1. Abalone Cove
It’s really about what you do — or don’t do.
This article was originally featured on houselogic.com
I have friends who renovated their home recently, and they put together this gorgeous, open-plan kitchen with The Works: white marble countertops on top of crisp black base cabinets with pull-out drawers, floating open shelves instead of upper cabinets, and an enormous farmhouse sink. Basically everything I’ve ever pinned. Not surprisingly, it looked amazing when it was finished! The upper shelves had beautiful jars artfully filled with dry goods, and a few tasteful cookbooks interspersed with tchotchkes.
But when they first starting using the kitchen post-renovation, they had to store their dishes in the dining area. So every time they unloaded the dishwasher, they walked 30 feet to a lovely glass-front cabinet that they had to open with a little key to put the dishes away. Talk about a time suck!
Since then, they’ve started storing their everyday dishes on the open shelving, a banned practice in the early days. But the change reminded me of one of the worst storage mistakes you can make in the kitchen: Storing things too far from where you use them.
Because every day, at likely the worst part of the day — when you’re time-crunched or hangry, or the kids are starting to pillage the snack drawer as if they haven’t eaten in a week — you are spending precious minutes walking hither and thither to fetch things instead of making dinner. The spices are too far away from the stove, where you’re seasoning. The pot you need is in the dining room. The wooden spoons are not near the oven.
Many kitchen designers talk about the “work triangle,” a theory of creating a space where you can easily flow from refrigerator to the stove to the sink, to ease your path when you’re cooking. Thinking about that work triangle is also a good way to think about where your kitchen gear should be stored: Food prep items near the food prep area, cooking items near the cooking area, dishes near the dishwashing area, etc. Even if you can’t design your kitchen from scratch, it’s good practice to evaluate your cooking and cleanup habits every once in a while and think about where you might be losing time. If you can make a change, do it.
In my new kitchen, my dish storage situation isn’t great. I have to stack the plates and glasses on top of the island, then walk around it to place them into the cabinet where they’re stored. It drives me crazy. I occasionally lay in bed at night wondering if it would make sense to move the dishes next to the fridge — but my problem is that my work triangle is all on one side of the island, and the other side is just cabinets. Something has to go in those cabinets. So while I don’t have a solution for myself, I’ll just hope that you have better storage options. And I’ll be sure to solve that problem whenever my kitchen Pinterest board turns into reality.
This article was originally featured on thekitchn.com
Home is a place where you feel most comfortable, which is why it feels so good to come home after time away. It’s a place where you can curl up with a good book and the place where your bed and pillow await after a long day. Now that many of us are spending more time in our homes than ever before, we may forget that special feeling of ‘”coming home,” and how nice it is to walk through our own front door every day to a place of warmth and familiarity. Now is a perfect time to reflect on where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to go in the future – a yes, that can include a travel bucket list.
As many of us are spending more time at home, we’ve been able to better evaluate the everyday functionality, layout, and aesthetic of our households. Our time at home right now affords us the opportunity to experiment with our space and whether it is truly working to best fit our needs. Consider reorganizing drawers, pantries, and closets as an easy weekend project. For something new, consider rearranging the layout of a room, ordering some new accessories or a new patio set, and if you have the time, trying a new paint color. Making small updates to your surrounding helps your home continue to be a place of comfort and inspiration.
A favorite coffee mug from a special trip, a treasured family photo, memories of funny kitchen mishaps, and the first time you walked through the door and called this space home are all things to remember during a time like this – especially if you’re beginning to feel restless. Take a moment to look around your home and take stock of all it has provided over the years – let those memories bring a smile to your face. Remember, just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t make new memories; virtually visit a museum or take in a live performance to help pass the time.
Having a place to call home sets you up for success and gives you hope for a better future. New Story has provided thousands of homes to families in need and now, during this current health crisis, is helping families in the U.S. that are facing homelessness. Learn more about New Story and how you can make a difference and see how they’ve partnered with Icon to revolutionize how they’re building homes on the Apple TV+ series, “Home.”
This DIY herb drying rack is the perfect space-saving solution to dry your herbs. It is affordable and useful and is made from simple household items.
As the dog days of summer approach, my garden grows taller and taller! Flowers are blooming, tomatoes are ripening, and I am running out of room on my drying rack.
Right now I have more calendula than I can dry and spearmint for days. Because I need more herb drying rack space, I started digging around my craft supply closet to find something that could make a suitable solution.
At one time, I thought I would take up embroidery. Apparently, sewing is not my thing, but growing plants definitely is. I had five different embroidery hoops of various sizes laying around. They are round and sturdy, the perfect vertical herb drying vessel.
Because I wanted to maximize the drying space, I decided to place some cheesecloth in the embroidery hoop for extra horizontal drying space. It works well for flowering tops like chamomile.
This herb drying rack did take me a few attempts to get right, but it was so worth the extra effort. It might not be the most gorgeous thing I have ever made, but it sure is one of the most useful! I have actually made four more of these herb drying racks because I have so many herbs on the way.
The best part about this herb drying rack is that it can be easily stored after drying season is over, or it can be re-purposed back into something else! You could try your hand at this lovely Aromatic Lavender Wreath made from dried lavender and an embroidery hoop.
Don’t know what to grow? Here is a list of high antioxidant herbs and spices to grow.
Whether your child is pre-school or high school, they’re no doubt accustomed to being on a schedule inside the walls of their school – and there are benefits from that. Write the day’s schedule in a highly visible and highly trafficked place or use devices powered by Alexa or Google to set reminders. Among other things, this sets clear expectations for what can be expected for the day.
Every household will be different – just like every child. It’s important to tailor your schedule and workload to what works for your family. That being said, everyone needs breaks. Grab a snack, cup of coffee, or a breath of fresh air with your child to break up your day; enjoy the quality time. Studies show that taking breaks help our brains perform better.
Managing screen time is a point of contention when it comes to the age of your child and how often they’re on their phone/tablet, but in these times it’s important to get help from where you can. Let people like renowned children’s author and artist Mo Willems teach art class, let celebrities handle story time, or call on Les Mills to proctor gym class. There are also a plethora of worksheets available from places like Lakeshore to keep the activities going while you get some work done.
Schedules and catalog of resources are great, but variety will keep your learners engaged and stave off the much-maligned sentiment of, “I’m bored.” Talk to your child and determine what’s working – and what’s not – before venturing out of your comfort zones. Is your child an avid reader? Try Oxford Owl to foster some alone-time with an age-tailored story. Looking for a more hand-on task? Make organizing socks, toys, pencils, or the pantry into a game.
At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you and your family and that means you can’t guarantee anything. Don’t live in a world of absolutes – if a schedule that has treated you well falls apart for a few days, don’t fret; staying flexible will keep both you and your child more content in the long run.
Agnostic to industry, being multi-lingual can give you a leg up with clients, more professionally marketable, and even make your future travel aspirations more immersive. Apps like DuoLingo and Babbel will help you be well on your way to learning a new language.
Books, fictional or not, are windows into different parts of the world. Exploring books in your favorite genre, self-improvement, or even something outside of your comfort zone can be a source of enlightenment and relaxation. What’s more, you can join a virtual book club to enhance your experience and connect with new people.
With research showing that learning an instrument can have a lasting positive impact on your brain function, now is the perfect time to pick up that guitar. Fender is offering 3 months free of their Fender Play service which will help you navigate the six-string — also consider a ukelele or piano lessons to find your musical muse.
Whether it’s in the kitchen with Chef Gordon Ramsay, behind the camera with Annie Leibowitz, or in the boardroom with former Disney CEO Bob Iger, MasterClass offers in-depth lessons with titans of industry from all walks of business. What better way to learn a new skill than from the best in their field.
If all else fails, grab a pencil and paper and learn some pointers from professional illustrator — drawing can be a great way to alleviate stress and can help your mind problem solve from a different perspective.
Writer Damian Dibben lives in London’s South Bank with his partner Ali and their three dogs Dudley, Daphne, and Velvet. Damian bought this flat two decades ago, before it became the fashionable area that it is today. Maybe it was the floor-to-ceiling windows or the unusual layout, but Damian fell for this flat and has been lovingly renovating ever since, using it as a creative outlet in all sorts of ways. “The apartment is in constant evolution. I also make, or have made, a good deal of my furniture: tables, cupboards, cabinets,” Damian tells me.
From building his own asymmetric dining table that is edged with brass, to creating a bookshelf that doubles up as sliding doors to the bedroom, to reconstructing walls to create a second bedroom mezzanine to make the most of the high ceiling, Damian has really added his own quirky personality in his home and created something that is truly one of a kind.
My Style: Eclectic, classical, modern, dramatic, mid-century, exotic.
Inspiration: Everything! From NASA images of space, to 18th century Chinoiserie.
Favorite Element: A hand-painted mural of a Brazilian landscape, on which I hand painted further elements. Or an 18th century screen, which I restored and covered in Rubelli silk brocade.
Biggest Challenge: Trying to make myself stop new projects. The apartment is in constant evolution. I also make, or have made, a good deal of my furniture: tables, cupboards, cabinets.
What Friends Say: Seems to go down well.
Biggest Embarrassment: Once painting a bathroom dark purple (though the color can look nice elsewhere).
Proudest DIY: I made an asymmetric dining table, edged with brass. It looks modern and classic at the same time.
Biggest Indulgence: A giant blue and gold lamp by Barbier.
Best Advice: Very obvious I suppose, but have nothing but the things you love—and lots of lamps.
Dream Sources: De Gournay, Zuber, B&B Italia, Paul McCobb, Barbier, Hans Wegner, Maloof, Rubelli.
PAINT & COLORS
Farrow & Ball — Pavilion Grey, Cornforth White, Strong White
Paint and Paper Library — Artichoke, Scallion, Pale Georgian
Light box by Hiroyuki Masuyama, after Caspar Friedrich
Sofa — Classic Ligne Rosset
Cushions — Conran, Designer’s Guild, Habitat
Velvet bench — Made.com
Handmade cabinets, table in birch ply and oak.
Chandelier — Flos
Adjustable table – Ligne Roset
Handmade asymmetric table
Rug — Designer’s Guild
Miele washing machine, dryer, dishwasher
John Lewis hob and oven
Handmade birch ply cupboards
Hand-cut oak worktop
Hypnos mattress on handmade base.
Headboard custom made, J Lewis.
Hudson Reed appliances – Taps, bath
Fitness and mobile or wearable devices have gone hand-in-hand for quite some time now – with apps like LoseIt, Johnson & Johnson’s 7-Minute workout, and countless others in both the App Store and Google Play Store, there are plenty of apps to help you manage your caloric intake, inspire you with workout routines, and more.
It can be hard to stay motivated on your own – especially if you’re accustomed to feeding off the energy that a gym class can provide. Just because you’re removed from that environment doesn’t mean you have to disconnect. Take for instance the #pushupchallenge on Instagram; film yourself doing pushups and tag friends to challenge them and keep them moving. Get creative and start your own challenge! There’s nothing wrong with some healthy competition.
Companies like Peleton, Mirror, and now SoulCycle are ready to bring the full-body workout into your living room with their in-home equipment and subscription-based models that offer live and on-demand classes to best fit your needs. If you prefer a little more Zen with your workout, CorePower Yoga is also offering free access to their OnDemand service while their studios are closed.
Listlessness and boredom can be the doom of any fitness routine – especially if you feel your options are limited. Now is the time to try something new. Try a type of workout outside of your comfort zone; gamify your fitness with the likes of Nintendo’s Ring Fit or even Just Dance – and speaking of dance – who don’t you take a free virtual dance class? The Ballet Coach is offering live and on-demand classes for kids and adults through her Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channels.
Even with social distancing and shelter-in-place guidelines in effect, ducking outside for a solo run or hike is a viable solution for your fitness fix. When the weather is right, your body will thank you for the much-needed sunshine and fresh air.
During this time of uncertainty, it’s crucial to remember that, while following the CDC’s recommended safety steps, there are many ways we can support those in our communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sotheby’s International Realty agents are proudly invested in their local communities and, together, we wanted to share this resource for those able to make a positive impact during this trying time.
Small businesses like local restaurants and retailers are some of the hardest hit as many states and provinces implement curfews and shutdowns. Think of the impact these establishments have on your community – and of what it would be like to not have them. Orderingtake-out or delivery from local restaurants, purchasing gift cards for use at a later date (many restaurateurs have pledged gift card proceeds to support their impacted employees), or ordering a delivered meal for a loved one or neighbor are great ways to help your favorite local spots.
The Red Cross is reporting a severe blood shortage and is urging those healthy enough to donate to do so. Donating blood is a way to, quite literally, save lives. Some companies like Rejuvio or Vitalant will make house calls to collect your donation from your own home.
While social distancing or sheltering in place is in effect, those who struggle with anxiety and depression may feel worsened symptoms. Take the time to connect with loved ones and neighbors on the phone or through video chat. Social distancing can make some feel alone or overwhelmed, check to see if they need any assistance or necessitieslike food or toiletries.
As schools and businesses are forced to close, food banks are under pressure. ‘One of the most significant impacts has been school closures. Without access to school meals, children lose a consistent source of healthy food,’ says Feeding America, a nation-wide network of food banks. Monetary donations to your local food bank or items of need will help feed those struggling in your community.
Not sure where else to turn and help? The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is a nonprofit organization that helps when disasters strike. With a fund dedicated to this current crisis, your donations will support healthcare workers, social service organizations, and those whose health puts them in a more vulnerable state.
Continue to practice safe social distancing. We are all in this together, from our individual communities to the larger global society, and we hope you stay healthy and safe during this trying time.