Peter Salerno’s Family Recipe for Homemade Sangria

The Perfect Homemade Family Summer Sangria Recipe

Peter Salerno isn’t just a master kitchen designer, he loves spending time in his own kitchen entertaining family, friends and guests. This love of cooking and creating recipes filters up and down the Salerno family for generations, and has produced some time-tested, delicious recipes.

July 4th Red, White and Blue Sangria recipes (recipes & photo courtesy Epicurious)
Our family Sangria recipe) photo courtesy Epicurious)

When Peter Salerno married his wife Tracy, she brought with her a wealth of delicious recipes, cocktails and other “secret family recipes”. Tracy’s father, Mike Cavallo, was a master of many of these – but one of the family’s favorite creations from Mr. Cavallo was his famous sangria.

What makes the “Cavallo family sangria” recipe so delicious? It might be the perfect mix of ingredients, or the use of brandy and triple sec at the base. Or it may just be the special amount of love with which Mike made it.

In any event, it’s a sangria recipe that’s sure to please, and we’re sharing it with you. It’s the perfect summer sangria recipe for entertaining guests!

Mike Cavallo’s Perfect Summer Sangria Recipe


  • 7 Up/Sprite
  • Triple Sec
  • inexpensive brandy (something like Christian Bros., no need to go over the top!)
  • a bottle of red wine, preferably Merlot or Shiraz
  • ice
  • oranges (you can add apples and pears as well)


  • Fill a *large* pitcher with whole slices of orange (leave the peels on), use a wooden spoon to press on the oranges to get a little bit of juice at the bottom.
  • Fill a 1/3 of the pitcher with ice
  • Pour even parts 7 Up/Sprite and wine (pouring both at the same time is the easiest way) until 2/3 of the way filled
  • Pour equal parts brandy and triple sec to taste (usually about 1/2 -2/3 a cup)
  • Fill remaining with the rest of the wine
  • Stir and let sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator
  • Enjoy!
If it comes out too strong for you, it can be diluted by adding more soda.
DON’T add sugar, citrus fruits (lime, lemon, pineapple), or bitters!

Epicurious Scores Again With Thai Green Bean Summer Salad Recipe

Epicurious Scores Again With Thai Green Bean Summer Salad Recipe

Epicurious, you have to stop this. We’re starting to develop real feelings for you.

Okay, maybe we’re exaggerating a little bit. But Epicurious has long been our favorite recipe blog here at Design Your Lifestyle, and no matter what our trending tastes happen to be, their staff seems to have the right recipe for us.

This time, it’s a summer take on a classic Thai salad that left us scrambling for seconds – and thirds… and fourths…

Give your green beans a kick in this awesome Epicurious recipe for Thai Green Bean Salad!
Give your green beans a kick in this awesome Epicurious recipe for Thai Green Bean Salad!

After a long 4th of July weekend of delicious burgers, ribs, hot dogs and more, we were feeling a bit overstuffed on meat dishes. But no matter how hard we tried, it was difficult to find a vegetable or salad dish that left us feeling completely satisfied.

Enter Epicurious’ Thai Green Bean Salad for Summer. This grilled green bean salad isn’t your usual “light fare” that leaves your stomach growling. Add in marinated tofu, in-season avocados and a zesty homemade papaya-salad dressing with lime and jalapenos, and you have a real winner and crowd pleaser.

We love the texture contracts between the grilled green beans and the tangy citrus of the dressing, and the tofu is surprisingly more than filling – especially when paired with the avocados!

If you’re a fan of Thai dishes and love taking adventures with your home meals, then this is a great recipe for you. All credit to Katherine Sacks at Epicurious for this tremendously inventive take on summer salad and Thai food.

For the full recipe for Epicurious’ Grilled Thai Green Bean Salad for Summer by Katherine Sacks, please click the article.


Beautiful Independence Day Beach Home Photos

Gorgeous 4th of July Summer Home Design Photos

From all of us at Design Your Lifestyle (and our parent company Peter Salerno Inc.) to all of you, we wish you a happy, safe, and memorable 4th of July weekend! Whether you can get away to the beach or shore for July 4th or not, Peter Salerno proudly brings the “beach house” life to you with these photos of his award-winning beach house design on the Jersey Shore.

Sal Beach House Spread Over Counter Kitchen

Sal Beach House Spread Fireplace Angle 2

Sal Beach House Spread Fireplace Angle 1

Sal Beach House Spread Behind Counter Kitchen

Sal Beach House Spread Bath

HGTV Shares Top Home Design Trends for Summer 2017

HGTV Shares Top Home Design Trends for Summer 2017

Our friends at HGTV are at it again, staying on the pulse of hot design trends for the summer of 2017. This time, it’s the fabulous Allie Holcomb King (a contributing writer for, with a great slideshow-based piece on the top home design trends for summer 2017.

We love this article for two reasons – one, it’s full of gorgeous design photos and helpful suggestions; and two, it makes us look really smart! Of course, when your parent company is Peter Salerno Inc. – the most award-winning custom kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century – it’s not hard to look intelligent. Allie and the staff at pointed out some trends we’ve been covering here since the spring.

Use these helpful tips in your summer 2017 home design! (Credit: Peter Salerno Inc., photo Peter Rymwid)
Use these helpful tips in your summer 2017 home design! (Credit: Peter Salerno Inc., photo Peter Rymwid)

Below are 4 of the 14 home design trends noted in HGTV’s article for Summer 2017. Check them out, and see what catches your eye!

For the rest of Allie Holcomb King’s summer 2017 design tips, head over to the full article at and enjoy!

HGTV’s Top Summer 2017 Home Design Trends

1. Bright and All White

“An all-white color palette is crisp, clean and refreshing,” says Allie Holcomb King. The main design theme of 2017 continues into summer, with white color design dominating the landscape. The versatility and freshness of whites (and bright neutrals) work brilliantly throughout the home and transition naturally from season to season.

Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)
Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)

Also, don’t discount your ability to mix-and-match your decor across a broad spectrum of colors as you work with a white background! Using white as the base of your design palette allows you to play with all sorts of fun, interesting color choices in your decor and home accessories. On that note…

2. White Wall + Tertiary-Colored Furniture

A developing theme among top kitchen and living space designers is designing around white walls with tertiary colors, especially in furniture. A “tertiary color” is the result of mixing a primary color with its adjacent secondary color on the color wheel.

The six tertiary colors are yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet, red-orange, and yellow-orange. This palette brings in some natural jewel tones, which pair well with brass and metallic accents and accessories.

3. Small (but Bold) Pops of Color

Bright, bold colors accent this Peter Salerno inc. custom kitchen design. (Credit Peter Rymwid)
Splashes of citrus tones can brighten up your home design in 2017. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

“Summer brings with it bold flavors, sights and sounds. This year, we’re noticing bold color is along for the ride too,” says Allie. Again, this trend rides the over-arching theme of neutral and white in your primary home design. Instead of splashing color all over your space, try using small pops of bold color around the room for an eye-catching effect.

4. Brass is Back

Brass elements in your decor are back in for the summer of 2017 – but unlike many trends, we believe brass fixtures are relatively timeless. Whether you use brass in your door handles, appliance knobs and handles, or statement accessories, brass is an engaging, warm metallic presence in your home design.

Our favorite places to utilize brass are in kitchen and bath design, where we’ve watched Peter Salerno and his team use them to dramatic effect.

For the rest of Allie Holcomb King’s summer 2017 design tips, head over to the full article at and enjoy!

Sleek, Stylish Beach House Bathroom Design

Design Your Summer Beach House’s Ideal Bathroom

Update your beach house bathroom to be sleek, stylish and inviting.
Update your beach house bathroom to be sleek, stylish and inviting. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

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 summer of 2013 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 your beach house bathroom's space.
Great views and open floor plans can maximize your beach house bathroom’s space. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

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 2013 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.

VOTE For YOUR Favorite Design Trend of Summer 2016!

Summer 2016 Design Trends: Which Has Your Vote?

From bold colors to earth tones, historic homes to new takes on old classics, Summer 2016 has truly been a season of enjoyable design trends.

The Pantone color palette of Summer 2016 set the tone: this was going to be a season for fresh ideas, warm colors and inventive design. Homeowners, industry insiders and clothing, kitchen and bath designers took note, and set about cultivating a bright, sunny visual scheme for Summer 2016 while honoring the traditions and classic tropes of the past.

Be as bold and sunny as a Barbados beach with Summer 2016 colors!
Be as bold and sunny as a Barbados beach with Summer 2016 colors!

The results are magnificent. Creative designers have given old standards a modern edge, staid home designs a vibrant new hue, and found ways to put a little more “pop” into their personal culture.

But which of the major Summer 2016 design trends is YOUR favorite? After all, we’re here to help you Design Your Lifestyle, so the only opinion that truly matters when it comes to fresh, seasonal design trends is yours!

We’re presenting four of the major design trends of Summer 2016 here, and asking you to vote on your favorite. The result will be a true sense of what trends may become lasting design statements, and what “fresh ideas” may one day turn into classic themes.

Read up on the major design trends of Summer 2016 below, then VOTE at the bottom of this article! We want to hear from you!

Summer 2016’s Major Design Trends

1. Bright, Vibrant Colors.

The Pantone color report for Summer 2016 provided a clear indication that the season was all about bold, fresh, vibrant colors. From accent walls to accessories, runway styles to exterior paints, Summer 2016 dared us to invite bright hues into our lives.

The official colors of Summer 2016, according to Pantone!
The official colors of Summer 2016, according to Pantone!

From Limpet Shell to Green Flash, Fiesta to Peach Echo, the colors of this summer made our lives a little sunnier. From hot yellows to cool, pastel blues, this was one of our favorite Pantone color reports in recent memory.
2. A Return to Historic Homes.

Sometimes there’s one trend that seems to “buck” all the other ones. Such is the case with the return to historic homes, outlined in the August/September 2016 issue of Design New Jersey magazine.

Pick up the latest August/September 2016 issue of Design NJ Magazine. (Cover photo: Peter Rymwid)
Pick up the latest August/September 2016 issue of Design NJ Magazine. (Cover photo: Peter Rymwid)

“In our disposable age when the “new” is almost always considered good and many historic houses have been lost to the wrecking ball, antiques can play an ever more important role in our homes,” Design NJ writer Robin Amster explains. This trend encourages us that in an era of new color schemes, you shouldn’t be afraid to keep your historic or classic home (or rooms within your home) as they are if you love them.
3. Earth Tones.

Despite one’s knee-jerk reaction, this trend doesn’t run contradictory with the bright, vibrant colors of Pantone’s Summer 2016 color palette. Earth tones are the perfect way to balance the bold hues of the summer. Whether it’s incorporating greenery and plants into your living space, or using muted wood tones to balance the warmth of your surrounding color design, Earth tones are a fantastic complement.

An added “plus” is the advent of more and more renewable design materials, such as cork tile and repurposed/reclaimed wood. Designing with Earth tones not only keeps your space (and attire) looking balanced and natural, it often helps reduce your carbon footprint!
4. Modern Designs In Classic Spaces.

You don’t necessarily have to go as far as using graffiti artists to spice up your world-class bath design (like Peter Salerno Inc.), but refreshing a classic space with modern design elements is a Summer 2016 design trend that we love.

It could be as simple as adding a new backsplash to a classic kitchen appliance wall, or putting new mosaic tile down in your existing bathroom design. It doesn’t always take a massive overhaul to make a classic space in your home look modern and refreshed.

What is your favorite design trend of Summer 2016?

Creative Home Design: Graffiti In Your House? Yes!

Be Bold: Use Graffiti In Your Home Design!

No, we haven’t gone off the deep end. Sometimes, the best designs come from “outside the box”.

After all, if the most award-winning kitchen and bath designer in North America utilizes graffiti in their showroom’s main bathroom design, then it’s something we all can consider!

Visitors to the flagship showroom of Peter Salerno Inc. at 511 Goffle Road in Wyckoff, New Jersey, are stunned by many things – the world-class showroom display being chief among them (winner of the 2015 KBIS Innovative Showroom Award). But when clients and guests to the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom step into the main showroom bathroom, they’re often shocked and inspired by what they see.

Peter Salerno hired a professional graffiti artist to create a bold, vibrant cityscape in the bathroom design. From a replica manhole cover in the center of the floor to colorful depictions of a metropolitan skyline and an elevated subway line, the artwork is audacious and vivid. The inside of the bathroom door is even “tagged” with notable initials, names and dates important to Peter Salerno, his family, and the Peter Salerno Inc. legacy.

Watch “Graffiti: The Need to Be Creative” from Peter Salerno Inc. here:

Summer 2016 design trends (as we’ve discussed in past articles) are all about blending bright, inviting colors with personal style. The blend of bold and splashy colors with personalized touches in this graffiti design are directly in line with cutting-edge home design style.

Graffiti and other urban mural motifs are a fantastic choice for city dwellers, as well as those born and raised in urban areas who want to pay homage to their personal history. If graffiti isn’t your “thing”, per say, then look beyond the artwork and take a lesson from the artist’s approach.

It’s important to respect your personal legacy and style while incorporating new elements into your home design, especially in frequently traveled areas like the kitchen and bath. Rich colors can still be comfortable and inviting when coupled with design elements that mean something to you.

Expert, award-winning custom kitchen and bath designers like Peter Salerno Inc. value the personal story of every client, weaving it into their personalized home designs. You owe it to yourself to consider that aspect of your personal style when undertaking any new design project. After all, unique personalization is the difference between a house and a home.