Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'll Just Take a Minute of Your Time...

Katie Lee Joel's townhouse, photo courtesy of Hooked on Houses

A close up of the seating area courtesy of decorpad
My computer has another virus (the 2nd one within 3 days!!), so I am using my mom's computer to finish a few documents for clients. I thought I'd write a quick post on a room that I love, Katie Lee Joel's New York townhouse living room designed by Nate Berkus. I like the mix of colors, the blues, the browns, the grays... The room has a sophisticated formality, but because of the fresh color palate and interesting furniture combination seems young and vibrant. Another thing that caught my attention about this room is the use of metal. The soft texture of the velvet, used on all the furniture, warms up the metal. The texture of the velvet, the rug, the pop of gold, make it lush but not stuffy. There is a lot of detail in this room, but because the color palate is minimal, it has a quiet formal simplicity. And it has a settee over by the stair!! Today's little luxury is looking at a beautiful room for inspiration!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

To A Luxurious and Relaxing Weekend!!!

Yves Delorme Linens

Some days nothing would be more luxurious than to climb into a big bed full of fine white linens with a big stack of magazines and a pot of tea!! Like sleeping on a big fluffy cloud of down!! To a luxurious and relaxing weekend!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

From Inspiration to Reality.....

I have blogged about my fondness for Canadian House and Home magazine and its website several times. I love to watch the videos and stumbled upon the episode about the 2009 Princess Margaret Hospital Showhouse Living Room. The architecture of the house was based upon European farmhouse design. The interiors have a Belgium influence. Lynda Reeves, former editor of the magazine and the PMH showhouse coordinator, describes the living room as, very grown up in style, traditional with a hip flair and trendy influences and a warm spice color palate.

I love the elegant simplicity of the room. The lightwood floors, the minimal use of accessories, the beautiful linen fabrics and the natural elements throughout give the room its Belgium flavor. What struck me about this room is the gorgeous fabric on the ottoman; it is the one pop of pattern in the room. As the camera zoomed on the fabric I thought it would be perfect as curtains in one of my client's dens!! Lynda said, in the video, all decorative fabrics were by Kravit and that the patterened linen on the ottoman was by Ralph Lauren. A little searching around the internet and I found out the pattern was Divima Linen Paisley color onyx. I ordered a sample, showed my client the video and a printed color picture of the fabric and she loved it!! I hope the actual sample looks as great in the room as the printed version!! I will keep you posted on the progress. Just shows, inspiration can be anywhere. This is one of the reasons I love Canadian House and Home Magazine!

2009 Princess Margaret Hospital Showhouse Living Room

View of the inspirational ottoman

Ralph Lauren for Kravit - Divima Paisley in Onyx

Monday, November 1, 2010

Inspired By Martha, A Grilled Cheese Challenge.......

I caught the episode of Oprah, the other day, that featured Martha Stewart. To say I am inspired by Martha, is an understatement. I am not only inspired by her creativity and business acumen, but by the way she conducted herself during her whole "unfortunate incarceration" (see my blog entitled Martha, Martha, Martha!! 5/25/10) - but I digress.......
During her appearance on Oprah, Martha made "grown up" grilled cheese sandwiches. She had all kinds of combinations: gruyere, procuitto, arugula and tomato on white... fontina, harissa, and pear on rye.....cheddar, jalapeno and cilantro on white, to name a few. She also had tips on how to perfectly grill the sandwich.
I love grilled cheese!! It, to me, is the perfect comfort food. When I was first pregnant, a toasty, warm, silky smooth grilled cheese was the only thing I could keep down!! During Martha's presentation, I was salivating!! She suggested having a grilled cheese bar as a party theme; please invite me!! A gourmet grilled cheese and a glass of crisp white wine sounds like a perfect evening to me!!
I was inspired to develop my own combination and challenged myself to come up with one from ingredients already in my house. Below is my creation - not as creative as Martha, perhaps and my pictures aren't expertly styled as hers (I took them in actual time as I cooked) - but, please enjoy.

Mozzarella, asiago, pesto and roasted red pepper on 8 grain bread....

I buttered the backs of both bread slices and
covered the inside with pesto

Added mozzarella, asiago and roasted red pepper
to one side of the bread.

Covered the roasted red pepper with another
layer of the 2 cheeses to help the bread stick
to the roasted pepper.

Grilled the sandwich on a panini press. Buttering
the bread first gives it lovely dark, crisp grill marks.
I served it with nice crisp, sweet honeycrisp apple
What I like about this combination is that the mozzarella's mild flavor and great melting ability works well with the sharpness of the asiago. The sweetness of the roasted red pepper goes nicely with the sharp taste of the asiago, while the pesto adds a herbed freshness. It would go well with a nice crisp sauvignon blanc, but I had it for lunch so I had sparkling water.
The combinations are endless when it comes to this great sandwich type; I challenge you to come up with a grown up grilled cheese sandwich with ingredients available in your kitchen today. What can you come up with?