Hi loves. I hope Thanksgiving was wonderful for those of you who celebrated. Ours was cozy and joyful. Luke was home, which always makes the household feel even more festive. There certainly is a lot for which to be grateful.
I tested a few new versions of the usual favorites with positive reviews. Instead of the tried and true apple pie with a top crust, I made a deep dish version with a crumb/streusel topping. The pie is baked in a spring form pan, so the crust-to-apples ratio is perfect. The recipe (below) I used is from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (so great!). Her blog with many more apple dessert recipes is here.
My second twist on the traditional was with the pumpkin pie - daring - I know! I used Martha Stewart's recipe for pumpkin cream pie with a gingersnap crust which I found in a old edition of her magazine. Essentially, the pumpkin part is creamy delicious pumpkin pudding with a mound of whipped cream on top. The smooth light flavor in contrast to the spicy crunchy cookie crust was sooo good!
Deep Dish Apple Pie
Recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and diced
1/2 cup ice cold water
1. In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the diced butter and pulse just until you have pea-sized pieces of dough. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Drizzle the water over the dry mixture and work it together with your hands. Knead briefly then form into a large disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
1 recipe of above pie crust
4 lbs apples, 1/2 green apples and 1/2 Fuji apples
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoon butter, melted
Vanilla ice cream
1. Prepare crust: coat a 9-inch springform pan with oil. On a floured surface, roll out chilled pie crust into a 16-inch round – 1/4 inch thick. Place the dish into the fridge while you prepare the apples.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel, core and chop apples into 1/4" slices. Place them all into a large bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice. In a separate small bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and then mix into apples.
3. Spoon apples into prepared crust and spread them as flat and evenly as possible. Bake pie for 30 minutes (if the tips of the apples begin to brown and burn, cover the top with foil).
4. While pie is baking, make the streusel topping. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, salt, flour, oats and baking powder. Pour in the melted butter and mix to combine. Stick in freezer until pie has baked for 30 minutes.
5. After 30 minutes, remove the pie from the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 325 and then spoon the streusel onto the top of the pie – pressing gently into apples. Return to the oven and bake for an additional hour. Cover with foil if the streusel begins to brown too quickly.
6. When the pie has finished baking, remove it from the oven and let cool to lukewarm. Run a knife around the crust to loosen the edges from the pan. Carefully loosen the clamp on the springform and slide it over the top and off the pie.
Lately I have been paying attention to what makes a space 'just work' and what doesn't. Have you ever been drawn to a room or vignette and even if it is not your personal aesthetic, it feels like it has a certain satisfying affect? Me too! I think this is what is meant by composition - when texture, color, pattern and materials are in perfect equilibrium. Here are a few examples that I think are perfectly executed:
Happy weekend to you!
I'm excited to share with you, my sweet readers, a new professional venture I embarked upon almost one year ago... I've taken a slight departure from my residential and hospitality interior design focus to develop and execute creative direction for several start-up and interior + lifestyle brands. I fell into the first position by happy accident (well, there really are no accidents as everything happens for a reason - I am a firm believer in that!) and one position led to the next and so on. The FarmHouseUrban brand, however is still ever present! I temporarily turned off access to my online store www.shopfarmhouseurban.com, but it will be back in the New Year and better than ever along with other exciting happenings!
I was recently approached by the exquisite home furnishings company - Europe 2 You to partner on a project for the launch of their new e-commerce site - EtuHome. For those not familiar, Europe 2 You is a wholesale-only maker of gorgeous vintage inspired products for the home. EtuHome is the new retail branch of their company - making their products accessible to absolutely everyone!
For this project I was sent several of EtuHome's top-selling pieces and my assignment was to style them in my personal aesthetic. Here's what I came up with:
I pulled some things from around the house - linens, ceramic pitchers, vintage hotel silver, galvanized containers, votives and a box of acorns I just got from here, Then I went to the fridge and took out all the fruits and veggies that were still good! Last, I cut some stems from the garden.
The piece above is the Spanish Olive Tray which comes in three sizes. I adore this piece! Part cutting board, part serving piece, it adds a unique twist to both. As such, there are endless ways to use it. The most practical and easy - leaning on your kitchen backsplash! I have been noticing the trend of using individual-size wood pieces as serving trays, so that was my inspiration and styled mine as a coffee tray.
Next is the Bordeaux Bistro Tray which measures 20" in diameter. The galvanized edge is 4" high. Many of us have upholstered ottomans which are risky to set beverages on. This tray is the answer! It provides a stylish receptacle for stacking your magazines or weekly newspapers too.
Above and below is the Bianca Cake Stand (short). I used the sepia filter just because :-) but below is the unfiltered version. I have a cake stand collection, but none are made of wood, so this is a fun addition. Now thinking of what kind of cake to make for it.... any ideas?
The below two photos show the versatile Baguette Board. I tried to style the pieces in ways that offer an alternative to the suggested use. I played around with this piece more than any of the others and found so many places that it just looked great - including across my bathtub holding soap and a sponge. I wouldn't suggest that it be used that way if water was in the tub as it might damage the integrity of the wood and finish. That said, when not in use or set on a table or counter holding just about anything - it will look amazing!
The next three photos are of the Bordeaux Wine Barrel Lazy Susan. This is a fun piece and frankly a must-have if you've got a large round or square table. It should come with a warning to parents of teenagers and their friends who wouldn't stop spinning it young children - not to put breakables or spillables on it in their presence.
Last but certainly not least, is the Balon Cloche. This piece is truly stunning - even on its own. Trimmed in tin, the shape and size sets it apart from anything else I've seen.
There are many many more gorgeous pieces on EtuHome's online shop. I highly encourage you to pop over for a browse - you won't be disappointed!
Wishing you all peace and love,
I've been giving a lot of thought lately to my lackluster bathroom vanity and how to make it pretty while keeping it free of clutter. Do you share this quandary? As I've said many times, when I need inspiration, or just want to free fall into a creative flow Pinterest is where I go. So, for the past couple of weeks I've been saving beautifully styled bathroom images here and here. Just a few...
As luck - or serendipity - would have it, as I was pouring over bathroom images, a gorgeous design book on bathrooms arrived in the mail from the publisher! The book isn't just 'A' book about bathrooms. It's written by The Bathroom Goddess herself - Barbara Sallick, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Design for Waterworks. Let me preface my fussing and fawning by saying that I would never promote anything that I haven't personally experienced and/or seen and that I didn't adore. I adore this book. It is chock full of images all of which are absolutely breathtaking. The chapters are organized in such a way that if you are using it to help you design, you can plunge right in to those tips and resources. If eye candy and a little lift with your afternoon tea, is more your speed, you can have that too.
© The Perfect Bath by Barbara Sallick, Rizzoli New York, 2016.
If you are looking for things to put on your holiday wish list, I highly recommend "The Perfect Bath". To purchase, click here.
As I contemplate my bathroom, I will be spending time considering the beautful bath accessories found at Waterworks.
More interior inspiration to come...
It happens without warning. You go from counting down the days until school starts, doing a happy dance the minute you step into the quiet house after dropping your children off and attending the Parent Breakfast (which, sadly, I have missed due to scheduling conflicts for the past 5-6 years or more) to stepping into the quiet house, plopping down on the sofa that so recently had piles of kids on it and wishing for just a few more days of summer. There's no gradual progression. No transitional period. So begins Lily's senior year of high school...Where did the time go?
The one silver lining with back-to-school week is catching up with friends over coffee. It's nice to think that this tradition can (and will) continue, even after the kids have left the nest. It got me thinking about coffee shops, having coffee with friends at home and all that goes with both... Here are some of my inspirations.
Product Sources (click for link):
6. Coffee Mug
8. Lazy Susan
I've been listening to a new Pandora station lately - Lauryn Hill Radio. It gets confusing, sorting out all of the music choices out there - Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud, etc. I don't really get what makes one better than the other or how they differ, so I just stick to the one I know. The music on Lauryn Hill Radio is a mix of present day artists as well as oldies, but it's all Rhythm & Blues. I heard "Misty Blue" by Dorothy Moore for the first time tonight. What a beautiful song. I'm a sucker for soulful ballads that stir emotions...But then again, it's Sunday night, so maybe that's why....
Oh, it's been such a long, long time
Looks like I can get you off my mind
Oh, but I can't
Just the thought of you,
Turns my whole world
A misty blue.
That it does.
Right after I heard this song tonight, I watched a show on Netflix and it played during the credits... I love coincidences.
Here are some misty blues for you's :)
Hi you. I'll let the photos do the talking. I've missed you.
The Rihanna Concert was amazing.
My sweet Lily and her prom date Will. It was drama free I'm happy to report.
My Mother's Day gifts.
They know me so well.
Bonus gift - Luke was home for a week over Mother's Day!
I was in New York recently for a work meeting and attended the ICFF trade show which coincided with Design Week. It was fantastic. Here are some of my favorite new discoveries. Please leave a comment below if you would like the vendor information on a particular piece and I'll reply in the comments. Thank you :)
It's hard to see, but this lighting company offers several unusual finishes (like rust - real rust) and the option to use multiple in one fixture which I thought was really cool.
These outdoor, fully weatherproof chairs are the bomb! Beach house owners - these are for you!
I really, really like that sconce on the left... Great design. All the pieces from this French lighting company are terrific.
This floating bathroom vanity is sleek and modern with no pulls, open cabinetry and a sink + countertop made of one piece. At the same time, the wood frame keeps it from being austere and cold. Stunning.
If you can take your eyes away from the faucet, notice the drain. It's on the outer edge of the sink bottom.
This is colored moss. Hear me out. This is not like the fake flowers of yesteryear. It's not meant to look real and living. The first thing I thought of when I saw it, is how cool a giant logo on an office wall would look. The moss can be made into any shape, pattern, and color way you can think of. Like a big crayon box for adults.
This well know tabletop company, introduced a new collection of pieces made of cork.
I loved these vintage concert posters made into art pieces.
Lions and tigers and chairs.
Hi sweet people. Happy Friday to all of you. This is going to be a relatively quiet weekend for me. The highlight being my daughter Lily's prom or as I like to call it "Prom Drom" as in, short for drama. There's a whole lot more at play for girls regarding the prom - whoa. When Luke went (I think he went every year he was in high school...) all that was involved was renting his tuxedo and getting the girl a corsage. With girls, the preparation starts right after Christmas vacation. Suffice it to say, I will be happy when she comes back home well before her 10pm curfew, so we can all move on! If she lets me, I will post a photo of her and her date on the next post. Parents are invited to a pre-prom cocktail party at the home of one of the boys in the group she is going with. Should be fun...
So, wallpaper... It's a little controversial because it requires making a commitment that paint simply does not. You have to really like it, because it's a bold design statement that isn't easy to take down. In addition, it dictates the style direction of the other pieces in the room. Despite all that, wallpaper seems to be gaining in popularity these days and I must say I'm loving the gorgeous colors, textures and materials that are out there. Small spaces that don't involve furnishings are the best places for wallpaper. It in itself being the star of the show.
Still life's get me every time. This one is so incredibly stunning.
A fun way to add some interest to a room is to wallpaper the back of bookshelves.
Kids rooms are another place that I've seen a trend in wallpaper emerging.
The color combination is so quirky, yet it totally works.
I love the idea of wallpapering the ceiling. If you didn't see it done, it would be daunting, but how sweet that the little one whose room this is can look up and see the birds?
How adorable is this bunny wallpaper with the little pink stars?
Hi you. Normally I remember every anniversary or special date, but my six year blog anniversary came and went in early January and I completely forgot to mention it. So thank you all for brightening my days with your emails and comments letting me know you're there and reading. I cannot tell you how much it touches my heart to hear from you.
What is it about faded colors that is so appealing? I like when they crash into one another and the colors that emerge are ambiguous and don't have a name. Case in point, the end-of-summer hydrangea. The once vibrant pinks and blues meld and purples and paler shades take over. Faded jeans that are white in places and indigo in others are another example. I love that. So, it makes sense that I've been noticing shades of sepia - or that's what I'm calling it - in interiors. I'm drawn to the barely-there ,warm, weathered around the edge-ness of it all.
Hi sweet people. I wrote this post about a month ago, right before I thought I lost all of my photos and was having computer issues. Other than omitting the part about the bad weather we were experiencing at the time, and where I riffied on about how I've made yoga and meditation a lifestyle rather than a part-time hobby, I didn't change anything...
The passing of David Bowie this week hit me hard. His music was the soundtrack to my youth as I'm sure the same is true for many. I was with my Dad when he got the news that John Lennon had been shot. He sat down, covered his eyes with his hand and began to sob. At the time, I felt so awkward. An Ivy League graduate, college football linebacker and Korean War Veteran crying over the death of a musician… I get it now.
To the Thin White Duke...thank you.
Speaking of changes, I've been making some around the house lately. What do you think?
I went back and forth - modern or traditional for the dining room light fixture. As you can see, I finally decided on a traditional chandelier. The chairs and table are all modern, so to balance them out I decided a chandelier would be perfect. A mix of both old and new is what I strive for. I love how sparkly it is at night too.
I bought this early American table at an estate sale a few years ago thinking I would sell it. I don't know why I fell so hard for it, but I absolutely love it and cannot part with it. It bounced around the house in different spots, usually to fill a temporary hole, but I think it found a permanent place under this Hiro Yokose painting.
I wanted a table for next to this acrylic chair from the 70's that I found on Ebay (for $100!) but it had to be simple yet substantial. I opted for a petrified wood stump from here.
See that french daybed in the back? I've had that piece for awhile and am not sure what to do with it. I moved it to the above location around Christmastime when I needed to make room for the tree. I'd like to remake the mattress more like this and make big fat bolsters in a contrasting color like dark + light gray or brown + natural linen. I'm still deciding.... We'll see.
So now there's this big open space at the top of the entryway stairs and between the living and dining rooms where the daybed was... A round table would work, but it's not that practical and I don't want a formal feel. So, I'm thinking of a small 'conversational cluster'. I'm considering moving the coffee table from the living room (above) and adding 4 modern chairs. Ideas?
Another stump for next to the tub :-)
That's it for the tour! Happy week to you!