Friday, November 22, 2013

The Ultimate Home Garage

Who's says a garage can't be stylish? Well indeed it can be! I had the pleasure of photographing the home of interior designer Rita Hendricks and her husband Dennis Reed. In their backyard, they have created the most amazing, stylish, organized motorcycle garage ever! I really enjoyed shooting this home tour. It was nice to photograph such a unique space. I'm sure you're going to enjoy the feature. Hop on over to Houzz and check out the complete home tour HERE. Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Home Depot's Holiday Style Challenge

I had such a blast participating in the Home Depot Holiday Style Challenge. Go HERE to check out my finished space!

I know a lot of fellow apartment dwellers feel discouraged when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Your space is too small for a tree, you have to work around mediocre finishes, or you'd just rather wait to decorate your future amazing house. Don't fret! Decorate away!! Your apartment is your home, and you should make it feel as such. A few quick tips when decorating a rental is to use small thumb tacks instead of nails. The holes can easily be filled with white tooth paste or spackling paste. For larger pieces of art, use an easel instead of mounting on the wall. If there's no room for a large tree, try a smaller tree on a table top or in front of a fireplace. They key is to think outside of the box. You may have to be a little creative but you can definitely make your home feel festive and full of cheer. Happy Holidays!
And a special thank you to my friends Cerissa, Garland, Kelli, Karie, Gina and Tammi for all of your help!

Friday, November 15, 2013

FRIDAY'S DISH: Easier Than Pie!

What exactly does it mean when I hear folks saying "easy as pie"? The last time I checked, making pie wasn't all that easy. Achieving the perfect pie crust requires a lot of skill, the right conditions and ingredients, and a bit of trial and error. 

This is why I have found a way to circumvent the whole pie crust alchemy thing. At this time of year my FAVORITE store, Trader Joe's (or as I affectionately call it, TJ's) has the most delicious ready-made pie dough in the freezer section. They have puff pastry too but for this application the pie dough is perfect. I'm talking about making an unbelievably easy apple crostata. 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thawing the rolled up dough on the counter, I got to work on the bag of organic gala apples I picked up. This was the hardest part and it wasn't hard at all. I peeled cored and sliced them, then sautéed the juicy pile in lots of Irish butter. As if it couldn't get any better, I then sprinkled them with about a third cup of light brown sugar, a half teaspoonful of cinnamon, an eighth teaspoon of allspice, fresh grated nutmeg and a pinch of salt. When the apples were slightly softened I dumped it into a bowl to cool. 
By this time the dough is pliable enough to unroll onto a heavy cookie sheet and repair any cracks that happen in the process. I piled the apple filling into the center of the dough and folded the edges up and around to overlap. To make things even more delicious I dotted the top with butter. Brushing the crust with even more melted butter, I sprinkled with granulated sugar, and baked until golden brown (about 25 min). The result is warm apple pie that couldn't be easier. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Photograph Those Holiday Feasts!


Thanksgiving is quickly approaching! As you get those recipes ready, be sure to have your camera standing by as well. A dinner party always happens way too quickly, especially if you’re the host(ess), so get a few of those moments on film! A few of my favorite, self-imposed rules are listed below. These should leave you with at least a few good photos and more importantly, you’ll (hopefully) enjoy yourself as well.    

1) Use natural and ambient light (I prefer to avoid the flash in almost all situations). I love this incredible centerpiece photo via The Kitchn and the story about this gathering is full of other great party tips.

2) Handwritten menus and/or place cards are a nice touch. Photograph those details. This picture is from a wedding. It's clean & simple and so perfect for any autumn meal.

3) Candid shots like this one feel natural, and after a few glasses of wine, your guests probably won't mind being in a picture or two. This also makes good use of he ambient light.

photos via Instagram

4) Overhead pictures of a table always look great, even if the food is half-eaten. If a hand makes it in to the shot, even better! Shoot a 'toast' from that angle as well. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Art for Interiors


Just because it’s a piece of art doesn’t mean it has to be loaded with important references. What if it’s just pretty? And looks good with my sofa? One of my professors at NYU had a few words for the art he didn’t like, “it’s not art, it’s interior decorating.” But there is nothing wrong with that! If it’s important to you and happens to looks good with the upholstery in the room, that's all the meaning it needs.

Last week’s Design Sponge podcast featured the artist, Zoë Pawlak. She began her career doing commissioned works for interior designers in order to make a living. This piece reminds me of agate, and like the mineral, this artwork would bring a pop of color to any room.  

This painting, also by Zoë Pawlak, amps up an otherwise traditional interior.  
The art definitely makes the room, wouldn't you agree?  

A bedroom that is much more serene, thanks to one of Pawlak's sublime landscapes. It must have also been a commission, as it fits the wall perfectly.  

Every Forgiveness Bends is my current favorite and it would look fantastic above my new sofa. Though $4,800 is a totally fair price for an original piece measuring 40" x 60", it is a purchase that will have to wait. For others that don't have hundreds (or thousands) to spend, she will be selling drawings for the budget conscious collectors. I'll definitely be on the lookout for those! 

•   •   •

Here are a few other great sources for affordable art:

(in New York City)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Currently Obsessed: Pantone Rug Collection

Home Decorators Collection recently debuted a new rug collection by Pantone™ and it is stunning! The colors are vibrant and the patterns are bold and graphic. Shop the entire Pantone™ Collection here.

Monday, November 4, 2013

SALE ALERT: Restoration Hardware Dining Chairs

Happy Monday all! While shopping for dining chairs over the weekend, I came across this awesome sale at Restoration Hardware. There's not many left, but if you're in the market for modern dining chairs, hop on over to RH and snag a few at an amazing price. The chairs are starting at $39! Yes, you read that correctly. Isn't that insane? They come in 17" side chair, 24" counter stool & 30" barstool height with stained or painted finishes. You can't beat this deal. Enjoy!

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