Runner Saga Resolved! Part II

I did it! I finally moved ahead on my stair runner and pulled the trigger. For those of you who missed the first piece of this home decorating dilemma, you can read it here. After some help from Adam Jarrett, the creative force behind Customstairrunners.com, I was able to choose a runner and upgrade my staircase and entryway in a big way. I think the pictures show the process pretty well:

IMG_2266Here’s what was on the stairs when we bought the house.

IMG_2263A few of the samples we checked out. They have every style imaginable.

Stripping and preparing the stairs. 

After months of hesitation on my own {and visiting many different carpet stores} about which carpet style to choose, with some professional guidance, I found something that I loved right away. Adam thought the runner should tie in the surrounding colors of the walls, the steps and the wooden banister, plus give the entryway a more modern look, while tying it in with the traditional feel of the house. I loved the idea and went ahead with a wool chevron pattern in classic colors so as not to look too trendy. Here’s the finished product:

IMG_3208

We went with a wide chocolate binding to draw in the color of the dark brown couch in the adjoining room and also to bring out the brown in the runner. I have to say, it looks fabulous and {I’m confident} much better than if I went with a random carpet store. As it turned out, the walls weren’t even at the top of the staircase and that caused a small problem during installation. Adam gave me a few ways we could solve it and really worked with me {and the crooked walls} to make it look superb.

I’m extremely happy with my runner and so glad I decided to go with a more personal provider. I loved the one on one attention I received. A text always got a quick response and the runner was installed just a couple of days after I made my final choice. Customstairrunners.com has a great website if you want to check out some of the other work they’ve done.

If you’re interested in new flooring, carpeting or a stair runner, check out customstairrunners.com and mention InsideGardenCity.com for a special discount! And remember- as always, InsideGardenCity hasn’t been paid any amount of money to showcase this company. I just wanted to share another great find in the never ending process of home decorating.

 

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Risotto in a Rush?

I used to spend a good part of my evening preparing big, healthy, gourmet meals. I really enjoyed cooking. It was my creative outlet and also part of my relaxation time. But I no longer have the time to devote to all of that preparation, so I’ve tailored my meals from labor intensive gourmet dishes to quick and easy gets-the-job done dishes. Which means there’s a lot of roasted chicken, meatloaf, etc on the menu as of late- one pan, pop it in the oven and you’re done.

Yesterday I came upon a lone box of risotto hiding all the way in the dark recesses of my pantry. No doubt, a leftover from my more ambitious cooking days. In an effort to try and thin out the pantry (a new mission of mine) and use up what’s been lying around in there for way too long, I decided to make a risotto. Even though it definitely goes against my new menu policy of fast and easy, I thought I could swing one labor intensive dish. I did a quick Google search for “easy risotto recipes” and hit pay dirt! I found this:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/easy-parmesan-risotto-recipe.html

Ina Garten described how to make a risotto in the oven. That’s right… in the oven. Easy peasy, right? So I got out my dutch oven, added the risotto and chicken broth and baked it for 45 minutes. No stirring at all! If you’ve made risotto before, you know it’s a labor intensive dish which involves standing at the stove and stirring and stirring and stirring… You get the picture. This recipe eliminated all of that stirring! After 45 minutes, I  moved it to the stovetop, added wine, a little more broth, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and a cup of peas. Two more minutes of stirring on the stovetop and I was done. My risotto was complete and it was almost hands-free!

Risotto-Pea-and-parmesan-010

This recipe was a great find and this way of making risotto is genius for people who don’t have a lot of time for cooking. Admittedly, it’s not the same exact quality as the more traditional way of preparing risotto, but it’s more than good enough when you’re crunched for time. Try it and see. Enjoy!

 

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Grand Re-Opening @ Envie May 4th!

If you cruise Seventh Street often, you’ve realized that Envie has been under construction for the past few months. This boutique used to have a lot of style in a small space but now they have even more style in a more beautiful {and bigger} space. As usual, pieces are fairly priced and of course… gorgeous. They’re back to business as usual now and they’re celebrating with a grand opening event on Wednesday, May 4th from 5-8pm.

envie

Now is the perfect time to shop for Mother’s Day. In honor of their completed renovations, Envie is ready to roll out the red carpet for their customers who were so patient during the construction process. Customers who come by from 5-8pm will enjoy:

15% off your entire purchase and a free gift with $100 purchase. Also, you can relax with a glass of wine, indulge in some cookies or finger sandwiches from their neighbor Bagel Man and enter Envie’s raffle.

Be sure not to miss out on the fun! Come and get your Mother’s Day shopping done {and maybe a little spring shopping for yourself while you’re there} at Envie’s Grand Re-opening Party. See you there!