the crushed potato chips.

1 ¾ cups Chardonnay or other dry white wine

1/3 cup chopped shallots

1 cup whipping cream

1 ½ pounds crabmeat, drained (about 4 cups)

2 ½ cups finely crushed potato chips

1 ¼ cups fresh breadcrumbs made from French bread

1 – 7.25-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, coarsely chopped

½ cup thinly sliced green onions

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

¼ cup (approx.) vegetable oil

Boil wine and shallots in heavy medium saucepan until mixture is reduced to ½ cup, about 10 minutes. Add cream and boil until liquid is reduced to sauce consistency, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix crabmeat, ½ cup crushed potato chips, breadcrumbs and next 7 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Using ¼ cupful crab mixture for each cake, form mixture into sixteen 2 ½-inch diameter cakes. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover sauce and crab cakes separately and refrigerate. Rewarm sauce over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, before serving). Place remaining potato chips in shallow dish. Press each cake into chips, turning to coat evenly.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add crab cakes to skillet and cook until golden brown and heated through, adding more oil as necessary, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer crab cakes to paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Place 2 crab cakes on each plate; spoon sauce around crab cakes and then serve immediately.

How The Best Cookware Sets Made Me Start Cooking

buy-cookware

Cooking is not my hobby so I have been ordering food and having it delivered to my home. I am not too lazy to cook but the one thing that has made me shy away from cooking is the old cookware set that I got from my mother’s house a few years ago. The pans have broken handles, scratches and the time I spent cleaning them one time when I tried cooking made me stop cooking. A few weeks ago I got a call from my cousin who I hadn’t seen for a long time and was coming over for a short visit. He is a great cook so I used this opportunity to ask him how I can resolve cooking my problems. The first thing he told me when entered my kitchen was that I needed good cookware and not just any but the best cookware sets.

There are many cookware sets available in the market so choosing the best cookware sets needs some common knowledge about cookware sets. since I have had bad experience with my old set that wasn’t easy cleaning, parts broke easily and food stuck on the pans. I knew what I needed on the new set is a set that resolves everything I hated about my old set. The best cookware sets would be one that has a non-stick coat sticking, soft handles that aren’t easy to break and most importantly one that I can cook anything with without stressing about cleaning.

Another thing that I learnt is that best cookware sets need to have pans to cook everything separately. Each individual task such as frying, baking, making soup and stew need a pan that is designed for that purpose. The best cookware sets selection is one that offers a combination of both quality and efficiency when cooking your favorite meal.

How a rice cooker helps me remain civilized

I am a bachelor living alone for the last three months. Professional reasons have compelled me to transfer from my hometown and settle at a different location. While most of the things fell into their places in the first few weeks, the obvious issue that persisted for quite some time was food. I will explain below why I termed it as obvious, and how I managed to deal with it.

As any male bachelor living alone would realize, the food they love to eat, and the ones they should be eating, are completely different. Therefore, while burgers and pizzas made life heaven for the first few days, I had to pull myself back to the ground and think in practical terms, otherwise the weighing machine would have brought bad news soon. As much as I hated them, veggies, and of course rice, needed to be considered because honestly, nutrition matters.

Here I must add that like most men, I am a disgrace when it comes to maintaining cleanliness. Also, I am simply illiterate regarding the subject of cooking. These made me consider getting something that could cook automatically, or at least without much personal effort. At this point someone told me about rice cookers, yup, I had no idea before that these things even existed.

rice

I searched the internet over, reading reviews for the best rice cooker brands. One thing I realized is that rice cookers offer quite an inexpensive way of making rice. Also by looks they appeared really neat and compact.

While I was reading the reviews for the best rice cooker brands I was frankly confused, because I couldn’t understand most features while reading, and so they appeared almost the same. But later on I realized that buying a rice cooker was really important to enhance my living process.

One thing I like about my rice cooker is that it makes both rice and veggies in the same simple process, which means that I don’t have to put any extra effort. I have learnt the rice and water ratio, which I insert accordingly and simply walk off. Later on when I have my warm rice and veggies, I don’t have to worry about any other issues like extra mess. All I have to do is simply clean a plate and a spoon.

Therefore, I should say that the cooker has adjusted really well to my habits, and has also kept me civilized by keeping my kitchen clean. What’s more, the fluffy rice reminds me of my mom’s cooked food. I am missing my hometown.

How To Find The Best Knife Set By Reading Customer Feedback

What do you buy the couple who have everything? I asked myself this question the other week when pondering what to buy for my youngest niece. She is getting married next month to a wonderful young man, but as they have been living together for the past two years they seem to have everything that they need for their home. Therefore I was at a compete loss. It was only when I called round for a cup of coffee and a chat, that I posed the question to her. After a few minutes of careful thought, she told me that they could really do with a new knife set as the one they had was pretty old and was a hand me down from his mother. This made me incredibly happy, I now had a choice of gift.

ikea-kitchen-knives-l-34047f18a4e7e30c

However, what brand of knife set should I choose? There are just so many out there. I took a deep breath and decided to start by searching for knife sets on the internet, using industry websites and Amazon to find customer reviews. I began by reading the first review on a good knife set made by Chicago Cutlery. Tis 16-piece-knife set had a rating of 4.7 stars and over 700 reviews, all of them favorable. The price was also very acceptable at $142. Another popular knife set that had glowing reviews and feedback was the Mercer Culinary 6-piece-knife set. This had a glowing 4.8 star review from over 390 customers. This knife set cost $134. The final knife set that I found was the JA Henckels International 18-piece-knife set, costing $199. This set had a rating of 4,5 stars and nearly 230 reviews.

I therefore had a lot to consider. In the end I went for the JA Henckels knife set, purely because it was an 18 piece set and the fact that it was the most expensive. I wanted to get the best that I possibly could for my niece and I know that she will just love it. (The official website here)

I hugely recommended looking at online reviews and customer feedback so that you too can find the best knife set for your money.

Related information:
Essential kitchen knives: The only 3 you really need