I love stone and all the history, beauty, warmth and romance that goes along with it. Stone walls, stone fireplaces, stone accents – anything stone feels good to me. If you can add stone to your home whether inside or out, do it and do it with style. There are many kinds of stone and if your home is old or new it’s easy to work stone into your new design or remodel.
When renovating your kitchen one of the biggest decision you need to make is how to vent the range. No doubt you’re buying a new professional range like a Wolf or a Viking and the venting a major appliance like this is a big and expensive decision depending on the location of your range. If your range is in the island and you have a second floor then you’re either going to have to go through the second floor, in between walls and the out through the roof. Ouch!
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Cutting your cable dependency and going only with streaming services for your television has been the topic of many conversations lately causing me to really look into this topic because its not an easy decision to make and one that I caution you on the downside to this maneuver. Personally, I wouldn’t do it. As much as I like the streaming services like Netflix and Apple TV, etc., I won’t cut the cable. It’s too important.
1. There isn’t one perfect alternative.
One of the biggest problems with traditional cable subscriptions is bundling — you have no choice but to pay for dozens of channels you never watch just to get the few you want. The ideal alternative would allow you to pick and choose just the channels you want. Really? Yes, but …
The reality is that cutting cable does not eliminate bundling. Whether you switch to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling TV or any other option, you’ll still pay for shows that go unwatched. I use my wife as a Guinnea Pig all the time and I ask her what she likes about watching TV. Her answer is always. “I just want to watch what I want to watch and it should be easy.” Perfect!
After the harsh cold days the last month, I think that we all share in the excitement that Spring is inching closer and closer every day! With the chill of winter finally coming to an end, it’s time to get in that last ski run, box up the snowflake decor, and start prepping for Spring! Below are a few things that will help you get into the Spring spirit!
While few design trends make it through an entire year without losing their luster, there are a handful of trends that have rolled over from previous years that aren’t going anywhere. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites that are still on the hot list.
Dream’s On Top!
Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World, and the Votes are in…
DreamHouse/DreamKitchens of Southern Wisconsin has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The 25-year old custom design & remodeling firm was chosen as “Best of Houzz” by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.
DreamHouse/DreamKitchens is Southern Wisconsin’s Premier Design & Remodeling Firm, dedicated to unique, custom designs and superior customer service, and is honored to receive the “Best of Houzz” award for Customer Satisfaction.
Please join us at either DreamHouse showroom for a glass of champagne and a toast on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 from 5-6 PM to help us celebrate.
Hope you can join us, and thank you for your continued support!
The polls are in, and one of the hottest colors to watch for in 2015 is this fabulously vibrant Greek Blue! What’s not to love? It’s the color of the sea, the sky, and some of the most magnificent rooftops in Santorini, Greece. With both vibrant and soothing effects, this color is a must-do for 2015.
Here are some easy ways to incorporate this stunning color into your home to create a true Greek experience for your friends and family this year!
Paint it Blue.
Feeling really bold? Try one of these fabulous blue paint colors by Sherwin Williams! If you don’t want to paint an entire room, just paint an accent wall. If you don’t want to paint any walls, consider this… Add a Greek Blue entrance to your home or specialty room by painting your doors in a deep, vibrant blue for a true Greek feel! Or, paint a piece of accent furniture such as an end table.
One of the most rapidly growing trends is colored appliances – big and small – such as the washer and dryer, ovens, mixers, coffee makers, and everything in between. We love this, and it’s a great way to add some quick bright colors into your home!
Tile for Style.
Add a punch of Greek to your kitchen or bathroom by using a bold blue backsplash.
A stylish and chic accent chair, love-seat or couch can be a great way to add that Greek feel to a living, dining, or sitting room.
A quick and cost-effective way to add the pizzazz of this Greek Blue room to any room is to throw down a new dynamic rug with some great textures/patterns!
Or… Keep it simple.
Smaller accents, such as throws, accent pillows, candles, wall decor, or dinnerware can be purchased in a rich, vibrant Greek blue for a big statement on a smaller budget!
It doesn’t matter how you use this magnificent color – boldly or simply – it’s sure to add some style to your home!
There are a few key things to think about when making the decision between moving and remodeling. In the scope of things, it helps to have somewhere to start the decision process.
Here’s the SECRET to making the right decision…
Figure out what really bothers you about your current home.
“Most home layouts don’t adequately use 30-40% of their space,” says Keven Schmidt, “it’s a matter of designing the space correctly, which is truly an art in itself. Reconfiguring the layout in a house allows homeowners to utilize every single square foot of space for daily use! Even though the actual square footage remains the same, it feels bigger.”
Maybe it’s not a space problem at all. Maybe you’ve simply outgrown the neighborhood, kids are grown up and you’re newly empty-nesters? Once you can put your finger on what the real issue is, you will be able to analyze if it’s a problem that can be easily fixed. If the problem is lack of space, location of the home, school district, or something out of your control; perhaps a move is your best bet. However, if you come to the conclusion that the problem lies in a poor layout or the need for a specific room but you love the “bones” of your house, perhaps an improve is in your home’s future.
“It’s hard to see the full potential of your home after you’ve lived in it for so long,” says Keven, “it’s amazing what you can do with remodeling. We worked on a project where we gutted and remodeled about 90% of the home. It was phenomenal… you wouldn’t even know it was the same home after we were done. The truth was that it was in a neighborhood that the homeowner loved and it had good “bones.” They simply wanted to incorporate more high-end furnishings and finishes.” Check out Project 211 for more on this project.
Are you a CATCH?
DreamHouse/DreamKitchens Owners, Keven and Terri Schmidt, join as the newest members of CATCH (Community Around The Children’s Hospital) after a successful DreamFest event last month!
DID YOU KNOW?
Opened in 2007, American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) is continued to operate solely through the hundreds of philanthropists, young and old, who shared their money, goods and time. AFCH was named a Best Children’s Hospital in four medical and surgical specialties by U.S. News & World Report in 2014. This modern, yet comforting facility offers patients and families access to cutting-edge treatments in a very soothing environment optimal for healing together.
Community Around the Children’s Hospital (CATCH) is a membership-based group of professionals, community members and advocates making a difference in children’s lives. They dedicate their time, talents and energy to collaborate, engage and support the patients and families at American Family Children’s Hospital.
As the DreamHouse team toured the Children’s Hospital, it became apparent that no detail was left undone in the planning of this amazing facility and the day-to-day functionality of it, from all angles. An on-site patient salon, a playroom dedicated to the siblings, fully-themed floors, classrooms that allowed patients to continue their studies, hot meals for patient families… we were truly blown away. We had to get involved and show our support for this amazing new group (CATCH).
On November 14th, 2014, DreamHouse/DreamKitchens hosted an event to raise awareness and help attain new members for the CATCH group. It was an enchanted evening filled with delectable food, live music, aerial dancing, patient stories, and magic in the air. Click here to view the full album of photos from the DreamFest event.
CATCH Member & Patient Family, Mel Charbonneau, shares her daughter Ali’s story.
“I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place after Mel took the stage,” states Terri Schmidt, “Ali’s story reached out and touched every single person that was in that room. As a mother, you immediately understand the day-to-day triumphs these families overcome, and we just feel very blessed to be joining and supporting this new group and the opportunity to strengthen the ‘community around the children’s hospital.'”
On behalf of DreamHouse/DreamKitchens, Keven and Terri Schmidt are happy to present this check for $10,000 to American Family Chilren’s Hospital to support the CATCH group and the positive impact they are making in the lives of these patients and families.
A special thank you to all of our friends, family, clients, and members of the community that were able to come out to be a part of this magical evening. We look forward to a continued partnership with CATCH and American Family Children’s Hospital.
Want to show your support for the patients & families at American Family Children’s Hospital?
Click here to donate and make a difference today!
This holiday season, try one of these fabulous recipes… Some of our “cheesy” favorites that are sure to be a hit with your holiday guests. Remember when preparing these holiday dishes that details count! Festive holiday serving platters and garnishments can add that extra touch that are sure to leave your guests with a lasting impression!
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
12 slices of baguette
In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese, goat cheese, garlic and chives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter one side of the pieces of baguette and arrange butter side down on a baking sheet. Bake the baguette until lightly toasted, about 5-7 minutes. You can also grill the bread, just keep your eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
Allow the bread to cool slightly. Slather on a layer of the goat cheese spread and top with smoked salmon and garnish with chives.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or enough to coat bottom of pan)
2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
2-3 pinches salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (I’d recommend a light beer or pilsner to avoid bitterness.)
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
½ cup all-purpose flour (about 2¼ ounces)
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1¼ cups (5 ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, along with a few pinches of salt and pepper, and sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Stir in beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until onion is tender.
Carefully pour beer mixture and half of chicken broth (1½ cups) into a blender. To avoid a mess, allow steam to escape by removing center piece of blender lid. Make sure blender lid is secure and place a clean towel over opening in blender lid. Blend until smooth.
Return blended mixture to pan. Stir in remaining 1½ cups broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Whisk together flour and 1 cup milk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture, remaining 1 cup milk, and pepper to soup until combined. Cook for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Remove pan from heat. Gradually stir in cheese until smooth.
** Optional garnishments: serve with bacon crumbles, chives, and/or bread cubes. **
3 (8-oz.) blocks mozzarella cheese
1 (8.5-oz.) jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained and halved
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Garnish: flat-leaf parsley sprigs or fresh rosemary stems
Whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, chopped parsley, and next 6 ingredients; pour evenly over cheese cubes. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Transfer mixture to a serving plate. Garnish with fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, or spear tomato halves and cheese cubes with short rosemary stems, if desired. Drizzle with marinade.
2 cups of flour
1/2 tablespoon dried yeast granules
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon bread improver
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/3 cup chopped continental parsley
1/3 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon butter
8 oz “Taste of Philadelphia” Shredded Cheese (Your Choice!)
Mix the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and bread improver together in a large bowl. Add half of the water to the dry ingredients and then mix, slowly adding the remaining water whilst mixing. When all mixed together the ingredients should come together in a ball at this point transfer to a floured bench top.
Add the olive oil to the ball of dough and knead it in. If necessary, add extra flour if it becomes too sticky and continue working dough. The kneading is extremely important as it is a necessary technique to ensure the dough will rise and be fluffy. You want to kneed the dough till the texture is smooth and elastic.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with glad wrap and then a tea towel and keep warm until the mixture doubles in size – this can take 1 – 1.5 hours depending on the weather).
When risen, knock the dough back in the bowl and then take it out, cut it in half and roll each half out to a large rectangle about 50cm x 25cm, then trim the edges to straighten.
Spread the top of each with 1/2 butter then scatter the crushed garlic, herb mixture and shredded cheese over both rectangles.
Cut each rectangle into strips, to the height of your loaf tins, with a very sharp knife and lay the strips on top of each and cut the layered strips into squares the width of your tins.
Grease or line your loaf tins, and then stack the squares on top of each other, turn the stack on its side and place them into the tins (don’t worry if your dough doesn’t reach the edge of the tins, the dough will rise again with the final proof). Cover the tins in glad wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
At this stage, if you want to freeze the loafs you can.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Remove the glad wrap from the loaf tins and bake in the over for 55 minutes until the tops are golden. Remove from pan and let it rest for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and serving warm.
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