Design

Five Home Improvements Anyone Can Do

 

Welcome to Clouz Houz! We’re so excited that you’re following along on our journey. After giving it a lot of thought, we decided to start this business to share the tips and tricks we’ve learned throughout our 25+ years of remodeling and renovating houses. We believe each home has many possibilities, and we’ve lived in several homes that have taught us this lesson … over and over again. You can learn more about us and how we got started here.

 

THE TOP 5 HOME IMPROVEMENTS ANYONE CAN DO

 

With each and every home we’ve renovated — whether it’s our own or an investment project — we always make these five improvements. These are our tried-and-true “fixes” that make each home feel more updated. It’s also important to mention that each of these improvements is easy to do and won’t break the bank! Win-win … right?

 

1. PAINT IT WHITE

BENJAMIN MOORE ‘SWISS COFFEE’ 50% STRENGTH

So, here’s the first tip. The power of white paint is strong, and it’s something anyone can do with the right tools and techniques. When you buy a house, the first thing we suggest you do is put a fresh coat of white paint on the walls. Don’t have the time or the budget for trim? It’s ok — simply painting the walls will make a huge difference.

Freshly painted rooms look and feel better immediately, and this is very easy on the wallet. We like to use Benjamin Moore. Any of their interior paint lines is good, but if you can invest in one of their nicer quality paints like Regal Select, it’ll make your job easier and the end result will be very beautiful!

If you do decide to paint the trim as well, we like to use the same shade of white for the trim as we do for the walls. 

Clouz Houz Tip:  Use a different sheen for each part of the wall/trim and you’ll get a beautiful monochromatic look, even when using the same paint color. Using various sheens will also play off each other nicely. We like to use Eggshell for walls, Matte for ceilings, and Pearl (Satin) for the trim. 

 

2. UPDATE CABINETRY HARDWARE

PULLS: “Molly” Pull in Satin Brass KNOB: “High Desert” knob in Satin Brass

There are little touches, such as door and cabinet hardware, that make each space feel fresh and updated. We’ve tackled this improvement method differently through the years. For example, if the home you’re working on is the home you plan to live in for years to come, we suggest investing in new hardware for your doors and cabinetry. Even if you are keeping the existing doors and cabinetry, new hardware really elevates the look.

Our Brookside Project (above) was an investment for resale. We knew we could save on our budget by keeping the existing cabinetry in the kitchen. So, we painted the existing cabinetry a bold color, and added new cabinet hardware. It instantly elevated the appearance of the cabinets and gave it the look of an updated kitchen without having to completely start over.

Clouz Houz Tip: Don’t be afraid to mix metals in your home so everything isn’t so matchy-matchy. We like the layered look it creates, adding depth and texture to each room. One of our favorite combinations is brass cabinet hardware and matte black door hardware. And, don’t rule out leather — it’s a great addition to your hardware repertoire when mixed in selectively.

 

3. ADD ACCENT WALL IN SHIPLAP

 

Accent walls are not passé … just try a different material to add texture. We like to use shiplap to give a room some dimension. Quite honestly, we hate textured sheetrock, but smooth finish walls are expensive! 

We have found both shiplap, which has a gap between each plank when installed, and T & G (tongue and groove) material at Home Depot and Lowe’s. It comes in different lengths, so depending on your room size you can choose what you need. We typically use 5 ½” wide planks. You can install them vertically or horizontally. Lately, we’ve been loving them installed horizontally (see the fireplace wall in our home above).

 

4. REFRESH YOUR CURB APPEAL

 

Whether or not you replace your house numbers, do add new pots and planters with fresh flowers to the exterior. Pulling up to your home will make you smile, or will at least cause potential home buyers to slow down and take a second look! 

 

5. UPDATE THE LIGHTING

 

 

Don’t let #5 fool you … it’s just as important as #1! Seriously though, lighting can make a room feel cozier, warmer and prettier. You don’t have to replace every light fixture all at once, but try to choose a main area in your home, like your entryway, dining room or kitchen, and replace the existing fixture with something that speaks to you. 

Above, we chose a modern and classic aesthetic for our Brookside project. We wanted the fixtures to feel current, but not too trendy, so we mixed lighting styles. These metal shade sconces are a nice, updated touch in the kitchen.

Design

Living Room: How We Layered Textures and Patterns

 

Creating a cozy and inviting space requires layering with textures, patterns and materials. We knew we wanted to create a space where it would be easy to spend time relaxing and lounging. We spend the majority of our time in this room — hanging with family, watching TV, reading and entertaining! 

We’d definitely recommend keeping a simple palette for your larger furniture items. In our case, we used linen and ivory as base colors for the sofa and chaise. Then we added the lounge chairs with black wool cushions for some contrast, and a dark stone-topped coffee table which compliments the color of the dark shiplap wall. 

Once the foundation is set, add layers with pillows, throws, live plants, and lighting. What you get is a carefully curated look of coziness! Check out these items if you’d like a similar look in your own home You can also use the exact items we used to create this space!

Lifestyle

Cozy Meal by the Fire

Weeknight Chili and Cornbread

When the kids were younger and trick o' treating was a BIG deal, we would invite friends and family over for a big batch of chili and cornbread before heading out for the sugar-palooza hunt! It was the perfect way to warm everyone up before walking in the chilly fall night ... and to get the kids to eat something healthy. It has since become a family tradition, so we thought we'd share!

Even though the kids are past the trick o’ treating days, we still love making a pot of chili. It’s the perfect weeknight meal, and makes great leftovers when you need a quick and hearty lunch. This recipe is courtesy of Tieghan over @halfbakedharvest. We love many of her dishes, and this one does not disappoint! It’s so easy, and a timesaver since you can make it in the slow cooker, which is our go-to appliance in the fall. Derrick puts it all in the cooker, and when we get home at dinnertime, it’s ready to eat!

We recently tried her Sweet Honey Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Biscuits, and they are amazing as well. The buttery flavor and flaky biscuits are super delicious with a big bowl of chili. Derrick puts out different toppings so everyone can help themselves and top the chili with their favorite combo. My personal fave is cilantro, avocado and a big dollop of sour cream. Let us know if you try these recipes this fall!

 

Healthy Slow Cooker Turkey and White Bean Chili

1 TABLESPOON EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

2 SMALL YELLOW ONIONS, CHOPPED

4 CLOVES GARLIC, MINCED OR GRATED

2 POUNDS GROUND TURKEY OR CHICKEN

2 RED PEPPERS, SEEDED AND CHOPPED

2 CHIPOTLE PEPPERS IN ADOBO, FINELY CHOPPED

2 TABLESPOONS CHILI POWDER

1 TABLESPOON SMOKED PAPRIKA

2 TEASPOONS GROUND CUMIN

1 TEASPOON GROUND CINNAMON

1 1/2 TEASPOONS SALT

2-3 CUPS LOW SODIUM CHICKEN BROTH

1 CAN (28 OZ) CRUSHED TOMATOES

1/4 CUP TOMATO PASTE

1 TABLESPOON APPLE BUTTER

2 BAY LEAVES

1 CAN (14 OZ) WHITE BEANS, DRAINED

CHEDDAR CHEESE, AVOCADO, GREEN ONIONS, SOUR CREAM AND CILANTRO FOR SERVING

Click on the link here for instructions. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

 

Sweet Honey Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Biscuits

1 1/2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR

1 1/2 CUPS CORNMEAL

5 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER

1/2 TEASPOON BAKING SODA

1/2 TEASPOON SALT

1/2 TEASPOON PEPPER

1 1/2 STICKS COLD UNSALTED BUTTER CUT INTO SMALL CUBES

1 EGG LIGHTLY BEATEN

3/4 CUP BUTTERMILK

1/4 CUP HONEY

3/4 CUP SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE, CUBED

2 JALAPEÑOS, DESEEDED AND DICED

 

Click on the link here for instructions. Enjoy!

 

 

Lifestyle

A Weeknight Salad

Roasted Beet and Kale Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts

This healthy and very yummy salad, courtesy of @endlessmeal (which is all about easy recipes for busy people - YES PLEASE), is a go-to in the Clouz Houz! It is delicious, and the perfect accompaniment to any fall entree.

Check out what we paired with our Weeknight Salad for our friends here. Everyone loved it and thought it was so gourmet! Little did they know how truly easy it is!

Basically anything with beets, we love. We think this recipe is the perfect contrast between sweet roasted beets and creamy goat cheese and crunchy candied walnuts. Right?! How can you go wrong with these ingredients!

We make the dressing ahead of time, and store in the fridge for up to a week. It works on many salads, but is also amazing drizzled over roasted vegetables. It’s all about versatility — let’s face it, we are all busy, so the more ways one recipe can create different meals for us, the better!

And hey, it wouldn’t be a party without cocktails, so if you are looking for a new one to give a try that is super delish, check out our tasty concoction here and you will have yourself an instant menu for your next gathering!

Roasted Beet and Kale Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts

 

1 1/2 POUNDS BEETS, PEELED AND QUARTERED (OR CUT INTO BITE SIZED PIECES IF YOU’RE USING LARGE BEETS

1 TEASPOON EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

1 CUP WALNUT HALVES

3 TABLESPOONS PURE MAPLE SYRUP

1/4 TEASPOON SEA SALT

1/8 TEASPOON FRESH CRACKED PEPPER

4 PACKED CUPS OF CURLY KALE, WASHED AND TORN INTO BITE SIZED PIECES

 

THE DRESSING:

3 TABLESPOONS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

2 TABLESPOONS HONEY (USE MAPLE SYRUP FOR VEGAN)

1 TEASPOON BALSAMIC VINEGAR

1/2 TEASPOON DIJON MUSTARD

1 CLOVE GARLIC, GRATED ON A MICROPLANE OR VERY FINELY MINCED

A PINCH OF SEA SALT

1/4 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

 

  1. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 425 DEGREES. LINE BAKING SHEET WITH PARCHMENT PAPER.
  2. PLACE THE BEETS ON THE PREPARED BAKING SHEET AND DRIZZLE THE OIL OVER TOP. USE YOUR HANDS TO TOSS THE BEETS IN THE OIL. COVER THE BAKING SHEET WITH ALUMINUM FOIL AND BAKE IN THE OVEN FOR 30-40 MINUTES, OR UNTIL THEY CAN BE PIERCED USING SOME PRESSURE WITH A FORK.
  3. WHILE BEETS ARE ROASTING PREPARE THE REST OF THE SALAD. ADD THE WALNUT HALVES TO A SMALL FRYING PAN OVER MIEDUM-HIGH HEAT. LET THEM COOK UNTIL THEY ARE FRAGRANT AND START TO BROWN IN PLACES, SHAKING THE PAN FREQUENTLY. POUR THE MAPLE SYRUP OVER THE WALNUTS AND SPRINKLE ON THE SEA SALT AND FRESH CRACKED PEPPER. LET THEM COOK, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, UNTIL THE MAPLE SYRUP HAS ALMOST EVAPORATED, ABOUT 1 MINUE. REMOVE THE WALNUTS FROM THE PAN AND PLACE THEM ON A PIECE OF PARCHMENT PAPER, SEPARATING THEM FROM EACH OTHER AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
  4. TO MAKE THE DRESSING, COMBINE ALL THE INGREDIENTS EXCEPT THE OIL IN A MEDIUM-SIZED BOWL. SLOWLY ADD THE OIL IN A THIN STEADY STREAM WHILE WHISKING THE DRESSING CONSTANTLY. IF THE OIL STARTS TO BUILD UP AT ALL, STOP POURING IT AND WHISK THE DRESSING VIGOROUSLY. IT WILL TAKE YOU ABOUT 1 MINUTE TO WHISK IN THE OIL. TASTE THE DRESSING AND SEASON IT WITH SALT, TO TASTE.
  5. ADD THE KALE, CANDIED WALNUTS AND IF USING, THE CHEESE OR AVOCADO TO A LARGE BOWL. WHEN THE BEETS COME OUT OF THE OVEN, LET THEM COOL SLIGHTLY AND THEN ADD THEM TO THE BOWL TOO. POUR THE DRESSING OVER THE TOP AND TOSS WELL SO THAT EVERYTHING IS COATED.
Design

Trending: Rich Brown Interiors

How To Incorporate this Into Your Home

Neutrals are nothing new when it comes to interior design, but brown is taking the stage as the new "it" color for creating a moody and inviting space. Different from what some may remember from the 90's, these brown shades, ranging from chestnut to chocolate, are making a huge comeback in the interior design world. The depth of the color brown, whether cool or warm, is so inviting and comforting! We used Farrow & Ball's "Salon Drab" when we painted the paneling in our primary bedroom, and we absolutely love the vibe it created.

 

 

image: @chrislovesjulia

We’ve always loved the color brown. In fact, Derrick gravitates more toward brown in his wardrobe than black because he likes  the warmth and contrast it brings to his outfits. Incorporating shades of brown in your home can be appealing as well. For instance, it’s gorgeous in a family room — think stoking a fire and curling in for the night surrounded by a deep shade of brown (cue a Ralph Lauren ad – hah!).

Of course, you can paint to get this look. But if you don’t want to take that leap, simply adding accent elements of deep rich brown to a space will give it some interest without having to resort to the beloved black we’ve all relied on for so many years! Follow along below as we share ways to achieve this look.

 

How to incorporate the brown interior trend into your home

 

1. A FEW COATS OF PAINT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

 

image: @heidicaillierdesign

Of course, you knew we would say “paint, paint and more paint.” It’s the easiest, and quite honestly, the most cost effective way to bring this trend to your home today. If you have a neutral palette including shades of linen, ivory and maybe even black (would also look incredible with gray and deep blue), pair with a rich brown for a luxurious contrast. And, as in the room above, we prefer to paint the trim the same color as the walls. I creates a beautiful saturated palette that really shows off the furniture in the space.

Here are some favorite paint colors you can use to achieve this look:

 

Farrow & Ball “Tanner Brown”

Farrow & Ball “London Clay”

Benjamin Moore “Mississippi Mud”

Farrow & Ball “Salon Drab”

 

We absolutely love the look of our primary bedroom below. Painting the walls made all the difference, and we’re so happy to crawl into bed at night in a room with a rich and moody feel!

 

 

2) ADD BROWN FURNITURE

 

image: @kristinacrestindesign

In one of our first homes, we had a large sofa that I covered in the most beautiful chocolate brown linen. It always received compliments! And, I just loved how it looked with any color I added for contrast, such as deep blue, brick red and ivory. We moved that sofa to at least three different houses through the years, and it was always a focal point in any space where we placed it. A furniture piece in brown can command attention without being too harsh, so if you want to dip your toe into this trend, try adding a piece of furniture in a gorgeous shade of brown. Another option is a sofa in a saddle brown or cognac leather (see photo above). This is another way to add some warmth and depth that will never go out of style! Pair it with walnut or mahogany vintage pieces to create a charming and interesting space you’ll enjoy for years to come.

 

3. STATEMENT CABINETRY

 

image: @devolkitchens
Image: Christina Cole Co

 

The idea of creating a dazzling, elegant kitchen with dark brown cabinetry is not only unexpected, but also very very stylish. You can try adding a punch of contrast by painting the cabinets either brown, or a carefully stained walnut. And don’t think the kitchen has to be the only place to try this look … the powder bathroom above is a perfect example of another room where brown creates richness and depth.

So, what do you think? Would you want to try shades of brown, classic and redefined, in your own home? Check out items we’ve selected below that pair beautifully with brown and consider a shift in palette. Let us know what you think!

 

 

Cocktails

The Perfect Fall Cocktail

Apricot Blood Orange Vodka Martini

Looking for a festive and delicious cocktail to serve at your next fall gathering? Look no further. This cocktail, courtesy of yummly.com, is the perfect compliment to any fall comfort food you may be serving. We paired it with clams in white wine broth the other night, and it was oh so good!

Apricot Blood Orange Vodka Martini

 

1 EGG WHITE

2 OZ VODKA

½ OZ SIMPLE SYRUP

2 BLOOD ORANGES, JUICED

½ LEMON, JUICED

1 TSP APRICOT PRESERVES OR JAM

1. ADD ICE WATER TO MARTINI GLASS TO CHILL WHILE PREPARING COCKTAIL

ADD EGG WHITE TO A SHAKER. SHAKE FOR ABOUT 30-40 SECONDS UNTIL EGG WHITE IS FROTHY. FILL SHAKER WITH ICE. ADD ORANGE JUICE, LEMON JUICE AND APRICOT PRESERVES. SHAKE WELL UNTIL COMBINED, ABOUT 30-40 SECONDS. PLACE ICE INTO GLASS AND STRAIN CONTENTS OF SHAKER INTO CHILLED MARTINI GLASS. ENJOY!

 

Let us know if you give this a try… we promise you, you won’t be disappointed. We may or may not be shaking one up right now!

 

Design

Setting Up A “Help Yourself” Bar

These days, everyone seems to be gravitating towards an open floor plan concept. And, let’s be honest, it's no wonder. When everyone is together in one space, it creates an inclusive vibe … for almost every occasion.

Our kitchen opens to both our dining room and living rooms, so it has to work really well in this regard. We don’t have a lot of space to dedicate to a wet bar area, so we revamped a corner of our kitchen by adding different cabinet doors, and set up a small portion of the counter where friends and family can whip up their favorite cocktails. It’s a popular spot!

Here’s a few simple steps to create a space in your kitchen that will feel intentional for entertaining guests.
Shop the Look

1) Cabinetry

To set up a “help yourself” bar, consider changing up the cabinetry style, whether you choose open shelving or a different door style like we did. We added brass grilles to the door fronts instead of glass to create something different, and to display beautiful glass and barware. The idea is to make this spot feel different than the rest — a little more special — and designate the area as a spot for everyone to check out!

2) Tray on Countertop to Hold Supplies

I’m a firm believer that if you put things out for guests to easily access them, it creates a more casual, “help yourself” kind of mentality. We always leave liquor and mixers out for friends so they can make their own concoctions, and if we are serving our favorite cocktail, we leave all the fixings in a pitcher out on the counter for refills. 

 

3) Invest in Good Barware

Bar Essentials:

  1. Serving a cocktail in a beautiful glass makes all the difference. Don’t just use your everyday glasses! Make it special and have glasses for all different types of drinks. I highly recommend having double old fashioned glasses, high balls, champagne coupes, martini glasses, stemless and stemmed wine glasses. 
  2. A pretty ice bucket is key. If you are like us and don’t have room for an icemaker in your kitchen, we recommend having a beautiful bucket full of ice for easy access when making cocktails. 
  3. A sleek cocktail shaker is essential … we use ours all the time!

Hope this helps you make a special spot in your kitchen or dining room where you can have all the essentials you need for creating cocktails and imbibing with family and friends!

Design

Creating A Moody Space

Our Office/Dining Room

When we purchased our home, the room off the entryway was somewhat awkward and out of place. We weren’t sure if the previous owners had used the space as an extra room, like an office or dining room, but regardless — we knew we needed to make it over- and the moodier the better!

We needed a space that could be multi-functional. This house doesn’t have a formal office or dining room, so we decided to make it work both ways! I love using the table as a place to get inspired and work, but also as a cozy nook for dinners with family and friends when we need it. In my opinion, dining in a dark and moody space is not only more intimate but a little sexy!

 

Step One: Paint

We painted our dining room/home office “Midnight Blue” by Benjamin Moore. It’s one of our faves and we have to say- it really makes a statement. It calls you into the space- asking you to to sit and stay awhile.

Here’s some of the moody colors we are currently coveting! Think dark, rich and saturated hues that envelop a room! You can’t go wrong with any of these. Our advice, buy re-usable sample sheets from Samplize. They offer a vast array from some of our favorite paint brands like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Farrow & Ball. You can stick them up in your room and move them around to see them in different light at different times of the day… live with a color for a day before you decide is another tip- color can change so drastically as the sun rises and sets!

Moody Paint Colors

 

BENJAMIN MOORE “MIDNIGHT BLUE”

FARROW & BALL “OFF BLACK”

SHERWIN-WILLIAMS “PEPPERCORN”

FARROW & BALL “DOWNPIPE”

FARROW & BALL “STUDIO GREEN”

BENJAMIN MOORE “MYSTERIOUS”

 

Step Two: Add lighter accents with warm wood, fabric and leather.

Creating a moody space is somewhat of a dance… you want to balance out the depth of the room with some lighter accents- you can do this with furniture, rugs, artwork and decor. We have incorporated pieces that we have owned for years… for instance, the lighter natural wood table and large horse artwork (no longer available) from Restoration Hardware sets off the space to bring warmth and depth to the room.

Check out these inspirational images that show this “balance” so beautifully. Whether it’s furniture covered in lighter shades of linen or off-white; or also a beautiful cognac or saddle brown leather, these materials contrast the moody color on the walls! It gives the space that ultimate rich and cozy feel.

Clouz Houz Tip: If you don’t have lighter furniture pieces to balance out the space, I love to layer sheepskin throws over chairs and other furniture (I use them all the time in my designs!) . You can find the most beautiful ones online- see the one I linked below. The quality is good and they give another layer to the space that adds that accent of light and cozy!

 

Image: Kristina Crestin Design

 

Image: Park and Oak Interior Design

 

Step Three: Incorporate Vintage Pieces

In our Dining Room and Office space, we added some beautiful accents with antiques and vintage decor. I’m always a proponent of mixing old with new and this is no exception. It gives a space soul and character. There are so many places to find great vintage pieces. Some of my favorites are Chairish, Facebook Marketplace, and Etsy.

Again the goal here is to give layers to the space, so choose lighter and accent pieces to display- whether on shelves or tabletop. I found some great brass candlesticks on Etsy and then added a collection of old books and other decor. I love the way the lighter wood accents and white pottery “pops” in the early 19th century vintage armoire that we have owned for years!

 

Lifestyle

Easy Autumnal Appetizer

Clams in White Wine and Garlic Broth

For Derrick and I, it’s all about easy entertaining. We love to invite family and friends over for some delicious food and cocktails, and turn on the tunes and just have fun and catch up!

Derrick has mastered one of our favorite fall appetizers (you could easily turn it into a meal) to serve guests. These clams, in a white wine broth with lots of herbs and yummy garlicky, grilled bread for dipping, is the perfect meal that can be served at the table. Or, our favorite way: around the coffee table with a fire and small plates for dishing and dipping!



Clams in White Wine Broth

 

2 POUNDS MANILA CLAMS

1 1/2 CUPS DRY WHITE WINE

1 1/2 CUPS CHICKEN BROTH

2 SHALLOTS, CHOPPED

3 CLOVES MINCED GARLIC

3 TABLESPOONS CILANTRO, CHOPPED

2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL

1 SOURDOUGH CANNONBALL, SLICED 1″ THICK

 

  1. COOK OLIVE OIL AND SHALLOTS OVER MEDIUM HEAT FOR 3 MINUTES.
  2. ADD MINCED GARLIC AND COOK A FEW MORE MINUTES.
  3. ADD WINE AND BROTH AND BRING TO A BOIL.
  4. ADD CLAMS, AND COOK COVERED UNTIL THEY ARE OPEN. TURN OFF HEAT AND SPRINKLE CILANTRO.
  5. BRUSH BOTH SIDES OF BREAD WITH OLIVE OIL AND GRILL ON BBQ UNTIL SLIGHTLY CRISPY. YOU WANT GRILL MARKS ON BOTH SIDES.
  6. SERVE CLAMS IN A LARGE BOWL AND DIP GRILLED BREAD IN BROTH!

Turn it into a meal with this salad and this cocktail, and you have yourself an instant fall menu for a friends or family gathering! Don’t forget to light candles and crank up the music. Cheers!

 

Lifestyle

College Game Day

Make Yourself A Wood Fired Pizza

If you are anything like our family, the fall season is all about football, yummy food and chillin’ around the fireplace. We love to make delicious, easy meals on the weekends for family and friends!

The one food that we all love the most is homemade pizza. We like to buy a few different ingredients and put them in small bowls for a make-your-own-pizza buffet. Everyone loves this, especially the kids! Then, everyone builds their personal pizza with their favorite toppings — it adds a fun, personal touch to a group dinner.

The kids and I gave Derrick the Ooni Pizza Oven for Father’s Day this year, and we haven’t looked back on how best to cook our pizzas. The flavor is unparalleled — the secret is to use wood chips, which gives the pizza that delicious, wood-fired taste!

Here’s a list of our go-to favorite toppings … and I’m all about buying pre-made pizza dough. We love Trader Joe’s dough — easy peasy and always delish.

 

TOPPINGS:

Shredded mozzarella cheese

Tomato sauce

Pepperoni

Italian sausage

BBQ chicken

Sliced jalapeno

Sliced tomatoes

Basil

Sliced red onion

BBQ sauce

So crack open your favorite microbrew (ours is from Deschutes Brewery), grab a slice of delicious pizza, and enjoy a day of chillin’ by the fire and watching football with loved ones!

get inspired
#clouzhouz
follow along
@clouz_houz
COUCH SNACK 🥂🍊

Leave it to @cheesegal to redefine my snacking game... no, but seriously—I’ll be obsessing over this flawless pairing all summer long. Big thanks to TJ’s for always having the best ingredients on hand!

So, here’s what you need:
• a chilled bottle of Italian white wine (shhh mine was only $7!!)
• California Slab Apricots 
• creamy chèvre goat cheese
• honey
• flakey sea salt

Trust me, you’ll want to try this! It’s an amazing snack, perfect for impressing guests at your next get-together. Simple, fresh, and oh-so-delicious! Plus, it’s fancy enough to feel special but easy enough for a casual afternoon treat. Enjoy and thank me later!
Hi! We are Clouz Houz.. Follow along for home renovation tips, interior design inspo, living a slow lifestyle, and of course making time for simple pleasures like cooking, entertaining and some self care..

We have changed our lives realizing our motto : Life is Short. Make it Beautiful. ✌️

About 5 ½ years ago, we had a real eye-opener experience. After 20 years in the financial industry,, Derrick lost his job. If it hadn’t been for that, I’m not sure we would be on this journey today. But it was then when we truly realized we were not happy with where we were in life. Our life was moving at an extremely hectic and fast pace and we were having a hard time keeping up. We needed to find ways to slow it down. I truly believe the universe had a plan for us because our life trajectory was forever changed. It was then when we came up with our motto and promised ourselves to live by it that day forward.

We picked up our family and moved to Bend, Oregon for a simpler way of living and a fresh perspective on life. We had always dreamed of what it would be like to live here, so we took it as an opportunity to make it happen.

We realized our passion for investing in our personal homes over the years was real… we’ve lived in nine homes (soon to be 10) and flipped three houses over our 26 years of marriage. Each home holds a special place in our hearts…full of memories made in them. Ha, we can’t say it was always a walk in the park- designing and renovating homes involves not only time, energy, money and sweat equity; but also lessons in patience, diligence and grit.

Derrick set out and studied for his General Contractor and Real Estate license so we could continue to invest in homes for resale, but also to partner with me acting as Principal Designer for client projects. I am a self-taught interior designer that has worked in the industry for the past 20 years. We founded Clouz Houz in 2021. Some may think starting a business in our 50s would be just as hectic, but for us, doing what we love makes it all easier.
Transport yourself to spring in Italy ☀️ A year ago this month, I had the opportunity to go on an unforgettable journey to Firenze for a @boxwoodavenue retreat. 

Surrounded by like-minded creatives, I immersed myself in the rich history of Italy’s streets, indulged in cooking classes, scoured antique markets for hidden treasures and learned from local artisans about their centuries old techniques. That trip left an indelible mark on my creative soul, reshaping my design perspective and inspiring me to embrace timeless classics and heirloom pieces. Italy truly is a place where creativity thrives, and I’m forever grateful for the experience. 

If you ever have the chance to visit, seize it! And if you’re already planning a trip, here are my top 5 must-do’s: 
1. Learn the art of making fresh pasta.
2. Lose yourself in the vintage flea markets for unique finds.
3. Experience the charm of Il Salviantino hotel - every corner is a photo op!
4. Savor some of the best espresso martinis (IMO)!
5. Join a guided walking tour to learn and soak in the sights effortlessly.