Archives for October 2017

10/30/2017

Ultimate Guide to the Romantic Home

A long time ago in publishing turnover years I helmed a magazine that celebrated grown women who hosted tea parties, collected antique dolls, and cherished pieces with fat cabbage roses and chippy patinas. While some of the styles look like the remnants of a dried flower explosion there were designs that showed a restrained elegance, hallmarking the perservaitionist feel in a modern way, which the Europeans do so well. The woman who owns this style is Joanne Coletti of Vintage Rose Collection, her lifestyle enterprise that offers an edited selection of original artwork, shabby chic wares, and tips on achieving the ultimate romantic home.

The decor maven is an author, artist, photographer and writer for decorating magazines. “I absolutely love what I do!” she gushes. Coletti is so feminine she addresses you as “doll” and makes you feel pretty even if you haven’t washed your hair and ate a garlicy lunch. A stunning woman in that Charlie’s Angels knockout kind of way (she’d play the Farah Fawcett role), I don’t think she ever has a bad hair day or eats garlic.

She speaks of her husband, Mark, with the same passion reserved to a new relationship. They have been married for 26 years and are the parents of “two amazing boys and our little special yorkie, Jessy.”

You can never have too many roses in a romantic home, the main theme in Joanne’s art and vignettes.

 Men Can Live in a Romantic Home

You would think a household where Coletti is outnumbered by men would tone down all the poof and puff, but Coletti attests that her husband finds that soft tones “calm the bull in me.” Mark operates a landscape company and is in charge of the outdoors, contributing to his wife’s design with outdoor cuttings.

 

Their boys grew up with white sofas and feminine things, it’s what they know. “But, their own rooms, that’s a whole different story. I always allowed them freedom of their own creativity, after all it’s their personal space,” she says.

Joanne Coletti pictured with Jessy.

Feminine Outlook

Perhaps breathing in all that rose infused air has given Coletti a sensitive outlook toward her environment. “My surroundings are very important to me,” she says, “it’s like fresh air. For me my home is not only my visual art board but it alludes a feeling of goodness. And the ‘good life’ is not about riches but rather living lavishly modest, in-the-moment, and in a caring way. To care about your surroundings and to take pride in wherever you may hang your hat–that is the ‘good life.’”

Blushing pinks compose this unabashedly ladylike vignette.

5 Steps to the Romantic Look:
1. Honor your space’s natural light and do not obscure with dark furnishings or color.
2. If you love something you will find a space for it, a romantic home is about items with a story.
3. Look at vintage in new ways by pairing with like minded pieces or embellishing with flowers.
4. Keep the palette soft and light.
5. Texture, texture, texture. A surplus of textiles, pillows and accessories is both comfortable and pretty.

Pillows from the Vintage Rose Collection.

Resources:

Vintage Rose Collection of hand-painted items, note cards, bedding, fabric and vintage finds handpicked by Joanne Coletti: www.vintagerosecollection.com

Joanne Coletti’s blog: https://vintagerosecollection.com/wp/

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10/27/2017

Ultimate Guide to Healthy Cereals

We know the super foods, typically some form of nut or bright leafy green, but when it comes to an overall efficient meal I’ll fill my bowl with healthy cereal. What is considered a reliable breakfast food helped me through weekend mornings feeding myself when the parents slept in, overcoming bad food in college, and eating on the run in those hectic single city girl days. Now, with motherhood, it’s the go-to option when hunger calls despite the time crunch called family life. Though cereal need not be the loud packaging variety with enough sugar to disintegrate a tooth, it’s a matter of understanding ingredients that may be included on those super food lists such as oats and almonds. Here is our guide to the ultimate healthy cereals with guidance from our trusted nutrition expert Eliza Savage, RD at Middleberg Nutrition in Manhattan.

A healthy breakfast with the added bonus that kids can prepare themselves.

Is Cereal a Healthy Breakfast Option?

Yes, absolutely, you just have to make an educated choice and enforce portion control. What you pair the cereal with is important, especially as many cereals are relatively low in protein. If you can’t have grass-fed, organic milk or plain greek yogurt with your cereal, then I would suggest boosting protein and fat with chia or flax seeds and/or nuts. Fresh fruit can provide added sweetness and additional fiber.

Review the nutritional panel for cereals low in sugar, high in fiber and no artificial coloring.

How to Choose Healthy Cereal Options?

◦ Look for first ingredient to be listed as 100% whole grain, unless you have a specific dietary restriction, like gluten-free.

◦ Low in sugar (under 10g per serving).

◦ Good source of fiber (at least 3g per serving).

◦ Free of artificial colors or dyes (these have been shown to cause hyperactivity in children, and have no nutritional benefit for anyone!)

◦ Look for protein. Many cereals do not have a ton of protein, so you can increase protein with milk or an organic, grass-fed yogurt. See above for other ideas.

◦ Check portion size (should be 1/2 cup or 1 cup). You’ll notice that granola or high-sugar, high-calorie cereal generally has a portion size of 1/3 or 1/4 cup.

Healthful + Nutritious Toppings:

Almonds/nuts, chia seeds, cinnamon, dried fruit/fruit, flax, honey, yogurt.

Healthy toppings that add to the taste and make it a more well rounded meal.

Is gluten a no no?

Gluten is only off limits if someone has an allergy or intolerance. If not, 100% whole grain is a nutritionally sound choice. Unfortunately, gluten-free cereals do tend to have more additives and generally have lower protein and fiber as a result of the rice or wheat-alternatives used.

Do you have to stick to organic offerings or are there mainstream versions that are beneficial?

Choosing organic is best, but not always the “best” nutrition-wise.

 

Best overall cereal?

This is so individual, based on the person and their restrictions. Though I would suggest the following healthy cereal options:

General: Cheerios, Trader Joes O’s, Barbara’s High Fiber Medley, All-Bran, Kashi GoLean, Cascadian Farms Purely O’s, Total, Wheaties, Heart to Heart, Grape Nuts.

Gluten-Free: Jessica’s granola, CheeriosBarbara’s Puffins, Rice Chex, Arrowhead Mills Buckwheat Flakes, Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise, Purely Elizabeth Hot Cereal, Bob’s gluten free rolled oats.

Resources:

Colored bowls: http://www.boboandboo.com.au/

 

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10/23/2017

Chunky Knit Throw: Three Price Points

The mental prep work has begun for winter’s arrival. A process where I outline how each frosty month will be spent and the gear needed, which includes wares for the home. Make hibernation more comforting, and stylish, with a chunky wool blanket that recalls the days when mom dressed you in the Irish knit sweater she wore as a lass. We found three chic blankets at your price.

3 Chunky Wool Blankets – 3 Different Prices

  1. Etsy, $45

The homemade feel of this blanket shows the construction of a fishing net that is both affordable and stylish.

2. Berkshire Blanket, $110

A true relation to the classic Irish knit.

 

3. Artizen, $275

A current, modern take on the chunky knit composition.

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10/18/2017

Color Crush: Navy + Pink

Certain combinations, while unexpected, do not fail to entice. My current chocolate and peanut butter obsession is navy + pink. Sophisticated navy lightens up with pink, creating an almost unisex dynamic. In design, the colors are stylishly executed in an assortment of current pieces–I even created art based on the scheme. Add some accents in the color pairing and you have a designed space.

A corner takes a bold, colorful direction with navy + pink guiding the scheme, as seen in the art and pillows.

Pink is becoming today’s neutral, which is so accepted in a color palette even men are embracing the feminine hue. When balanced with navy it’s perfectly at home in a room of men yelling at football plays.

Accent pillow by Therese Marie Designs is a simple, subtle and transitional way to bring in navy + pink.

You don’t have to paint your walls or add furniture in the colors to create the look, accessorize with pillows, textiles and art.

Color block pillow with a softer shade of pink by Jillian Rene Decor connects the colors.

Resources:

Navy + Pink color block art: ducks goose

Color block pillow cover: Jillian Rene Decor

Navy pillow with pink accents: Therese Marie Designs

Covetable Navy + Pink Accessories

  1. Sneakers 2. Sailor shirt 3. Hat 4. Pom poms, lanterns 5. Quilt 6. Ties 7. Throw 8. Tote 9. Socks 10. Valet tray

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10/13/2017

Top 3 Fragrances with a Loyal Following

Women are as devoted to their fragrance as they are to a doctor or stylist. It’s a personal choice with enough psycho analaytic insight to jolt a therapist. Until the Internet has scratch and sniff capabilities (hello Silicon Valley?) take our account on three fragrances that have earned our loyalty.

kai began as a one pound customized fragrance for Gaye Straza until whiffers were so besotted she started a company.

It begins with a shared attachment to a few standout floral scents, notably gardenia, lily and rose. To emphasize gardenia’s impact, a bit of personal history. When I first moved to California the air held such a sweet fragrance it seemed like plane’s airdropped liquid incense. The source came from flower beds loaded with deep ivy green bushes with waxy leaves, which popped up colonels of white, hearty flowers. It was my first one on one introduction to gardenia and the aroma cast from these flowers bewitched. Gardenias are in my top five reasons to move back to California, just after weather and before year round farm fresh produce. It’s no surprise that two of the fragrances that have such a devoted following is gardenia based.

1. kai fragrance

Gaye Straza, creator of kai fragrance, was literally stopped on the street by a beauty editor with questions as to the origin of her scent, a fragrance she made independently and then developed into her company kai. “After all these years, I still get the most beautiful emails from our delightful devotees just to convey their love and loyalty for the brand,” says Straza.

When I take a whiff of kai I get the same feeling I do when I take a bite of pumpkin cheesecake, my entire body shuts down and goes into ecstasy. Straza notes that Kai is unlike the heavy, suffocating scent of fragrances past when one squirt from mom’s perfume was enough to fumigate the house. “Men tell me kai conjures memories of being in a tropical paradise. This comment initially made me laugh, but after hearing the same words over and over, I realized that’s exactly what I had in mind when I developed the line,” says Straza.

Men’s interest in how we smell is happily noted but most women will say they are a bit selfish in this area. We wear the scent for us more than to seduce. Sharing is why candles are created in the same scent.

Tocca Firenze has that arresting fragrance that you’d wish scented your everyday all day.

2. Tocca Firenze

Tocca is another company noted for their modern fragrances based on identifiably alluring essences. Tocca’s Firenze, with notes of gardenia along with bergamot and jasmine, has the power to overtake all other senses. Whether worn or to scent the home, Firenze’s smell guarantees a giddy moment.

Nest’s White Camellia gives your skin and home a light floral boost.

3. Nest White Camellia

You’ve been to that home or elegant little shop that has that I-will-not-leave scent. The origin usually is emitted from a Nest candle. Their White Camellia scent is a natural choice for a women’s fragrance with its light, floral appeal. It is no surprise that notes include jasmine, which is similar to gardenia.

 

 

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10/10/2017

The Charms of an Older Home

While the Jetsons may be amusingly space aged I am comfortable living in this year, even a few centuries back. It’s the customs that engage. You can’t have an elegant pheasant meal served by footmen when a robot beeps by.

Our parlor room brought into the modern day.

An attention to craftsmanship and history is seen in every detail, like how our 1915 farmhouse was built around the fireplace as it was the main source of warmth. We have not fallen into your typical suburban model, which shares the same style imprint as every other home in this community. The marble baths, rugs that capture the same motif as the valences, lucite coffee table bought from cb2 and stacked with coffee table books in ruler edged precision–it’s the same concept as the Benetton sweater every girl wore back in high school. While it’s a very nice sweater it made overplayed appearances in the classroom. I am more inspired by the student who broke from the norm and wore something a bit alternative, found from a vintage shop, or styled the basic uniform in a personalized way.

Detailing of our original bannister.

My favorite homes are from my childhood, notably in the Hamptons. We lived In a house unique to the other’s with a pink tiled bathroom and floorboards with holes that led to enchanting places. This was all that we knew. Finding beauty from imperfection was revered, the decor composed with pieces that had stories behind them, or a kitchen designed with materials sourced from salvage yards.

An antique cupboard displaying motley pieces linked through color, scale or style.

Another trend that baffles me is new constructions. Everyone appears to want the same home. When I grew up the older homes were considered more authentic. You can’t replicate their clusters of rooms with thick walls and artisanal bannisters. Now it’s common to extract these architectural gems from the space.

The girls’ bedroom has a mix of old and new.

Our home is like fashion, I am constantly tweaking by bringing in my latest paintings and editing vignettes. While sometimes it looks like a child with a box of crayons who had a color meltdown, I try to maintain a merchandiser’s eye. The decor has a mix of pieces from all time periods but they typically share a theme through color, pattern or scale. It’s a constant process but the result reflects a singular style.

Resources:

Belle Bloom Robert Allen fabric for customized pillows, seat cushions and valances: Robert Allen

Lemon painting: Ducks Goose

A True Love Story Never Ends picture: Tuvalu Home

Dipper ceramic blue bowls: Wagoo

Pink pedestal plates, striped dishes: Rosanna Inc.

Mosser Jadeite Cake Stand: Sur la Table

Kate Spade bow tiled pink comforter: Bed Bath & Beyond

Standard pillow cases: Stamattina

Bicycle throw pile: Art Goodies

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10/06/2017

The Jetsons – Ultimate Design Guide to the Future

I am starting to think about the future and not in the investment and derivatives sort of way. With the release of Blade Runner 2049 and watching “The Jetsons” with my son after a thirty years hiatus, we discovered what imagined trends have become reality.

The Jetsons is you typical 2062 family as imagined in the Hana-Barbera cartoon.

 

“The Jetsons” is a futuristic family but the sitcom American profile abound. There’s George, the bumbling patriarch who is always trying to work his way out of some snafu with the boss, supported by a sensible wife, attractive teenage daughter, and young son who never ages since this is a cartoon.

While everything seemed unimaginable in the Jetson’s account of 2062, in some ways we have surpassed the Jetsons aside from sky high traffic jams. (Though read below, as that may happen by decade’s end).

High Fashion Home

The Bea Sofa by High Fashion Home is a modern classic that endures.

 

Everything is technicolor in the Jetson’s world, which hits today’s designs as bright colored sofas add futuristic drama to a room.

Etsy

Abstract art gives a boots to your desk vignette no matter what year it is.

Delpozo Fashions

Delpozo’s winter “Serenity” collection has theatrical composition. Perhaps for The Jetsons the movie?

 

Ditch the ripped jeans and wool sweaters, fashionable cuts and innovative materials from Delpozo is where Jane and Judy Jetson would shop.

Galaxy S8 Phone

The Galaxy S8 helps make us smarter.

 

Expansive display screen, iris scanning for security, and multiple image camera processing are some of the Galaxy S8‘s features that have catapulted us into a futuristic world.

Waveforms Lighting

The Sonneman Waveform pendant would be a natural addition to the Jetson’s home.

 

Sonneman’s dome shaped pieces are more than contemporary gems, its LED lighting uses 90% less energy and lasts longer than regular bulbs.

Aeromobil Flying Car

The Aeromobil flying car gives the driver a choice of road or air, how’s that for tackling road rage?

 

You can literally take off with the Aeromobil flying car, which is looking to launch in 2020–regulations permitting.

Robot NAO V5 Standard Edition

A robot programmed with software, sensors and customizable operating system.

 

Friend or foe? The Robot NAO V5 is capable of experiencing seven senses, it’s up to the owner to customize his/hers/its functions.

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10/04/2017

Creating a Crafted Home

Keep reading, crafts are not exclusive to macrame pot holders and cutesy wares sold at a church bizarre. There are handmade items with a finished look to add design and function, setting apart a space as personalized over a home decorated with brand identifiable fixtures. We have welcomed an age where we customize everything from dogs to thousand dollar jeans. The trend is catching on, with two books that celebrate the crafted home.

The handmade fabric dyed ottoman blends with the other pieces in the room and offers a signature touch.

 

A Well-Crafted Home by Janet Crowther is a departure from craft books that feature home’s jammed with Sunday art crafts. The projects are specifically created to add function and style.

Find the handmade crafts by Janet Crowther. Answer: wooden herb planter, quilted cushions, cutting board, tea towels.

 

When Crowther moved to New York City with her husband on a limited design budget, they discovered that handmade pieces was an affordable way to decorate their home without denting the budget. From a dyed fabric ottoman to a knotted rope ladder, the book offers a variety of projects that look like home store highlights you’d pay a premium for.

An acrylic side table adds a modern, styled touch to an entry. Yes, you can make this.

 

Artist Tamara Maynes spills her crafty secrets in the gorgeously produced book The Maker. Maynes is an established artist who is known for her modern graphic interiors but in her book she features a variety of projects, categorized by such mediums as wall art, ceramics and furniture.

 

Maynes takes a historic and psychological approach to the art of making things, and how the basis of a simple craft can evolve into a modern form. Her projects are expressive and original, like the beaded light fixture that recalls her days as making jewelry as a little girl. The countless projects, not to mention the artistically presented book with covers that mimic slabs of wood, will add intrigue to your home.

 

Resources:

Reprinted from A Well-Crafted Home. Copyright © 2017 by Janet Crowther. Photography by Julia Wade. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

The Maker: Crafting a Unique Space by Tamara Maynes with Tracy Lines. Published by Abrams. Photography by Eve Wilson.

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