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CARAFINA® Home Decor…your home is your oasis

Mexican style homes are the new sexy – and here’s why

Fuente de Hacienda
Mission style outdoor living

Photo credit: aagay via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

 

Our love affair with hacienda living dates back to 1521, when the first Spanish visitors marvelled at the stunning architecture of Tenochtitlán, which we know today as Mexico City. What made such an impression on them?

  • Mayan, Aztec and Olmec traditions had an artful blend of masculine and feminine – massive stone and wood artefacts alongside glowing textiles that added softness, substantial ironwork lanterns and huge clay vessels decorated with latticework patterns and serpentine designs to feminise their form
  • Outdoor-indoor living – the lifestyle that brought the outdoors in and the indoors out fit perfectly with the European aesthetic of colonnades and public spaces
  • Masterly craft skills allied to humble everyday household items – beautifully painted platters, incised pots and jugs and hand-made tiles decorated even the poorest homes.

 

‘Casa Decor’ or ‘Hacienda Styling’ has also been strongly influenced by the stunning wall decor of the region, in particular the work of muralist Diego Rivera. But even more than Diego, we recognise and celebrate the contribution of his wife, Frida Kahlo whose personal style, art and interior design have recently experienced a much deserved resurgence.

Leather Bar Chair

Spanish settlers adopted the hacienda and made it their own. Today we still value and enjoy these unique contributions to the good life, especially in modern apartments that can otherwise seem a little bland.

 

How can home decorators get the Casa Mexicana look?

 

At Carafina we believe in starting with the backdrop. Warm white wall colors, with a hint of peach, apricot or rose, deliver the impression of sun-drenched landscapes so necessary for this style.

Mosaic Home Accent Vase

Finding the right blend of masculine and feminine comes next – just like Diego and Frida, we need a good balance to create a great ambience! If you’re opting for a huge mirror to bring more light into your room, make it truly monumental and then soften its macho effect with some wrought iron lanterns either side – if possible with Frida’s beloved songbirds as a decorative feature.

 

Now you can let your imagination run riot. Bright, highly textured throw cushions can make the corner of your room into a vibrant statement of color and form. Choose a combined coffee table and storage trunk to give that hacienda feel, and top it with an array of incised vases or a varied display of candles in rustic candlesticks for that warm summer evening vibe that creates a relaxing and romantic atmosphere, even when the weather outside isn’t cooperating.

Rustic Coffee Table

For a bedroom with the delicious Casa appeal, combine big old beds with soft white sheets and richly dyed comforters, keep lighting low, using vivid glass candle holders to create pools of mysterious color. Thick floor rugs will bring some luxury at ground level.

Mosaic Outdoor Table

Sound appealing? We think this home decor style can be made to work for any size of home and unlike some furniture stores, our in-house experts love to talk about your ideas, rather than trying to sell you ours! Why not get in touch to see how we can help you create your own hacienda?

Sunburst Iron Mirror

 

http://www.carafina.com

 

 

 

 

How American Denim saved the World

Denim might be the standard uniform of youth around the world today, but did you know that this wonder fabric has its origins in Italy, and shot to fame in America during the cowboy era of the “Wild West?” Read ahead to learn all about the history of your humble blue jeans. And, today’s continued obsession with Denim in America.

denim weekend casual
Denim Dress with Sash – perfect weekend casual look

Denim Wash Dress with Waist Sash – Carafina

Denim’s origins in Genoa

The word denim first emerges in 1795 in Italy. A Swiss entrepreneur named Jean-Gabriel Eynard and his brother Jacques relocated in Genoa and started a large garment factory. In 1800 they received a massive commission from the Italian army – Jean-Gabriel debuted a study new fabric that he titled “bleu de Genes,” named for the French word for Genoa. This is where we get the common term ‘blue jeans’ to this day.

A Bavarian- American Connection

In 1853, a Bavarian entrepreneur named Levi Strauss made the long journey to San Francisco – but not to work as a gold panner! He operated a dry goods shop and was inspired to create clothing solutions for the miners of the American gold rush. This taxing physical job saw miners going through trousers, shirts and jackets at breakneck speed – no matter how thick, the typical cloth fabrics could not stand up to the demands of the men.

Strauss was inspired by a letter from a Reno tailor named Jacob Davis. Davis detailed how he used strong metal rivets at stress points in order to reinforce the cloth and make trousers last longer. The two men agreed to work together, and in 1873 the Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss & Company enterprise was born. Their reinforced denim “waist overalls” were instantly popular, and were soon regularly seen on working class men, farmers and others with demanding professions.

The trousers fit loosely, more like overalls without the bib, and had two pockets in the front and one on the back. Over time, they were redesigned to have a standard zipper in the front (rather than the side) and five pockets secured with copper rivets (including a watch pocket).

Jeans come into fashion

“Waist overalls” were a key part of the serviceman’s uniform during World War Two, and soldiers liked to wear these trousers even when off duty. For many people around the world, this was their first introduction to denim.

denim, jeans, shorts
Jean shorts worn with blazer.

 

At this point, they were still most likely to be seen on farmers, mechanics, workers and soldiers, but by the 1950s the style was popular with bikers and young men, emerging as one of the most recognised fashion trends of the ‘50s. This is most clearly demonstrated in the success of films such as “Rebel Without A Cause” and “The Wild One.”

Throughout the ’60s and ‘70s jeans became the unofficial uniform of the ‘counter culture’ and became popular amongst men, women and children all around the planet.

Present Day – Jeans are a Global Fashion

In the 2010s, it is clear that jeans have staying power. They come in countless styles, colours, shapes and patterns and are worn by people young and old. Denim has come a long way from its origins in Genoa – and is sure to continue to evolve. Denim Jeans come in a variety of styles; distressed, flare, skinny jeans, culottes and cut-outs and different washes and hues. Today, denim jackets worn by both sexes can be seen over a formal dress or a pair of slacks. Denim is sexy, trendy and cool and continues to be “go-to” piece for every generation.

 

denim dress, casual, weeken, jean
Long Blue Denim Dress

 

The Insider’s Guide to the Top Ten Coffee Shops in Eagle Rock and Pasadena

In many cultures, coffee is a cause to meet, share and be inspired.  While Carafina Home Decor brings you many coffee tables to sit around and share your favorite cup of Java or Espresso in your home, here is a list of the top ten coffee shops that our team loves to spend time in.  Why you say? Everyone shared a different “awesome” customer service experience or a “you just gotta try this” recommendation.  We have concentrated on two areas in Southern California: Eagle Rock and Highland Park.  Many of us grew up there or are raising our children here and Pasadena is where our company is based.  We’ve spent many a meeting to develop and build our company.  Now it’s your turn to try these special places and work on your next big idea.  Happy savoring!

 

Click Shop Name to Learn More

Shop Name Our favorite Signature Drink Location

Cafe de Leche

Iced Orchata Espresso York, Highland Park
Coffee Table Coffee and breakfast Colorado,

Peets Coffee

Any tea (green rocks) Lake, Pasadena
Intelligentsia The latest brew Colorado, Pasadena
Starbucks on Lake Anything. best drive thru service. Lake, Pasadena
Zona Rosa Mexican hot chocolate El Molino, Pasadena
Coffee Bean Vanilla latte Arroyo, Pasadena
Copa Vida Cupping events & Music Raymond, Pasadena
Sworks Truckdriver blend Eagle Rock
Urth Cafe Mountain Gorilla coffee, food Colorado, Pasadena

 

10. Cafe de Leche

(York Blvd. in Highland Park)

Located on the corner of York and Ave. 50, with a perfect view of the new local park, Cafe de Leche opened on York during the housing revival for this artsy enclave.  Best known for Craftsmen homes, trendy shops, galleries, bars and restaurants.  music and artists, Highland Park and especially York Blvd. have many bespoke art and gathering locales. Boasting delicious blends and pastries, Cafe de Leche features iconic Latin drinks like Iced Orchata Espresso.  Come for the coffee and stay to people watch.  Known as a drop in for local artists and musicians.

Cafe de Leche Coffee Shop in Highland Park, CA

image: ladyducayne.wordpress

 

9. Coffee Table

(Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock)

Take one look at this place and you will have many reasons to continue to feast your eyes.  The walls, tables and every nook is adorned with art by local artists.  Known for delicious breakfast and lunch combos, their low key dining is welcome to all (they do shut off wi-fi so you can actually talk to your friends once in a while).  A huge menu hangs overhead and don’t be shy…ask the staff what they recommend if you are up for delighting your taste buds with a new dish.  My favorites are the Super Breakfast Burrito or Eggs from Hell.  Come hungry and don’t forget the kids.  This bistro is for everyone and during the summer months they utilize an outdoor patio so the kids can stretch out after a meal.  Did we mention the coffee is yummy?

Coffee Table and Bistro by Zellina M Foursquare

image: Zellina M Foursquare

 

8. Peets Coffee

(Lake Ave. in Pasadena)

Started in the ’60’s, Peet’s brings you coffee blends and teas.  This location on Lake is a perfect stop in between shopping at the nearby Shops on Lake.  Replete with delicious blends of teas (our favorite is anything starting with “green”) you can get a cooler variety now with the summer heat coming on.  And you can stop by Noah’s Bagels next door. A nice little patio area remains a gathering spot for locales and tourists alike.  Parking in the rear.

image: Peet’s Coffee

 

7. Intelligentsia

(Colorado Blvd. in Old Town Pasadena)

Known for coffee-snobbery, but why shouldn’t you boast when you got a good thing.  They offer a coffee bar experience in a gorgeous brick structure near the equally gorgeous shops on Old Town Pasadena.  Intelligentsia opens up their “kitchen” for roasters so that you can try what will be the next up-and-coming coffee experience.  Don’t know what to try?  Just ask their baristas.  They are certified and highly trained in their field.

 
image: Intelligentsia, Pasadena

 

6.Starbucks

(Lake Ave. in Pasadena – North of Colorado)

We chose this Starbucks (there are about a half dozen near us) because it has the best drive-thru crew and customer service.  You’ve been here before, you’ve experienced an actual conversation with lots of smiles and may have even being greeted by your first name.  They do all the same great drinks that you can get at any Starbucks but the hiring manager and trainers for this location should be applauded.

Starbucks on Lake Ave image: Victor Caballero

5. Zona Rosa

(Madison Ave. in Pasadena in the Playhouse District)

Certified organic and fairly traded coffee roasters, this bright spot (literally, bright Mexican decor and a Dia de Los Muertos vibe) is close to the Pasadena Playhouse district.  A small shop but big on flavors.  Try any delicious coffee blend or skip the Starbucks and get one of Zona Rosa’s blended cold mochas.  Yummier than any over-priced Frap.  Stick around on Thursdays for music nearby.  Not much seating space except for upstairs but cozy enough to stand and chat or walk the neighborhood.

Zona Rosa by M. Lavin

image: Carafina Home Decor, M. Lavin

 

4. Coffee Bean and Tea

(Lake Ave. near the Shops on Lake in Pasadena)

One of the most chill places to relax on Lake.  Near the shopping mall.  They have the friendliest staff who will readily recommend something to cool you or thrill you.  Try the Vanilla Latte with Cinammon on top (better than Starbucks by far).

image: Coffee Bean and Tea

 

3. Copa Vida

(Green St. in Pasadena)

This is a place you sip and linger.  Lots of seating with a welcoming vibe.  Our favorite is a simple latte with almond milk and any breakfast egg dish.  Try the chorizo egg hash (a sunny side egg delight with a jalapeño relish…delish).  Their coffees are good but kind of small for the price.  Service is excellent.  After a drink take a walk on Colorado Blvd. and check out the shops or stop by Color-Me-Mine across the street and get your creative juices flowing and make the best of that clean caffeine-high.

image: CopaVida

 

2. Sworks Coffee

(Eagle Rock Blvd. and Colorado in Eagle Rock)

Located on the corner of Eagle Rock Blvd. and Colorado, this shop opened in 2001 and is geared to everyone: artists, students, parents and kids.  Featuring Intelligentsia coffee and their signature roast, Truck Driver.  A lovely outdoor patio area as well as a place to play and read just for the little ones. Plenty of seating and free wi-fi if you are working on your business plan or the next great novel.

image: Swork

 

1. Urth Cafe

(East Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena)

Boasting organic and fair trade coffee and tea blends (try the Gorilla Mountain blend and help keep supporting Ugandan family farmers to avoid poaching gorillas).  This site sits on the corner of Colorado and Madison in Pasadena in a gorgeous Spanish style building with a lovely fountain.  With plenty of options to choose from: organic coffee blends, teas, cold blended drinks, fresh pastries, delicious breakfast or lunch combos (try their egg white and spinach breakfast with a side of toast that is TO DIE FOR).  A very lively setting in the heart of Pasadena, this popular location usually has lines out the door but the service is exceptional (they have a second register for take-out in their smaller building).  Our favorite drink…too many to count but whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed.  Don’t care for the blend after a few sips?  Take it back and they recommend something else for you.  Their Spanish latte gives Starbucks’ latte some serious competition.  Plenty of parking in the metered lot next door or on the streets (be mindful of time limits).

 

Image. Urth Cafe

 

Featured image by Infomastern via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Transform Your Living Space With These Ten Easy Tips from CARAFINA Home Decor

As more people take home renovating and decorating into their own hands, CARAFINA’s experts offer helpful advice and quality products at competitive prices.

PASADENA, CA, April 14, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ — As one of the most frequently recommended retailers of furniture and home decor in the United States, CARAFINA is the ideal solution when you don’t know where to turn for help with your latest renovating and decorating projects.

The costs of home ownership are only rising, and this combined with the transient nature of millenials’ and young professionals’ careers has resulted in many home owners being more willing than ever to work on their own homes and put their creativity to the test in transforming their living spaces. A recent study from Har10 ways to add character to your home pinterestvard University revealed that there has been an increase of nine million renter households in the decade spanning from 2005 to 2015, exceeding growth in any 10-year period in recent history.

CARAFINA’s advice is based on its reputation for selling quality products at affordable prices from knowledgeable and friendly staff who can help customers feel inspired to stay in their current homes and simply make the space work for their needs and design tastes, rather than moving or being dissatisfied with their living areas.

“Remodeling a home is not only cheaper than moving to a new property, but it also allows the homeowner to design the home the way they want it to look,” points out Mari Lavin, CEO of CARAFINA. “By staying at the same property and bringing it to life, it means the homeowner can build great memories in their community.” She added that for renters, decorating your space allows you a cost-effective way to feel a sense of pride and ownership in your home.

Click here for 10 easy tips on how to bring character to a home without having to hire a professional or stretch your budget too far – from functional solutions to color choices to finishing touches, CARAFINA’s team has thought of everything to help you take your home from drab to fab.

Quality is more important than quantity to CARAFINA , and that is why they carefully select each and every single product they sell. They want to make sure they provide their customers with best products from home decor to fashion for the best prices without comprising on quality, giving their customers a wonderful shopping experience.

Press Contact:
Mari Lavin
Phone: 888-359-7770
Email: contact@mycarafina.com
Website: carafina.com

SHARE THE REWARDS…again & again

 

Step 1

Sign up here for Customer Loyalty Rewards.

Confirm your e-mail to receive a $10 discount and collect 10% dividends as a member on all qualifying purchases.

Step 2

Refer a friend…or 2 or 3 and give them $20

Your newly enrolled friend will receive a $20 discount to complete their first purchase.

Step 3

You’ll receive a $10 discount for your newly enrolled friend for your own purchases.

 

Thank you.

Infographic Carafina 4.2016

Why Mum was right about using Copper Cookware

Investing in a set of high quality cookware can be a daunting task – after all, great pots and pans can last a lifetime if you do your research and choose wisely. The choices seem endless – copper, stainless steel, Teflon (and other non-stick surfaces) cast iron and more.

Stunning copper is certainly the most beautiful cookware that you can display in your kitchen – but is it right for your needs? Read ahead for the pros and cons of copper pots and pans.

Pros of copper

  • Precise heat – Professional chefs (and your nan!) espouse the benefits of copper cookware, touting its lack of ‘hot spots’ and championing its ability to reach targeted temperatures.
  • Long lasting quality – Copper pots and pans are unlikely to show much wear and tear or warp over time, as they have a high quality heft.
  • Attractiveness – It’s impossible to overstate the beauty of shining copper – the gleaming metallic colour is synonymous with luxury, richness and quality. By hanging a rack of copper cookware above your hob, you are adding a remarkable design element to your home.

Cons of copper

  • Tin lining may need replacement – As copper is reactive to certain foods, this cookware is usually lined with tin. Tin will need to be replaced regularly, so many chefs choose copper pots lined with stainless steel instead.
  • Copper needs to be polished – In order to maintain its attractive burnished sheen, copper will need to be polished.

Most chefs and home cooks can easily see that the pros of copper outweigh the cons – this cookware is an investment that you will treasure for many decades to come.

In short, copper makes a wonderful material for cookware, but it is both expensive and requires some work to keep it in top condition. If you are willing and able to give it the attention it needs, cookware made of copper is a great addition to any kitchen.

Why Simple Home Decor Ideas are More Tempting than a Cinnamon Roll

You’ve been there before – walking through the mall or waiting on a plane in an airport, only to be tempted by the siren song of a cinnamon roll. These ooey gooey cinnamon roll have an aroma that can only be described as intoxicating to those individuals who have a sweet tooth.

Even if you plan to resist the temptation of a cinnamon roll, you may have found yourself overwhelmed with a craving for these sweet treats and before you know it – boom! For just a few dollars, you’re seated in front of a big old buttery cinnamon roll, dripping with frosting and oh so delicious. In terms of your satisfaction (and not to mention calories per penny) it is a great investment.

I am here to tell you that simple home décor can be as intoxicating and tempting as a cinnamon roll! Don’t believe me? All you have to do is start scrolling through the countless boards of DIY home decorating inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram – you will soon see that people are more interested than ever in implementing simple, easy to create home décor ideas designed to give their homes a fresh, fun look.

DIY Home décor – a small investment can yield enormous results

Home decorating projects do not need to cost you heaps of cash; for just a few dollars here and there you can create wonderful improvements in your living room, bathrooms and kitchen. Update your style, add a few on-trend accents and most importantly – improve your home’s functionality at a fraction of the cost of a full remodel.

Here are just a few affordable, simple DIY projects that you can install in your home that will change the way you utilize your space for the better.

  • Add a wine barInstalling a wine bar in your kitchen or living room is a chic, fun way to update your space. Adding a bespoke wine rack, a specialized seating area and even a bar counter – these changes are simple, easy to install and affordable. You can create a whole new area in your home in just one day.
  • Update your lighting – You may not realize just how much lighting can change the look and feel of a room or your entire home, but it is true; just a few new lighting accents can completely update your décor. Whether you want to brighten things up or create a mellow sanctuary, lighting can help.
  • Hang new art pieces – The art you choose to hang on your walls should reflect your own personal design and artistic ethos. Hanging a few – or a dozen – new art pieces on your home’s walls will completely change your home décor.

No matter how you decide to update your home’s décor, the team here at Carafina knows that these simple interior design ideas will be a huge hit with your guests, family and friends. And yes – they will be as addicting and as affordable – as your favorite cinnamon roll treat!

5 insane but TRUE reasons to buy a coffee table

At Carafina Home Decor it’s fair to say that we’re avid fans of the coffee table, and we make it our sole mission in life to craft some of the most beautiful coffee table styles in home interior design history. However, beyond the aesthetics of the coffee table, there lies plenty of surprising reasons that make the case for this being an essential, staple item of furniture – and here are five of the most insane (but totally true) ones.

  1. Boys, Women and Men – Use your coffee table well and look forward to a trimmer waist line!

In today’s age there’s not a day that goes by that we don’t hear about some new food rule, or scary statistic informing us of an obesity epidemic that worsens by the minute. However recent research has found that, for boys and adults of either gender, the more sociable a dining experience is, the lower their average BMI (which is a key indicator of how tight those sweat pants are [Ladzinski]). So go drop to the ground, gather the cushions and do dinner over the coffee table.

  1. It’ll make you more sociable (seriously, we have scientific research to back it up, too)

In a ground-breaking study of social behaviours within coffee shops a key trend emerged: those with comfortable furniture (of which the tables where central) were also home to patrons who exhibited healthier social interactions (Waxman 2006). So sit down, drink up and socialise around what may become your social life’s new best friend: the humble coffee table.

  1. They’re lucky (apparently)

Choosing the correct placement for your coffee table, as well as the right shape, can bring luck and energy into your home, as dictated by the laws of Feng Shu. You might even like to add a bowl of crystals or coins to enhance your wealth; just don’t, whatever you do, put your shoes on it – traditional superstition warns that, at the least, this will bring about a family argument, and at the most serious, will bring about death – neither of which will go far to improving your social life.

  1. The Western home needs a place to perch all those many (many) cups of coffee that are consumed

Within the US the average person sips upon 3.2 cups of coffee each and every day (e-Imortz) whilst over in the UK this figure falls to 1.6 cups (RealCoffee.co.uk); although you do then have to account for the 876 cups of tea that the average British person consumes annually (The Telegraph).

In any event, and whatever your tipple of choice, you’re going to need a whole lot of table to host those coffee mugs and tea cups.

  1. The humble coffee table is just about the most flexible piece of furniture going

This last reason may well be more on the practical side, rather than the truly insane, but hey, we’re nothing if not pragmatic.

From serving as storage to being a makeshift dining table when paired with cushions – the coffee table is one seriously flexible piece of furniture and makes for a real must have item for every type of home – from the decidedly short on space to the positively humongous mansion.

 

So that’s it. A coffee table can make you thinner, more sociable, luckier (if you avoid the shoe situation) and serve as a practical item which will hold any coffee mug or tea cup. What more could you ask for? It truly seems that the good old coffee table could well be the most intriguing of all when it comes to the otherwise uneventful world of furniture.

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Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.

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