EASY & DELICIOUS HOMEMADE APPLE PIE RECIPE - SIMPLY SUNDAYS

Happy Simply Sundays! If you have the pie assignment for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners, and not quite sure what to do, well I’ve got you covered! Today I’m sharing a long time family apple pie recipe called Brown Bag Apple Pie (that I’ve modified just a bit). It’s easy to make and absolutely delicious. I’m not completely certain why the original recipe calls for it to be baked in a large brown bag but because it turns out beautifully time and time again, I'm going to continue to trust that step!

For this recipe your going to need Granny Smith Apples. They are perfect for baking!

homemade apple pie

You'll also need, butter, granulated sugar, flour, milk, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

homemade apple pie
home made apple pie

One of the things that makes this pie super easy to make is that it’s a no-roll pie crust. Once it's mixed, all you have to do is pat it in the pie plate with your fingers. And no need for fancy edges either, it will all be covered up with the topping.

homemade apple pie

Once the pie crust is made and patted in the pie dish, the next step is to peel and slice the apples and then coat them evenly with the sugar, flour and spice mixture.

homemade apple pie

The juices from the apple slices will cause the sugar to dissolve and turn to into a yummy syrup. Place the apple mixture inside the pie dish.

homemade apple pie

The next step is to make the topping. It’s easy! All you do is mix the dry ingredients and then with a pastry blender cut in the butter until it’s coarsely mixed. Once you're finished, carefully place the topping on top of the apples, being sure to cover evenly. Pat down gently.

homemade apple pie
homemade apple pie

Now this is where the brown bag comes in! Carefully place the pie in large brown bag, (the type you get from the grocery store) and fold down the opening to create a flap and then staple it shut along the fold. Place in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Scroll down to see he complete recipe.

homemade apple pie
homemade apple pie recipe

BEAUTIFUL & DELICIOUS

It’s not only delicious, but beautiful too! The completed pie added just the right touch to our holiday photo shoot! To get tips on creating a beautiful tablescape, go here.

homemade apple pie
homemade apple pie
homemade apple pie
simple centerpieces
holiday table decoration
setting a holiday table

In this season of thanks, I especially want to thank all the clients I've had the privilage to work with over my long career! My life has been enriched by knowing you. And for those that I haven't had the priviledge to work with, thanks for following along! Perhaps someday we'll be able to meet in person.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tami

PHOTO CREDITS: The stylized photo shoot images are the beautiful work of Jaylene Crosby, and the rest are from your's truly.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF A SMALL LAUNDRY ROOM - SHAKE FRONT PROJECT

As a semi-custom new build, the Shake Front Project was an unusual one for me. It was my first time ever working on a project that wasn’t completely custom. So with that it brought some challenges in having to stay pretty true to the original plan provided by the builder. Fortunately though, my clients wanted help with more than just choosing finish materials, so before the foundation was even poured I got started on drawing plans and elevations to improve on the function of the house, while customizing where possible.  

One of the spaces where the layout changed dramatically was the laundry room. We started with moving the location of the door, and then from their I reconfigured the space to get the best and most efficeint use out of it.

laundry room

LAUNDRY ROOM - ORIGINAL FLOOR PLAN

As you can see, the space is small but with some careful planning we were able to make the most out of it, in both in terms of function and style.

laundry room before floor plan

LAUNDRY ROOM WITH PROPOSED DOOR LOCATION CHANGE

Changing the location of the door made all the difference with being able to utilize the space the best way possible.

laundry room

 NEW AND IMPROVED LAUNDRY ROOM FLOOR PLAN

Are you ready for it? What a difference! A one wall laundry room with hardly any storage or other amenities now includes:

  • a full wall of cabinets, in addition to those over the washer and dryer
  • open shelves with full backsplash
  • drying pole
  • free floor space for hamper, or laundry basket
  • open shelves for storage baskets
laundry room floor plan

SINK WALL ELEVATION

laundry room cabinets

WASHER & DRYER WALL ELEVATION

laundry room cabinets

DESIGN BOARD - COLORS & MATERIALS

Besides improving on the function, we also packed it full of style. Here’s my design board showing the mix of painted cabinets with open shelves, butcher block counter, subway tile used for the full backsplash and school house pendants, just to name a few design highlights.

laundry room

CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS

laundry room
laundry room
laundry room
laundry room

THE TAKE AWAY

  • At the top of the list is a huge encouragement to involve an interior designer (sooner than later) on your project that is skilled at space planning, and I’m not just talking about where to place your furniture. What I’m referring to is interior architecture…the actual location of walls, rooms and how the rooms are configured with windows, plumbing, cabinetry…and yes, even doors leading into the spaces. A formally educated, skilled designer will bring tremendous value to your project, even for semi-custom homes. 
  • The location of a door leading into a space can make all the difference in how the space can be configured. If you're have troubles making a space work, consider the possibility of relocating the door.
  • Just because a space is small, and utilitarian doesn’t mean that  it can’t be stylish. I was ever so happy when my clients wanted to be sure that every room in their semi-custom new build was the best it could be!
  • Need to try to save a little money here and there on your project? Typically square tiles are cheaper than rectangle tiles, so in an effort to keep cost down where we could, we opted to go with square floor tiles in a running bond pattern instead. I love how it turned out.

Thanks for following along!

Tami

PHOTO CREDIT: RACHEL ALLENE (first two construction photos) & JAYLENE CROSBY (last construction photo).

 

 

FRESH GARLAND HOLIDAY TABLE - SIMPLY SUNDAYS

There’s nothing quite like fresh garland centerpieces to add a festive feel to holiday tables. Besides being beautiful, they’re simple to make...they can be used alone, or dressed up by tucking in tall candle sticks or fresh fruit, and ornaments…and they can be tossed once you’re finished with them. 

STYLING A HOLIDAY TABLE WITH A FRESH GARLAND

For a fresh, modern look we kept things simple for this holiday table by eliminating the tablecloth, placemats and runner. We instead used the chargers to define each place setting, while the garland served as both the runner and centerpiece.

holiday garland
holiday table settings
holiday table settings
holiday table setting
holiday table setting
holiday table settings

HOW TO MAKE A FRESH MAGNOLIA GARLAND

My favorite way to add interest and depth to any space is to include foraged greenery from the yard, or wooded areas near my home. Lucky for me, we happen to have a beautiful magnolia tree in our yard! The deep green, broad, waxy leaves, with soft velvety golden-brown, has provided the perfect addition for adorning our holiday tables over the years. 

If you don’t have access to a magnolia tree, leaves will work. Just choose greenery that's hardy enough to not have to be in water once it's clipped. You can also use a mixture of cut greenery like we did here.

SUPPLIES FOR MAKING A FRESH GARLAND

how to make a holiday garland

SEEDED EUCALYPTUS

seeded eucalyptus

MAGNOLIA

magnolia leaves

SILVER DOLLAR EUCALYPTUS

silver dollar eucalyptus

3 EASY STEPS FOR MAKING A FRESH GARLAND

STEP 1

Cut leaf bunches into segments, leaving a steam that’s a few inch long.

how to make a hoilday garland

STEP 2

Take a few greenery bunches, place them so their stems line up, and then lash them together by wrapping floral wire securely around them.

how to make a holiday garland
how to make a holiday garland
how to make a hoilday garland

STEP 3

Continue this process by repeating Step 2; line up the cut stems, and securely wire them to the first bunch. Repeat Step 2, over and over again, lengthening the garland as you go until you reach the desired length and fullness.

how to make a holiday garland

ENJOY!

Thanks for following along!

Tami

Go here to see how to make a hoilday wreath.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jaylene Crosby  / This Sojourn Life

FOR THE LOVE OF BLACK AND WHITE TILES

Are you feeling it too? When you come across high contrast rooms, and spaces with black and white tiles, do they stop you mid scroll? For me, there’s just something so captivating and appealing about the classic color combination of black and white, especially when paired with fresh-looking, patterned tile. Here are juat of a few of my favorite black & white tile inspiration photos.

BLACK & TILE INSPIRATION PHOTOS

black and white tile
black and white tile kitchen
black and white tile
black and white tile kitchen
black and white tile bathrooms
black ans white tile bathrooms
bathroom with black and white tile
black and white tile bathroom

PARK AND OAK

 

FAVORITE BLACK & WHITE TILES

I literally could include pages of favorite black and white tiles but here are just a few...

 

tami faulkner design favorite black and white tile

.01     .02     .03     .04     .05     .06     .07     .08     .09

Thanks for following along! Comments, pins and shares are appreciated.

Tami

TIPS FOR DESIGNING KIDS' PLAYROOMS

More, and more clients with young children are using spaces in their homes for playrooms that were originally intended for more formal areas like living rooms, or studies. I think this shift makes perfect sense. It provides a practical solution for young families in getting the best use of their spaces. 

That said, it does create a few design challenges. The biggest one being the potential mess and chaos of a playroom being one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door. With some thoughtful and careful planning though, these concerns can be lessened.

Take for instance the Shake Front Project, almost immediately to the left of the front door is what was intended to be the living room but is now being used as the playroom. Here’s what we did to get the best function from the space while still making it presentable from the entry.

modern bungalow
floor plan

TIPS FOR DESIGNING KIDS' PLAYROOMS

  • Coordinate rugs and large upholstery patterns and colors with the general color scheme that is being used throughout the rest of the house. The neutrals will lessen the visual chaos and clutter by providing non-competing backgrounds for the colorful toys and accessories. 
  • Just as you would do for other spaces in your house, mix furniture so it’s not all from the same collections, or company. 
  • Include grown-up furniture too so the space can function as both a playroom, and a gathering spot for families.
  • Use stylish storage, like natural fiber baskets that would feel at home in any other rooms of your house.
  • Include multi-use pieces like poufs that can be used for a play table for children, or an ottoman for adults.
  • Incorporate pin-up wall lamps for beautiful illumination of lamp lighting while keeping them secure during rambunctious play.
  • Choose art that would be interesting to kids but could also transition into other spaces of the house.

 

kids playroom design

SPACE PLANNING TIPS FOR KIDS' PLAYROOMS

  • Leave plenty of clear floor space for play by positioning most of the furniture around the perimeter of the room.
  • Place the furniture in a balanced way so each piece relates well to the next, just as you would do in other rooms of your house.
  • Avoid blocking windows with furniture.

 

kids playroom furniture plan

THE TAKE AWAY

Do you see the theme weaving these tips together? The commonality is that aside from the toys in the space, for the bulk of the selections go with furniture and accessories that would transition well in other rooms of the house. This approach will create a more refined and ordered look from the entry.

For tips on designing a nursery, go here. Thanks for following along! 

Tami

HOW TO MAKE AN EASY AUTUMN WREATH - SIMPLY SUNDAYS

Happy Sunday! Fall has finally made it to Northern California and the Yellow Dock gracing the country roads and fields has dried, and turned a beautiful russet brown. 

dried yellow dock northern california
yellow dock flower in the fall

HOW TO MAKE A SIMPLE AUTUMN WREATH

With help from my sweet friend, Jaylene (the uber talented photographer and floral designer), we've put together a Simply Sundays tutorial on making an easy autumn wreath out of dried Yellow Dock flowers. Keep in mind that you can use any type of dried foliage as long as it has a stem.

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL NEED

how to make a fall wreath

STEP 1

Gather dried Yellow Dock Flowers and then use floral clippers to cut them down so the stems are a few inches long. From there arrange them into generous clusters.

dried yellow dock
how to make a simple autumn wreath

STEP 2

Secure the end of floral wire to a wire wreath frame, then create a net, or platform for the yellow dock to lay on by wrapping the wire around several times, like I'm showing here.

how to make a fall wreath
how to make a fall wreath

STEP 3

Place a cluster of Yellow Dock on top of the wire platform and then continue wrapping the wire around the frame while catching the dried flowers, so they are securely wired in place.

how to make a fall wreath
how to make a fall wreath
how to make an easy autumn wreath

STEP 4

Continue the steps above until the entire frame is covered with the dried foliage.

how to make a fall wreath
fall wreath

HANG & ENJOY

fall wreath
fall wreath

Until next time!

Tami

PHOTO CREDIT: Jaylene Crosby  / This Sojourn Life

ENTRY & DINING ROOM MAKE-OVER YOUNG DREAM PROJECT

With design plans in hand, we renovated the entry and dining room at the Young Dream Project by replacing the dated 1990’s arched, column doorway with a beautiful thick, framed opening. We also repeated the same cased doorway by opening up the wall between the dining and living room.

Although the doorway changes in and of themselves, make for an impressive addition, we didn’t stop there! We also included the following changes, making the before photos a distant memory.

  • Added a board & batten wainscoting with an updated chair rail
  • Replaced the baseboards
  • Removed the ceiling rosette and decked out the ceiling with shiplap
  • New paint throughout
  • Replaced old light fixtures in both the entry and dining room

AFTER PHOTOS SHOWCASING THE BEAUTIFUL MILLWORK, TRIMS AND LIGHT FIXTURES

shiplap ceiling
shiplap ceiling
shiplap ceiling
arched doorway
TFRocklin-6321.jpg
shiplap ceiling
board and batten walls
black lantern pendant

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

We can't overlook Mr. Domino! I mean, look at him, his beautiful fur coat and stunning blue eyes coordinate perfectly with his new home.

white cat
white cat

Thanks for following along. Comments, shares and pins are appreciated. 

Tami

PHOTO CREDIT: Jaylene Crosby  / This Sojourn Life

CONTRACTOR: JNT Building & Remodel

 

COLUMN MAKE-OVER & DESIGN PLANS

In our first phone chat, my client from the Young Dream Project described what was bothering her about the 1990’s entry and dining room of the house they had recently purchased. There were four overarching architectural details that were on the top of her list to make-over.

  1. Columns with arched doorway
  2. Wainscotting and chair rail
  3. Ceiling rosette
  4. And last but not least, was the idea of opening up the space between the dining room and leaving room.

BEFORE PHOTO & FLOOR PLAN

dining room with columns
arched doorway with columns

DESIGN PLAN

With further discussion we came up with a complete design plan, with a list of updated changes for the space, that included shiplap on the ceiling & board and batten for the walls. 

dining room with shiplap
dining room with board and batten

COLUMN AND ARCHED DOORWAY DESIGN

Once I saw the space in person, I was immediately inspired by the deeply cased windows that already existed in the dining room. So with that my mind started to race with the ideas of removing the columns and using that space to beef up the opening into the dining room, casing it and wrapping it in wood…a classic traditional feel but with a fresh interruption.

From there, I set to work with design plans and elevations for the columns and arched opening that would be repeated on the newly opened wall. I provided my clients with a couple of different options. Notice the different ceiling heights between the entry and dining room views that I had to consider and design around, making sure that there was plenty of room not to crowd the trim around the opening on the dining room sides.

arched doorway
arched doorway

OPTION B

After careful review with the contractor, the clients decided on Option B, and though you’re going to need to come back to see how it all turned out, I can assure you that the AFTER photos are stunning! Here’s a sneak peek.

arched doorway

THE TAKE AWAY

Did you catch when I shared that my inspiration for the design of the cased openings actually came from the design elements that were already in the space, specifcally the beautiful, deep cased windows? It might not sound like that big of a deal, but in reality it is huge point when it comes to good design with remodel and renovation projects. 

Let me step up on my soapbox just for a minute…it would be one thing if throughout the entire house old trims and door styles were being removed but if some of it’s going to be retained, it is essential that it isn’t ignored! The trims and door styles are what helps define the architectural style of a house. It is essential that the new ties into the old. My goal for remodels and renovations is to make sure anything new looks cohesive to what’s existing.

Thanks for following along. Check back soon to see how the changes turned out.

Tami

SNEAK PEEK PHOTO CREDIT: JAYLENE CROSBY / THIS SOJOURN LIFE

BUTTERSCOTCH CHIP COOKIES - SIMPLY SUNDAYS

Happy Simply Sundays! There's three reasons behind this post. The first one being my mantra to myself to remember to enjoy fall…and that’s not because I have to be talked into enjoying it…it’s actually my most favorite season, and the one that inspires me the most. Sometimes though, work…and life gets in the way and I forget to enjoy it as much as a want to, and then before I know it, it’s come and gone. 

The second reason is actually a part of the first…I’m on a quest to learn photography but like my mantra about remembering to enjoy fall, I have to do the same thing with pushing myself to make time to play around with my camera. I feel much more motivated to do so if I have something fresh and specific to shoot…so that brings me to my third reason…which also ties back to the first…and the second…nothing says fall quite like homemade Butterscotch Chip Cookies with Candy Corn toppings! *See the recipe below.

Before you get too distracted though by the yummy thoughts of homemade cookies, did you see my post from last week where I shared the design plans and some sneak peeks of the study at the Yellow Bend Project?  The photos of the sculptural light fixtures, and cabinet hardware in the beautiful custom millwork and cabinetry are truly stunning! Although the study is beautiful all year around, it definitely has a bit of a fall vibe because of the rich colors with the deep gray paint and dark distressed wood flooring. Check it out, I think you're going to love it.Now back to cookies...

BUTTERSCOTCH CHIP COOKIES WITH CANDY CORN TOPPINGS

baking cookies
baking cookies
homemade cookies
butterscotch chips
candy corn
IMG_4352.jpg
homemade cookies
homemade cookies
butterscotch candy corn cookies
homemade cookies
napkins
wp candy corn butterscotch chips cookie recipe oct17.jpg

Enjoy your day...and remember to enjoy fall before it slips away.

Tami

YELLOW BEND STUDY - LIGHTING + CABINET HARDWARE

Not all design projects have long building cycles, some of them move fast and furiously. The Yellow Bend Project (a complete house renovation and addition) moved along at a pace where we were able to go through each room of the entire house, customizing, adding architectural details, custom cabinets and lighting. And let me tell you, all the careful thought and planning paid off in big dividends! The house is a show stopper!

That said, did you happen to notice in my introductory post earlier this week that the date on my drawings from the study design was October 2015? Although it’s not noted on the lighting and cabinet hardware design board shown in this post, the original date of those final selections was in October 2016. 

And now in October 2017, my talented client and I have been working together on making the final furniture and accessory selections for the study. All the furniture pieces have been ordered…the shelves have even been stylized…and now we’re working on finalizing textile choices for the pillows and window seat.

While all of that’s been in the works Libby, the photographer took detail photos of the lighting and cabinet hardware because they are just that beautiful…and have added an amazing sculptural presence to the space.

library lighting
brass cabinet pulls
benjamin moore kendal charcoal
bass cabinet pulls
brass cabinet pulls
benjamin moore kendall charcoal
brass light fixtures
gold light
brass lights
brass lights
brass lights
brass lights

THE TAKE AWAY

You might be wondering about the lag in the time between when we finalized the study design with the built-in cabinets and millwork, to a year later when the lighting selections were finalized. 

How did we get away with that with our custom cabinetry when wires are ran for electrical in the very earliest stages of the build process? Because we needed the actual lights to finalize their precise locations in the cabinets and millwork, the electrician ran wires as close to where we were expecting the lights to go. After the cabinets were installed, and we had the actual light fixtures in hand, the electrician cut through the cabinets and millwork to pull the wires through to exactly where we needed them before installing the fixtures.

SNEAK PEAK OF WHAT'S TO COME

leather sofa with nail heads
deer skull
benjamin moore kendall charcoal

I know I've said this a hundred times but there is just so much that goes into a design project that it can't possibly be shared in one single post. And because so much of the design process for me  happens at my drafting table long before the build process actually starts, the back story to the final reveal is an intricate part of my life and design story. Thanks for following the journey!

PHOTO CREDIT: LIBBY TOLMAN PHOTOGRAPY