fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

Host and Hostess chairs: create your dining statement!

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Who says that everything has to match?

Surely not me!

As a lover of an eclectic vibe… pattern mixed with pattern, mixed with even more pattern, I tend to jump at the opportunity to infuse contrasting elements into design.  Elements that on the surface appear to be unconnected but once placed together – into a composition – they read harmonious and seem to sing.  A melody that I find both thrilling and soothing… yet others might find peculiar, perhaps even difficult to understand.

Haha… not to go off a tangent on the subjectivity of design, the point is this:  sometimes mixing things up a bit adds to the charm, interest or DRAMA of a space.  So I say… why not adopt that concept at your table?   Creating a dining space that packs a punch, generates conversation and makes a statement can be easily accomplished simply by adding unexpectedly designed Host and Hostess chairs!

A Host and Hostess what?

You know… the chairs that flank the end of your table.  Chairs traditionally reserved as seating for the Host and Hostess of the “event”… leaving all of the others chairs that surround the table for the guests.  Most often, people tend to keep the Host and Hostess chairs uniform in style… having the differentiation solely noted by the addition of arms.  Works for many… and to prevent anyone from perceiving me as judgmental, this homogeneous look can be appealing.


Why not add another dimension to the look of the room and to the table?

Mix it up, eh?!

Make the design of the Host and Hostess chairs completely different and make them distinctive.  My vote?  I am the one who would suggest that the chairs be mildly over-the-top… border-line obnoxious with their difference.  An over sized pattern.  A bold color.  A noticeably different scale.  A different texture.  Even an added touch such as adorning it with nailhead.  Something that sets them far apart from the other chairs.  Haha… now here comes the trick.  How does one implement this look in a manner that doesn’t read chaotic or random?


It all boils down to the virtue of design.  Design is subjective… and for the most part, there is no right or wrong — beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder!  Keeping that premise in mind as your springboard will make creating your Host and Hostess chair composition practically effortless.  Truth is, there really aren’t that many nonnegotiables with design.  If you allow your individual “design” style to be your guide, practically anything is acceptable and looks good!

Sooooooo, with that said… why not have a bit of fun?!

Take a good look at your surroundings and determine what you like.  Pay close attention and REALLY determine what attracts you.  How would you classify your style?  Any recurring colors? What type of art hangs or leans in your home?  Who utilizes your home… any parameters due to roommates, children, pets, etc.?  What type of dining space do you have… any constraints?

Once you establish your outline, the answer (or answers) for the perfect style of Host and Hostess chairs will certainly follow.  Half the battle is being confident that you are able to make the right decisions.  We are intuitive about our spaces… and we really know more than we think we do about what will work.  However… if needed, help is never far away.  Soliciting the aid of a professional designer will afford (no pun intended) an appropriate solution.

As for me…

My husband and children greatly impact my dining space.  Since we often entertain and “use” the space on the regular, my nonnegotiables stem around comfort and sturdiness.  When adding Host and Hostess chairs to the table, the goal was to make them eclectic in style, find a practical user-friendly fabric (for the husband and kids) with a memorable overly exaggerated pattern (for me).

Happy to report, mission accomplished.

Two Martha Washington/Gainsborough style chairs… traditional in silhouette and upholstered in a luscious ikat print now flank my very rustic table.  They were definitely worth the investment for I LOVE them!  Absolutely makes an impact and adds a bit of “the unexpected” all while being comfortable and incredibly user-friendly.  Haha… with each meal, we all fight over who gets to sit in them.  Like I said, mission accomplished!

Your turn!

If you haven’t already found them… time to get started, eh?  I guarantee that no matter the size of your dining table or space, a pair of unique Host and Hostess chairs will make a difference.  Mark my words… you will not be sorry!

Pssst… now you know that I am a mere email away if you would like suggestions.

I’m just saying…





In Uncategorized on July 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

Surely you must understand the emphasis on the “ssssssssssssssss” when you speak the word Sangria?

It is all about the anticipation, eh?

This refreshing summer drink requires that added attention — that added stress on the “s” during pronunciation, it whets your palate, heightens your desire and makes you crave that tangy sweet liquid.

Haha… am I alone?!

As a lover of this wine punch, I say that there is something incredibly attractive about a glass of Sangria.  Better yet, a pitcher of Sangria!

The blend of ingredients is so perfect yet mysterious… for any omission or addition of ingredients can yield varieties that differ wonderfully from batch to batch.  Red or white, the flavorful creations are endless… and to be honest, I am perfectly willing to be a guinea pig for them all!

Those lucky citizens of Spain!  Oh how I long to plant my feet on your soil and partake in a glass of your native drink.  Last month, a dear friend sent me an image on my iPhone that immediately made me weak in the knees.  She was celebrating her 40th birthday with her family in Barcelona.  Not only was she was staying at my favorite hotel, The W, she was enjoying a glass of “authentic” Barcelonian Sangria.  Is it possibly to be consumed with loving envy?!  Everything about that glass of Sangria looked tempting — and the slight condensation that was forming on the outside of the glass made it even THAT more mouth-watering.  Haha… all a girl could do was text her back and ask her “was it good?”

Now that summer is in full swing, I am on a mission and determined to perfect my Sangria recipe.  Even prior to receiving my friend’s picture, I had been researching the web and studying the types of ingredients others used.  I would construct a list of contents that suited my palate and then dabble as a pseudo bartender for friends… presenting my concoction to them as if it were some type of witch’s brew — then stepping back to analyze the reaction!

Trial and error pays off, eh?

(insert evil laughter) Bwahahahaha!  I think I have created a masterpiece!

Seriously though…

I do believe that I have managed to capture all of the qualities that one would desire in a glass of Sangria.  Delicious and easy to make… this low-key, basic recipe is one that any novice could follow (and for my boy GT,  those exotic ingredients… i.e., agave nectar that you use, have been omitted).  😉

My Sangria is nothing short of sunshine and pure bliss in a glass… and in my opinion, the PERFECT way to relax and cool off after a long day at work!  Perhaps I am being a bit presumptuous in thinking that you might want to try?  But it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t provide you with the recipe… and in true kishafwd style, I am insisting that you engage!

All you need is:

3 bottles of your favorite Red wine.  I am constantly altering the types — keeps the Sangria interesting.  This time, I used a Malbec and two Red blends.

A small bottle of V.S.O.P. E&J Brandy (my secret ingredient… by the way — who knew that V.S.O.P. means “Very Superior Old Pale”… Haha – not me!)

Raw sugar or simple syrup.  The sweetness is based on your taste buds… simply add your sweetener accordingly.

Fruit… chopped and/or muddled.  Normally I keep it at a minimum with just oranges, lemons and limes.  But, every now and then you just want to be adventurous, eh?  Muddled blackberries and raspberries work perfectly!

Don’t forget the fizz… ginger ale does the trick.

The rest is a breeze.  Chop fruit. Add your wine, brandy and sweetener.  Chill in the fridge for a few hours.

When it is time to serve, pour wine over ice, add a splash of ginger ale and WHAA LAAA!

Brace yourself… for you will be AMAZED by the sensation!  Deeeeee-lish!

This sssssssssssssSangria is definitely becoming my signature and what is so appealing it that is tastes different every time.

For those that decide to try, I’d love to know your thoughts.  And of course, if you have your own killer Sangria recipe… please send it my way,  I would LOVE to give your’s a spin.


Happy sippin’ to you all.  Be safe and stay cool in the summer’s heat!