Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Interiors Inspiration: The Hart and The Hunter

I follow photographer Bonnie Tsang on Instagram and few days ago she posted photos of The Hart and The Hunter, which is a restaurant in Melrose Ave, West Hollywood. I just love the interior decoration of this restaurant. And I have read good reviews about the food.

Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Look at the blue subway tiles on the walls. And those hexagon floor tiles.

Photo from Timeout

The wooden dining tables are different from each other, which adds charm to the room. And I spot French cafe steel chairs painted in white.

Photo from Timeout

Most of their paintings are of hunting animals and portraits of men.

Nice rustic accessories on the dining tables.

Their small country style kitchen is seen from the dining area.

Photo from LAist

Love those louvered cabinet doors! This inspires me to design kitchens/dining rooms in this style.

Photo from Timeout

The Hart and The Hunter is located at PaliHotel, 7950 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, California

Sunday, January 27, 2013

No Sew DIY Fabric Letters

This is the project that I have been trying to work on for almost a year. It was supposed to be a birthday present for my cousin but I have forgotten about it. Finally I was able to finish it today.

I am going to show you how I made no sew fabric letters. I did this as decoration for my little cousin's bedroom.

First I printed the template for the letters on paper and traced them on the cardboard. These 3D cardboard letters are about 1 1/2 inches thick, or thick enough for the letters to stand.

Next I added some fluff from an old pillow, but make sure the cotton is clean. I used plain white glue to stick them on the cardboard. Let it dry for about 5 minutes.

Trace the letter on the fabric with a pencil. When you cut it make sure you have allowance for wrapping a little bit of the fabric at the sides of the cardboard letters.

This is a no sew project, so I used hot glue to stick the fabric onto the cardboard.

Wrap the cardboard letters with fabric on both sides. This is how it looked like:

It's okay if your letters are a bit messy at the sides. You can hide your mess by covering it with strips of fabric.

I folded the fabric strip and secured it on the 3D letters with hot glue as well.

Tada! Here is the final product. Hopefully my little cousin will like this. 

Making these no sew fabric letters is not so hard at all. But I'd like to learn how to sew someday so I can make more projects with fabric :)

Upcycled Pine Tree Branch Candle Holder

When our office was about to dispose our Christmas tree early this month, I asked them if I could keep the trunk so I could use it for a craft project. I have been eyeing this birch branch votive set from Terrain and thought about doing a pine tree version.

I didn't have the right tools for this project so I was lucky that the carpenter from the maintenance department where my mom works was kind enough to help me. 

I asked him to cut the tree crosswise in 4 inches, 3 inches, and 2 inches. The smaller the diameter, the shorter the cut.

This was the result:

And then he sanded both ends to produce a smooth surface. The dust from the pine made the workshop smell like Christmas!

Sanding the surface also brought out the nice rings of the tree. Look at the pretty circles!

I traced the tea light candle on the wood and the carpenter drilled through it.

Here is the end product:

Different sizes from two to four inches tall.

They look nice when lit up.

You could still smell the pine tree and the sap is still there. I am thinking of applying a coat of varnish to protect the candle holders from insects.

You like? :)

I want to make more of these but the next batch of pine tree won't be around until Christmas time. I am considering a different tree though. I just need to look for a place to find good tree branches.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Trying out Recipes for Microwavable Mug Cakes

Whoever created the concept of baking a single serving cake in the microwave is a genius. It's like you are just 5 minutes away from devouring a cake you prepared yourself. 

The first time I tried this was when I was still in the university and I was fascinated by the idea. Now I can't believe I can also make different kinds of cakes in the microwave thanks to the creative people who post recipes in the internet!

I found three different recipes and tried them all. Unfortunately while I was preparing the ingredients, I found out that our microwave is not working. It's okay to bake these in the oven at 375 F for 20-25 minutes.

And I was feeling fancy, so I used ramekins instead of mugs. 

Here are the recipe for Lemon Mug Cake, Chocolate Mug Cake, and Carrot Mug Cake:

Lemon Mug Cake

- 2 tbsp softened butter
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp lemon extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp flour

1. Cream together butter, sugar, lemon extract, vanilla, salt with a fork in a large mug.
2. Add baking powder, egg, lemon juice and mix well.
3. Add flour. Mix well.
4. Microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.

I substituted lemon with calamansi, and sprinkled dayap zest and powdered sugar after baking.
I thought this cake was too... spongey or eggy? The egg flavor is overpowering the citrus flavor. 

Not my favorite cake among the three, or maybe I was expecting the cake to taste like my sister's lemon crinkles. Haha.

Chocolate Mug Cake
Source: Unknown. It's been all over the internet since 2008 or earlier, I don't know who started this recipe.

- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp oil
- splash of vanilla

1. Place all dry ingredients in the mug and mix
2. Add the egg and mix
3. Add the vanilla essence and mix
4. Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes.

This was the first ever microwave recipe that I tried. It's better than the lemon mug cake, but still meh. I should have added more cocoa powder or melted dark chocolate to make it rich.

Carrot Mug Cake

- 6 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
- 6 tbsp buttermilk
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp finely grated carrot
- 1 tbsp chopped almonds
- 1 tbsp raisins

1. Add sifted flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and mix well with a fork.
2. Add buttermilk, oil, vanilla, grated carrot, mix well.
3. Add chopped almonds and raisins. Mix well
4. Microwave for 2-2 1/2 minutes.

This is my favorite among the three. And I think the big difference is that this recipe has no eggs in it. It's soft, quite moist, and not too sweet. I like it!

Since I baked them in the oven, I don't really know the difference in flavor if you cook them in the microwave. 

I'd like to try more recipes for mug cakes like red velvet, or black forest perhaps?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Downton Abbey Inspired Bedroom

So I was wondering why that show called Downton Abbey is so popular. I got curious and watched the first episode, then the next episode, and before I knew it I was already done with the second season! 

What's so appealing about this show are the juicy gossip and the scandals of an aristocratic family. I also like that it relates to the past events of Britain such as the first world war, the sinking of Titanic, and also the innovations throughout the history like having electricity, the telephone and the gramophone.

 Watching this show makes you want to have that kind of lifestyle. Aside from that, I like what the set designers did to the interiors. This show inspires me to make a mood board.

Photo from

Photo from

Among all the bedrooms that I have seen in all episodes of Downton Abbey, Lady Sybil's is my favorite. Compared to Lady Mary's bedroom which is a dark, Lady Sybil's room is light and airy, which is what I like in a bedroom.

Basically the keywords for this look are feminine, fresh, pastel, and floral.

Here is the mood board that I made.


While watching I wasn't really looking at Mrs. Hughes in this shot. I was looking at the pretty wallpaper. It's not as old looking as the other bedrooms at Downton.

Choose wallpaper in damask or trellis pattern. Keep the pattern subtle by choosing light colors.  Pastels are recommended like lilac, cream and powder blue. Light colored wallpaper will catch and bounce more natural light into your bedroom.

Kelly Wearstler - Imperial Trellis Alabaster, Cole & Son - St. Petersburg Damask, Graham & Brown - Elizabeth Beige Damask

Paint Colors

Paint your doors, mouldings, ceiling, door frames and window frames white. And alternative for the wallpaper is to paint your walls in creamy neutral colors. Stick to whites and greys.
Farrow and Ball - Great White, Farrow and Ball - Off White, Farrow and Ball - Skimming Stone, Farrow and Ball - Wimborne White, Farrow and Ball - Cornforth White

Curtain Fabric

The curtains at the background are so pretty, just like Lady Sybil. I have researched through the internet and have discovered that most Edwardian interiors use "chintz" for their curtains.

Add accent colors to your room through the floral pattern for your curtains.
 Cath Kidston - Spring Bouquet, Cath Kidston - Birds and Roses, Fabrics and Papers - Lady Rose Curtain Fabric

Upholstered Seating

as for upholstered seating just what Lady Edith is sitting on...

use cream colored or white upholstered fabric. It's also nice to have tufting on your chair.

Anthropologie - Sand Linen Corrigan Chair, Williams Sonoma - White French Chair, Pottery Barn - Middleton Armchair

Dark Wood Furniture

I spot a big armoire,

and a writing table both in dark wood. To balance out the the light and airy characters of the room, use dark wood for the furniture. Contrast is key.

You can add a vanity table or a writing desk into your bedroom. Adding a canopy bed would also be lovely especially if you decorate it with sheer draping.

Bobkona Furniture - St. Croix Collection Vanity Set, Pottery Barn - Farmhouse Canopy Bed, Pottery Barn - Devon Campaign Bedside Table, Pottery Barn - Farmhouse Chifforobe


Look at how Lady Sybil (or at least the house maid of Lady Sybil) arranged her decor on the fireplace. And I love that huge mirror, it makes the room look bigger.

I spot a nice gold frame with an oil painting in it. How about that porcelain bowl and pitcher?

Don't forget to put loosely arranged flowers on your bedside table to add color to your room.

I usually see these glass decanters in the bedroom whenever I watch some episodes. You can use glass jars and bottles to store your perfume or maybe even to stash your cookies.

from Lonny

Use shiny and gold items like candle holders and picture frames, chintz pattern on porcelain, and glass for your jewelry box.

Here are more photos for inspiration that I found through Lonny Magazine's website.

from Lonny

from Lonny

from Lonny

from Lonny

I'll be posting more Downton Abbey inspired looks probably for kitchen and living room next time :)

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