Monday, November 9, 2009

Robert Kuo by Erin Ferucci, Designs 4 Living

By Erin Ferucci
Celebrity Lifestyle Designer

While on a trip to Ann Sacks' Tile and Stone Showroom I saw some really interesting Robert Kuo tiles.
Look at this carved stone wall tile. Where else can you see something like this?Robert is a very talented and versatile designer. I've used his lamps for several clients.
His unique craftsmanship with elaborate, copper repousse and cloisonne techniques is unparalleled.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

High on The High Line in New York by Erin Ferucci, Designs 4 Living

By Erin Ferucci
Celebrity Lifestyle Designer

Last weekend I was on my fall shopping trip to New York. There was so much see and do. More than once I found myself in the area known as Gansevoort Market, better known as The Meatpacking District. This is an area of the City that has been experiencing an amazing transformation over the last decade. In the early 1900's the area was home to over 259 slaughterhouses and packing plants, by the 1980's it was an area that was known for sex clubs, drug dealing and prostitution.Then in the late 1990's Diane von Furstenberg and a dozen other high end designers opened boutiques in the neighborhood. What a difference a designer can make.Gansevoort Market is now widely considered the hottest, trendiest place to be in New York City. For shopping there are dozens of high-end boutiques to choose from such as Diane von Furstenberg, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Rubin Chapelle. For fine dining there are such renowned restaurants as Pastis and Ajna Bar, formerly know as the Buddha Bar, and nightclubs such as Tenjune, and G-Spa at The Hotel Gansevoort. Is it any wonder New York magazine dubbed the Meatpacking District "New York’s most fashionable neighborhood"?
It's not just a neighborhood either, the entire Meatpacking District was added to the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2007. This summer the first segment of the High Line opened. This amazing concrete playground was featured in last month's Interior Design magazine. It used to be an elevated freight railroad developed under the aegis of Robert Moses, now it is an incredible greenway modeled after Paris' Promenade Plantée. The High Line park isn't finished, when it is done it will continue from the former 34th Street freight yard, near the Javits Convention Center, through the neighborhood of Chelsea to Gansevoort Street (one block below West 12th Street) in the Meat Packing District of the West Village. For now just the southernmost section is open while the middle section is still being refurbished. You can get to the High Line park from five different stairways or an auxiliary elevator on 16th Street. The park is lush with naturalized plantings that are inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the unused tracks. Spectacular, unexpected views of the city and the Hudson River can be seen along the pebble-dashed concrete walkways. The old tracks are incorporated into the park creating a unique perspective of what once was. It is nothing short of a work of art.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Big Sur Beauty by Erin Ferucci, Designs 4 Living

By Erin Ferucci
Celebrity Lifestyle Designer

Big Sur is a stunning location... for a wedding. A good friend got married there recently and I designed the flowers. With a back drop like this it's hard to go wrong. If you've never been to Big Sur it is a section of the California coast line where the Santa Lucia mountains rise sharply creating awe inspiring cliffs and breath taking vistas. It's gorgeous on an epic scale and a perfect location for a simply elegant wedding.Perfect pale pink roses paired with rich organic mountain greens were our themes. The wedding was spectacular.And the Bride & Groom lived happily ever after...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Limoncello: The Perfect Gift

By Erin Ferucci
Celebrity Lifestyle Designer

Looking for the perfect present for your the adults on your gift list? Homemade Limoncello is delicious treat that will be sure to please everyone on your list. It's inexpensive to make at this time of year when ripe lemons are cheap.

What you will need:

15 or 20 ripe lemons- It is important to buy them right off the tree. You are going to be using the skins for zest, so you don't want the variety that you would buy in grocery store (those are usually coated with wax). So buy fresh organic lemons at the Farmer's market or pick them right off of your tree if you live in Southern California.

2 Bottles of 80 Proof Vodka or Everclear

3 cups of Water

3 cups of Sugar

2 -large (at least 3 liters) glass containers with lids

2-4 glass jars with resealable lids (the size will depend on how large you would like your gift to be)
Wash the glass containers thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Rinse them well and then sterilize them in boiling water for at least a few minutes. Set them on a rack or dish towel to cool.

Wash the lemons thoroughly, remove any blemishes and all stems and ends, you only want to use perfectly yellow skin. Zest the lemons using great caution to get only zest and no pith. Pith is the white part directly below the skin. Pith is bitter and will make your Limoncello bitter, so avoid getting any in your luscious mix!
Put all of the zest into the glass containers. Pour the vodka on top. Make sure that all of the zest is submerged in the vodka and leave at least 2 inches of head space between the top of the liquid and the top of the jar. Put the lid on the jar and seal tightly.

Put the jars in a cool, dark place to rest. The zest needs to marinate for at least 2 weeks, but you can leave it for up to 3 months! The longer you wait the better your limoncello will taste.

About 2-4 weeks before gift giving time it is time to make the simple syrup that will finish the recipe. Place the water and sugar in a heavy saucepan and heat slowly while you stir. Gradually the sugar will all dissolve. When it has dissolved, let it cool. Once the simple syrup is thoroughly cooled add it to the zest/vodka mixture. Reseal the jar and leave it in it's cool, dark place for at least 2 more weeks.
At least a week before gift giving bottle your limoncello in clean sterilized jars. Strain all of the zest from the liquid before bottling. You can do this using coffee filters or clean cheesecloth. Keep the bottled gifts in a cool, dark location for at least another week.Before giving my gifts I look to put them in the freezer and attach a pretty ribbon with a tag that says: Serve Chilled. Don't be surprised if your recipients ask for more!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Late Summer Lemon Fantasy by Erin Ferucci, Designs 4 Living

By Erin Ferucci
Celebrity Lifestyle Designer

I'm in the middle of a late summer lemon fantasy. I was in a meeting with one of my assistants talking about great homemade Christmas gifts and the subject of limoncello came up, which got me thinking about this fabulous restaurant I visited in Capri a few summers ago. Da Paolino is situated in the middle of a lemon grove. The branches of the lemon trees are literally the roof of the terrace. The have to most luscious Italian waiters that serve lemon inspired heaven on a plate. I had lemon fettuccine, lemon creme puffs and of course perfectly chilled limoncello. To sit in a lemon scented grove, your sun kissed by the Capri sun and sip this heady nectar....Ahhhhhh.

Even if you can't afford to fly to Capri in this economy you can still give the gift of limoncello - stay tuned to the blog, I promise to give the complete recipe and how to...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Mad Crush on Darryl Carter by Erin Ferucci, Designs 4 Living

By Erin Ferucci
Celebrity Lifestyle Designer
I have a bit of a designer's crush on Darryl Carter.
It all started with a blog I did on Kitchen Designs that I like... In the blog I featured Darryl Carter's personal kitchen in his country house in Virginia...I sent him an email to tell him how much I admire his work and to check out my blog...he was sooo nice... his company actually sent me a thank you letter!!
Talk about class..... I then proceeded to say I would like to marry him in another life, that we would be very happy together...he was amused!!! Which was the point.I love his class, his effortless style, his simplicity, his all around good taste...and I find him handsome.
He looks like a gentle person who is nice. Check out his new collection for Thomasville Furniture. I believe in supporting other designers and this is truly beautiful work. His fresh "Americana" style has a wonderful taste level. Love his style!

All photographs by Gordon Beall