Saturday, September 29, 2007

You Are Where You Eat

There are two different types of restaurants in New York, there is the one kind where you don't care where it is or what it looks like because the food is unbelievably good and the other is where you go to see and be seen. The Waverly Inn is of the latter type. I usually don't care about all that stuff but this winter I made an exception and it was worth it.

There is no listed phone number for The Waverly Inn (they dropped the Ye when Graydon Carter bought it) but lucky for me, I have friends in the know, so it was no problem finding the number and securing a reservation. Of course, once there we were seated in Siberia but who cares when you can still name drop that you've been there which is what my friend Matt has enjoyed doing on many occasions. Gotta love it. On the night we were there, we saw Calvin Klein, which was even funnier since we had seen him at a restaurant in Prague over Thanksgiving. Anne Hathaway also stopped in with her cute boyfriend. Even Spencer Morgan from The New York Observer was there that night scoping out the place for a story he was writing for his column.

The food sadly to say was just okay. They were out of a lot of dishes but luckily the amazing melt in your mouth biscuits made up for it! We raved about them for days so I was excited to see the recipe for them published in the May 2007 issue of GQ. Notice how it was a men's magazine that printed it, women don't eat carbs you know, but if you are going to break your diet, these are definitely worth it! Bon appétit!

Waverly Inn Biscuits

4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon salt
¼ tablespoon baking soda
3 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sugar
½ pound very cold unsalted butter
1 pint very cold buttermilk
2 eggs (for egg wash)

The easiest way to make these biscuits is with a KitchenAid-style mixer, for which these instructions are intended. If you don’t have one, you can use a large mixing bowl and a manual pastry cutter to incorporate the butter into the flour.

1. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

2. Dice butter into small cubes.

3. Toss some flour onto butter cubes (so they won’t stick together) and then add them to the bowl of dry ingredients. Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, blend the butter and flour mixture at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bits of butter are the size of peas.

4. With the paddle still churning, add buttermilk. It will take about 20 seconds to incorporate. The mixture will be fairly wet and will resemble chocolate chip cookie dough.

5. Turn out dough onto a well-floured cutting board or counter top. Sprinkle more flour on top of dough. Using your fingers, gently fold dough over itself a few times and flatten it a bit. It should be lumpy and a bit loose, not cohesive and smooth like bread dough. Sprinkle the cutting surface with more flour if you think dough might stick.

6. Using a heavy rolling pin dusted with flour, gently roll out dough into a broad oval, about ½ to ¾ of an inch thick. Don’t overwork dough.

7. Using a cookie cutter or other straightedge, cut dough into biscuits. Don’t worry, they don’t need to be perfectly shaped. Gently place each biscuit on a baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.

8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove biscuits from the fridge. Beat eggs and brush the top of each biscuit for about 7 minutes, until nicely browned and fragrant.

9. Serve immediately with butter, jam, or honey. Try to save room for the rest of your meal. Makes eighteen.

high kitchen countertop with storage drawers

one kitchen size does not fit all. here's how carsten added almost 8 inches of height to his kitchen base unit.

"as i am really tall, i always wanted a kitchen with a high countertop. these are insanely expensive, so we used a standard ikea faktum (similar to akurum) kitchen with white arlig doors an placed these little wooden drawers (we don't remember the name, but they are quite similar to the mackis drawers), that were painted to match, on top of them.

high countertop kitchenhigh countertop kitchenthen we topped the whole thing off with a dark brown countertop that is fastened to the wall. the bigger brown square in the middle is one of the boxes turned sideways to match the overall length of the kitchen. the result is a countertop height of 108cm instead of the standard 89."

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Domino Book of Decorating

Just in case there is anyone out there who didn't get the lovely announcement email from Domino today regarding their upcoming book release, I'm posting the press release here. I'd say it's pretty exciting news and I know I look forward to it's publication! I just wonder who will make the cover!

"Domino, the hip magazine about stylish living that has become one of Condé Nast’s most successful launches of all time, has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish its first book, it was announced today. Entitled The Domino Book of Decorating, the book is being edited by Domino Editor in Chief Deborah Needleman, Creative Director Sara Ruffin Costello and Style Director Dara Caponigro. It is being packaged by the firm Melcher Media, which also produced the hugely successful Lucky Shopping Manual, from sister Condé Nast publication Lucky Magazine. Simon & Schuster will publish in Fall 2008."

"The Domino Book of Decorating will feature the magazine's signature blend of beauty and comfort, glamour and practicality, and offer inspiration and advice for decorating every room of the home. Filled with floor plans, before-and-after shots, and a wealth of lush photography, it will include all of the magazine's popular elements: unexpected expert decorating tips, eclectic style juxtapositions, shrewd shopping strategies, and ideas drawn from sources as far apart as Louis XIV and Le Corbusier."

Needleman commented, “We’re creating The Domino Book of Decorating for a new generation of homeowners and renters, and hope to make it the new décor bible--a source of guidance, inspiration, and excitement.”

Sue Hostetler's Hip New York Home

I have to admit that I don't usually read Metropolitan Home. I flip through it but then decide that it's boring and put it back on the rack but I might just have to start after the feature I just found on Sue Hostetler. Although, to be honest I stumbled upon it on that weird Point Click Home site while looking for a photo from ELLE Decor.

For those of you who don't know, Sue Hostetler is the author behind the fabulous book Hip Hollywood Homes. If you haven't seen it, you have to pick it up. It's really great. I didn't realize she lived in New York though, so it was exciting to see inside the Soho loft she shares with her husband. It's clean and modern but not cold or stark with 14-foot ceilings and towering windows. I really love it and the decorator behind it, Valerie Pasquiou. Of course, what I really love is all that space. I'm so jealous! To read the entire article online, click here.

The office is the photo I saw and it really drew me in. I'm a sucker for a gallery wall and I think it's nice to have a space you can close off from the rest of the loft, especially to work.

The daybed in the living room is by the famed French designer Jean Prouve, and was upholstered in Ultrasuede. The acadia wood Poof side table/stool is by Tucker Robbins.

In the "open study" a painting by Ross Neher hangs above a Lucite console and custom ottomans. The marble topped bronze table is from Blackman Cruz.

I love the metal metal vanities and steel framed doors in the master bathroom. They look exactly like something you'd fins in a hip New York restaurant like Pastis. I think it's also nice to have a warmer bedroom sanctuary in a modern and mostly white home. But this white home is definitely not a boring white box. It was fun to peak inside this chic abode and if Sue Hostetler ever decides to write Hip New York Homes, she should definitely include her own!

Photographed by Antoine Bootz

start your day with coffee in bed

at the rate i am failing at trying to wake up early, i should be making sven's bedside table with coffee maker hack. a piping hot cup of coffee ready the moment my alarm clock rings. waking up to the smell of coffee ... heaven!

sven says, "the starting point was that my girlfriend wants a coffee in the morning to wake up. and i do not feel like getting up every morning before her to make this coffee. this hack is based on the benjamin stool from ikea, the electro-boy timer and a coffeemaker, so she can now decide at what time the coffee is ready in the morning.

the coffeemaker was partly changed and integrated into the benjamin. then it was directly branched to the electro-boy timer. in the timer is still another socket left in the timer to plug in a light or radio. now you can programme the timer, load the coffeemaker and you will have coffee and light/music to wake up in the morning. another important thing is that i put an additional switch that makes the coffeemaker work only with a cup in it. that avoids flooding your sleeping room accidentally.

bedside table with coffee makerbenjamin bedside tablein the pictures you see the coffee-making version and the "light" version on the other side of the bed."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Heart Bryan Ferry

I mentioned previously that I love to read men's magazines. They always seem to have very intelligent and interesting articles, especially about art and architecture. So of course I had to pick up the fabulous 50th Anniversary issue of GQ this week. They have a few different covers featuring stylish men so I chose the Paul Newman cover, that was only because they didn't have a Steve McQueen cover. I'd like to know what's up with that!

Anyway, in the feature on the 50 Most Stylish Men of the Past 50 Years, I found the most handsome photo of rocker Bryan Ferry standing in front of the prettiest handpainted Chinoiserie wallpaper. He also happened to have been quoted as saying the following, "Other bands wanted to wreck hotel rooms, Roxy Music wanted to redecorate them." How chic is that!

I have no doubt now that Jerry Hall should never have left Bryan Ferry for Mick Jagger. If she hadn't, she would probably still be married and living in the most beautifully decorated homes ever! Sigh. I think I'm going to go fill out an application for Soho House right now so I can go meet some potentially non-gay British rock stars/decorators! Cheers!

Photo by Mick Rock

Domino Bazaar to Benefit ACRIA

I wasn't going to mention the Domino Bazaar since Style Court already did a great job posting about it but then this past Tuesday night after a reception at Phillips du Pury, I met a wonderful gentleman who happens to be a fundraiser for ACRIA, the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. The opening night of the Domino Bazaar benefits ACRIA. It is a very worthwhile cause so I promised him I would also write about it in order to persuade you all to buy a ticket to the event and tell you about all the original artwork donated by major artist for sale at special prices! It will definitely be a fun night and it's tax deductible so what could be better than that?!

Domino Bazaar Opening Night Preview - join us on October 11th at Skylight Studios 275 Hudson Street (at Spring) New York, NY from 6-9pm for a spectacular evening when ACRIA and Condé Nast/domino Magazine Present fabulous cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and incredible design stations curated by domino. The ACRIA gallery at this four-day long event will feature new editions and unique multi-piece donations from Ross Bleckner, Jack Pierson, Jeff Lewis, Christo and Jeanne Claude and many more unique works by major contemporary artists. An exclusive Opening Night silent auction will include works by Keith Haring, Robert Rauschenberg, Bernar Venet, Donald Baechler and many more. Tickets are $250 and can be purchased at or by calling 212-924-3934 x101.

peter reborn as a floor lamp

another vintage hack from a discontinued product, the peter shelving. alex turned it into a sleek floor lamp as a birthday gift.

"this is an old (1995) hack and the shelf 'peter' (first pix below) is discontinued for a few years now.

floor lightinganyway, i shortened the 'ladder' (the side unit) and got rid of all runs but the lowest two. The head of the lamp consists of aluminum spare parts and a halogen lamp. The base is a slab of granite."

floor lightingfloor lightingsee more of alex's peter floor lamp.

Heartbroken over Goteborg

finally, some thing different! a poem for a sofa.

"I remember fondly a spring day,
seven years ago this May.
That’s when my new Goteborg came home to play.
It was my second apartment, all on my own
Into a two bedroom I had grown.
I skipped through Ikea, glisten in my eye.
To my Goteborg I would fly.
He was so handsome and proud, a crisp green
surely he wouldn’t be hard to keep clean.
Finally he was home completing my set
so sadly I would regret.
The stains of time, so set in and true…
The fades of the sun have hit him too.
Why not throw the cover in the wash you say?
I did, to my dismay...
I ended up with shreds of threads
Looking like hay.
Please bring back my Goteborg today…
Tears and rips, alas what shall I do?
Bemz shall help renew,
The love of my Goteborg has remained true.
He has been my warmth on a rainy day…
and my perch to watch the birdies play.
He has sat with my friends when a movie would fright…
Been a shelter on a cold night.
O’ how I long for him to stay…
but dire straits put me in a pinch.
The money I can’t stretch another inch.
No cover, no money the outcome is up to you….

Vote yes to save my Gotie from the trash. Please!!!!" - Sarah

want to win $500 to spend at bemz? here's how to send in your entry.
click here to view all entries.

make it smell good again

a minor fire makes a stinky sofa. give lisa a sweet smelling new slipcover.

"I think our sofa deserves a second chance not only because it's starting to look really saggy but the fact that it stinks!

We had a minor fire two weeks ago in a flower pot in the living room and the smoke just won't come out not matter that we've washed the covers. The couch itself we still love so why buy a new one? Don’t you agree?" - Lisa

want to win $500 to spend at bemz? here's how to send in your entry.
click here to view all entries.

pierre and christine's "love again" couch

a story of second chances - for love and for sofas.

"We are two ikea-fans living in rainy Vancouver, BC. Our Nikkala was purchased upwards of 10 years ago, when Pierre was living in Paris. He purchased it with his then-girlfriend, with whom he was just moving in with. Orange is Pierre's favourite colour, and he is a huge movie buff - as other Nikkala owners have attested, the couch is perfect for lounging and watching a movie. The couch's moderate size also made it perfect for lugging up and down flights of stairs, as the majority of apartments in Paris don't have elevators and are often five or six flights up. Besides a couple of moves, the couch's destruction began with the claws of Pierre's girlfriend's cat, Tsunami, laying the ground work for years of further destruction.

Pierre and his girlfriend got married a few years later and moved to San Francisco together, shipping the Nikkala with them – six months spent on a container ship to get to the US before they finally got their furniture delivered. The couch saw them both adjust to a new country, learn a new language, and come to love the city of steep hills and 4 'o clock fog. But after a few years disaster struck – Pierre lost his job (and consequently the right to stay in the country) at the same time as his marriage was dissolving. When his then ex-wife moved back to France, he packed up his stuff and took a job opportunity in Vancouver, looking for a fresh start. The Nikkala got packed into a truck once again and made another cross-country journey.

That was four years ago, and Pierre and I met shortly afterward. We spent many evenings on that couch as we got to know each other and eventually fell in love. Two and a half years ago we moved in together and the Nikkala had a feline friend once again. Our cat Lola has sped up the demise of the current slipcover, bringing it to it's current state.

Once a vibrant orange, our faded-peach friend is still incredibly comfy and the frame and cushions are in great shape. We've also since trained our cat to not destroy the couch in the future by purchasing her a proper scratching post and putting double-sided tape on the couch to break her habits. We would love to give this couch a second chance just as Pierre had his chance a few years ago. We've chosen a nice graphite grey to contrast our bright colours in the carpet and the cushions, and we think this will be stain and wear resistant – not to mention really classy.

We hope we can give our Nikkala a chance for love again! Thanks!" - Christine & Pierre

want to win $500 to spend at bemz? here's how to send in your entry.
click here to view all entries.

uglydolls demonstrate against ugly sofa

uglydolls look better than ann's sofa. give her a pretty new one?

"My name is Ann and I live in Sweden. My living room would look a lot better with a fresh Bemz slipcover for my Karlanda sofa...

I tried to dye the cover myself but it ended up a disaster. After having dyed the cover I found out that it wasn't made of 100% cotton. Instead it is partly linen and needed dry cleaning!

So after washing and dyeing it at home in the washing machine, it had shrunk! I had to work for hours to get the cover back on the sofa! There's no way I can dye it again to make the color look better because then I will never get it back on!

Me and my daughter feel ashamed when people visit. Usually we try to hide the entire sofa with blankets but of course it never looks good.

Our sofa is so ugly that not even our (very cute) Uglydolls will spend any time on it (except for when they are demonstrating against ugly covers)!

This is the Bemz slipcover that I (+ my daughter + the Uglydolls) would love to win: Sybary- Midnight Grey.

want to win $500 to spend at bemz? here's how to send in your entry.
click here to view all entries.

a new slipcover for silke?

the last of the cat entries, for now. phew!
(if you're thinking of sending in an entry, no more pet stories, please!)

"Unfortunately for my Tomelilla armchair my two cats love it as much as I do. I love it for its comfort and it's simply the best spot to read. My two furry roommates adore the chair...
...because as cat you can sleep on it, munch you treats on it, watch the birds and since the zipper doesn't work anymore, creep underneath the cover and hide when there's a rain storm.

Since they both share this view, my chair has seen a lot of cat-jealousy during the years... for the best spot is always the one already taken." - silke

want to win $500 to spend at bemz? here's how to send in your entry.
click here to view all entries.

Stalking Albert Hadley

I thought you might all get a kick out of this photo I took the other day to send to Patricia Gray, the fabulous Canadian interior designer who has a major crush on Albert Hadley. I've joked with her in the past about how I see him standing outside his office every morning smoking his signature Camel cigarettes and that I was going to take a photo of him for her and this week, I finally did it. My only advice to other would-be stalkers out there is that you should never wear your most wildly patterned and colorful dress while you are trying to covertly take someone's photo. If you look really closely, I definitely think Mr. Hadley has spotted the crazy girl across the street taking his photo. Should make for an interesting story when I do finally interview him. But it was worth it to make Patricia smile and I hope it makes you smile today too!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Habitually Chic Interview

Franki over at Life in a Venti Cup was sweet enough to interview me recently for her lovely blog and today she has posted it! Very exciting if I do say so myself! She asked some very thoughtful and interesting questions that were really fun to answer. Unfortunately, I'm not tech savvy enough to figure out how to post a photo of it so I hope you'll head on over to her wonderful site, Life in a Venti Cup, where "life is too short to think small!" I hope you all enjoy it and thanks again to Franki for thinking I was interesting enough to interview in the first place!

I now have a wonderful photo of my interview over at Life in a Venti Cup courtsey of Jo at Desire to Inspire! Wasn't that so sweet!!! I spent at least a half hour this morning trying to figure out how to post it until I finally gave up! That's why I love my new blogger friends. They look out for you and come to your rescue when you need a little help. Thanks Jo!!!

harald pimps ikea for his mac mini

the mac mini. it's way too cute to be hidden. so harald pimps a stand for apple's smallest desktop computer.

"after experimenting with three trunna lights (can't find the link on ikea's website) from ikea germany (regensburg), i made these two light mods for my mac mini.

i just cut the cables and soldered new connections. then i glued the acrylic in symmetric positions on thinner acrylic plates. for the console i used milky polycarbonate from the hobby-store, cut it round and attached it top and bottom.

unfortunately i sold the mini a year ago and the trunna lights at ikea are now round."

see more of harald's mini mac console at

gaelle's grey sofa to go red

gaelle's stromstad wants to slip into something red.

"As you can see on the pix, our Stromstad sofa is very tired. It came into our life in 1999, and it has been our best friend till today. It is also our Pomme cat's best friend, so its original grey slipcover needs to be changed as you can see on the other pix.

We moved in to a new home (a house in a mountain), and a little baby girl was born in February, we'll love to have a little more color in our new living-room. So we hope to win this red slipcover to replace our grey one.

Our cat, Pomme des Muses, a lovely Siamese, can go out to play with mice, so that our Stromstad can have a little rest now. It deserves a second chance for its second life."

want to win $500 to spend at bemz? here's how to send in your entry.
click here to view all entries.

a new klippan slipcover on the menu?

cooking accidents on the klippan. how in the world did that happen? but it did with thomas.

"My Klippan 2-seater is still in a good condition, but the surface is simply *#f*?ß. The spots come from cooking experiments gone wrong, little puppy dogs feeling too well ;) and the effects of age.

I would like a nice dark and elegant cover so I can give my guests a nice and comfy place to sit and talk. Woven whimsy graphite gray

or Sybary midnight grey." - Thomas

want to win $500 to spend at bemz? here's how to send in your entry.
click here to view all entries.