Lori Matzke

Since entering the design industry in 1999, I've had the opportunity to share my love for creating beautiful, livable, and affordable rooms as a business owner, Home Staging & Interior Redesign Expert™, trainer, columnist, contributor, and author. But it wasn't until I was forced to confront the failing relationship I was having with my own home that I truly came to understand the frustration one encounters when they no longer feel a connection to their space. After spending several angst filled years trying to make it work, I finally found my inspiration in the most unlikely place and made an amazing new breakthrough in design! Like any relationship, I discovered it's all about communication and for you... let the discovery begin right here and now with this blog!


REAL ESTATE PICKS FOR THE WEEK

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI – USA
$189,000.00 USD

Situated on 5.50 woodland acres, this single story home features wood floors, a wood burning fireplace, a large eat-in kitchen, screened-in porch, and new central air The beautiful landscape and the seclusion it offers will allow you to enjoy nature and outdoor activities year round in your very own private, park-like setting!

Presented by Lee McMinn
www.kessingerrealestate.com
(662) 473 – 0535
lee@kessingerrealestate.com

 

 

VICTORIA, BC – CANADA
$169,000.00 CDN

Ever heard the term “whatever floats your boat?” Well, they really mean it this time! So check out this cool houseboat. Who wants waterfront when you can actually live right on the water? Features include a marine-style barbeque, custom built-in dresser, and of course a to-die-for view! I think you could live a pretty unique life in this very unique home! How cool is that?

Presented by Ron Neal
www.ronneal.com
(250) 386 – 8181
Team@RonNeal.com

 

 

BANANA BEACH, ELEUTHERA – BAHAMAS
$125,000.00 USD

Here’s your chance to turn your dreams of becoming a real Bahama-Mama into your reality! Located in the gated community of Banana Beach and just a 3-minute walk to the sand, this might very well be a once in a lifetime oppor-tunity! Surrounded by swaying palms, fruit trees, and tropical foliage, you can easily customize this affordable island cottage to fit your style!

Presented by Jonathan Morris
www.paradisebahamas.com
Jonathan.P.Morris@SouthebysRealty.com
(242) 332 – 2820

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Feb

14 2011

Eat – Drunken Chocolate Figs

I decided that Valentine’s Day was the perfect time to share my favorite fig recipe! Why figs? Because figs were once thought to be an aphrodisiac… and reportedly Cleopatra’s favorite food. Many cultures also associate figs with fertility. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

DRUNKEN CHOCOLATE FIGS from www.goodhousekeeping.com

1 cup ruby port wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
12 fresh, ripe, green or black figs

In heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, heat port wine, sugar, and cinnamon stick to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium and cook 13 minutes, stir-ring frequently to prevent syrup from boiling over (syrup will reduce by half). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (syrup will thicken as it cools).

Meanwhile, line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place chocolate in micro-wave-safe small bowl or cup. Heat, covered with waxed paper, in microwave on high for one minute or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until smooth.

With fingers, hold 1 fig and dip into melted chocolate, leaving top half uncovered. Shake off excess chocolate. Place chocolate-covered fig on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining figs and chocolate.

Place chocolate-covered figs in refrigerator 15 minutes or until chocolate is set. Figs will keep at room temperature up to 2 hours. If not serving right away, refrigerate figs up to 12 hours. To serve, arrange figs on 4 dessert plates and drizzle with port syrup.

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Feb

14 2011

Shop – Plastic Sensor Pump

With a volume control button and re-engineered valve, you’re sure to get just the right amount of lotion, soap, or sanitizer every time!

$29.99 at www.simplehuman.com

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Feb

13 2011

Shop – ‘Kitchen Weapons’ Coaster Set

Your next get together is sure to be a hit with this seriously fun set of coasters!

$3.95 for a set of 12 from http://www.fishseddy.com/

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Feb

12 2011

Shop – Meyer Improved Lemon Tree

A prolific bloomer, this Meyer Lemon Tree can be raised indoors even in colder climates with the proper care. Just $49.95 for a 1-3 foot plant, or $99.95 for a plant 4-6 feet.

From http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/

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Feb

11 2011

Shop – Michael Aram Olive Branch Menorah

Yes, it’s a Jewish thing. And you may not be Jewish. But I bet this hand-forged piece would look stunning on your table or mantel, and no one would know the differ-ence. Candles not included.

$210.00 from http://www.williams-sonoma.com/

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Feb

10 2011

Design – “A Rough Rambler Settles Down!” Part II

 

 

 

After sanding the floors twice, it was determined they could not be salvaged as originally intended.  However, replacing them at this point…the house had just been purchased and the entire place needed updating to even make it livable…we decided that was not a financial option.  But PAINTING the wood floors was a nice alternative.  (See February 5, 2011 posting on painting wood floors.)

To give the entire room a nice, fresh appearance, the trim was also painted in off white, and the ceilings got a fresh coat, too.  (Use Kilz brand paint to kill odors!)  To make this simple space feel more detailed, the corners and edging around the top and bottom of the wall were also painted the same color as the ceiling.  After drying overnight, the edge was taped off along the perimeter using 1 1/2 inch painter’s tape before the walls were painted khaki tan.  (If you don’t want to worry about hitting the ceiling with the roller, use 2 inch painter’s tape instead.)  The end result gave the room a sense of definition for less.

Watch for “A Rough Rambler Settles Down!” Part III.

 

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Feb

09 2011

Shop – Daddy Van’s All Natural Furniture Polish

Treat your furniture and the environment right with this beeswax based, organic furniture polish!

$11.95 per 5 ounce tin at http://www.abesmarket.com/

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Feb

09 2011

Shop – Aviator Media Trunk

Handmade of brushed aluminum and wrapped around a wood frame, this media trunk could go modern, country, or transitional!

60W X 20D X28H

On sale for $995.00 from www.restorationhardware.com

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Feb

08 2011

Eat – Portuguese-Style Chicken

In honor of the fabulous little villa in Portugal recently featured in Looking for Love, I thought this recipe might help get you in the mood! Enjoy!

PORTUGUESE-STYLE CHICKEN from www.taste.com.au

2 small fresh or frozen thawed chickens
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 long fresh red chili, deseeded, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, to serve

FOR THE SALAD
1 pint red grape tomatoes, washed, halved
1 head bib lettuce leaves, rinsed, drained, torn
1 Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthways, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup drained pitted Kalamata olives
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Place one chicken, breast-side down, on a clean work surface. Use kitchen scissors or poultry shears to cut down both sides of backbone and discard. Turn chicken, breast-side up, and push down to flatten. Tuck wings under. Pat dry with paper towel. Repeat with the second chicken. Use a knife to make several ¼ inch deep by 1 inch long cuts into chicken meat. Place in a glass or ceramic baking dish.

Combine the lemon juice, oil, paprika, oregano, sugar, garlic, chili and salt in a bowl. Season with pepper. Pour over the chicken and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 6 hours to develop the flavors.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Place chicken and marinade in a roasting pan. Roast in oven, basting occasionally with pan juices, for 40 minutes or until brown and juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a skewer. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile, to make the salad, place the tomato, lettuce, cucumber, onion and olives in a bowl. Place oil, lemon juice and oregano in a screw-top jar and shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and toss. Cut each chicken in half and serve with lemon wedges and salad.

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Feb

08 2011

REAL ESTATE UNDER $250K FOR THE WEEK

PROVO, UTAH – USA
$249,000.00 USD

While this listing could definitely benefit from a quick de-cluttering and better photos, there’s no denying the structure’s style! Between the cool mountain setting and the loft inside, I’d have a hard time NOT making an offer. It‘s easy to imagine a cleaner landscape, mod furnishings, and a handful of faux-rustic accessories. Even easier to imagine a phone call from Architectural Digest hoping for a photo-op when it‘s finished! Act quickly…won’t last!

Brought to you by
Equity Real Estate – Commercial Group
www.utahhomes.com
(801) 790 – 4662

 

MOOSE JAW, SASKATCHEWAN – CANADA
$149,000.00 CDN

Ok…so not only will you get to tell all your friends you live in Moose Jaw, but you‘ll also get to occupy this sweet little renovated house, too! And while many claim to be in ‘move-in condition‘, guess what? This one really is! New kitchen, laundry, updated bathrooms, flooring, fixtures, water heater, appliances, siding, roofing, and more. A wonderful find in the Great White North.

Presented by Morley Munn
www.royallepagelandmart.com
(306) 693 – 4027
landmart@sasktel.net

 

 

LOUSA, BEIRAS – PORTUGAL
$135,000.00 EU
With a terraced garden, balconies, and lovely views, this well-established hillside home might be just the right villa for you! The birthplace of the renowned Portuguese liqueur, Licor Beirao, this charming town even has it’s own medieval castle just up the road!

Brought to you by
www.homesforsaleinportugal.com
ID # PS01584

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Feb

07 2011

Shop – 400-Thread Count Quilted Pillow Protector

Your bed pillows will last much longer and provide a healthier sleep experience with this high-quality pillow cover!

Standard-size case for $23.00 at www.cuddledown.com

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Feb

07 2011

Shop – Hand-Painted Vessel Sink

This gorgeous vessel sink bowl would provide a stunning focal point for a guest bath!

$91.99 at www.overstock.com

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Feb

06 2011

Shop – Howard Miller Indoor/Outdoor Wall Clock

Looking for a good time? (Pun intended!) This double-sided clock might be just right for you!

$275.10 at www.amazon.com

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Feb

05 2011

Learn – HOW TO PAINT WOOD FLOORS

After removing the carpeting, we found the wood floors beneath solid and sturdy, but stained beyond repair.

Painted wood floors use to be quite stylish in the 17th and 18th centuries and eventually fell out of favor when carpeting became all the rage. But painting can be a wonderful, low-cost alternative to replacing wood floors that are beyond repair. And they can be just plain beautiful as your first choice! Renown interior designer Albert Hadley famously paints wood floors in his signature shade of deep green.

In this home, while the owner originally bought the home intending to simply have the wood floors beneath the carpeting redone, it became clear wood grain floors were not in his future when even professionals could not remove the many deeply set pet stains from the wood. Painting became the alternative solution, but the end result gave it first choice appeal!

Please note: For this project, a water-based paint and polyurethane were used. Unlike oil based paints and polys, water-based alternatives will not yellow.

  1. Sand the floors! If the floors are in fairly good condition, a light sanding using 150-grade paper by hand or using a hand sander is all that is required. You are simply sanding so the floors will accept the paint. However, if the varnish is peeling and/or bubbling, I recommend using a professional sander to smooth out the surface and completely remove the varnish. (You can rent a professional sander from most home improvement stores, usually by the hour.)
  2. Wash using a powder detergent to remove all dust and particles. This may take more than a day to dry completely but it’s important to give it time.
  3. Apply one coat of primer to prepare the wood and prevent the stain color from bleeding through. The primer should be allowed to dry overnight. (In this case, Zinsser Bin Primer was used.)
  4. Lightly sand using 220-grade sandpaper, then wipe the floor clean using tack cloth to remove all the dust particles.

    The painted wood floors offered an inviting and inexpensive alternative to carpeting or laminate.

  5. Apply one thin coat of Benjamin Moore Low-Lustre Metal & Wood Enamel paint, as thin coats tend to dry harder than thicker coats. Use a paint brush with natural bristles to apply, as rolling it on may leave stippling marks. Allow paint to dry 24 hours.
  6. Apply two more thin coats of paint, allowing 24 hours drying time between coats.
  7. Apply two thin coats of Benjamin Moore Low-Lustre Acrylic Polyurethane allowing 24 hours to dry between coats. (Low-Lustre offers a very nice sheen. High-Gloss could also be used, but will be more inclined to show nicks and scratches over time.)

 

  • Painted flooring takes about 30 days to completely cure. Use caution when moving furniture and remove shoes at the door to prevent scratches and scuff marks until the paint and poly has had a chance to  set.

 

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Feb

05 2011

Shop – Starburst Specialty Braided Rug

This beautifully hand-braided rug measuring 42-inches in diameter is truly a one of a kind work of art!

By Mrs. Ginther Braided Designs for $300.00 at www.etsy.com

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Feb

04 2011

Shop – The Original Ring Thing Bottle Opener

It’s a ring! It’s a thing! Now don’t you wish you had one of these back in college?

$7.99 from http://www.thinkgeek.com/caffeine/accessories/756e/

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Feb

03 2011

Shop – Acacia Serving Tray

This reversible tray is perfect for breakfast in bed, then flip it over and use it as a portable desk for your laptop!

Only $43.95 from www.foodnetworkstore.com

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Feb

02 2011

Design – “A Rough Rambler Settles Down!” Part I

Abused by it’s former owner, this three-bedroom rambler had already lived a lifetime of mistreatment and succumb to a few gnarly cats when it finally met the owner of it’s dreams!  While most would have given up on this hapless home, someone came along with just the right vision and vowed not to give up on the space.  After ripping out soiled carpeting and dumping the smelly contents the previous tenants left behind, a thorough cleaning and de-stinking were part of the initial courtship to get this relationship heading in the right direction!

If you’re wondering where this romance is going, keep in touch and watch for “A Rough Rambler Settles Down!” Part II  (Also see ‘How to Paint Wood Floors!’)

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Feb

02 2011

Shop – Vintage Canning Jar Ceiling Light

I could definitely see this in a kitchen, hallway, laundry room, or porch! Cool, huh?

By Lamp Goods for $189.00
at www.etsy.com

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Feb

01 2011