The phrase “beach house bathroom” has conjured up the wrong images for far too long. Ratty throws, sandy floors, and outdated showers and tubs once dominated the bathrooms of summer homes, as homeowners were preoccupied with all the things that could go wrong with its design.
Instead, why not focus on what can go right? The start of summer is the perfect opportunity to update your beach home’s bathroom to a sleek, stylish appearance that reflects the pride and presentation that you’ve built into the rest of your space.
Many of the questions that beach house owners have about updating their bathroom designs seem logical.
“Why should I invest in the bathroom; it’s just going to get dirty!” “What happens when family and guests track sand all over?” “Shouldn’t I just consider my beach home’s bathroom as a glorified mud room?”
The answer to all these concerns is a simple one. Your family, friends and guests will inherently assign the same value to any room in your home that you do – bathroom included. If you invest the time, focus and proper design elements towards making your beach house bathroom sleek, stylish and beautiful, its users will treat it with the same care and respect.
Great views and open floor plans can maximize the space in your beach house bathroom. As Ren Miller, editor-in-chief of Design New Jersey magazine, stated in our Summer interview, “Views are important – get some big windows in your vacation home!” Make sure the designer handling your bathroom space values clean, functional design.
Also, don’t be afraid to trade in those ratty rugs and throws for tile floors. They’re much easier to clean and maintain, and once again – if you present a beautiful space, it is bound to be respected by your guests.
Finally, if you are dealing with an interior or narrow bathroom space, and space is at a premium, there are still creative design solutions! In our photo example at the top of the article, note the use of floor-to-ceiling mirrors to present the illusion of a larger space. Also, our design team was sure to stack as much functional storage as possible within the beautiful vanity and mirror combination on the far wall.
A great designer or design firm can make the most of any beach house bathroom, large or small. For more information on how Peter Salerno and his team can be of service, please visit their website.
Summer Food Trend Alert: Beat the Heat With Chilled Soup Recipes
When our most trusted recipe sources start producing mass quantities of chilled soup and cold soup recipes, we take notice.
The last few days have been blazing hot in our area (the NYC/Tri-State region), with the heat index approaching 120 degrees. For food lovers, eating a hot meal in oppressive heat can be uncomfortable. Cold drinks don’t provide enough nourishment, and cold meals don’t offer enough refreshment.
The answer, according to Epicurious and other recipe experts, is cold soups.
We’re not just talking about gazpacho! There are some extraordinary chilled soup recipes available, with inventive minds designing new additions to the cold soup cookbook. It’s no surprise that – once again – some of our favorite selections come courtesy of Epicurious.
Epicurious’ recent list of 34 Cold Soup Recipes to Keep You Cool This Summer features no less than a half-dozen recipes we’re instantly enamored with. From a cool AND filling Chilled Coconut Corn Soup to a guacamole-inspired Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup with Tomato Salsa, there are plenty of savory options that will leave even the biggest appetites fulfilled.
If your idea of chilled soup on a hot day involves lighter fare, we love the intriguing Chilled Tomato and Stone Fruit recipe, as well as a Chilled Golden Tomato Bisque that requires zero cooking!
We won’t post the full Epicurious recipes here (we’re not big on plagiarism… ha!), but here are links to six of our favorite Epicurious chilled soup recipes, along with brief descriptions of each.
Try them all, and leave us a comment about the one you love most!
Links to Our Favorite Epicurious Cold Soup Recipes
Possibly our favorite cold soup recipe on Epicurious’ list; this fulfilling soup comes stocked with corn, potatoes and onion. Coconut milk, ginger, turmeric and lime zest finish off a bright and satisfying recipe that we will be making again.
Currently holding a 100% “Make Again” rating on Epicurious, this Cool Jade Soup offering is inspired bissara, an Egyptian bean-and-herb purée. The mix of green and lima beans blends well with mint, parsley and other herbs to create a refreshing cold soup.
We were a bit skeptical about this recipe to start. It looked precisely like a normal gazpacho… until the stone fruit came into play. Peach and cherry ingredients give this gazpacho base a surprising – and very enjoyable – sweetness that kept us dipping our spoons into our bowls.
Much like the Stone Fruit recipe above, we start with a gazpacho inspiration and venture off into inspired fruit-based territory. According to original author and recipe creator Susan Spungen, the key is a super-juicy, heavy watermelon.
This no-cook recipe is the height of ease; we found the final result every bit as enjoyable as the short prep period. The notes of sherry and mild honey are small but pop beautifully out of the heavy bisque broth, giving a sweet touch to a savory soup.
In terms of visual presentation, this soup might have the most beautiful color of any on the list. The mellow gold color of this chilled soup is due to carrots and ginger, and a healthy dose of chicken bone broth adds texture. Feel free to try this one hot as well.
Our Updated Guide to World-Class Grilling | Expert Grill Tips
When you’re a branch of the most award-winning custom kitchen design firm of the 21st century, the way you cook is very important. And when summer at the shore is your favorite time (and place) of the year, “getting your grill game” up to par is a must!
Making the leap from “throwing a few things on the barbecue” to becoming a grill master seems daunting. But like any journey worth taking, you shouldn’t look at it as a “leap” at all. Every skill is learned and mastered over the course of thousands of baby steps. It’s the same lifelong process that led Peter Salerno (CMKBD) to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a master craftsman and artisan. From his father’s cabinetry business in Sicily to Peter’s award-winning custom design firm in America, Peter’s journey to becoming a master wouldn’t have happened if his father hadn’t taken the first step so many years ago.
Using the Salerno backstory as inspiration, let’s break the journey to becoming a grill expert into smaller steps and look at what YOU can do to become a better grill cook this summer!
Expert Grilling Step 1: The Proper Grill
Peter Salerno is an avid grill enthusiast, with stellar grill equipment at his home, beach house, and award-winning showroom in Wyckoff, New Jersey. From Weber grills to Miele grill tops to La Cornue rotisseries, Peter understands that world-class grilling begins with world-class grill appliances.
Regardless of your budget, there is generally a ‘best option’ at most price points for grill hardware. Whether you choose gas, charcoal or pellet is entirely up to you and your personal taste; there are reputable reviews and ratings of every style readily available online. But whether you inevitably choose Weber, NexGrill, Kenmore or another brand, the type of grill is every bit as important as the brand.
You’re going to get a much different taste experience off a pellet grill, for example, than you would off charcoal. That doesn’t make one better than the other; it’s simply about your preference. Do you like the woodsier taste a pellet grill may provide, or the traditional smoke of a charcoal grill? Do you prefer the clean efficiency of a gas grill? There is no right answer to those questions – the only “correct” answer is what suits you best.
Each type of grill brings its own perks and its own unique cleaning and maintenance regimen; make sure you read up on these as well!
Expert Grilling Step 2: The Proper Ingredients
All else being equal, a great steak is going to taste better than a mediocre one. (Obviously, you can foul up a great steak as easily as a poor one, but let’s focus on the upside here!)
There really isn’t a ton to say here. It’s worth buying better quality raw ingredients. Spring for the fresher, in-season vegetables. Spend a few more dollars on the right cut of meat, or the higher-quality seasoning.
Expert Grilling Step 3: The Proper Technique
Learning how to grill properly is the most intimidating step in this process; don’t be scared! The Internet has made the journey from novice to expert grill cook so much simpler.
Start with the Epicurious Guide to Grilling. We love it. It’s a soup-to-nuts (or in this case, burger-to-chop) guide to grilling techniques and ingredients, from some of the best amateur and professional grillmasters today.
Get yourself a great Bluetooth or WiFi thermometer. Seriously. There are some amazing Bluetooth applications out there that gauge the temperature of your grill AND the internal temperate of what you’re grilling. Whether you’re cooking with the grill top open or closed, you can monitor the process of your meal no matter where you are. Gone are the days when you had to hover over your grill like a vulture, out of fear you’ve over-cooked!
We love the Weber iGrill 2 BluetoothThermometer; unless you’re on a smaller budget, it’s currently our favorite product on the market. If you’re looking for a WiFi-based alternative rather than connecting to Bluetooth, we suggest the ThermoPro TP20 WirelessMeat Thermometer
Expert Grilling Step 4: The Proper Accompaniments + Sides
Don’t just slather a ton of sauce on your beautifully grilled meat, vegetables or vegan substitutes! The right sides, dressings, dips and garnishes can make or break your summer grill meals.
We found an awesome treasure trove of Grilling Dips & Sauces courtesy of Patricia C. Wilson. We strongly encourage you to jump over to Patricia’s site and take a look at her grilling dips and sauces; there are some really unique, simple preparations that are going to ‘wow’ your dinner guests!
There’s also a wonderful piece on the Williams-Sonoma blog courtesy of their Test Kitchen chef, Belle English. Belle encourages us to “just buy the sauce or rub” – sometimes, there’s no reason to over-think the process! Belle does go on to provide some highly valuable advice on what sauces and rubs to pair with different types of meats, and how to incorporate them into your meal’s preparation.
Expert Grilling Step 5: The Proper Company
Well-prepared food is like any beautiful creation; it’s best when shared with others and consumed by people who will appreciate it! Expert grilling is meant to be shared with family, friends and loved ones.
So now that you’ve taken the first steps to improving your “grill skills”, it’s time to gather the people you care for around a big table, spread out some big family-style dishware, and have a summer grill celebration to remember!
If you’re like us at Design Your Lifestyle, the perfect glass of iced tea is the final touch to a late summer afternoon. Unsweetened iced tea (or “sun tea”) is refreshing, but sometimes you just feel like a touch of sweet goodness to end your day.
But how do you avoid all the sugar that goes into traditional Southern sweet tea? What if you are serving your sweet tea to a mixed crowd, all of whom can’t take in sugar (due to diabetes and other health concerns)? Or what if you simply want an alternative, delicious way to prepare your sweet tea?
During the summer of 2018, our favorite sweet tea recipe comes courtesy of MyRecipes.com. It combines naturally delicious ingredients that blend together to create a fresh take on sweet tea with all the “zing” of an ocean breeze.
Check out this amazing recipe for Ginger and Honey Sweet Tea (courtesy of MyRecipes.com and Southern Living):
Ginger And Honey Sweet Tea Recipe
3 cups water
2 family-size tea bags
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
7 cups cold water
Garnish: lemon slices
Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; add tea bags. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
Discard tea bags. Stir in honey and ginger. Pour into a 1-gal. container, and add 7 cups cold water. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.
(Recipe from MyRecipes.com, first published in Southern Living.)
If you live in many parts of America (especially the northeast), then you know what we’re thinking – what in the world happened to Spring 2018? The season seems to have vanished, and many of us feel like we “jumped straight from winter to summer”, as one of our colleagues put it.
With such a late jump on spring (and a mini heat wave to start May 2018), all of our “Spring Cleaning” projects feel so far behind schedule. Before you know it, Summer 2018 will be right around the corner – and how will we know that our home designs are on trend?
After looking through countless design articles, blogs, websites, magazines and consulting expert sources (like our parent company, the design wizards at Peter Salerno Inc.), we’ve cultivated a scaled-down list of our five favorite Summer 2018 home design trends you should be watching.
Why these 5 Summer 2018 home design trends? Simple – they’re all attainable. You don’t have to change all the decor in your house, or start a massive renovation, or counter your own specific tastes (that’s why we’re giving you multiple flooring trends to explore) – all you need to do is put down a new rug, some new stain, paint a wall or buy some unique plants and fruit/floral arrangements!
It’s rare that we want to do a full-blown home design overhaul – and when we do, that’s when it’s time to consult with a world-renowned, award-winning home design firm. But if you want to take on a one-day design project in your home to update things for Summer 2018, then this is a great list to peruse.
What do you like? What design trends do you question? We want to hear from you in the comments!
Five Summer 2018 Home Design Trends
1. Dark Wood Grains and Dark Wood Flooring
Dark wood grains in surfaces (counters, bars, etc.) and flooring are ‘on trend’ for homes in Summer 2018. This gorgeous bar design from Peter Salerno Inc. benefits from lush, dark-colored curtains to augment the rich grain of the flooring.
2. Pastel Accent Walls That Pop
Pastels were everywhere in the Pantone Spring 2018 color collection – and pastel accent walls are a great way to lighten up the mood and create a lively room design. Try one of the ‘major players’ in the Pantone Spring 2018 pastel collection – Spring Crocus, Pink Lavender or Blooming Dahlia!
3. Decor Plants and Unique Planters
When it comes to floral arrangements and indoor plants for Summer 2018, get unique (and when in doubt, go big!). If you’ve never seen “that particular plant” before at your local greenhouse, that’s the one to pick! Planters, succulent arrangements and plant decor in general are going to be used as statement design pieces for kitchen design and living space design this summer, so be bold and ‘go green’.
A Closer Look at Our Featured 2017 Summer Kitchen Design
At Design Your Lifestyle, we’re proud to feature an outstanding kitchen or bath design for each season. Our Summer 2017 featured design (in the header of our page) is a gorgeous transitional kitchen design by Peter Salerno Inc. – the most award-winning North American custom kitchen and bath design of the 21st century.
“Farm Meets City Sleek” is a lustrous transitional kitchen that manages to combine rustic charm with uptown chic. One’s first glance at this transitional kitchen design is bathed in white and ambient light, a nod to the recent kitchen design trend where whites and neutrals are used as the primary focus of the overall color design scheme. From the custom Maestro Rosolino cabinetry (a trademark of Peter Salerno Inc. design) to the kitchen island base, this kitchen is adorned with white.
Notes of gray and neutral complement the design, through the custom range hood and counter to the island countertop and wood flooring. One of our favorite aspects of this kitchen design is the the 2×8 mixed metal and glass mosaic backsplash over the range, created by the team at Stratta, the Tile Boutique.
Here are some specific details about this gorgeous transitional kitchen design.
Cabinetry: Maple wood painted Tennis White
Perimeter Countertop: Caesar Stone Piatra Grey #5003 1 1/4″ by Stone Surfaces in East Rutherford, NJ
Island Countertop: 1 1/2″ Stainless Steel by EMI Industries in Boonton, NJ
Flooring: Original hardwood flooring from home, no information was given by homeowner
Backsplash over range: 2×8 mixed metal & glass mosaic by Stratta Tile Boutique in Wyckoff, NJ
Sink: Franke MHX710-30 30x21x9
Island Light Fixtures: Exter 16-Jar Pendant by Potterybarn
Refrigerator/ Freezer: 48″ Sub-Zero 648 Prog
Gas Range: Wolf #GR606F
Steam Oven: Wolf #CSO24
Wall Oven: Wolf #SO30PE/S/PH
Hood: 60″ Stainless Steel
Dishwasher: Miele Futura Dimensions #G5675SCVI
Microwave: GE #PEM31SFSS with Trim Kit #JX827SFSS
Warming Drawer: 30″ Wolf WWD30
Ice Maker: Sub-Zero UC-15IP
NOTE: All photography featured in this article is courtesy of Peter Rymwid, on behalf of the team at Peter Salerno Inc.