Blog Posts by cottages-gardens.com

  • The Sustainable Tile

    by Susan Bednar Long, Connecticut Cottages and Gardens

    Are you planning a redesign for your home? Check out these eco-sensitive cork mosaic tiles.


    Habitus cork is created using sustainably harvested cork-the bark of the Mediterranean cork oak tree is merely trimmed, allowing the trees to live up to 200 years. Habitus cork mosaic tile is recycled from Spanish and Portuguese wine stoppers, making my occasional glass of Vinho Verde feel especially verde. The hand-cut chips are warm, insulating and antibacterial, with an assortment of organic stains available. Their richly textured custom finish brings contrast and depth to a modern space.

    See the other great designs from Habitus Finishes LLC, habitusnyc.com.

    PLUS:
    Earth Friendly Resources for Designers
    Stunning Pendant Light Fixtures for Your Home
    Kitchens as Selling Points
    Amazing One-Room Makeovers
    Stunning Japanese Basket Art


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  • 5 Stunning Hanging Pendant Lights for Your Home


    The Marjorie Skouras Honeycomb Lantern is supported by suspended chains. It is available in a wide variety of colored glass inlays. I love the faceted ball it is very Epcot meets Biosphere.

    Plud: Amazing One-Room Makeovers


    The Meta Collection from uber high end antiques dealer Mallett showcases contemporary designs. The Diamond's Are a Girl's Best Friend hanging lantern by Matali Crasset has enough faceted sharp angles to keep you mesmerized; you will want to stare at it for hours.

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    This amazing light fixture resembles a flower in full bloom. From Horchow.


    Light glows beautifully when cast from alabaster. The Greenwich Globe from Vaughan has Greek key detailing, a classic chain link suspension and a beautiful shape. From Vaughan.


    The Sorenson Lantern from Remains Lighting is netted in a handwoven wire.

    PLUS:
    See more stunning pendant light fixtures
    Kitchens as Selling Points
    Amazing One-Room Makeovers
    Stunning Japanese Basket Art

    Read More »from 5 Stunning Hanging Pendant Lights for Your Home
  • 3 Features of the Perfect Kitchen

    We asked the experts what makes for a spectacular and saleable kitchen. The answer? Must-have features in today's for-sale kitchen can be categorized into three groups: amenities, adjacencies and, of course, appliances.

    Amenities
    A-list amenities start with an ample island long enough to serve as a buffet table when entertaining and wide enough to embed a "potfiller" sink.

    Adjacencies
    Kitchens should be sited adjacent to a breakfast room, a formal dining room, and a family or great room, with access to outdoor dining on the terrace.

    Appliances
    And when it comes to appliances, only top names need apply: Wolf for ranges and ovens (or Aga, Lacanche or La Cornue for European types); Sub-Zero for refrigeration; and Asko or Miele for dishwashers (two of them, please). The homes chosen for this column offer all of these features plus a special quality that money can't buy-kitchens that are truly the heart of the home.

    The above kitchen features soaring ceilings with exposed beams and

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  • 4 Ways to Decorate with Fire

    These stunning pieces will light up any outdoor kid-free gathering.



    TABLE SERVICE | Stone Forest's Vesta FIRE TABLE with granite top and stainless steel base creates a sculptural fire element for your patio, (888) 682-2987, stoneforest.com.



    FEEL THE FIRE |
    Let Brasa's portable centerpiece fire lamp shed some light on your next summer soiree. $185, brasafire.com.



    FIRED UP |
    John T. Unger combined beauty and sustainability to create this fire bowl fit for the finest backyards. $1,875 (shipping included), through Susan Langone, Inc., Piermont, NY, 917-863-2084, johntunger.com.

    A TOUCH OF CAMPFIRE | Check out this collection of candles from Himalayan Trading Post. Each eco-friendly soy wax candle comes in a beautifully painted terracotta jar. And of course, they smell great too, in scents like campfire, orange grove and mistletoe. $12-$20, available at Passports, Salisbury, (860) 435-8855, and himalayantradingpost.com.

    PLUS:
    Amazing One-Room Makeovers
    Stunning Japanese Basket Art
    Stunning

    Read More »from 4 Ways to Decorate with Fire
  • Secret Tips to Styling Sunflowers

    Follow these fast, easy tips for a beautiful spring bouquet.

    GET IT TOGETHER
    For a surprisingly sophisticated-looking arrangement, cut stems to different lengths and align them at the bottom, then secure with a length of garden wire (you can cheat with a ponytail band too) before sinking them into a vase. Add a few strands of bear grass, if desired.

    FLORAL NOTE
    Not all blossoms need to be blowsy and full; somewhat unopened blooms add visual interest.

    THE RIGHT VASE
    Sunflowers are heavy, so be certain to use a vase that's solid enough to bear their weight.

    Plus:
    Stunning Japanese Basket Art
    How to Throw a Great Party From Cozy Lunch to Gala
    The Secret Details to a Great Party

    Read More »from Secret Tips to Styling Sunflowers
  • 6 Bites of Food Wisdom from a Chef


    We asked Chef Frederic Kieffer, from Artisan in Connecticut, to share some insights and tips for preparing this menu, entertaining at home, and the importance of locally sourced foods.

    You aren't running a restaurant. Keep it relaxed and informal.
    The difference is that even though you want it to be the same, the standards are not the same. It is more casual at home; you can use one set of silverware! In a restaurant, there are a couple of steps of service that you cannot skip. But at home it can be just be relaxed and informal.

    Stop worrying so much about timing.
    The main thing is that there is no time pressure, whenever it's ready it's ready … and you also care a little bit less about the presentation. You can have more of a family-style meal … but the main thing is there is no time pressure. If you have to wait 10 extra minutes for it to be done, you'll wait.

    Be flexible when choosing vegetables.
    Just open your eyes when you go into the produce aisle. The only thing that you

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