Open House

Welcome!

I’ve been talking about launching a new blog for what seems like years now. I had a blog for a few years back in the 2009-2011 timeframe, but I couldn’t commit to posting frequently. Despite this setback, several friends encouraged me to give it another go so I figured why not — I have an embarrassment of riches to blog about now that I’ve graduated from my NYC apartment to my (you guessed it) little house on the Hudson River… gardening, cooking, decorating, restaurants, the Hudson Valley, wine, travel, etc… there’s plenty to write about.

At first I was a little sad that I missed out on the chance to blog about all the fun planning discussions arguments my husband and I had in Summer 2012 when we bought our home – choosing paint colors, wallpaper, furniture, renovating a kitchen, etc. – but then I remembered I am constantly doing those things all the time anyway (see truth #1 in the About section) so there will be plenty of that to come!

In the meantime, I thought I’d kick things off with a little recap of my 10 favorite things in my home today… that is, before I get restless and change everything! Thanks for visiting and happy reading!

10 & 9. My Bright Red Door & Brass Doorknocker
I recently had a man from England approach my home who thought a couple of Brits lived here because my door was “pillar box” red. Here I was just hoping for a bright greeting for visitors when they came to my home!
Red Door & Knocker

8. My Thibaut Wallpaper
I have a weird obsession with wallpaper. So much so, that I’ve wallpapered my office in Manhattan. Can’t decide if that move was abnormal or awesome. Unfortunately, the cost of wallpaper can really add up fast so I think it’s best in a small room like a powder room or an entrance hall. And no, wallpaper is not for grandma’s house. I think it’s making a huge comeback. My top pick for temporary wallpaper is Chasing Paper. If this site had been in business when I lived in the city, I would have gone hog wild. I used Circle & Pop in “Orange” on an accent wall in my office. If you’re in the metro NYC area, my best advice for the real stuff is to go to Janovic on 66th Street & Lexington and go into the basement where they have a library of wallpaper books to peruse. I could spend (and have spent!) hours at a time in this store and it’s one of the few places I’ve found that will give you a small sample to take home. Analysis paralysis? Call me and I’ll join you for the trip! It’s where I chose my powder room wallpaper, Thibaut’s Gibraltar.
Thibaut Wallpaper

7. Cozy Throws
In my house, the temperature can change a dramatic 10-15 degrees between the basement and upstairs. Blame it on a nearly 80-year-old home! As a result, we own a number of cozy throws and blankets (and it gives me an excuse to buy new ones occasionally!) One of my favorites, however, is a linen/wool blend we bought in Aix-en-Provence in Spring 2013. We use it in our living room in spring/summer for a touch of pink.
Pink throw

6. My Elephant Print Pillows
My living room is a mix of traditional with contemporary accents and a pinch of elephant. Yes – elephant. It started with these hand-printed linen pillows which were a steal from One Kings Lane, by Kari Fisher Designs. Later I added some other elephant accent pieces including a small garden stool from Serena & Lily and some book ends. I was really going to pull the trigger on a brass elephant but then thought I was going overboard so I reeled it in. These pair very well with my pink throw (above), too!
Elephant Pillows

5. Our Pintucked Headboard
I think a tufted headboard is possibly the #1 item on every girl’s grown-up bedroom wish list. I have recently had the pleasure of visiting several friends’ homes and everyone seems to want to get in on the tufted trend. We purchased ours after we’d lived in the house about a year as part of an upgrade we made from a queen to a king bed. WORTH. EVERY. PENNY. Y’ALL.

Headboard

4. Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc at Home” Cookbook
This wishlist is light on food-related items but this is a true favorite that plays double-duty as a home decor + cooking item. It typically plays the role of a beautiful coffee table book but moonlights on the weekends as a delicious resource for recipes and inspiration. Thomas Keller is probably my favorite chef if I had to pick one and he has wonderful tips and ideas. Many of the recipes in this book require commitment and focus (thus why it only comes out on the weekends) – it’s not for beginners. Our favorite recipe is the Ad Hoc fried chicken – and yes, it is worth the 36-hours of preparation and patience.
Ad Hoc Cookbook

3. Our Contemporary Chandelier
This is the only item to make the list that actually came straight from my old place in NYC. I lived in an apartment with largely northern exposure to light, meaning I had to be creative with lamps most of the day. My dining room was particularly dark so about four years into living in my place, I purchased this white coral beauty. In my home today, I’ve upgraded the shades (twice already!) first from black with gold to this crisp white linen. People always notice it probably because it balances out the rest of the room which is otherwise a very traditional dining room.
Chandelier

2. My Moroccan Maldon Salt Jar
Here’s another item that doubles as home decor + food. This is second find from my trip to France, purchased from a vendor at a market in St. Remy for less than 10 euros. The vibrant purple goes with absolutely nothing in my kitchen but I love it nonetheless. The hand-painted terra cotta jar is the perfect storage spot for Maldon sea salt, a main staple in my kitchen and something I use to finish nearly 95% of every dish I make. I use kosher salt as a regular seasoning but this stuff is just amazing on top of a fresh tomato or just-off-the-grill steak.
Moroccan Salt Jar

1. The View from my Kitchen
The view of the river is one of the main reasons I fell in love with this house. Getting to look out at this scene every day never gets old. In the winter, I can see straight through north to a small lighthouse in the next town over. It’s just gorgeous and always makes our little house feel so much larger.
Kitchen Windows

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