Homemade Creamy Ranch-style Salad Dressing

I’m calling this dressing Ranch-style because if you are a diehard lover of Ranch Dressing, you won’t find this to be a perfect substitute. But if you are someone like me who likes any creamy dressing but is looking for a healthier version – not only less fat but less unknown ingredients – then this is the dressing for you.

PUT ALL THESE INGREDIENTS IN A MASON JAR & SHAKE IT UP:

  • 3/4 cup Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoon 1% milk
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • handful of fresh chopped parsley (or 2 Tbls. dried)
  • 1/4 of a large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

 

Anytime you make anything homemade and you are in charge of the ingredients and the amount of ingredients you put in the recipe, you are way ahead of the healthy game, right? It’s delicious! ♥

A DIY with navy buffalo check fabric

I’m sure you’ve seen me recover these mid-century wishbone chairs many times – the last time being with a polka dot fabric to use these chairs in my office. In March I’m going to use these chairs for extra seating when some guests come over (more on that later) so I decided to recover them once again to compliment the living room. 

I removed the seats and simply stapled new navy buffalo check fabric on them.

I like these “new” extra chairs that came together in just minutes for $9 (I had a 40% off coupon at the fabric store). Have you updated any old furniture lately? ♥

Wayfair Design Services Valentine’s Day Design Contest

faux pink roses in vase from Wayfair https://www.wayfair.com/decor-pillows/pdp/willa-arlo-interiors-bouquet-of-roses-wlao2069.html?&experiencetype=1

“I don’t care about winning, but I don’t want to lose” – credit: some singer, I forgot who sang this

Wayfair Design Services invited all their designers to submit a Valentine’s Day themed design. Did I win their Design Contest again?

Whomp Whomp, no I did not. But at the bottom of this post go ahead and take a look at my submission and let me know what you think about it – would you like to spend Valentine’s Day with your Love in this living room?

I used everything from Wayfair – from the fireplace to the gold paper plates!

I imagined that the kids were sent to stay overnight at Grandma’s so that the Mr. and Mrs. could have a romantic evening alone. They’d have take-out for dinner and macaroons for dessert. When decorating the room for a romantic dinner, I started with lighting and serving pieces …

 

I then added a fluffy area rug on top of the flooring, along with the coffee table as a place to sit for dinner and a couple of pretty poufs. Chinese take-out calls for sitting on the floor for fun, doesn’t it? I then added beautiful faux pink roses in a “crystal” vase and, for after-dinner fun, a gorgeous Backgammon game to complete the vignette.

I finished off the room with a pretty pink side chair, a sideboard, an electric fireplace (yep, they sell fireplaces at Wayfair) and a rosey paper swag.

Electric fireplace from Wayfair https://www.wayfair.com/home-improvement/pdp/dimplex-mantel-electric-fireplace-dp1964.html?&experiencetype=1

…. and here is the room put together. If you’d like me to design your room through Wayfair Design Services, be sure to ask for designer Mary Beth Zwolfer.  I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! ♥♥

Senior living and aging in place

Happy New Year (still!) Another year has gone by, which can only mean that you are a bit older. If you’re over 50 and are still living in the home that you raised your children (like me), you might be hoping to stay in that house for many years more (like me). But have you ever wondered if the home is suitable for you to age in place?

You might have to do a bit of updating or renovating to make your home usable and safe for your senior years.  Now is the time, before it’s too late, to create a home that is low maintenance, uncluttered and bright. Here is a checklist for you to get you started in preparing your home for the years to come:

  • Place double-sided rug tape under area rug edges
Rug Tape
  • *Repaint your rooms using paint with odor eliminator or microbicidal paint, which prevents staff infections during surgery or illness recovery
  • Remove a bathtub in one of your multiple bathrooms and replace with a zero-entry shower and add an adjustable shower head for those that might have to sit while showering
Walk in Shower instead of tub
  • Replace kitchen cabinets with cabinet shelving that pulls out or pulls down and that  requires low physical effort
Pull Out Shelving
  • Bring the microwave down and under the counter
  • *Add more task lighting throughout your home, including floor lamps for reading and under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen. Task lighting will help with reading dosage on medications and will help with cooking safety and enable you to read cooking instructions on food boxes.
Floor lamps for reading
Task Lighting

*Did you notice that I made a point of bringing your attention to paint and lighting? After the age of 60, we need three times more ambient light. And by the age of 70, we see color through our eye lens that is no longer crystal clear but that has changed to the color of weak tea.  It becomes more difficult to discern between pale blue and pale green, so use pastels with caution, yet very dark colors, such as dark blue, can look even darker to those who are aging.

Contrast is important too. A darker wall color in the bathroom will help to make the sink and toilet more visible. An all neutral or monochromatic decorating palette may make it difficult to perceive edges of furniture. Use a flat or matte based finish paint since a higher sheen will create glare and discomfort to the aging eye.

Declutter! If you’re a “saver”, spend at least an hour a week on decluttering, you don’t have to do it all in one day.

  • Do you have boxes of your adult children’s drawings and school work? Give them to your children (I bet they won’t want them – c’mon let’s be honest. When was the last time you asked YOUR parents if you could see a box of YOUR kindergarten drawings?) Or frame one drawing from each child and toss the rest.
  • Do you have checkbook stubs from 20 years ago? Neither you nor anyone else will ever need to see those stubs. Get yourself an inexpensive shredder and start that shredding. Mice and bugs love to reside in a home full of stacks of paperwork, eeewwww!
Declutter!

Lastly, don’t forget to pay attention to the outside of your home. Indoor/outdoor living is wonderful! Make a room outside by simply placing a comfy all-weather chair and little table next to the chair to place a book or cup of coffee. Be sure that you have safety measures in place outside your home too. Do you have one entrance without steps or at least very few low profile steps? Is your sidewalk, driveway or patio made of slip-resistant materials? Don’t forget the importance of exterior lighting too.

Illuminate the outdoors

Even if you don’t plan on aging in place but have every intention of moving into a senior community or a smaller home, all of the above updates are good for resale. They benefit children if a young family will move into your home and wheelchair-bound seniors too.

If you need help in updating or renovating your home, send me an email at mbzinteriors@gmail.com and we can get started on a conversation to prepare your home so that you can age in place in the home that you love.

A master bedroom with Southern charm

I love my job! My Wayfair Design Services client is from the south. Everytime I suggested something in the design, she’d respond “yes m’aam”. That buttery drawl is something we don’t hear in Chicago too often, we’re too busy fighting crowds and talking fast – just to keep warm.

My client loves feminine and soft but she did not want her husband to feel uncomfortable in a too-fussy room. So, even though we started with a tufted bed and pretty paint color ….

We tempered the bedding with pillows, drapery and bench in gray. We gave my client’s husband a black dresser with a top that complemented the nightstands yet added a mirror that was more ornate and in keeping with my client’s love of soft and feminine.

All in all, I think this master bedroom turned out with just enough Southern Charm for both the Mr. and Mrs. ♥

A basement playroom redesign

I’ve been hired to design a lot of playrooms/kids’s bedrooms lately, which makes for some fun times. This is my first $99 Edesign since I began offering my clients this 3 day Service. It was a lot of fun and I am grateful for the opportunity to design for this young family. In fact, this is the third room I’ve designed for them!

The children, since the “before” photos were taken, have edited their toys. They tossed broken toys and gave away toys that they no longer play with. The best way to start redecorating a room is by first editing its contents.

After reviewing the Style Survey, which included budget and the parents’ decision to keep the current wall color, I found out that the young daughter loved to craft, her favorite color was gold and she loved anything with flowers. The tween boy loved video games (natch!) and the colors blue and gray. There are two main rooms in the basement and, although both children will utilize both rooms, I decorated one room a bit more feminine and the other a bit more masculine.  A gold sofa and Scrabble-style letters for wall art, along with a floor lamp that has a USB port is fun, pretty and functional in the daughter’s half of the basement. The patchwork quilted pattern rug is large and washable!

Mom can use the half end of this room. Per her request, we put a standing desk for bill-keeping and family records.

Heading to the tween room, fun letters on the wall and new game chairs let everyone know that this is where serious gaming happens!

The lamp in here also has a USB port and tall cabinetry with adjustable shelves will ensure that toys are put away neat and tidy behind closed doors at the end of the day.

I think the kids are going to have a lot of fun in this redesigned family basement and I know for a fact that my youngest client loves the sofa – as evidenced by her note to me – so sweet. ♥

Happy FriYay, Edesign bang for your buck

Happy FriYay y’all. Happily I am super busy over here with family and work so just let me remind you that when you go to Wayfair Design Services and ask for designer Mary Beth Zwolfer and a Classic Package, you get

  • phone conference with me
  • multiple Concept Boards
  • digital Floor Plan and
  • professional Rendering of your space
Design by Mary Beth / Rendering by Wayfair Design Services

That’s a lotta bang for your buck! Have a wonderful weekend