Sidewalk Sale Saturdays

Of course, the three items making my list this week were full price items even though I was shopping a FREAKING sidewalk sale.  I mean, I basically paid for that stool with my own sweat.  

Anyway, nothing’s gone home with me just yet as I’m meeting with an interior designer this week to talk about giving the house a “finishing touch.”  I’ll keep you all posted.  In the meantime, have a swoon at these babies!

   
   

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Wallpaper Obsessions

On The K List today:  Blue + White + Elephants.  What’s not to love!Blue & White Elephant Wallpaper

We’ve been back in the house post-renovation for a little over a month and I’m taking it one room at a time.  This is a sneak peek at one of our guest rooms featuring my childhood bed (graciously gifted by the parentals) and this GORGEOUS Ophelia Wallpaper in blue by Brewster.

A professional would probably define this print as Morrocan-inspired but it’s give me major Ernest Hemingway a la Havana, Cuba vibes.  Anyone else?  Love or hate?

Until next time…

Make them stare,

Katie

New Den = Design ADD

Can someone say design ADD?

Truth is, the longer we are in our home and the closer we get to putting on an addition that will make it a much more permanent residence for the G family that we ever anticipated, the more I realize that I just like a little bit of everything and it’s my house, right?  So with our new den, I’m just going for it.  It will be open to what will be our new expanded & renovated kitchen with an entire wall of french doors leading out to a covered outdoor living room where I’m betting we spend even MORE time.

 This will be the room we spend our most valuable family time in whether that’s just me & G or the pup or future little G’s or whatever.  I want it to be cozy but light & airy.  I want it to be chic but not formal.  I want it to be lodge-y and chinoiserie and a little bit beachy.  I want it all, ya’ll.

So this is where I’m starting?  Thoughts?  Am I crazy?

Casual Den

Here’s what made the list:

  • Big & comfy section – love the English rolled arms
  • Greek key pillows in coral (custom made)
  • Scalamandre pillows (custom made)
  • Audubon flamingo print (gold framed… perhaps paired with a pelican friend)
  • Round, skirted ottoman for foot propping
  • Built-in bar (for shenanigans)

Never Lollygag in Parking Lots (and an amazing grilled chicken recipe)

I had such a great weekend celebrating my mother and mother-in-law.  It just so happened that the tickets to Mamma Mia I gave my mom for Christmas fell on Mother’s Day weekend.  Add to that an amazing dinner at our favorite Italian spot and lunch the next day with family and it just doesn’t get much better.  I have to admit I was pretty impressed with the lunch I served.  The key – casual, simple and pretty.

 Grilled chicken with corn and tomato salad

Grilled Chicken over Corn & Tomato Salad

This dish was so easy because it required no cooking in my actual kitchen, minimal usage of pots and pans and was perfect to serve family style at the table which allowed me to be with my family instead of stuck in the kitchen cooking and plating food.  Here’s how it went down.

I mixed grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes) with red onion, cilantro, olive oil, chili power, cumin, salt & pepper.  (If you haven’t realized by now, this is not the place to get recipes with exact measurements… just season it to taste and make enough to serve however many people you’re feeding.  I did this step when I woke up Sunday morning so it would be one less thing to do when lunch came around.

As mealtime approached, we heated up the grill.  I brushed the corn with a little olive oil and salted it before placing on the grill husk side down.  We left them on for about 12 minutes or so.  I just kept an eye on them and took them off when they started to blacken on the edges.

Next, the chicken goes on.  I marinated mine overnight with a super simple marinade.  Olive oil, lime juice & a packet of fajita seasoning.  It’s seriously so easy and tastes delicious.  While G grilled the chicken (about 6-8 minutes on each side….some of the chicken breasts were huge), I shaved the corn off the cob & into my already marinating tomato & red onion mixture.  I added a little lime juice at this point as well.  I didn’t put the lime juice in that morning because I was worried it would marinate the tomatoes into an mushy consistency.  Then I seasoned a little more to taste.

I spread the corn & tomato salad onto a copper platter and then topped with the grilled chicken which I sliced.  Then sprinkled a little green onion & feta and it was all set!!

I served this with a peach/feta/walnut salad and it was the perfect lunch.  Not too heavy with just enough room for dessert!

It was great to spend a few hours around the table with my family, good food and a few bottles of wine talking about all the important lessons we learned from our mothers – my favorite being:

“Never lollygag in parking lots.”

Friday Find

The first Friday Find to officially make The K List is what I believe will be my newest online decor obsession:

Hunter’s Alley

Hunter's Alley

This place is a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind finds for the home.  From beautiful antique and vintage furniture to an endless inventory of brass accessories, this place could turn any house into a home.  Below are some of my favorites.

naancy corzine lombardchest

Nancy Corzine Lombard Chest  – Insanely chic

italian gilt rope and tassel table

Italian Gilt Rope & Tassel Table  – I want two of these.  And a bench.  And a stool.

campaign style secretary hutches, pair

Pair of campaign style secretaries – Perfect for a unisex office

brass trunk

Brass Trunk  – Would love to use this a cocktail table in our sunroom!

Hope you find your inner huntress at Hunter’s Alley!

Cubicle Chic – The List

Let’s talk fashion in the workplace.  I’m pretty adventurous with my personal fashion.  In fact, there are a pair of python printed harem pants draped across a chair in my closet right now.  But when it comes to the corporate world, how can you keep it interesting and appropriate?  In my career, the days of throwing on a hot pink sundress and calling it business casual are LONG GONE.  So, here’s my list of workplace wardrobe necessities that keep you out of a fashion rut while still in the good graces of your corporate colleagues.

Un: Colorful or Printed Pants – Ok, we all know that no pants are the best pants and yoga pants are the next best but these are edgy and chic for the office.  And let’s face it, you can’t go to work naked.

Leopard pant - Zara

Leopard Skinny Pants

 

 Fuschia Pleated Trousers

Deaux: Blazers, Blazers, kimonos, moto jackets, blazers and more blazers.  Not your mama’s blazer, yall.  Perfect for a meeting but shed these at 5pm & you’re looking so not stuffy at happy hour with your girlfriends.

central park west blazer - revolve clothing Asos blazer in longline with lapel detail Asos blazer in fluro scuba with peplum

Central Park West Durham Linen White Blazer 

Chartreuse Longline Blazer from Asos

Neon Coral Peplum Blazer from Asos

Trois:  Everyday chic shoes.  I prefer something neutral but this is also an element of your wardrobe that can lean on the funky side at work in my opinion – considering they’re under the desk or conference table most of the time.  Work those heels in the cafeteria, honey.

kate spade sling back with bow

Kate Spade New York Nance

Quatre:  The innate skill of pairing high with low.  Here’s the thing, we would all be in head to toe designer all day every day if it was practical, right?  But when it comes to work wear, quantity is almost – if not just as – important as quality.  I have much more fun shopping for my casual weekend pieces but I spend 80% of my time in my office wardrobe.  Pairing high and low price point pieces is my key to looking chic and not over-repeating pieces at work.

black and white pattern work outfit

Vince blouse paired with Ann Taylor loft black & white ikat skirt.

(And yes I took a mirror pic in the women’s lounge at work, haters.)

What are you wearing at work?

Chez Katie: Spicy Peach Shrimp over Cabbage Steaks

New recipe alert!  

We love to have people over for dinner even during the week but it can be difficult to get home from work and have things prepared without feeling like it’s more of a hassle than it’s worth. Today, I’ve got a super easy recipe to share with you that’s tasty and beautiful when plated – great for a dinner party when you want to serve something that looks impressive and tastes great but without major headaches.  

Warmer weather is upon us here in Alabama and I’m craving light and healthy meals – particularly any seafood I can get my hands on.  G & I recently took a quick road trip to Peach Park in Clanton, AL and I picked up some delicious Spicy Peach Grilling Sauce which served as the marinade for this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of cabbage
  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • Shrimp 1.5 lbs serves 4 people 
  • Sauce/Marinade – I used the Spicy Peach Grilling Sauce but you could easily puree peaches or mix peach preserved with some vinegar, sriracha, garlic and seasonings of choice
  • Garlic, Salt, Pepper, & Olive Oil
  • Goat Cheese
  • Bacon
First, place peeled and deveined shrimp in bowl with marinade/sauce.  Shrimp isn’t really something you would marinate overnight, so I do this just about 45 minutes before I’m planning to serve just to give it a little kick.  If your marinate too long, your shrimp will be mushy and gross.  You’ll use the sauce later as well.  Salt & pepper to taste.

Second, slice your cabbage into round discs (horizontally).  Place on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and garlic to taste.  Since the main element of this meal – shrimp – isn’t super flavorful on it’s own, I suggest going heaving on the seasoning.  Roast the cabbage in the oven on 400 for about 15 minutes.  That’s about how long it will take you to do the rest of steps.
Next, chop your red cabbage.  Easy enough, right?

Now, cook the shrimp with sauce in pan on medium-high heat until pink. Throw in the chopped red cabbage toward the end.  Add a little extra sauce and if it’s looking thin, sift a little cornstarch or flour to thicken it up.
While this is going on, pop a few strips of bacon (just enough to add some crumbles on top) in the microwave (I’m not a fan of microwaved bacon typically, but for the purposes of crumbling, it’s just too easy).  
By the time you’ve done all this, your cabbage steaks should be ready.  I like to get mine a little blackened on the edges and top.  It pulls out more flavor.  
Now you just have to assemble – basically, like a pizza.  The cabbage steaks are your crust, everything else serves as the topping.  Spoon the shrimp/sauce/red cabbage mixture on top. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese & bacon and you’re done!
Easy, yummy, pretty and the best part – HEALTHY!  
Between the low calorie shrimp and cabbage, the only major calories items in this dish are the bacon and goat cheese which are used in small quantities.
Because you can pre-slice and chop your cabbage, the time this requires you to be in the kitchen away from your guests is minimal.
Hope you enjoy! If you cook this, comment & let me know what you think.  I’ve never posted recipes here before but if I get good feedback, I’ll post them more often!

It’s Been a While!

I guess you could say I’ve been a neglectful blogger seeing as how it’s been almost a year since my last post.  For me, interior design (decorating for us amateurs) is a creative process.  And creativity can certainly ebb and flow.  In the last year, I’ve been practicing the work hard, play hard mentality – pouring tons of energy into my career and enjoying every last drop of my free time.  Since we last spoke I’ve been out of the country multiple times and seen a bajillion live shows.  And in the midst of all of this, blogging and decorating have fallen to the wayside.

To be honest, I just love so many styles, colors, shapes…. I was overwhelmed with the options in our new home and just couldn’t make up my mind.  I love our home and it’s, of course, ever evolving…. and now we are about to embark on a potential new, HUGE project.  We’re close to making a decision on whether or not we want to add on to the house… which would include a total kitchen makeover, adding a family room/den, adding a full master suite and renovating multiple bathrooms.

The thought of it both thrills and exhausts me!  But it most certainly deepens my desire to get inspired, brainstorm and share the process with you.  In the near future, I’ll be stepping through our home room by room – sharing it’s current state and my inspiration for what it will be.  Addition or no addition, there will be major changes coming to the Gulas House over the next few months.  I hope you’ll join me (even if I did abandon you for like a really, really long time) and share your thoughts and inspiration with me.

In the meantime, here are few things I’ve inspired by/crushing on lately…..

Making Updates that Support the Original Style of a Bathroom in an Older Home

Hi all!  I’m back!!!  Hope you enjoy this guest post from guest blogger Tom Coan of Case Birmingham.

Katie, thanks so much for giving me the chance to talk to your readers about redoing
their bathrooms. One of the objectives of remodeling a room is to make it look new
again. But when you live in an older home and its antiquity is an inherent part of its
character, it’s essential to preserve the original look of the home in the remodeled
and updated spaces. In many cases we need to update older spaces to improve
comfort and energy efficiency. And sometimes we want to make a space look fresh
while still maintaining an old-fashioned aesthetic.

Get a sense of your home’s style. Understand both what your home is and what
it is not. There are dozens of different architectural and design styles celebrated in
our country’s historic homes. Learning more about your home’s specific style can
provide a compass for choosing new materials with a look that’s consistent with the
rest of the home. Professional >bathroom renovators can help you locate materials specific to your home’s
style.

Brass fixtures help create an elegant, old-world look.

Keep in mind that an older home does not follow to a modern or contemporary
design aesthetic. While you may love the sleek look of modern cabinets or the open-
space feeling of contemporary, making a conscious decision to shy away from the
hallmarks of other architectural styles will help keep your bathroom in tune with
the rest of the home.

Look to the rest of the home for features that can be replicated in the
bathroom. Help your updated bathroom “match” the rest of your home by
repeating themes used in other spaces. Try using the same types of wood and
matching stains, similar hardware, and the same style of window treatments. Pay
attention to architectural features as well, which can differ drastically according to
period.

A Gothic arch in a master bath reiterates the architectural style of the home.

Reuse materials from the original bathroom. What better way to create a
seamless bathroom than to keep with its original features? Salvaging and reusing
materials in an older home helps to keep it original and gives it a richer history.

Fixtures, vanities, tiles, wood, countertop materials, and features such as crown
molding and wainscoting can be refinished and reused countless times in a home
that’s well cared for. If reusing some of the original finishes proves to be difficult
due to over time ware and poor upkeep, there are many places to find refurbished
or replicated materials that fit within the period of your home.

A reproduction claw-foot bathtub and vintage vanity blend perfectly with the
updated bathroom. Antique shutters and other design accents support the old-
fashioned look of the room.

Transfer materials from other areas of the home. Perhaps you’ve remodeled
other areas of your home and salvaged some of the materials, or perhaps you can
transfer certain materials from other areas of the house to help integrate an older
look in the new space. Borrowing a piece of furniture and a few design accents from
another room can help create a seamless look throughout the house.

Vintage furniture, materials, and accents keep this newly remodeled Birmingham
bathroom in the same era as the rest of the house.

All photos shown in this article belong to Case Design/Remodeling Birmingham.