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Green Comes Home for Earth Day

Zesty lime green is a wake-up call that’s easy to create. Here, it’s a simply painted, rustic door that feels like an enchanted cottage. The floral-embossed Melange drum tables add another dimension of natural charm. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Earth Day is April 22, but “going green” offers year-‘round benefits. Our fundamental connection with Mother Nature shows up in some surprising ways. For starters, science has found that simply looking at the color green makes us feel better – a great reason to add more green to our home and furniture decorating schemes.

Rich, deep green conveys luxury as well as health. Expressed in a unique accent piece like the Tolli 3-Drawer Chest, the piece offers storage as well as focal-point drama. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Vibrant spring green brings a happy spirit to any space and makes a cool, elegant room glow with youthful energy. Adding metallics with the Luna Accent Table brings an even brighter outlook. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Big-picture botanicals evoke the complex beauty of nature and add an elegant, Old World touch to a piece like the Treviso Lateral File. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

We’re most refreshed by green in living plants. NASA scientists in the ‘80s found that certain easy-care houseplants filter the air from toxins and allergens and add oxygen. 

Peace lilies (in the corner) and snake plants are among easy-care houseplants that clean the air by filtering toxins and allergens and adding oxygen. Try these hardworking beauties around the house. Photo: Home Depot.

Wicker plus tropical print fabric on the Zephyr Recliner evoke the world’s precious rainforests in a sophisticated way. All colors work beautifully with greens, so your style can be preppy, natural or wild. Photo: Sam Moore

Health-conscious desserts can also be part of “going green.”  For a fun Earth Day (or any day) celebration, consider this delectable Paleo Sweets Cookbook recipe for Vanilla Cake with Green Tea Icing. Amazingly, it’s free of refined sugar, dairy and gluten.

This yummy and pretty Vanilla Cake with Green Tea Icing recipe is from the book “Paleo Sweets” by Kelsey Ale.

Here’s how to make it:

Vanilla Cake with Green Tea Icing

INGREDIENTS:

Matcha Green Tea Frosting

1 cup arrowroot starch

2/3 cup honey

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons (tbsp.) + 2 teaspoons (tsp) matcha green tea powder

2 cups palm shortening

 

Vanilla Cake

½ cup arrowroot starch plus extra for flouring cake pans

10 eggs

2/3 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup almond milk

2 tbsp vanilla

Zest of ½ lemon (about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp)

1 cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

PREPARATION:

 Frosting

Combine arrowroot, honey, maple syrup and matcha in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.

  1. Add palm shortening; whip with an electric mixer or whisk until smooth.
  2. Set frosting aside while you prepare cake.
  3. Cake
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Oil two 8-inch round cake pan, dust with arrowroot and line pan bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, honey, almond milk, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk until fully combined and smooth.
    4. In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, arrowroot, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until fully combined.
    5. Add dry ingredients (#4) to wet ingredients (#3) and mix to incorporate. Mixture will be lumpy. Let sit 2-3 minutes, then mix until smooth.
    6. Pour batter into oiled, lined cake pans.
    7. Bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean.
    8. Remove cake from oven; let cool in pans 5-10 minutes. Then turn cakes out of pans onto wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

     

     

     

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Celebrate Easter in Global Style

This Easter, create memories that will last. Photos: Hooker Furniture, Better Homes & Gardens

Easter is a time to celebrate faith and time-honored traditions. If you’re planning to host family or friends, make this the year to do more than iron the tablecloth and dust off your best china. Treat guests to a touch of global style. After all, this is a holiday celebrated around the world… and with some traditions that contrast to ours in ways that are surprising and smile-worthy.

With an adjustable dining-to-counter height, the American Life Crafted Friendship Table is a multi-function marvel. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Here in the U.S., we go all in on chocolate bunnies , egg hunts, and decadent desserts.We also believe in coming together at mealtime.

Decadent desserts have become part of Easter tradition, beautifully displayed. Photo: bhg.com

When you gather for your holiday meals, the American Life Crafted Friendship table is perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner. The refined rustic table has two extension leaves, so seating unexpected or last minute guests is a snap. And this table is also spacious enough for kids (and kids at heart) to gather around to dye eggs and decorate Easter baskets.

This smartly-designed Arabella credenza displays and stores a wide range of entertaining essentials, including wine bottles for holiday celebrations. Photo: Hooker Furniture

In France, children receive “les Cloches de Pâques” (chocolate Easter bells) rather than chocolate bunny treats—a tradition that dates back to the 7th century. 

To take a bite out of French style without the calories, bring the  Arabella Collection home. This gorgeous two-door, two-drawer Arabella Credenza combines classic European elements with modern forms and metals for an industrial look look.

This slim-jim console delivers an impressive six feet of serving space within a compact footprint. Hooker Furniture

In America, we decorate and coddle eggs like art.  In the northeast of England, just the opposite occurs. Eggs take a beating during “egg jarping,” an Easter tradition where competitors bash their opponents’ hard-boiled egg with one of their own. 

For a smashing dash of English style (no eggs required), try the Sanctuary four-drawer thin consoleCrafted with classic English design cues like gently turned legs, dovetail construction and a hand-rubbed ebony black painted finish, this slender console adds a sense of history that’s British to the bone.

Here’s how to go Greek with a modern twist. Hooker Furniture

On the Greek island of Chios, two Vrontados hilltop churches celebrate Easter Eve with “Rouketopelmos” (Greek for “rocket war), a beloved competition in which thousands of homemade rockets are fired at one another’s bell towers to see how many direct hits occur before midnight.

A bell ringer for how it mixes classic with contemporary style, Cynthia Rowley’s Perch Klimos chair is light, airy and gracefully curved like the Klismos chair of ancient Greece from which it draws inspiration. Perch is also designed for modern day comfort with a seat back and cushion upholstered in plush navy blue velvet.

These marble tables provide a sturdy, chic place for beverages and snacks. Photo: Hooker Furniture

On the Monday after Easter (known as “Pasquette” or “Little Easter” ), competitors gather in the small town of Panicale, Italy, for “Ruzzolone,” a cheese rolling competition that originated between 600-500 BC.

If your guests prefer to nibble cheese they don’t have to chase, the Curata (Italian for “curated”) round cocktail table will keep snacks within arms length, especially when bunched with the  Curata round end table to form a large, multi-level serving surface.

How many ways can you decorate a bunny? The possibilities are endless. Photo: bhg.com

Easter is a day to celebrate! Make yours truly special with global touches like these from Hooker Furniture.

The perfect touch to your Easter basket? A few decorative butterflies. Photo: bhg.com

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Garden-Fresh Easter Dining Table Decor

For a one-of-a-kind tablescape, we love the idea of using a chocolate bunny in the center of a place setting. If you need a place card, why not add a small tag to the ribbon and write the name there? Source: drivenbydecor.com

Can’t get enough of bunny decor at Easter? Us either. From bunnies to blooms and everything in between, we’re loving today’s garden-fresh looks for your dining table. 

Dramatic, colorful and fragrant — this DIY flower chandelier has it all and is sure to be a topic of conversation with all your guests. Source: bhg.com

This year, skip the traditional centerpiece in favor of something more creative. A head of cabbage makes the perfect fresh-from-the-farm container, or line a glass cylinder with vegetables for an eye-stopping floral presentation. Photo: drivenbydecor.com and bhg.com

For a fresh dining space, it’s hard to beat the charm of the 60-inch round Boheme Round Dining Table. Its’ zinc top is on-trend, durable and perfect for families with kids. Hooker Furniture

It’s been great fun to see the resurgence of Beatrix Potter characters and themes coinciding with the recent release of the movie Peter Rabbit. With Easter almost here, it’s the perfect time for a bunny-inspired tablescape. Source: pier1.com.

If your decorating style is more streamlined, you’ll love the simplicity of this minimalist dinner napkin sculpture. Photo and directions: marthastewart.com

If you’re drawn to clean, sophisticated silhouettes, you’ll love the Affinity dining room. Its light, sandblasted greige finish and gently sloped chairs are truly distinctive. Photo: Hooker Furniture

Spring green and terracotta provide the perfect color palette for this Easter tablescape. Source: Dining Delight blog.

Offering a more modern take on bunny decor, this table’s black and white palette makes a statement in style. Source: homeandfabulous.com

Appealing to generations of all ages, these fun Peeps® racers are made with pre-made items and assembled with icing. Make them ahead of time and let them do double-duty as a centerpiece and dessert. Photo and directions: wonderfuldiy.com.

These unique place cards are made with colorful fingerprints transformed into bunnies and chicks with just a few pen strokes. Source: spoonful.com

If you’re looking for ways to refresh your dining table for Easter and spring, try adding some garden-fresh elements. Whether you use real flowers, vegetables or bunny elements, the farmer’s market offers nearly unlimited inspiration.

Try adding “bird’s nests” to your Easter cupcakes to keep the garden and nature theme going.

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