Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Interior Inspiration

I've been attempting to put a few pieces of art and pictures up in the house to make it more cozy. Last week hubs and I went to Wine and Design and I find it incredibly therapeutic and fun so I'm finding that I'm inspired to think about what I could create myself. I'd love to have an original piece of art sometime but until then I'm inspired by Kimberly Hughes over at Swoon Worthy, who did this amazing abstract art herself! Would you attempt to make your own abstract art? I'm thinking about trying it... Until then, I'll look for some free time and a coupon to Michael's or AC Moore.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

So Light It Up

I strongly dislike my dining area light. It's awkward, large, always lopsided, bumps everyone in the head, and isn't centered where I'd like it to be. In other words, it's just all wrong and I need a change.
Sorry the photos are AWFUL, but you get the idea. The hard part is finding a great light and on a budget. (I guess if you haven't picked up on it now, I like to get a big bang for a small buck!) I keep browsing the typical Ikea, Lowe's, and Home Depot but haven't been too thrilled about anything.

I do have a gift card to Pottery Barn so I started browsing all their companies and found that I kind of like the Dahlia Chandelier from Pottery Barn KIDS!

Here are a few more that I've fallen for via Pinterest but realistically cannot afford, so I'm all ears if someone has some good suggestions for affordable lighting. Although I love being a homeowner, wanting to change everything is quite expensive. I don't think I'm overly in a rush to find a light but I want to keep my eye out for the perfect light!
Babylon Gold Lead Pendant via Alexander and Pearl
Hedy Chandelier a cool $3,900 via Vielle and Frances
Bamboo Chandelier via Wildwood Lamps
Robert Abbey via Wayfair
 Chandelier via Lowe's
I can't find a decent picture of this light but it's available at Lowe's for $79 and we've seriously considered this light but I just can't fully commit to whether I like this one or not. What do you think of this light and the Pottery Barn light?? They're definitely in my budget... Love to hear your thoughts!

I also have a vintage crystal chandelier in my possession that I can't decide if it's the right move or not. It needs a lot of work too, like being professionally cleaned and probably some re-wiring so there will definitely be some work involved but it is pretty. It sort of resembles this photo below but it's not the exact photo. Sometimes there are just too many choices, am I right?! 
So those are my thoughts for now, and I'd love to hear your own or if you have any advice to this novice when it comes to choosing lighting fixtures.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Recovering Cushions

As you recall I have a project up my sleeve with a bamboo/rattan dining table set I bought of Craigslist. As with anything on Craigslist, I generally redo the cushions just so they're fresh for me and I can make them the way I like. This table is no exception, actually it's definitely a requirement because the cushions were a bit naaaastaaay.

After we picked our fabric for the dining room, I picked a fabric that coordinated with the curtains for the dining cushions. It just so happened that the fabric I liked best that matched, was an indoor/outdoor fabric, which means it's a lot easier to clean and keep neat, you can wipe it down with water, etc. Anywho, we decided that we wanted to keep the design similar to the other cushion, in which it was pleated around the sides. So what we did was 1) cut a circle in the fabric the width of the cushion 2) cut a long strip 3) pinch pleat and pin the fabric so that it's little folds all the way around the circle 4) sew with a sewing machine around the edge of the pleated fabric with the pins in 5) pull the pins out and place over cushion 6) staple those suckers down and VIOLA a new cushion!
Oh, we also added a bit of extra padding to make the cushions a bit more comfortable. You don't have to do this but since we didn't know where these cushions had been, it was a bit of an extra layer.

So now the cushions are done and I can't wait to put them on the chairs. We actually just spray painted the chairs this past weekend so I wanted to give them some time to settle before putting the cushions on them. What do you think? Now you can try this at home too!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Cooking with the Dillmans

Let's start the week off with something yummy, gooey and oh so good. Last night I made baked ziti for a dear friend of mine who just had a baby. I was trying to think of something I could bring over and finish off in their oven and something everyone would want to eat. So I found Pioneer Woman's Bake Ziti recipe and it was a pure hit!! It was relatively simple to make and left us with a ton of servings!

Recipe via Pioneer Woman
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 can (28 Ounce Can) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces, weight Ziti Or Mostaciolli, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
  • 1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 1-1/2 pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 whole Egg
  • Fresh Minced Parsley

Preparation Instructions

Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.
Add tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).
Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps.) Add the cooled meat sauce and toss to combine.
Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
(Sprinkle chopped parsley over the pasta before serving!)

Hope you'll try this recipe too!!!
The Dillmans

Friday, February 21, 2014

Feline Friday Interior Inspiration

I want to get my cat a teepee. I think a chic home needs to provide a chic abode for said chic cat.
via CatTipi

I think Kit Cat would greatly thank me for giving her an awesome place to hide from me and hubs.

A very serious Amanda.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cooking with the Dillmans

We actually do a lot of cooking around these parts and I figured I'd start sharing some our domestic abilities (somewhat), but more importantly recipes that we use that I'd recommend others try. So here's another installation to the blog over at Home Chic Raleigh, called Cooking with the Dillmans. (Mostly because I can't take ALL the credit for cooking because hubs does a LOT of it... whoops!!)

Last night we made P.F. Changs chicken wraps. Actually they were pork wraps, which I like pork and Harris Teeter did not have ground chicken or turkey on Sunday... I know, weird!!! I guess too many people were making chili last week with the snow. Anyway, pork is used a lot in Asian dishes so I didn't mind using the pork. Here's the recipe I found via Pinterest.



16 Boston, bibb,butter lettuce leaves or Iceberg lettuce.  *(We recommend iceberg after this because the Bibb was way too soft and kept dissolving and popping open.

1 pound ground chicken breast          *(You can use pork, turkey, etc.)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian chili pepper sauce (see Note) *(We used Sirracha!)
1 can (8 ounce size) sliced water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil


PREPARATION: Rinse lettuce leaves, keeping them whole. Set aside to drain. Cook chicken in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often to break up the meat. Add onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar and chili sauce. Cook until the meat is crumbled and brown. Add water chestnuts and green onions. Cook until onions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. I double the ingredients. Stir in sesame oil. Arrange lettuce leaves on the outer edge of a platter. Spoon meat mixture in center. Allow diners to spoon meat mixture into lettuce leaves and eat like a taco. Dipping Sauce: 1/2 teaspoon hoisin sauce 1/4 teaspoon chili paste with garlic 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 1/2 tablespoon chinese-style hot mustard (extra hot)

COOK'S NOTES: Asian chili pepper sauce can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Some brands contain garlic, which is fine. You can use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes instead.

All in all it may have taken 30 minutes total create this meal and it was quite good! Some things I'll change next time and it definitely left me with wanting more crunch and I think some of the crispy noodles would be good on top, and definitely switching the lettuce.

Hope you enjoy!
The Dillmans

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bamboo you say?

When we finally moved in all of our furniture into the house I did not like our rectangle table we already had. It just looks awkward in the space and it's a little over sized for the area. It's also hard to get around the corner and it really needs a piece of furniture on the wall (on the left). Then the rectangle table doesn't allow the table to be centered under the light, which is annoying too.
(I'm selling this on craigslist so please ignore the terrible iPhone quality and the rug I just laid down to have a rug.. Eek, I promise it'll look better soon! And hopefully someone buys it ASAP!)

I knew immediately I wanted a round table, and have for some time now, wanted a round table. I don't know why they appeal to me, but they sure do! I know I don't have a budget for a brand new table because a table and chair combo is a crazy expense! (Think at least $100 per chair, plus a table). I purchased the rectangle table on Craiglist, so I began a new search on Craigslist... and as crazy as it sounds, I began searching for a bamboo styled table! I happened to find one exactly like what I was looking for for $85 for four chairs and the table, so I couldn't pass up the option. It looks like the below table.
I know it doesn't look like much and looks very old school, but just remember there's always possibility in rejuvenating older pieces of furniture! Here are some of the ideas I took away to give my table inspiration.
via Society Social
Johnathan Adler via Dream Design Live
I've already picked out my curtains and fabric for the cushions, which I'll follow up with soon. I know you're probably thinking I'm crazy for buying a table like this because it's not AS nice as the Chippendale chairs like some of the above images, but it's a start and I'm excited! We've decided on doing the chairs in a black lacquer so I'm quite excited to see how they turn out. I think they'll look quite fab and it'll be a fun update to a rather boring area of the house. Yippie!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Craigslist Barstools

I know I was complaining about finding bar stools in my last post, but that week I had been scouring Craigslist in hopes that I would find something acceptable to use as bar stools as we have officially announced our house warming party! (March 1st y'all!) The stools are decent and black, 30'' so a bit shorter than I wish we could find but they were $85 for FOUR bar stools. It actually turns out I really only needed 3 bar stools, but at least I have an extra just in case.
This is what the bar stool looked like when we first purchased them. We obviously knew we'd want to recover them so off to Premier Fabrics we went. I actually got hubs to come along with me this time so that we could consider fabric for the dining area too. He was not too excited to be at the fabric store so I let him have some decision in the fabric, mostly the bar stool fabric.
And this is what he chose. Record players in orange. At least it matches the curtains and it's a fun conversation piece! Hubs is a musician too, so at least it goes with his passion and we have created a small bar near the bar stools and counter so it's the man section of the room!
And viola! The finished product. Although, we desperately need to respray paint the stools, but it's been too cold to be able to do so, so that will come soon. Maybe this week now that all the snow is gone!

Rock on y'all.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Friday Interior Inspiration

Since it's Valentine's Day, I wanted to find a romantic bedroom as my interior inspiration for today, but I can't decide on one. So I wanted to share some of my favorite romantic bedrooms for whatever mood, style or taste you may be in and I hope you all have a very happy Valentine's Day with the one you love!

 via Browzer
Source unknown via Pinterest
via Hative
 via Bloglovin'
And because every Valentine's Day needs some red or pink!! Via Decora

I hope you all have an amazing Valentine's Day, whether it's dinner, a movie or snuggles in bed!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

And the curtains parted


Y'all!!! We have curtains!! I can't tell you how excited I am to have privacy in our living room finally, but more importantly, I'm excited to have a fun and beautiful fabric to brighten up our town home! A big thanks to my Mom who sewed these babies herself. She did quite the beautiful job and we are lucky to have such a handy lady in our life to help with these projects. She said it was quite easy, but I doubt I could've done it! We used 6 yards of fabric and got 96 inch curtains out of it. They match up really nicely don't they?

I also have to thank Premier Fabrics of Raleigh for the beautiful fabric! Not only was it an amazing price ($63 for 6 yards of fabric!!!!! You can't even buy ONE panel of curtains at Pottery Barn for that price!). The fabric is beautiful and sturdy and the bold patterns that they have really suite my style. There will be more recaps of some beautiful fabrics we purchased for other projects around the house too from Premier Fabrics. For more photos of their fabric, check out my previous post.

We added the bamboo screen under neath the curtains to help add a bit more privacy so that we don't always have to touch the curtains and move them. I think it also adds a bit of an earthy feel to the living room. I'm so happy with the curtains and I really love the pop of color. Anyone who knows me also knows that I love orange so naturally that was the fabric I gravitated to. What do you guys think of the new curtains?!
Can't wait to show these bad boys off in real life to everyone but in the mean time, check out Premier Fabrics on Facebook and Instagram. Love to hear your thoughts, and know that we are still working on making this place home, but progress is progress and having curtains I think is GREAT progress!! They really help a room feel more complete and less naked.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Interior Inspiration


I've been on a celeb kick lately y'all. This beaut is Rachel Bilson's pad (from the OC, if you don't remember), and I can't help but be obsessed with that sofa!! I can't get over my obsession for a velvet couch. Mark my words, one day I will have a velvet sofa, preferably in an awesome blue or green.

Happy weekend!