Nature-Inspired Gift Guide

The perfect luxury gift guide for those who appreciate the great outdoors.

Sara Miller Flamingo Double Oven Glove and Tea Towel

Enter the enchanting world of Sara Miller London: a luxury brand that celebrates a love of print, pattern and exquisite use of color. With its bold design and confident color, ‘Flamingo’ is a quirky and playful design brimming with personality.

The Sara Miller London Flamingo Double Oven Glove — bringing the wild into your kitchen with beautiful and bright colors. Fully compliant with EU regulations and tested to 250-degrees. Printed on high-quality cotton and presented in a foiled box, this vibrant range will add a splash of color to your home.

Autumn Jewelry 

Choose from maple leaf pendants, oak leaf pendants, amber jewelry, and dichroic glass jewelry.

These pieces are beautiful, unusual, sleek, stylish and perfect as a gift! Your friends and family will love the authentic charm.

Stylish Notebooks Inspired by the Natural History Museum

These cheerful notebooks are perfect for daily notes with colorful images on the front and gorgeous gold edging. 160 lined pages and you can choose from various designs to find just the right one.

The cover artwork has been adapted from images and objects held within the collections of the Museum.

Bodil Jane Leopard or Lemur Bamboo Bowls and Cups

A tropical bowl made from sustainable bamboo fiber, designed by popular illustrator Bodil Jane. The functional pieces are great for everyday use and the art is cheerful with bright colors that will be an enjoyable addition to any kitchen.

Leopard Lifestyle

Choose from various leopard gifts inspired by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 55. Although you may want them, choose from leopard-inspired salt and pepper shakers that will give your dining table an added edge and printed socks and scarves to stay warm this spring.

Photos courtesy of the Natural History Museum

Photo courtesy of Alexander Jospeph

It seemed as if the interior designing industry has exhausted all of the various designs used in kitchens — until the new trend of all-black kitchens became the new fad and shifted the paradigm. Here’s how designers are getting into the trend and making blacked-out kitchens feel warm and inviting at the same time.

Dark cabinets and countertops not only add a beautiful composition to the space, but they actually make the room feel less blank and minimalistic. Ironically, the dark colors add a certain vibrance and texture to the space rather than washing it out. Utilize natural light with large floor-to-ceiling windows to give the black cabinets a hint of blue dark blue for a more colorful style. The sunlight on these cabinets keep they style modern and sleek without making it bland and boring.

Photo courtesy of Original BTC

Photo courtesy of Viva Lagoon

Another perfect way of styling blacked-out kitchens is adding gold accents. Not only do they add the perfect contrast, but they vary the textures used, making a refined and finished look. The reflective material of the gold cabinets create an open and war atmosphere.

Regardless, if a completely blacked-out kitchen isn’t your style, then look toward making a stark contrast between black and white. Not only does it create a striking composition, but it brings a unique flair that’s sure to be a conversation piece. The blacked-out island at the forefront of this otherwise white kitchen is a perfect example, and will make sure to invite people in.

Photo courtesy of PullCast

Luxury appliances from the likes of SMEG, Dolce&Gabbana and Tom Dixon will have you jumping from bed, rather than hitting snooze.

©istockphoto.com / grinvalds

Whether you are getting ready for a busy day at the office, gearing up to run a marathon, or dragging yourself toward the smell of coffee, these kitchen additions could be the added style and function those early hours have been missing.

Dolce&Gabbana offers unforgettable designs that meld seamlessly with SMEG’s top-quality technology in the must-have Sicily is My Love collection. Christian Boscherini, marketing and events specialist at SMEG says, “The SMEG x Dolce&Gabbana collaboration is meant as a tribute to Italy’s roots. The Sicily is My Love collection tells the story of Italian history, culture, cuisine, and beauty through artistic depictions of Sicily inspired by actual Sicilian art.” Skip the instant coffee and burnt toast that is likely putting you back to sleep and start your day with nothing short of a work of art.

Although these appliances are crafted with function and technology in mind there is also a classic feel to the designs. The Stelton Theo Stoneware Teapot is a combination of Scandinavian and Asian influence, and the black matte look and cast iron finish are reminiscent of traditional sturdy tea kettles. Boscherini describes the SMEG x Dolce&Gabbana citrus juicer as being made of “retro-futuristic lines,” which fits the other classic details that can be found in the collection. Similarly, Raper explains that “Profitec has a knack for making machines that can feel both traditional and modern at the same time.” Mechanical simplicity, classic elements, and consistent espresso contribute to the sleek feel and function of the machines

“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.” — Glen Cook, American science fiction writer.

SMEG x Docle&Gabbana Two-Slice Toaster

Inspired by authentic Italy, this collection is full of vibrant, rich colors. “Nearly every product is adorned with gold lemons, citrus fruits, prickly pears, bright red cherries, and floral motifs inspired by the coasts and landscapes of Southern Italy,” according to Boscherini. SMEG offers solid color designs that are also intriguing.

Photos courtesy of SMEG

 

Profitec Pro 700 Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

“The Pro 700 is the Porsche of espresso machines. German, thoughtful, modern design meets Italian beauty,” says Raper. Lively art and fresh colors can spice up a kitchen similar to the way coffee can awaken your senses. “There’s something truly wonderful about waking up knowing that you’ll have café-quality espresso without leaving your home,” according to Adam Raper, the CEO at Clive Coffee. “Even if you live close to a wonderful cafe, chances are that you care more about your drink than a barista does. Anything made with care in your home always tastes better.”

Photo courtesy of Tom Holk

Stelton Theo Stoneware Teapot

Cast iron is a traditional element in the kitchen that can be luxurious and operational. The classic yet fun design offers a refined style and the various accessories make this a must-have addition to your mornings and more.

Photo courtesy of Stelton

Citrus Juicer

Siciliy is My Love melds top technology with style and taste. “Made entirely of compact curves and retro-futuristic lines, and the artwork that adorns the Siciliy is My Love version of it, images of colorful fruits, all different per side, encircled by an intricate motif dominated by strong reds,” says Boscherini. 

Photo courtesy of SMEG

While kitchen backsplashes are known to be composed of simple tiles that blend into the background, interior designers are diversifying them with different materials and bold color palettes. Instead of overlooking backsplashes, the forerunners of the industry are bringing them in the spotlight. Here’s how:

Using bold colors and a unique design makes the backsplash of your kitchen pop, highlighting a beautiful statement area that might otherwise go unnoticed. This whimsical pattern offers can showcase bold colors for an eye-catching design. Mosaic tiles allow for a detailed and one-of-a-kind design. Pair the backsplash with more subtle, neutral-colored cabinets and countertops for a perfect balance between the two styles. 

Photo courtesy of Lime Lace

Photo courtesy of Lime Lace

For a less busy design, look toward simple, geometric tiles with a dash of color. These blue tiles create a beautiful backsplash for a more relaxed style. Simple countertops and cabinets also won’t wash it out, as the bold color adds a subtle yet effective contrast. Both offer a charming addition to the kitchen.

Horizontal slabs are breaking through as one of the latest trends in the industry. Whether the idea is to go more natural looking with a three-dimensional design or the traditional sleek and modern method, this style of backsplash will always be the finishing touch to a room. One color with different shades or multiple colors can change the style it offers. For a more retro look, multiple colors — such as blue, tan and grey — provide a very specific style to the space.

Photo courtesy of Original Style

Photo courtesy of Original Style

For a more Modern Farmhouse design, look toward subway tiles with an intricate yet subtle design. These light blue tiles add a bright color to the room, while incorporating small, intricate design that makes it appear more unique overall. Each tile brings a more comfortable and warm atmosphere to the room. Pair tiles like these with a finished wooden countertop for an even warmer and chic composition.

 

 

One of the biggest debates in kitchen and home design is this: should granite be replaced by marble, or quartz? While more developers are looking toward quartz as an alternative to marble, neither one clearly outweighs the other. But there are four different categories that compare the two materials, and can help both developers and homeowners decide which one best suits them. Their appearance, durability, maintenance and overall cost can play a part in choosing which one is better to replace granite.

For appearance, it is largely a matter of preference. According to MSI Surfaces, while Quartz is more uniform in its design and color, it can also mimic the look of natural stone as well. Meanwhile, with marble, each slab is one-of-a-kind. If you have marble as your kitchen countertop, no other counter will be the same as that one. The uniqueness adds a classic beauty to any room. 

Renderings courtesy of KAR Properties (Marble)

Marble

Quartz

Appearance

  • One-of-a-kind
  • Natural stone rather than man-made
  • Uniform in design and color
  • Man-made, but mimics natural stone

Durability

  • Can get stained or discolored more easily
  • Overall, durable and dependable
  • Direct sunlight or UV rays can cause irreparable discoloring
  • Overall, durable and dependable

Maintenance

  • Sitting water can cause discoloration or stains
  • Overall, more maintenance is required
  • Hot pots or pans sitting on it can scorch the stone
  • Overall, less maintenance is required

Price

  • More expensive per square foot
  • $50-150 per square foot
  • Less expensive per square foot
  • $40-100 per square foot

 

 

 

In terms of durability, both are great options. Quartz is man-made, but is increasing in popularity because of the material’s durability. Marble is from many different countries around the world, and is also a durable but natural material as well. With quartz, however, any direct sunlight or high UV rays can cause irreparable discoloring, according to Polycor. Although both can gain chips on their edges and other minor damages, neither are fragile or impractical for everyday use. For durability, both quartz and marble are great options.

Marble requires more maintenance since it is natural stone. Sitting water on a marble countertop can cause discoloration and stains. For individuals with a busy lifestyle, quartz would be much easier to manage. But with quartz, make sure not to place any hot pots or pans on the counter — doing so could scorch the material. In terms of overall maintenance, however, quartz is generally a better fit. 

Rendering courtesy of RIVA Residences (Quartz)

Rendering courtesy of Akoya Boca West (Quartz)

Rendering courtesy of RIVA Residences (Quartz)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, marble is usually more expensive than quartz. MSI Surfaces explains that while each square foot of marble is only slightly more expensive than quartz, that price tag can quickly add up when designing a whole room. Despite the overall added price, however, marble can add to a home’s value, so it might be worth it in the long run for some homeowners and designers.

While quartz is more practical in terms of durability and maintenance, nothing is like the one-of-a-kind material found with marble. In the end, knowing both materials’ advantages and setbacks can help determine which one works best.

Rendering courtesy of RIVA Residences (Quartz)                                   Rendering courtesy of Akoya Boca West (Quartz)

Thermador, the iconic luxury home and kitchen appliance brand, is kicking off its fourth Kitchen Design Challenge, with new categories and prizes, allowing professional designers, builders, architects, remodelers, kitchen dealers and — for the first time in Thermador contest history — students to get involved. 

All 44 of the regional winners will also win a trip for two to the exclusive gala in Southern California in 2020, where the national winners will be announced.

Image courtesy of Marc Thee

Image courtesy of Ili Hidalgo

“When it comes to marrying groundbreaking innovation and stunning design, Thermador leads the industry — empowering consumers and trade professionals to make bold statements throughout the home,” said Beatriz Sandoval, director of brand marketing for Thermador.

Encouraging the established and flourishing design-build communities to showcase their creativity in any design style, this year’s Kitchen Design Challenge aims to attract the most innovative projects yet, with four all-new categories for submission: Exceptional Kitchen, Compact Kitchen Suite, Original Innovator/Out of the Box Space and the Student Concept Kitchen.

For Exceptional Kitchen, one national winner will receive a $25,000 grand prize, one second-place winner will receive a $15,000 prize, and one third-place winner will receive a $10,000 prize.

In the Compact Kitchen Suite category, the national winner will receive a grand prize of $5,000 for crafting a culinary space within 200 square feet and containing at least three primary Thermador products.

Image courtesy of Constance Riik

Image courtesy of Marc Thee

 

The national winner of the Original Innovator/Out of the Box Space will receive a $5,000 prize for designing a space outside of the kitchen such as a wet bar, personal gym, wine cellar or game room. The space must have at least two Thermador products.

And for the first time, the Thermador Kitchen Design challenge is including students in the competition. In the Student Concept Kitchen category, one national winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize for designing an exceptional kitchen for a hypothetical client. The space must be a minimum of 200 square feet, include at least three primary Thermador products and cost a maximum of $250,000.

 

Two more categories are also part of the challenge, including the Designer’s Choice, which will be chosen at the gala and receive a $5,000 cash prize, and the Fan Favorites category, in which five winners will be selected in a separate contest held in 2021 to receive a $1,000 cash prize each.

By breaking boundaries and the status quo in terms of kitchen design, vision and creativity, Thermador is allowing for others to do the same, creating bold ideas and bringing them to life.

 

Top photo by Steve Henke for Cambria Style.

Cambria, the leading producer of American-made natural stone, is expanding its editorial platform this spring with the release of its first-ever workbook supplement, Kitchen & Bath Design Inspiration: The Ultimate Design Planner. The Planner will be bound within Cambria Style, the brand’s award-winning luxury home and lifestyle magazine, and will also be available to consumers for free download online at CambriaUSA.com.

Part inspirational guide and part project checklist, the Planner was designed by LouAnn Haaf, editor-in-chief of Cambria Style, and her team as a comprehensive guide to help consumers navigate the often complex process of renovating their home. The new supplement illustrates top kitchen and bath design trends, including features on popular styles and product roundups of fashionable accents and accessories. It delves into the most functional and popular kitchen floor plans, providing tips for planning the perfect layout, selecting the right materials, colors and finishes, and includes designs from Cambria’s expansive palette in both elegant neutrals and bold patterns.

 

Haaf combed through her vast experience in covering the kitchen and bath market to create the Planner, which provides invaluable takeaways – both creative and practical – including the following:

 

Find Your Look: Whether it’s the blend of modern farmhouse and West Coast styles of California to the picture-perfect sophistication of a classic Hamptons retreat, it’s important to find the right types of inspiration that emulate you, while staying modern and fresh. Cambria recommends trying out or investigating on-trend styles to inspire your own projects, such as the Into the Woods aesthetic, combining industrial materials and an urban look to blur the lines of interior and exterior.

 

Know Your Pro: Consider your options when it comes to choosing and working with a professional, which in turn will help take the guesswork out of kitchen and bath design.

 

Draft Picks: Lay out all your designs carefully, and make sure all options are weighed when designing your dream kitchen, and which one is best for you.  

 

Splurge-Worthy Investments: Take a look at the five areas of your renovation where you shouldn’t cut corners on spending and why.

 

The 3Cs Buying Guide: Color, Cabinets and Countertops – the magical trifecta to incorporate color, storage and durability into your kitchen.

 

Surface Area: Make sure you select a surface that showcases your personality, making your house a home. Cambria offers a multitude of options, from the inky blacks and soft-gray hues of Midnight Blacks, the classic, understated earth tones of Organic Neutrals or the dramatic selections of Edgy Movement that tend to make a statement.  

Photo courtesy of Cambria.

The magazine, along with the removable Planner, will be available on May 7 through Hudson newsstands, select Barnes & Noble stores, in hotels, by subscription and for free download on CambriaUSA.com.

All photos courtesy NEFF.

 

 

Home appliance manufacturer NEFF, renowned for its passion for cooking and intuitive kitchen appliances, has partnered with UK-based ceramicist Reiko Kaneko to create a unique set of plates that enhance the flavor experience with a richer taste sensation.

 

The inspiration for this collection was taken from Professor Charles Spence’s groundbreaking research into the field of gastrophysics. Looking into various elements that contribute to a memorable eating experience, Spence has partnered with NEFF to uncover how the colour, shape, texture and even weight of crockery can intensify the flavour perception of food.

 

“Our brain plays tricks on us about what our taste buds are tasting,” says Spence. “There have been experiments showing that eating popcorn from a blue bowl tastes saltier than from a white bowl. Similarly, when it comes to shape, an asymmetric, angular plate can bring out the sourness and acidity of food much more than a round plate does.” Spence explains that working with NEFF to apply some of these principles to Reiko Kaneko’s plateware has been a really interesting challenge and opportunity to see the gastrophysics insights used as inspiration for plateware design.

 

The exclusive plate collection consists of three plates that have been specially designed to heighten the taste of each stage of a meal, for an ultimate dining experience. You can see the development and process behind each vessel below.

The Starter Plate

Influenced by the energy of the sea waves, the Starter Plate is a fine bone china plate designed to intensify the taste of seafood-based starters. Reminiscent of the world under the sea through the white and blue glazing and bearing a rough, fish scale-like texture, this plate heightens the perception of saltiness through its angular shape.

The Main Dish

The angular, black stoneware of the Main Dish bowl enhances the sensation of spiciness. The rough, sandpaper texture of the bowl heightens the taste of spicier ingredients like ginger, making it ideal for serving up dishes like Thai green curries.

The Dessert Bowl

Inspired by the shape of a raspberry, this Dessert Bowl is designed to bring out the fruity flavor of desserts. The pink color boosts the perception of sweetness, whilst the outer, rounded, raspberry-like texture triggers associations with the fruit.

Reiko Kaneko, the ceramicist behind the creation of this set of plates, has been fascinated with the dimensions of taste since she discovered Spence’s work. “Playing with colour, shape and texture with the goal of ultimately influencing how diners will taste food has opened up a lot of creative avenues, which are reflected in my design,” she states.

 

Maria Beltrán, Head of Communication NEFF, says “Gastrophysics has opened our eyes towards a different world of ‘ingredients’ that come into play well after the food has been cooked: the elements that impact how food tastes when it’s being served. We hope that our plate collection inspires passionate foodies out there to be even more adventurous with their flavor experiments.”

Leading experience agency GR8 hosts the second annual, once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience “Once Upon A Kitchen,” featuring unique creations from the world’s top chefs.

 

For the first time ever, four culinary masters — Massimo Bottura, Joan Roca, Mauro Colagreco, and Christina Tosi — came together under one roof to curate an exceptional multi-course dinner. Often inspired by the world’s artwork, people and history, each chef showcased original culinary creations on the evening of December 5, at New York City’s Gotham Hall. Unique Homes was honored to attend.

 

Whether it was the beetroot cooked in salt crust, spin-painted veal, or deconstructed apple pie, those who attended this exclusive gastronomic experience savored inspired dishes while indulging in exclusive wine.

“Psychedelic Spin-Painted Veil” by Massimo Bottura

Ragout of Baby Potatoes.

Prawn Marinated with Rice Vinegar

Beetroot Cooked in Salt Crust

The evening commenced with the Eureka Experience, a private wine tasting with world-renowned winemaker Roberto Cipresso. Attendees were presented with two exquisite wines coinciding with stories from two iconic regions of Italy, Tuscany and Lazio.

 

Guests were then welcomed to a cocktail reception, which highlighted three unique wines and one signature cocktail paired with hors d’oeuvre creations from each chef.

 

Massimo Bottura presented a 30-month selection of Parmigiano Reggiano with extra aged balsamic vinegar, along with Mauro Colagreco’s Jerusalem artichoke tartelettes with black trumpets and melanosporum truffle and Joan Roca’s Steamed Truffle Brioche.

 

Following the hors d’oeuvres, attendees were seated and addressed by CEO of GR8, Barnabas Carrega, and award-winning creator and host of The Sporkful podcast, Dan Pashman.

 

Pashman was the official host of the evening, presenting the chefs and each of their exclusive dishes. Serenaded by an accompanying pianist, guests watched as the chefs prepared, cooked and plated seven courses in total — each accompanied by a hand-selected wine.

Left: “Never Stop Planting” by Massimo Bottura

Above: Truffle Soufflé with Veal Oyster Blade by Joan Roca

Some culinary highlights of the evening came from Osteria Francescana’s Massimo Bottura who presented a “Never Stop Planting” dish paying tribute to Joseph Beuys’ infamous installation planting oak trees and granite columns throughout far reaching locations.

 

The dish was a foie gras custard served with seasonal woodland flavors from truffles to mushrooms in a mineral broth. Bottura also presented guests with “Psychedelic Spin-Painted Veil.” The meat was marinated in milk, brushed with vegetable charcoal and dressed with creamy potatoes, puree of orange and yellow peppers, a red beet reduction and extra old Villa Manodori Artigianale balsamic vinegar from Modena.

Joan Roca’s exquisite cuisine featured prawn marinated with rice vinegar, drawing inspiration from Salvador Dalí’s “The Persistence of Memory.” Roca also presented a truffle soufflé with veal oyster blade inspired by Gaudi’s modernist architecture and the “Melting Watches” of Dalí’s famous painting, “The Persistence of Time.”

Mauro Colagreco showcased his undeniable talents through a “Crapaudine” Beetroot cooked in salt crust, finished with a “Ossetra” Caviar Sauce inspired by the agricultural knowledge of producer, Annie Bertin from the small town, Vende, in northwestern France.

Guests were then treated by the creative mastermind and classically trained pastry chef Christina Tosi, founder and CEO of Milk Bar, whom presented an exclusive “Apple Pie-ish” dessert topped with a miso butterscotch, brown butter and sour whipped cream.

Following the gastronomic cuisine, all four chefs came to the stage for a final conversation with Dan Pashman discussing their dishes from the evening and the inspirations that created them.

 

The evening’s beneficiary was God’s Love We Deliver, the leading provider of nutritious and personalized meals to individuals who are too ill to shop and cook for themselves. God’s Love We Deliver creates and provides over 7,000 meals each weekday, delivering them to those with life-altering illnesses across all five New York City boroughs, Westchester and Nassau Counties, and Hudson County, New Jersey.

Inspired by the grand palatial buildings of Italy, Original Style is introducing new glamorous tile designs. Palazzo provides a practical alternative to wallpaper, appealing to those who are looking for stylish, decorative wall designs in the bath or kitchen. Designed in pale gray and crisp white, the six patterns boast a neutral color palette.

Arabo

Depicting a lantern shape pattern, Arabo represents grandeur and opulence; perfect for those who are looking to create a spectacle.

Pettina

Pettina radiates style and class. Resembling the design of the popular ‘scallop’ shape, Pettina is essential for those who wish to make a statement.

Filigrana

A ‘Fleur de Lis’ pattern features within the Filigrana tile with accompanying swirls for that added graceful touch.

Piazze

The interweaving diamond pattern within the design creates dimension and structure. Two different marble effects are cleverly combined to make a grand statement in any interior setting.

Cubo

As its name implies, Cubo is made up of a series of square and rectangular shapes. Geometric in style, the pattern has a three-dimensional feel whilst its marble base is classy and sophisticated.

Prisma

Whilst gazing at the Prisma tile, you’ll see an array of shapes from triangles and hexagons to stars and pyramids. When integrated, these simple shapes achieve a gorgeous finish for an optical sensation.
Style Selector
Select the layout
Choose the theme
Preset colors
No Preset
Select the pattern