Decorate A Dreamhouse, Manhattan Brownstone

Written By: Patricia Lynne
Editor: Sarahjoy Crain

In my current Something Beautiful Journal entry, "Decorate A Dreamhouse," I'm imagining I'm living in a Manhattan Brownstone in the Upper West Side Of New York, like the ones shown at left.

My Brownstone located in the Upper West Side is among the State of New York's finest neighborhoods, with its charming, brownstone facade and classic styling; the neighborhood is favored for its historical value, dating back to the nineteenth century. Its wonderfulness includes:

  • My Brownstone is located on a tree-lined street just one-and-a-half blocks from Central Park in one direction and one-and-a-half blocks from Riverside Park (overlooking the Hudson River) in the other; it's just steps away from several subway and bus lines, making all of the City's wonderful attractions easily and quickly accessible.
  • A short cab ride, bus, or 10 minute subway ride puts you right in the heart of midtown with the theatre district, Carnegie Hall, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Times Square, the shopping of Fifth Avenue and MOMA. You can walk to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the fabulous Museum Mile, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim, The Museum of the City of New York, etc. 
  • SoHo and Tribeca, with their unique, interesting shops and galleries, are a quick subway-ride away. This Upper West Side neighborhood was recently featured as New York's hottest restaurant row. 
  • The exterior of my particular Brownstone has been tweaked a tad - I painted every inch of the exterior of my unit enamel white. It stands out - the detail of the stair rails appears even more stunning in white.

  • The interiors are a fresh, sophisticated cottage look, with a mix of Swedish and French antiques. The color scheme is subdued; my unit is open and airy and full of light helping to provide a feel of endless space - enhanced by 12' ceilings.
  • Although it is fresh-looking and on the side of contemporary, there are unexpected accents throughout the house that are antiques or that have been painted and decorated in a way that lend intentionally to the drama of agelessness.
  • Ensuring that wonderful quality of comfort, I have purposely made it welcoming and romantic through the combination of color and texture (including provision of monogrammed bedding, Egyptian cotton sheets and wonderfully soft blankets and throws).

We're going inside now so please join me as I write in my SB Journal on decorating the interiors of my sophisticated Manhattan Brownstone.

Click Here to continue article and see Bonus Recipe, Lemony Lemon Brownies.

Ozzy And Sharon Osbourne's Lavender Bedroom

From my lips, to your ears, lavender isn't an easy color to work with. Lavender's qualities of quietness,
serenity, constancy and wonderfulness of strong reliability can intrinsically, subtly pull you to its other side, an even powerdull.

That is one point about this article. The other point is: this is Ozzy Osbourne's lavender bedroom.

Ha! Can you believe it.

We all know that Sharon Osbourne was really at work here even before having it confirmed by designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard who reports: “Sharon rules the roost when it comes to decor.”

It matters not, this is the master bedroom of Ozzy Osbourne, the "Prince of Darkness."

Click here to continue reading article and to see Lavender Martini Recipe.

How To Be Happy

Preparing food and
festivities for family and friends can be more than just an entertaining task. We can magnify the occasion when we look at the ordinary as a blessing, a gift.   

It brings to mind a bon mot that I've lived by for like forever.  It is entitled, "Life Is 100 Percent."

"Life Is 100 Percent" 

"Life is 100 percent.
10 percent is wonderful,
 mountain-top experiences.
10 percent is bad,
80 percent is boring,
 every-day, regular life.

"It's what we do with the 80 percent, boring,
every day, that determines how happy
we are in life." 

It is so true.  Do something fun, go out of your comfort zone and invite some friends to your home,  Do something that helps determine how happy you are in life, ordinary or extraordinary.  Just do it.

 Click here to continue reading article and for Pecan Pie Muffins Recipe. 

How To Entertain And Spinach Balls Appetizers

About entertaining:  I have often thought, as I prepare the house for a party, that I am doing more than I know I am doing. Something about the laying of the tablecloths, setting out of candles, and fixing flowers in vases has a sacramental quality to it - as if I am turning a house into a tabernacle - to be filled with spirits that enlarge my own.

Here are some ideas, some secrets to entertaining well.

  • Keep your guests happy, keep them entertained
  • Use the largest space available, play music there, place your food table there and provide places for people to sit, to play games and dance! Open the curtains and the windows, weather permitting, this helps set a nice atmosphere.
  • Provide food and drink. Present it attractively - people - all people - love good food.
  • Play music.  It adds to the ambience, helps your guests get in a more relaxed, festive mood
  • Provide party games.  If you don't have your own, buy or borrow (or google search) for fun games. Keep them simple. The simpler the party game is, the easier it is for your guests to get enthusiastic - and, competitive.
  • Introduce your friends to one another.  If it's a large crowd, consider name tags.
  • Talk to everyone. Thank them when they arrive; pay a few minutes of personal attention to each and every guest. If there are too many people, then talk to groups.
  • Consider a theme for your event. "Hippy Generation: Peace, Love and Flower People" is easy and fun.  Vintage-era themes like, "Gangsters And Flappers," aka, "Speakeasys," also work well. Or, opt for a particular piece of clothing to serve as your theme, like a hat.  Make it as silly or as strange as you like. Click here for a fabulous link of party theme ideas.  
  • Remember, you can lessen your own load by making it a "Pot Luck," or another version is a "Pie Party" (each person brings a Meat Pie, Vegetable Pie or a Dessert type pie - quiche also works here).

Spinach Balls Appetizer Recipe By The Kitchen Is My Playground Bonus Recipe


2 10-oz. packages frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained
2 small onions, very finely chopped (I use a food processor)
2-1/4 cup stuffing with herbs (I use Pepperidge Farm)
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. black pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients until well combined. Form into about 1" balls; place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes approximately 60 balls.
Notes:  Spinach balls may be frozen, either baked or unbaked.  (I always freeze mine pre-baked.)  For pre-baked balls:  remove from freezer about 30 minutes prior to reheating.  Reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  For unbaked balls:  remove from freezer 30 minutes before cooking. Bake as directed (350 degrees for 20 minutes).

Enjoy!  Spinach Balls Appetizer Recipe is from The Kitchen Is My Playground, with Tracey Harrelson.

Click Here For More Something Beautiful Journal Bonus Recipes:

Designer Dog Beds

We love our dogs. We talk to them, as if they are our children and I have no doubt that some people think their pets are their children.

"Americans have fallen in love with their dogs," according to TIME U.S.  "We have dog walkers, dog groomers, dog parks and dog-friendly hotels. We buy organic dog food, put our pets on puppy Prozac and dress them up in costumes for Halloween  . . . treat our pets like children."

So, if this is the relationship you have with your pet (because
what else would he/she expect), you might enjoy these designer dog beds.

As you and Fluffy are browsing, checking out his possible new digs, be aware that the Beverly Hills Black And White Bed (available also in white and pink) from Glamour Dog will set you back about $1500.00.

The Hepburn Bed, more of a chaise-lounge style dog bed, is available in pink or brown $1400.

But if your little Lulu is a prize winning specimen (even if it is only in your mind), what kind of bed should she sleep in?

All dog beds are from Glamour Dog.

Other Fun Resources: Spoiled Canine Dog Boutique &

Spoiled Canine Dog Blog (including photos of celebrities and their dogs)

What Is Green Design?

As if it wasn't challenging enough to choose one paint
color over another, now there's 'green'? And, what exactly is 'green'? And, what exactly is 'green interior design'?' And what is 'green architecture'?

Going green,' is minimizing harmful effects on human health and the environment and going green is increasing smart solutions to improving the planet. Designers and architects are focusing design efforts for social good incorporating these green goods and services.

Adaptive Re-use: Re-purposing Old Buildings For New Uses

The The Tate Modern Museum is a preeminent museum that once was a power plant and is now one of the world's most famous examples of adaptive re-use.

The Tate Modern was created from the shell of the old, unsightly Bankside Power Station on the Thames River in London.

One old power station,
goes international,
then goes award-winning museum,
through sustainable architecture.  

The Tate Modern contains four art galleries and houses the national collection of British art from 1500 to the present day as well as international modern and contemporary art.  Its collection includes nearly 70,000 artworks by over 3,000 artists and grows every year.

For a listing of more exemplary adaptive re-use buildings . . .

Click here to continue reading this article and to see "Apple Pecan Chicken Salad On Croissants."