Monday Link Love

Instagram April 2014  (4)

After a weekend of hot cross buns and Simnel cake, last week was a week of outdoor eating (yay! fabulous Seattle spring), shooting tacos (I had another photography job y’all!) and more lilac, blossom, rhubarb and daisies than you could shake a stick at (what does that even MEAN?).

I didn’t get to links over the weekend, so here are some to set you up on a Monday morning. Very photography-oriented this week I’m afraid.

These musical instruments photographed from the inside are quite magical. I hope an architect is inspired by them. I want to live in a violin.

Naomi Robinson from Bakers’ Royale is writing a series of posts on food photography. Part 1 is how to develop your style and Part 2 is on composition. More to come I believe. I love her stuff.  

Do happy people take happy photos? Twitter is giving a team a research grant to find out. I know my mood certainly affects my photography.

Here’s my pal Andrew Scrivani talking about how to market yourself as a photographer.

And finally some really inspirational food and travel photography portfolios from Jonothan Woodward, David Lazar and Gentl and Hyers.

 

Last week on the blog we talked about a really cool composting system and went to visit designer Michele Varian’s apartment. I am going to try and be a better blogger this week, though the temperature is apparently set to soar into the 80s, so don’t quote me on that. But we’ll start with a great recipe to come later today.

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Go Love Your Room–Michele Varian’s NYC Loft

I loved Michele Varian’s SoHo shop so much that I was thrilled when she posted on Instagram that her loft apartment had been featured in a New York magazine.

Michele Varian's Loft

And if you’ve seen her shop, her loft is everything you would imagine it would be – stuffed full of fascinating and beautiful objects, perfectly arranged in gorgeous vignettes. If you read the article (which you really should) you’ll realise that pretty much every single thing in her apartment has a story behind it. This is a place where people live and work and laugh and love. And it shows.

Michele Varian's Loft

This kitchen is giving me LIFE. From that perfect blue to the open shelving to the mismatched china, to the well-used pans, to the spices. It looks like the kitchen of someone who loves to cook, loves to eat and loves to entertain.

Michele Varian's Loft

Anyone would be inspired in this workspace.

Michele Varian's Loft

That bed and the THROW are gorgeous and there’s something really cool about that framed pair of gloves. And that mirror. Naughty girl Michele!

Michele Varian's Loft

Michele’s husband is a musician and I love that his presence is really obvious all round the apartment. 

Michele Varian's Loft

Michele’s wallpaper makes the perfect backdrop for his guitar collection and tiny vintage piano.

Do yourselves a favour and read the entire article by Eliza Krpoyan for Scene Magazine. All the beautiful photography is by Peter Murdock.

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Things I Am Loving – BLANCO Solon Compost System

 

BLANCO is a maker of luxury sinks and faucets (or taps in proper English, I do find faucets still to be a very alien word for me). Family-owned since 1925 and renowned for their superb German engineering, they were one of the lovely sponsors of #BlogTourNYC and I wish I’d known about them when we were remodeling our kitchen as their products truly are special.

BLANCO Solon Compost System

In particular I really wish I’d known about their SOLON Compost System, because I would definitely have installed it. I’m even going to ask our contractor if it would be possible to retrofit it into the kitchen now, though I’m imagine that cutting into our white quartz countertop at this point might be a bridge too far.

BLANCO Solon Compost System

But what a neat, beautifully engineered, idea. Instead of having a smelly stainless steel bucket sitting on your counter attracting countless fruit flies (ask me how I know), you get a top quality stainless steel bin that you can drop into the counter and just scrape peelings and scraps straight into. At other times the lid fits flush with the counter, so it’s not taking up space at all and the lid is specially engineered to minimise odours, which I presume also minimises those peaky flies.

And when it’s full, you just pull it out, throw out the scraps and stick the bin straight in the dishwasher. I’m extremely into composting but goodness me it’s a messy business and it would have been so nice to streamline the process when we had a chance.

If you’re remodelling your kitchen and thinking of installing it yourself here’s a video demonstration.

If you want to see a TERRIBLE interview with me and much better interviews with my fellow BlogTourists Marcy Michaud and Faith Sheridan, where we share our tips for green living, BLANCO interviewed us all at the AD Home Design Show. Here is the excruciating video evidence.

Blimey chaps, I really need some lessons in active listening, instead of letting my eyes wander all round the room and picking my nose (I was NERVOUS, what can I say?)

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Weekend Link Love

Double Rainbow Over Seattle - photography by www.paolathomas.com

It’s been a week of sunsets and showers, flowers and sunshine, hot cross buns and Cadbury’s Mini Eggs – and the most extraordinary rainbow that I think I’ve ever seen. And you really can’t get much better than that. (Also it’s astonishing what one can do nowadays with the pano feature on the iPhone).

InstagramApril2014

I will be spending the weekend baking a Simnel cake and hosting a traditional Easter Sunday lunch with lots of roast lamb for some British friends here.

Simnel Cake photography by www.paolathomas.com

If you want to do the same, my recipe for Simnel cake – the traditional English Easter cake – is here.

 

If you want to make dye eggs using natural dyes, my friends Leigh and Pamela had fun this week.

This his and hers food photography is insanely beautiful.

Saveur magazine came up with this list of the best food blogs around. I’m looking forward to looking and drooling.

Brene Brown and Chase Jarvis did an amazing interview about Unlocking Your Creativity  which is worth watching in its entirety.

Here’s a little post on capturing authentic ‘moments’ with photography. I always think my photography is too contrived, so this is something I’m striving for.

And here’s an interesting piece on how Facebook manages its filtered feed, though not terribly helpful for those of us trying to get even a few organic viewers to our Facebook pages.

 

On the blog this week, we discussed New Trends in Kitchen Design, read Don Draper’s Tarot Cards and worked out how Mad Men is going to end, visited Bunny William’s amazing New York shop Treillage and the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, and had a stressful time baking a Roller Skate Cake.

Hope you are all having a wonderful and relaxing weekend.

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The Roller Skate Cake

 

AKA my most stressful experience to date this year.

Roller Skate Cake - photography by www.paolathomas.com 

As you may remember we have a tradition of making crazy birthday cakes around these parts.

I believe it’s quite an English thing to do – I remember my mother and my friends’ mothers doing it for us when we were children – and it’s something I’ve always tried to do with the Minx.

She’s lucky in this regard that she doesn’t have brothers or sisters though, things would be far less elaborate if I had to do this more than once a year.

This year the Minx, who is now aged nine, had a very active say in the design.  The theme was rollerskates – as befitted a party at the rink -  though I wasn’t allowed just to use a skate shaped pan. The whole thing had to be as garish as possible, naturally, and since she had been very admiring of the cake I made for her friend we incorporated elements of that in the design too. 

Since neither she nor I are particularly fond of fondant icing either, making skates out of fondant wasn’t an option and we were both inspired when we found a cake online that had made use of roller skate sugar cookies, a decision that I may have regretted later. Let’s just say that when a grown up Minx is in therapy complaining about her childhood, I will point her in the direction of this blog post.

Roller Skate Cake - photography by www.paolathomas.com

I started off in my usual way by buying a rollerskate candy mould and using Wilton’s Candy Melts in white and pink. A little bit of judicious piping later and I had a collection of bespoke cake decorations. I can’t tell you how grateful I was to have these to hand later in the process.

Roller Skate Cake - photography by www.paolathomas.com

I also bought a roller skate cookie cutter and proceeded to make thirty roller skate cookies with the intention of using some to decorate the cake and handing the rest out at the party. The Joy of Baking’s trusty sugar cookie recipe was my guide and mentor here, though I was a bit worried as they looked a bit like trains initially.

I am not an experienced cookie baker so the whole family joined me in outlining, flooding and frosting the cookies. I hit upon the idea of using pink Wilton Candy Melts as wheels and an edible colouring pen for the laces otherwise I would be there icing them still. As it was I was totally OVER the whole project by the time these were done, but still had a whole cake to make and frost.

Roller Skate Cake - photography by www.paolathomas.com

The day before the party I started to make the cakes with the intention of having at least the crumb coat done the evening before. I again used the wonderful Mom’s Chocolate Cake recipe from the first Macrina Cookbook, since its moist, rich, chocolate-yness (helped by using the amazing Pernigotti cocoa powder from ChefShop) is adored by kids and adults alike and it is extremely forgiving of being shoved into a variety of different shaped pans. (One day I WILL write the recipe down here as I refer to it so often).

Unfortunately I made a big miscalculation in working out how much mixture I would need to make two tiers and by the evening I only had half the number of cakes you see here (the bottom big cake and the bottom small cake). So I was up late baking extra cakes to give the cake the required depth. I was SO starting to regret this endeavour by this stage.

Roller Skate Cake - photography by www.paolathomas.com

It was not until 9.30 am, with the party at lunchtime, that we finally got to the ‘crumb coat’ stage – a rough layer of buttercream that keeps all the crumbs at bay, holds the cakes together and after chilling, gives you a nice smooth surface for further decoration.

Roller Skate Cake - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Doing the different spotty icings as seen in my Easy Cake Decorating blogpost (still by far my most pinned post on Pinterest), is simple and hugely effective, but it is not a quick process as you are manipulating six or seven different bags of frosting and covering only a tiny part of the cake at a time.

So by the time that part of the cake was completed we were really up against it time-wise.

I had intended to ice bigger colourful swirls on the bottom layer of the cake, but by that time the frosting was getting meltier and meltier and the swirls of icing were just dropping off the cake. With twenty-five minutes to go before we needed to be on the freeway to get to the skating rink, the bottom layer of the cake was a sorry disaster – half-frosted and sort of weeping misshapen blobs of icing. I wish now I’d taken a picture but photography was the furthest thing from my mind at that point.

The only thing left to do was to take my trusty offset spatula and quickly spread the melty frosting blobs into incoherent, messy but at least colourful swirls on the bottom layer of the cake and hope that the roller skate candies would cover things up a bit.

They did the job, the cake looked better than I could possibly have hoped and we were even able to chill it for 15 minutes before heading out the door.

Roller Skate Cake - photography by www.paolathomas.com

I myself had aged approximately a hundred years in the process but I suppose the joy on the faces of the Minx and her friends was worth it.

I suppose.

Roller Skate Cake - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Thank goodness I have about a year to recover. More of the Minx’s crazy cakes here (Tinkerbell), here (Cinderella), here (Nemo).

The Minx had her own stressful morning. We’d bought her a ‘9’ candle, which we together decorated with sequins to make it suitably garish and cake-appropriate. Unfortunately unbeknownst to me she put it on the radiator to ‘dry’ and couldn’t fathom out where it had disappeared to later. A valuable life-lesson learnt methinks.

Oh and apologies for all the crappy iPhone photos. I think you’ll understand why picking up my big girl camera was the furthest thing from my thoughts during this process.

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Treillage with Bunny Williams

One doesn’t expect to trek up to the Upper East Side in NYC and then be overcome with an overwhelming wave of nostalgia for London.

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Treillage, the shop owned by Bunny Williams, the doyenne of American interior decorating and her husband, antique dealer John Rosselli, reminded me so much of several shops in London, where antiques, and outdoor furniture, art and objets are all displayed together in a slightly higgledy-piggledy way, and you feel like you’ve just walked into a gigantic treasure chest.

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

This effect is not entirely unintentional, Bunny told us that she wanted to create a shop similar to her favourite London shops and, though the store doesn’t sell plants or gardening equipment, if the General Trading Co. and the Chelsea Gardener had a love child it would come pretty close to Treillage.

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Visiting the shop is like visiting the country home of a favourite aunt – you might not entirely share her taste, but every single piece will have a story attached and you are bound to find something you adore. Eclectic doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Bunny pulled together the shop herself and stripped off an old tin ceiling to uncover beautiful skylights which flood the store with light. The slightly industrial feel of the shop’s bones contrast well with the ornate antiques and intricate objets.

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

So many food photography props. If only there had been more room in my suitcase. And of course you can never go wrong with a shop that sells blue ceramic chickens.

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Bunny’s husband John is also a huge character and he regaled us with stories of his collecting trips all over the world. As a couple they, and the very obvious affection they feel for each other, are cuteness personified. Such great adverts both of them for loving what you and doing what you love.

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com treillage-12

If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to get to New York, you can buy many of the treasures online including the fruits of Bunny’s collaborations with rug manufacturers Dash & Albert and pillow and throws producers Pine Cone Hill. I loved the indoor/outdoor jute rug Bunny is standing on above.

And what treasure did I uncover? Well drinks were served in some beautiful fluted bubbled glassware which ended up coming home with me. I just love these glasses – they make every drink, even still water, seem festive and and special, and they will always serve as a reminder of a very fun morning spent in wonderfully inspiring company.

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

Treillage with Bunny Williams -  photography by www.paolathomas.com

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The Ending of Mad Men According to Don Draper’s Tarot Cards

 

One thing I bet you didn’t know about me is that I like to read Tarot cards. I’m very bad at it – I don’t have the cards memorised at all and have to look EVERYTHING up – but my brain enjoys making the various connections and drawing out the symbolism, so that a coherent story emerges.

Mad Men

It seems that Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner loves Tarot cards too. His production company logo is the The Sun card (an incredibly positive card all about getting your heart’s desire) and in Season Two, Don Draper/Dick Whitman’s friend Anna reads his cards. Here are some readings that were done at the time, but nobody seems to have thought to update them recently in the light of the intervening seasons.

Anyway given that Weiner has always said that he knows how the story is going to end, I’ve wondered for a long time if the outcome of the Mad Men story was revealed in the cards and I think that now might be the time to revisit that Tarot reading for spoilers.

Mad Men

My theory is that the four cards to the right of the reading (on the ‘Staff’ if you know Tarot) correspond to the last four seasons of the show.

Card 7 is the World, a card of great professional and personal success, fulfilment and  completion, and by the end of season 4 it looked liked Don might have achieved it all  – his own busy successful agency and a new blissful marriage to a hot young wife.

Card 8 is the 9 of Wands which is the card of creative tests and challenges – one person holding the fort against the world. Season 5 sees all of the characters, including the new agency, struggling for creative success as they are faced with challenge after challenge and by the end nobody has quite what they wished for.  

Card 9 is the Wheel of Fortune – a neutral card suggesting that things go in cycles, what goes around comes around, what goes up must come down etc. Don has fallen to the very bottom of his wheel by the end of season 6 – the agency has been taken over, he is out of a job, his marriage to Megan is cold and empty, and his addiction to alcohol is more and more evident.  

The top card, in the space reserved in a reading for the final Outcome is the 8 of Wands. In this card past struggles have been overcome and it indicates opportunities, freedom and space to move forward and make progress with energy, focus and enthusiasm. It’s a card of accomplishment, getting things done and is very action-oriented. It can also indicate air travel or moving, and is a card of inspiration and excitement.

I do hope Don and Peggy and Joan (and also Ken, because I have always had a soft spot for him) have this card in their future.

I’m going to predict now that the last episode shows Don finally moving to California and starting up a thrusting new agency with Peggy, Joan and Ken by his side and with Megan hopefully having been eaten by coyotes.

What did you all think of the season opener? It truly was thoroughly depressing all round, with not even a glamorous 60s apartment to blog. Megan’s knotty pine eyrie nearly killed me.

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Chocolate Truffles Inspired by Miele USA

Miele USA, manufacturers of some of the world’s best home appliances, and lovely sponsors of #BlogTourNYC, were very anxious that we should guess the new colourway that they would be unveiling at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

Chocolate Truffles Inspired by Miele USA photography by www.paolathomas.com

So anxious in fact that they had given us each a clue in the form of a little box containing two luscious Vosges chocolate truffles. One of my truffles was a subtly intriguing and very delicious smoked paprika flavour, so I somewhat embarrassingly guessed Smoked Paprika for the new colour. However, after discussions over breakfast we realised that we’d all been given different truffles and that the name of the new colourway must in fact be Chocolate Truffle.

Chocolate Truffles Inspired by Miele USA photography by www.paolathomas.com

And what a truly delicious colourway it is – subtle, sexy and smoothly contemporary and just as rich and glossy as the finest chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Truffles Inspired by Miele USA photography by www.paolathomas.com Chocolate Truffles Inspired by Miele USA photography by www.paolathomas.com

The above is the only picture I managed to grab at the Home Show that looks halfway decent – the Miele stand was crowded that day. But funny to see me, my comfy boots and some of my fellow Blogtourists reflected in its glossy finish.

Chocolate Truffles Inspired by Miele USA photography by www.paolathomas.com

What you are looking at is the state-of-the-art Miele Combi Steam Oven in the new Truffle finish. As someone who bakes bread with a cast iron pan of water steaming on the oven floor, there is a lot I would do to get hold of one of these babies. The water reservoir for the steam is cleverly hidden behind top panel so no oven capacity is sacrificed and the control panel has step by step cooking settings for around 100 different meat, vegetables, fish and grains, meaning I would never have to buy a cookbook again! Possibly.

Anyway, as a little hommage to Miele’s new colourway I decided to make some chocolate truffles.

Chocolate Truffles Inspired by Miele USA photography by www.paolathomas.com

Chocolate Truffles
Yields 30
Quick and easy chocolate truffles with paprika, coconut, pistachio, sea salt and meringue coatings
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 275g/10 oz dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids)
  2. 250ml/1 cup heavy (double) cream
  3. 50g/3 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
Assorted Toppings
  1. Cocoa powder
  2. Coconut flakes/dessicated coconut
  3. Crushed meringue
  4. Finely chopped pistachios
  5. Hawaiian pink sea salt
  6. Smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Break the chocolate into pieces (I used Guittard Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers) in an ovenproof bowl.
  2. Bring the cream to the boil (watch it like a hawk as it flares up quickly) and then pour it over the chocolate.
  3. Stir the mixture gently until the cream is fully amalgamated into the chocolate and you have a smooth chocolate 'sauce'. It will look curdled and scary to start but keep going.
  4. Leave to cool for 2 minutes and then add the butter in two stages, stirring gently until fully incorporated.
  5. When you have a smooth glossy ganache place it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight until the ganache has set firm.
  6. Remove the ganache from the fridge about 15 minutes before you want to finish the truffles. Using a 1 tablespoon scoop form small balls and finish rolling them between the palms of your hands so the surface melts slightly.
  7. Dust with cocoa powder or use your favourite toppings. I used cocoa powder, cocoa powder topped with a touch of pink sea salt, cocoa powder with a dab of smoked paprika, coconut flakes, finely chopped pistachios and crushed meringue shells.
Adapted from Unwrapped - Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes
mirror mirror http://mirrormirrorblog.com/site/
Chocolate Truffles Inspired by Miele USA photography by www.paolathomas.com

I was curious to experiment with smoked paprika for these truffles. I coated some with cocoa powder and added the merest dab of smoked paprika on top and they turned out to be rather smokily beguiling.

Chocolate Truffles Inspired by Miele USA photography by www.paolathomas.com Chocolate Truffles Inspired by Miele USA photography by www.paolathomas.com

And don’t you think Smoked Paprika would be an AWESOME colour for kitchen appliances? MieleUSA please make this happen!

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Shop ‘til You Drop–Michele Varian NYC

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

What a way to start! Our very first event for #BlogTourNYC was a meet up at designer Michele Varian’s eclectic and inspiring Nolita shop, where I finally got the chance to say ‘hi’ to my fellow BlogTourees. And what a bunch of lovable drunks er, inspiring and talented people they turned out to be.

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

We got a chance to chat at length to Michele, whose eponymous shop showcases not only her own gorgeous textiles, wallpapers and home accessories, but also promotes home accessories and jewellery by other local artisans and designers.

Her shop is one of those places that draws you in gradually – as you wander through a series of exquisitely styled vignettes uncovering ever more fascinating and unusual pieces. I could have spent a very long time here indeed without getting bored, though I’m not sure my wallet could have coped.

Come and take a walk with me.

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Even though we were nowhere near Portlandia there were many cute birds on display. Michele’s gilded bird wallpapers are absolutely exquisite.

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

And obviously, long-time readers of this blog will know that I really wanted that big wooden owl. (Are owls still a thing?)

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

As became a common occurrence throughout BlogTour the prosecco was flowing freely. Michele served hers in glorious collection of vintage Berber glasses (which everyone was trying to buy). They looked so pretty, but I was evidently too drunk to take a photo, so you’ll just have to believe me. She’s got me scouring Etsy and Ebay for my own collection though.

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

I was fascinated by this ‘Juxtaposed Porcelain’ collection, where Eastern and Western design traditions are fused together in a single piece.

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com
Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com
Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com michelevarian-24

Michele Varian NYC photography by www.paolathomas.com

If you’re ever in NYC I can’t recommend a trip to Michele’s 27 Howard Street shop highly enough. For those of you who, like me, don’t get there often enough, Michele’s online store is  a treasure trove of fabulosity.

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Architectural Digest Home Design Show–Top 10 Finds {Part 1}

The Architectural Digest Home Design Show was the centerpiece of BlogTour and took place on the second day of our trip.

It was my first design show in the US and I must confess to being very pleasantly surprised. As you know I’m not always a huge fan of American design – it can sometimes be a bit too ornate and stylised for my taste – but there were some great brands here, including many names from the UK and Europe. And the ‘Made’ section featuring smaller design brands and artisans was a revelation, chock full of quirky interesting pieces made with love.

Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com

dbO Home was perhaps my favourite find in the whole show. Husband and wife team Dana Brandwein Oates and Daniel Oates have between them created a complete line of delightful homewares. Dana makes gorgeous, GORGEOUS ceramics, perfect for food photography – intriguingly detailed but not so that it detract too much from the food – while Daniel crafts stunning custom-made wooden furniture. I could have bought everything on the entire stand, and probably will at some point. They were real sweeties too. That platter hanging up below may have accidentally found its way into my suitcase. 

Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com

This decoupaged Genus Chair by Phillip Estlund is available for sale through Grey Area, an online site that bridges the gap between functional pieces and art. I want this chair so badly. (Wondering if I should update my vintage ‘unfortunately I don’t think it’s Eames’ chair).

Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com

These intricate laser-cut lampshades are by Fiyel Levent Atelier and I love the slightly Islamic but very contemporary feel to them. Levent‘s beautiful patterns make spectacular artworks too (seen on the walls behind). If you’d like to enjoy her work at a more accessible price point she also does pretty stationery.

Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com

Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com

The glorious cabinet below is handbuilt by Ray Finan Furniture Studio in Vermont. Ray crafts his custom pieces from sustainably harvested domestic and exotic hardwoods mixed with high-end veneers and this picture doesn’t begin to convey the gloriously tactile nature of his pieces.

Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com

See that little hanging door knob? It’s carved from wood and felt beautiful – all smooth and swingy and sassy. Ray’s wife, who was on the stall, joked that she wanted a pair of earrings like that and I had to agree. Ray, listen to your wife!

My final favourite product for this round-up (5 more coming up soon) was the stunning new PRO cooker from Big Chill.

Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com

As you know I am already sadly besotted with our Big Chill fridge and this new cooker is making me want to start remodelling our downstairs kitchen (having sworn I’d never remodel anything ever again). What I liked most, as well the PRO’s handsome looks, was the extremely reasonable price point. So if anyone fancies sending me the dark cherry red version it won’t even break the bank. Go on, you know you want to.

For the sake of completeness here’s a picture of the door of my fridge hanging on the wall.

Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com

Thank you Modenus for taking me on the epic trip and making it possible to visit on Press Day (so much more civilized.)

Here is Veronika, Queen Modenus herself, surrounded by her beautiful daughters, welcoming a swarm of New York design bloggers and other industry professionals to Marys and Mimosas  – the now annual morning cocktail kick-off hosted by Modenus.

Architectural Digest Home Design Show photography by www.paolathomas.com

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