Farima Alavi

"I like a world where fashion and design collide."

Farima is the entertaining editor for HGTV.com. Aside from her job, she loves fashion, playing with her rambunctious Yorkie, Rosie, and is a self-proclaimed foodie. She lives in a house where she is patiently learning how to "fix" things.

Farima Alavi ON PINTEREST

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POSTS BY Farima Alavi

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The front door is often forgotten when it comes to redecorating, but an exterior entrance is just as important as the rest of the home. It’s essential to set the right tone before your guests walk inside your home, so we’d like to know: Do you prefer a bold, statement-making front door, or are you all about a classic, neutral entrance? Vote in our poll below, then tell us which design you chose and why.

Pick Your Favorite Front Door

Check back next week to see the final tally.

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Last week, we asked if you preferred a private outdoor dining experience, like designer Jamie Durie’s lush and secluded spot, or an open and expansive dining room, like designer Sarah Richardson‘s cottage-style patio with a view. Sarah’s coastal outdoor space won with a 72 percent of the votes!

Sarah Richardson's Summer House Patio

Design by Sarah Richardson

HGTV fan kjg loves Sarah’s design because “it is light, airy and seems so comfortable. I think it does a great job of highlighting the view!” We couldn’t agree more, kjg! Follow our tips below to get the same inspired look on your outdoor space.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SURROUNDINGS

If you have a lush backyard or a great view, take a cue from Sarah. She surrounded her outdoor dining area with wide-open, floor-to-ceiling windows so guests can bask in the glorious view.

Patio With a View

Design by Preston Lee

PROVIDE A LOUNGE AREA

After eating, it’s time to relax. Provide additional seating near the dining area, so guests can continue conversation in a more comfortable setting. A collection of outdoor pillows is a budget-friendly way to change the look seasonally.

Red and White Outdoor Dining Room

Design by Katharine Webster

KEEP THINGS LIGHT + AIRY

White furnishings instantly open up any space, so it’s a good option if you have a small outdoor space. This light color doesn’t last too long against the elements, so choose materials that are easy to clean.

Outdoor Table Setting

Design by Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper

How do you add comfort and style to your outdoor space? Tell us in the comments below.

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It’s finally warm outside, so it’s time to spruce up your outdoor space for guests. Whether you’re entertaining for a large, formal party or gathering a few friends for a low-key barbecue, there’s nothing like dining al fresco. So, we’d like to know — do you prefer a private dining experience like HGTV host Jamie Durie created with this vertical garden wall, or one with expansive views like the one in Sarah Richardson’s summer house? Vote in our poll below, then tell us which design you chose and why.

Room Vs. Room: Pick Your Favorite Outdoor Room

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If you’re as lucky as me, you grew up with a mom that loved to cook and bake. Every night, we had dinner made from scratch and made with love. When Mother’s Day rolls around every year, I know I can’t go wrong with a gift she can use and enjoy in her beloved kitchen. See my favorite items that I think any mom-turned-gourmet-chef would love to receive.

Mother's Day Gift Guide for the Cook1. Anthropologie / 2. Williams-Sonoma / 3. Yellow Owl Workshop / 4. BHLDN / 5. Miette / 6. Gourmet Blends

1. Butterfly Field Apron. Does your mom host a lot of parties? She can look stylish while prepping meals in front of her guests with this floral-print apron. The combination of modern and vintage style will help Mom look good even though she may be making a mess.

2. Monogram Cutting Board. If the mom in your life loves to grill, then look no further. This monogram cutting board is two gifts in one — a birch wood board and an iron brand with your mom’s initials. Surprise her by initialing the cutting board before giving it to her, then give the iron initials so she can brand all her future grilling meals.

3. Personalized Stamp Kit. This stamp kit is a great gift for the mom who often times gifts her edible creations. The personalized stamp will let all her gift recipients know their treat was made with love from her very own kitchen.

4. Gold-Dipped Ceramic Cake Serving Set. Although this serving set looks like something to save for a special occasion, Moms who have finer taste will want to bring these beauties out any day.

5. Miette Pastry Cookbook. If you’re familiar with San Francisco, you may know the infamous Miette pastry shop. No matter where Mom lives, she can mimic the shop’s recipes in her kitchen with the Miette pastry cookbook. Bonus: Maybe Mom will let you be her taste tester.

6. Blood Orange-Infused Olive Oil. If your mom is ready to try something new in the kitchen, give her something she hasn’t tried yet, like specialty olive oils. To accompany the oils, look up recipes online that specifically call for these infusions and print them out on pretty card stock.

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Last week, we asked if you preferred warm bamboo or sleek concrete flooring. Bamboo won by a landslide with 77 percent of the votes.

Warm Bamboo Flooring

Photo by USFloors

Most of you agree that wood flooring adds an inviting look to a home. “I like the warmth of bamboo; concrete just seems cold,” HGTV fan Leona said. We’re here to share the pros and cons of bamboo to see if it’s the right fit for your home.

AN ECO-FRIENDLY CHOICE

Bamboo Kitchen Cabinets

Design by Catherine Nakahara

Bamboo grows quickly, making it one of the most renewable wood materials on earth. It’s great as flooring, but isn’t suitable for moisture-prone rooms, such as a kitchen or bathroom. To get the look in one of these rooms, implement bamboo in cabinets and countertops.

A DURABLE HARDWOOD

Durable Bamboo Flooring

Photo by USFloors

Bamboo is known as a hardwood, although it’s technically a grass. Bamboo strands are glued together to form solid strips, just like hardwood, and are comparable in price to other wood products. Even though it’s considered a sustainable material, most bamboo is imported from Asia. The energy it takes to transport it to the U.S. is definitely a factor to consider.

A VISUALLY APPEALING MATERIAL

Bamboo Accent Wall

Design by DKOR Interiors

Bamboo works with practically any style home and comes in a variety of grain patterns, including flat, vertical and woven. It not only makes a gorgeous flooring option, but it’s aesthetically-pleasing as an accent wall, too.

What do you think? Do you still stick by your pick of bamboo? Concrete voters — have we swayed you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Looking to replace your tired or outdated floors? Just like color and pattern, there are trends in the flooring world, too. This week we want to know: what type of flooring do you prefer — durable, eco-friendly bamboo or the sleek, modern feel of concrete? Vote in our poll below, then tell us which design you chose and why in the comments.

Vote for Your Favorite Flooring

Check back next week to see the final tally.

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Last week, we asked if you preferred a traditional or Mediterranean sunroom. This traditional room was the clear winner, with 77 percent of the votes.

Traditional Sunroom With Classic Color Combo

Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo

Most of you agreed the furniture and classic colors felt more like a sunroom should. “The traditional room has a peaceful feeling. When I’m in a sunroom I want to relax,” HGTV fan Nancy said. To get a similar look in your home, follow our tips below.

Classic Color Combo

Traditional Sunroom With Floral Chairs and Striped Drapery

Traditional rooms often feature neutral color palettes, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The key: Go with classic color palettes. Combine navys and reds or peach and green tones in damask and floral patterns. Pair the fabric with rich wood or plain white furniture to complete the classic look.

Warm Flooring

Traditional Sunroom With Rug

Traditional style is all about comfort. If your sunroom has concrete or tile flooring, warm it up with a large area rug.

Natural Light

Traditional Room With French Doors

Design by Elinor Jones

Traditional style reflects that of French countryside. Glass or French doors will add a traditional touch, along with plenty of natural light.

Timeless Pieces

Symmetrical Living Room

Design by Julie Dodson

Accessorize with intricate furnishings that stand the test of time. Oil paintings, ornate pieces, fringe accents and symmetry are key in accomplishing a traditional look.

Browse through our favorite traditional spaces>>

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One of my favorite things about blogging for HGTV is reading our fans’ design tips and preferences. Since we love hearing from our fans (you!), we’re starting a new series called Room Vs. Room. Twice a month, we’ll feature a poll where you can choose which design you love best. Then, we’ll give tips and tricks on recreating the winning design’s look in your own home.

We’re kicking the series off with sunrooms. Do you prefer a more traditional route with comfortable furnishings and classic colors, or would you rather take a more vibrant approach with a global design like Mediterranean? Vote in our poll, then tell us in the comments which design you chose and why.

Room vs. Room: Sunrooms

Come back next week to see the final tally!

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You guessed correctly if you chose option B. Design Star Meg Caswell  transformed this enclosed patio into a bonafide backyard complete with astroturf, potted plants and topiaries. A tropical outdoor bar cozies up to the grill, while seating comes in many shapes and sizes: woven floor cushions, a hammock or an extra-long outdoor sectional.

Outdoor Patio With Astroturf

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Jacob D. is the winner of a $100 gift card from Zazzle.com. Congrats!

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Congratulations to the giveaway winner, Jennifer H.!

Believe it or not, Easter is the second highest candy-consuming holiday in America — right behind Halloween, of course. It’s no wonder, with several popular candy brands featuring Easter editions every year. Who wouldn’t love egg-shaped chocolates covered in pastel-colored candy coating? If you aren’t quite sure which candy to fill your kids’ (or your own) baskets with this year, we’ve listed our favorites you can buy — or if you’re feeling ambitious — DIY!

DIY: Chocolate Coconut Candy

These white- and dark-chocolate covered coconut balls have a delicious filling made with real raspberries. Place them in your kid’s Easter basket, or wrap them in cellophane for guests to enjoy after Easter brunch.

Chocolate Coconut Candy

Get the Recipe>>

MORE CANDY TO BUY OR DIY

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Jacob D.!

Can you guess what seating belongs in this outdoor room?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win a $100 gift card from Zazzle.com. You don’t have to guess correctly for a chance to win.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on April 1, 2015 and 12:00 p.m. ET on April 2, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $100. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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Congratulations to the giveaway winner, Stephanie G!

Welcome to Spring Essentials, a Design Happens mini-series where we’ll highlight our favorite products to help you get your home ready for spring. The third installment: Spring organization products that will make the most of your home’s storage space. See our product picks, then enter for a chance to win some supplies to organize your home.

We’ve shared our favorite cleaning products with you, so now it’s time to get organized. I absolutely do not like organizing, which is a little embarrassing for me to admit. I can never quite get a good grasp on how to be organized or what products to use to maximize storage and functionality. I corralled my most organized friends to help me come up with a list of products they can’t live without and that make organizing a fun less daunting task.

Fun Organizing Products

1. Mark Brothers Cable Labels: Identify your cords in the cutest, quirkiest way with these little clip-on guys. Each clip-on comes with a label sticker, so you won’t be left guessing which cord belongs to what electronic. ($14.00)

2. Jonathan Adler Collapsible BinsStore your clutter in style with these boldly-patterned storage bins by Jonathan Adler. The designs will transform your shelves into a statement piece, and you can collapse them when not in use. ($20)

3. Fox Paper Clip Holder: Made of solid mahogany wood, this adorable creature is a fun addition to your home office desk. Its magnetic body keeps paper clips easily accessible in one area, so you don’t take up an entire drawer. ($19.95)

4. Grocery Bag Dispenser: I’ll admit, I keep my grocery bags in a narrow cabinet in my kitchen. A grocery bag dispenser would be much more practical since it fits nicely in a pantry or storage closet, and only requires tape or screws to mount on the wall. It’s easy to use and saves storage space, not to mention, its sleek design works with any style home. ($10)

5. Rakku Shoe Wheel: It may not look like it, but this wheel can store up to 30 pairs of shoes without taking up too much precious floor space. I imagine myself spinning the wheel every morning, and picking a random pair of shoes to plan my outfit around. That’s one fun way to start the day! ($71)

6. Hair Accessories Organizer: By the time I get ready in the mornings, it looks like a tornado ripped through my bathroom. I need several hair products to tame my unruly waves, so this all-in-one hair accessories organizer would be perfect for those in the same boat. It even comes with an outlet, so you can directly plug-in your hot tools.

Are you ready to get organized? We’re offering one winner HGTV office supplies (includes notebooks, pens and push pins) to help organize your home office. 

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. This giveaway’s question: What’s your favorite go-to product or tip that helps you stay organized?

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on March 30, 2015 and 12:00 p.m. ET on March 31, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prizes: $30. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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You guessed correctly if you chose option A. Designer Tobi Fairley brought depth and grandeur to this contemporary bedroom with a deep navy blue ceiling that creates a celestial contrast with the brass chandelier.

Grand Master Bedroom

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Ashley is the winner of  lavender-scented room and linen mist, citron and crushed basil-scented reed diffuser, and seashells potpourri from Hillhouse Naturals. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space.

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Ashley!

Can you guess which lighting belongs in this bedroom?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win lavender-scented room and linen mist, citron and crushed basil-scented reed diffuser, and seashells potpourri from Hillhouse Naturals. You don’t have to guess correctly for a chance to win.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on March 24, 2015 and 12:00 p.m. ET on March 26, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $83. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Patsy!

Can you guess which pillows belong in this houseboat living area?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win two 18×18 throw pillows of their choosing from KESS. You don’t have to guess correctly to win.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on March 18, 2015 and 12:00 p.m. ET on March 19, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $85. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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I’m not a huge fan of stout beer, but I’ll tell you what I do love — food infused with stout. Up until recently, I didn’t know it tasted so delicious as a food ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. This St. Patrick’s Day, go beyond the bottle and incorporate stout in everything you’re serving at your party.

Salted Stout Caramel Popcorn

Salted Stout Caramel Popcorn

Stout enhances the crunchy, salty taste of this homemade caramel popcorn. Serve it alongside beer or Irish whiskey to bring a true pub feel to the party.

Get the Full Recipe>>

Get 4 More Stout Recipes

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You guessed correctly if you chose option BDesigner Sarah Richardson didn’t want to take away from the floor space, so she designed the storage as close to the ceiling as possible. The shelved cabinets run horizontal above the washer/dryer unit and provide the perfect place to hold towels and other laundry essentials.

Bright, Cheerful Laundry Room

We chose one person from the comments, and Christi is the winner of a Honeywell table fan and a portable USB fan. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space.

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Christi!

Can you guess what type of storage belongs in this laundry room?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win a Honeywell table fan and a portable USB fan. You don’t have to guess correctly for a chance to win.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on March 11, 2015 and 12:00 p.m. ET on March 12, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $55. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932. 

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You guessed correctly if you chose option B. Designer Jamie Herzlinger incorporated a custom black Art Deco-inspired trim to create a one-of-a-kind look. The marble countertop is also used to frame the mirror, creating a cohesive look.

Ultra-Feminine Bathroom

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Nadia is the winner of an urban garden planter from CedarCraft. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space.

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