From icy to indigo, blue is the most popular color in the world. For good reason, too. It’s the color of sky and sea, serenity and sleep. And as Cinderella actress Lily James has shown us, it’s this season’s belle of the ball.
As if fashioned from a fairy tale, deep dusky blue feels warm and romantic when contrasted with snowy white and soft candlelight.
A Cuddle Chair with cushions in a transcendent shade of blue makes it easy to create your own blue heaven. Promising moments of serenity … in a place to call your own.
Deeper shades of blue can take on a surprisingly exotic flair, especially when paired with deep browns and rich textures.
Does anything seem more indulgent – even aristocratic – than your own outdoor daybed? Soaring like a cathedral, let this private oasis whisk you away. Long live the daydream … and the daybed.
It’s time for dinner in the most effortlessly romantic setting there is … outdoors.
Whether your setting is an expansive deck overlooking the Rockies or an ivy-clad courtyard behind a brownstone, your outdoor area can rival the ambience of America’s best outdoor restaurants. It’s all in the details.
More than just a good table and chairs, an outdoor dining area can reflect a sense of personality and character. In spring, you want it to convey freshness and warmth. A place where you can savor a glass of bubbly while enjoying the sunset and stay comfortable through an after-dinner drink. So here are some tips to create that enchanted setting.
Just as lighting creates the ambience inside, outdoor lighting also creates a magical effect. Candles are a must for both setting the mood and illuminating the table. Small lanterns or string lights hanging from the trees will have your guests smitten before they take a seat.
The outdoor dining table deserves as elegant a place setting as you would expect inside, though it can have a more rustic feel. Earthenware is fabulously suited to the outdoor table, especially when accented with fine glassware and linens.
Ensuring your guests’ comfort comes with being a cordial hostess … even if the only guest is your spouse.
First and foremost is the seating. Nearly any outdoor dining chair can be made more inviting with the addition of a cushion. Adding lumbar pillows to support the back also delivers a touch of unexpected luxury.
Spring evenings can be chilly, but there’s no need to head indoors. Take a cue from some of the best outdoor restaurants, and drape an outdoor throw over the back of each seat.
Designer chair tassels add the final touch of sophistication. The tassel has almost always been a symbol of prestige, and ornamental tassels dangling from each chair will make every guest feel important.
Alive. Warm. Vital. The Italian Riviera is much more than a haven for the sapphires-and-sunglasses set. It inspires us with colors that seem to hold a century of sunlight and seas that sparkle midnight blue. Life doesn’t get much sweeter than this.
Italians coined the word ‘alfresco.’ And when it comes to the delights of outdoor dining, no one does it better.
Enjoyed by family and friends, the meal is full of life and laughter. The setting gets its carefree style with fool-the-eye melamine dinnerware in brilliant tapestry prints.
It’s said that fashion is of the moment … but true style is timeless. Enter the Roma Collection, where the purity of Italianate lines and meticulous craftsmanship combine in a designful statement.
These elegant Italianate lines say ciao to the good times. Like a sail billowing in the breeze, the Roma Canopy Chair cruises through summer with ease.
Poolside was never so fabulous as when under the Tuscan sun. Golden basket-weave texture meets a hint of Bohemia with splashy ikat prints.
Tell us. How will you embrace the sweet life this summer? Start your Ideabook with inspiration from Houzz.
Most people proclaim the arrival of spring with the return of sprightly songbirds and daffodils. Yet others await something more tasteful … towering bundles of fresh asparagus at market.
Oh, those succulent, bright green spears. Once classified as a member of the lily family, this seasonal vegetable now has a classification of its own. We savor its intricate flavor, yet rue its complexity with dinner wines.
Enter Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp, elegant and poised, it has what it takes to balance asparagus’ sharp green flavor, especially when paired with goat cheese.
Many savvy Sauvignon fans head to the Loire Valley’s Touraine region for maximum value-for-money. And one of the most notable vintages heralds from the Bougrier family – a Loire institution for decades. Their double-gold medal Les Heritiers Dubois Cuvee Speciale Sauvignon Blanc 2013 is our featured Wine of the Month.
This mouthwatering 2013 Reserve, made with carefully selected grapes from top-sited vineyards, is an ideal white for those who enjoy a more delicate style than the tropical fruit-loaded character found in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Fresh and clean lime and ripe peach flavors. Lively but well balanced, with a very satisfying finish. In Touraine, locals would serve this with goat cheese – the classic match – but it’s also lovely with grilled seafood.
|The Wine:||Les Heritiers Dubois Cuvee Speciale Sauvignon Blanc 2013|
|The Maker:||Award-winning Bougrier Family|
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Courtesy of Food & Wine
For these terrific sandwiches, use asparagus both raw (shaved into long, thin strips) and roasted. What also makes these sandwiches distinct is aged goat cheese (not fresh), which adds a richer flavor.
1 lb. asparagus
1½ Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup lightly packed mesclun
½ cup lightly packed mint leaves
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
4 ounces aged goat cheese, rind removed, cheese shaved
1 Hass avocado—halved, pitted and thinly sliced
Four split 6-inch lengths of baguette, toasted (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°. On a baking sheet, toss half of the asparagus with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until tender and charred in spots. Let the asparagus cool.
Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, shave the remaining asparagus into long, thin strips. In a medium bowl, toss the shaved asparagus with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
In another medium bowl, toss the mesclun and mint with the red wine vinegar and the remaining 1½ tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
Mound the roasted asparagus, goat cheese, shaved asparagus, mesclun mix and avocado on the baguettes and serve the sandwiches right away.
Also – whether you’re an expert sommelier or weekend taster, you’ll appreciate inspiration found within our Wine Refined board on Pinterest.