Tis the Season…for a Shiny New Grill!

So after much debate, price comparisons and checking of Consumer Reports ratings, the husband and I finally got our first grown-up grill this weekend. It’s a Char-Broil Red grill, with “Red” referring to the infrared heat the grill uses. Instead of an open flame, three stainless-steel tube burners are tucked away beneath a U-shaped trough, providing high, even heat to the cast-iron cooking surface. Not only does the infrared system save someone like me from catching their hair on fire, it also prevents meat from drying out and losing all of that juicy goodness.

Despite the horribly hot weather (100 degrees! 110 heat index!), Saturday evening we grilled a couple of inaugural rib-eyes, and they were phenomenal. The grill is easy to use, with a “SureFire” electronic ignition button and individual burner knobs with a range of temperature settings, including one for rotisserie, should we ever feel the need to purchase the electric grill rotisserie. Which we won’t. But the lower setting is ideal for fish and veggies, which can also be cooked on the side burner.

The grill heats quickly, and only uses a third of the propane regular gas grills require, and our thick, juicy steaks were perfectly cooked in about 10 minutes. Even better, it has a cleaning mode that ramps the heat up to around 700 degrees and basically disintegrates anything left on the cooking surface, rendering that grill brush completely useless!

Even after one use, I think we’re really going to like this grill. It’s not gigantic and takes up minimal space on the deck, but it’s the perfect size whether we’re cooking for just ourselves or for a few other folks. Considering the easy operation, the side burner and the storage space, not to mention the effortless clean up, I can see a lot of our cooking moving from inside the kitchen and out onto the deck, especially in the evening and when the weather cools. But for now, I’m looking forward to grilling up some fabulous burgers (I have the most excellent recipe!) over the 4th of July holiday this weekend, no matter how hot it is!

Houses From Within Tel Aviv – My Favorite Place – Hila Caspi’s Home

Houses from Within, Tel Aviv 2010 was a month ago. I was fortunate enough to get a press pass (thank you Aviva!) so I drove around Tel Aviv like a mad woman dashing from apartment to apartment. I saw 19 places in all and I’ve decided to start off the reviews with my favorite apartment from the whole weekend – Hila Caspi’s home. It’s a small flat in north Tel Aviv but I adore how she maximized the space, light and interest in the apartment.

The whole flat is around 70 square meters. The floor is cement (which was a major trend this time around – so much so that by the end of the weekend I was bored of it), the kitchen is shiny white (another trend which had me yawning by the end of the weekend). However, this was the first place I saw both in, so I was still excited while photographing the place. So why do I love it so much when it holds two pieces that I find rather tired and unoriginal? She has the most brilliant use of space for her tiny flat, some totally unexpected design elements that really got me and she has possibly the best made bed in Israel.

I’m so not kidding there. Continue reading

Home furnishing trends, can we talk?

After visiting the International Furniture Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Center a few weeks ago, I have come to some conclusions regarding the latest, greatest themes in Home Furnishings.

Faux Wood Lamp Shade

Wood, wood and more wood.  Unfinished wood of every dimension was a hit at the show.  Utilized in innovative ways to make this old standard look updated and interesting.

Wood Cutting Board by Canoe

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Hung Up on the Hang-It-All

The big Herman Miller sale has come and gone, and while I didn’t end up with a pair of Eames molded plastic chairs for the dining room (since there’s no new dining room table to put them at quite yet), I am, however, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my shiny new Eames Hang-It-All!

I fell in love with Charles and Ray Eames years ago when I was assigned to write an article on mid-century masters. It was one of my first magazine assignments, and I remember spending the day at a local independent shop filled with the classics I had only seen in photos, and learning about Eileen Gray, George Nelson, Eero Saarinen and of course, the Eameses.

That was the day I truly fell in love with mid-century design, and vowed to eventually fill my home with a modest collection of all my favorites. Needless to say it’s been slow going, but I’ve wanted this mini icon for my office for a while. And you know, sale! And free shipping!

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It’s Nate Day? Well Sign Me Up!

I don’t know how today became Nate day – but I saw it on Twitter and who am I to argue? I think that Nate Berkus is stunning and his interiors are great too.

Above is from the Nate Berkus bedding collection. I love the casual elegance of it. Although I have to admit – not a major fan of fabric headboards, this one actually looks practical (like it could be taken off and washed).

Love this – although my children and dog would destroy it sooner than a New York minute…

Wayyyyyyy more child friendly. Well, minus the vase on the table that will fall on that lush carpet. But the carpet is thick, so the vase won’t break. Anyone learning to walk should avoid the corners of that table. And I hope those yellow stools aren’t silk (like they look).

Sigh. I can’t even imagine a house like this at this stage of my life. Does Nate do country cottage style that’s good for a family with 2 small boys?

Color Tip of the Week: What’s hot now



Color has come full circle with the use of brights in home furnishings.  Combined with the environmental theme, this trend is one to take part in.  There are so many wonderful products on the market to choose from. 

Tips for how to use bright colors in the home: 

1)  Add brights with accessories.  There is no need to paint a wall to embrace this trend. 

2)  Look outside and get inspired.  Every garden houses these brights in “living color”.

3)  Take advantage of nature.  Themes from this category are a sure bet when it comes to combining brights.  Use the gallery of photos above for inspiration “outside and in”.

Nature inspired lighting by Jeremy Cole

Nature, nature, nature… the most popular theme in design today.  Many of the products seen on the market now are a reflection of years of concentrated work by young artists of our time.  These delicate lights made of  bone china are inspired by the aloe plant. Created by New Zealand born Jeremy Cole , each lamp illuminates and decorates in a fantastical way.

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