Scheming: Setting Up My Home Bar

I’ve been saying that I want to set up a home bar for my husband forever. Last month, I updated my post 50 Bar Carts, Serving Carts  & Trolleys for inspiration. (Of course, we can’t actually have a cart on wheels in our house or our son would be taking it for a ride all around the condo.)

Unsurprisingly, I haven’t had a chance to move forward on this. (So many gift guides to write, so little time.) But then I got a message from folks at Absolut, offering to send me the new Limited Edition Andy Warhol Absolut Vodka bottle, a lacquer tray, and an Amex gift card so I could style a festive holiday bar. As you can imagine, I told them to send it all right over! Motivation? Done.

The bottle, which is fun, colorful, and sure to be celebrated hostess gift to bring to holiday parties (though I’ll be keeping mine on my newly styled bar tray), is a new creation based on Andy Warhol’s depiction of Absolut’s iconic bottle that he painted back in 1986. This year, Absolut transformed that artwork into a three-dimensional bottle, using the tagline “Make the Holidays Pop” as the inspiration behind the collaborative campaign.

Since I don’t have an unused corner for a full-on bar, a bar tray is the perfect small space home bar solution. While I’m not sure the new tray is styled to perfection yet, I did pull together some must-have bar accoutrements—copper shaker, stainless steel strainer, wine glasses, martini glasses—plus the Absolut Warhol bottle, gin, and Twenty Boat Spiced Rum from Truro Vineyards on the Cape. To prettify, I added a stalk of bamboo, green button mums, mandarin oranges in a Jonathan Adler dish, and a silver dreidel, set beneath my new swimming pool photograph from Gallery. (Scroll down for all the shopping links.)

Create a bar in a cleared out section of a bookshelf, on a lacquered tray atop a console table, a tray table, an armoire, etc. If I did, you can too. Of course, I admit, sipping that Absolut Warhol helped get me in the mood.


StyleCarrot's Home Bar With Turquoise Lacquer Tray And Absolut Warhol

Bar tray styled & photographed by StyleCarrot

S T Y L I N G  M Y   B A R   T R A Y 

How To Style A Bar Tray For Your Home

S H O P P I N G
1 Splash by Joy Mckinney Framed Print, $370 at UGallery.

2 Aalto Vase by Iittala, $155 at Horne

3 Orb Copper Shaker, $24.95 at Crate & Barrel.

4 Twenty Boat Spiced Rum, $44.99 at Truro Vineyards.

5 Absolut Vodka Bottle by Andy Warhol.

6 Preston Martini Glass by Libbey, $18.85/four at Amazon.

7 Oak Mug Coasters by Sagaform, $24.95/six at Burke Decor.

8 Stainless Steel Cocktail Strainer, $9.95 at Sur La Table.

9 High Gloss Swoon Tray, $29.995 at CB2.

10 Copper Plum Tongs by Tom Dixon, $50 at A+R.  

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Design Diary: Hutker Architects Goes Graphic on Martha’s Vineyard

Hutker Architects coined a term for the style of home they’ve been busily building on Martha’s Vineyard for the past 25 years: “new regional vernacular.” Peter Cappuccino, lead architect on this project explains it as using traditional forms and familiar materials but applying them in new ways, while designing to suit a modern lifestyle.

Anne and Peter’s Vineyard home is a perfect example. I wrote about it in an article called “Vineyard Dreams” for the Cape & Islands issue of The Boston Globe Magazine on Sunday, July 20. I hope you will click through to read the story, as well as scroll down here for additional photos and notes.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

There are both water and wooded views from the steeply sloping site. Here, the deck, which connects the public spaces of the living room, kitchen, and screened porch, looks north. Here, the master bedroom deck has an amazing view towards Nantucket Sound. From the corner, one can see the steamship ferry come and go from Wood’s Hole.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

All the rooms enjoy what Cappuccino called “single width volumes,” meaning every room has at least three exposures. One ascends the stairs, enters through a single story space with a standing seam metal roof. To the right a two story space houses the kids rooms downstairs and guest suite, with a private stair. The two-story volume in the middle towards the back holds the master suite upstairs, also with private stair, and kitchen below. There’s also a family room behind that. The long room jutting into the foreground on the left is a double living room and dining room with cathedral ceiling. Decks and a screened porch run along the other side.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

Courtney Fadness, who recently moved on from Hutker, designed the home’s interiors using a high/low approach, using fun graphic pieces. The Standishes, who have three college aged kids, wanted the home to feel cozy, but with plenty of pattern and splashes of color. Fadness says, “Since it’s nestled in the trees, rather than on the beach, we could play with a more saturated palette than if we had been tied to ocean hues.”

A custom diamond pattern sisal by Merida is the base layer that runs the length of the huge room. A Moroccan-inspired dhurrie by Madeline Weinrib defines the seating area above. The sofa is a custom piece by Vioski, upholstered in a linen blend by Romo. It has a notch cut out on the back for a console table, so when you approach from dining room, you see shelves on that side. Fadnes says, “It feels more inviting, and its sculptural silhouette looks beautiful from all angles.”

Martini side tables in red by West Elm provide pops of color and the  Madison & Grow “Elizabeth” wallpaper in “Peacock on Shimmer” adds an additional graphic element and a subtle touch of teal. The Danish modern chairs with blue velvet upholstery are from 1st Dibs. The colorful glass lamp is by Tracy Glover.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The dining room, which precedes the double living room space, is dominated by a live edge wood table with a steel insert and base that the couple found on 1st Dibs, along with a statement chandelier. The wood slat and metal chairs are outdoor pieces from Terrain, and the upholstered chairs add heft and height.

The Currey & Company “Bayside” chandelier is wrought iron hand-wrapped in abaca rope; a nod to the beach. She says, “The not too serious interpretation of a traditional form adds feminine curves; it’s a nice juxtaposition to the more modern and masculine table. It also helps fill the volume of the space, without feeling heavy or obstructing views.”

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The wall on either side of the fireplace is painted teal, a color pulled from the Madison & Grow wallpaper across the room. The chairs have a nice back, so can be oriented towards the first or the second seating areas. Metallic gold dot pillow from Anthropologie.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

Deeper into the space, pushing out towards the view, is the living room’s second seating area. The sofa and armchairs are Baker Furniture, upholstered in linen by Romo and a nubby brown fabric. and The assortment of reclaimed wood coffee tables are from Anthropologie, and the arc lamp from CB2.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The screened porch has sturdy teak sofas with indoor/outdoor cushions.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The kitchen is on smaller side, with a focus on the more practical aspects, The countertop is Caesarstone and the  the backsplash of stove is a river rock –painted cabinetry, tom Dixon pendants, the backsplash over the stove is a river rock, bringing outside elements in. The cabinetry have painted frames with frosted resin insets and the light pendants are Tom Dixon. The palette reflects the monochromatic contrast of white on dark found in several other places in the house.  The flooring in the entry and kitchen is budget- and user-friendly cork.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

“Ribbed” by Ferm Living wallpaper in the powder room again shows the play of light and dark, and also brings in organic shapes. The sink looks like hammered metal but is actually porcelain. The homeowners found the mirror. A limestone counter sits atop a bamboo vanity that’s the same color as the bamboo floor. The Kohler single handle faucet is brushed nickel.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The kids hang in the casual family room, located behind the kitchen, to watch television.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

Anne likens the experience of her airy master bedroom to sleeping in a treehouse. All the walls, as well as the cathedral ceiling, are painted pale blue, as it were a continuation of the horizon. Graphic rug by Dwell Studio.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The reclaimed wood bed and the reclaimed pine plank nightstands are from the Sundance Catalog. The large table lamps from Horchow boast striations that resemble layers of sand.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The upper deck outside the master bedroom is perched above the screened porch.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The guest room is outfitted with a wood-tiled West Elm nightstand and Thomas Paul botanical pillows.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The girls bedroom has bedding by John Robshaw.

Photography by Ken Richardson

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Get the Look: 30 Modern Candlesticks

I don’t actually light candles all that often (though my boys think it’s fun to have a fancy dinner with candlelight at home), but I seem to always be admiring candlesticks. I should at least make more effort to light candles on Shabbat! No reason (I don’t think) that I couldn’t use some fun, modern candlesticks instead of the traditional silver ones. Here are 30 candlesticks that will inspire me (and you) to add ambience into winter evenings.

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S H O P P I N G

1 Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler Elizabeth Wood-Trim Candle Holder 

2 Design by Conran Candlestick Holder

3 Pleated Candleholder

4 Totem Votive Set

5 Michael Graves Design Footed Candleholder

6 Valkand Candlestick

7 Areaware Reality by Harry Allen Candle Holder

8 Ladies & Gentlemen Homestead Candlesticks 

9 Jack Candleholder

10 Nappula Candlestick

11 

12 Lightbulb Candleholder

13 Blomus Brushed Stainless Steel Candlestick 

14 Jonathan Adler Candle Holder, Squirrel Candlestick

15 Arteriors Home Ainsworth Candle Holder

16 Orrefors Totem Balance Candlestick

17 Kate Spade New York Jules Point Candlestick

18 Orrefors Aviang Oval Candlestick

19 Ilse Crawford Ilse Candleholder, $140 at The Future Perfect. 

20 Georg Jensen Koppel Candlesticks

21 Iittala Alla Candle Holder

22 Nate Berkus Industrial Inspired Metal Candle Holder 

23 RabLabs Agate Candle Holders

24 Gideon Dagan Adam + Eve Candle Holders

25 Marimekko Loistava Candleholder 

26 Y’A Pas Le Feu Au Lac Les Perles Candleholder

27 Areaware Distorition Candlestick by Paul Loebach

28 Skagerak Dania Candlestick

29 Menu Weight Here Candleholder

30 Ferm Living Wine Bottle Candleholder


Get the Look: 40 Neutral Taupey Gray Rugs

I kinda want to redecorate my living room. (Husband, if you’re by some off chance reading this, don’t freak out.) But, I’m not going to. I love my pale green walls, and blue accessories, but, I don’t know, I’m just kind of over the patterned rug and bold statements in general. I’m feeling more like cozy neutrals, and installing a gas fireplace. But, like I said, probably I won’t. At least now at this point. I mean, when would I even find the time? I have enough time, however, to do some window shopping for taupey, gray rugs. We actually do need to replace the rug in the family room (again), and that’s the existing color scheme. (I would, however, like to tweak the paint color.) I really love some of these rugs, especially the ones with the muted, blown-out patterns. And that jellyfish is kind of awesome.

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S H O P P I N G

1 Dama Vintage Rug

Texture Dove Rug

3 Jellyfish Rug

4 Flame Stitch Rug

5 Windsor Collection Rug

6 Chevron Rug

7 Eden Squares Rug

8 Offset Stripe Dhurrie

9 Leslie Doris Blau Vintage Swedish Rug

10 Turkish Kilim Rug

11 Lash Rug

12 Macrame Rug

13 Anemone Rug 

14 Bentink Furniture Keep Calm Rug

15 Thomas Paul Iconic Rug

16 Natural Hide Patchwork Rug

17 Safi Rug

18 Martha Stewart Faux Bois Rug

19 Snow Peak Rug

20 Magical Thinking Rug

21 Cadiz Patchwork Rug

22 Texturas Rug

23 Hedy Rug

24 Sasha Rug

25 Stacked Symmetry Rug

26 Lavali Rug

27 Tangier Rug

28 Gandia Blascoe Championes Rug

29 Pencil Stripe Rug

30 Harbor Rug

31 Waverly Rug

32 Fonda Rug

33 Agave Rug

34 Cococozy Blossom Rug

35 Masinissa Rug

36 Assembly Home Wave-Stripe Rug

37 Bentink Furniture Nordic Cariboo Rug

38 Giraffe Rug

39 Madeline Weinrib Tessa Carpet

40 Partridge Rug


Design Diary: Color Theory Brings a Suburban House to Life

Boston-based interior designers Brad Dufton and Kendra Amin-Dufton, the husband and wife duo behind Color Theory (of Apartment Therapy Small Cool fame in 2009), recently finished a top-to-bottom project on a house in Winchester, which I wrote about for the Boston Globe Magazine. The story, “Against the Gray,” details the process of and relationship between the designers and clients on their journey in creating a color-filled home. Note that Color Theory did it entirely from retail sources, so if you’re interested, re-creating the look is within easy reach.

Living Room Designed By Color Theory

 Photo by Michael J. Lee

Funnily enough, although the clients wanted color, Brad went with gray paint throughout the house. It makes a great backdrop for the saturated furnishings. Above, in the formal living room, he used a relatively dark shade, Benjamin Moore “Rock Gray.”  Brad says, “Formal spaces benefit from darker colors; it decompresses your energy, makes you want to stay longer for conversation.” This is one of three rooms in the house that he tags as moody.

Indian rug from Mohr & McPherson in Boston;  “Fillmore” sofa from Thrive; barley twist chairs from Zimman’s near Boston, upholstered in “Prospect” ikat by Thom Filicia for Kravet; starburst mirror from Zimman’s; coffee table from Horchow.

Farmily Room Designed By Color Theory

The family room, above and below, is huge. The walls are a lighter gray, Benjamin Moore “Wales Gray.” (By the way, Brad started out as a professional painter; he swears by and only uses Benjamin Moore, preferring its Regal Select line with a matte finish.) They used a three-dimensional, dried black lava stone tile for the fireplace surround. He calls the handmade, Brazilian chevron cowhide rug, from PureRugs, a “god-like” material, saying, “Everything and anything washes out of it.” Chairs from Circle Furniture; trio of acrylic tables from Wayfair.

Farmily Room Designed By Color Theory

A 14-foot-long Flexform sofa from Showroom in Boston dominates the main portion of the family room. Thomas H. Little Upholstery in Southboro, MA crafted the round ottomans and throw pillows. As for the juju hat installation, the client, who is from Congo, had the orange one. Brad and Kendra asked her to bring back “as many as she could carry” went she went to Africa to visit her mom. They admit they had no idea what they’d do with them all, but in a fit of inspiration, they clustered them on the wall

Sunroom Designed By Color Theory

Photo by Michael J. Lee

The sunroom boasts an amazing collection of indoor/outdoor pieces by Paolo Lenti from Montage in Boston. The sofa is actually three individual chairs that can be moved around (or dragged out to the deck). They originally purchased the ensemble for the basement playroom, but in an Aha! moment, Kendra realized they’d be perfect for the sunroom. The indoor/outdoor rug was a steal for $150 at RugsUSA, a welcome addition after the splurge on furniture. Continuing the high/low mix, there’s also a “Martini” side table from West Elm and a trio of cage pendants from CB2.

Lighting Designed by Color Theory

In the stairwell, nine brass and stainless steel pendants with rope cords and Thomas Edison filament bulbs by Lunabella, purchased at Zimman’s. We hear the electrician was none too pleased to have to hang them all.

Lighting Designed by Color Theory

Bedroom Designed by Color Theory
Photo by Michael J. Lee

The master bedroom is done in a glamorous scheme of black and magenta, with Benjamin Moore “Rock Gray” on the walls. The bed, which the clients first saw in an apartment they rented in Paris, is B&B Italia by Max Aalto, purchased from  Montage in Boston. It’s black-stained wood, with a gray tweed upholstered headboard and platform. The ottoman is West Elm and the ikat rug from Wayfair.  The Horchow fainting chaise came in gray velvet, but Brad and Kendra had it reupholstered in a magenta fabric by Iman for Kravet that they’d had their eyes on for years.

Boudoir Designed By Color Theory
 Photo by Michael J. Lee

The client was hot for a vanity. Brad and Kendra couldn’t find one they loved, so they pieced together its components using the Jonathan Adler “Channing” console, an inexpensive acrylic chair, curvy “Cattaneo” mirror from Horchow, and chrome sconces with black shades from Lamps Plus. I love the Senegalese storage basket from Serena & Lily, presumably used as a hamper.

Bathroom Designed By Color Theory

The master bath is done with a 3D tile on the floor, inspired by Manhattan bathrooms of the 1920s, and staggered oversize marble tiles on the wall. The egg-shaped tub was a splurge, and caused a bit of a ruckus with the plumber, but they finally got it right.

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 Photo by Michael J. Lee

The client, pictured here, is expecting a baby. Luckily, they were able to use all the pieces from her now two-year-old’s nursery from their prior home to create a new gender-neutral nursery. The walls are a grayish blue, Benjamin Moore “Sterling.”  The chartreuse lacquer dresser is the “Latitude” from CB2, the sleeper sofa from Room & Board, and the crib is Stokke. The stuffed animals are from Africa and the animal photographs purchased online from The Animal Print Shop, finished in frames by Room & Board. The chevron rug was created from FLOR carpet tiles. The cuckoo clocks over the crib were Brad & Kendra’s (you may recognize them from their living room), purchased a while back for 99 cents each at Urban Outfitters.

Guest Room Designed By Color Theory

The guest room, above and below, is done in the punchy black and white “Feather Fan” wallpaper by Cole & Son. “Wood Tiled” whitewashed dresser from West Elm; assorted carpet tiles by FLOR.

Guest Room Designed By Color Theory

“Window” headboard from West Elm and “English Garden” comforter set from Target.

Color Theory Girls Bedroom Boho

Finally, the daughter’s bedroom is done with a hippie chic, boho bibe, in a slight departure from the rest of the house. Brad says, “I want her to feel like she is carried to a far away land when she steps in.”

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Shop Serena & Lily for beautiful kids’ rooms. 

Serena & Lily Girls Bedrooms

Shop stylish sofas at Dwell Studio