December 23, 2010
Chef Alain Roby. Does his photo look familiar? For some time this has been part of an advertising campaign for kitchen cabinets in all the major design magazines. Before we move on, study his personal kitchen in the background
here . There is too much to share, I will however share some of his personal life and passions from my perspective, as a friend.
But first! Let's enter his world
Geneva, Illinois, USA, where my shop is located and where the last post took place for the Christmas Housewalk. By the way......the above photo was painted by his darling wife Esther, an amazing artist and a special girlfriend.
The expression you see is always there
Remember Alain's kitchen? Here it is repeated, the hood, stained glass, stove, Esther's painting, well everything, in 'Callebaut' Belgian Chocolate, in full scale.......YES EVERYTHING
Past Basket Kitchens
Let's tour the rest of the shop while I share a small bit of their Love Story and a life lead with unending passions. First, the spun sugar art, we will move to his delectable chocolates and finally to chocolate sculptures for the children
Saving Tiny Hearts' an organization that is entirely volunteer based for the sole purpose of raising funds for CDH; congenital heart defects, the number one birth defect in America
ABOVE; his amazing confectionaries, which moments before were nestled in his sugar sculpture. take note of the egg shaped chocolate; blue speckled and filled with what tasted to me, like the crunchy top of creme brulee!
Along with generous sponsors, a portion of the proceeds is donated to Saving Tiny Hearts. And this endeavor is in their spare time. Alain is currently the Senior Corporate Pastry Chef for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.
This beautiful candied apple has his spun sugar leaves
Cheese filled pastry puffs
website for more
Would you like a signed copy? Leave your comments and one of you can enter Chef Roby's world of Passion, sprinkled liberally with Chocolate and Love to all.
Merry Christmas dear friends! Wishing you and yours a blessed season
December 13, 2010
One of the highlights is the house tour where five shops each decorate a home. 2,000+ joined the tour!
The two front corners, at the walkway entrance are enhanced with curly willow set in the soil and planted urns. Personally I love to bring "the landscape" to the front of the property to provide interesting viewing from indoors
Christmas decor need not include red and green to be festive
The large pillow was wrapped in seasonal fabric and we added a plaid blanket at the foot.
." Visions of Hot Toddy's danced in our heads" add a good book and a glistening snow fall..........heaven!
Let's head into the Living Room................
This is a good option for small or limited space interiors. These toppers are tall and slender with a wispy, natural feel because of space between branches and trunk
glass hummingbirds, dark bronze glitter leaves, double sided satin ribbon, wire mesh copper cones and my favorite copper wired lighting strands with miniature seed lights easily wrap in any direction you choose
(like a FULL bodied red wine? you will love Cahors, a very little known red)
drapery colors led the direction of all color choices
I am crazy for the extra wide moulding
all concrete items by Richard Taylor, see credits at the end
Hanging "ball" light spheres for illumination in a dark corner. A vignette was hung to create an additional visual barrier to the waste bins next door.
Not visible during the day, but gorgeous at night is net lighting "sheets" tacked to the back side of the trellising.
I truly believe that a "problem" presents interesting design solutions. And oftentimes those solutions produce great results that might not have been thought of otherwise....embrace those dilemma's!
Some of the touches are not easily discernible;
*on the upper tier of the stone wall we created a "forest" by adding upright long needle pine toppers and yellow twig dogwood
Do what you can for WINTER viewing, not just the Holidays. Here in Illinois, winter is nearly 6 months and i do not stop looking out my windows, still wanting visual interest
*the garden table is draped in "net" lighting, which extends and drapes like a real table covering would.
At dusk a golden glowing focal point
*topped with fresh greens that the light escapes from, plus our copper lantern from London is lit inside with battery votives that cast a stunning glow on the cherub plaque within
An exterior tablescape.............. my favorite to create
Faux bois planter and mushrooms are the focal point of this vignette, nestled in fresh greens
Every proper console needs an accent above. Our concrete frame awaiting a mirror
Mossy lichen encrusted sticks form the base for fresh evergreens, resin bells (withstand freezing temps), and plastic berries
For the front of the garage, a massive composition in a mossed wire sconce, a huge variety of fresh greens and foliage, faux orange and chartreuse berries
'May the Christmas season fill your home with Joy,
your heart with love,
and your life with laughter'
* Primary Interior staff; Vicky Whitt, Susan Olson with santa's helpers; Diane Malloy "sister" and myself
* Exterior staff; myself, and big helper; sister. plus lighting and heavy lifting by husband Steve
* All of the concrete elements; my friend Richard Taylor the genius of Flat Earth Designs, represented at Scentimental Gardens
* A HUGE thank you to Kathy B., our willing homeowner that allowed us utter freedom, a designers dream!