A Purposeful Den

Since we moved, this room has been our catch-all room and we never really used it.  And, after over a year of living in our house, there is still one lingering box waiting to be unpacked.  This is actually one of the bedrooms, but since we don’t quite need 4 bedrooms just yet, we decided to use this room as a den.  The leather couch also does not fit through any other doorways in the house so this is the only room we could get it into.  I did sometimes fold laundry in there and walk through it to go to the deck, but it just sat as unused space for way too long.

So, out came the paintbrush and we were able to transform this room into an enjoyable living space.  The top wall color is Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan (HC-81) and the bottom is Benjamin Moore Brewster Gray (HC-162) (I am in love with this color).  Once it was painted, I was inspired to finish the room.

The hardwood floors in this room have seen better days so we decided on a rug that would cover most of the floor.  Since we are constantly going in and out of the house to the deck through this room, we needed a rug that would withstand high traffic.  I decided on a natural fiber rug and after some research I decided to go with seagrass.

Here are some of the pros of seagrass vs. other natural fiber materials:

  • Stain resistant
  • Very water resistant
  • Incredibly durable, making it a great choice for high traffic areas

I chose this seagrass rug with a mocha border from Natural Home Rugs.

Seagrass Rug with Mocha Border

Seagrass Rug with Mocha Border

The rug is really great quality and the price was very reasonable for a 9’x12′ rug.  I love way it feels on my feet and I love the smell of the seagrass.  Bad news is that the smell does go away after a few days, but I guess that is good news for those crazy people who don’t like the smell.

We stole the TV stand from my in-laws and bought a new TV for the room.   I added some new hardware to the freshly painted closet doors.  I also painted the inside of the closet since it was all marked up.  I think I finally found something that I don’t like to paint…closets!  And, we finished off the room with linen buffalo check curtains made by my mother-in-law, but I did help.  Now we have a casual den to hang out in!

Here are some before and after pictures…


Den - LiveDineParty


Den - LiveDineParty Den - LiveDineParty Den - LiveDineParty Den - LiveDineParty



Apple Bread

Apple Bread - LiveDineParty

It is my favorite time of year…Fall!  Boots, sweaters, comfort food, mums, foliage and of course apple picking, nothing could be better.

This homemade apple bread is one of my favorite recipes for using up some apples after a day of apple picking.  The gooey chopped apple and cinnamon brown sugar swirl makes this bread amazing.

Adapted from The Happier Homemaker

Serving Size:  Makes 1 loaf


  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 large apple, cored, peeled and chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and grease and flour the sides.

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine white sugar and butter until smooth.  Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed until combined.  Add flour and baking powder, and then the milk.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and top with half of the chopped apples. Sprinkle with half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Pour the remaining batter into the pan and top with remaining apples and a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Now good luck trying resist eating the entire thing!