Ugh!  Spring cleaning!  Is there anything that is more of a chore?  It is hard to believe, but some people actually look forward to this annual punishment!  For them it is the marking of the new season, a new beginning if you will.  Still I’m sure a lot of teenagers would rather spend spring break sitting among the clutter.  Good thing school is close to starting again.  We are going to start a new tradition for marking the beginning of spring.  We are going to GardenPalooza!  Yes it may be a ‘garden’ event but there are lots of things for the ‘homeowner’ to see as well.   David and Robin will be there to meet and greet people and Chef David has a special ‘free’ treat for special viewers… check out the GardenPalooza website for all the details and we will see you next week, April 2nd at GardenPalooza at Fir Point Farms. 

Bassett Design Tips

Are you having trouble trying to figure out how to design a large room?  Where to put all that furniture!?!  We went to an expert to learn some tips for designing a room.  Monique Stantliff from Bassett Home Furnishing (503-469-8333) walked us through the process.  First of all, think about the space.  What function is going to be happening in the room, how many people will be using it and then measuring the room to make sure it is the right size for the furniture and still have space to move around.  You are looking for a minimum of 18 inches between furniture pieces and for walkway areas you are looking for 3 feet or more.   And don’t forget the lighting!

We then moved to the design center of the store to check out colors and fabrics.  Monique also talked about how you can design a room to include important, or heirloom, pieces so they don’t look out of place.  For those older pieces you focus on their primary color and then create a palate from that to work from.  Once you have that rough color palate, then you can look at area rugs and they become the base on which you build your room.  Now if you want to try to build a design on your own, you can go to the Bassett website and use the helpful design tools.

Terra Casa Lifetime Candles

I love the warmth given off by candles in the home.  A recent study has shown that people feel physically warmer when candles are lit in a room.  How can you bring the warmth of candles into your home without having candles?  We stopped by Terra Casa (503-577-8242) in Damascus to learn about some new ‘candle’ type products for the home.  Nick told Robin about a couple of new beautiful ‘lifetime’ candles.  These candles are jars filled with preserved fruits, leaves and other design items that will never fade.  What makes them lifetime candles are the wicks.  These wicks are made of fiberglass and will never need to be replaced.  You refill the containers with sootless, odorless lamp oil and you can enjoy these for many years to come.  The other type of pots that they carried at Terra Casa was a pottery container with a reservoir for a burning jell.  These will burn for 2 hours with the jell filled canister.  Normally people think of these as an outdoor type of burner, but since there are no hazardous fumes or smoke, you can use them indoors as well.  They are in ceramic pots so they look great even when they are not lit.  So instead of lighting a candle, give the gift of warmth to yourself with these wonderful new ways of ‘lighting a candle’.

Better Living Recipe

The Better Living Show is happening this weekend.  The show features everything green & sustainable and is full of tips for helping everyone live a little healthier life.  One of the sponsors of the show is NW Natural and they are not only involved in the ‘Blue Home’ (blue is the new ‘green’) they are also giving away an EVO grill.  One of the chefs at the show is Loren Skogland from Milo’s City Café (503-288-MILO) and he joined us at the NW Natural Appliance Center (503-220-2362) to show us the recipe he is going to be making on the EVO at the show during his seminar at 1pm on Sunday.  His recipe is a Grilled Salmon with Potato Latkes and Eggs.  It sounded like the perfect breakfast for a lazy weekend.  Loren started by grating 2 whole russet potatoes into a bowl and then squeezing as much water out of them as he could.  Then he drained off the water and left the potato starch in the bottom of the bowl.  He added about ½ cup of flour and 2 eggs and ½ cup of chopped yellow onion, a little kosher salt and a dash of pepper to the potatoes and mixed everything up by hand.   

Now we moved to the EVO grill.  This grill is very unique.  It has a flat top that works like a griddle.  It is made here in Oregon and can cook just about anything!  You can stop by the Blue Home and sign up to win one for your backyard. 

Chef Loren just grabbed about ½ cup portions and dropped them on the grill to cook.  You don’t have to form them, they are good just the way they are.  At the same time he placed a piece of salmon on the grill next to the latkes and started some eggs on the other side.  Because the grill has 2 burners he was able to have it hot in the center for the latkes and not so hot around the edges for the salmon and the eggs.  This made sure that everything ended up cooked at the same time!   If you would like to try this recipe you can stop by the Better Living show.  If you are looking for a great meal, any time of day, you can stop by Milo’s City Café!  

Deck Prep

Getting your deck ready for the summer season has never been easier, or harder!!  How can it be both?  It is easier because there are lots of products that do a great job of cleaning and preserving your deck that you can’t fail to have a great looking job when you are done.  Harder, because of all the products on the market and how to find the right one for your deck.  Chris Erskine of Parr Lumber (360-887-7277) joined us at their Ridgefield location to cover some of the basics for us.  He recommends that you clean your deck once a year.  To start with he told us about the 2 types of decking that they encounter, traditional wood and composites.  Composites can be PVC, a combined material and covered composite material.  If you have a wood deck you will have to remove all the old sealer or mill glaze, before it can absorb any mew material.  If you have an old deck you will want to get rid of the grey coloring before you apply a new stain or glaze.  You will want to use a general cleaner and a brush to clean your deck.  Chris is not a big fan of using a power washer on the deck.  They are hard to control and if the pressure is too much they will damage or destroy your deck.  If you have a composite deck the cleaning is all you will need since the material is pretty much weather proof.  The wood deck is much different.  You will have to seal the wood once it is clean to prevent weather damage and make the wood last longer.  If you have any questions you can stop by any Parr location.  They have the materials and expertise to help you do it right the first time. 

Designing a Home Office

With the economy in turmoil and telecommuting a hot topic a lot of people are looking at working from home.  To do a good job and make it comfortable you really need to pay attention when designing your home office.  We stopped by Environments (503-236-3600) to talk to Will Eichelberger to get some tips on where to start.  His first tip was a question…ask yourself ‘how is my office going to function?’  Are you just going to work with papers, or are you meeting with clients?  The function of your office is the primary consideration.  To give you a good idea about what to include you need to get a feel for the layout.  Will used a piece of graphing paper and drew the room to exact measurements including the windows, doors and closets.  Then he cut little pieces of furniture to their exact dimensions.  By moving these small pieces around he was able to get a sense of where the furniture can be placed.   Will recommends that you keep a 3 foot clearance between doors, chairs and closets to allow for normal movement.  Once you have the idea for a layout down on paper you can bring that in and the experts at Environments will do a more detailed drawing for you and make recommendations. If you are still confused they can even build a 3-D drawing of the work space to help you design the area.  The other things you need to consider are fabrics and finishes.  These should make you feel comfortable in your work space but should also work with your current designs and colors.  The final tip?  Pick a good chair!  You could be in your chair for up to 8 hours every day so you should be comfortable!  If you have any questions about designing a home office, or you are looking at doing your whole business, you can contact Environments. and you won’t have to scrape the bottom to get all the ‘sticky’s’ that are stuck there. 


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This page last modified
April 01, 2011.