Thanksgiving in a Small Space

November 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Design Studio, Layout Tips

Plus Recipes and Table Ideas

You have a small space and plan on a lot of guests for Thanksgiving Dinner. Where do you put them and where do you put all the food? Here are a few tips.

1)  Swap out your living room and dining room or move your living room furniture back so that you can accommodate a large folding table (or two). Find all the chairs in your space and ask friends to borrow what they may have. Rearranging your living room and dining room for the day should give you the space you need. You will be spending most of the time at the table eating and chatting.

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2)  I don’t have enough plates, flatware and glasses that match! No problem, mixing and matching is fine.  Again, you can borrow from friends. As long as you have a nice table cloth and centerpiece it will all go together and look great.

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3) Where do I put all the food? If you don’t have enough space on the table, use your countertop.  Add a nice centerpiece or decorations to your counter and it will look great. I heard of one person who put a table cloth on an ironing board and used that to serve the food on. You can put your end tables and coffee table side by side and that can be used for serving as well. Placing food at different heights gives you more space. You can use flower pots, cake stands even plastic containers to place your serving pieces.

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Remember, your guests are there to enjoy the holiday with you, family, and friends and of course the food!  

Grilled Kale and Radicchio with Almonds and Balsamic-Orange Glaze


  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus 2 large strips zest
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds lacinato kale (3 to 4 bunches), thickest stems trimmed
  • 2 heads radicchio, each cut into 6 wedges, core left intact
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted and very coarsely chopped
  • Cold-pressed orange olive oil (such as O blood-orange olive oil for drizzling

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  1. Bring vinegar, juice, and zest to a rapid simmer in a small saucepan, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly; remove zest, and discard. Whisk in 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
  2. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Toss kale and radicchio with remaining 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 2 teaspoons salt; season with pepper. Separate out radicchio, and grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred in places, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with 1 tablespoon dressing. In 2 or 3 batches, grill kale, keeping it piled on grill and turning often to prevent too much charring, until wilted, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer each batch as grilled to bowl with radicchio, and toss each batch with 1 tablespoon dressing. When all kale has been added, toss with any remaining dressing and the almonds until thoroughly coated. Transfer to a large platter, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon orange olive oil or more to taste.

Source:  Martha Stewart Living 2012

Eggplant Parmesan with Crisp Bread Crumb Topping


  1. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus about 2 cups for frying
  2. 1 onion, finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  4. Two 28-ounce cans whole, peeled Italian tomatoes, drained
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 8 small eggplants (1/2 pound each), cut lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
  7. 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped basil
  8. 1 pound lightly salted fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and torn into small pieces
  9. 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  10. 3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

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  1. In a large skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Using your hands, crush the whole tomatoes into the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is very thick, about 25 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil. Season the eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Working in several batches, cook the eggplant over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 8 minutes per batch; add more olive oil to the skillet between batches. Drain the eggplant slices on paper towels.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange one-third of the fried eggplant slices in the baking dish and sprinkle all over with 1 tablespoon of the chopped basil. Top with one-third of the torn mozzarella and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat this layering twice. Sprinkle the bread crumbs all over the top of the eggplant Parmesan. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 45 minutes, until the top of the eggplant Parmesan is golden and the tomato sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead. The assembled eggplant Parmesan can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring the eggplant Parmesan to room temperature before baking. Notes: This dish is extremely versatile. The eggplant can be sliced lengthwise or crosswise before it’s fried. In addition, the eggplant Parmesan can be baked in a glass or ceramic baking dish that is round, oval, rectangular or square. Serve with Green salad and crusty Italian or peasant bread.

Source: Food & Wine

Asparagus with Toasted Almonds and Garlic


  1. 3/4 pound pencil-thin asparagus
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. Scant 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  4. 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  5. Salt
  6. Freshly ground pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  8. 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

Asparagus with Toasted Almonds and Garlic



  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large nonreactive skillet. Add the asparagus and cook just until tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  2. Wipe out the skillet and set it over high heat. Add the oil and heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the asparagus and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic and almonds are golden and the asparagus is just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sherry vinegar and butter and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Jenny’s Pumpkin Roll

Jenny makes this every year and it is the BEST!



  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts; finely chopped

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• 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 stick of butter (room temperature)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)


Cake:   PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with baking parchment paper.  Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs 3-5 minutes on medium speed.  Add granulated sugar in large mixer bowl  to eggs  and combine until thick. Beat in pumpkin and lemon juice. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared jellyroll pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Do not over bake.  Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

Filling: BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic   wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

Thanksgiving Table Ideas

Plates. The dinner plate goes, of course, in the center of a place setting while bread plates are often placed left of the dinner plate. A charger, a larger plate that is placed underneath the dinner plate sometimes, is generally used as a decoration so it’s never actually used

Forks.  Forks should always be placed left of the dinner plate. A lot of times there are separate forks for the salad and the main course. When that’s the case, the fork farthest from the dinner plate is the salad fork. You would start there and work your way in. Dessert forks should be placed above the dinner plate, however.

Knives.  Knives should be place to the right of the dinner plate and just like forks, there are (apparently) salad knives. The same rules apply. Work your way from the outside.

Spoons. Soup spoons tend to go with knives to the right of the dinner plate while dessert and coffee spoons are usually placed just above the dinner plate.

Glasses.  Glasses and stemware should be placed just above the knives to the right of the dinner plate. Smaller glasses are usually used for water whereas the larger ones are for wine

Napkins.  Napkins often are place in one of two places: On top of the dinner plate or under the forks to the left hand side of the plate.

Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas
Now that you have the guidelines for setting your Holiday table.  Here are some Thanksgiving table settings we love!

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Fall DIY Project – October 2014

October 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Design Studio, DYI


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All Things Thrifty

I found this and love it, I plan on making one of these for our TV over our fireplace and wanted to share with all of you. It dresses up the look of the TV and I can’t wait to get it done before the holidays.

The TV frame isn’t hard to build at all! BUT, the size of your frame will completely depend on your TV. PLUS, it will depend on
your TV mount/hardware also.
But before we get started, let me give you a supply list:

Miter Saw, Brad Nail Gun and Brads, Spade Bit and Drill, Table saw if you need to cut your MDF {but the awesome guys at Home Depot rip cut ours for us}.
Other supplies: paintable caulk, nail hole filler

Wood supplies:
MDF {amount will vary based on the size of your TV}, Crown Molding {again amount will vary}, and 1 2X4.
So, the first thing you need to do is measure your TV. Plus, you need to know how far off the wall your TV sits. So, measure from the wall to the front edge of your TV. This TV stuck off the wall 4 inches. So, we knew that the inside edge of our frame needed to be 4 inches.

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This one is built out of 1/2 in. MDF and crown molding, so you will need to go to the nearest home improvement store.

First start off by building the inside box that goes around the TV. Since we already knew that our tv was 4 inches off the wall, we used 4 inch MDF. The box should be slightly larger than the TV. We left 1/2in around the frame to be able to hang it properly.

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After you have the inside box built, place it around your television to make sure it fits before you go any further!

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Next comes the tricky part if you are not familiar with crown molding. A miter box comes in handy. This one has a crown molding of 6 in. wide, but you can use any size or style you wish to get the look you want. Make sure when cutting your crown molding that you follow the correct angles and miter angles on your saw to be able to create the box. Our Rigid miter saw is awesome and has small little marks right at the correct angles of 31.6 and 33.9.

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So make sure you have measured your cuts precisely and cut those bad boys. Remember the inside edge should measure 1/2 inch wider and taller than your TV on each side. {So, that means 1 inch wider than your TV and 1 inch taller than your tv.}

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Next, brad nail those together.

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Attach the crown box to the bottom box with a brad nailer.

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Next you need to measure the distance from the top of the crown molding to the ground. This measurement will vary depending on the size of the first box and the size of the crown. This frame is really big and chunky. If you are making your frame for a living room TV that has seating from different angles, you might want to make it smaller so it doesn’t stick out so far. You can have the guys at The Home Depot/Lowe’s rip cut our MDF boards to 8 1/2 in. to complete the outside box of the frame. After you have the outer box built, attach it to the crown molding with brad nails. After you have the outer box built, attach it to the crown molding with brad nails.

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As you can see, there are drilled holes all around the frame with a spade bit for a couple of reasons. The bottom of the frame cannot be seen on the wall when it is hung. These drilled holes are for the speakers on the TV so the sound is able to be heard. The holes on the inside will also not be seen, because they will be behind the TV. This allows ventilation for the TV so it doesn’t overheat. The top of the frame will be out of sight also when hung on the wall, so it also has many holes drilled for ventilation.

This is what a spade bit looks like for those {like me} that didn’t know before today:

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Next cut 3 in. blocks out of a 2×4 to nail between the inner box and the outer box for support on the whole frame. You can stagger them enough to allow for the proper ventilation. As you can see,

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After that, your frame should be ready to caulk all the spaces between the different boxes and fill all the nail holes. After your frame is built, you need to paint it or stain it. Make sure you prime the frame with Kilz spray primer before you paint, since MDF tends to suck up paint. As far as hanging the frame, just put the TV back on the wall then hang the frame. You can use a 2×4 mounted to studs and then slide the frame onto it. Depending on your type of wall, you can use a number of different mounting methods. Just make sure that it is secure and not resting on the top of the TV!

Instructions and photos found on

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September 2014

September 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Design Studio, Holidays

More on Fall Decorating Colors and Ideas

In our September Newsletter we talked about fall colors, today we’ll talk about little things you can add to create a fall look, easy fall craft ideas for the adults and kids as well as more fall decorating ideas.

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Here are a few more room ideas

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If you’re looking for simple ideas, here are a few that are easy and look great

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Simple candle sconce with fall flowers and a ribbon or berry stems and pumpkins, great for an entry way or kitchen counter

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Simple Fireplace and Mantels

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Easy Crafts

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Simple and easy wreaths

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Kids Crafts

I hope this gave everyone some good ideas on decorating for fall!

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August 2014 Small Spaces!

August 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Design Studio, Layout Tips

Simplicity Sofas – Floor Planning for Your Small Space

 In our August newsletter we talked about a few floor plans for small spaces, here are a few more ideas that we hope will help you decided.

Remember, if you send us your room measurements and few other helpful items, we will be happy to sketch out a floor plan to show you how our pieces will fit in your space and we do it all for FREE!

There are a few free floor planner websites that you can use, but they will most likely only feature larger scale furniture.

A few things to remember when deciding on furniture pieces and placement:

Hallways – need 4’

Route where two people can pass each other

Conversation area 8’ to 12’

Seating for minimum of 4 (most 4-6)

Most sofas will be 36” and deeper and 84” wide

(Example Simplicity Sofas are 34” deep and up to 80” wide)

Coffee Tables 30”w c 48”L

End Tables 24” x 24” & 24”w x 28L

 Mid-Size sofa faces the TV, dining area is to left of sofa.  This is a nice seating area for conversations, but could use another chair.

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This floor plan is great for a corner fireplace (which can give most a major headache) two Mid-Size or Apartment sofas on an angle.  Another great piece would be a sectional.

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Here we have two Full Size sofas and a chair, small coffee table or large storage ottoman as a coffee table.  TV is above the fireplace.  The area rug defines the space.

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July 2014

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Design Studio, Layout Tips

The Right Size Sofa for You & Your Space
You go out to find your new sofa, once at the store you see something you like, order it, when it gets delivered it won’t fit through the door, elevator, hallway or stairway.
If you’re lucky, the furniture store will take it back and you’re told to go home and measure. If they won’t take it back you’re stuck with it, maybe you can cut it up and try to put it back together? Don’t laugh, many customers have told me they had to do this. They decided to just give it away.

Doorway: Knowing the height and width of the door will help you to know whether the sofa will fit through.• Measure the height (H) and width (W) from the top left or right to the opposite bottom corner
• Ensure there is a clear and unobstructed path around the doorway
• Take into account any fixtures and fittings and immovable objects such as gas meters and radiators
• If the depth of your sofa is greater than the width of your door then you may be able to get the sofa through at an angle. Measure the diagonal depth of the sofa, which needs to be smaller than the width of the door. Please see the section ‘How do I measure my sofa?’ for how to measure the diagonal depth.
Hallway : Measure the distance (L) between the access wall in the hallway and the interior wall in the room where the sofa will be placed. This must be greater than the width of the sofa
For tight corners, it may be easier to stand the sofa upright so you should measure the ceiling height. This needs to be greater than the diagonal height (DH) of the sofa, so as to avoid catching the ceiling

Stairwells: Measure the height (H), width (W) and depth (D) of the stairwell to allow turning on the stairs
Take into account that different floors may have different stairwell heights and note if there are any doors or turns in the stairwell

This is a lot to measure!
We have the answer and there is NO need for those instructions!

We hear about so many people who have downsized or small beach homes and can’t find sofas, sectionals or pull out sofa beds that can easily fit their doorway let alone their space. Another problem was the beach house with LOTS of steps! The great design of our sofas is that they come unassembled. Don’t let that scare you, all you do is screw the legs on, attach the arms and tighten by hand, yes by hand NO TOOLS, then the back flips up, locks into the arms.
Throw on your cushions and about 15 minutes from start to finish ENJOY!

Now you can fit a full size sofa, sectional, or pull out sofa bed without the headaches! It’s as simple as 1, 2, and 3!

Assembly_Step1 (640x480)Asssembly_step 2 (640x480) (3)Asssembly_step 3 (640x480) (1)Assembly_Complete (640x480)

So, that is why it is so easy to get any of our sofas, sectionals and sofa beds in those problem areas.

Our monthly newsletter talked about the various sizes of sofas and sectionals so I wanted to talk about pull out sofa beds, space planning, and options.
You no longer need to settle for a something you don’t want or something that is uncomfortable.
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Do you need that extra sleeping space for guests?
Our Pull Out Sofa Beds can even fit through an opening of 16” and NO tools are required for assembly as well!

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Timothy Collection – Available in Queen or Full Size Mattress
Queen Size 74”w x 34”d x 37”h Mattress 60” x 72” (short queen)
Full Size 67”w x 34”d x 37”h Mattress 52” x 72”

Christy Open Room Low ResChristy Low Res

Christy Collection – Available in Queen and Full Size Mattress
Queen Size 78”w x 34”d x 35”h Mattress 60” x 72” (short queen)
Full Size 72”w x 34”d x 35”h Mattress 52” x 72”

Sofa Beds have a hybrid mattress, the mattress has about 3 inches of foam and another 3 inch air chamber (best of both worlds) and it rests on a trampoline type material and has NO MIDDLE BARS to hit you in the back!
If you don’t want a tradional pull out sofa we have the Endura Ease Air Sleep System which is great for those that rarely have guests. It folds up and stores in a closet and uses standard queen sheets.

Endura Ease Air Sleep System:
The EnduraEase is an innovative air sleep system that turns any of our 3-seat full-size sofas or 2 seat mid-size sofas into a luxurious guest bed. Our sleeper sofas offer your guests a great night’s rest and will measure 89 x 60 x 20 on our full and mid-size sofas when inflated. This remarkable queen size air bed mattress comes with its own electric air pump that inflates in 3 minutes and stores away in minutes with no tools required.



Space planning can be a headache, and so many people think a sofa and loveseat or chair would work best in their space because all they ever see are oversized sofas and sectionals. In many rooms a small sectional works better than a sofa and loveseat or chair even though you may think you don’t have room. In narrow rooms the sectional actually takes up less space and can give you more seating.
A lot also depends on what you have to work with in the room, fireplace, hallways, low windows, heat vents, etc. If you’re looking for a sofa to put in your RV or boat we can help with that too.
What about color and fabric types, we can help you to pick out the right colors for your space as well as help with fabric types. Pick out what type of fabric best fits your needs isn’t always that easy. Pets, kids, sunlight, moisture and many other issues need to be factored in.
If you’re not sure what size sofa best fits you and your space , need help with arm styles, not sure what colors best match your walls, rugs, drapes, and other pieces or not sure which fabric works best for your needs? We are happy to assist you with space planning, so feel free to email or call us.

Because we have several sofa sizes, and a sectional that can be made small or extremely large gives you many ways to furnish your space so that it is spacious, comfortable and have lots of appeal.


Styles: Bullnose, Bullnose T-Cushion, Boxed, Boxed T-Cushion
Construction: Standard 1.8 density Ultracel foam cushions with a 5 year warranty
or our upgraded 2.5 density Ultracel Foam and our Spring Down both with lifetime warranties.
Over 250 in stock fabrics and we also use COM (Customer Own Material)
Cottons, Microfibers, Cotton/Linen, many to choose from!
If you want to change the color of your sofa from summer to winter you can do it. Pick the fabric you want your sofa upholstered in and then pick a fabric for your slipcover. When you remove the slipcover you still have a fully upholstered sofa!
It looks like we covered it all, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us!

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