Cheap & Chic

January 27, 2014



Unfortunately those words don’t describe the same object a large percentage of the time.  Often when searching for well made furniture and accessories, “buy the best, cry once” is closer to home as is “you get what you pay for”.  Now I’m not saying good design has to be expensive, but when it comes to home furnishings, things that last, heirloom pieces you plan to have forever will cost more… it’s just a fact.  Deals can be found, gifts can be received, that Picasso from the thrift store could happen, really.  Until then there are pieces that once integrated into a melange of furnishings read lux when intact they are CHEAP & CHIC.


Take this Honeycomb Gold Foil table lamp base for instance.  Sold out of most Target stores, it’s still available on-line… It’s $55.00, that’s cheap.  I’d pair it with a linen sofa, white side tables and splash around a few additional accents of gold. Voila!  You have a subtly 70’s glam vibe, that could be taken hippie chic or hollywood regency depending on the silhouette ‘s of your furniture and the colors/textures of your fabric choices.  And, this for $72.00 isn’t too bad either… I’d have preferred less of the patina.



January 26, 2014

Go get yourself some of these, pronto.  Don’t need em? Hoard em I say.  There will come a day when you find a dresser, or remodel a kitchen or buy a cheap pair of night stands that need a touch of glamour… well here it is.

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This is the Antler Melody Knob from Anthropologie, isn’t it a knockout?  it’s $14 bucks.  Yeah $14.00, one four… I’ve paid more for a glass of wine. Heck that’s about the price of a latte these days isn’t it? It’s rustic modern, it’s cheap and chic, it’s vintage but fresh, it’s clean but interesting and it comes in every color you would need and none you don’t need.

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You know you want some: Anthropologie 

A Dash of Brass

January 25, 2014

I thought I’d make my point by posting this the day after I suggested brass if you’re thinking about going grey…


The timelessness of a white kitchen is not lost on me, it’s something that will NEVER feels dated, or a relic of a time-capsule from days (or years ) gone by.  Brass on the other hand has had its heyday and has been out of favor for some time.. but “it’s back”!  The younger set who didn’t live through the last go around have discovered the warmth and beauty of brass and other warm finish metals are showing up everywhere. Show here with White and Grey, the brass is the perfect complement to the cool crisp aesthetic these kitchens possess.  And, yeah… sure, brass could fall out of fashion again too, but remember it’s a lot easier and cheaper to change than countertops, cabinets and other major kitchen items.

acc2e44594088a0d4f185be7004d5271 Fearful of taking the plunge but love the look?  Add some accessories to your countertops or swap out a light fixture to update your kitchens look.  Mixed metals is OK, trust me.  Gone are the days of matching dining room sets, and matching metals… you just have to do it in a way that feels thought out, designed.


I’ll be honest it took me a while to get on this train.  I have disliked brass for many, many years… but to be honest now that the market is so oversaturated with nickel, pewter, stainless and chrome a dash of brass really feels special.



Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 10.22.36 AM As many of you know I am the self professed King of Beige.  I am always comfortable with warm neutrals, morning, noon and night; Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall; living room, family room, bedroom, hall.  Greys and taupes are gaining momentum and popularity but I am still drawn to beige first.  When I think of deviating I’m motivated to go light.  Lightening my “go to” colors in lieu of embracing the cooler neutral palette feels fresher and less trendy frankly.  Don’t get me wrong, I love designing with the greys they just aren’t for me, not completely anyway.  Look at how well grey plays with cream on the sofa above, now that I like.  The light color adds life to the grey… I might be on to something.


Here is a small collection of greys and taupes mixed with white.  I will admit to liking the combination.  I’d also like to mention that gold frames, brass fixtures and other dashes of warmth would really go a long way to add a counter point to all of these rooms, as the first picture shows.  LESON: Go grey, but add creams or whites and warm up your metals. Now go paint something grey.


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HERMITS (you’re welcome)

January 23, 2014

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HERMITS: My new favorite cookie… soon to be yours.  I might reduce the clove if you’re using freshly ground and I upped the recipe from 20 to 22 minutes in the oven to 22 to 24 because mine were a tad underdone at 21 minutes, so stick to the 22 to 24 minute suggestion.  This is the perfect winter cookie.

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  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour      
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda      
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger      
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon      
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves      
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt      
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature      
  • 1 cup loosely packed light-brown sugar      
  • 1 large egg, room temperature      
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses      
  • 3/4 cup raisins

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  1. STEP 1

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Note: you won’t need the oven for 45 minutes – this step can happen after your dough goes into the fridge.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl once. Add molasses; beat until combined, and scrape down sides of bowl. Add the flour mixture and raisins; beat on low until dough just comes together, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap; place in refrigerator to chill 30 minutes.

  3. STEP 3

    Remove dough from refrigerator, and turn out onto a clean work surface. Divide into 2 equal pieces, and shape each piece into a 12-inch log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on prepared baking sheet, at least 3 inches apart.

  4. STEP 4

    Place in oven, and bake until logs are golden but still very soft to the touch, 22 to 24 minutes. The logs will flatten out and lengthen as they bake and get slightly puffy in the center. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice logs into 1-inch-wide bars. Hermit bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 1


January 22, 2014

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There are things about living in New England that I like and there are things I dislike, there are also things I love… a Snow Day is one thing I truly LOVE when it comes to living Back East.  It’s a sick day without being sick, it’s an extra day off when your out of vacation time (or saving it up for that warm weather vacation to Tulum like me) and it’s a free pass to blog, bake cookies, cuddle with your fur-babies and stay in your jammies all day!  
photo 1Whats on my agenda? Shoveling is already done, so i looks like I’ll be Facebooking, Instagraming, Blogging and making cookies all day.  Diet be damned, I want Hermits! Fingers crossed I have all the ingredients.  Stay Warm fellow East Coasters!!  the rest of you… send some warm weather our way if you have any to spare.  photo 3
photo 2photo 1Parting glance: here is the view up and down my street.  Plows have been through, and frankly I’ve seen much more snow but I’ll take the day off gladly and appreciate the found time to catch up on things that somehow slip through the cracks and bake a little (and maybe some laundry too).

Happy Snow Day!

A (random) Night At Home

January 21, 2014


Newest addiction: Hot water with Meyer lemon and local honey.  Best consumed in your jammies, cozy in front of the fire, catching up on my blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Caution! do not attempt without your readers –  I prefer Eyebobs.  They are relatively cheap, they have a style for every face, a color for every complexion, religion or persuasion.  Once your settled in enjoy the best prices on the internet on Ebay, usually… unless you – like I – covet the book Four Years in Paradise.  It’s giraffe cover is coveted by designers and other visually driven folks, but it’s selling for 250.00 or more. Anything nautical, LV luggage and a few other fetishes later I decide to indulge what may become my mid life crisis manifested: the Volkswagon Truck, volia!


The perfect “weekend car” right?  BTW, “weekend car” is code for Provincetown car.  I could shlep plants, dogs, firewood and bikes in a cool truck like this and look oh so cool doing it. Bikes!  oh yeah… I could really use a cool new bike. I’d like a white one please with leather grips and a basket, or maybe a black one? I love the idea of a pretty bike.  It’s like having a nice car.  These bikes didn’t come from Ebay, but they are pretty.


I’ve been on line for several minutes, I way beyond Ebay now. I’m looking at real-estate in Provincetown.  The thought of a summer house, ah… I love the daydream of furnishing a tiny house I call my own. Maybe it will look like this…tumblr_mu62vjTMfw1s2re19o1_1280

I love the Japanese-Modern vibe When you design homes for a living and you have hoarder like tendencies, this simple aesthetic (drink all you longtime readers) would be hard to manage.  I’m more of the everything white but layer it up kind of guy.  But the chair is pretty.


Slowly getting tired, the heat of the fire is making me sleepy, and this lemon-honey potion is a far cry from my evening coffee that is probably the root of my late night Pinterest affliction.  as I nod off and think about taking the dogs out one last time I’m wondering what my look should be for work tomorrow.  Maybe roughed up jeans with a chambray shirt and a blue blazer.  A nice pair of shoes can save even a borderline sloppy look.  I’ll do lace up cap toe brown shoes.  perfect.  now I can sleep.


Good night.tumblr_mwxlsjCz5n1r5jwlho1_1280


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