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8 Ways to Find Comfort at Home

Retreat in comfort at home with a crackling fire, cup of tea and a comfy chair. Bradington-Young Furniture.

It’s a tough world out there. But at home, peace, serenity and comfort await through decorating, furnishings, cooking and relaxing with family and friends.

Want to make your home a sanctuary that welcomes everyone (including you!) with a warm, welcome hug? Here’s how.

Sit down and snuggle up with the Chester Sofa. Hooker Furniture.

An updated take on an iconic British design dating back to the 1800s, the Chester sofa is cozy, comfy and spacious with deep, plush seat cushions made for curling up with a soft blanket throw to tv binge watch or read a book by the fire. Classic yet contemporary, this beautiful Chesterfield sofa features a classic rolled-back frame with button tufting and is upholstered in a trendy mid-tone blue hue that’s warm, inviting and colorful.

Create a yen for zen in unexpected ways. Hooker Furniture.

With decorative hand-carved mango wood doors in the shape of a mandala (an ancient, universal spiritual symbol for serenity and the wholeness found within the circle of life), this entertainment console furniture is as much art to be admired and contemplated as it is practical storage for tv and stereo components.

Make time to talk and listen. Bradington-Young Furniture.

The Gallin, Kirby swivel tub  and Kirby stationery chairs mix classic and contemporary style with comfort and ease. And by placing these luxe leather chairs in a circle facing one another, they form an inviting place to gather and gab with friends over coffee or cocktails.

Work it out with style. Hooker Furniture

For the 23% of Americans who now work from home at least part of the time, a home office that’s not only functional but fashionable, too, can make going to the office (even if the daily commute is now 30 seconds) something to look forward to. Crafted of soft white oak veneer with eglomise mirrored accents, the Rustic Glam trestle desk, credenza and bookcase  are mirrored furniture pieces that transform conventional office essentials into chic focal points.

Put into practice the adage” “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Hooker Furniture.

Studies show that clutter and messiness at home contribute to stress.  With its antique mirrored, pearl essence finish, the Sanctuary ten drawer dresser  is a pretty, practical problem-solver. With 10 spacious drawers, you can store more and stress less.

Dine like you mean it. Hooker Furniture.

Restore the tradition of breaking bread together. Whether you cook like a Food Network star chef or excel at take-out, when family and friend gather around the spacious  Beaumont rectangular dining table, the time together will feel special.

Pick a winter winner, chicken dinner (and with bacon!) John Lee

Fried chicken evokes fond childhood memories for many people, including me.  This comfort food brings to mind Sunday lunch at my grandmother’s home where our big family of aunts, uncles and cousins would race after church to feast on her crispy fried chicken with gravy, homemade rolls and pie topped with sky-high meringue.  No matter how many of us were at the table, somehow there was more than enough to eat. And there was certainly more than enough love to go around, too.

This recipe is tasty, easy to make and delivers on three popular trends—home cooking, bacon and the resurgence in comfort foods like fried chicken and gravy. Try it. You’ll like it. A lot.

Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken in Gravy

from

“Fried Chicken” by Rebecca Lang

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco

1 chicken (about 2 pounds, 8 ounces), cut into 4 pieces

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

Vegetable oil, for frying

Gravy:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups heavy cream

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1/2 teaspoon salt

To make the marinade, whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce. Pour into a large zip-top bag and add the chicken. Seal the bag, rub to coat the meat, and refrigerate for 6 hours.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper.

In a large heavy skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the skillet and drain on a paper towel, reserving drippings in the skillet.

Reprinted with permission from “Fried Chicken” by Rebecca Lang copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photographs copyright © 2015 by John Lee.

Make home a refuge for you and yours.

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Welcome 2019 in Winter White

Blending varying shades of white in a room creates depth and dimension. The Modern Romance Console features a textured, lacquered white linen finish with champagne accents. Hooker Furniture

In January, nature cloaks itself in a stunning monochromatic color scheme of winter white.

In the colder months of the year, nature cloaks herself in winter white and the results are breathtaking. From the plains to the mountains to the coast, the absence of color around us during winter illustrates the serene beauty of a monochromatic look. Here’s how to incorporate nature’s subtlest — yet most sophisticated — palette into your home and furniture. 

An eggnog cocktail is a signature drink creation in creamy tones.

Before looking outside for inspiration, kick off the new year with a signature homemade drink creation in these creamy tones. This Southern Living Recipe from country legend Alan Jackson can be made with or without whiskey. Try rimming the glasses in graham cracker or gingerbread crumbs for an extra-special touch. 

A decorative chest like the Amani combines a winter white palette with soft wood tones and natural stone. Hooker Furniture.

A winter white palette doesn’t have to be boring. It can include soft wood tones, natural stone and muted finishes. A decorative furniture chest like the Amani is a great place to start if you’re thinking of trying this elegant design direction.

In a winter white color scheme, the Anders Chair from Sam Moore captures the appeal of the hygge lifestyle. Photo: Sam Moore Furniture.

Whoever said, “White is boring” surely hasn’t seen the Anders ChairEnrobed in a plush, shearling-like cover, it’s the epitome of easygoing elegance and the perfect choice for a winter white color scheme. 

Benjamin Moore is promoting an understated color palette of wall colors with its 2019 Color of the Year, Metropolitan.

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, Metropolitan, is a soft grey that works perfectly with the elegant sophistication of winter whites. As Benjamin Moore puts it, “The calibrated silence of layered grays helps a modern home find its soft side.”

Work is more appealing in a calming, organized workspace like this. Hooker Furniture.

Once the holidays are over, getting back to work seems more appealing in a calming workspace like this one.  Surely, a soft, clean home office will make it easier to stay organized in 2019.

The Miramar bedroom takes a world view of design and soothes in a winter white palette. Hooker Furniture

Use texture to add visual interest to your monochromatic color palette. A chunky throw blanket, extra-plush rug and stone accent wall give this space dimension while maintaining its minimalist color story.

Choosing cream or white leather for your sofa or sectional gives the added beauty of being able to accessorize them any way you like– now and in the future. Bradington-Young.

To get the full effect of the understated winter white palette, start with the largest furnishings in the room — your sofa or sectional. 

The timeworn finish of the Arabella dining room is created with a white finish over maple veneers with a crackle revealing a champagne shimmer beneath. Hooker Furniture.

It’s easy to create a dreamy dining room furniture area with a table, chairs and buffet in a timeless creamy white, such as this one from Arabella.

No matter what room you’re updating in the new year, you can’t go wrong by looking to nature for guidance. Even in the coldest of winters, there’s inspiration to be found. This year, when the weather has you indoors looking outward, consider bringing some of the beauty of winter’s whites into your home decor. 

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Best Ever Elegant Holiday Entertaining Tips


Tip: Add nature to your guest list this holiday. Table: Hooker Furniture

Tip: Simple touches create a festive mood.

’Tis the season to make merry and bright with family and friends. Make your holiday gathering one they’ll remember long after the last eggnog toast with these elegant entertaining tips. A mix of pretty, practical and positively wow, each will help you impress -without duress- because they’re also easy to do.

Tip: Glam is good. Hooker Furniture.

The subtle champagne shimmer finish of the Arabella Round Dining Table and Arabella side dining chairs sparkles with a rich luster that reflects the festive tone of the season we’re celebrating. Slender, softly curved legs create an aura of romance as fretwork-carved chair backs, with Arabesque motifs, add architectural interest.

This lovely tablescape celebrates nature with fragrant mini wreaths made of snipped rosemary and a centerpiece of natural greenery.

Infusing interiors with layers of scent is a popular trend and is so easy to do during the holidays. Just take a quick stroll outdoors. This lovely tablescape features a mini wreath made with snipped rosemary, and a nature-inspired centerpiece fashioned from fresh evergreen branches, pomegranates and colorful glass pine cones.

Tip: Couture comfort = happy, stylin’ guests. Settee by Sam Moore.

An on-trend, versatile seating option, the Houlihan settee works the room in style. As a standalone in a small space, it create a fashion focal point. By flanking the fireplace with a pair of settees, you’ll create a cozy conversation zone. Or invite this plush settee to the table as an elegant spot for guests to sit and linger longer after the meal ends.

Tip: Layer in double-duty decor. Hooker Furniture.

The narrow footprint and double shelf design of the Melange Rivata Hall Console will make it a host’s best friend. In the living room, it can serve as a mini bar for cocktails by the Christmas tree. Dress up a narrow passageway by displaying holiday decor on this skinny mini table or place it in your foyer to give guests a place to stash bags and phones when they come through the door.

Tip: Tiny tables pay off big. Hooker Furniture

With portable nesting tables like these, guests can better relax. They’ll have a place to perch drinks and snacks—no more juggling with both hands all night long. And as a design bonus, the dark painted glass tops and silver metal bases of these space-saver tables are so chic they’re bound to make heads turn.

Tip: Comfy seating is a guest’s dream come true. Hooker Furniture.

Family and friends will enjoy your gathering and stay longer with a comfy place to sit and relax. Meticulously hand-crafted in luxe leather with deep plush cushions and arms, the Sydney Club Chair fits the bill and is destined to be the most popular seat in the room.

Tip: Limit trips to and from the kitchen. Hooker Furniture.

Although you’re the host, you are not a maid and should enjoy the party, too. Sized right for holding extra food or dining essentials, or to work as a self-serve salad station or dessert bar, the Miramar Aventura Maricopa Buffet will keep you more in the party scene than away from it. There’s spacious storage below, too, including a removable silverware tray and felt liner.

Tip: Send guests on their way with a sweet treat. Ed Anderson.

Offer the tastebuds of your guests a decadent end to the night. This recipe for semisweet hot fudge sauce is easy to make ahead and is wonderful served over ice cream, brownies or cake.  Make an extra batch and treat guests to a jar wrapped in festive paper and ribbon as a take-home party favor. They’ll remember your gathering as extra-sweet and special.

SEMISWEET HOT FUDGE

from

The Perfect Scoop Revised and Updated by David Lebovitz

Makes 3 cups (750ml) 

This sauce is very rich and very thick. If you prefer your hot fudge on the sweeter side, this is the one for you. 

1 cup (250ml) heavy cream 

6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 

2 tablespoons light corn syrup 

2⁄3 cup (130g) sugar 

8 ounces (230g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

  1. Heat the cream, butter, corn syrup, and sugar in a large saucepan until the mixture begins to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure it doesn’t boil over. 
  1. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Serve warm. 

STORAGE: This sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Rewarm it gently in a microwave or by stirring in a saucepan over very low heat.

Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Scoop Revised and Updated , copyright © 2018 by David Lebovitz. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photograph copyright © 2018 by Ed Anderson. 

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