Blue is the Warmest Color


It’s 94 degrees outside today in Syracuse. With humidity factored in, the heat index is flirting with intolerable, somewhere slightly north of 100. I’ve got not one, but two fans running in my bedroom, and the curtains drawn to help beat the heat. Whether I like it or not, the sun is on my mind. Tomorrow is July 1st and the 4th is coming up quickly, so I may as well lean into the summer heat and look for a silver lining. If you’re a type who hosts, there’s no end of options for outdoor entertaining, a fête in the afternoon sun.

I’ve recently been enviously eyeing Aerin Lauder’s collection for Williams Sonoma, and I think it’s the seasonal ideal. Not terribly expensive. Bowls as low as $20 on sale for a set of 4 and a serving platter only a few dollars above that, on sale. I’m thinking a 4th of July outdoor get-together. Red meat on the grill, blue and white dishware, and plenty of cold drinks. I’d skip the table clothes, the vases with expensive flowers, the poshness of it all. Simplicity works, let your guests enjoy the backyard, the grass, the foliage, the unpicked flowers. Picnic tables or even sitting on the grass, buffet style. I’m imagining just stacks of these beautiful dishes and good food and you’ve got yourself an unpretentious gathering  but with an element of refinement. However, the styling in a few of the photos puts them in a more styled context, and of course they’re equally beautiful, if not quite “me”. Nothing terribly original about this idea, it’s been done to death, but these items are all beautiful enough that you wouldn’t want to put them away even when the weather turns cold. These dishes could hold a place of pride in any stylish home, if you ask me.


There’s also a smaller selection of blue, white, and green dishes that I love also. For those who find blue and white china a bit passé, maybe this would be the ideal twist. It retains the classic look of blue and white china but the green twist feels more quirky, personal, whimsical.


Going Green


White cabinets. For years, it’s all you saw in magazines, HGTV, and popular home blogs. Studies were done that showed white cabinets were the most desired by home buyers. House flippers and mass-appeal designers were steadfast in their devotion to all white kitchens. Prior to that, it had been all dark woods. Super dark. Unnaturally dark. And before that, light wood, maybe a honeyed oak with lots of wood grain. Lately it’s all about painting cabinets in shades of grey. But isn’t it more fun to have an edge, to be an original?

In October 2013, Cameron Diaz’s Chelsea, Manhattan apartment  (pictured below, with the gold backsplash) was featured in a design magazine. Her kitchen was a revelation, bucking the trends, she chose dark, emerald green cabinets. I knew someday I’d like to design a home with a green kitchen, perhaps even for me. In the years since, I’ve found more examples of design forward homeowners taking a gamble on green and winning big every time. It’s distinctive, classy, bold, original, and grown-up. If all green cabinets feels like overload, consider painting just the base of the kitchen island. You could have an Emerald Isle of your very own.