An alternative title for House Beautiful’s new book “Quick Changes: Fresh Looks for Every Room” ($25, Hearst Books) could have been “Zigzags Are Your Home’s Best Friend.” Editors are quick to recommend the bold pattern for rooms in need of a quick-yet-drastic tweak. Other suggestions for makeovers that don’t require a lot of elbow grease: replacing your bedside table with a stack of vintage suitcases; putting vintage-inspired Edison bulbs in a chandelier; and painting bright flowers on boring lamp shades. The little book is packed with photos of these and other ideas, plus tips from designers about how to cultivate an environment you’re happy to call home.
Dark chocolate and dulce de leche live in heavenly harmony in La Salamandra’s sauce, now at Cork Market ($8, 1805 14th St. NW; 202-265-2674). Made from fresh milk (“dulce de leche” translates as “sweet from milk”), the treat is best heated up and poured over a bowl of ice cream or smeared on a piece of toast. Though we won’t judge you if you just dive into it with a spoon.
Brave New Girl
you won’t have to screw up your nerve to stroll through the French doors at the new Courage B in Bethesda (7125 Bethesda Lane; 240-800-4143). That’s because the women’s clothes here are both easy to wear and easy on the eyes: jeans in a riot of hues ($105-$170), mod-squad chiffon dresses (shown, $195) and lacy, laser-cut handbags. A poppy soundtrack and natural light set off the stock. Another branch opens at Fairfax County’s Mosaic District in July.
There are few things more all-American than summertime grilling. Still, Areaware’s Star-Spangled Spatula ($65, areaware.com) might come close. The born-in-the-USA patty pal boasts a solid walnut handle and a stainless-steel head approximating the Stars and Stripes. The whole thing is made by Massachusetts-based Lamson & Goodnow using energy collected from the Deerfield River. The gadget’s substantial length — a little more than a foot and a half — keeps your hands safe from the barbecue’s red glare.
Who knew mount pleasant resembles the state of Michigan or Dupont Circle looks an awful lot like a mid-century star sculpture? D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Creative (shop.cherryblossomcreative.com) reveals these and other geographical truths via map posters ($20-$30) of several downtown neighborhoods (Adams Morgan, Petworth, Columbia Heights).