The Art of the Home Bar (or, Low Grade Hoarding of the Spirited Kind)

01/07/2015 § Leave a comment

Quite Continental: The Art of the Home Bar

While I have yet to use the oven in the apartment I’ve lived in for over two years, one area of my kitchen that gets a fair amount of attention is my home bar.  What started out as a few bottles of my favorite spirits — no obscure liqueurs, no tools, no doo-dads — has gradually evolved into one of my favorite places in my apartment.  Its remarkable growth can be explained partially by the fact that I currently work in the spirits industry, but it’s also true that few things bring me more pleasure than collecting.

For spirits, my first look is Astor Wines.  They’re humongous.  But it’s definitely worth exploring your neighborhood to find a local shop you like.  They’ll be able to order you pretty much anything — as long as you ask them nicely.

For tools and glassware, check out Cocktail Kingdom.

For how to bring it all together, refer to the Death & Company Book.  Written by the folks behind one of New York’s preeminent cocktail bars, this tome is no joke.  Be prepared for indulgent discussions about the bar itself and the folks who work and drink there, and on how to make over 500 cocktails.  Mind you, “indulgent” in the best possible sort of way.

And if history is more your thing, David Wondrich just re-released his classic IMBIBE!, which traces the beginnings of the great American invention: the cocktail as we know it today.

Where to keep it all?  If you’re like me and have no space (hello teensy Soho apartment life), make due with the best surface available.  In my case, as shown above on Instagram, the bar is perched atop my midcentury modern dresser…which is technically in the kitchen.  I told you my apartment was small!  If you’ve got a little room to work with, I love bar carts like this one, this one and ESPECIALLY this one.

Lastly, I’m personally a big fan of straws and vintage swizzle sticks.  Add something personal or original to the mix to truly make it your bar.

Did I miss anything??

Keep in touch:
Instagram: @quitecontinental
Twitter   ||   Tumblr

Advertisements

Charming Spaces || Coastal Vibes

10/08/2014 § 3 Comments

Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes

Lovely bit of inspiration by way of Robert McKinley’s apartment in Chelsea, as captured by Nicole Franzen for T Magazine/NY Times.  Unfamiliar with McKinley?  He’s the interior designer and creative director behind places such as the Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk and the downtown outposts of Sant Ambroeus.  I’m feeling inspired by the relaxed, well-worn and faintly beachy style of his space, especially the palm frond curtains and that amazing rocking chair.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be stepping out shortly to track down one of those hurricane plants  Please hold my calls.

Keep in touch:
Instagram: @quitecontinental
Twitter   ||   Tumblr

Tchau Winter!

01/04/2014 § Leave a comment

Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 1

So it’s officially April and I’m feeling optimistic.  Like warm weather and sunshine are just around the corner waiting for me.  With the worst winter in a record 40 years, New York has felt like a purgatory since…forever.  So to treat my slight case of seasonal depression I’ve prescribed myself a regular visit with these photographs by Matthew Williams for Elle Decoration UK of a gorgeous beach home in Brazil.  White walls, polished floors, weathered wood, all offset by the lushness of green fronds and lazy vines.

Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 5 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 6 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 8 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 9 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 10 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 12 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 13 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 14 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 15 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 16 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 17 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 18 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 20 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 21 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 22 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 2 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 3 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 4

I want, I want, I want.  The only question left: who’s coming with me?

Real Property Lust || Old Hollywood Heaven

12/11/2013 § 1 Comment

Have you ever seen a room so perfectly you that you instantly wanted to wrap yourself up in it and wear it every day of your life?  I have — namely, when I gazed upon this gorgeous library, from the Hollywood home of Eric Hyman and Max Mutchnick.

19th century oil painting of a jockey and horse
Pacific Connections rosewood square serving tray
Louis Vuitton shoe trunk
Cowhide Queen Anne chairs
Campaign desk

Receiving an honorable mention is the master bath, with its glass tiled floors, vintage English club chair and brass clock that once hung in an Associated Press newsroom.

Be sure to wander through the rest of the home on Elle Decor.

Open & Notorious Organization

17/08/2012 § Leave a comment

There’s something I love about organization on display, be it a closet, a curio, a bar cart, a gallery wall, whatever — a thoughtful and artistic arrangement of a collection of items will always draw my eye.  I don’t mean to say that one should be a pack-rat, but there is definitely something about spaces where everything is all put away that just seems…sterile.  Vanilla.  Impersonal.  Granted, to pull off some of the scenes in these pictures, you’d need a rather deep assortment of stuff and whatnot….and quite a bit of space to display it all, but why couldn’t you start small?  A few books here, a small grouping of nick-knacks there, and you’re definitely on your way.

For organizational inspiration, a few images from my House & Home board on Pinterest, and a few furniture ideas (yes, I know, pricey indeed — I’ll personally be using them for guidance while I scour eBay and Craigslist for cheaper options).  One of my very favorite spaces is the Manhattan apartment of Michael Haney and Brooke Cundiff, which was shot by Todd Selby last year — definitely check it out.  Aside from getting to take a peek into their envy-inducing home, there are several interesting vignettes and arrangements that are bound to spark an idea or three.

Happy organizing!

From top:
French directoire style ebonized curio cabinet by Jansen (1940s)
Hollywood Regency gilt bamboo etagere (1950s)
Glass sided vitrine (1920s)

From top left:
Belgian metal and glass cabinet (1940s)
Metal cabinet with glass
Industrial steel wire racks on casters

From top left:
English oak barrister bookcase (1890s)
Vintage industrial bar cart
Raw vintage locker (1950s)
Verge cabinet with glass doors

From top:
Pair of steel barrister bookcases (1940s)
Indian metal sideboard with 4 doors
Vintage console

Lastly, if you noticed the adverse possession joke I snuck
into the title of this post, I’d like to salute you, fellow law nerd…

Real Property Lust: West Hollywood home by Schuyler Samperton

16/07/2012 § 1 Comment

Quite taken by this West Hollywood home by California interior designer Schuyler Samperton.  The eclectic mix of the old with the new, the feminine and the masculine, the west with the east, strikes a stately balance that seems arty, intelligent and worldly.  Some of my favorite bits include the inlaid box above, and the zebra skin rug and bamboo bookshelf below — lovely touches, indeed.  And that library!

For more of Ms. Samperton’s portfolio, visit her site and her blog.

All images via Schuyler Samperton Interior Design.

The Grand Tour || The House Where Satchmo Played

29/04/2012 § 3 Comments

Most homes of a certain age in Los Angeles usually come with old Hollywood stories of former residents.  This Spanish beauty in Westwood, owned by good friends of mine, is no different.  Home to Spencer Tracy and his wife for a time, and host to an intimate concert by Louis Armstrong, this estate has a charmingly eccentric layout, complete with original tile work, exposed beams, hardwood floors, interesting built-ins and one of the only SoCal basements I am personally aware of.

A relatively recent purchase, the owners are still hard at work with renovations but I twisted some arms and was allowed to take a few photos of their progress thus far.  I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Real Property Lust || Eccentric King George

02/04/2012 § 1 Comment

“Harriet’s projects stitch together restoration and classic modern design; the 20’s hang out with the Edwardians, everyone is invited, just as long as you are well turned out. Her confidence and her playful nature with design allows rooms to be fun without the ridiculous, smart without dullness and most importantly a place you would want to be.” [via]

When the past is engaged in an active dialogue with the present, you already know my interest is piqued.  Here, the mid-19th century late Georgian home of designer Harriet Anstruther in London successfully honors its architectural origins without a slavish adherence to Georgian decor, creating a statement home that feels fresh, yet nostalgic — and is completely personal.  What I love about this space is its successful and seamless blending of so many different sources of inspiration without the sacrifice of comfort or personality.  Neither a stuffy museum nor a stark exercise in modernism, its soaring white walls immediately call to mind a gallery space, a context helped along by the family’s art collection.  Some of my favorite touches include the Penguin watercolor, the crystal chandeliers, the black stripes of the upholstery, the magenta skylight in the shower and — above all — the fire bucket sink and the Fornasetti wallpaper in the bathroom.  Hello, lover.

Whereas our last discussion on interiors encouraged me to mix up my sources (IKEA vs. antique finds), I really like how this home illustrates a successful mingling of very different aesthetics.  It’s got me inspired…and eying the Harper sofa by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.  Thoughts?

All images via T Magazine.

Real Property Lust || Sweet and High/Lowdown

23/03/2012 § 4 Comments

While it remains one of my absolute favorite pastimes to meander through the rich imagery of high-end design magazines and websites (for which my House & Home board on Pinterest has become an essential accompaniment), I personally am not yet a member of that rarefied club that can actually purchase such luxury items.  Please note the “yet”!  That said, I still think there is plenty of inspiration to be had by looking at gorgeous places (like the East Village apartment of Ralph Lauren Executive VP Alfredo Parades that I found over on Habitually Chic today — swoon!)  for lower-budget households like my own.  But what is absolute tops, is finding a home that is decorated not only in an aesthetic that I appreciate, but also with furnishings within the reach of my own pocketbook.

Whilst my head did explode upon my initial view of this lovely home, featured on Skona Hem, with its empire touches and rustic feel, it exploded a second time after I translated the text and discovered that this home had been furnished with a combination of antique treasures and new purchases from Ikea.  Ikea, people!  Does this not give you hope that with a little eBay stalking, flea market wandering and a trip to your local Ikea, you too could have such an amazing nest?

Big items from Ikea include the canopied bed and the couch. Really love the restrained palette here, which calls to my mind sepia photographs, and the open storage of the china, in varying shades of off-white.  The space is a hodge podge, but one with continuity.

In fact, I’m rather ashamed to admit that I thought Ikea didn’t really have anything to offer me, other than picture frames and Swedish meatballs. Obviously, I need to take the water taxi to Red Hook and put my creative hat on.  I also must mention another source I’ve recently come across that is oriented toward affordable decor: Copy Cat Chic.  Best part?  When founder Reichel chooses a high-end home item (rug, chair, lamp, etc.) and then finds a virtually identical, more affordable item.

What about you?
Got any secret decor sources you’d be willing to share with me?

Desired Destination: Palazzo Margherita

21/02/2012 § 1 Comment

The Palazzo Margherita, located in the town of Bernalda, Italy was built in 1892 by the Margherita family.  Purchased in 2004 by Francis Ford Coppola, the palazzo has been transformed into a tiny (only nine guestrooms) luxury hotel with the kind of interiors that give me heart palpitations.  No staid adherence to one single style here, rather it is the combination of the expertise of Parisian designer Jacques Grance and the input of members of the Coppola clan.  This gorgeous hotel has a cosmopolitan and sophisticated feel, with a healthy dose of Belle Époque.

Hello salon, I think I love you…

…oh yes, it’s quite official now.

The owner of other small hotels in Belize, Guatemala, Argentina and New Orleans, this property was a labor of love for Coppola, as his grandfather, Agostino Coppola, was born in the town of Bernalda.  Bernalda, a small hilltop town near the Ionian Sea in the Bazilicata region of Southern Italy, is not a major tourist attraction, which I think makes this dramatically luxurious hotel even more alluring.  Can you not imagine long lazy days wandering the countryside and exploring the town, lounging in the sun by the pool, soaking in those glorious tubs?

I definitely can.

The Palazzo was also featured in the March 2012 World of Interiors.

Palazzo Margherita
Corso Umberto 64
75012 Bernalda (MT)
Italy

Quite Continental Desired Destinations
~*~Travel Charmingly~*~
All images via Palazzo Margherita and the WSJ.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with Interior Design at Quite Continental.

%d bloggers like this: