Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/home/public_html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/StandardTheme_20/admin/functions.php on line 229
Eating | Manolo for the Home
Archive - Eating RSS Feed

Deocrating My Imaginary Restaurant

Il Milione Restaurant in Hong Kong

Sometime I like to imagine that I’m opening up a high-end restaurant or bar, which is odd, because my very brief brush with working in a restaurant, bussing tables, left me scarred for life. But then I see a picture like the one above, of the restaurant Il Milione in Hong Kong, and think that I’d like to own a restaurant.

I have to clarify that I don’t want to be a celebrity chef, I just want to be the owner, the guy who sits at the bar talking to customers and occasionally easting tasty things my chef sends out from the kitchen.

Here’s another picture from Il Milione (taken from the website of Hill Cross Furniture, the English firm that provided all of the furnishings.)

Il Milione Restaurant in Hong Kong

This is the real reason why I want to own a restaurant, because I want to hang out in semi-public spaces that look like this, and because I want people to admire my good taste.

Also, because building a restaurant is the ultimate exercise in remodeling, you find a space, imagine what it will look like, and then try to impose your vision on that space given your budget and the competency of your workmen and contractors. Picking out chairs and tables to put in my imaginary restaurant is my idea of fun.

Happily, I know my limits. Building the restaurant according to my vision, and sitting at the bar in it after it’s open, is about as far as I want to actually go in the food service industry.

For the First Time Ever, Loving the Mess!

Hate to see a messy table? You just might like this one. AZE Design‘s “MESSY” project brings back the idea of really spending time at the table as a social event. For many of us, meals are taken on the go, alone or in the car – the Messy tablecloth wants to remind us that a meal is an opportunity to spend time together. For breakfast or for dinner, MESSY is a reminder that meals are best shared, even if that means things get a bit messy in the process.

Finally, a spill I don't have to worry about

Messy breaky, yum

AZE Design is a polish design studio established in 2006 by Anna Kotowicz and Artur Puszkarewicz, with a focus on combining traditional handicraft techniques – hello, embroidery! – with contemporary materials and processes. Kotowicz and Puszkarewicz practice what they call MINDMADE design, which aims to transform everyday situations into usable art. In this case, I’d say they’ve succeeded beautifully!

Making Your Home a Fun Place to Be

Sure, it’s possible to get by with plain old pots and pans, no pillows or throws, bare walls, and nothing but objects of utility. But what fun is that? You should always look for fun stuff – sometimes that means finding that one-of-a-kind thing, by thirfting or raiding your grandparents’ closet. Sometimes it means buying yourself something new. A little treat. We all deserve them! And here are two treats I’m loving:

First, so much better than your typical cutting board… a solid acacia puzzle board server from Viva Terra. If you’d like bigger puzzle pieces (for bigger pieces of focaccia, naturally), here’s a similar serving platter in sustainably-grown teak sold by Gaiam.

And second, a delicious pink and patterned skull print from Made By Girl. Since when are freaky-deaky skulls so darn cutesy? I’d love to put this in my daughter’s room if I didn’t think it would totally break her brain once someone tells her that skulls are meant to be scary.

What wee treats are you digging on right now?

Mismatched Dining Chairs Take the Blah Out of Budgeting

When outfitting the kitchen or the dining room with somewhere to sit, don’t feel like you have to buy four or six or eight matching chairs – especially if buying eight of the chairs you love is way impossible within the confines of your budget! Mismatched dining chairs can be a lot of fun when you make the effort to have fun with them. Let’s say you can get ONE of those chairs you love. Why not source the rest of thrift or consignment shops or Craigslist? Look for interesting shapes that complement that favorite chair – but don’t worry too much about color, because paint and glaze can go a long way toward achieving a unified look. See?

(more…)

Not Necessarily My Style, But I’m Still In Lust

I don’t know the story behind this table – I found it on my wanderings and a Tineye search yielded nothing – but I’m finding it really, really inspirational. Normally, I lean toward Saarinen’s beautiful Tulip table when I think of how I’d like to outfit my kitchen. But there’s something about invading my rather artificial and absurdly colorful cooking and eating space with natural, unfinished wood that makes me feel a little giddy.

Does anyone else get a kick out of doing that – of taking something ridiculously out of place and making it the focal point of a room that’s decorated in a completely different style?

Soup and a Sandwich? Yes, Please!

There’s not much that’s more comforting on a cold winter’s day than a bowl of piping hot tomato soup and a warm grilled cheese sandwich. But if you’re like me, figuring out how to serve it – or at least get it to a location that is strategically chosen for movie viewing – is a big pain. A plate and a bowl, and two trips? Or a small bowl on a big plate, where the bowl is sliding around everywhere, threatening to spill soup? I know, I know, I sound like one of those cheesy, inept people on an infomercial… “Opening jars, what a hassle! And it’s so hard!” Still, I do like this soup and sandwich plate from Uncommon Goods for its ability to keep my soup where it belongs.

My Very Favorite High Chair

The Stokke Tripp Trapp is, in my opinion, the best high chair out there. If you’re starved for space but still need to feed a baby or toddler, it simply takes the place of a normal dining chair right at the table. Add to that the fact that they’re easy to clean and come in amazing colors like red and purple and black aaand they’re just so much cooler than the plastic monstrosities covered in animal prints that can absolutely overtake a kitchen.

What else can I say? My daughter loves sitting in her red Stokke Tripp Trapp because it means she gets to sit at the table with mama and papa instead of off to the side, and that I think is my favorite thing about it.

The one caution I’d offer up is that some people have posted videos of their toddlers tipping the Tripp Trapp. Personally, we’ve never had that happen and I’ve heard that it’s only really an issue if the seat isn’t placed correctly for the height of the table. And every Tripp Trapp high chair comes with base extenders for anyone with a particularly leggy toddler.

Has anyone out there reading had a different experience – perhaps an instance of a tipping Tripp Trapp in your own household? I’d love to hear about it because it seems exceedingly rare.

10 Easy Holiday Gifts for the Home

Gifts for people are easy, but great gifts for people’s home can be a lot more difficult to find. With that in mind, Manolo for the Home has put together a Black Friday list of ten(ish) gifts for the home and for the men and women who live in it in case you’ve found yourself at a loss as to what to buy her or her or him. Have a look and see what inspires, then tell us what are your favorite holiday gifts for the home?

1. A less expensive lookalike:

It’s not always possible to give the best when you can’t afford the best, which is why copycats are so pervasive. I can’t afford the Herman Miller Eames reproduction, but I can afford this Eames-inspired cradle rocker at 24% off with free shipping. Not everyone is cool with designer furniture knockoffs, but if you are, this chair isn’t a bad deal.

2. A little DIY inspiration:

We all know someone who manages to have kids (or dogs), a house, a full-time job, and 15 hobbies, none of which get neglected. Me? I don’t have much time for projects these days *sniff* but I’d still love to get some books like The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor, Real-Life Decor: 100 Easy DIY Projects to Brighten Your Home on a Budget, and DIY Art at Home, which are all on sale at 25% or more off the cover price.

3. Something to cuddle:

owl pillowunion jack pillowgold sparkle pillow

Too many throw pillows? Not so great. Just enough throw pillows? Great. I love little pillows because they’re such an easy way t add some fun color to a space without a lot of commitment. What’s on my gift giving list? Some of these, definitely: a Owl Nature pillow (a steal at $18), a Union Jack pillow, and a gold sequin pillow. Don’t they look fun and cuddly?

4. You can’t go wrong with:

… aLe Creuset 5-piece cookware set at 34% off! All right, so it’s kind of a big, probably for someone special on your list.

5. Quickie gifts:

burt's bees gift setkitchen utensilscandle gift set

Who hasn’t found themselves scrambling for a last-minute gift for someone friendly but not exactly a good friend? The Martha types will keep a store of small gifts around for just such occasions. Here’s a trio of good keep-around gifts for emergencies: a sure to please Burt’s Bees gift set, a Feng Shui gift set (under $20!), and a cute rainbow utensil gift set.

6. A way to keep your books in check:

james book endpolar bear bookendarrow magnetic bookends

As recently discussed, book lovers with lots of books can end up with books falling off of every conceivable surface. To keep books in check, give the gift of fabulous bookends, like James the Bookend, adorable Polar Bear bookends, and these neat Arrow magnetic bookends.

7. Gifts for the wintertime green thumb:

indoor gardening setmini greenhouse

Indoor gardening requires the right tools. That’s why I love my Threesixty indoor gardening tool set, which was just $19.99. And I wouldn’t mind receiving a Smith & Hawken mini greenhouse so the cats would stay out of my herbs. Or a pair of toasty, dry Bogs Classic Hi Fern boots, for that matter, when I do have to go out in the muck.

8. A tasty treat or two:

french presspeppermint barkfondue pot

Sweet treats to eat, drink, and prepare make always appreciated gifts. Who wouldn’t want a Bodum coffee press or a nice big package of King Leo peppermint bark or even a Sierra fondue set for those mid-winter get togethers that aren’t precipitated by any particular holiday?

9. A quick fix for almost anything:

It goes without saying that homeowners and apartment dwellers will need at least some must-have tools. Give the tool deficient recipient on your holiday list a Denali 115-Piece Home Repair Tool Kit and you’ll have the comfort of knowing they can deal with all the little mishaps of modern life.

10. Something to bank on:

white piggy banktartan piggy bankskull and crossbones piggy bank

And finally, for the little ones on your list who are hopefully saving their pennies, piggy banks are in again. My faves are the clean white Cilio Piggy Bank, the silly McPig Posh Piggy Bank, and the awesome Pink Piggy Pirate!

Page 1 of 712345»...Last »