Here’s a trade secret. One of the easiest and most dramatic ways to transform a room is by adding a showstopping rug.
Faster than a coat of paint, an area rug instantly adds color and texture … and easily can be switched with the seasons. Speaking of, we love the idea of changing the palette and ambience of a room in the fall and spring: from warm and welcoming to cool and crisp … and it’s easily accomplished with just a new rug and pillows.
Today’s rugs do more than pay homage to ages-old Persian designs. They’re becoming fashion statements in their own right. Emboldened by their couture counterparts, weavers are remastering the classic rugs – enlivening them with splashes of adventurous color or creating new patterns that exude transitional sophistication.
New hues and designs make these rugs feel fresh and contemporary. And, in an antidote to our flat-screen world, their sculptural pile brings a sense of texture and real-world warmth. In fact, these days weavers are creating high and low relief patterns that are handwoven into the design, rather than cut in after the fact. Making them highly livable … with artful, organic texture that begs you to walk all over them.
So as cooler weather sets in, it’s time to fill your rooms with personality and pizzazz by adding a fashion-statement rug.
If you need help with measuring, read our Decorating with Rugs: Softness and Style Underfoot article.
Tip: no matter what type of rug you use, place a rug pad underneath to help keep it in place and extend its life.
When designing bar stools, Eric Homan believes in love at first sight. People know immediately if a chair appeals to them.
Yet as Frontgate’s senior director of product development & design, Eric focuses on the lifestyle value as much as the look. Where does the bar stool meet the back of your leg? How does the thickness of the seat’s foam relate to the board underneath? How much weight can be put on the chair’s stretchers?
“A lot of time is spent on the details, because they set us apart,” he said. “The design choices are intentional and deliberate, because this is an investment for the customers and you want to be proud of it.”
Frontgate prides itself on the craftsmanship and quality of every bar stool, made to specifications superior to industry standards. Each boasts its own artistry – be it handcarved details in refined chairs like Provencal Grapes, designer fabric-and-leather combinations in our new custom bar stool series, or evocative textures like the seat caning and leather hand-binding on the tropical Wailea.
For each bar stool, the average time from concept to finished product is a year, Eric said. He and his fellow designers begin with a direction suggested by merchants – a coastal bar stool, for instance. Then the designers discuss what geographical areas or elements inspire them, and consider the colors, patterns and textures that are trending. Sketches begin. Refinement comes in terms of the chair’s proportions and materials.
Computer-assisted design printouts and 3D modeling programs advance the project progress to the sampling stage; it takes about four months to produce a high-quality sample. Two or three rounds of revisions, each requiring the careful production of new samples, perfect the design.
Frontgate also revisits existing products to meet the brand’s ever-increasing standards. For instance, we found a way to improve the materials and increase the amount of detailed carvings in the Provencal Grapes and Rooster stools – all without raising the cost.
Spend time with Eric, and you’ll get an education on mortise-and-tenon joints, ball bearings and wood substrates. The only key lesson: Those details matter.
“Ultimately,” he said, “the finished product is going to have to exceed our customers’ expectations.”
We’ll miss it. The earthy scent of freshly mown grass. Open windows. A breeze that breathes through the curtains. The clink-clink of ice tumbling into glasses and frosty beads of sweat promising cool comfort. We will miss summer soon enough.
So let’s celebrate its last balmy nights with the fête it deserves: an Indian summer dinner party with candles, romance and plenty of red, white and rosé. Tell your guests all they need to bring is good conversation.
It’s a misconception that an elegant gathering takes days of planning and lots of fuss. Outline a simple but special menu like grilled pepper jack and avocado quesadillas to start. Then serve suave skewers of shrimp and prosciutto and a festive Moroccan carrot salad with spicy lemon dressing.
Now set the stage. Pick a spot for the table where you and your guests will be comfortable sitting for hours. Gather a loose bouquet of freshly cut roses and make it a focal point. Bring out the china and glassware, linen runner or posh placemats. It’s wonderful how the tenor of the moment shifts into the realm of the uncommon with small touches like these.
Involve your welcome guests. Before the sun slips low on the horizon, invite them to carry something to the table. One brings the napkins, another a stack of salad plates, yet another the wine.
And have them light the candles. Quantity is key here. Scatter votives haphazardly around the table. Dot the landscape with lanterns. Place hurricane-topped pillars on the porches, patios and poolside like stationary fireflies. Your guests will find the task of lighting all of them a playful, celebratory scavenger hunt. Passersby will notice the happy illumination and yearn to be invited—some enchanted evening must be happening there.
Yes, it is an occasion that comes around once a year: Indian summer. Our chance to give the season we love so much a proper send-off.
Tackle every outdoor fête with grace using inspiration from our Pinterest board.
Courtesy of Food & Wine
1/4 cup harissa
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
4 lbs carrots, julienned on a mandolin or coarsely shredded in a food processor (about 12 cups)
2 cups raisins
4 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
1lb feta, crumbled
In a large bowl, whisk the harissa with the lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Add the carrots, raisins, parsley and feta to the dressing and toss well. Serve lightly chilled or at room temperature.
The carrot salad can be made without the feta and parsley and refrigerated for up to 6 hours; add the feta and parsley just before serving. The lemon dressing can be refrigerated overnight.
Harissa is a chile paste used in Tunisia and Morocco. It is available in jars and tubes from specialty food shops.
From Manhattan to Miami, Seattle to San Diego, and everywhere in between … juice is having its day.
Call it clean eating in a glass. Green, red or gold, these elixirs promise more energy, a clearer mind and a healthier body. Plus, they’re an easy and palatable way to load up on vibrant micronutrients and get more greens.
And with a bounty of summer fruits and veggies hitting their peak, there’s no better time to enjoy a cold, fresh-pressed juice. Here’s how:
If you’re serious about juicing, you need a juicer. A blender just won’t do the trick. Pure juice is super nutrient-dense and not to be confused with a smoothie – which is thicker and often contains protein or dairy.
Today’s juicers are more powerful than ever, which means they make light work of leafy vegetables, crisp fruits and even nuts. There are three types of juicers. The first are juice extractors, also known as centrifugal juicers; they separate the juice from the pulp and fiber. Next are masticating juicers, also known as cold-press juicers; they slowly crush and mash the produce, keeping the pulp with the juice. Lastly, whole-food juicers use high-speed blades to shred produce into a high-fiber drink that some consider more of a “smoothie” than a juice.
The most important thing to remember is that your juice is only as good as your fruit, so in-season produce promises maximum flavor. If you’re blessed with a bounty from your own garden, juicing is an excellent way to use your harvest. Otherwise, you can stock up at your local farmers market. Whatever you decide to juice, you’ll need lots of it!
While you may be tempted to add every leafy green in the crisper drawer, you’ll enjoy the juice more if you keep it to a few key ingredients (such as, kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, pineapple, apple, lemon, lime, ginger, parsley and cayenne or jalapeno).
Get your creative juices flowing with our favorite recipe. It’s great for newcomers to green juicing because the brilliant emerald color comes from mild spinach, the taste of which virtually disappears amidst yummy apple, lemon, ginger and orange flavors.
Add the following to a masticating juicer (or juice the spinach on slow speed in a centrifuge juicer):
• apples, 3 medium
• orange (peeled), 1 large
• lemon, ½ fruit (rind is optional)
• ginger root, ¼ thumb
• celery, 4 large stalks
• spinach, 5 cups
Discover more recipes on Pinterest.
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