Blog Posts by Sunset Magazine

  • 15 Kids' Bedroom Designs

    Get design and decorating ideas for children's rooms, from fun color palettes to clever storage solutions.

    Kids' clubhouseKids' clubhouse
    Craft a clubhouse

    Adhesive cork squares allow for changeable wall displays, while the round table and chairs are easy to move for games or other activities.

    Not sure how to start?
    Here are some decorating strategies to think about.

    kid-friendly work space

    Create a kid-friendly work space

    Adjustable Plexiglas shelves keep everything in this workspace handy but out of the way.

    A well-placed heirloomA well-placed heirloom

    Use your own heirlooms
    To decorate with your own heirlooms, be inventive. Here, a homeowner updated the dresser she used as a kid for her own children's room by updating the handles with yellow spray paint.

    The eye moves upwardThe eye moves upward
    Raise your gaze
    Draw the eye up (and save your walls from holes) by using the tops of window- and doorframes to showcase small artworks. Color is key: See how the yellow pieces here pop against the robin's-egg blue.

    Don't fear colorDon't fear color
    Be bold with color
    This girl's bedroom is a cheerful orange--a happy hue on rainy days.

    More on how to incorporate paint
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  • Top 15 Summer Trips on the Water

    Hit the water! From beachcombing to rafting, here's where to make a splash on your next vacation.

    Rafting: Kremmling, CORafting: Kremmling, CO
    Rafting: Kremmling, CO
    Though most people journey to the Grand Canyon to raft class II and III rapids, you can get on the legendary Colorado River in this town 100 miles northwest of Denver. With outfitter Liquid Descent, rafting is paired with dips in riverside hot springs. $50;

    Best time to go: For beginners, June.

    Stay: Sitting at the base of the cliffs, the 10 Muddy Creek Cabins have mountain views. From $109;

    Beachcombing: Whidbey Island, WABeachcombing: Whidbey Island, WA
    Beachcombing: Whidbey Island, WA
    Moody beauty can be found year-round here, where practically every road leads to quintessential Northwest coastline. A top-notch trek lies on the west shore at Ebey's Landing. The 3.2-mile Bluff Trail descends to the rugged beach below, with Olympic Mountain vistas.

    Best time to go: Try winter, for storm-watching.

    Stay: Captain Whidbey Inn in Coupeville is 100+ years old, with throwback

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  • How to Create an All-family Outdoor Lounge

    A family turns its unused backyard into a place to eat, drink, and play all year | Susan Heeger

    A Plain, Old YardA Plain, Old Yard

    Before: a plain, old yard
    For Darren and Sheila Burris, life's sweetest moments unfold in their backyard over dinners with their children, Sierra, 13, and Reef, 5. That wasn't always the case; before the remodel, "there was nothing to go out to," says Darren. "The yard was spacious but plain, without much personality."

    After: Space SavoredAfter: Space Savored
    After: Space savored
    To help entice the family outdoors, Los Angeles landscape designer Steve Siegrist halved the lawn-leaving enough for the kids to play on-and ditched the family's old hot tub. Then, inspired by the couple's love of the tropics and the beach (they're surfers), Siegrist built an open-air lounge and dining patio, separated by a cooling lily pond. Now, says Darren, "we spend as much time outside as we do inside."


    Soft LightingSoft Lighting
    Soft lighting

    Low-voltage fixtures set the wall and fence aglow, helped by votives hung from the fence and

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  • Top 15 Summer Events of 2013

    Oregon Shakespeare FestivalOregon Shakespeare Festival
    Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland OR, June - Early Nov
    The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a stunning showcase of pantaloons and farthingales, draws 400,000 visitors. The action centers on the Elizabethan stage, an eye-popping ode to the playwright's Globe Theatre.

    Your theater weekend doesn't have to extract a pound of flesh--
    Read up on Ashland on the cheap.

    SFJazz SummerfestSFJazz Summerfest
    SFJazz Summerfest, Palo Alto and San Francisco, CA, June 14 - Oct 10
    Get ready for all the funky, soulful, smooth music you can handle. At SFJazz Summerfest, top local musicians from the Bay area delight crowds every Thursday for ten weeks at a time in three separate locations. In past years, greats like the Scott Amendola quartet have played.

    Telluride Bluegrass FestivalTelluride Bluegrass Festival
    Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Telluride, CO, June 20-23
    Mornings at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival begin with a blast of bagpipes, as campers flood the gates in a landgrab. Roughing it does have its advantages, though: Fingerpickers like Tim O'Brien are known to sneak into the

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  • 8 Perfect Memorial Day Picnic Recipes

    For perfect picnic food, pack these delicious dishes that are easy to spread out and share

    Sunset's complete grilling cookbook

    Green AioliGreen Aioli
    Green Aioli
    Savor the season with a fast and fresh picnic of crunchy veggies with zesty aioli. Make a spread with your veggies and meats of choice to dip.
    1 large egg (see notes)
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
    About 1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup lightly packed rinsed fresh mint leaves, fresh basil leaves or coarsely chopped Italian parsley
    1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
    1 cup olive oil (see notes)
    In a blender or food processor, whirl egg, lemon juice, garlic to taste, salt, mint leaves, and lemon peel until well blended.
    With machine running, gradually add olive oil in a thin, steady stream until all is incorporated. Add more salt to taste.
    Quick Aioli: Omit the egg and oil, and use 1 cup purchased mayonnaise instead. Whirl mayonnaise with lemon juice, garlic, salt, mint leaves, and lemon peel until smooth.

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  • Top 20 Mountain Trips

    Find a high-altitude escape for every season at these scenic adventurelands

    Big Sky, MTBig Sky, MT
    Big Sky, MT
    Fresh powder and no lift lines? It's just another day at Big Sky. It may not share the glory of the glitzy resort towns in Colorado and Utah, but with more snow and open space, this undersung skiing nirvana can rest on its own laurels. Between the town's two ski resorts―Big Sky and Moonlight Basin―there are three mountains used by an average of only 2,500 skiers per day ... it works out to 2 acres per skier. Combine uncrowdedness and lots of fluffy powder with a laid-back cowboy culture, and you've got the perfect winter weekend.
    More: Big Sky winter escape

    Crested Butte, COCrested Butte, CO
    Crested Butte, CO
    Hiking is plentiful here, but two wheels are the true star: At this birthplace of mountain biking, you'll find more bikes than people. Grab one from the Alpineer for a spin on the Lower Loop, a 10-mile network of single- and double-track trails and dirt roads. Or jump on the Upper Loop, a track east of town that

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  • How to Create a Movie-lover's Yard

    See how a couple turned their yard into the neighborhood's most popular theater

    Neighbor-friendly gardenNeighbor-friendly garden
    Neighbor-friendly garden
    When Rika Houston knocks on doors to invite neighbors over for an impromptu screening, she's never short of takers. Located in the front yard of the Los Angeles home she shares with her husband, architect Brian Ten, the cinema is unlike any other in town. Sinking into the cushy sofa with lanterns lit overhead, guests watch The Birds or The Sound of Music on a screen nearly as big as the garage wall. "In the summer, every Friday is movie night," says Houston.

    With the help of landscape designer Mark Tessier, Ten overhauled their yard to create a gathering spot for the family, which includes 9-year-old daughter Maya and teenage sons Cole and Taro. But as movie night took off, the couple has been happy to see how it has transformed the neighborhood too. "It's one thing to bump into someone on the street and share a few words," says Ten. "With this outdoor theater, we've gotten to

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  • How to Boil & Peel Eggs

    Cooking hard-boiled eggs is easy until you've had them come out green or labored over peeling them. Here are the secrets to getting them perfect every time.

    10 variations on deviled eggs

    Prick the rounded end of each egg with a push pin. (This releases a little air so they don't crack.) Note: Ultra-fresh eggs are difficult to prick. Let them sit in the fridge for about a week before cooking.

    Bring to a boil
    Cover eggs with cold water by about an inch and bring to a boil.

    Let standLet stand
    Let stand
    Remove from heat, cover pan, and let eggs stand 12 minutes.

    Drain eggs, holding the pan lid ajar.

    Shake eggs in pan to crack them all over.

    Fill the pan with ice, add cold water, and let eggs sit about 10 minutes (this makes them easy to peel).

    Peel off shells.

    More instruction guides from Sunset:
    How to brine chicken
    How to make a no-cook tomato sauce
    How to toss a pizza
    Quick and easy jams

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  • 13 Ways to Decorate with Secondhand Finds

    L.A. designer Kelly LaPlante shows how to give salvaged materials stylish new purpose

    Sunset's home decorating guide:
    14 key decorating strategies
    Painting ideas
    Great ideas for shelves
    10 rules of freestyle decorating

    Salvage styleSalvage style
    Salvage style: How to decorate with what you already have
    For Kelly LaPlante, a leading Los Angeles-based interior designer, author, television host, and new mother, green design isn't just about choosing fabrics and furniture made from sustainable materials.
    She prefers to help her clients find new use―and often unexpected new love―for things they already own. "There's nothing more green than keeping what you have," she says.
    Her own Venice loft is proof that hand-me-downs and thrift-store finds can rise to stylish new purpose.
    Design: Kelly LaPlante Organic Interior Design, Venice, CA ( or 310/581-6789)

    1. Refinish
    The dining table was brown and had belonged to a client. "They were going to throw it away," says LaPlante, who saw potential in its curves.
    After being

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  • Top 15 Flowers for a DIY Mother's Day Bouquet

    Create beautifully untamed bouquets using finds from the wild or your own backyard to create the perfect affordable gift on Mother's Day

    Garden ideas from Sunset:
    23 knock-out native plants
    Top plants for summer color
    20 favorite perennial flowers

    Olive branchOlive branch
    Olive branch
    Leaves of green on one side, and silver on the other? Yes, please. They add texture and movement to any arrangement.

    Quince flowersQuince flowers
    Quince flowers
    Branches with white or orange-red flowers add height to an arrangement.

    A sure sign that spring has arrived, bring daffodils inside to cheer up any room.

    Moody as can be, we love hellebores of any color as an element to an arrangement.

    Whether still in bud, or as fully-opened purple thistle flowers, artichokes are great in a vase.

    Pro flower arranger Max Gill, of Max Gill Design, advises, "On a magenta clematis (C. 'Madame Julie Correvon'), trim the longest stems of the lower leaves, place them into the vase, and let them spill down to the

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