Posts Tagged ‘Wine’

Sneak Peek: My Kitchen Selections

Posted by

This month in Traditional Home, I’m giving readers an inside look at how I redesigned my new kitchen, including the best tips for planning that space. And my number-one tip is to think about how you use a kitchen before you jump in to the design. As you know, I love to cook and bake – it’s really my stress reliever. So I knew that my appliances needed to have a lot of functionality and smarts.

Because I’m a Thermador brand ambassador, I have been able to really test a lot of their product line while visiting their Experience & Design Center in Irvine, CA. So when it was time for me to start buying my appliances, I knew just where to start! Let’s take a look at some of my purchases!

For the range, I chose Thermador’s 48″ Professional Series Pro Range Grand Commercial Depth Range. The key for this great appliance for me was that it is duel fuel. I like for my cooktop to be gas because the amazing Star Burners give me a lot of flexibility in the heat source, from an extra-low simmer to a quick and fast boil. But I love an electric oven because I find that I get a more even bake with it. For the range top, I also purchased the grill insert that switches out with the griddle for all the times that it’s not outdoor grilling weather. And I had a local metal worker create a custom hood with a Thermador ventilation insert and blower to perfectly vent my new commercial grade range. You’ll be able to see that – along with my entire kitchen design – when it’s unveiled in Traditional Home later this year!

I love love love the Thermador steam oven, and I gave it a workout at Easter – it’s large enough to cook several vegetable dishes on separate racks at one time, or to cook a big ham. And it can roast a 14-pound turkey in just 2 hours! That will really take the holiday pressure off when Thanksgiving rolls back around.

For refrigeration, I love the flexibility of Thermador’s Freedom Collection. It allows me to select refrigeration columns based on how my family eats and cooks. I use a lot of fresh ingredients and I wanted the fridge section to be bigger, so I chose the 30-inch Fresh Food Column, combined with a 24-inch Freezer Column.

And for our wine storage, I bought the 18-inch wine preservation column. All 3 of these pieces fit perfectly in a row. I can’t decide if I am more excited about my refrigerator or wine column!

I also purchased a 30-inch convection panel-front warming drawer for the island, and Thermador‘s built-in MicroDrawer Microwave. And I have Thermador’s brand new under-counter refrigerator drawers that allow me to store drinks and other food in an easy-to-access place. And for quick clean up, I chose 2 (yes 2!) of Thermador’s amazing Star Sapphire dishwashers. Yep, we use a lot of dishes and cookware when my family and I fix meals and I hate to have dishes in the sink. This dishwasher can do a full clean cycle in only 20 minutes, which is incredible! And with 2 of them running at once, we should never have a dirty dish for long.

I’m so thrilled to be in my kitchen and baking away! If you want to see the finished project, check out my monthly column in Traditional Home. Every month I’m writing about a different room or area of the house, and at the end of the year you’ll see the BIG reveal. Stay tuned!

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

New House Diary: The Wet Bar

Posted by

New House Diary

There was a time not that long ago when everyone gathered before dinner for the cocktail hour. Neighbors visited each other’s homes, people invited their officemates over, or parties were planned for weekend evenings.

hampton's showhouse

In modern day interiors, wet bars are anywhere and everywhere, like this pretty one in my bedroom design for the Master Suite of the Hampton’s Designer Showhouse.

IMG_8669

On a not-so-pretty note, the house I’m renovating had a hold0ver from the 1960’s, with an old school wet bar (see the above view from the living room), complete with slatted shutters that opened, offering a pass-through that made it easy to hand drinks off to guests.

IMG_2002

And speaking of hold-overs, we found several layers of wallpaper when we were doing the demolition of the bar including this funny “Harem” print. Can you imagine pouring your cocktails each evening for guests or your spouse looking at this? Ha!

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 9.25.06 AM

So while the design of the existing bar was dated, I do love the idea of having a wet bar for entertaining guests. I love to host friends for drinks and dinner. I think the idea of bringing back the cocktail hour is definitely one that needs to be revived! So I’m renovating the wet bar to fit a more modern lifestyle, while still giving us a functional space for entertaining.

IMG_8639

Originally the entry to the bar was from a side hallway with a cute but VERY dated dutch door. There was lovely (dated) paneling and bad 1990’s tile flooring. The bar had hardly any storage, only a bit of cabinetry on the end wall under the pass through to the living room. There was also a second pass-through on the side wall to the main hallway that runs from the kitchen to the living room and my now study (the previous owner’s dining room).

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 9.21.06 AM

In the renovation, I’m eliminating both pass-throughs because I can take advantage of valuable wall space for upper cabinets and add lots of storage. And I am creating a larger opening from the hall so that the space feels less cramped.

IMG_2036

Here you can see that I have opened up the new “front” of the bar from the main hallway and closed the location of the dutch door. And if you are wondering, no, I’m not keeping that fabulous linoleum that we also unearthed.

With this framing change, I am able to create something a bit more like a butler’s pantry, complete with fabulous storage for barware, cutting boards, glassware, and more. In fact due to some issues with our construction and venting the hood over my fantastic new Thermador Range from the kitchen, it’s helpful that I moved the entry to the bar because that side hallway has been lost all together as a hallway since there is now a large piece of ductwork that runs through it. Oh the joys of renovating, right? The good news is that since the hallway isn’t available to walk through any more, it allows me to have a walk-in pantry to the right of the wet bar in what was the hall. But that’s a different discussion for another New House Diary day!

IMG_2038

As part of my framing and layout changes to the foorplan, I also relocated the entrance to the study and instead of a small door at one end, we now have a great double width opening into the hallway centered on the study wall. So as you can see in this photo, the new bar layout has perfect access from the study which my husband will love, especially on game days.

IMG_3063

There really is quite a lot of floorspace is now available in the bar for use with the new layout. And if anything is a priority in this house for me that’s storage. I have more than quadrupled the amount of storage the one tiny cabinet gave the bar previously and I have added an icemaker and a beverage refrigerator. All very exciting!

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 9.22.37 AM

The elevation above really gives you an idea of the new design looking from the new larger entrance. I want to have great wine storage – both refrigerated and not and I have a fabulous full-height Thermador Wine Column going in the kitchen. But in the bar, I also have a small beverage center/wine cooler and I envision it holding beer, some wine or champagne, mixers, garnishes–anything involved with cocktails that needs refrigeration. There will also be room for mixers and bottles in the lower cabinets and lots of room for glassware and pretty things in the glass-front upper cabinetry.

Plus I have a fun Kohler Poise sink with a coordinating cutting board that fits right in the top of it so the sink becomes a cutting surface. At one point, I thought the cutting board slid side to side under my new Dekton countertop from Cosentino, but that’s not the case, it just lifts right out for storage and cleaning.

And of course I’m going to do some fabulous things with the decor in the bar including bold paint choices, new wallpaper (No Harem ladies for me!) and beautiful counters and backsplash. So stay tuned for those selections soon. In fact sheetrock starts going up today. Hooray for Progress!

So what do you think of my modern update for the cocktail hour? Do you have a bar, or even a bar cart, in your home? Let me know in the comments section below and if you have a bar, what are your favorite features, appliances and details for your cocktail space.

Cheers!

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

Gift Guide for the Hostess

Posted by

Slide8

 

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!  

 

 

A Toast to the Cocktail Hour

Posted by

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.

262

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.

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.31.23 PM

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.

IMG_0921

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…

bar elevation

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.

 

699_462front_c101_0313_lrg_medium

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.

4

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: The Butler’s Pantry

Posted by

Tobi-TV-logo-600x332We can’t all live a life that affords us the luxury of having a butler, but a luxury you CAN afford is a butler’s pantry. Historically, a butler’s pantry is where a butler made quick meals and sandwiches, cleaned silver, and sometimes even slept.

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 6.34.27 PM

Nowadays, even in homes without a butler, butler’s pantries are usually located in transitional spaces between kitchens and dining rooms, and are used as staging areas for serving meals. They usually have countertops, perhaps an additional sink, and storage for tableware, serving platters, table linens, candles, wine, and other things you’ll need to entertain in your dining room.

A butler’s pantry doesn’t have to be huge or take up a lot of space. You can even add this lovely luxury to a corner of your kitchen. Here are my tips for making a butler’s pantry work for you!

Let’s recap those great tips for a butler’s pantry:

1. Make your butler’s pantry pop with colored cabinets like a fun teal or with brass shelving to really shine!

2. Even a small butler’s pantry will look larger with a mirrored back.

3. Marble countertops and great hardware really bring in the luxury for an expensive looking butler’s pantry.

I hope these tips served you well! Let me know in the comments below how you’d serve up this fabulous space in your home!

xo,

Tobi-Signature