Decorate A Dreamhouse Beverly Hills (Cont'd.) & Apple & Spinach Stuffed Pork Chop Dinner

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In my current SB Journal entry I'm imagining I'm "Decorating A Dreamhouse" in Beverly Hills, California, like the one above. The home:

* exterior is typical Georgian architectural style: symmetrical and orderly; paneled front door located at the center of the house; decorative crown over the door, with flattened columns on each side of the door
* front and rear yards symmetrically landscaped and the rear yard has a dramatic swimming pool with a guest house, all in Georgian style
* views of the surrounding mountain foothills
* is located in a City who's residents actively participate in entertaining, private and public dinners and philanthropic events
* Beverly Hills enjoys nearly perfect weather with almost year-round sunshine


The guest house shares many elements of the main house and of course is of  traditional style.

Before we go forward, let me share the photo at right which points out a few elements regarding traditional style and informal style, because we're going inside now. The interior decorating of the house is not traditional, not conservative and not symmetrical. It is however dramatic and even flaunts itself a bit                  

The Dreamhouse Beverly Hills House Entryway:

The entryway is the introduction to fun; no more mirror image, matchy matchy 'perfectness' here (that is left outside for the public eye - ahah!)

This first piece is an extravagantly painted black console from Giorgio Piotto's Home and Glamour Collection.

The entryway itself is painted a warm grey paint color - which is different and it works here. The paint color also happens to make a nice segue when we finally go to the next room of pinks and purples.

My entryway wall grouping . . . . again . . . fun. It seemed appropriate for Ms. Audrey Hepburn to be a part of it, to be welcoming visitors to the home. Ms. Hepburn and the rest of my art grouping here is from

My contemporary wall art grouping includes a traditional style, somewhat-fancy wall sconce from Brighton. I enjoy the bit of elegance that both Ms. Hepburn and this wall sconce bring to this display.

So, this is my informally designed home formal entryway.

The Dreamhouse Beverly Hills Living Room

We're now in the pink and purple room. My living room.

The colorways of the room are predominantly shades of soft sugared sweetness. The walls are papered in a gorgeous lavender and purple with a large, sultry stripe.

In this room separate than the pink and purple, there are a few select black pieces, with those accents serving to ground the room, preventing too much sweetsy feel.

The focal point of the room appears to be the oversized, over-the-top Victorian style, burnt-velvet Nella Vetrina Barocco Painted Sofa. It is wonderfully comfortable - filled with down.

But as you look around the room, you can enjoy that it has the feel of being part of an Andy Warhol composition, and now the Victorian sofa is just part of something larger, more dramatic.

The cocktail table from Giorgio Piotto's Home & Glamour Cadre Collection is also oversized, its marvelous detail, attention grabbing. Both the mass and color of the table allow it to act as an anchor for the rest of the room's furniture, except the one black lacquer side chair may be relocated as required by the room's activities.

Gotta' love these Roberto Savi Bergere Chairs. The silk damask upholstery is vintage-y and old looking while the wood frame has a more contemporary look, making a lovely fresh mix.

It seems that if you have a purple pink room with ornate and oversized Victorian pieces, you should flaunt it; so, along with Andy Warhol artwork (from Art.Com) - this room is workin' it!

My Beverly Hills Dreamhouse Dining Room

This fabulous dining room set is Nella Vetrina's Maurice Italian French Collection in green.  The green and purple of the dining room pieces, the black chandelier and finally, the artwork (including the one piece sitting on the floor) all make this room rock.

The walls are painted a very muted light blue, the draperies are simple, matching the purple of the furniture pieces.

This dining room's pieces become a part of a total transformation when the room is up for a entertaining event or a dinner party.

Because it is very practical for childrens' homework and entertaining activities as well, this is a high use room - unlike dining rooms of previous generations that fell under the "look-but-do-not-touch" heading.

The Beverly Hills Dreamhouse Master Bedroom

Drama, action, romance ......... If things are gonna get hot and spicy, this is the room for it. Baby you're in the spotlight now - literally. Can't you see yourself holding a glass of champagne, nibbling on a cheese and fruit platter all wrapped up in that faux fur throw.

This bedroom collection by Home And Glamour Bed by Nella Vetrina so full of style - the bedframe - true beauty! With this headboard, a large piece of artwork overhead would be just too much.

Then darling, we have a tall chest of drawers ............ for him, for her, with curves in all the right places, by Home And Glamour Luigi XI. If you desire reading material, here is a corner for you: an area for books and storage of magazines (see below) while on the wall is a grouping of similarly framed black and white photographs. One chair - almost five feet tall, in white leather, appropriately named the Grace chair, can also hold you and your favorite book. Ooh la lah! Baby, you are so home........

This has been so much fun, writing my "Decorating A Dreamhouse" about a home in Beverly Hills. Not necessarily because of the City's location and, yes because of that. More so the house's exterior was traditional. But I 'Andy Worhol-ized' its interiors.  This dreamhouse is spacious, comfortable, hugely-colorful and has so much flair, it flirts.

I could so live here.  Couldn't you?

Bonus Recipe:  Apple & Spinach Stuffed Pork Chop Dinner
with Rustic Roasted Potatoes & Balsamic Candied Carrots

Apple & Spinach Stuffed Pork Chop Recipe


  • 1 Fuji apple
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1/2 bunch spinach
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 4 boneless port chops
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and Italian seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Dice apple, onion, spinach, parsley and garlic. Finely chop the carrot. In a non-stick pan, saute the apple, onion, spinach parsley, garlic and carrot for about 10 minutes.
  3. Pound boneless pork chops with a meat tenderizer and season each one with salt and pepper.
  4. Place 1/4 cup of the stuffing in the pork chop, roll the pork chop up and secure with a toothpick. Dip the pork roll in the beaten eggs and coat with seasoned bread crumbs.
  5. Lightly coat a pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, place the stuffed port chops on it, drizzle with remaining olive oil, and bake for 20 minutes (or until cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees).
  6. After pulling it out of the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing it.

Balsamic Candied Carrots Recipe

  • 8 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash of dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • spray of fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. In a non-stick pan, saute' carrots with olive oil and a dash of salt, pepper, parsley, sugar and garlic, stirring frequently so the carrots do not burn. Cover about half way through cooking.
  2. Once the carrots soften, in about 10 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar. Let cook for another minute.
  3. Serve the carrots with a sprig of parsley.

Rustic Roasted Potatoes


  • 4 red-skin potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, cut into roughly the same size as the potatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • dash of paprika
  • dash of Italian seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (You could roast slower in the 375-degree oven with the pork but they will take at least an hour at the lower temperature.)
  2. Toss cubed potatoes with garlic, onion, salt, pepper, parsley, olive oil and a dash of paprika and Italian seasoning.
  3. Place on a sheet pan and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, or until potatoes are tender.
This delicious dish, "Apple & Spinach Stuffed Pork Chop Dinner with Rustic Roasted Potatoes & Balsamic Candied Carrots," by GreenLiteBites - Adventures In Healthy Eating, was also the winner of the Food Lion Frugal Cook Off Contest.

Want More? Click to read other "Decorate A Dreamhouse" articles:

To see more Savio Firmino furniture, go to the Something Beautiful Journal's article "Savio Firmino Classic Furniture, Italian Style," in a Tuscan Mansion. Click Here.

The Savio Firmino line is a high end, Italian line of luxury furniture and bathroom decor, that is available through the Something Beautiful Shoppe, but not shown publicly in its regular pages. Please contact us directly and a designer will be assigned to work with you regarding the purchase of any of these designer pieces. Call 1-888-338-4490, or

Working with an interior designer helps assure you get the look you desire while helping eliminate costly mistakes.

Decorating A Dreamhouse Basel Switzerland (Cont'd.) & Creamy Smooth Lightly Sweet Touch Of Lemon Cheesecake

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Written By: Patricia Lynne
Editor: Sarahjoy Crain

In my current SB Journal entry "Decorating A Dreamhouse" - - I'm imagining that I'm living in a three-story cottage house like the one at left, in the charmingly, colorful City Of Basel, Switzerland

The City of Basel Switzerland is beyond a doubt absolutely like no other!

Basel has a beautiful medieval old town center housing its historic City Hall here daily markets are held, making for a lively inner city and romantic old town. These street cafés, patisseries, sweet shops and traditional neighbourhood restaurants all provide unique opportunities to really become acquainted with the Swiss lifestyle.

Basel is a German speaking area, and being an American ex-Pat, non-German speaking,  I was pleased to learn that both English and French are spoken enough so that many people are able to communicate 'comfortably' in everyday interactions . . . and will gladly work to understand you.  Ahhhh!  My sincere gratitude!

Borrowed French words are fairly common in everyday conversation; for example, Baslers often bid each other farewell with the French "adieu". Basel is among the most important cultural centres of Switzerland with the City hosting a large number of theatres and many museums, including the Museum Of Fine Arts, the world's oldest art collection accessible to the public.

You will love Switzerland's international Basle Bahnhof Train Station and the City's extensive tram (light rail) and bus network - the bright green trams and buses are the greatest. Imagine this: they are absolutely prompt, relatively inexpensive, clean and very convenient. Deep sigh.

Other things that distinguish Switzerland from any other Country:

* The Swiss typically take longer to get to know you, the stranger to their Country; they also are comparable to the British in their being more reserved. You'll probably have to make the first step, inviting them to your home for coffee, for instance and by all means, punctuality is very important.

* The supermarkets (and many other businesses) close at noon or 2pm, so your schedule will have to evolve around this. Food is not inexpensive and restaurant prices reflect this fact. The Swiss government protects Swiss farmers greatly consequently the cost of food is high.

* The Swiss approach to education is very different than in the United States. Children are selected based upon their abilities and as many as 70 percent of Swiss kids are selected to train in vocational schools of various sorts, rather than choices of a university education
* Most of the Swiss rent rather than buy and the Country has well established tenant rights. The apartments have communal laundry rooms, with access on your designated days. In general tenants are most considerate of each other: no noise before or after certain hours of the day. Everyone in Switzerland recycles.

*  Basel is pronounced ˈbɑːzəl, with emphasis on the first syllable.

*  Finally, Basel is Switzerland's second largest city.  It is located in the utmost northwest part of Switzerland. Moreover, Basel is the heart of where three different Countries meet: SWITZERLAND, FRANCE and GERMANY.

It is said about the Swiss they have "Savoir-Vivre," a French expression, meaning knowing how to live life. I interpret this that the Swiss live life well, live life with intelligent enjoyment, meeting every situation with poise, good manners and elegance.

We're going inside now so please join me as I write in my SB Journal on decorating the interiors of my house in Basel, Switzerland. My dreamhome.

Decorating The Mudroom Of My Dreamhouse In Basel, Switzerland:

The photo of my 'hard working' mudroom may not instantly reflect the
importance it serves in my house, that is function, function, function.

Despite this truth even my lil' mudroom is getting some top treatment. I'm referring to the draperies in this room - goin' high style - with the prestigious company Lee Jofa through use of its quality, durable fabric, Mulberry.

With gardening the inevitable dirt comes in with the dirty shoes, into my lil' mudroom. The room is terribly well used, but I've designed it so that it functions well.

The potted geranium on top of the green cabinet is purposeful, not just because it services my mudroom. Without the subtlety of fresh flowers or a live plant, the inside of our rooms can become stale.  The addition of something that is living can bring life to our spaces.

Decorating The Foyer Of My Dreamhouse In Basel, Switzerland

The foyer is full of tactiles, styles, and moods:

Tactiles - Tactiles are fun - they help us rediscover our sense of touch. Here, the
creek rock wall, wood beams and architectural pieces, and the flagstone floor are superb mixes of textiles.

Styles - Mixing old and new. The antiques live here like they've lived here for a hundred years, but I combined them with the "extraordinary contemporary artwork of "Waiting," a black and white photograph and "Blue Door," a hand-colored photograph."  Both works are by Vicki Reed, and are also shown at right and below.

Moods - Always wanting to make my living spaces inviting - and yet not wanting to part with the
severe bench seating, old side table and the utilitarian wash bucket - I knew I'd need to mix it up again. The "animated objects d'arte of the "Crow And Pitcher" a wood sculpture and its coordinating "Raven On Picklewood," both by Mark Orr, are whimsical, earthy and perfect for my room.

The hand woven rug is actually another lovely, varying tactile. I thought this area rug deserved its own mention because it has 'such responsibility' as a transitional floral piece, it helps pull my whole room's look together. This one is "Savannah," in chocolate/frost" New Moon Rugs' Tibetan Hand woven Rug. This piece accomplishes its job in an ever so subtle way; I love that.

Decorating The Living Space Of My Dreamhouse In Basel, Switzerland:

This room works for me. It invites me to come in, sit down and be comfortable.

The amount of natural light is such a part of making this room work. It's always important to bring as much natural light as possible into our living spaces. Here, the woodwork and walls painted shiny white, a lite window treatment, a mirror and even this "Trellis Chandelier" help to bring in and reflect that light. A secret in this room is that the fireplace mantle flower pots are Lavenders by NDI Floral. Sometimes the best designers have to substitute beautifully made silk flowers to get the look we want. Thanks to NDI Floral.

Decorating The Guestroom Of My Dreamhouse In Basel, Switzerland

This tranquil guest room is by the interior design firm of Marshall Watson Interiors and it simply had to be in my lovely Swiss home.
There are some garnishments, the fancy prints of fancy chairs, the ornate embellished mirror and certainly the carved and painted dresser. The dresser is Chippendale style and manufactured by Smith & Watson. The armless chair in coordinating fabric is from Moderne Chairs By John Widdicomb. The tranquility is achieved here by the soothing colors, the lack of items that compete for your eye and I think by the strength of the horizontal bed. I find the soft stripe of the rug draws you to the bed and to respite from the world.

Decorating The Master Bedroom Of My Dreamhouse In Basel, Switzerland:

Jessica LaGrange Interiors, LLC designed this master bedroom for a special family that lives with savoir-vivre, a family that lives life well and with intelligent enjoyment. Every situation is met with manners and poise and elegance.

The Iron Barcelona Bed is by Perry. In the corner of the room is a desk that could serve to jot thank you notes, or enjoy coffee and a croissant. The distinct tall chair is a Jean Wing Chair by Century Furniture and finally, the breakfront cabinet that duplicates the fabric folds of the draperies is the Sofiero Breakfront-2 by Country Swedish.

Switzerland is beautiful with waterfalls, glacier-fed creeks, rivers, lakes, pastures, breathtaking mountain views, a plain wonderful place to raise your family. Living in this Country you are naturally more inclined to get out and hike, cycle, do water sports, skiing, etc. These are all common, easy to do things. Though the people may take more time to get to know you, allowing for a bit of caution and protection, at its core Switzerland promotes harmony and peace and, of course, the lovely savoir-vivre.

I could so live here in my Decorate A Dreamhouse in Basel, Switzerland. Couldn't you?

Creamy, Smooth, Lightly-Sweet, Touch-Of-Lemon Cheesecake aka Slice Of Heavenly Goodness

This is the single best cheesecake ever - I've almost renamed it, 'Slice Of Heavenly Goodness Cheesecake'.  This cheesecake has become the favorite of family and friends who’ve had the good fortune to be served this slice of heavenly goodness.  T'is true.

You may have noticed that this cheesecake does not have any kind of crust, neither bottom or sides.

You may also have noticed that there are no cracks in the top. That is because this cheesecake is baked in a bain-marie, a water bath. This is one of the secrets to a truly creamy cheesecake. Because of this, you'll need a bit of advance planning perhaps to prepare this recipe, but if you do, you will fall in love with this recipe.


5 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups (one pint) sour cream, room temperature
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Generously butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan.  Wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides, crimping and pleating the foil to make it conform to the pan.  This will help to prevent water seeping into the pan when you put it into the bain-marie.  Position the baking rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 300 deg Fahrenheit. 
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sour cream until well blended.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth and creamy.  Add this to the egg-sour cream mixture and beat until smooth. 

Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat thoroughly, about 2 minutes. 

Pour into the prepared springform pan and place in a roasting pan (or other pan) large enough to prevent the sides from touching.  Place in the oven and carefully pour in enough very hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake for 2 hours, 15 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and a knife inserted in the center emerges clean.  Remove from the water bath and carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan.  Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 4 hours.  Refrigerate, covered, until well chilled.  For best flavor and texture, this cheesecake is best chilled overnight.

  • I can't stress enough how important it is to let those first 4 ingredients in this recipe come to room temperature.  I've hurried the cream cheese and have had unsightly lumps of it in my batter. 
  • Have a platter or other large dish that will hold the hot and drippy springform pan after you remove it from the bain-marie.  When you remove the bain-marie from the oven, the water is very hot, so please exercise extreme caution.
  • Before removing the roasting pan, have a plan on where you are going to set it so you are not holding the pan, desperately searching for a clear space to set it down.  I find it impossible to remove the cheesecake from the bain-marie while it is in the oven, so I remove the entire set-up from the oven.  I make every effort not to burn my wrists or the back of my hands while removing the springform pan; I haven't been burned yet, but I have soaked the edges of the potholders in the hot water, and it's amazing how fast that steaming water is wicked up to my tender fingers!
  • When you first remove the cheesecake from the oven, it looks light and puffy, and there may be some hairline cracks in the top.  Do not despair.  As the cheesecake cools, it will gently deflate and the hairline cracks disappear  

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If decorating isn't easy for you or if you are in need of some particular interior design assistance, our designers at the Something Beautiful Shoppe will be happy to work with you - working with professional helps assure you get the look you deserve while helping eliminate costly mistakes.

Decorating My Home Journal Entry: My Studio Apartment (Small, Temporary, Pretty)

Downtown Albuquerque, NM

This is my 'Decorating My Home Journal Entry' about my studio apartment. Ahhhhh .......... I am so glad I made notes. I had moved into a 450 square foot studio apartment. I'd been inbetween houses, wouldn't be there long, not even long enough to throw a coat of paint on the walls. Although my stay would be short, it was still important to decorate my home.I have a need to be surrounded by beauty; I thrive in it. Pictures and artwork could - and would - go up. I consider art to be the soul of the house or, as here, the soul of the apartment.
So, I went to work, decorating my home, doing what I teach, and doing what I do in clients' homes.
"In decorating small spaces,
you have to really see
your available space. Then adapt.
Adapt, adapt adapt!"

Although it is really just a cubbyhole area of the kitchen, as shown in the first photograph, I tucked office equipment and office furniture into this niche, creating an office. Usually I work at a larger desk, but this antique secretary has also been used from time to time, so I put it to work again.
In the next photo you can see my grouping of antique plates. These plates have lived in numerous places in my various houses over the years. Often they've lived in a dining room over a breakfront, or over windows; they've been part of a wall shelf display and even one time they lived in a combination mud room/pantry. Here, in my apartment I hung them above the stove. I liked the theme of the plates in the kitchen; but more importantly, functionally they worked well. The plates' proximity to the stove wasn't an issue. This photo also shows the office niche, but from another angle.
The next photo shows the other side of the kitchen, you can see the refrigerator, microwave, a countertop paper-towel holder and even my black potholders that are hanging on a hook. In assembling this small grouping, I selected art pieces that usually lived in other living spaces. When designing small spaces like apartments, you adapt, using items perhaps in more varied ways and in terms of available space. I enjoyed how this small kitchen area came to life, seeming even bigger, than left blank. In a sense my potholders, part of my grouping, were dual purpose items, pieces of art/kitchen tools.
In my apartment when I was assembling my office area I had to adapt - there is an ugly, obnoxious metal fuse box on that kitchen wall. Grrr...... but, ahah! Finger snap, and decorator magic! I hid the fuse box behind one of the art pieces. It is barely noticeable - it is behind the dark picture that is to the right of the horse picture.

For more small space decorating, see below.
Ideas For Decorating Small Spaces
Housing Trends: Good Use Of Space & Green
Carrie's Apartment Was Hollywood true?
Decorating My Home Journal Entry:  My Studio Apartment (Small, Temporary, Pretty)

For more organizing ideas, see below.
Decorating For Serenity, More Things, Less Life
Organizing For Tranquility And Creativity Pinterest Board

Housing Trends: Good Space Use & Green

"710" In Venice

The "710 House"was profiled
in an article from the New York Times about housing trends for its being smaller and ecological.

But specifically 710 was highlighted because it is internationally noteworthy having achieved a hot designer label.

710 has earned a LEED
certificate, for Leadership
In Energy and Environ-
mental Design given by the
U.S. Green Building Council.

Imagine a house that:

  • emits no harmful gases into the atmosphere
  • produces its own energy, and 
  • incorporates recycled materials, from concrete to countertops. 
Achieving LEED is not an easy accomplishment.

This house is located in Venice California boasting a sales price of $2.8 million.

Carol Anthony's Strawbale Cloister, In New Mexico

Carol Anthony built a studio and home that according Chris Casson Madden in her book A Room Of Her Own, could literally be an artifact from the eighteenth century.

Article Continued, click here to read with bonus recipe Blackened Salmon With Cheesy Polenta And Spicy Peach Chard Corn Salsa