Blog Posts by Sunset Magazine

  • 20 Bathroom Style Upgrades

    Just how big an upgrade? That depends on you. Try on 3 personality profiles for inspiration.

    For the shopper: The shopper's personality: "I can hang a new shower curtain, but anything more hardcore...well, isn't that what landlords are for?"
    For the shopper
    Shower curtain
    Bamboo flowers silhouetted on 100% cotton.
    > Get this shower curtain
    Bath mat
    Bath mat
    Made with vetiver, it's naturally aromatic--just walk on it.
    > Get this bath mat
    Soap dish
    Soap dish
    Wine bottles, bulletin boards--now there's another use for the versatile cork tree.
    > Get this soap dish
    See more products for the shopper

    For the DIY-er: The DIY-er's personality: "I'm not fazed by Allen wrenches or plumbing tape--just hand me that level and stand back."
    For the DIY-er
    Pendant light
    The Astron fixture adds a retro accent.
    > Get this light fixture

    Hand-held showerhead
    Hand-held showerhead
    No more wrestling with a slippery "dial"--just flip the head over to change sprays.
    > Get this showerhead

    Towel bar
    Towel bar
    Rustic, dark bronze finish can read modern or salvage.
    > Get this towel bar

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  • 10 Tasty Tofu Recipes

    This is tofu? Bean curd is bland no more in these flavorful dishes.

    Grilled Tofu, Bacon, and Avocado Sandwiches
    Grilled Tofu, Bacon, and Avocado Sandwiches
    Charles Phan's Out the Door in San Francisco serves a non-traditional fried tofu banh mi with grilled zucchini and avocado. Andrea Nguyen, a cookbook author and cooking teacher based in Northern California, likes to change it up by marinating and grilling a slab of tofu and sliding it into a ciabatta roll along with the vegetables and bacon. Sriracha and a drizzle of the ginger-soy marinade add even more complex flavor.
    > Get the recipe

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  • 15 Best Plants for Pollinators

    Grow these spring and summer bloomers to make your garden irresistible to the nectar lovers you need.

    Aster x frikartii
    Aster x frikartii
    In early summer to fall, butterflies often sun as they sip on these daisylike blooms. Perennial; full sun.
    > More: All about aster x frikartii

    Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii)
    Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii)
    Slender cones of flowers in spring and summer. Evergreen or deciduous; sun to light shade.
    > More: All about Butterfly bush


    Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
    Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
    Slender cones of flowers in spring and summer. Evergreen or deciduous; sun to light shade.
    > More: All about butterfly weed


    Fennel
    Fennel
    Airy umbrellas of yellow florets in summer also attract bees. Annual or perennial; full sun.
    > More: All about fennel

    Lantana
    Lantana
    Tiny flowers in tight clusters all year in mild climates. Evergreen shrub (annual in colder climate); full sun.
    > More: All about lantana

    Bee balm (Monarda)
    Bee balm (Monarda)
    Clusters of long-tubed flowers in summer also attract hummingbirds. Perennial; sun, or light shade in hottest climates.
    >

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  • Fast & Easy Comfort Food Recipes

    Craving your favorite comfort food, but pressed for time? Cook up one of these delicious recipes, ready in 30 minutes or less.



    Golden Gate Grilled Cheese
    Like a Monte Cristo, only better. The parmesan crust is pure genius.
    > Get the recipe
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  • 4 Small Yard Makeovers

    In not-so-big spaces, every detail counts. Get inspired by these creative small yard makeovers.

    Before: San Francisco 1,000 sq. ft. slope
    Before: San Francisco 1,000 sq. ft. slope
    Covered with decomposed granite and sloping awkwardly toward the rear of the property, this small backyard was no place for a party. Owners Susan and Warren Byrne love to entertain, though, so landscape architect Jude Hellewell and landscape designer Laura White created a split-level living space complete with built-in seating and a peekaboo fence.

    After: San Francisco split-level party
    After: San Francisco split-level party
    The gravel was replaced with two levels of colored concrete. The Byrnes use the upper terrace mostly for dining and hanging out; three steps down, a built-in bench invites guests to lounge around the firepit. A gappy ipe fence gives a sense of spaciousness while preserving privacy. Low care plants, such as autumn moor grass, Mexican weeping bamboo, and yucca, soften the angular design. Now Susan says, "People can't get enough of our backyard. All our guests want to go

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  • 30 Fun DIY Decorating Projects

    Dig into our DIY weekend projects library for fun new ways to personalize your home.

    Shadowbox wall vase
    Shadow box wall vase
    Turn a shadow box frame into a vessel for your favorite things from the garden or flower shop. Flowers or cuttings--such as these leucadendron blooms--extend through the opening of a picture mat to create an organic work of 3-dimensional art.
    Group two or three frames on the wall or use one for a tabletop display. Change the background and cuttings for a new look any time you like.
    > More: How to make a shadow box vase

    Tabletop twigscape
    Tabletop twigscape
    Create a mini forest for your table from elegant branches and twigs. Here, tree-like twigs edge a stream bed of green pebbles running down the center of a sealed 30-inch piece of redwood.
    > More: Make tabletop forests

    Easy eco table
    Easy eco table
    A ready-made base makes this side-table project especially simple: Just add your own top.
    For our base, we selected a small side table with a 22-inch-square top from Ikea's Lack series (from $7.99, available in 13

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  • 23 Amazing Bacon Recipes

    Find new reasons to love the salty-smoky-sweet taste of bacon in our collection of irresistible recipes.

    BLT Chicken Burgers
    BLT Chicken Burgers
    Jazz up a basic chicken burger with sharp cheddar, parmesan, and garlic--then top with crisp bacon, juicy tomatoes, and lettuce.
    > Get the recipe

    Barbecued Bacon and Shrimp
    Barbecued Bacon and Shrimp
    Wrap fresh peeled shrimp in a crisp bacon jacket, finish on the grill, and serve with our delicious dipping sauce.
    > Get the recipe

    Coffee Brown Sugar Bacon
    Coffee Brown Sugar Bacon
    Everyone loves waking up to the smell of coffee and the smell of bacon, and the flavors are pretty awesome together too. Add some molasses-y brown sugar, and you'll reach bacon nirvana.
    > Get the recipe

    Cobb Salad
    Cobb Salad
    Apple wood-smoked bacon adds especially rich flavor to this salad. Use leftover cooked chicken or buy roast chicken from a deli. Choose a pungent blue cheese such as Oregon blue, Roquefort, or gorgonzola.
    > Get the recipe

    Chicken, Bacon, and Blue-cheese Sandwiches
    Chicken, Bacon, and Blue-cheese Sandwiches
    Blue cheese and crispy bacon are a match made in heaven in

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  • 15 Oscar Party Ideas

    Cook up dishes that pay homage to our favorite movies set in the diverse landscapes of the West.

    Chinatown: Chinese Scallops
    Chinatown: Chinese Scallops
    Roman Polanski's multi-layered, neo-noir mystery explores corruption in early 20th-century California politics and dysfunctional family dynamics, with classic performances by Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston.
    Savor this tasty dish as you do your best imitation of the film's famous last line: "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
    > Get the recipe

    The Shining: Pumpkin Bourbon Shakes
    The Shining: Pumpkin Bourbon Shakes
    Stanley Kubrick's creep-tastic adaptation of the Stephen King novel features Jack Nicholson in the unforgettable role of a Colorado hotel caretaker driven to madness by the spirits haunting the place. All work and no play make Jack go crazy, so he occasionally takes a break at the hotel bar, where his chats with the (ghostly) bartender lead him to murderous violence (um, worst bartender ever!).
    Our bourbon-laced milkshake provides sweet solace during those harrowing

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  • 20 Ultimate Fantasy Towns

    Tired of the daily grind? Pick your paradise: woodsy, tropical, wine country, or Pacific Rim. Find a slower-paced, stress-free life in these dream towns. Here are 20 places that prove a big move is doable, along with expat advice on how to make the switch to your perfect plan B. Affordable, beautiful, and friendly--welcome to Dreamville(s).

    Nelson, B.C.
    Nelson, B.C.
    Four hundred miles and hoooours from Vancouver, British Columbia--Spokane, Washington, is the closest "big city," 150 miles south--this quirky-quaint town in B.C.'s Selkirk Mountains is truly in the middle of nowhere. In a good way, say the outdoorsy types, off-the-grid pot growers, and entrepreneurs who call Nelson home. Up here, it's all about community: Networking takes place on the sidelines of the kids' soccer field, folks tend to boycott big chain stores, and if you choose work over family here, you stick out. There's killer powder skiing (at two resorts, Whitewater and Red Mountain), snowcat skiing (with five outfitters,

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  • 10 Ways to Redecorate with Paint

    Jump-start your decorating ideas with budget-friendly options for accent walls and accessories.

    Showcase a feature
    Showcase a feature
    A brick-red island is the star of this kitchen. For a sophisticated look, pair one colorful object with neutral tones. Here, dark-wood surfaces and stainless steel appliances do the trick.
    > Related: 20 reasons to decorate with red

    Personalize a nook with a bright color
    Personalize a nook with a bright color
    Hot pink walls and a stenciled motto punch up this tiny eating area. Painting the woodwork a bright white keeps the look crisp, not cloying.

    Define a display space
    Define a display space
    Paint shelves and the wall behind them an eye-catching color to showcase books and accessories.
    Here, a warm pumpkin shade (Kelly-Moore's Deep Spice wall paint, KM3608-5) complements an eclectic collection of books and objects.
    > Related: How to decorate with the color orange


    "Resize" a space
    Painting this patio overhang a sunny yellow not only draws attention to the architectural feature, it also makes the space feel more intimate.
    Use

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