Archive for the ‘house beautiful’ Category

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Longer days and warmer nights invite us to spend more time outdoors…breakfast in the garden, dinner on the veranda, cocktails under the stars, or perhaps a midnight dip in the pool…may these tranquil and beautiful outdoor rooms sweep you off your feet (and into a comfy hammock or chaise lounge!)

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photos from Elle Decor, Veranda, House Beautiful, Lonny and The Gifts of Life

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Having posted this magnificent Paris home back in December of 2010, I was thrilled to rediscover its beauty on the pages of the October 2012 House Beautiful! Designed by the virtuosic Robert Couturier, this interior is a masterclass in color! While the living room’s liquid blue walls draw inspiration from the sublime hue of a dutch delft tile, the overall use of this color somehow feels fresh and contemporary ~ boldly simple with an air of elegance and sophistication. Divine! And if that wasn’t enough to knock your socks off, check out the red lacquered dining room! The high gloss lipstick red breathes new life into the gold framed antique oil painting, upholstered banquette and modern brass and glass dining table. What a glorious setting for an intimate Parisian dinner party! Light the candles and pour the champagne!

photos from Robert Couturier and House Beautiful

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Is it possible to have a fabulous kitchen in a 400 square foot studio apartment? The answer is a resounding YES! House Beautiful’s 2012 July/August “Kitchen of the Month” is proof that small can be beautiful, functional and innovative…designers Fitzhugh Karol and Lyndsay Caleo of The Brooklyn Home Company paired timeless recessed-panel cabinetry and stainless appliances with a one-of-a-kind sculptural kitchen island crafted from fallen oak and a hand carved cherry log painted white…the island serves as an art piece, prep station, dining table, and desk all in one! Its slender form thoughtfully delineates the kitchen from the living room allowing open views from both spaces…brilliant! Another exceptional feature is the sleeping nest ~ talk about multi-tasking! The rough-hewn lathe walls, lined with white curtains, create a private cocoon while providing a decorative backdrop for art and a narrow console…inside the nook sits the “form and function” Ikea Brimnes bed…pristine white linens play off the rustic texture of the lathe while the deep drawers provide ample storage without taking up precious floor space…how wonderful!

photography by Tara Striano for House Beautiful

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Last week, my husband and I tried this recipe from the 2012 July/August issue of House Beautiful and I have to say, it was the BEST sandwich I’ve ever tasted! We did leave out one ingredient, the red pearl onions, but otherwise we followed the directions to the letter…it was absolutely incredible what the lemon zest and preserved lemon skin did to the flavor of the ricotta, avocado and tomatoes! Each and every ingredient was elevated to a new height (as if I was tasting them for the very first time!) I don’t usually post recipes, but this was so heavenly, I just had to share it with you! I hope you have a chance to try it sometime this summer…if you do, let me know what you think! (try with ice cold champagne/prosecco or your favorite white wine!) Ah, the tastes of summer!

Gabrielle Hamilton’s Avocado Sandwich Recipe

Ingredients ~ Serves 4

1 pound (scant 2 cups) fresh ricotta

Zest of 2 lemons

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 teaspoons for drizzling

2 pinches coarse kosher salt

1 pinch ground black pepper

4 long, even slices of very good bread

2 large, perfectly ripe avocados (approximately 18 ounces), at room temperature

1 pint mixed-color grape tomatoes, cut in half horizontally (you won’t use quite the entire pint)

8 red pearl onions equaling 2-3 ounces, thinly sliced into rounds (or equivalent in thinly sliced red onion)

4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Skin of 1 preserved lemon, flesh removed, finely diced

½ teaspoon toasted poppy seeds


1. Mix the ricotta with the lemon zest, ¼ cup olive oil, and salt and pepper, and set aside.

2. Arrange slices of bread on a cutting board and divide the ricotta mixture evenly among the four slices. Spread into a generous even layer.

3. Split the avocados, remove the pits, and slice each half into even slices without cutting all the way through the leathery skin. Then, with a soup spoon or a flexible rubber spatula, release the flesh and arrange the slices neatly and evenly among the bread slices.

4. Artfully and attractively arrange the tomatoes by nesting them into the soft avocado. Then arrange the red onion slices over the tomatoes.

5. Garnish each sandwich with the sesame seeds, the preserved lemon skin, and finally, the poppy seeds. Transfer to plates and drizzle with olive oil.

To read Gabrielle Hamilton’s inspiring article from HB, click here

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Today’s post includes photos from The Stephen Shubel Design studio located in a modern loft building in the South of Market district near the San Francisco Design Center…you may recognize a few pieces from yesterday’s post ~ the four-foot-tall plaster bust of the goddess Juno and the antique Swedish painted chairs…it’s wonderful to see pieces from the Design studio in his own home! In both cases, antiquities blend seamlessly with classic and contemporary decor…his signature blank canvas allows aged textures and gilded finishes to take center stage…

FYI ~ keep an eye out for his new plaster and lighting line due out next year! In a recent interview with House Beautiful, the designer speaks of his passion for plaster ~ “I love the sculptural aspect. That may be one reason I love France, because there’s so much figurative stuff all over. Unlike stone, plaster is lightweight. It has a smoother finish, but it still achieves a wonderful patina over time. I also like that it’s chalky white. You’re not distracted by color. You look at the sculptural form, and that’s what you see throughout my house – the shapes.” ~ Stephen Shubel

photos from Stephen Shubel Design

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I was thrilled to discover designer Stephen Shubel‘s 1906 fisherman’s cottage in the 2012 July/August issue of House Beautiful! Having loved this home from its first HB photo shoot back in August of 1998, I found myself even more in love with its recent transformation! Striped wood floors are now a fresh solid white…upholstered pieces are slipcovered in a more restrained palette of white, black, and a touch of green…even his signature stripes find new inspiration ~ take for example the charming lampshade atop his kitchen counter or the graphic cups in his pilastered Edwardian china cabinet…my favorite design element is the four-foot-tall plaster bust of the goddess Juno! Talk about making a bold statement in a small space! Its grand scale plays with the humble architecture in a way that is both lighthearted and utterly sophisticated at the same time…bravo!

Please enjoy this sneak peek from HB (top two photos) along with a more in depth look at the “before” photos…I know for myself, I always love seeing how a designer’s eye evolves over time…it’s a visual gift to examine the constants and changes in their aesthetic…I hope this post elevates your HB experience!

top two photos from House Beautiful, all other photos from Stephen Shubel Design

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In the interest of highlighting new talent, House Beautiful publishes a one page monthly feature titled The Next Wave…for the June 2012 issue, HB selected New Hope, PA designer Michael Herold, who describes his idea of luxury as an easy comfortable room with a touch of the exotic…I was so impressed with the HB photo of his work, I decided to explore his online portfolio, which includes projects from New Hope, New York, Philadelphia, as well as a stylish room he designed for the 2012 Junior League of Greater Princeton Designer Showhouse (last four photos)…although he gravitates toward a more neutral palette (warm greys are a signature), he believes every room should have an element of surprise…whether it’s a pair of kelly green table lamps or a leopard print pillow, he discovers a creative way to incorporate a jolt of the unexpected…please enjoy!

below ~ 2012 Junior League of Greater Princeton Designer Showhouse (check out the incredible biomorphic console table by Tony Duquette for Baker! Wow!)

photos from Michael Herold

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