1 bhgrecollection.com | bhgrecollection.com V O L U M E 1 0 DISTINCTIVE L I FE® THE A LUXURY GUIDE TO TRUFFLE RECIPES Discover how to incorporate this rare, decadent and richly satisfying treat into your next dinner party menu. p.24 HOW TO MAKE BOLD COLORS WORK IN ANY ROOM From statement colors on walls, to cabinets and trim, learn how to make bold wall colors feel elegant and stylish. p.12
2 3 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT/CEO SHERRY CHRIS LUXURY PROPERTIES & FEATURED AGENTS SUSTAINABLE DESIGN TIPS FOR ECO-FRIENDLY LUXURY Give your home an elegant upgrade in a sustainable, custom way. CLOSET ORGANIZATION TIPS AND UPGRADES WORTH THE SPLURGE Whether you have an entire room to convert into a dressing area or want a custom-designed walk-in closet to replace your existing space, your perfect closet can soon become a reality ELEGANT DINNER PARTY DESSERT IDEAS As you put your list of dinner party ideas together, don’t forget to include an assortment of decadent desserts sure to wow your guests. A LUXURY GUIDE TO TRUFFLE RECIPES Discover how to incorporate this rare, decadent and richly satisfying treat into your next dinner party menu or special occasion How to Make Bold Wall Colors Work in Any Room p.12 Choosing the Best Smart Garden Tools p.36 Luxury Properties p.48 CONTENTS Luxury Interior Design Gourmet Cuisine Life & Leisure Listings & Featured Agents 12 36 p.4 p.6 CHOOSING THE BEST SMART GARDEN TOOLS The best garden tools for your new planting resolutions are likely to include those controlled or monitored by your smartphone. FIVE LUXURY TRENDS FOR 2022 Interior Design and Lifestyle Expert, Jennifer Adams, shares insight on how to implement five of the latest trends in luxury home environments. p.36 p.42 p.48 p.12 p.30 p.18 p.24 HOW TO MAKE BOLD WALL COLORS WORK IN ANY ROOM This emerging trend calls for statement colors on walls, cabinets and trim. Learn how you can make bold wall colors feel elegant and stylish in any room in your home 48 Elegant Award Season Party Ideas p.18 18
4 5 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 ll i . | SHERRY CHRIS President and CEO Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate J letter from the President & CEO SHERRY CHRIS LUXURY HAS A WHOLE NEW LOOK Find your dream home and keep up with the latest trends in Gourmet Cuisine, Interior Design, Life & Leisure and Travel. Visit www.bhgrecollection.com ust as a flower blooms to welcome a brighter sun and warmer weather, so does your home. As we spring into a new season, the time has come to store our winter clothes, replace the heavy quilts and open the windows; and, in turn, uncover the pool, assemble the patio and return to the garden. I’m looking forward to enjoying the backyard a little longer with friends and family as the sun gains a later curfew. And, of course, firing up the grill to complement alfresco dining. In this issue of The Distinctive Life, we get back outside and reveal the best garden tools for your planting resolutions. This time of year, we may also be tempted to remodel while being mindful of its impact on the environment. So we share sustainable design tips from the experts to inspire your next eco-friendly home refresh. Later, we dive into decadent dessert ideas for your next soiree (the toffee temptation cake is a crowd-pleaser). And lastly, the closet is a truly personal space in any home; we put together closet organization tips to create a tidy and welcoming room for you. This edition is dedicated to opening up your home to a season of new beginnings; one filled with joy, harmony, and good company. Distinctively yours,
6 7 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LUXURY INTERIOR DESIGN Interior designers are constantly being asked for sustainable design tips for homeowners who want to start a luxury remodel without putting undue stress on the environment.While this used to be a fairly challenging issue, innovation in materials and processes means that you can easily give your home an elegant upgrade in a sustainable, custom way. If you are curious about how to approach an eco-friendly home refresh, read on for our favorite sustainable design tips. sustainable design tips for ECO-FRIENDLY LUXURY
8 9 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LUXURY INTERIOR DESIGN EMPHASIZE NATURALLIGHT The best designs use light well, and this is no less truewhen trying to refresh your space in a sustainableway. Assess how light enters the roomyou are remodeling. Theway your room’s natural light radiates around the area significantly impacts everything fromenergy efficiency tomood. Are your windows double-paned?Would the space benefit fromhaving your contractor enlarge thewindows or reshape them? Can your windows be highlighted tobecomeworks of art themselves?Using vintage accessories, like sunburstmirrors ormirroredArt Deco sideboards, can youbounce incoming light? The answers to all of these questions can play an essential role in your next steps and dictate howyouwill use the space in the future. CHOOSEWALL COLORSWISELY One of our best sustainable design tips is to consider not just your favorite colors or what is popular whenpreparing to repaint a room but how that color will impact the energy and atmosphere of the room. Darker,moodywall colors can enhance relaxation. Still, if you don’t have ample natural light, you’ll need to supplement it with artificial light, whichwill automatically alter the feeling of the space. Lighter hues reflect light – brightening the roomwithout using asmuch energy. UTILIZE VEGANPAINT Speaking of wall paint, the industry has come a longway inmaking low (or zero) VOCpaint, veganpaint, andother sustainable options. Youmay not think about paint using animal byproducts, like casein, butmany do. Better Homes &Gardens' editors interviewed expert Daniel Brooks on the subject, and Brooks revealed: “Veganpaint replaces all animal productswith a natural plant-based binder, such as vegetable caseinor legumin, and certify that they are cruelty-free.” Farrow &Ball andAuroPaints are among a growing number of companies that offer a range of paint finishes that are all cruelty-free and sustainably developed. PURCHASEKINDER FURNITURE One of Martha Stewart Living’s editors' favorite sustainable design tips is for people tobuy kinder furniture. There are a couple of ways of going about this process. The advice is to start by looking for the “Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) seal.” They are also fans of choosing high-quality vintage items or antiques, likeChesterfield sofas or auction house finds insteadof purchasing frombigbox stores. Reupholstering a piece you already own that has excellent bonesmay seemlike a pricey, more time-consuming option thanbuying new, but it’s a perfect way to reduce the amount of furniture headed for landfills. Plus,
11 bhgrecollection.com | Volume 10 | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® 10 LUXURY INTERIOR DESIGN you already adore the piece. This approach simply allows you tomake it sing again without all of the additional environmental costs. WORKWITH ARTISANSTOCREATE CUSTOMDESIGNS An approach that Southern Living's editors adore is choosing a craftspersonwho can build your desired furniture piece out of materials that have a history. Louisiana’s Alex Gernier caught themagazine’s eye whenhe created the perfect headboard for his bedroom– no small feat given that it was going into an 1880s apartment located inNewOrleans. His approach, according to Southern Living: “The very first piece hemadewas an antique headboard for his room, which came fromanold growth Cypress tree. The significance of this beautiful piece is that he carved it froma fivepanel door that was salvaged froma house that floodedduringHurricaneKatrina.” Smaller pieces can alsohelp transforma spacewhile being sustainably sourced. Designer and artist Rochelle Porter has put sustainablemanufacturing at the heart of her business. The experts rave about “everything frompillows andwallpaper to activewear for adults and kids” using “her prints, all handdrawn and translateddirectly fromher artwork, often take inspiration from her global travels andGuyanese roots.” REUSEVINTAGE PIECES INNEWWAYS No rule says that the vintage dresser sitting in your attic only has tobe used in your bedroomor dressing room. Beautiful lacquered, curvedpieces fromthe 1920s are being repurposed for dining roomstorage to rave reviews. Bar carts are always indemand for socializing, but they can alsobecome lovely pieces for home offices andwalk-in closets. And, of course, antique dressers under the hands of a skilled craftsperson canbe easily used “as a vanity in the powder room,” amuch-loved sustainable design tip recommendedby Rachel Halvorson to Southern Living. REMODELWITH SUSTAINABLE, ECOFRIENDLYPRODUCTS Every roomthat you remodel will face a different set of challenges. Among the best sustainable design tips for kitchens is the simple stepof installing “Energy Star appliances, whichuse 10%-50%less energy than standardmodels,” according to experts at Better Homes &Gardens. Once youhave your appliances sorted, consider thematerials youmight use in your flooring and countertops. Both surfaces require durable and easy-to-cleanmaterials, whichhas often led todesign choices that didn’t have the ecological advantages that are now readily available. For example, Better Homes &Gardens' designers love using eco-friendly solid cork flooring to elevate the look of luxury kitchens. Why? The magazine explains: It’s adurable, natural material that’s easy on the feet—and the environment…while other trees can take decades to regenerate, cork trees regenerate every nine years.” It alsohas the advantage of being exquisite – don’t be surprised if it sparks a fair share of remodel-envy. Countertops have long presenteda quandary in luxury redesigns. Youmay want something that looks elegant and eye-catching but blanch at how it is produced. “Many popular countertop materials aremanufacturedusing nonrenewable resources and sealedwith potentially harmful chemicals,” according to Better Homes &Gardens' experts. Today, themagazine recommends taking this sustainable design tip: Use bamboo. The magazine raves: “Bamboo is a rapidly growing, renewable resource thatmakes an excellent eco-friendly countertopmaterial. Although it’s technically a grass, bamboo looks and functions similarly towood.” Of course, your options aren’t limited toonly bamboo. Better Homes &Gardens' editors also recommendusing reclaimedwood in kitchens thatmight benefit fromthe look of distressedmaterials, stainless steel made fromup to 100%recycled content, or recycled glass. In fact, recycled glass is a sustainable design tip that is taking off for countertops andfindingmuch love for backsplashes. Why is recycled glass getting somuch attention? Better Homes &Gardens explains: “These eco-friendly countertops look similar tonatural stone and are equally durable…material such as Terrazzo is available in awide range of colors, can last for several decades, doesn’t need tobe sealed, and is nonporous andheat resistant.”While it ismost certainlymore expensive than granite andoftenmore difficult to source, once the project is completed, youwill have a stunning, environmentally friendly countertop that you adore.
12 13 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 This is the year of bold wall colors.While ivory and beige will always be popular, there is a growing movement for statement colors on walls, cabinets, and trim. Of course, bold color may feel different to different people, and it doesn’t mean you need to add only reds and oranges to your space. However, it does mean that deep blues are considered the new neutral, shades of green are everywhere, and, yes, statement reds are making their presence known. If you are curious about how you can make bold wall colors feel elegant and stylish in your home, read on as we explore this emerging trend. how to make BOLDWALL COLORS work in any room LUXURY INTERIOR DESIGN
14 15 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LUXURY INTERIOR DESIGN SLEEP BETTER WITH BOLD BLUES Conventional wisdom suggested that bedroom wall colors should be muted, relying on beige or white hues to achieve a calming effect. A new study, reported on by Southern Living, throws that assumption for a loop. The magazine's editors write: “According to Sleep Junkie, a website designed to deliver tips and data to support a better night’s sleep, beige in the bedroommight not be as soothing a hue as it’s painted out to be.” In fact, those who slept more soundly had bold wall colors in their bedrooms that were on the ROYGBIV scale, “with the most well-rested respondents sporting bedrooms in blue and purple.” Experts at Southern Living posited that even the most vivid blues evoked a sense of serenity. At the same time, purple “is often associated with wealth, wisdom, creativity, and magic, which can make for some dynamite end-of-day inspiration (and perhaps some pretty interesting dreams).” RETHINK AN ALLWHITE KITCHEN All-white kitchens are perennial favorites. They are classic, elegant and never feel dated. However, interior designers saw a marked increase over the last two years of dramatic colors, not just on the walls but also on the cabinets and surrounds. Hannah Yeo, Color Marketing and Development Manager at Benjamin Moore, told Martha Stewart Living that she expects to see shades of green dominating throughout upscale homes this year, as homeowners continue to want to connect their interiors to nature and find inspiration in a room that is seeing greater activity than ever. While some will adopt lighter sage green options, Yeo predicts darker shades, like Cushing Green, will also get attention. Architect Bill Ingram agrees that a bold green color on walls and cabinetry can create a stunning and cohesive space. He explains to Southern Living that among his favorite colors is the bright and dramatic “Sherwin-Williams Evergreens (SW 6447),” which he added throughout a recent project, from the Thermador hood to the refrigerator surround, across the kitchen island and over the walls and doorways. When done well, it’s another example of bold
16 17 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LUXURY INTERIOR DESIGN color, presenting a polished and inviting atmosphere. Of course, green is not the only color making its mark on elegant kitchens. Vivid deep blues, turquoise and red (particularly when used for framing) can make your new kitchen sing. Even black and charcoal gray paints, which are increasing in popularity for home exteriors, are being brought inside this year. A black kitchen may be hard to picture, but take a tip from a recent chic renovation, heralded by Southern Living, which saw “owners EJ and Whit Brown using the same bold black paint (SherwinWilliams Tricorn Black, SW 6258) on the exterior and interior, creating a cohesive mood throughout.” MAKE BOLDWALL COLORSYOUR LIVING ROOM BACKDROP Design experts at Better Homes & Gardens are applauding the use of bold wall colors that act as a backdrop for other design choices. One of the magazine’s favorite recent refreshes saw the coating of living room walls in a rich navy blue, which became an “almost … neutral backdrop that could pair with almost any other color.” In that design, red accents on the coffee table, end table, lampshade, throw, and more made the room pop. But you don’t have to stick to that blue/red palette. The magazine suggests that you can “try the bold blue color with hot pink, pale blue, bright red, grass green—the sky is the limit.” Better Homes & Gardens' experts advise some caution when repainting a room, be it the living room, family room, kitchen, or office, to consider the amount of cabinetry and shelving. If those elements dominate the design, you may want to paint the trim in the same bold hue as the walls. Why? The magazine explains: “By painting the trim the same color as the cabinets and walls, it recedes into the background to create a cohesive, sophisticated feel.” A sharply contrasting trimmight feel too abrupt and distract from your intended design. CREATE STATELY, COZY OFFICES Does your home office or library need refining? We often focus on making our home workspaces practical rather than inviting. Even stately spaces can be elevated further with deep, bold wall colors and rich accents. Warm wine reds are among the most requested shades for library and office spaces. Interior designer Michelle Gage told Martha Stewart Living that she also believes that “we’ll see a rise in warm, juicy mulberry tones” this year. Home offices and libraries are often starved of natural light, either out of necessity or design, and we’re tempted to choose light colors on the walls to brighten the space. However, these spaces are supposed to help focus us and inspire. Cooler colors can make the room feel harsher and without dimension. This is another reason to ditch light walls and embrace bold wall colors. Joa Studholme, Farrow & Ball’s top color expert, told Martha Stewart Living: “When you are starved of light, it’s better to go for a really strong color to add depth to the room” and create a more welcoming environment. CREATE A RICHLY HUED BATHROOM From historic estates to modern minimalist homes, guest bathrooms are being upgraded from utilitarian to statement spaces. Here, the deep reds also shine. Whether you choose paint or patterned or textured wallpaper, crimson walls are in demand. Interestingly, so is the seemingly opposite approach. Better Homes & Gardens' experts report: “Dark, moody colors continue to be popular with consumers and color forecasters. Experts believe this trend will continue in the year ahead—and get even darker, with rich, almost-black charcoals.” Whether you choose the darkest shade of gray or the richest red or somewhere in between, bold wall colors can transform a guest bathroom from an unremarkable room to a truly luxurious space.
18 19 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 elegant DINNER PARTY DESSERT ideas As you put your dinner party menu together, don’t forget to include an assortment of decadent desserts. From bittersweet chocolate mousse to Champagne-glazed strawberries, each sumptuous bite of these dessert ideas will wow your guests and end the evening in style. MINI STRAWBERRYTARTS Mini strawberry tarts have caught the eye of the food editors at Southern Living. Described as “elegant and accessible,” these dinner party treats are full of flavor and the perfect idea for hosts looking for something light, satisfying and beautiful. In fact, you might love this blend of strawberries, lemon juice, cream cheese, and whipped cream so much that you’ll want it as a delectable option for all of your upscale parties. GOURMET CUISINE BUTTERED RUM MELTAWAYS Are you looking for the perfect aromatic cookie to tempt your guests? The food editors at Martha Stewart Living love serving buttered rummeltaways on sophisticated trays or wrapping them up and slipping them into award season party gift bags. The magazine applauds these “melt-in-yourmouth cookies filled with subtle undertones of dark rum, vanilla, and spices” that are “safe for all taste buds,” as the alcohol evaporates during baking. What does remain
20 21 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 GOURMET CUISINE are golden cookies topped with confectioners’ sugar that guests will eagerly devour. TOFFEE TEMPTATION CAKE The name “Toffee Temptation Cake” really says it all. This dinner party dessert idea comes from foodies at Martha Stewart Living. The experts adore this option for elegant celebrations because “this toffee cake layered with melt-in-yourmouth homemade Bourbon Brown-Sugar Buttercream is pure temptation.” The delightfully spiked buttercream can be made in advance for use the same day or stored in a secure container in the refrigerator for up to a week before your big event. However, while the bourbon buttercream can be made days ahead of time, this tantalizing cake looks and tastes like perfection when it is served still slightly warm from the oven. BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE MOUSSE Food & Wine editors agree that a sophisticated dinner party is not complete unless you offer indulgent desserts that also look spectacular. Among the magazine editors' favorite dinner party ideas is a bittersweet chocolate mousse served in sophisticated parfait glasses with “giant curls of bittersweet chocolate” for garnish. If the dessert feels both new and nostalgic, there is a good reason. Food & Wine explains: “Ad Hoc’s chef de cuisine Dave Cruz created this rich chocolate mousse as a refined homage to the pudding he loved as a child.” And while this dessert looks like you took hours preparing it, from prep to readyto-serve takes only 30 minutes. GOLDEN LEMON ORANGE BARS Rachael Ray In Season looks forward to rolling out the red carpet every year with dinner party dessert ideas “inspired by the glitzy Governors Ball menu.” Among the editor’s favorite desserts is the Golden Lemon Orange Bar. The added twist of a grated orange peel and orange juice takes this citrus confection to a new level of refinement. According to the magazine, it gives the dessert its signature golden color when blended with perfectly tart lemons. Dust the top with powdered sugar just before serving, and get ready for the compliments. DECADENT CHOCOLATEESPRESSO CHEESECAKE Fit for Hollywood royalty, the Decadent Chocolate-Espresso Cheesecake is celebrated by Southern Living and its readers. This dinner party dessert idea offers a little bit of everything; “dessert and coffee all in one slice, this over-the-top cheesecake is a surefire crowd-pleaser,” heralds the magazine. Naturally, it is the hit of instant espresso that elevates the chocolate cheesecake base. However, it is the topping made from heavy cream, coffee liqueur, powdered sugar, and chocolate shavings and shards that make it a star of any party. MOIST CHOCOLATECHERRY STOUT CAKE Do you have guests that are stout connoisseurs? Only the finest should be served at your next upscale dinner party. Martha Stewart Living's chefs agree with this idea wholeheartedly and suggests that hosts “consider this super-dense, super-delicious chocolate cake featuring Guinness and dried cherries.” While Guinness is definitely the star, the molasses, dried cherries, Dutchpress cocoa powder, dark-brown sugar, and surprise hint of sour creammake this recipe shine even before the bittersweet chocolate glaze is added. Every bite is an experience in indulgence – precisely what you want at a sophisticated soiree. CHAMPAGNE-GLAZED STRAWBERRIES While all desserts can be enhanced by pairing them with an excellent bottle of Champagne, no elegant event should be without Food & Wine’s Champagne-Glazed Strawberries as a dessert option. One of the Magazine’s most popular dinner party dessert ideas, this recipe relies on Zabaglione to make it unforgettable.
22 23 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 GOURMET CUISINE What is it? The magazine explains: “Zabaglione—a boozy Italian custard sauce— is made by whisking together egg yolks, sugar, and a splash of Champagne. This recipe is based on the traditional master recipe, which uses half an eggshell of sugar and half an eggshell of Champagne for each yolk.” To serve, “arrange a single layer of macerated strawberries in the bottom of each of the crème brûlée dishes, and top with enough zabaglione to cover … and broil until zabaglione is bubbly and browned.” Serve it hot, and your guests are sure to talk about your dazzling dinner party event for the rest of the year. CREAM PUFFSWITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE “Impress party guests with a tower of fluffy, chocolate-covered cream puffs,” raves Food & Wine. The magazine adores this dessert idea because cream puffs are wonderfully indulgent and are nearly impossible to resist. You can easily pop over to your favorite French bakery to gather their freshly made cream puffs and finish them at home by “drizzling chocolate sauce over the puffs” before stacking them on a gold or silver serving tray with additional chocolate sauce on the side, a favorite technique of chef Elizabeth Katz, which she revealed to Food & Wine. If you want to try your hand at baking these thrillingly sumptuous bites, go that extra mile, like Katz has done, by “draping them in caramel and wrapping them in spun sugar” just before your guests arrive.
24 25 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 a luxury guide to TRUFFLE RECIPES Truffles are a rare delicacy that bring to mind decadence, richly satisfying recipes, and fine dining. Available only a few months of the year and located near only specific types of plants, truffles are so celebrated that entire festivals are dedicated to them and the dishes they have inspired. If you want to know how you can incorporate this rare treat into your next dinner party menu or special occasion, read on as we reveal some of our favorite and most luxurious truffle recipes. GOURMET CUISINE
26 27 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 GOURMET CUISINE WHAT ARE TRUFFLES? Much like ordinary mushrooms, truffles are edible fungi but far more rare and much pricier. Why? They can only be found during a small window of time every year and only grow in limited quantities. As expert Dino Borri tells Departures, “Truffles cannot be planted, tamed, or cultivated ... and they only grow in the ground close to the roots of specific plants—il nocciolo, il tiglio, il carpino, il pioppo.” While you might believe that there are only black and white truffles, there is a third option: burgundy. And the differences between them can significantly impact the flavors in your culinary creations. Borri explains their notes to the magazine: “The white variety is pungent with notes of shallot, the black is earthy and robust, and burgundy tends toward the delicate and aromatic.” No matter which truffle you want to incorporate into your recipe, the truffle should feel hard. If it has a spongey consistency, pass it up. TRUFFLE RECIPES FOR MAIN COURSES When you think of truffles, your mind might immediately race to casual dishes accented with truffle oil, like trendy popcorn or fries. Or the word might conjure images of chocolate truffles, which have acquired the name solely because of their appearance rather than the presence of this rare, delightfully edible fungi. However, sliced truffles and truffle butter can be an indulgent flavor enhancer to many of your favorite main courses and should not be overlooked when planning a sumptuous dinner party menu. PASTAWITH ROBIOLA ANDTRUFFLES If you are looking for a vegetarian-friendly dish that is richly flavorful and thoroughly satisfying, the culinary experts at Food & Wine suggest trying their mouthwatering pasta recipe. Why is it a favorite? The magazine applauds that it “marries three of Italy’s best ingredients: egg pasta, winter truffles, and Robiola Rocchetta, a creamy cheese from northern Italy, which forms the base for an incredibly rich sauce.” Ideal for the pasta course in a multi-course dinner party or as a main for a more intimate celebration, this recipe takes less than 30 minutes, including the time it will take to shave your truffles. It also allows for some flexibility – you can incorporate fresh white or black truffles into the recipe, depending on your desired flavor profile. Of course, with all this flavor, you don’t want a wine pairing that will compete or overwhelm it. Try something refreshing like an Italian Arneis. SEA SCALLOPS IN BLACKTIE Chef Daniel Boulud, best known for his twice Michelin-starred Daniel restaurant, raves about the addition of the perfect truffles to his sea scallops in black tie recipe to Departures. Sea scallops from Maine are his favorite, and he offers a specific recommendation to buy them alive from Browne Trading Company anytime — fall through spring. While the sea scallops are the basis of the recipe, the three black truffles he includes make it sing, as each scallop is topped with four slices of the robustly indulgent black truffles. While the bake itself does not take long, give yourself extra time before your dinner party for preparation and presentation. Add a pairing of an off-dry Chenin Blanc or even Champagne with this course to further delight the taste buds. WAGYU AND BLACK TRUFFLE BURGER As a truffle fan, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the $5,000 Wagyu burger served at Fleur in Las Vegas. With a little bit of patience, you can recreate your own version for a “casual” celebration that is pure luxury. Using only the best ingredients is the key to bringing this option to your table. As Departures explains, “this decadent burger features a Wagyu beef patty topped with premium foie gras and sliced black truffles.” The black truffles and the beef are
28 29 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 GOURMET CUISINE sautéed in copious amounts of butter, as any decadent French recipe would be. The additional toppings are all up to you, but a fresh-baked brioche bun is the perfect finish to this extraordinary truffle recipe. DRY-AGED RIB-EYES WITH BURGUNDYTRUFFLE SAUCE The meat lovers at your next dinner party will thank you for the tantalizing taste of a perfectly cooked dry-aged rib-eye steak covered in a delectable Burgundy-truffle sauce. The stars of this Food & Wine recipe are not only the 60-day dry-aged bone-in rib-eye steaks but the black truffle butter that tops the steak directly and is added to your Burgundy wine sauce. The recipe will take time, three hours from start to finish, but you will know that it was time well spent from the first bite. TRUFFLE RECIPES FOR SIDES AND SOUPS Are you searching for a unique side dish or soup recipe for one of your gourmet meals? You can markedly enhance even your standard options when you add a touch of truffle to the mix. ASPARAGUS GLAZED WITHWHITE TRUFFLE FONDUE If you love asparagus, and you want it at your next dinner party, why not elevate it by topping it with a sumptuous white truffle fondue? It’s among Food & Wine experts' most adored vegetable recipes because the “truffle fondue (white-truffleinfused cheeses mixed with butter) quickly turns asparagus into a superluxe starter or side dish.” This sensational side takes only 12 minutes to prepare, but it just might make your guests look at asparagus in a whole new way. TRUFFLE-INFUSED FRENCH ONION SOUP Another of Food & Wine’s favorite truffle recipes involves a reimagining of a classic: French onion soup. Created by Chef Michael Mina, the magazine reveals that this twist on an old favorite came through experimentation when Mina “went crazy for the mix of earthiness and sweetness” that came from “the combination of black truffles and caramelized onions.” His delightfully indulgent recipe calls for truffle-infused pecorino cheese, homemade beef stock (if possible), dry red wine, and sweet onions, among other basics. Total time from preparation through serving is approximately three-and-a-half hours, so be sure to leave yourself ample time. Not sure about the perfect wine pairing? The magazine suggests that “the earthy, berry flavors and vibrant character of a good cru Beaujolais, made from the Gamay grape, go well with this rich, truffleinfused soup.”
30 31 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 CLOSET ORGANIZATION tips and upgrades worth the splurge A well-organized closet doesn’t have to remain a dream.Whether you have an entire room to convert into a dressing area or want a custom-designed walk-in closet to replace your existing space, your perfect closet can soon become a reality. It just takes patience, a clear picture of your wants and needs, and some creativity. Read on as we reveal expert closet organization tips to help guide your renovations.
32 33 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LIFE & LEISURE PRIORITIZE ORGANIZATION AND DECLUTTERING Experts stress that the one closet organization tip that applies to nearly everyone is prioritizing decluttering before a single bin, hook, cabinet, or dresser island is installed. Pull everything out of your existing closet, cedar chests, and dressers. Honestly assess whether or not you will ever wear that dress, necklace, scarf, or pair of boots again. The old rule used to be that if you haven’t worn an item in 12 months, it might be time to donate it. Given the changes in work-fromhome and socializing routines over the last couple of years, you may want to hold on to some items (like corporate office attire or cocktail dresses) a bit longer. However, for most clothing items, you should feel free to organize your closet items into keep, donate, toss, or consider piles. CHOOSE A CLOSET ORGANIZATION SYSTEM Your dream closet should be highly personalized. Whether you commission a custom-build from scratch or pay a craftsperson to tailor an existing system, your closet organization system should fit your personality and needs. How do you want the space to feel? Should it be modular so that it can be moved and expanded without changing any original architectural details (like molding)? What are your storage requirements? Do you want only to use eco-friendly materials? If you are a visual person, you may prefer to have most of your clothing items on a hanging rod or open shelf rather than tucked away in drawers or placed in decorative bins. That means that when designing your new closet, you should focus on adding double rods, slanted shelving, or open shelving to increase daily functionality. Sustainable Paulownia wood bins are gorgeous, but if you forget what is in them the minute they are placed on an overhead shelf, they aren’t as useful as stacking folded items on an open shelf or in a cubby that is at eye level. Southern Living's design experts advise those designing a new space to maximize the space’s utility. According to the magazine’s organization experts, “items should be stored by frequency of use” so that you don’t find yourself wading through seasonal items or accessories that only get used once or twice a year when looking for your go-to handbag. Another closet organization tip that their experts favor is to design your closet as if it were a house; “the eye-level racks, rods and shelves are where your everyday life occurs,” while “upper shelves all the way to the ceiling act as your ‘attic’ where you should keep infrequently used pieces and mementos.” BUILD DEDICATED DRAWERS Deep drawers inside a stylish built-in unit or freestanding island win favor with the experts at Better Homes & Gardens. The magazine offers this tip: “Deep drawers are ideal for bulky pajamas, sportswear, and items that don’t always get neatly folded. They also leave room in a walk-in closet for more attractive items to be on display.” When Martha Stewart converted her spare room into a stunning closet, she commissioned “a two-sided bureau topped with marble” that referenced a similar marble on her kitchen’s famous pastrycounter because she loved the elegance of it, and it helped tie the new construction to the rest of her home’s style. As she revealed in Martha Stewart Living: The marble was “carved by a local stonecutter, and offers ample space for an antique jewelry box and mirror and a clothes-folding station.” Each drawer in her closet offers peak organization, with spaces dedicated (and built) to house specific items, from delicates to cashmere wraps, from socks to sequined pants. DISPLAY PURSES AND SHOES One of the closet organization tips that all experts can agree on is that you should display your handbags and shoes like the works of art they are. Purses can be arranged on shelves or in custom-designed cubbies with clear covers that still offer easy access while also protecting against dust. Keep the ones you often use at eye level while displaying occasional bags overhead. Building a personalized shoe display within your walk-in closet or new dressing space offers sublime organization potential. Better Homes & Gardens' designers love the idea of crafting “slanted shelves that hold heels and sandals in place while flip-flops are tossed together in a braided basket.” If you are reconfiguring existing shelving, move some shelves up to allow your boots to stand, and insert boot supports to keep them upright and the material from creasing or cracking. However, before you put a single Louboutin onto your new shelves, the experts at Better Homes & Gardens offer this pro-level closet organization tip: “Group by type! Storing similar items together is more important than grouping by color, particularly when you need to get ready quickly.” DESIGN PROTECTIVE STORAGE If you have beautiful sweaters, you want to protect them frommoths and UV rays throughout the year, and you want them to be easily accessible when you need them. Take a closet organization tip from Martha Stewart’s renovation: “Plush pullovers are folded and arranged in a tall cabinet customized with restoration-glass panels that match the windows in the rest of the house,” and sweaters are protected with cedar balls that are arranged within the stacks in the cabinet. Do you have exquisite and sentimental jewelry items that are prone to being
34 35 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LIFE & LEISURE tangled, scratched, or tarnished in a jewelry box? When creating your built-ins or designing the drawers for your closet island, make shallow drawers and fill them with velvet-lined trays to support your collection perfectly. Is it a splurge? Yes, but it is also a sophisticated closet organization tip that can help you preserve your priceless items. CREATE A BOUTIQUE FEEL Because our focus is typically on the practicalities of creating a closet organization system, we often forget about the atmosphere we are creating. You want your walk-in closet or dressing room to be a place that is welcoming and inspiring. One of Southern Living editors’ favorite closet decorating tips advises that “a little pattern or texture (like a sheepskin rug) will instantly transform your storage space into a zone that you respect just as much as any other room in the house.” If you have the square footage, add a plush settee for relaxation. Place a vanity in the space so that you can also apply makeup and style your hair. Paint the walls a soothing or inspiring shade of blue, green, or purple. Consider adding patterned wallpaper to back your shelves or cubbies. For a truly elevated space, take note of one of Better Homes & Gardens' designer's favorite walk-in closets: “As pretty as a silklined jewelry box, this walk-in closet sports tufted fabric walls that soften the room’s functional floor-to-ceiling shelves.” Stools, step ladders, and sliding ladders can be handy if your walk-in closet has high ceilings. They allow you to access seasonal or rarely used items stored on the highest shelves without a lot of fuss. Without the step stool or ladder, the highest shelves risk becoming a space that is either underused or a place where things are hidden and never seen again. INVEST IN MOOD LIGHTING From adding a small chandelier (one of the experts at Southern Living’s favorite decorative touches) to the “dimmable remote-controlled LEDs in all the cabinets” added to Martha Stewart’s closet conversion, you want to be mindful of your lighting options. No matter how much you invest in following the experts’ closet organization tips, your space may still feel unappealing if you can’t see well enough to navigate inside it or it is so bright that it feels harsh and unwelcoming. If you have windows in your new closet, you need to consider how UV rays might impact the color of exposed clothing fabric. Martha Stewart Living reports that Stewart addressed both the need for protection and creating a mood in elegant ways; “Martha had solar shades installed (they’re sheer but block color-fading UV rays), along with antique Dutch hammered-brass sconces to cast a warm glow.” It’s now a closet that truly marries exquisite style and function.
36 37 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 choosing the best SMART GARDEN TOOLS The best garden tools for your new planting resolutions are likely to include those controlled or monitored by your smartphone. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be getting your hands dirty as you create a thriving backyard oasis or terrace container garden. However, it does mean that your forays can be much more efficient, and your garden dreams are less likely to be thwarted by the whims of insects, soil pH, and an ever-changing schedule. Read on to learn more about some of the best garden tools and systems available right now. LIFE & LEISURE GARDEN LANDSCAPING ROBOTS While it might seem like something out of a science fiction movie, landscaping robots using AI technology are already here. Launched by Whirly Max, their landscaping robot (the Yardroid) resembles a mini-tank. It can turn to avoid obstacles or climb over short ones. It can handle garden slopes and follow a mowing pattern that you set ahead of time. This futuristic gadget can spray pest and weed control chemicals and has an integrated leaf blower, making it one of the best garden tools to hit the market. It’s not alone. The Husqvarna Automower 450X is also turning heads. According to the manufacturer, it can easily handle
38 39 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LIFE & LEISURE mowing duties of up to 1.25 acres. The design is reminiscent of a sports car, and it is gaining a reputation for being able to work in tight spaces, handle obstacles, and survive even torrential downpours as it works. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Home and effectively handles slopes and spiral cutting jobs. Of course, it’s also among the priciest landscaping robots (at approximately $4,000) available today, which probably is why it comes with built-in theft protection. WI-FI SPRINKLER SYSTEMS Smart sprinkler systems are ideal for anyone who works outside the home, travels, or wants to adjust their watering from their smartphone. It might sound like a dream, but Better Homes & Gardens' experts have already tested several systems and named the LinkTap Wireless Water Timer as the “Best Wi-Fi-Controlled Lawn Sprinkler.” The magazine loves it because “you can set a watering schedule that works best for your lawn, and even log into the app to cancel a watering session if you’re expecting rain.” It’s mid-range in terms of price and widely available. The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler is slightly more expensive but entices with the promise of adjusting watering schedules and amounts based on things like sun exposure and soil. The Rachio 3e can also be integrated with your existing systems, like the Google Nest or Alexa, making it a flexible garden tool that is simple to install and easy to use. SMART GARDEN PLANNING TOOLS An augmented reality app is waiting to revolutionize the way you plan your garden. The Connected Garden Super Sensor first grabbed attention at CES back in 2019, and it has continued to spark the imagination of seasoned garden designers and new home-growers alike. The sensor starts by analyzing your garden plot’s soil, sunlight, moisture, and other critical details before you ever get out your gloves. From there, things get very interesting. Better Homes & Gardens explains: “The synced app suggests plants that will thrive in the space where you put your sensor. Colored pins will be dropped at certain points in your garden: Each pin will indicate where your garden needs attention, i.e., the pH is too high, or the soil is soggy.” Another thing that makes this tool so unique is that it will also give you an augmented reality view of what your garden will look like once you’ve chosen where to stage your plants. Not only does this mean that your plants and flowers will take up residence in the optimal areas, but it allows you to shift design plans for things like fountains, pathways, seating, and entertainment areas before you make hard-to-reverse decisions. Having this advanced look at your new space undoubtedly will save you time and money while also producing a lush, envyinducing garden. SELF-WATERING PLANTERS Self-watering planters grabbed headlines as gardening enthusiasts sang their praises and magazines, like Southern Living, declared these tools their “new garden obsession.” The planters started fairly low-tech, but they brought much-needed assistance to everyone who wanted to start growing fresh herbs in their homes or greenhouses. As Southern Living explains, even their favorite “compact herb garden waters itself as needed, thanks to a water level indicator that lets you know when you need to refill it every couple of weeks.” It’s not a surprise that the planters took off and were quickly upgraded to feature Wi-Fienabled elements and even more ecofriendly technology. Enter the Dewplanter. This smart garden tool claims to provide a water generation system that essentially captures condensation out of the moisture in the air of your garden and turns it into a daily water drip. The predictability of the schedule that you can set makes it a treat for any gardener, but its patented energy- and water-efficient technology will make it one of the best garden tools available to people living in areas that see little rainfall.
40 41 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LIFE & LEISURE INDOOR SMART GARDENS Indoor smart gardens like the AeroGarden or the ēdn SmallGarden have also sought to take the benefits of the self-watering planter into a decidedly high-tech direction. Wi-Fi enabled, these indoor smart gardens can be programmed to regulate light, water, and nutrients for everything from small herb gardens to multi-tiered farm stands. The ēdn SmallGarden caught the eye of editors at Southern Living because this “nifty smart garden also integrates with the ēdn app, which allows you to control your garden’s lighting schedule, receive alerts, and enjoy detailed guidance on your plants’ progress.” Both the AeroGarden and the ēdn SmallGarden utilize seed pods that allow you to grow different plants at any given time – they are only restricted by the size of the units you order. The more extensive indoor gardens can be quite expensive, but you’ll love having the tools to produce the best garden-fresh herbs, vegetables, and flowers no matter what the season or weather conditions. GARDENING COMPANION APPS Some of the best garden tools available are the latest generation of apps that can turn your brown thumb into a green one. Martha Stewart Living raves about apps like the Plant Light Meter, available on Apple devices. This gem takes the guesswork out of determining the quality of light available to your garden at any time of year. It can also be used indoors to judge whether your houseplants are getting enough (or too much) light where you currently have them perched. The Grow It! app caught Martha Stewart Living editors’ attention because the app “connects you with local gardeners in your community to get questions answered and hopefully, inspiration for future gardening endeavors.” The magazine applauds apps like the Plant Alarm (for Android users) that help you set fertilizing and watering alarms for all of your plants, inside and out. There are also numerous apps that will help you identify plants from their leaves and those that give you information about the best ways to care for houseplants and backyard seedlings. Sometimes the best garden tool truly is information!
42 43 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 FIVE LUXURY TRENDS FOR 2022 Because we spent much more time at home, the pandemic created demand for a more luxurious home environment and lifestyle that spurred new trends, such as multiple Zoom-friendly home offices and study areas for kids. It also accelerated existing trends such as outdoor living spaces that function just as well as interior spaces, which effectively increased the square footage family members could roam around in. by JenniferAdams INTERIOR DESIGN & LIFESTYLE EXPERT LIFE & LEISURE DUAL HOME OFFICES Ironically, as the desire for more places to work throughout our homes increased, including outdoors, so did the desire for at least one (if not two, for some households) completely separate and private home offices for all those teleconference calls! Not to mention spaces for kids to study or even small pods of neighborhood kids to be homeschooled.
44 45 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LIFE & LEISURE GYMS & WELLNESS SUITES Trends for in-home exercise and wellness are increasingly both high-tech and no tech, often at the same time. We enjoy our digital mirrors for Zoom classes and Peloton bikes in spaces that are earthy and natural, perhaps even outside or with a wide door opening to a lovely view into the yard. OUTDOOR SPACES Improved outdoor living areas will continue to grow as our desire for fresh air, nature, and living space increases. Outdoor spaces are now as much a part of a home as living rooms and kitchens, with hardly any separation between the two. In addition to outdoor dining and relaxing in sumptuous furniture arrangements similar to indoor living and dining rooms, ceiling planes, and flooring extend inside and out with continuous decks through generous openings that can disappear from view. Electronically controlled glass doors that fold, slide or roll up like a garage door make fresh air possible with the touch of a button! Screens that drop down from the
46 47 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LIFE & LEISURE ceiling help outdoor spaces feel even more like the indoors as they help shield the sun and allow the area to stay warmer and less breezy. NEW TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT It’s easier than ever to have connected technology in every room of the house, indoors and out, that we can monitor remotely from our phones. Security systems such as Ring also have a social component with neighborhood forums online, which can help local police solve crimes, and let you know when a package is delivered. In addition, smart refrigerators monitor the contents, update your grocery list, and order delivery. Even the garage is getting connected to better monitor electric car chargers and software upgrades to the Tesla car and others! Landscaping sprinkler systems and lighting are programmable for water conservation and efficiency. Heating systems, indoor lighting, automatic window treatments, and more also save energy throughout the house. Solar panels and other alternate energy sources can also be monitored for efficacy. OUTDOOR RECREATION ACCESS The ease of working remotely and having food and merchandise delivered during the pandemic made people notice that living close to a city wasn’t as important as access to outdoor recreation. As a result, many moved or spent extended “workcations” further away from urban centers.