summer traditions: a Carriage House family favorite

Happy summer to you and yours=) We’re enjoying the warmth of the season and the beauty of Lancaster County.


Around here, we love summertime with it’s traditions & local goodness- and today we’d like to share a favorite recipe with you!


Here’s the recipe promised in our nifty email newsletter..This dessert can be made anytime, but it’s better with fresh fruit and homemade ice-cream & always worth the wait!

Delicious Berry Peach Cobbler with Sugared Almonds


( recipe credit: Cooking Light July 2009 issue
baking credit: the best chef in town- Becky Lapp  )


18 ounces fresh blueberries
18 ounces fresh blackberries
3 medium peaches, peeled and sliced
Cooking spray
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 & 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt


1 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup half & half


Cherry on top: (Last but not least!)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon egg white


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare filling by combining the berries and peaches in a 13×9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the fruit with 2/3 cup sugar, 2 & 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, lemon juice and salt.
3. Prepare topping by combining flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Stir well and add butter pieces. Continue to stir and add the half & half, gently kneed dough until moistened. Drop the topping mixture by spoonfuls evenly over the fruit filling.
4. Combine almonds, sugar and egg white & sprinkle over the topping.
5. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes & let stand another 10 minutes before serving with ice-cream.
6. Enjoy!! =)
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Which Amish Furniture is Right for The Living Room?

The living room has traditionally been the largest room in the house, the place where people entertained, watched television and spent time with family. But with the advent of “Great Rooms” and “family rooms”, the living room has become something other than it was, though, in many households, it is still used for more formal occasions.

Once called the “drawing room” because it was the place to which dinner guests withdrew to talk, have brandy, and for the men, to smoke, the living room has served many purposes. Later it was called the parlor, and it was where tea was served and also where wakes were held. (hence the phrase “funeral parlor”). Then it was called the sitting room, for somewhat obvious reasons, but it was still a more formal place, though friends and family did gather there. In some areas of the UK it is still referred to as the sitting room, especially in older houses.

The term “living room” referred to something a bit more informal, but it remained the place where guests gathered to talk, be entertained, drink, and socialize. Families often kept their TV’s in the living room and that was where they came together to spend quality time.

Nowadays, family rooms and great rooms have usurped the living room’s primary functions, being the places where people gather, where entertainment systems are, and where most of a family’s “living time” is spent. So what has happened to the living room? Well, as even formal rooms are less formal than they used to be, living rooms are being turned into large breakfast nooks and home offices, often serving more than one function. A large living room can be partitioned off into more than one room and many different activities can be done.

The living room has served its purpose well. But its day as the place to hang out is over. Many newer homes don’t even have anything equivalent to a formal living room. But the living room will never completely disappear from the American landscape. In some homes it will always the be the place where the family lives.

Organizing Your Dresser For Fun and Solace

Our dressers tend to become catch-alls for a variety of things besides clothes, and it can run you ragged when you’re trying to find your favorite pair of earrings or that “other” sock. Give yourself a break and try organizing your dresser so that things are easy to find and you don’t have to go on a drawer hunt when trying to find something. Here are a few tips.


Organization need not be an overwhelming task. All you need to do is think about what you use most often. Clear things off the top of your dresser. Keep only those items you use everyday on top – things like cologne and night creams. Where jewelry is concerned don’t throw your bracelet on top of your dresser anymore. Why not get either some kind of mesh board or a fabric covered bulletin board, and poke your favorite earrings through it. It is a pretty display as well an efficient way to keep jewelry. For necklaces and chains, think about draping them on some figurines or hanging them on a decorative hook. There is a wealth of ring holders to be found in gift shops, and these can go right on top of your dresser, and the same for bracelets. You will find that de-cluttering your dresser top will give you room for a nice vase of flowers. For other dresser top clutter, get yourself a lucite grid holder and store sunglasses, nail polish, and other items in it and put it in a top drawer

Go through your drawers

Sort things. You will want to put the same items in one place. Once again, mesh can come in handy for partitioning off drawers, or you can use extendable plastic dividers. If you want to organize things by color or style, do it. And, as above, keep things that you use everyday most handy. If you workout, keep your workout gear in one drawer, so you can just grab it and go. If your partner wears ties everyday, place them singly, and nicely folded, along a shallow drawer floor, without putting one on top of another. Then you can find them easily. Place items that might be hard to see or find, like hose and camisoles, in separate compartments. For bras, get a rectangular box for the drawer. That will keep them neat and accessible.

When to fold; when to roll

When placing things into compartments and drawers it is good to know which items you should fold and which you can roll. The rule of thumb is things made of synthetic fibers won’t wrinkle so they can be rolled. But be sure to fold cotton tanks and tops.

Organizing a dresser need not be a stressful project. Just get your priorities in order, knowing what things you use most often, and making them the easiest things to find. And when you are done, you will feel good about yourself with all your stuff in its place. Keeping things neat and tidy in your dresser goes a long way towards being neat and tidy in other areas of your life.

Go For the King Sized Bed: You Deserve It!

Many of us remember our old college days, or days past when times were tough and we lived with the least, and could never splurge on what we really wanted. We recall those times of the futons and twin sized dorm room beds. For many, it was all we could afford at the time, and so we made do. But now that we are all grown-up, we deserve to give ourselves the best; and a King sized bed is the best we can have in our bedrooms. King sized beds offer the best in comfort and luxury, combined with a fabulous night’s sleep.

Just “making do”, is not an option anymore, when it comes to choosing quality well-made furniture for our bedrooms. The bedroom is a sanctuary that provides us with a peaceful place in the home to restore our tired minds and bodies. Sleeping in a small, uncomfortable bed cannot give us the room and space we need to get proper rest and relaxation after a long day at work, school, or with the kids. Plus, King sized beds make room for us and the entire family to enjoy on a quiet Sunday morning together. The whole family, including pets, have been known to gather on a King sized bed, for play, rest, and ultimate comfort.

Numerous studies have shown that getting the proper amount of quality rest and sleep is vital to having a happy and productive day. So if any sacrifice should be made regarding the furniture in the home, the bed should not be it. A great night’s sleep is highly important to our general well-being, health, and overall happiness. Though a King sized bed may seem like a luxury to some, when it comes to being the best we can be, splurging on a truly restorative night’s rest is a necessity.

Once you move into the level of comfort that a King sized bed will offer, it will be impossible to go back to any other size. The amount of space in which to stretch out and relax, is incomparable. Choosing to spend your money wisely, is a very adult thing to do. Years ago, it may have been clothing, shoes, or jewelry; but as we “grow up”, we begin to shift our priorities. And if one is going to splurge on anything, home furnishings rise to the top if that list.

The purchase of a  King sized bed turns your bedroom into an oasis of tranquility that will call your name every night, to come, relax, and enjoy the greatest night’s sleep ever. It is a purchase you will never regret and will thank yourself for, many times in the coming years.

Amish Furniture Construction and Finishing

The Amish history and culture is layers deep; and every aspect of the Amish lifestyle is touched by their very unique and treasured way of life. The style of Amish furniture and the way that it is made, is no exception. The making of Amish furniture is a hands-on process and requires attention to detail. Quality construction is the signature of the Amish, as special care is given to each project.

Every Amish table is made to withstand the wear and tear of time and use. Each Amish table is constructed using the mortise and tenon method of joint construction. Though this is a simplistic way to construct a table, it is one of the strongest and most durable. The tenon, which is an interlocking piece cut into one end of a piece of wood, is cut to fit perfectly into the mortise, which is an opening, in the opposite piece of wood. In simpler terms, the mortise and tenon method is much like putting two Lego pieces together. It works extremely well and is one of the best methods around for furniture making.

Amish chairs are constructed in much of the same way. Spindle chairs are assembled with the use of glue and screws, and Mission style chairs are tenon and mortised, for extra durability and strength. The Amish take pride in sanding their furniture by hand, before it is finished. Finished and stained wood is also traditionally rubbed by hand, to completely remove any excess stain. This process makes the stain even, and helps to highlight the grains of the wood.

Bee’s Wax furniture polish: an amazing product

Taking care of your quality handcrafted furniture may seem complicated- but it’s really quite simple!
We recommend cleaning your furniture with a natural polish that prevents build up & the need for buffing. Around here a favorite product is the multi-purpose Bee’s Wax furniture polish. We’ve been using & selling this product for years and absolutely love it!

There’s a lot of furniture polishes on the market today; but this one is our go-to for a few reasons.

  • The Original Bee’s Wax Polish is completely natural; meaning no residue or chemicals go onto your wood.
  • It restores the natural beauty of wood and prevents dryness.
  • When it claims to be multi-purpose, it really is! Besides wood, this spray also works well on granite, leather, marble, stainless steel and even glass. It’s easy to see why it’s been acclaimed by House Beautiful, New York Social Diary and The Fabricator.
  • Last but not least- it’s very affordable, sprays on smoothly and leaves a wonderful, freshly cleaned scent.

We hope this information is helpful for you & that you’ll find this product to be the “bee’s knees”:)

More on Amish Hope Chests

The hope chest (cedar chest, dowry chest, glory box) is traditionally what unmarried women use to put collections of clothing, dishware and bed and table linens in, as a preparation for married life. Hope chests are not just relics of yesteryear, as many families create them today made from chests that have become heirlooms and have been handed down. And Amish hope chests are hand made, durable pieces of art that anyone would feel privileged to own.

Amish furniture is traditionally made of fine woods such as oak, cherry, and hickory. It is made the old fashioned way, without electricity, and comes to you from the hands of skilled craftsmen who take great pride in what they create.The wood stains used are the finest in the world and there is a wide variety of colors to choose from.

Amish hope chests are made with the same care as all Amish furniture. They are pieces that can be as individual as you are, and they can be made to your direct specifications. Stylish and durable, Amish hope chests are created to last and become family heirlooms, as one generation hands it down to the next, and they become beloved pieces of a family’s history.

Young women the world over are still making up hope chests as they look towards marriage. Hope chests are family treasures that are used with pride and a great deal of nostalgia by each generation. Amish made hope chests are especially in demand for their beautiful lines and impeccable quality, and they can be wonderful, lasting additions to any household.

Caring For Amish Furniture

Quick Advice on Caring for your Amish-Made Furniture

There are specific care instructions for Amish furniture, to maintain its beauty and polish. Keeping all furniture items out of direct sunlight exposure is highly critical for keeping your furniture in optimum condition. Too much sun exposure can change the look of the finish. It is also important to never over-wax Amish furniture; an excess of wax can eventually lead to developing white milky stains on the wood.

When cleaning Amish furniture, stay away from using any abrasives and cleaners containing bleach or ammonia. You can damage and scratch the wood by using either of these methods of cleaning. Be diligent about treasuring your Amish furniture, by not leaving any newspapers, plastic, or other paper products on table tops; if these items get wet, they can stain and dye your furniture. A gentle cleaner and a cream polish is recommended for proper and delicate care.

Be sure to keep your Amish furniture a good distance away from heating and cooling units, and never store your furniture in damp areas or rooms that get extremely hot or cold, such as basements and attics. If properly cleaned and cared for, Amish furniture can be passed down through generations of family, in stellar condition.

About Making Amish Furniture

Furniture crafted by the Amish are notorious for being of the highest quality and built with amazing durability and beauty that is capable of lasting a lifetime. Amish furniture typically includes intricate designs that you won’t find in conventional furniture.

One of the most noteworthy benefits of Amish furniture is the sturdiness, which is why anyone who owns Amish furniture can use it for 30 plus years. With little maintenance, Amish furniture will remain in the same condition as it was when originally purchased.

Making Amish furniture takes time and skill. Much attention to detail is put into each and every piece. The techniques used to craft Amish furniture have been used for centuries, which is a testament to the quality of the craftsmanship and also to customer satisfaction.

There are many conveniences constructed into each piece that make the choice to purchase Amish furniture an easy decision. These conveniences include quality gear slides for opening and closing tabletops, self-storing table leaves and drawers for easy storage.

All Amish furniture is built from solid hardwood and stained to perfection. The stain applied is hand rubbed in order to showcase the beauty of the wood grain. A sealant is applied for shine and lasting protection.

Carriage House Furnishings is proud to showcase beautiful handcrafted Amish furniture in our store. You can browse through our various furniture collections and contact us with any questions you have about the pieces.

Designing an Amish Style Kitchen

Amish style homes tend to have large outdoor living areas that extend from the house; like porches, decks, and patio spaces. Windows are very consciously and strategically placed to take advantage of the summer breezes and to help control the internal temperature. Amish homes are well designed, and are built with a lot of care and attention.

During many hot summers, the Amish will use what is called, “a summer kitchen”, which is a space designed for cooking that is cooler, and usually built in a shaded area. Amish kitchens are usually never placed in the center of the home, where it is often the hottest, in the spring and summer seasons.

It is simple to create an Amish style kitchen for your summer cooking. Here are a few simplistic instructions on how to enjoy a bit of the Amish way of living, inside your home.

Locate an area in the home that is cool and possibly away from the center of the home; a shed or gazebo, is ideal. Hardwood floors are best because they don’t need vacuuming and are more easily kept clean. Stain the wood floors to maintain their shine and beauty. Stained hardwood floors are also easier to keep clean. If you don’t have a shed or gazebo, basements are also great places for Amish kitchens because they are normally the coolest space in the home.

Kitchen walls should be painted white with a high gloss paint. Amish kitchens are usually simple in design, very little color or distractions. High-gloss paint is also easy to clean should something splatter on them. The key to an Amish kitchen is to keep the design simple. Cleanliness is a virtue in the Amish culture.

The next step would be to hang hooks for your lighting, which would be white gas lanterns, in an Amish style kitchen.

Decorate simply in a minimalist style, and fill the kitchen with needed cooking supplies; a mortar and pestle, spices and fresh herbs, and a cast iron skillet. Since the Amish do not use electricity, kerosene and Coleman camp stoves allow you to cook without needing electricity. If you want your Amish kitchen to be more luxurious. a wood burning brick oven can be installed.

Outdoor wooden picnic tables are perfect for eating Amish dinners in the heat of the summer. The Amish tradition is all about family and gathering, and a family style table with benches would be the ultimate addition to your Amish style kitchen.

When Is it Time to Update Your Furniture?

For most people, furniture is a statement that sets the tone of a room. It says whether your tastes are modern, traditional, or eclectic, and often is the determining factor in deciding on a color palette. Changing or updating your furniture can be a breath of fresh air just when you need one. So how often should you do this?

Do it when you have to, whether it is because you really need to see something different, or the furniture is falling apart. When you feel stuck or in a rut, what do you do to get out of it? For some people it is changing up their wardrobe, getting a new hairdo, or starting a workout routine. When it comes to your home or office, similar “facelifts” are often just the thing to do.

Changing the look of your furniture need not cost too much more than a trip to the hair salon. With a little paint and some creativity, you can completely change the feel of a piece of furniture. There are so many colors to choose from, and you can be both bold and conservative, depending on your mood. Paint is a very budget friendly way to go, so you can do it often, whenever you feel the emotional need.

Of course new upholstery is another way to update your furniture, and that may be a little more expensive and something you can’t do as often. But new upholstery can change the entire feel of a room. You can take a traditional piece of furniture and upholster it in a modern, abstract printed fabric and, Voila! You’ve got a new look.

Finally, –  and really best, when your wallet says you are able – buying new furniture is the most stunning change you can make to any room. Changing up the style of furniture you have can really make a difference in how you feel about a room.  It can change a sleek and clean-lined room, to something more sumptuous and lush.

Updating your furniture can be a fun weekend project, or something more complicated and expensive, but either way, it gives your room a renewed and refreshed look. When you feel the need and your budget agrees you can, do it. Both you and your room will feel reborn.

Consider Amish Made Bedroom Furniture

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, a respite from your hectic life. Your bedroom is where you wind down, decompress, and renew yourself.  You want clean lines, no clutter, nothing superfluous, fine materials and restful colors. Amish furniture can provide all that and more.

Versatile and Stylish

Amish furniture can be very versatile and generally comes in three styles: Mission, Shaker and Queen Anne, but other styles are also available. There is sure to be one to suit your needs and your lifestyle. With its perfect functionality and durability, Amish furniture is timeless and unique in its design. It also should be said that Amish furniture can complement all styles of décor, from traditional to more modern. And Amish furniture can be customized so that you own a one-of-a-kind piece, something to pass on to the next generation.


Amish furniture is made the old fashioned way – by hand, without electricity. It differs from mass-produced furniture in another way; in that it is created with the finest materials, not cheap woods and particle board, so chipping is very rare. The fine hardwoods used, such as oak and cherry, are long lasting, and there is a wide variety of stains – one sure to please your color sense. Made with impeccable craftsmanship by skilled and proud artisans, Amish bedroom furniture – beds, dressers, settees, chairs and tables – can be a refreshing respite from a long day, comfortable and comforting.

Amish bedroom furniture is as unique as you are and highly prized by both dealers and collectors. Owning an Amish bedroom suite is a gift you can give yourself and your loved ones, and will last as an elegant piece of art for lifetimes.