Posts Tagged ‘Entertaining’

Gift Guide for the Hostess

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Today is the last of my Gift Guides (at least for now) and tomorrow night I will attend my first Holiday party of the Season. I always have to find that perfect Hostess gift to take with me, so I thought it fitting to share with you my favorite go-to Hostess gifts.

If your Holiday parties are kicking into high gear too, choose from these perfect Hostess gifts for those who love to Entertain. Trust me, coming from an “Entertainer” myself, you can’t go wrong with any of these lovely picks when it comes to gifting for those epic Party Hosts and Hostesses in your life.

Cheers! xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

  1. Lela Rose Pret-a-Party–One of my favorite fashion designers and Texans, Lela Rose, brings us her brand new book all about creative entertaining. I have this one and I LOVE it. It’s super inspiring for anyone who loves to entertain and loves beautiful fashion and interiors.
  2. “Moscow” Mule Cups–If you want to be one of the “cool kids” then you have to drink one of the most trendy and fashionable drinks around, the Moscow Mule. This Gingery concoction only seems authentic when drinking it from a Copper Mule Mug so gift your host a pair or a few. They’re perfect for entertainers or friends who just like to have fun! 
  3. I am Thankful Notes–Gratitude isn’t just for Thanksgiving. I think these gorgeous letterpress note cards are the perfect way to tell your family, friends and favorite hostess that you are Thankful for them too!
  4. Williams Sonoma Candle–I love the Spiced Pomegranate scent of this beautiful gold Williams Sonoma Candle for the holidays. It is perfectly pretty and smells festive for any room, but especially the kitchen and dining room. And those are the places your favorite entertaining friends hang out the most.
  5. Dotted Cocktail Shaker–Cocktails Anyone? I love how this shaker is clear so you can see what’s going on inside. Kate Spade always knows how to spice things up with pattern too and these dots are adorable.
  6. Gold Cocktail Shaker–If the dotted version above is too girly, or your bartender loves more of a James Bond feel, try this gorgeous gold shaker instead. I can hear Sean Connery’s best bond voice as I type this. Or maybe Roger Moore. Either way, I love both shakers and both Bonds, so please don’t make me choose!
  7. Cheers! Wine Bag–Is taking your favorite wine just too easy so it’s your go-to gift? Or is it a luxury to your hosts because you love great wine and you love to give it away? Well then how about a handsome-looking wine bag to wrap it in so your fabulous gift has that finishing touch? Like a perfectly prepared Hostess, I think I’ll order several of these for those last minute gifts that I need to have on hand.
  8. Hammered Copper Flatware–Mixed Metals, Copper, Brass and Rose Gold have been all the rage at the 2 most recent High Point Furniture Markets (you know High Point–the “Fashion Week” of the Furniture Industry!) So if you want to be on trend, buy this beautiful hammered copper flatware for yourself to host seated dinners, or give it as a gift to someone who will appreciate it. This gorgeous set looks pricey but thanks to Target, it’s not so bad!
  9. Sea Salt Caramel Truffles–Who can resist Charbonnel et Walker Dark Chocolate Truffles with liquid caramel and sea salt centers? These are both delicious and beautiful and perfect for a host or as a treat in your stocking.
  10. The Curious Bartender Book–This great book brings us the “Artistry and Alchemy” of the perfect cocktail. How interesting is that, right? If your host or hostess are into mixology or enjoy history, they will love this book that delves into the past of our favorite cocktails and then adds a modern flair to them for today’s tastes. A fun collectible with lots of useful information and recipes. 
  11. Paddleboard Board with Dip Bowls–I love this serving board and dip bowls from the World’s most famous entertaining expert, Martha Stewart. If it’s Martha designed and approved it’s good enough for me! 
  12. Cutlery Kraft Placemats–I love this set of 25 craft paper placemats that are bound at the top.  You just pull them off the gummed pad as needed like a piece of notebook paper. The cutlery design is charming and a bit rustic. Great for casual entertaining so your hosts will love these. They also come in a classic Blue and White version for all those classicists in your life! 
  13. Gold Plated Flask–You never know when you might want to take your favorite beverage with you. From tailgating, to fishing, to sitting around the fire with friends, you can always have your drink of choice at hand and with the gold-plating you’ll look glamorous in the process. I think this is a unique gift for both men and women. 
  14. Potted Rosemary–I love the smell of fresh Rosemary and how fun to be able to add it to your favorite recipes. This plant is shipped straight from the grower so it’s super fresh upon arrival and in great shape to grow and flourish for it’s new owner. 
  15. Copper Wine Bucket–This beautiful Copper Wine Bucket with Brass Handles makes a great gift for Christmas or even a bridal shower. It will chill 2 bottles of wine or champagne at once and it’s also great as an ice bucket. Maybe this gift should be under the tree for you, if you love to entertain. 
  16. Agate Spreaders–I love these stunning natural agate spreaders with silver edges by Rab Labs. The best of rustic and glamour all in one. And spreaders are so handy. I think any host or hostess would love getting these. They will use them for years to come at events both formal and casual. I’ll take two, please! 
  17. Dotted Paper Coasters–Fun and Festive, this set of 24 paper coasters with gold dots are so functional. Who doesn’t need coasters? And with this design they are so versatile and perfect for everything from Christmas or Hanukah to New Years, Valentine’s Day or Birthday Parties. And the price is perfect for hostess gifts. Great style, but affordable!  

 

 

Before and After: A Kitchen for Gatherings

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There is nothing I love more than a good kitchen remodel – especially when the kitchen is transformed from dark and dated to light and lovely! And that’s what I did for some special clients recently. They have adult kids and wanted to rework their home to better serve the way they live today.

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They love to entertain friends and family, and the island they had didn’t have much room for gathering people around in this heart of the home. And, as you can see in the “before” photo above, the black appliances and dark counters seemed to trap all the light in the room.

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So we not only turned up the “light,” but I also added a great island with more comfortable stools and plenty of work and eating space. Can’t you just imagine a low-key dinner party with guests keeping the host and hostess company here?

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I also took out the brick floor and the old and tired cabinetry, again lightening things up and adding a level of quiet sophistication. I also moved the appliances around in the room so the work area is much more efficient and functional.

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Note that the cabinets also now go all the way up to the ceiling. This is a design idea I use all the time to not only add more storage, but to also trick the eye into seeing the ceilings as taller than they are. That also gives a feeling of more space in this kitchen.

And finally, of course, we added the fabulous breakfast area that you see in the photo at the top of the page, another great gathering area for friends and family.

So what do you think of this transformation? Let me know in the comments section below! And look for more before-and-afters in the coming weeks!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Toast to the Cocktail Hour

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There is an appreciation for fine spirits and creative cocktails today like never before, and that joie de vivre is finding its way into the home with requests for built-in bars, bar cabinets, and more! The bar cart has been a craze now for several years but people are moving beyond the portable cart or even the single wine cabinet or beer fridge to everything from racks for perfectly storing liqueurs to great storage for all sizes and shapes of cocktail glasses.

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In my client’s home above, I built a bar into the media room that would not only serve snacks to the younger members of the home, but would also provide a gathering spot for adults in the evening for cocktail hour.

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And in this master bedroom suite I designed for the Hamptons Showhouse, I added a bar cabinet with a sink and hidden refrigerator. I love that the homeowners could use this as a coffee bar in the morning, and a great place to get a glass of wine and unwind at the end of the day.

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And just this morning in my own home remodel when I stopped by to check the demolition progress, they were ripping out the old, dated 1970’s bar with a pass through shown above and that area will soon become a fabulous and beautiful full-service wet bar with all the modern conveniences of the best in-home bar you can imagine. Here’s a look at one of the elevations…

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And of course it’s the finishes, colors and details I have selected that will make this wet bar really something to drink to! I’ll give you a hint…there’s wallpaper and lacquer paint going in this chic space.

 

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But you don’t have to make a “built in” commitment to create a stocked bar in your home. There are many amazing cabinets and carts on the market that can be gorgeous additions to your decor, like the Lotus Cabinet from Century Furniture in my favorite signature green color.

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For a cart that wheels into any room or even outdoors and is a bit more subtle for any decor, this is a fun design from Global Views. Add your best glassware and some fabulous hors d’oeuvres and you have a party ready to happen!

So how about you? Have you gained a new appreciation for the cocktail in recent years? And if so, I want to know what’s your favorite drink and is a built-in or portable bar part of your home’s wish list?

Cheers!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

 

Tobi TV: Clean Scene

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I love to cook and I love to entertain – but what I’m not as enthusiastic about is cleaning up after a party or a big meal! However, I do have a few solutions that I turn to in my interior designs to help keep the kitchen organized and to make clean up a breeze!

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For example, as you can see in the photo above, I like to include a lot of storage in the kitchens I design. It helps with organization and it gives you a place to quickly stow clutter when guests drop by!

It’s also a great idea to keep plenty of towels on hand for spills and quick clean up – so I added bars for extra towels in this kitchen.

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But my best tip for keeping the kitchen super-spotless during parties and cooking sessions is to include two dishwashers in the design – yes, two! One can run while the other hides dirty dishes out of the way until it’s full, making the kitchen look clean at all times!

I love to design open-plan kitchens, so it’s also important to have a quiet dishwasher that won’t disrupt conversations with friends or family. And as Thermador’s brand ambassador, I can tell you that they have one of the quietest on the market. The Star-Sapphire Dishwasher is so quiet it offers a Time Remaining PowerBeam that shines the cycle time remaining on the floor. Otherwise, you might not know it’s even on!

Let’s take a look at this video I recently did in a client’s kitchen that shows you how amazing that Thermador dishwasher really is:

Wow! Can you believe that a dishwasher could complete a cycle in 20 minutes? Now that’s a quick clean up.

So let’s review my tips for designing a kitchen that keeps things neat and tidy:

1. Include lots of storage so your kitchen can always look organized and spotless.

2. Consider little details like extra towel bars to keep cleaning items close at hand.

3. Dual dishwashers are a lifesaver if you like to entertain or if you cook a lot. They make cleaning a breeze!

What are your favorite tips for keeping your kitchen clean? Let me know in the comments section below!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

 

Tobi TV: Take a Seat

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Have you ever had a party and run out of enough seats for your guests? I’m always wishing for that one extra seat! So what’s a hostess to do?

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I like to use furniture that serves more than one purpose – like an ottoman that also works as a coffee table. That really helps your guests to make themselves comfortable in your home anytime. Let’s take a look at a few more of those multifunctional pieces:

See how those little things – like an extra seat – can mean a lot? Let’s recap what we saw:

1. Think about using a great leather bench. They can work at the end of a bed, or in a hallway. And they definitely provide a great place for guests to perch!

2. For CR Laine, I designed small ottomans that fit right under a table. That way they’re out of the way when they aren’t needed, but are easily pulled out for extra seats or surfaces at a party.

3. I also love my little bench ottomans, called Lena. They are a bit like a bench, a bit like an ottoman, and a whole lot of stylish seating!

So remember that the perfect party always includes making your guests comfortable with that great extra seat!

xo,

Tobi-Signature