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Friday’s Five Under $50: Summer Cookbooks!

10 Jun

Barbecues, birthday parties, outdoor suppers, and picnics in the park: you’ll surely be trying out some new recipes this month!  Try these five fabulous cookbooks for culinary inspiration…and be confident that they’ll look pretty on your counter, too!  All are available at Amazon.com for under $30, except for the IKEA baking cookbook, which you’ll have to exert some serious effort to find (let me know if you do!). 

 

1.) Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, by Martha Stewart; 2.) The Good Stuff Cookbook by Spike Mendelsohn; 3.) Peace Love and Barbecue, by Mike and Amy Mills; 4.) Terre à Terre: The Vegetarian Cookbook by Powley and Taylor; 5.) Homemade is Best from Ikea (apparently being given away in Sweden)

 Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

 

Five Under $50: BBQ Accessories!

27 May

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and you probably have some potato salads in your immediate future. So fire up the grill and relish (get it?) these cheap but stylish BBQ accessories that are casual, fun, and outdoor-party-perfect!

1.) Saucepot with Basting Brush by Bodum, $19.99 (image via Target); 2.) Reclaimed Slate Cheese Board from Uncommon Goods, $48 (image via Uncommon Goods); 3.) 20 Melon Ball Paper Napkins from Crate and Barrel, $3.95 (image via Crate and Barrel); 4.) Bongenre Tangier Melamine Dinner Plate (set of 4), $36 (image via Plum Party); 5.) Mini Colorful Bowls with Tray from Pier One Imports, $14.95 (image via Pier One)

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Extreme Couponing. Extreme Pantries.

19 Apr

I’ve recently been reading about a new show: TLC’s “Extreme Couponing.”   I’ve never actually seen an episode.   (Sidenote, I pronounce the word “q-pon.” My husband relentlessly makes fun of me for this, saying that the proper pronunciation is “coo-pon.” Is anyone actually with me here?) 

Like any good designer, after I ponder how they eat their food before it goes bad and whether they give any of it to charity, I am left with one burning question: how could you store all of this stuff in an attractive and functional way?  What kind of extreme pantries do these people require?  Short of an 8,000 square foot manse, the thought of  a pantry that could successfully and attractively house all of that food (and toilet paper) boggles my mind.

Instead of thinking about that challenge, here are some of my favorite real-people pantries: some are well-organized closets, and some are impromptu wardrobes-turned-food storage.  All are extremely beautiful and functional in their own way. 

This one is from ReNest, a favorite blog of mine. It shows off Jamie Oliver’s line of organizers.

This pantry, featured in Country Living, is a great way to make a space for your kitchen tools and dry ingredients when you don’t already have a designated place to put them.

Another from Country Living: I think this one is my favorite.

I love the idea of painting the interior of the pantry closet an unexpected color. This is from Vision Decor:

Another with the glass bottles. These people must be store their food elsewhere…but their “show” pantries are beautiful! From Penny Pantry.

And for a bigger one, this walk-in pantry is from House Beautiful: can you imagine…a WHOLE room for spices and rices?  There’s nothing spectacular about the look of this space, but the ability to line up all of your tiny jars (alphabetically even!) in a single line would make me so happy. 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Friday’s Five Under $50!: Wines

11 Mar

 

They say you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I do. Likewise, I assume you’re not supposed to judge a wine by its label: I definitely do.  I find that sometimes the branding of something can capture its essence in the way that words or reviews can’t: the colors, the style, and the general mood that the imagery evokes is often indicative of the true nature of the product. Looks edgy and reminiscent of a graffiti painting? — it’s probably not a traditional tasting, bland wine.  Decorated like the lid of a jam jar with a tongue-in-cheek print that resembles ugly picnic tablecloths? — it’s probably fun to drink and surprisingly sweet. …You get what I’m saying.

Here are five wines under $50 that will look excellent on your kitchen counter, cause guests to ask questions and beg for a sip, and won’t break the bank.  I make NO promises about the taste, but I have a feeling that many of them will be winners.


A few selections from Monster Vineyards:

Monster Vineyards (image via Monster Vineyards)

 

A sweet twist on Shiraz from South Africa’s Cape Classics:

I spotted Jam Jar at World Market this week and couldn't resist it! (image via CherryFlava)

 

Lazarus Wine is truly unique in its design: the label is entirely written in braille! The concept and design was done by Madrid-based Baud Designs.

One of the neatest labels I've seen...on anything! (image via Core77)

 

I also spotted Petite Petit, a Syrah, by Michael David Winery at World Market, and though I resisted I do wonder what it tastes like…maybe next time!

In person, the bottle is much shorter and rounder -- kind of squat. (image via Vine Geek)

 

The label that I find the most visually appealing belongs to Zull Wines‘ Gruner Veltliner, Rose, and Blauer Portugieser varieties.

(image via Ffffound)

 

The best part about these Five Under $50! picks is that I didn’t even need to post the price. They are ALL under $20, and many of them are under $12. For that investment, you can get ALL of them if you know how to shop around! Happy weekend!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Backsplashes to Brighten Your Day!

28 Feb

It seems that with spring comes lots of cleaning…and painting…and backsplash installation.  Backsplashes can be made of tile (big, small, rectangular, round, shiny, natural, the list goes on…), painted, or clad in unexpected materials like resin or glass or stainless steel.  Their prices cover an equally diverse spectrum; you can get lucky with a simple and standard tile for $5 a square foot, or you can pay upwards of $100 a square foot for a rare material or an elaborate design.

Here are a few examples of well-executed backsplashes representing a variety of styles (and budgets). Warning: you will see no terracotta or tumbled stone here. Enjoy!

 

Turquoise glass against stark white sterility - lovely! (image via housetohome.co.uk)

You've gotta work with what you've got...here, a $10 quart of paint and some chalk goes a long way... See the whole project at TheElefanta. (image via Design Sponge via TheElefanta)

Metal backsplashes are something that I typically don't gravitate towards. But here with the natural ceiling, dark floor, and subdued but colorful cabinets you don't even notice that the industrial metal tiles quietly add something to the space. I love them. (image source unknown, but the tiles are Walker Zanger Metallismo tiles)

This backsplash defines "bringing things together." Gorgeously retro but updated. Cute kid, too. (image via Costal Living)

Simple monotone, complex textures. I love how the dark-colored grout makes the tiles pop and changes the whole look of the room. (image via Decor Pad via Mary Evelyn McKee & Tria Giovan Photography)

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Little Natural Inspiration…

11 Feb

My RSS-feed was on fire this week with two gorgeous pictures of interiors that are overflowing with warmth and inspired by the use of natural materials. They’re too gorgeous not to share! Please excuse the absence of Color Friday this week in favor of these earthy but polished spaces.

This kitchen has a fantastic mix of woods, metals, whites, and glowing lantern light.

(image via Montgomery Roth Architecture and Interior Design via Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn)

I love the addition of fresh fruits and veggies; they add a much needed color pop and they soften what could otherwise be a very masculine aesthetic.  Note to anyone trying to stage a house: lemons go a long way in accessorizing a room, but don’t stop there.  Consider yellow peppers, pears, and even unconventional shapes and colors: what about a big glass hurricane of radishes in a charcoal gray kitchen?  I also find the lofted space above the kitchen to be contemporary, clean and unexpectedly homey…it really makes a great composition.


Sometimes the best natural inspirations are untouched raw materials.

(image via ReNest)

This stand-alone pantry uses glass containers to house every single thing and it’s as stunning as it is functional.  Not sure it would work for everyone, but I’d be willing to give it a shot given the right architecture.  We’d be hard pressed to make this happen given the large amount of Oreos and fruit snacks we consume, and I’m afraid the pantry would become an array of earth-toned and green shades mixed with technicolor brights. In any case,  it’s a beautiful concept.

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Rainbow of Pepper Mills!

6 Jan

I have a bright red pepper mill from Anthropologie that I love.  However, after a few years of some serious cooking and a few chips in the lacquer it could use to be replaced.  I really like the Henrik Salt and Pepper Mill from Crate and Barrel right now, so that’s the likely replacement: far from bright red, but interesting for the shape alone.

From L to R, the Henrik, Jesper and Lizbet Salt and Pepper Mills from Crate and Barrel, each $40. These acacia wood mills were all originally designed by Jens Quistgaard, and are brought back from the Dansk International archives for a limited time. (images via Crate and Barrel)

Even though I’m leaning towards the natural mills above, you know that I love color and I would be remiss not to show you a rainbow of pepper mills as I navigate the world of colorful (or not) kitchen accessories.  Here are nine good ones, in all shades of deliciousness:

Red: Capstan Pepper Mill by T&G Woodware, about $50 (image via T&G Woodware), Pink: Pantone Crush Grind Mill, available at Amazon, about $25 (image via Amazon), Orange: Vic Firth Salt Mill in Electric Orange, about $35 (image via Food Network), Yellow: Vic Firth Yellow Pepper Mill, about $40 (image via Vic Firth), Light Green: Vic Firth Mario Batalli Pesto Pepper Mill, about $40 (image via Vic Firth), Dark Green: Chiasso Posh Grinders (set of 4 various colors), $38 (image via Chiasso), Sky Blue: Paderno Blue Pepper Mill, $25 (image via Paderno), Blue: Peugeot U-Select Lacquered Pepper Mill in Azure, $55 (image via Williams Sonoma Home), Purple: Galic Pumba Pepper Mill (image via Galic)

Pepper (or salt) mills are a great way to add some color to your kitchen on the cheap, and it’s fun and easy to start a collection of them.  Displayed or not, you’ll have fun knowing your pepper is coming from a beautiful gadget as opposed to an institutional shaker.  Enjoy the hunt, don’t be afraid to have more than one, and let me know if you find a great one!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.