Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dining with a View

Cliff House, San Francisco

San Francisco's Cliff House has been an historic landmark since the 1800s, offering epic views of the Pacific, all the way to the Marin coastline. Dine on fresh seafood at one of Cliff House's two restaurants, while you watch seals frolic in the waves, or maybe glimpse a passing whale.

Sierra Mar, Big Sur 

Also perched above the dazzling Pacific coast is Sierra Mar in Big Sur. The award-winning restaurant offers an innovative, four course, prix fixe menu, which changes daily and features organic and seasonal ingredients. Part of the historic Post Ranch Inn, there's no other place quite like it.

Sierra Mar, Big Sur 

Also perched above the dazzling Pacific coast is Sierra Mar in Big Sur. The award-winning restaurant offers an innovative, four course, prix fixe menu, which changes daily and features organic and seasonal ingredients. Part of the historic Post Ranch Inn, there's no other place quite like it.
 
Skyline Queenstown, New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the world's foremost destinations for adventure travel, and Skyline Queenstown on the South Island is a good place to start. Take a thrilling ride down the complex's wheeled luge course, or ride the gondola to experience spectacular views of mountains and Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy a hearty buffet at the Skyline Restaurant, then head out for a day hike.

Ambrosia Restaurant, Santorini 

Take in breathtaking views of an ancient volcanic caldera and the Aegean Sea from the terrace of Ambrosia Restaurant, one of the most sought-after eateries in Santorini, in the fabled Greek islands. Get a romantic table for two and feast on Mediterranean and modern Greek cuisine. Sample local Greek wines and enjoy a memory to last a lifetime.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Create a Mood with Color


Cool colors are relaxing and warm colors promote activity.


Light quality can also vary dramatically throughout the country. Let light shine in whenever possible to create the outside feel inside your home.


Muted browns produce a soothing, suede-like backdrop. Shades of gray can have the same serene effect.


It's good to know color theory basics, but you'll know how a color will make you feel in a room just by living with it.



To balance a strong color scheme, add variations of the same color, just as you find them in nature.



Just because you've painted a room doesn't mean you're stuck with one mood or a static color statement. Example, with this pink wall you can mix patterns, stripes etc. we mix and match in our clothing the same goes for your home docor and accessories.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dining with a View


Beverly Hills Restaurant, Thailand

We begin with the appropriately named Beverly Hills restaurant, a popular spot in Koh Samui, Thailand. Here, guests can relax in the sea breezes and watch the play of light across the water.
Peaks Restaurant, Palm Springs
Visitors to the top of Palm Springs Aerial Tramway can treat themselves at Peaks Restaurant, which offers stunning views of the California desert and glittering city below. The contemporary cuisine is sourced largely from the surrounding Coachella Valley.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania

Enjoy breathtaking views of the Ngorongoro Crater along the eastern arm of Africa's Rift Valley. And enjoy the food too, thanks to luxury travel provider &Beyond. The region is a great place to see African wildlife as well as traditional Maasai herders.
Cité Restaurant, Chicago

For 35 years, Cité Restaurant has been a Chicago institution, offering 360-degree views of the skyline and Lake Michigan, from 70 stories above Lake Point Tower. The food is French with a focus on seafood and steak.
Albergo Lorelei et Londres, Italy

Overlooking notorious Mt. Vesuvius and the Italian coast, Albergo Lorelei et Londres is a small hotel and restaurant with a big view. An elevator takes guests down the steep cliff to a perfect beach. And the food at the restaurant is widely praised.
Baan Rim Pa, Thailand 

Dine like a king at Baan Rim Pa in Phuket, Thailand: literally! The menu is based on "Royal Thai Cuisine" — dishes formerly found only in the kingdom's Grand Palace. Baan Rim Pa is an open air, two-story affair that provides panoramic views of the spectacular beach at Patong and the Bay of Kalim. Savor the sound of the rolling waves along with your coconut sauce. via

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Entertaining/Recipes/Green Design

Spinach Tagliarelle with Pesto and Cream


Homemade pesto is simmered with heavy cream, then garnished with pine nuts and basil. Italian plate by Match.
 
SPINACH TAGLIARELLE WITH PESTO AND CREAM


Serves 4 to 6

2 cups fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
salt and pepper
1 pound Cipriani spinach tagliarelle (spinach linguine or spinach fettuccine may be substituted)
1 cup heavy cream



In food processor, pulse basil, 1/3 cup pine nuts and garlic 8-10 times until coarsely chopped. With processor running, slowly, add olive oil in a stream until smooth. Add cheese and pulse a few more times. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook tagliarelle in large pot of boiling water according to package directions.

In small saucepan, mix pesto and cream, and simmer. Pour over drained, cooked pasta and garnish with remaining pine nuts and cheese. Serve immediately.

Green Table Decor


Hydrangeas and green spider mums accompany salads of dressed field greens. Antique English leaf plates and green and off-white ticking tablecloth complement the setting.
 
No, this is not Carolyne's version of how we help to save the planet and be responsible conservationists. While I am a strong believer in those worthy endeavors and am becoming better informed in my choices, this green story is about the color green in food and decor. I love green. This wonderful color is one of Mother Nature's impeccable choices for a neutral. Think about how every flower, regardless of color, has green stems and foliage to frame it. Think of how green grass is the foundation and carpet to garden and home, and how truly beautiful a tree is with its canopy of green leaves.

Bruschetta with Arugula Pesto


Marinated tomatoes and Parmigiano-Reggiano top the homemade pesto bruschetta. Leaf plate by Christian Tortu.

BRUSCHETTA WITH ARUGULA PESTO AND MARINATED TOMATOES


Serves 4 to 6

FOR PESTO


2 cups arugula leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
salt and pepper

In food processor, combine arugula, garlic, walnuts and lemon juice and pulse 8-10 times or until coarsely chopped. With processor running, slowly add olive oil in a stream and process until smooth. Remove from processor and stir in cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yuuummm!!!! Plus pretty decor and tablesetting will always add to the ambiance to make these dishes even more delectable.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Designer Finds/Pottery Barn Accessories


Woven Metal Bowl

I love home accessories and I found these great pieces at Pottery Barn. Classical proportions and a distressed finish give this decorative bowl its style. Use it to display botanicals or natural items you discover yourself.

17" diameter, 13.5" high
Made of iron with a gray painted finish.
Indoor use only.

Mirrors reflect the vintage Victorian ceiling tiles that inspired them. Mirrors, especially in great frames, add so much to a room. I totally love these, the frames add a lot of character!!!!

17" square
Made of intricately embossed iron.
Features a rustic whitewashed finish that’s edge-rubbed for a vintage patina.

Inspired by the elaborate, pressed-iron ceiling tiles of Victorian homes.
Each mirror in the set has a unique finish.

Set of 3.
Catalog / Internet only.



LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! This has tuscan written all over it. Each terra cotta piece is hand thrown and hand glazed in white with a rustic crackle finish.


Unfinished areas provide textural contrast.
All are watertight; urns feature side handles.
Medium double-handled urn, cachepot and small double-handled urn are shown. via

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mixing it Up

David Iatesta's Danish Cabinet adds a dash of old-world Euro-style with its restoration glass and gray finish. Lorts' slate-finish alder chair achieves a weathered look that belies its subtle, metallic undertones. It sits atop Bausman's Iron Console Table, which combines a rust-finish base with a natural oak barrel top. Pearson hand-planes its mahogany side table with bamboo-style legs to create a worn look in distressed gesso. PierceMartin's Oyster Cluster Lamp was inspired by a cluster on discarded rebar. Designer Stephen Woods adds a limestone base and burlap shade but stays true to nature's intent.
Allan Knight expands on his acrylic oeuvre with the Gonzalo Cocktail Table. Its acrylic base is topped with cerused oak. Above it is BoBo Intriguing Objects' Bluestone Side Table. Made of Belgian stone, it is paired with a waxed, rust-iron base. Boyd Lighting's Kyoto encloses white glass in an architecturally styled, solid brass casing. A maestro of minimalism, Dakota Jackson updates the stacking chair with his Vik-ter II Series, composed of solid maple with matte black finish steel legs. McGuire updates the classic rattan table with its 54" Heritage Pedestal table—a mix of glass, polished nickel and leather.


The Spectrum Limited Collectio offers its own acrylic jewels. Its Grill Bench conjures the nostalgia of outdoor cookouts. Its adjacent Portofino Dining Table has a sculpted acrylic base with a 54" glass top. On the table sits Lewis Mittman's Cairoli Lucite Table topped with glass. Behind it, the Cameron Collection's Hilton Pedestal has an Asian sensibility. Above, Metropolitan Lighting molds a shapely crystal lamp for its Walt Disney Collection.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Something Old Something New

An heirloom, an old piece of furniture, or delicate china that has been given as a gift or found in an antique shop may have a special appeal, not only because it is a treasure in its own right, but also because it reflects a period or style for which you feel an affinity. Just one item can be the starting point for a collection of similar objects from that era and, in some cases, can inspire a room to be decorated and furnished to invoke the atmosphere of that time. Then add the freshness of new colors or art for a feeling of vibrancy to your room.

Old objects bring a nostalgic ambiance to any room, with the warmth and mellowness that come with age as well as soften the whiteness of modern materials.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Entertaining/Cooking/Decorating/Green

Shallot-Herbed Risotto


Topped with fresh asparagus and peas, served in a Provençal bowl.
Serves 4 to 6
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup shallots, peeled and diced
8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 pound Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup asparagus, only tips and tender part of spears
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
salt and pepper

In large saucepan, heat oil and sauté shallots until soft. Remove from heat.
In separate pan, heat chicken stock until warm. Combine 2 cups stock and herbs in blender. Process until smooth, then return to remaining stock over heat.
Return saucepan with shallots to heat, then add rice and toast 2 minutes. Add wine and stir until liquid is evaporated.

Add stock 1 cup at a time, stirring continually, about 13 minutes. Add asparagus and peas to remaining stock. Then continue to add stock and vegetables to risotto 1 cup at a time, stirring continually until rice is al dente, about 5 minutes. Strain any remaining vegetable from leftover stock and fold them into risotto.

Remove from heat, add butter and cheese and a little more stock if necessary. Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


Green Entertaining


Carolyne Roehm sets a table with florals such as dianthus 'Green Trick' as well as mangoes, grapes and apples.
 
No, this is not Carolyne's version of how we help to save the planet and be responsible conservationists. While I am a strong believer in those worthy endeavors and am becoming better informed in my choices, this green story is about the color green in food and decor. I love green. This wonderful color is one of Mother Nature's impeccable choices for a neutral. Think about how every flower, regardless of color, has green stems and foliage to frame it. Think of how green grass is the foundation and carpet to garden and home, and how truly beautiful a tree is with its canopy of green leaves.

With the abundance of wonderful produce coming from the garden and the farmers' markets, the summer months are the perfect time to do this. Carolyne begins thinking of green dishes using vegetables, and the first thing that comes to mind is the variety of great soups — fresh pea, spinach, sorrel, zucchini, watercress or asparagus, to name some favorites — all equally delicious served chilled or hot.

For main courses that can incorporate the color green, pastas and risottos are for me delicious staples. Certainly there are some lovely meat, fish and poultry dishes served with wonderful green sauces reflecting culinary traditions elsewhere, but after another stay in Florence this spring, I am still obsessing over Italian food.


Spinach, Garlic and Potato Soup


A splash of lemon and touch of red pepper flakes add an extra kick to this soup.
Serves 4 to 6

4 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
1 pound baby spinach, cleaned and chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add garlic, onion and potatoes. Sauté 3-4 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Lower heat and cook until potatoes are soft. Turn off heat, stir in spinach and cover a few minutes until spinach is wilted. Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes, if using. Partially purée mixture with immersion blender or food processor, leaving it a little chunky. Add a little more broth if necessary.

Bruschetta with Arugula Pesto


Marinated tomatoes and Parmigiano-Reggiano top the homemade pesto bruschetta. Leaf plate by Christian Tortu.
Serves 4 to 6

FOR PESTO

2 cups arugula leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
salt and pepper

In food processor, combine arugula, garlic, walnuts and lemon juice and pulse 8-10 times or until coarsely chopped. With processor running, slowly add olive oil in a stream and process until smooth. Remove from processor and stir in cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

More of Carolyne's recipes on our Entertaining section soon.




Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dump to Dream

From dump to dream: A 1903 country cottage’s stunning rebirth

By Vesta Fort of Southern Living

Moving the structure

Stephen and Suzie Winston’s love for architecture and good renovation projects has made for many moves. But this time, they were hoping to create a cozy and relaxing weekend getaway where they could make lifelong memories. They stumbled across a lot on the Magnolia River near their permanent home in Fairhope, Ala., and knew they had found a spot for the restful retreat they sought. All that was left was the house.
One day, on an ordinary drive down an often-traveled country road, Suzie Winston spied a house that spoke to her.

“I’d seen this old, dilapidated house sitting in the middle of a field a hundred times,” she says.

Although the house was filled to the brim with junk, was crowned with a gaping hole in the ceiling and had no stairs, she saw potential. The Winstons decided to move the cottage, circa 1903, the 30 miles or so to their riverfront lot and begin the restoration.
There was only one rule: If it came with the house, it stayed with the house.


Nostalgic living room


A painting of the house, before restoration, hangs on a galvanized-metal track above the mantel to hide the television. Artist Linda Colclough, the Winstons’ close friend, became inspired by all they had done and gave them the painting of the cottage on its original site as a housewarming gift.

Style secret: Try hints of red with a pretty blue backdrop. Here, Suzie Winston used Covington Blue by Benjamin Moore.

Multifunctional entry


The center entry hall serves double duty as the dining room.


Mixing old with new


In the kitchen, corbels from an old house nearby support the corner shelves. Suzie Winston left one wall of paneling just as she found it, with evidence of years of layered paint.



Style secrets: Cheap chic


Vintage-style fixtures pair with a claw-foot tub that’s original to the house.

A porch with a large sink is a great place to water plants and wash off dirty shoes and outdoor equipment outside the house.

What a fun and creative project for this lakehouse revival. via


Friday, September 17, 2010

Entertaining with a Punch

No party is complete without the punch bowl


Often the centerpiece at any party is the punch bowl that adorns the table full of refreshments and snacks. It's funny to me how often I attend parties and see a punch bowl where people are gathering near and catching up in conversation. You would think that at certain ages, this fruity concoction would lose its appeal, however that does not seem to be the case. Kids obviously love punch and revel in having their lips turn a different shade of color. Even guests that are enjoying other beverages will often sneak a cup of punch just to sample it as well as freshen up their pallette.

Try this tropical punch recipe:
Preparation


Place 1 12-oz. can frozen pineapple juice concentrate (thawed) in a large pitcher; pour in 5 cups seltzer and 5 cups ginger ale. Stir vigorously until well blended. Stir in 4 cups cranberry juice and 2 cups orange juice; mix well. Scrub 1 lemon and 2 limes, then thinly slice. Just before serving, add sliced lemon and limes to pitcher and pour punch over ice. Serves 8.

For a fall punch recipe:

Ingredients


2 oranges 8 whole cloves 6 cups apple juice 1 cinnamon stick 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 cup honey 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 1/4 cups pineapple juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Stud the whole oranges with cloves, and bake for 30 minutes.

In a large saucepan, combine the apple juice and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the nutmeg, honey, lemon juice, and pineapple juice.

Serve hot in a punch bowl with the 2 clove-studded baked oranges floating on top.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Headless Ostrich Table


Animal themed furniture is usually reserved for children: the Eames Elephant immediately comes to mind as one of the classier examples of an animal shaped piece. Other typical forms of animal decor include the use of the hide, which can be used as an upholstery or a rug. I’ve seen a lot of cowhide on the market recently, on everything from pillows to chairs to area rugs, which I like both for its rural American roots and its innocence. Compared to leopard or zebra, there is nothing sexy about a cowhide pillow.
Speaking of exotic animals, lets take a look at the Ostrich Table by Ibride. The table is literally half an ostrich made out of a series of flat silhouettes and ribs which create a 3-dimensional sculpture. The wood is a high pressure laminate with a pre-recycled wood core, so unlike its real-life inspiration, there is no chance of extinction. The piece is a laser cutter master piece, which takes an oddly shaped animal and reduces it to the most important lines and displays them in black. An ostrich silhouette in black, (diva black to be specific) with its legs coyly crossed, is about as mysterious and sultry as a giant flightless bird can wish to be. The head of the ostrich is no where to be found, it may be buried in the sand or lopped off for a little peace and quiet. Either way, the resulting side table is oddly elegant and unexpected.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cotwolds English Elegance


Cotswolds in Cowtown: Welcome to Riverhills


Step inside our Showhouse and take a room-by-room tour of English-style elegance.
Entry Hall


With an arrangement of antique Chinese and Japanese porcelain and English-style furniture, the entry hall is an inviting ode to eclectic English design and designer Joe Minton’s classic aesthetic. “I love old blue-and-white porcelain,” says Minton of Joseph Minton Interior Design. “It goes with a completely neutral scene, as in the entry, but it also mixes so well with any colors you might use.”


Library


For the first-floor rooms, Minton let his choice of Persian rugs drive the warm color palette of reds, golds, and greens. Here, the blend of patterns and wood-paneled walls create an environment that seems destined for relaxing with a scotch.

 


Living Room


From the Siamese figures flanking the center archway to the tomato-colored French chairs, the living room reflects the layered look typical of English design. “The British brought back many different cultural influences from their colonies, so we didn’t just stick to one type of furniture or style,” says Minton. “We created a look that made it possible to easily move a piece of furniture from one room to another.”


Dining Room


A custom-colored, silk chinoiserie wallpaper provides a beautifully bold backdrop for English antiques. A matching green glaze blends the woodwork with the papered walls, and the silver leaf ceiling reflects the colors in both. Striped silk slipcovers balance the room’s formality. “I like the casualness of slipcovers,” says Minton. “You could have silk coverings for the summer and a red wool underneath for the winter.”

Kitchen


Exposed wooden ceiling beams, slatelike granite countertops, and industrial-style stools with butcher-block seats create charm in the English country–style kitchen. The expansive island provides plenty of space to cook and gather.


Breakfast Room


Chairs and benches of differing styles gather around the English refectory table, giving a casual, collected feel that invites intimacy and relaxation. Minton united the camelback sofa, upholstered chairs, and draperies with a cheery crewel fabric. “The effect is much softer than if we had used a pattern for some and a solid color for others,” he says.


Master Bedroom


With a nod to 1930s Art Deco glamour, Minton used a cool palette of pastels in the master bedroom. The simplicity of the canopy-style bed frame and its dressing lends a modern feel, and the pearlized woodwork reflects additional light throughout the room. “It just glows,” says Minton.


Master Bathroom


White walls pair with sleek, intricately patterned marble and cabinetry to create the “epitome of elegant English bathroom design,” says builder Trey Laird of Period Homes, Inc. Mirrors mimicking windows on either side of the bathtub infuse the space with extra light.


The Southern Accents Showhouse at Riverhills brings a taste of the English countryside to Texas.