Building a Dream House by Nate Berkus

Building a Dream House
By Nate Berkus
The Oprah Winfrey Show
June 24, 2009

NB is known for his amazing ability to transform any size space into a stunning home—but he has never done anything quite like this. In fact, his latest transformation is making Oprah Show history!
Kari and Dave Hale were desperate for a Nate intervention. They sent in a video of their Seattle-area home, where they live with their 2-year-old son, Ty, and their three nieces—8-year-old Lily, 10-year-old Izzy and 11-year-old Jade.
Kari and Dave bought their 1960s tract house in 2004, a year before giving birth to Ty. The couple had big plans for their home, but their goals changed when Kari and Dave became the guardians of Kari's three nieces. "We really just all six of us have had to start from scratch to say, 'This is our new life. How do we get the laundry done for six people? How do we get dinner done every night?'" Kari says. "'How do we make sure everybody gets a hug?'"
Since doubling the size of their family, Kari and Dave say their tiny house just isn't cutting it anymore. "Every little piece of our budget that we have now, and all our energy, is really focused, really, basically, 100 percent on them, on the kids—all four kids," Kari says. "So the house just sort of became practically less of a priority. Family first, furniture second

Nate was so touched by the Hale-Jo family's story, he decided to make their dreams come true with a complete home makeover! "One of the things that really touched me was in the e-mail that Kari sent to the show, she wrote, and the line will stay with me for a long time, 'When we bought this house, we were planning on redoing this house from top to bottom, but now we're redoing the lives of these three beautiful children,'" Nate says.


To give Kari, Dave and the kids a spacious area to gather for meals, Nate tore down a dividing wall and opened the kitchen into the living room. He recycled the family's old dishwasher and stove. "I wanted to open up this whole space so that people could do homework. You guys could eat over here. You could eat at the table. You could all hang out," Nate says.
In the main living area, Nate added special touches to make the family feel at home. He hung a blown-up black-and-white picture of the four children on one wall and made bookshelves for Kari's books. For those cold, gray Seattle nights, the family can cozy up by the new fireplace

 Before the girls get to see their new bedrooms, Nate gives them a very special message from two of their favorite stars—Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical 2. Izzy and Lily are so shocked they are literally speechless!

 Since Jade moved in with her aunt and uncle, she's been sleeping in a cramped bedroom with no closet. Her biggest complaint is that her bed is simply too big for the small space. This leaves little room to do the things she loves to do, like play the clarinet.

Before the renovations begin, Nate consults with his young client. Jade says her favorite color is green. "I like green, too," Nate says. "My favorite color is Army green."

The Hale-Jo family may think their house tour is over, but Nate has another surprise in store. Next to the main house, construction crews built a special room just for Jade, Izzy, Lily and Ty.

This deluxe playhouse is the perfect place for the kids to do homework or arts and crafts. Large windows also make it easy for Kari to keep an eye on things from inside the kitchen
Ty doesn't waste any time. Within minutes, he's coloring at the small table in the middle of the room, while his cousins check out the cork boards hanging on the wall. "I don't feel like this is real," Izzy says. "It feels good."

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Home Makeover

A Home Makeover by Diane von Furstenberg
See how Von Furstenberg's design team to transformed O sweepstakes winner Marissa Santangelo's Connecticut home.
By Amber Kallor

1.Her Bedroom Before
Dark and busy, this space needed an injection of bright color to make it a relaxing sanctuary

~Her Bedroom After
Designers Edward Cardimona, Brenda Greving and Dale Eramo wanted to experiment with color, design and texture. They started by replacing Santangelo's nightstands with sleeker pieces they found hidden in the living room. Then the team swapped out her traditional comforter for a crisp, white coverlet and shams. To top off the bed and make it the focal point of the room, they added a bright, floral-patterned duvet, beaded throw pillows and sky blue sheets. Streamlined accent pieces—like clear bedside lamps, cream window treatments and a black leather bench—give the room a more modern feel. For an artistic finish, they camouflaged her antique chandelier by wrapping it with nonflammable gauze and added peel-and-stick wall art for instant flair.

2.Her Dining Room Before
Heavy drapes made the room feel dark and unwelcoming. Plus, there was no storage space for plates or glasses

Her Dining Room After
Von Furstenberg's team added sheer window coverings to make this area feel warm and inviting. A wooden hutch gives Santangelo easy access to her bright DVF dishes, cups and cutlery while she's entertaining. The dark, durable rug anchors the room but doesn't easily reveal spills and dirt.

The Happy (and Stylish) Ending

"I couldn't believe how gorgeous everything looked," says Santangelo. "Before it was a hodgepodge of stuff with no flair." And her rescue dog, Titan, appreciates the new space as much as his owner. "He hangs out in my new bedroom and sleeps in my bed every night," she adds.

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Tour Double RL Ranch

Ralph Lauren doesn't just design clothes—he designs a lifestyle that many people dream of living. For more than 40 years, Ralph's vision has defined American style, but away from the runway, this designer prefers to stay out of the spotlight.
Over the past four decades, Ralph has granted only a few interviews, but in the final days of The Oprah Show, he invited Oprah and her cameras to his family's majestic Double RL Ranch for a rare sit-down.
For years, Oprah says she's dreamed of visiting Ralph and his wife, Ricky, at their 17,000-acre property, located just outside Telluride, Colorado, a resort town she's visited often.

"I can't tell you how many times I've driven on that road and counted the miles of your fence, tried to look over, like so many people do, in their neighborhoods," Oprah tells Ralph. "When you're growing up, you look at the big house on the hill. For me, it was looking through the fence at your ranch."

When life got hectic in New York City, Ralph and Ricky say they started searching for a place to escape out West. "I needed another side that was totally private, totally a world that I felt I could live," Ralph says. "It was nature. It was peaceful. It was horses. It was riding. It was cattle."

Tour the Lauren family's Double RL Ranch
When the Laurens first visited this property and saw the view from "the Vance," where a 100-year-old cabin and three-story barn are surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, they knew they'd found the perfect place. "You're in a world that's all your own," Ralph says.

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For years, it has been Oprah's dream to see how iconic American designer Ralph Lauren and his family live. "I've driven by this wooden fence which stretches almost 30 miles along his private ranch in the Rocky Mountains, just hoping the day would come when I would get to go inside," Oprah says.
In May 2011, Oprah finally got an invitation to go inside Double RL Ranch, Ralph and Ricky Lauren's 17,000-acre property just outside Telluride, Colorado.

Ralph and his wife, Ricky, bought this breathtaking property in 1982. Parts of the original western classic True Grit, starring John Wayne, were filmed here.

Ralph gives Oprah a guided tour of the ranch in his vintage 1948 Jeep, which he acquired with the property.

Ralph and Ricky built five handpainted tepees on their property. Years ago, Ralph says his Native American friend Billy held a ceremony to bless the tepees.

Guests staying in one of Ralph's tepees don't have to worry about roughing it. Navajo artifacts, rustic furniture, vintage Navajo blankets and a tattered American flag lend charm to this living space. Accents like pine cones in a wooden bowl and wildflowers in a Ball jar vase complete the look.

The beauty of the tepee leaves Oprah in awe. "I can't shut my mouth," Oprah says. "This is a dream."

The Lauren family loves to spend time together, so gathering areas are a must at the Double RL Ranch. This outdoor living space features a dining table and chairs near an outdoor fireplace as well as a sitting area accented with denim cushions and Native American-inspired pillows.

A ranch isn't complete without a stable filled with horses! The Double RL Ranch is still an operating ranch, complete with cowboys and dogs herding the animals. Ralph also enjoys riding across the scenic expanse

Ralph's Double RL Ranch is decorated with authentic southwestern accents, like this bleached cow skull

The ranch's Old West saloon offers plenty of room to relax and unwind. This is where the Lauren family gathers for their intimate interview with Oprah.

Along with the sitting area, the saloon features a traditional bar. The bar top is decorated with an antique slot machine, brass bowls and woven baskets.

Double RL Ranch also has some perks of modern-day living. The Laurens watch movies in this theater, which is filled with oversize leather chairs and ottomans. They can also curl up with a blanket, part of the collection Ralph and Ricky have been building for years.

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How to heal the wound of your past...

"You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them." —Iyanla Vanzant
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Melancholy autumn

Autumn has arrived. Once again, autumn is here to soothe the mind and body, that was extremely tired, sweaty, struggling through those long sultry months of summer. I know autumn is here as there is fragrance in the air now ... yes, autumn has arrived as I can inhale the redolence of the dew dampened grass ...
Loved the transition from summer to autumn as a pony tailed, chubby cheeked, bright eyed little girl. "But why is autumn associated with melancholy ? Isn't it freshening after a long summer"

Fall in Love with Fall

By Sandra Magsamen

There's something magical that happens when leaves begin to change colors and the air turns crisp and cool. Cozy sweaters and mugs of apple cider feel like home, and pumpkin patches seem like the perfect place to spend a day. Don't hold back, author Sandra Magsamen says. Let yourself fall in love with everything fall has to offer!
It happens every year without fail: One morning in mid-September, I wake up to realize that the kids have all gone back to school, people are back to work from summer vacations and the light outside my bedroom window is somehow a little more golden than it was the day before.
Late September signals the beginning of a magic season, a season in which Mother Nature transforms the landscape with the most beautiful shades of orange, red, yellow and green, where pumpkins smile and apple pies seem to multiply. Farmers' markets are stuffed with people, and mason jars are jammed with jellies and pickles. The air turns crisp and clear, and sweaters and boots are suddenly everywhere.
If you haven't guessed, fall happens to be my favorite time of year. I like the way life gracefully shifts a little this time of year. As the air turns colder outside, I begin to slowly turn inward toward my warm home. There is a simple joy found in thinking about digging out my favorite sweater as I dream of sitting by a roaring fire eating butternut squash soup with cornbread.
You see, for me, fall is all about nurturing. It is the time to comfort ourselves, our friends and our family.

Fall reminds us to embrace the moment fully, to see and acknowledge the beauty all around us. Take this time to connect and reacquaint yourself with what feels good, what inspires you, what feeds your soul.
I encourage you to discover what nurtures and gives you joy and then give yourself permission to indulge in it. Make a list of the things that are simple pleasures for you this time of year. This will be different for each of us—there are no rights or wrongs, just what you love and what makes you feel cared for.

Some things might include:
•Feeling the warmth and smelling the fire in the fireplace
•Tasting the cinnamon in the pumpkin pie
•Inviting your family over for a big Sunday chicken dinner
•Feeling the earth under your feet as you take a long walk
•Wrapping up in a blanket and reading a great book
•Writing a poem
•Taking a Saturday afternoon nap
•Snuggling up in a cozy favorite sweater
•Hugging your child an extra long time as you put her to bed
•Lingering in a hot bubble bath
•Making pancakes and pouring lots of maple syrup on top before your devour them
•Paying attention to the way the leaves on trees transform before your eyes and understanding that change can be a beautiful thing
•Taking time to count your blessings instead of what is in your bank account

Let this fall be a time to harvest and gather the things that bring you comfort and joy.

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Enjoying the View from Wherever You Are_Oprah

I just came in from a hike up the mountain in back of my house in Hawaii. Funny thing about a mountain: It always looks easier to climb when you're at the foot of it. My goal was to reach the top of the tree line—about 3,000 feet up from my house—in less than an hour. I started out strong, with good intentions, two bottles of water, sunscreen, my hat, and my golden retrievers, Luke and Layla.

A mountain, I realized more than ever today, is one of the great metaphors for life, reminding you that:

1.Challenges are often more difficult than they seem at the outset.
2.An ascent that at first looks smooth turns out to have unseen dips and ridges and valleys.
3.The higher you climb, the thicker the weeds.
4.You need a clear vision of where you're going if you want to avoid getting disoriented by the clouds that roll in and block your view.
5.You have to be determined to make it to the top. Otherwise every slip, stumble, and fall (all of which happened to me today, within that first hour) will give you an excuse to turn around and head home.

But I made a decision: I was going to make it to the eucalyptus grove at the top, no matter how long it took me. So I slowed down and stopped trying to meet a self-imposed timeline, forgot about how far the top was, and just  focused on one foot in front of the other. Breathe in. Breathe out.

The result was that each step became its own accomplishment, and I took the time to look at the view from every level. Wow, I thought, I need to do this more often in the daily meshugas of my life.
I've been so focused on getting to the next level, I haven't enjoyed enough of the view from where I am. Years are a blur to me, and that's not just because I'm starting my 22nd season of the show this September and have talked to thousands of guests along the way.
It's because when you live life in the fast lane, as I have for most of my career, you end up speeding through, just moving to the next thing, doing more and more and filling your schedule until there's no time even to think about what you're doing. And as busy as I am, I often look in wonder at those of you who do all that you do and raise children and prepare meals every day and run a household.

I bow to your endurance.

As we're all blessed to witness another fall season here on planet Earth, I hope you're reading these words and thinking about your own life on adrenaline. And about how you, too, can manage with more attention to things that matter. Because with all that I know for sure, today I added this: It makes no difference how many peaks you reach if there was no pleasure in the climb.
I'm going to spend more time enjoying the view from here.

Love the copy and I can access when I needed.

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Autumn tale autumn glory

Disebabkan kegatalan aku ni,aku nak hapdet gak blog pasal autumn a.k.a musim luruh biarpun aku tak berada di England hatta tak penah pi negara bermusim-musim.
Musim luruh adalah musim yang sangat menyentuh hati aku..bila tengok dedaunan keemasan yang gugur tu..rasa keheningan dan kesepian dalam hati melimpah ruah dan jadi sayu dan rasa keseorangan,terasing dalam diri sedalam-dalamnya...

Autumn is the most loveliest season of all..the most beauty of diaphanous..and subconciously in one heart solitude.
For some, it's a beloved fall ritual: a drive through the countryside to ooh and aah over the changing foliage. For others, staring at leaves is about as exciting as watching dew dry.

Autumn brings the melancholy feeling..deep inside us.

It’s not a sadness or lost but the feeling of isolates,a remaining of hurts left and broken heart that can never mend.
When a golden and crisp foliage fall..the sign of the end season we’ve been through.. subconciously we realize how loneliest we are.

Autumn in poetry has often been associated with melancholy. The possibilities of summer are gone, and the chill of winter is on the horizon. Skies turn grey, and many people turn inward, both physically and mentally.

Similar examples may be found in Irish poet William Butler Yeats' poem The Wild Swans at Coole where the maturing season that the poet observes symbolically represents his own ageing self. Like the natural world that he observes he too has reached his prime and now must look forward to the inevitability of old age and death. French poet Paul Verlaine's "Chanson d'automne" ("Autumn Song") is likewise characterised by strong, painful feelings of sorrow. Keats' To Autumn, written in September 1819, echoes this sense of melancholic reflection, but also emphasises the lush abundance of the season.

Season of loneliness

Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay. ~Robert Browning

No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring. ~Samuel Johnson

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.  ~P.D. James

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,

No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds - November!~Thomas Hood, "No!"

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. ~Stanley Horowitz

How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days.  ~John Burroughs

There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!  ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits. ~Samuel Butler

tired old man

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”
~Neil Gaiman,The Sandman

Even nothing cannot lasts forever..every hour wounds,the last one kills...........