Model Crashing: Townhouse Tours

July 21st, 2011

Ever since the real estate market crashed a few years ago, there’s been no significant building where we live.  Good news though, a few months ago a major building project began in my town, and I’ve been watching it for some time.  The new townhouse models opened up so naturally, being the looky loo that I am, I had to go inspect.  I love me some well staged model homes, so I popped in to to see if there was anything inspiring, and yes indeedy, I spied some great ideas!

Wanna take a tour with me?  Come on along why doncha.  Warning: lots of pictures ahead, and my observations to go with ‘em.

The first of three townhomes was staged in mostly modern black and white furniture with clean lines and graphic prints.  There was a lotta lacquer and a lotta mirror.  Some of this style appeals to me, some of it does not, but there were elements I really loved. 

The first room you see off the entry is staged as a living room/den and I loved its cosmopolitan style.  The twin cream chaises, that glossy console, those tripod lamps, and the graphic striped gray curtains are all in perfect scale.  I’m also loving the lattice rug, the space feels very ‘Z Gallerie’ to me.

living room entry

It would have been nice to see a pop of color somewhere with the accessories, but I love the pillows and sophisticated feel of the space, also the contrast between the black and white.  I would substitute an eclectic gallery wall in lieu of the framed bridge poster art to the left, and substitute fresh flowers or an orchid instead of the fake plant.  

Next, the main living area, combining family room, kitchen and dining in an open floor plan. 

open concept living area

 

Let’s move in a little closer, shall we?  First, the kitchen, sleek and chic in black, white and stainless steel. 

sleek black white kitchen

 

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How To Brunch with Simplicity and Style

July 21st, 2011

Ah, brunch.  Truly, nothing brings to mind relaxation on a weekend morning more than the thought of a leisurely brunch with friends.  If I’m ever on vacation on a Sunday, one question I always ask is “Where should we head for brunch in this town?”   Even at home, and especially at Easter, one of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer is host a brunch. 

Today, Courtney Lake is back for his monthly contribution on the topic of how to stage a simple and stylish brunch for your friends and family.  

Please welcome Courtney on the subject of How To Brunch in Style!

“Summer is the season of alfresco dining.  Simple, easy and care free meals with friends and family at a leisurely pace are one of the season’s little perks.  I can’t imagine a meal better suited for this type of entertaining than brunch -  that wonderful combination of breakfast and lunch.  Brunch is the perfect opportunity to break out of your formal entertaining rut!  Here are a few quick and simple steps to creating an effortless brunch for six on a budget.

MENU PLANNING

Look at the people coming to your brunch and ask yourself a few important questions.  What time does the brunch start ?   The general rule is the later the brunch, the hardier the menu.  Do any of your guests have dietary restrictions?  Food allergies, low-sodium and gluten-free diets are becoming more prevalent, so think about dishes that can hit multiple categories. 

How much food should you prepare?  I go by the rule of having two additional servings for each dish. Since the number I typically expect for brunch is six, I plan that the dishes should feed eight.  It guarantees that those bigger eaters in the group will have plenty, and also that you will not be stuck with a fridge full of leftovers.

When I serve brunch at my own home, I love using this menu for its ease and ability to please a variety of palates:

1) Baked Eggs with Tomato Compote:  So simple and versatile, this dish has earned an honored spot on my brunch menu. It can be morphed into any number of variations but I found this particular version is especially tasty.  Add crumbled feta if you like an extra layer of cheese.

Graphic 1 - baked eggs

Recipe here.

 

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