We’re nearing the finish line on our investment property, getting it ready to list for sale in February. The last thing I needed to do for the hall bathroom remodel was install the wallpaper. I chose my own design, this abstract painterly pattern called Adrift in the latte colorway.
It looks so pretty with the wood vanity, white tile, and gold fixtures. I still need to hang the mirror, install the towel bar, etc. but I’m hoping to finish the space this weekend so I can photograph and feature it soon.
This pattern features tonal painterly splashes on a smaller scale in a singular color and it’s available in multiple colors in my Spoonflower shop. I’ve been dying to use it in a space and the day finally came!
Isn’t it funny how different botanicals become trendy? There was that phase when succulents were popping up everywhere, then the fiddle leaf fig became the must have indoor tree, and now we see green plant collections in every space.
Cactus plants are in the spotlight since the boho desert style is still a trendy look in interiors. I’ve noticed different styles of cactus art prints in retail stores and room reveals as well.
To introduce that southwest vibe into your space, you can find framed cactus wall art from brands like Pottery Barn or Target. If you wish to support smaller stores, I’ve rounded up some cool cactus art prints, including two of my own. Cactus is the hip botanical of the moment! Add any of these to your growing art collection.
Mustard yellow has never been this popular. If you know how to use mustard yellow color tastefully, you’ll find that it offers flavor and warmth. Also known as marigold, mustard yellow is a favorite among the hipster generation.
The best way to make your home unique and become an expression is with the best paint colors and combinations. It’s cheap and can impact your home’s curb appeal.
What Is The Mustard Color?
When it comes to exterior house colors, you want to be safe. You might have HOA guidelines you need to obey. But when it comes to the interior of your home, well, that is your canvas.
Super Easy DIY Mustard Yellow Paint Recipe
If you need mustard yellow paint, you can make it with this special paint combination recipe in three easy steps.
Pour equal amounts of red and yellow paint into a bowl. Mix with a plastic chopstick or wooden stirring stick to create orange
Pour yellow paint into a separate bowl. Mix it with an equal amount of orange paint. Stir it well to achieve a mustard yellow hue.
Add a few drops of yellow paint if the color isn’t light enough, or a teaspoon of orange paint if the color shade is too bright.
What Is The Mustard Yellow Color?
Mustard yellow is more than a color. It has a history that doesn’t begin with a rug on your living room floor. It carries a deeper meaning for many people worldwide.
The Cool Meaning Behind Mustard Yellow Color
Mustard yellow color comes from the mustard plant. Look at the plant, and you will see the color’s natural beauty.
The Wild History Of Mustard Yellow
The first recorded use of mustard yellow was in England in the late 19th century. In color made its way across the Atlantic, arriving in the US during the dawn of the 20th century. The warm hue was an interior design sensation during the Roaring 20s.
Mustard Yellow Exteriors
Mustard yellow color is a home exterior stalwart. It represents the rich color tapestries of autumn. The image of falling leaves and a blood-orange sun setting in the background is pure poetic color grace. A cacophony of mustard yellow hues and burnt yellow papaya tumble together upon rich green acres across the country.
The color is an autumn staple line-up and worn worldwide in celebration of healthy harvest yellow and gold colors. The tradition of blending in with nature is remarkable.
Shades Of Mustard
Despite popular belief, there is more than a shade or two of mustard yellow. There are many shades of mustard yellow, but today, we’re talking about the shades and how they are made.
Classic Mustard Yellow
The purest form of mustard yellow you will find will be 100 percent red and 85 percent green. Unlike other hues, this blend has a tinge of blue.
Chrome Mustard Yellow
Chrome mustard yellow is a unique shade consists of 100% red, 60-70 percent green, and 0% blue. This name can vary, but the point is that there is a non-blue silver tone to the color combo.
Mustard Yellow Brown
Magical mustard yellow-brown is an orange-yellow color. It’s softer on the red with less green. This can be made to your tastes, but it isn’t as strong.
Medium Mustard Yellow
Medium mustard yellow is a unique hue with green, brown, and red. The blue in mustard yellow colors is almost non-existent.
Khaki Mustard Yellow
Khaki mustard yellow comes in with a red rating of around 190 and a green of around 150. If you add too much green, it will turn into olive mustard yellow.
Deep Mustard Yellow
Deep mustard yellow is less yellow than the other shades. It consists of a red around 150 and green around 120. It can vary depending on taste as it’s fun to play with color ratios.
Boho Papaya Mustard Yellow
Papaya is the fruit of kings and queens. When you cut open fresh papaya, the meat is mustard yellow and tastes like heavenly bliss. As a clothing statement, papaya mustard yellow is the most exciting yellow hue to hit the fashion runways of Milan and New York City.
Despite popular belief, there is more than a shade or two of mustard. There are many shades of mustard but today, we’re going to talk about a few of the most popular shades and how they are made.
Mustard Color In The Living Room
Mustard yellow and terracotta orange is a holy color combination sweeping the millennial marriage market. It’s also found its way in living rooms across the country. Such rooms feature dim and warm lighting to create a blissful setting. The living room is where families relax in harmony.
Pure mustard yellow color can be color sensation overload. With living rooms colors, mustard yellow or butterscotch hues can tie everything together.
Where To Use: walls are the best option in the living room. But if it isn’t too bright, don’t be afraid to pull in a mustard yellow-colored couch into the mix. You will be surprised at how cozy it can be.
Mustard Yellow In The Kitchen
In kitchens, mustard yellow color is natural and right at home. You have creative freedom when using the color in the kitchen because all yellows fit in spaces where food is shared among family members.
It’s also a rustic color for modern farmhouse design. You can try modern, and you might be blown away.
Where To Use: You can use mustard yellow anywhere. Cabinets will make the biggest statement, and so will tile. For something soft, mustard yellow curtains or a backsplash will work well.
Mustard Yellow Laundry Room
Laundry rooms are fun to organize. With smaller spaces, the rooms can shine as mustard yellow works its magic.
Medium mustard yellow colors smart choices. They create unity, brighten up any space.
Where To Use: Your creative freedom is there at your liberty, but a simple cabinet, a rug, or curtains will have the greatest effect. But feel free to play around with this small room as a family should use it.
Mustard Color In The Sitting Room
The dining room is a great place to add mustard yellow. This is also where you can get creative. This isn’t a place to add a table and then call it a day. You can create murals, play music, and hang a chandelier.
Where To Use: While you won’t find mustard yellow décor, you can find the color chairs and tablecloths. A mural with a mustard yellow background is a winner.
Mustard Color In The Sitting Room
Sitting room, parlor, drawing room, lounge. There are many names for the room where you invite guests in to sit and visit without the distractions of other rooms in the home. This would be like a living room without a TV.
This doesn’t mean you can’t add a TV to your parlor, but it isn’t standard. Instead, this is a warm and inviting room used to welcome guests and offer them a snack or a drink. Mustard yellow is the perfect color to do that.
Where To Use: It’s best to go small with a mustard yellow color in the sitting room. Start with wall art or an accent chair. Starting with carpet or walls can be overwhelming to those sensitive to yellow.
Mustard Yellow In The Bedroom
Mustard yellow is wonderful in the bedroom because it is all about you and anyone else who shares the bedroom with you. Deep mustard yellow will keep things safe and comfortable.
That’s the thing about mustard yellow though, you can use it to control the mood. All shades are welcome in the bedroom, it’s all up to the homeowners or bedroom-owners as to which shade suits them best.
Where To Use: You can use mustard yellow in the bedroom anywhere, but it on things easy to change like bedding or curtains. Curtains can be mustard yellow in any room in the house.
Making Mustard Color Your Own
The most important part of having mustard yellow color in your home is making it yours. Anyone can pick something that’s called mustard yellow and paint their walls with it.
Choose a color that doesn’t have mustard yellow in the name or pick a unique blend of mustard yellow and layer them throughout the room. It’s all up to the artist and today, that artist is you and your canvas is your home.
Mustard Yellow Frequently Asked Questions
What Colors Go With A Mustard Yellow Feature Wall?
The best colors that go well with a feature wall are yellow are black, gray, navy blue, and pink.
What Wall Color Goes With Mustard Yellow Curtains?
Dark gray or blue would both be superb interior wall color choices.
Where Should I Put A Mustard Yellow Rug?
Mustard yellow bathroom rugs are divine additions to bathrooms. If you have a mustard yellow shag rug, make it the centerpiece of your living room.
What Bed Sheet Color Matches A Mustard Yellow Duvet?
You could try a light blue color scheme or a lavender backdrop. For extra chic flavor, mustard yellow throw pillows would accent the room.
Where Can I Buy Mustard Yellow Paint?
Because the color is adored by millions across the US, mustard yellow paint is easy to find. You can buy it wherever paint supplies are sold.
Mustard Yellow Color Conclusion
With a rich history and promising future, mustard yellow will stand the test of time. The color is versatile and warm without being intimidating. If you want to add freshness and some boho flavor to your home, then this hue is for you.
It’s easy to look at a tiny, closed-off kitchen, point to one wall, and think: I just need to tear that down and—voilà!—the room will be open-concept. But the reality of designing a cooking zone that’s got good flow isn’t that simple. As Nina Jizhar learned while renovating one young couple’s Oakland, California, kitchen, creating a seamless transition between the dining-slash-living area and the once dated cooking space required attention to detail. “My first impression was that everything was not in the right place,” recalls Jizhar.
The dining area, before.
Whenever the couple was cooking in the space together, they were bound to bump into each other (the fridge was awkwardly situated right by the entry and there wasn’t enough counter space to lay out their baking essentials). So Jizhar made the decision to take down the load-bearing wall that separated the space from the adjacent dining area (her clients splurged on a hidden beam for support). In an effort to make the change look natural, she scrapped the old linoleum flooring for oak. “We wanted it to look cohesive with the beautiful flooring elsewhere,” she notes. But by laying it out in a herringbone pattern, she made it different enough that it didn’t get lost amid the new wood cabinetry. “It gives the space more definition,” the interior designer adds. Ahead, Jizhar shares a few more ways she made the transformation appear effortless.
The kitchen, before.
Part of the reason the former space felt so tight, aside from the big wall blocking it from the entertaining area, was that the appliances weren’t in the best locations. Jizhar’s clients splurged on relocating the gas line so they could place their new Café by GE range where the old refrigerator stood. Then they shifted the fridge to the opposite side of the room and surrounded it with pantry cabinets for easy snacking. To stay within budget, Jizhar kept the sink where it was so they didn’t have to move any plumbing around (the only small tweak was incorporating a pot filler over the stove).
Cool (and Convenient) Cabinets
Jizhar removed the dated white cabinets and replaced them with semi-custom, flat-panel ones from a local Silicon Valley company called Demetra Cabinetry, which makes all its products in the San Jose area, so the lead time was fairly short. “The builders were close enough that they could make house calls and troubleshoot hinges or other mechanisms that might not have been working after the install,” notes the designer. While the couple was in favor of a wood-heavy, mid-century–style kitchen, mixing in white upper cabinets helped balance out all the brown tones.
Who said you can’t have open shelving and upper cabinets in the same spot? Jizhar had the cabinet fabricators make two of the upper cabinets shorter than the rest in order to leave room for open, wood-lined cubbies underneath so the homeowners can display chic ceramics. “They’re just more unpredictable than floating shelves,” she says of the built-in feature. The “almost vintage-looking” Sereno Bianco quartz countertops and backsplash lend character to the newly renovated kitchen, too.
On Island Time
For an extra layer of dimension to contrast the flat-panel cupboards, Jizhar added fluted white oak detailing to the island (the product comes in a large sheet, so it’s easy to apply to the structure). “Even though it’s within very close proximity to the dining table, they like to eat breakfast there and save the other space for entertaining friends,” she says of the decision to extend the countertop and add seating.
Sourcing affordable light fixtures was one big way Jizhar was able to help her clients keep their budget on point. The dining table chandelier is a Wayfair find ($180); the sconce over the sink is from Worley’s Lighting; and the modern piece above the island is Park Studio L.A. “As soon as we finalized the plan, they purchased all the materials, fixtures, and appliances, even before the permit was issued (which took around 12 weeks),” she says. “That’s how we kept the project on schedule. We didn’t lose a week of construction.” Getting that coveted flow isn’t cheap or easy, but it pays to be decisive.
If Claire Thomas’s family of three had their own coat of arms, it would most definitely include a bear. “My joke is that my husband, Craig, looks like a bear, and our son James’s nickname is Little Bear,” says Thomas, the creator of The Kitchy Kitchen blog and cofounder of Sweet Laurel Bakery. Coincidentally, the couple and their 4-year-old have made a second home for themselves in Big Bear, California, just a two-hour drive from their primary one in Los Angeles. In 2020 everyone from the city seemed to pour into the mountains, and Thomas’s place—a retro-inspired A-frame that is also an Airbnb—was constantly getting booked up. “It’s been doing so well that my own family hasn’t been able to utilize the house as much as we wanted to,” she says.
So after about six months of searching, Thomas found another property nearby that they could renovate, relax in, and also rent out through Airbnb. “I kept going back to this one listing that had no photos,” she recalls. It took some convincing to get her real-estate agent on board with touring the mystery house, but once she saw how charming the 1941 place could be after some TLC, she was sold. “It’s 100 feet away from the national forest. It’s just a very different kind of energy, which I love,” says Thomas. As with any reno she’s ever tackled, she narrowed in on a theme (for instance, her last place was meant to feel like a 1960s ski party). This go-round she opted for Swedish folklore meets 1940s California. And what better way to accomplish that than with a giant bear mural in the dining room?
Banquette and Dining Table, Six Penny Home; Pendant Lamp, Serena & Lily; Paint, Dunn-Edwards; Limewash Treatment, Portola Paints.
Thomas pulled various motifs from John Bauer illustrations; she DIYed the wall art after first applying a limewash coating from Portola Paints to help give the surface a weathered, earthy texture—that way it looks like it’s been there forever. “With vacation rentals, I love transporting people right when they enter the house,” she shares. “I like creating an experience that feels like they’re getting to be a character in a story.” In some rooms, like the dining area, guests are thrown into a fairy tale; in other spots, such as the mudroom, it’s an old-school Technicolor film. The entry is specifically inspired by the all-red apartment from Gigi (1958).
Bench, Pottery Barn.
“There’s something so sexy and fun about being inside a little ruby,” says Thomas. “That’s what I wanted the mudroom to be like: a jewel you walk into.” Wallpapering the ceiling in a marbled print from Sandberg accomplished just that (all the wallpaper used in the home is sourced from Swedish fabricators, so as to not deviate from the theme).
Paint, Dunn-Edwards; Wallpaper, Wallpaper Direct.
Because Thomas didn’t have a huge budget to transform the home, she practically DIYed everything, including the aforementioned wallpaper, which she concludes was equally “emotionally and psychologically taxing.” Watching YouTube tutorials on repeat proved to be immensely helpful. Her biggest takeaway? Over-order. “Assume you’re going to mess up,” she says. Audiobooks (she listened to David Sedaris) helped pass the time, too.
James even got his hands dirty during the design process. “I give him projects that were okay if he ditched them in 10 minutes or if he messed them up,” says Thomas. Applying limewash to the walls was the perfect craft for her little assistant to help with because it doesn’t require any precision.“My mom’s boyfriend is a contractor-slash-handyman, and he’s basically like a rock star to James,” says Thomas with a laugh.
Appliances, Café by GE; Tile, Fireclay.
The kitchen commits to the home’s theme fully with its full-on plaid backsplash and tiled countertops. In other spaces, paint was all Thomas needed to prove her point, like the guest bedroom that pairs Big Bird yellow with bright sky blue. “It’s like you’re walking into springtime,” she says.
After learning some basic carpentry skills, Thomas and her husband bought a few trundle beds from Wayfair for the kids’ loft quarters and surrounded them with wood to make them look built in. “Kids love small spaces. There’s something really special about making a world that can sometimes feel overwhelming very small,” she explains. To make them true hideouts, Thomas recruited her aunt (a seasoned seamstress) to help her craft café curtains out of fabric that matches the nearby Serena & Lily sofa. To top the whole room off, she painted a mural to coordinate with the baby blue floral design. “When you are walking up the staircase, it looks like you’re going into the clouds,” she notes.
The magic continues outside, too. Thomas bought 4-inch-tall fairy doors on Etsy and attached them to some of the tree bases outside. “Now James is convinced the fairies live in the forest,” she says.
Why choose one colour when you can learn how to paint a two-tone wall using this DIY and decorating idea? If you’ve fallen in love with a paint shade but don’t want to cover an entire wall, or simply want to mix things up, then a two-tone wall effect is the perfect solution.
Combinations are endless, but a darker shade on the bottom with a neutral or lighter colour on the upper section will help make your rooms look taller! Here’s how…
How to paint a two-tone wall
Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore
If you’re unsure which colours will work best for your two-tone wall then play around with tester pot combinations on a piece of board or directly on the wall.
Why not opt for two shades of the same colour palette i.e. red and pink? Paint a shelf in one of the shades and position at the divide for a clever floating shelf effect.
You could even mix and match paint finishes to add texture i.e. a matt finish of the upper half with an eggshell sheen on the lower section.
Follow these easy steps to paint your walls two colours…
1. Mark your meeting point
Decide where you’d like your two colours to meet – whether that be halfway, three-quarters or further up the wall. Take a tape measure and mark this point on the wall using a pencil. Repeat at regular intervals across the wall.
2. Apply the lighter colour
Image credit: COAT Paints
Start by cutting in using a paint brush using the lighter of your two colours only on the half of the wall you want it to cover. Fill in the rest of the half using a roller. Paint slightly over the point where you want the dividing line to be.
If the original colour is quite strong, you may need to take some additional steps on how to paint over dark walls.
3. Create a dividing line
Take a length of string longer than the width of your wall. Cover it with chalk by running a piece along its length. Stretch the string across the wall, lining it up with your pencil marks. Secure the ends with masking tape.
4. Mask with tape
Once the string is straight, tap the string against the wall so it leaves a chalk line. Make sure the first paint colour is completely dry. Apply masking tape along this line to create your divide.
5. Apply the darker colour
Image credit: COAT Paints
As before, use a paint brush to cut in around the edges of the second half of the wall using the darker paint shade. Use a roller to fill in the rest of the wall, then use the paint brush to carefully paint over the edge of the masking tape divide.
6. Reveal your two-tone wall
Image credit: Dulux
Peel off the masking tape while your paint is still wet to unveil your two-tone wall design. You should have a crisp line between your two colours.
Paint skirting boards in the same colour as the lower section to make the wall look taller or choose a traditional white or cream to create a border.
Image credit: Dulux
Why not try leaving a white border between your two colours? Mark the dividing line in the same way, then apply a white base coat. Once dry, add two rows of masking tape, one above and one below the line. Add more rows for a thicker border.
Paint the upper section in the lighter shade and the lower one in a darker colour as before. Remove the masking tape to reveal your border.
Do two-tone walls make a room look bigger?
Painting walls in different colours is a great way to make a room appear bigger. Painting a darker colour on the bottom half and a lighter one on top that blends into the ceiling shade can make the room seem taller as there is no abrupt finishing line.
Similarly, painting the skirting boards in the same colour as the lower shade prevents there appearing to be a border between the walls and floors, therefore making them seem longer.
To make a room feel larger, paint the longest walls in a dark shade and the two shortest walls in lighter colours. This will emphasise the room’s length.
When painting a room two colours, which wall should be darker?
As a rule, darker warmer shades visually pull a wall in towards you and lighter colours make the wall seem further away. You can make an off-square room feel more centred by painting two connecting walls in a dark colour and two in a lighter one.
Can you paint two feature walls?
It’s best to stick to one statement feature per room to avoid it becoming too overpowering. A two-tone painted wall will work all around the room if one of the colours is more pared-back than the other. Avoid throwing a bold wallpaper into the mix alongside multiple paint effects, for example.
Condensation on windows, stuffy rooms, mould and musty odours are all signs that your home might benefit from reducing the humidity. But how much does it cost to run a dehumidifier to get rid of these problem symptoms?
There’s a misconception that dehumidifiers are heavy, noisy, energy-guzzling appliances that are only used in homes with serious damp. Whereas in fact, most newer models are quiet, fairly light to move around and energy efficient. Type and size affect running costs, though, so knowing how much electricity a dehumidifier uses allows you to balance this with its benefits.
We’ve worked out how much you can expect to spend per hour to run a dehumidifier – as well as how to save energy at home with some cost-cutting tricks.
How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier?
According to the Energy Saving Trust the national average price (as of November 2021) per pence/kWh of electricity is 20.33p. We have rounded it to 20p for illustration purposes.
The best way to work out how much energy a dehumidifier uses on its maximum setting is to look at its wattage. Mini models can use as little as 22 watts, while high volume dehumidifiers go up to around 500 watts.
An example dehumidifier that can extract up to 20 litres a day, with a wattage of 480w would use 0.48 kWh, meaning that an hour’s usage would cost just under 10p (9.6p).
In comparison, an example dehumidifier that can extract up to 12 litres a day, with a wattage of 157w (0.157 kWh) would cost 3p an hour.
Dehumidifiers rarely run constantly, though, as they’re controlled via their humidistat that turn them on and off when needed.
‘Remember that you’re more likely to use your dehumidifier during the winter,’ says Chris Michael, Director at Meaco (UK). ‘The wattage that a dehumidifier uses is turned into heat, so you get a dual benefit – less condensation on the windows, less chill in the air and the space feels warmer.’
Are some dehumidifiers cheaper to run than others?
There are two types of dehumidifier, and running costs will be similar provided they are used in the right conditions. But each different type of dehumidifier needs different conditions to run efficiently. Use the wrong model in the wrong conditions, and costs will increase.
Desiccant dehumidifiers draw in the air and pass it over material that soaks up moisture like a sponge. They’re ideal for colder areas that might drop below 15C, such as a conservatory or utility room. The desiccant is regenerated by an internal heater so the process can be repeated.
Compressor, or refrigerant, dehumidifiers work by creating a cold surface so that when warm, damp air comes into contact with it, condensation forms and the water can be collected in a tank. They’re more suitable for warm rooms such as living rooms or bedrooms as they’ll have to work harder in cold spaces to create condensation inside.
Both will be able to help get rid of damp, condensation and mould in your home. ‘The air coming out of the compressor dehumidifier will be about 2C warmer while the air coming out of a desiccant dehumidifier will be about 10-12C warmer,’ says Chris Michael. ‘Compressor dehumidifiers are in general cheaper to run but you’ll mostly be using your dehumidifier in the winter months and the extra energy that a desiccant uses is released into the room as heat.’
Image Credit: Oliver Gordon
What energy saving features should I look for when buying a dehumidifier?
Buy a dehumidifier with these clever functions to help make them as efficient as possible. Many of our best dehumidifiers will come with:
1. Advanced humidistats
A humidistat works much like a thermostat, detecting when humidity rises and falls. Advanced humidistats work more efficiently. For example, while some dehumidifiers keep running to check humidity, Meaco’s Control Logic feature on its low energy models checks for humidity every 30 minutes, going to sleep in-between to save energy.
2. Multiple speeds
Choosing a model with more than one speed means you can have it on low on days when you need it less. Alternatively, the latest dehumidifiers can select the right speed for you, taking the guesswork out of having it on too high or too low.
3. Laundry drying function
Instead of running flat out, an energy-saving Laundry mode will test the air and adjust the power usage based on the humidity – perfect for when you’re airing washing on an indoor drying rack. By reducing power consumption as required, you don’t have to worry about the dehumidifier continuing to run when the job is done.
Image credit: Sussie Bell
How can I cut the cost of running a dehumidifier?
1. Turn your thermostat down
Moisture in the air can make a house feel cold. Once a dehumidifier has removed the moisture from the air, you should be able to spend less on your heating utility bills.
2. Close the windows
There’s no need to dehumidify the air outside. When your dehumidifier is on, remember to shut the room’s windows and any outside doors.
3. Clean the filter
Keep your dehumidifier running efficiently by vacuuming the filter to clear dust and particles. If you’re using it regularly, you may need to do this every fortnight or so.
4. Limit the excess humidity
Don’t make your dehumidifier work harder than it has to. Make sure your kitchen and bathroom extractor fans are working well, open windows after a shower and while cooking, and remember to pop lids on saucepans.
Chances are you know someone who got engaged over the holidays. And chances are they’re going to be showered with congratulatory gifts, mostly in the form of champagne—and lots of it. While a bottle of bubbly is an appropriately festive gesture for the occasion (it’s a classic for a reason), there are many other, equally fitting options that will stand out in a sea of cork-topped bottles.
We prefer the practical route, which involves giving items that will come in super-handy as your friends embark on the planning-filled road to their nuptials. Below, our shoppable roundup of thoughtful yet practical engagement gifts, including a few things that will complement all of that sparkling wine the couple will surely amass.
If you’re looking for a fail-proof gift for the newly engaged, a stylish box of cards is the answer—they’ll be sending a lot of thank-yous throughout the wedding process. This set of six is hand-painted (so no two cards are identical) and finished with gold-foil lettering.
And speaking of thank-you cards, this well-crafted, solid wood rubber stamp can be customized—using one of the brand’s templates or your/their own original design—with the pair’s return address to make all that snail-mail sending they’ll be doing a breeze. Pair it with an ink pad or two, if you want to be extra thoughtful.
Because the happy couple is undoubtedly going to be showered with champagne, make sure they have something extra-special from which to sip it. Estelle’s artisan-made glass coupes come in a range of pretty colors, including this saturated green hue.
Shocking as it may be, the about-to-be-married might not want to finish an entire bottle of bubbly in one sitting. This gold-tone, stainless steel, and silicone stopper seals standard champagne, Prosecco, and Cava bottles, so their sparkling will keep its fizz longer.
Each of these colorful, hand-blown glass dishes are completely one of a kind and specifically designed to hold jewelry—a special spot for the newly engaged’s rings, should they ever need to take them off.
Between the engagement and the wedding, one thing’s for sure: There will be pictures. The gift of one of these cool marble frames will double as a reminder to get photos printed so they can be put on display.
A wedding planner but so much more. This beautifully simple, linen-covered notebook includes prompts for journaling, relationship building, and memory documentation, as well as more traditional planner elements like to-do lists.
Domino’s editors independently curate every product on our site, because we’re just as obsessed with a great deal and an under-the-radar discovery as you are. Items you purchase may earn us an affiliate commission.
At the end of 2020, while pregnant with her second child, Farah Prochaska was sitting at home binge-watching Home Again With the Fords (the HGTV series following Leanne Ford and her brother, Steve, as they help people move back to where they grew up) when she had an aha moment. “Leanne used Surecrete on so many of the projects, and every time I was like, I have to do this,” recalls Prochaska, a Utah-based design blogger and freelance stylist.
The textured wall treatment has become a signature of Ford’s. The designer first introduced us to the idea when she swathed her dated Los Angeles bathroom in the concrete coating (she applied it right on top of the old wall tile!). She has also been known to use it in husband Erik Allen Ford’s Buck Mason stores, one of which Prochaska visited while on a trip to L.A. “When I saw it in real life, I knew I could do it,” she says. As soon as she got back home, she followed through and transformed her kids’ builder-grade bathroom into a zen retreat (check out her full how-to here). Ahead, she shares what she learned from putting the pro’s famous method to the test.
When Prochaska and her family moved into their home six years ago, she could tell it was newly renovated—and not in a good way but in the everything was from Home Depot way. She wanted to pare the whole space back, so she replaced the old all-in-one tub-shower with a new alcove bath. The rest of the walls were framed with waterproofing membrane, installed by a professional. She even removed the trim work around the window to keep the wall surfaces looking as sleek as possible.
Don’t: Leave the Premises Messy
Cover everything, notes Prochaska: the entire floor, switch plates, faucets, toilets. Of course, you can’t forget yourself. “I don’t even know how it happens, but your clothes get ruined,” she says. Create a drop station outside the door where you can take off your socks or coveralls on a plastic tarp so you don’t end up dragging debris through the rest of your house, creating another project for yourself.
When Prochaska watched Ford and her team use Surecrete on the show, she saw them apply it directly onto the desired service. But that, she quickly learned, was because they were usually covering something that was a similar gray or whitish hue. “From what I saw from TV, they would just smear it on and do one even coat,” she remembers. Prochaska tried to do the same, but partway through covering the shower, she realized that the bright red, waxy waterproof board was still peeking through. In an effort to hide it, she found herself applying way too much Surecrete and it all ended up looking like a thick mess. “I had done about 60 percent of the room and had to start over,” she says.
Accepting the loss, she sanded the walls down and chipped away at her first coating with a chisel. Once all of that was clear, she went over the walls with an all-purpose primer (two coats), which gave her a neutral, smooth canvas. “It was night and day,” she says.
Don’t: Start in the Center
Begin by applying the Surecrete around the top 8 inches of the room, closest to the ceiling, in a fanlike motion. Because you have to do some “crazy sideways maneuvers” in an effort to not get any Surecrete on your ceiling, you’ll end up with some drips and blobs further down on the wall, so it’s better to work your way down for the first bit. After that area is done, smooth out the drippings that have fallen and do a few random 1-by-1-foot swatches around the room. “This is the whitest your cement is going to be, so spread it around quickly before it dries,” notes Prochaska.
Do: Add Water as You Go
The mix is essentially half Surecrete, half colored powder, and one quart of water. Once that’s all in the bucket, use your mixing paddle to stir everything until you get a pancake batter–like consistency, but keep the drill and mixer with you. When you notice that the material is getting too clumpy or sticking to itself, you’ll want to add a little bit of water and stir for a few minutes. Note: Every time you add water, it will slightly darken the mixture, which is why it’s key to do some random swipes throughout the room so the variation in tones looks natural.
Don’t: Stress About Cleaning It
It’s not Play-Doh, Prochaska assures: Surecrete is waterproof. The DIYer simply cleans her kids’ shower with a kitchen dish brush and clear dish soap and scrubs away. Just steer clear of tacky clothes that will catch on the dried, textured surface.
Do: Commit to the Aesthetic
The whole idea of Ford’s Surecrete trick is to give a space a spa-worthy, handmade touch, so don’t stop at the shower if there’s still a little more room in your budget. To complete her bathroom, Prochaska replaced the old vanity cabinet with a floating one from IKEA, which her contractor mounted in the wall to support the new concrete sink (it weighs about 25 pounds) and the marble countertop. The asymmetrical mirror was a steal at $130.
In a full circle moment, Ford reached out to Prochaska via Instagram and asked where she got her matte black faucet (a genius Amazon find). “I wish I could have given her the link, but it sold out,” says Prochaska. The student has become the master.
Sage describes the Super Q as a commercial grade blender designed for the home kitchen. And its big heavy stainless-steel base certainly looks like it could have come straight from a chef’s kitchen. Add to that the large capacity jug and general robust feel, and this blender looks like it means business. But with that said, it doesn’t look out of place in a home kitchen, though I’d say it’s more suited to modern than kitschy or farmhouse style kitchens.
The big drawback to this blender is the hefty price tag, at just under £600 this isn’t the blender you buy for an occasional milkshake. I’ve used it for several tasks, and it certainly has power to rival many of the best blenders, but it’s not without its faults.
Ideal Home rated: 4 out of 5 stars
Reasons to buy:
Large capacity jug
Suitable for right- and left-handed people
Dishwasher safe accessories
BPA free jug
Jug is lightweight
Lots of blending speeds
Can heat soup
Reasons to avoid:
Foods can get hot when blended at high speed
Blade assembly is a bit tough to screw on to cup
Sage Super Q
Material: BPA free plastic
Capacity: 2 L jug, 700ml personal cup
Pre-sets: 5 one touch blending programs
Size: 40 x 26.8 x 20.8cm (h x w x d)
Included: tamper, spatula, personal blender cup with lid and blades
Considering it’s just a blender with a personal blending cup attachment, this Sage blender comes in a very large box. In fact, it was so unwieldy that I had to lay it on its side on the floor to ease the contents out. The blender comes encased in two huge chunks of polystyrene, which is not very environmentally friendly, and I’d prefer to see it packaged in something more easily recyclable.
When removing it from the box, I was first struck by the size of both the base and the jug. The solid stainless-steel base appears to be very good quality but is certainly larger than others I’ve reviewed. The jug has a big capacity, it’s not glass but it is BPA free plastic and the advantage of plastic is that it’s light, which is especially important when it’s full.
In addition to the main blender jug, there’s a 700ml personal blending cup with a lid and a blade attachment. There’s also a tamper and spatula. You don’t get a recipe book in the box, but there is one available to download on the Sage website and it’s got quite a comprehensive range of recipes from drinks and dressings to dips, flours and frozen desserts. It’s definitely worth downloading to get an idea of the blender’s capabilities as well as recipe inspiration.
Using the Sage the Super Q
When you first set up the blender, the jug can be placed onto the base with the handle positioned to either the left or the right, so it’s user-friendly no matter which hand is your dominant one. The lid clicks on to the jug and has a handy ring to help pull it back off, sadly there are no safety features in place to stop you switching it on when the lid isn’t in place though.
The base knows whether you’ve attached the jug or the personal cup blender and it adjusts programme lengths accordingly as well as only making some auto programmes available for the cup.There are buttons for each of the five auto programmes and then for manual blending there’s a dial that allows you to increase the speed. As you adjust between the twelve speed levels the screen counts up the blending time as well as showing the current blending speed. The blending speeds are also named, there’s stir, mix, chop, blend, puree and mill. The names give a useful guide as to what speed you should use for different tasks and the recipe book also refers to the speeds by these names.
Blending smoothies in the Sage the Super Q
With so many smoothies in the recipe book I downloaded, it seemed silly not to try one out. All the smoothie ingredients are listed in quantities for several portions in the large jug or a single portion in the personal blending cup. I opted for the berry mint smoothie in a single portion, I added ingredients in the order listed in the recipe and ran the 30 second smoothie programme. Unfortunately, the frozen berries remained at the top of the cup, only dropping down towards the blades at the end of the programme.
So, to give it a fair chance, I ran the programme again. At the end there were still visible specks of berry skin and the smoothie had a gritty texture from all the berry seeds that remained whole, and I must admit, I expected a smoother result. Having said that there were no lumps of frozen berry remaining and the mint leaves had been completely liquidized.
For my second smoothie I tried out the beetroot and ginger green smoothie in the personal cup. This recipe called for the green smoothie programme which took 30 seconds. Once blended, the drink was completely lump free, and the blood red beetroot colour had no hints of green from spinach or mint leaves. The raw beetroot meant it had a slightly powdery texture and it was also quite frothy, a bit like a frothy freshly squeezed juice, but otherwise I had no complaints.
Milling nuts and seeds in the Sage the Super Q
The recipe book includes several recipes for milling nuts, seeds and grains, so I was intrigued to try it out and see if the blender truly has the power to grind down these tough ingredients. I chose the linseed, sunflower and almond meal recipe, which essentially grinds these seeds and nuts into a fine flour.
The recipe suggested this would take just 15- 20 seconds, but I was sceptical. However, after just 15 seconds on the mill setting, which is the highest speed, I switched it off and sure enough, most of the seeds and almonds had been ground to a fine flour. I noticed a few whole linseeds so gave it a stir and switched it back on for an additional five seconds. It really was impressive how fast the blender ground down almost 500g of nuts and seeds.
There was the odd whole linseed still present, but I could forgive that since they are so tiny. My real disappointment came from the heat produced. Given that it had been blended for a total of just 20 seconds, I was surprised at how warm the flour was at the end, the blades obviously create a lot of heat which isn’t ideal for some foods and recipes.
Making frozen yoghurt in the Sage the Super Q
I tried out the frozen dessert programme by making the banana, pecan and honey frozen yogurt from the recipe book. All of the ingredients including four bananas that had been previously sliced and frozen, go straight into the jug. I used the tamper to keep pushing the ingredients back towards the blades during the 50 second programme and at the end it produced a silky smooth and tasty frozen yogurt, I was delighted.
I’ve tried to make frozen banana-based desserts before in other appliances and they usually take much longer. The dessert remained cold and thick enough that you could eat it immediately, but I emptied it into a tub with the aid of the spatula and popped it in the freezer for later.
Making soup in the Sage the Super Q
Here’s the thing about the soup programme, it’s a five- and half-minute programme that heats and blends ingredients to give a smooth hot soup. But it uses heat generated by the blades to heat the soup as opposed to having a heating element.
So while it can make some soups from scratch, other soups with hard ingredients like butternut squash would have to be cooked first. I chose a simple pea and mint soup from the recipe book. I added defrosted peas, cold vegetable stock and spring onions, then started the programme.
It’s quite loud because it blends for the entire length of the programme, but the result was a steamy hot, smooth creamy pea soup, not bad for such a short time. The recipe was to serve four, but I got three bowls out of it.
Crushing ice in the Sage the Super Q
This blender is so powerful, the crushed ice programme turned my ice to snow. The programme pulses the ice for up to 60 seconds, but I stopped it after 30 when I couldn’t hear any more large chunks of ice moving around. The result was a crushed ice so fine and powdery it felt like snow. Although I guess you could stop it sooner if you want a chunkier crushed ice for cocktails.
Both the personal blender and the jug can be cleaned using the auto clean programme, which just requires you to add warm water and washing up liquid. The programme takes one minute when cleaning the jug and 30 seconds when cleaning the personal cup and is the easiest way to remove residues from under the blades.
The jug, personal blending cup and all other accessories are dishwasher safe. The manual advises that while the jug can go on the bottom shelf, all other accessories should go on the top shelf, but the personal cup is way too tall to go on the top shelf of most people’s dishwashers.
It’s also worth noting that the stainless-steel base of the blender marks easily with fingerprints, so needs wiping regularly to keep it looking shiny.
Should you buy the Sage the Super Q?
Sage appliances have a reputation for being high end and expensive, but you’ve got to be a serious blending enthusiast to fork out just under £600 for a blender. Don’t get me wrong, this blender has some serious power, and I was impressed with its ability to mill seeds as well as blend frozen banana and ice.
I’d say it’s best suited to keen cooks who like to experiment and want a powerful blender that will allow them to create flours from different grains or make nut butters and milks. But if you’re just going to use it for general everyday blending tasks like batters or milkshakes, you could probably save some money and opt for a less expensive blender. Alternatively, take a look at the Sage Bluicer for something that rivals the best juicers as well as a blender.
About the reviewer
Helen McCue is a freelance contributor who trained as a Home Economist. After starting her career in the food industry, she moved into home appliance reviews, utilising her cooking skills and experience to put all kinds of products to the test, and over the years has reviewed hundreds of home and kitchen appliances for a variety of publications.
Having completely renovated her current house, Helen reviews kitchen appliances from her open plan kitchen at home in a beautiful Berkshire village. When she’s not working, Helen can be found enjoying the local countryside or dreaming about her next house renovation project.