Co-host Rob here. A few years back, J. gifted my fam Bee’s Wrap beeswax food wraps for Christmas. It was long enough ago that I thought J. was just trying to be hipster with the eco-friendly, new-fangled product. As it turned out, they’re a thing. And they’re great.
Fast forward: beeswax foods wraps are just a part of our household now. So I forgot how fab they were until I was reminded by the May 2019 issue of Better Homes & Gardens just how hard working eco-friendly food covers are.
BH&G featured the Lekue Stretch Storage Cover. And let’s be honest, they look a lot like condoms for food! They are still better than ripping off countless sheets of plastic wrap that never seem to stick to anything,
Cohost J. here. Not to be all reaction-y, but a post on Dwell.com says that living room conversation pits are back in vogue. I guess I am reacting to it here, because it’s been a few days since our last “Tag” post due to a combo of busy-ness and not feeling inspired in either direction. Love or hate, after all, are meant to be the extremes. So, thank you Dwell for doing the work for me!
Anyway…so Dwell’s post covers the greatest hits of conversation pits, a few of which you’ve probably seen on Ye Olde IG lately. The purple one, for sure.
I’m a fan–mostly because I’m a fan of promoting conversations between people, and a dedicated space to do that gets a thumb’s up in my book. Of course, if you have a podcast, you’re pretty much an advocate for conversations anyway.
Are they for everyone? No. Will their revival be seen as yet another blip on the design trend timeline? Almost certainly. But as one Dwell commenter points out, perhaps they’re cool again because we’ve developed another type of living space: the media room. If that’s where the TV is, that leaves the traditional living room up for grabs as the spot for non-digital interaction. Though my house doesn’t have a sunken conversation pit, we treat it as if it had one: the family room in the basement is for TV watching (and kids, mostly) while the living room is really “the daddies’ cocktail lounge.” It’s great for drinking, but also magazine reading (hullo), book reading, listening to music, and all the stuff that’s impossible when there’s a TV in the room. It’s a conversation pit without the pit.
So if you can build one (or buy a house with one, don’t fill it in just yet) go for it. The outdoor versions may be more feasible and longer-lasting, trendwise, anyway.
And also, as another Dwell commenter points out, their timeline leaves out one of the most iconic sunken living rooms of all time: the fireplace ringed by couches in the 1968 Blake Edwards movie, The Party. It may have one of the coolest sets ever put on film. (Hmm, maybe a CBB movie night is in order!) There’s not only the conversation pit to ogle: there’s a crazy indoor water feature with a stepping stone path, planters, multiple pools, killer chandeliers, and the fact that the conversation pit is also kinda a two-tiered affair. If you haven’t seen it, check it out for the decor alone!
And for the record, our friends Brian and Chris, referenced regularly on our show, do indeed have a sunken living room in their big MCM party house in Poughkeepsie.
And our ode to hot gardeners couldn’t be complete without getting pumped over Bravo’s “BackYard Envy” host, Garrett Magee. This mustachioed hunk might make some think “70s gay porn star.” We’re totally okay with that. We love #retro!
Shirts off to lots and lots of hot gardeners all Spring, Summer, and Fall!
Let’s be honest. Most of us have a Love/Hate relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow. Academy Award winning acting. Life in the spotlight. Bougie children’s names. Incredibly fit in her forties. Signature lifestyle brand with the awful name. That whole “conscious uncoupling” thing. It’s often hard to know whether to Tag for Love or Tag for Hate.
Announcing her new offices, Gwyneth stands in front of sleek, blonde-wood bookcases with leaning, lower shelves prefect for highlighting magazines, art, or favorite books. Showcase bookcases in the face of KonMari? Love! The shelves are sparsely filled, prompting her to request recommendations from followers on books on design, food, and corporate culture. Seeking fan input? Love!
That green jumper she’s wearing? Oh my goddesses. HATE!
Round and round it goes. Love? Hate? Love to Hate? Hate to Love? Oh, Gwyneth, you perplex us so. With no end in sight it seems best to just go ahead and employ a Tag for Love/Hate. It’s a mindfully selected compromise focused on equilibrium to reduce stress and help reach optimal wellness. We’re sure it’s What Gwyneth Would Do.
Oops, is that headline misleading? To be clear, we are NOT part of the 2019 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. As if! No, we just want to go–it’s the interior design event of the year. Images from the house pop up in the mags, mood boards and blogs all year long. Hopefully we can go this May.
The list of participating designers was announced today and it’s a mix of A-list designers and newcomers. CBB favorite Corey Damon Jenkins is one of them so congrats Corey!
We’re looking forward to some amazing lewks and over-the-top ideas.
Are you planning on taking it in? (Phrasing, sorry!)
Today’s Tag is inspired by this post on Valetmag.com which makes the case for having a globe as part of your accessories/home decor arsenal.
They’re not only tools of inspiration but starters of conversation—have a few people over and someone will inevitably start spinning the globe.
Of course, since Valet is a men’s fashion/lifestyle site, they tout globes as “handsome, masculine object[s]” perfect for any mancave. We’d say they look good in anyone’s space, regardless of gender. They are right, though, that you can either drop lots of coin on a high-end version, score a vintage one online (or at your local flea market or antique store), or–an option they don’t cover–the school supply section at Target.
Cohost J. here: When I was a teenager, I was invited to my friend Molly’s big sister’s wedding, which was held in the garden of their parent’s amahzing Carpenter Gothic home. The couple eschewed a religious ceremony, and in lieu of an altar, they displayed a hand-painted globe that the groom gave to Jennifer, the bride. The oceans were white, the land masses black–it was striking, and obviously memorable. He used a regular ole globe and regular ole paint, and all it took was some time. So feel free to customize your own globe if you’re crafty (and if you don’t care about political borders).
It makes for a nice hands-on accessory and a reminder of our larger home, spinning as if by invisible hands.
Of course, there are some globes that come with their own hands, and if your decor runs in this direction, well, then…your last name might be Herman, or you fully embrace your whimsical side.
Open floor concept living is not for everyone–either by choice or by architectural design. This recent Boston Globe article sums up a growing dissatisfaction with open concepts and their ubiquity in the real estate marketplace.
Cohost J. here: We can’t give a Tag For Hate to open concepts, because in many spaces they work beautifully. Lots of people love the entertaining possibilities–heck, cohost Rob has an open concept first floor! What I love about this article is that it makes the case for actually thinking about your lifestyle and how your home enhances and supports that lifestyle. Homeowners interviewed by the reporter talk about how they could see themselves entertaining lavishly while whipping up three-course meals in the kitchen, or keeping an eye on the kids while busy doing something else. For most of us, these are fantasies. And while fantasy interior design has its place, you have to be really careful about making those dreams come true.
Sometimes you get what you wish for, and, to quote Sondheim’s Into The Woods: “Wishes come true, not free.” The tradeoffs of open concept? Lack of privacy. Clutter. A nagging sense that there are things still to be done in that other “room” over there that I can see while I’m trying to relax on the couch. Or, as homeowner Asya says in the piece, someone is relaxing and watching her while she’s working.
Friends of ours (frequently referenced in the show) have a 1970’s swinger’s house in Poughkeepsie–no joke. It’s a one bedroom, 3,000+ square foot three-level house. The only interior walls that extend to the ceiling are around the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s a great house for entertaining (and they do, frequently, and largely). But quiet and cozy it is not. It works for them and their lifestyle–it’s just the two of them and a dog–but it would be totally impractical for my family. And most families, which is probably why it sat on the market for four years, waiting for just the right buyers!
So as you’re househunting, fantasy or otherwise, or dreaming up ways to fix up your existing space, be honest with yourself and your family. Perform a lifestyle audit and really think about your tolerance for clutter, mess, cleaning, organizing, noise, and activity. Hash it all out internally before knocking down all those internal walls. Be open with yourself and those you live with before committing to open concept.
Cohost J. here. Set off by our recent #TagForLove for fresh flowers, I went in search of a little taste of springtime on a March day that began with 12-degree temperatures.
Luckily, Adams Fairacre Farms, a local high-end grocery store/garden center is having its annual Garden Show, and I had the chance to step inside after a lunch meeting. It warmed my heart, and my body, being in their huge greenhouse!
The best part? All those tulips (though it was all nice to see). Yep, my love for tulips endures (I got your back, PrettyPinkTulips, even if I don’t go for pink).
We do what we can to make it through the winter. Those orange tulips are literally giving me LIFE.
Over the ground lies a mantle of white…though it’s March, the snow keeps falling in the Hudson Valley. Spring is whispering its promise to return, but scads of greenery and color are still weeks away. The solution to the end-of-winter doldrums? Fresh flowers, of course.
Cohost J. here. I picked up a bouquet of tulips at the supermarket on Sunday afternoon just because I could not go another day without seeing a flower. Our #houseplants have been around for a while now and are super boring, and the paperwhite bulbs I bought at Thanksgiving time (see: December episode) never bloomed.
Will they fade soon? Yes. Are they an indulgence? Yes. Are they a waste of money? No. Do they hold off the winter blues? A little bit. And I’ll take it.
Even without the pressing need to see something beautiful on my dining room table (aside from a brilliant tablescape and the smiling faces of family and guests), I’d have fresh flowers in the house all the time, if I could. Here’s another reason I not-so-secretly want to be Edie Monsoon from AbFab. We know she indulges in lots of fresh flowers on constant refill from the “Poor” episode, when her auditor suggests she cut her fresh flower budget.
If I ever had a fresh flower budget, and then had to nix it, I’d fall on the floor too.