Outdoor Living

Gabriella-Sarlo-Elle-Decor-via-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignI spent the majority of this weekend outside with family and friends, and it was absolutely glorious! BBQ’ing, pool lounging and gardening was exactly what I needed after a rather hectic week. I adore the easiness of outdoor entertaining – throw some food on the grill, kids play in the pool, friends catch up sipping festive cocktails – life is good!

This outdoor space featured in June’s House Beautiful is just my style. Bring some indoor textiles out for the day, congregate beverages in a large urn, arrange seasonal food buffet style and everyone serves themselves at their own pace – so easy!

Do you entertain outside frequently? Any tips for keeping the mosquitos away after the sun goes down? They are so bad this year!

Gifting • House Warming, Hostess and Wedding Add-on’s

Gifting-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignFrom the selection of items to pretty packaging and a meaningful card, I take great pleasure in arranging a great gift for someone I love! These are some of my favorite items to give to a gracious host or beloved friend celebrating their new abode. And as much as I’m a stickler for purchasing off the wedding registry (people know what they like and need, I respect that!), I always like to add-on a little something extra that I think the couple would really enjoy!

Anthropologie Jars: Large $28, Small $24 // Bamboo Salad Servers $44 // Set of Cheese Markers $9.95 // Tortoise Cocktail Shaker $35.18 // Geode Coasters $69.95 // Wine Carrier $98 // Stripe Hand Towel $10 // Beehive Cakestand $39 // Feather Tray $48 // Crocodile Coin Dish $35.90 // Personalized Birch Mug Set $62 // Monogramed Linen Napkin Set $48 // Monogram Box $78 // The Silver Spoon $18 // Ad Hoc At Home $31.99 // Decorate $23.90

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Cocktail Essentials

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about how much more we all entertain in the summer months. While there’s a lot of bells and whistles you can add-on, a great party consists of the three key essentials: good food, good music and good drinks.

I’m a big fan of having a formal bar. There’s a lot of accessories that go into creating the perfect cocktail and designating an area to stash it all just makes sense organizationally. Of course, making sure these items are aesthetically pleasing is always a plus! So whether you have a grand built-in bar, a bar cart or a simple tray to corral your items; these are my cocktail essentials:Cocktail-Essentials-DiCorcia-Interior-Design

Tortoise Ice Bucket $64 // Bamboo Paper Straws $10.98 // Royal Cocktail Coasters $18 // Pineapple Drink Stirrers $38 // Cocktail Picks $6.95 // Farmers Market Stoneware Basket $14 // Beaker Glass Pitcher $5.95 // Stainless Steel Cocktail Stirrer $3.95 // Seahorse Bottle Opener $14 // The Drunken Botanist $16.04 // Vintage Cocktails $33.54 // Scalamandre Decanter $125 // Ria Herb Pot $10 // Cane Tumbler Glass $10 // San Pellegrino Aranciata 24-pack $19.96 // San Pellegrino 24-pack $34.99 // Schweppes Tonic Water 24-pack $32.30 // Coca Cola $1.86 // Canada Dry Club Soda $0.99

My bar cart obsession in particular is rather extensive, they even have their own Pinterest board! What are your favorite cocktail essentials? Any signature drinks for summer?

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Palm Beach Chic

Palm-Beach-Chic-Outfit-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignAfter the unseasonably cold weather this past weekend I am dying to spend a few days lounging by the pool, and with forecasts in the 80°’s and 90°’s the next few days it looks like I just might get my chance (fingers crossed)! This fabulous pagoda umbrella ($340) would certainly set the mood for a Palm Beach chic kinda day, especially when accompanied by this adorable citrus swimsuit $64 and lovely fedora ($320).  Of course a bar cart ($515) is a must and this beauty would glide outdoors with ease. Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook ($11.65) is one of my go-to’s for warm weather libations and these flamingo cocktail stirrers ($4.75) add the perfect touch! Now all I need is for mother nature to cooperate!

Memorial Day Sweets

Memorial-Day-4th-of-July-Labor-Day-Desserts-via-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignI have a huge sweet tooth! I eat relatively healthy throughout the day – usually a shake for breakfast, salad for lunch and lean protein for dinner – but towards the end of the day I always have to have something sweet! Usually it’s a piece of dark chocolate or some berries, but for holidays and special occasions I like to get a bit more festive (read: unhealthy) and jazz it up a bit!

I spent the better half of last night narrowing down my options, and these are my top 7 (although #5 doesn’t really count b/c it’s healthy!). Now the question is which one to make – they all look so good!

1. Fruited-Cheesecake Flag // 2. Raspberry Custard Brûlée // 3. Triple Berry Layered Lemon Cream Cake  4. Chocolate-Berry Meringue // 5.Fruit Pops // 6. Ombre Cake // 7.Mini Strawberry Short Cakes

Mother’s Day Brunch

Mothers-Day-Table-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignI’m heading to my Gram’s this year, but if I was hosting Mother’s Day my table would look something like this. My mom loves all things blue and white and this woodblock print tablecloth is so her! I’d pair my vintage blue willow plates with hand woven rattan chargers, and bamboo flatware would sit alongside pretty linen napkins tucked into my collection of mismatched silver napkin rings (these Kate Spade napkin rings are an adorable substitute, love the bows!). Lavender French 75’s would be served in champagne flutes and elegant mint julep cups would stand-in as water goblets. Big bunches of snapdragon and ranunculus in varying shades of fuchsia would sit center in simple Ball jars to achieve the perfect balance of casual/classic – just like my mom!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there! xo

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Ginger Jalapeño Margarita

Ginger-Jalapeño-Margarita-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignIn celebration of my favorite weekday, I wanted to share this Ginger Jalapeño Margarita with you lovely readers. Wine will always be my first love, but as of late Billy and I have become quite the mixologists, thoroughly enjoying experimenting with different concoctions! A little bit spicy, a little bit sweet – jalapeño infused tequila, ginger cognac, fresh citrus juices and a tiny splash of cinnamon agave makes an incredibly refreshing drink!

GINGER JALAPEÑO MARGARITA 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 oz. jalapeño infused tequila (recipe below)
  • 0.5 oz. cinnamon agave
  • 1 oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

1- Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker.
2- Fill shaker with ice.
3- Shake until cold – about 10 seconds.
4- Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of jalapeño or lemon curl.

JALAPEÑO INFUSED TEQUILA 

Ingredients:

  • 2  jalapeños, seeds removed and sliced
  • 1 1.75L bottle of Jose Cuervo Patron Silver Tequila

Instructions:

1- Place jalapeños in tequila bottle and let steep.
2- Remove jalapeños from the bottle after 2 days for a mild heat or leave them in as long as you dare (I never remove mine)!

*If you want to make these tonight and don’t have jalapeño infused tequila prepared, substitute a few drops of tabasco sauce.

I am not a big kitchen gadget person (automatic can opener? no thanks!) but this little contraption has won me over. It juices citrus fruits incredibly fast, allowing me to prepare a pitcher of margaritas in the amount of time it would normally take to make one – a definite plus!

Images via DiCorcia Design / Adapted from a drink I had at David Burke's Fromagerie

Fresh Blooms

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One of my biggest luxuries is regularly having fresh flowers in our home. For under $10 a bunch, I can almost always find one of my favorite varieties – hydrangea, ranunculus, tulips, peonies, anemone, poppies, sweet pea and flowering branches – at my local supermarket or street vendor. I usually cluster one type together in a vase and call it a day. As much as I adore the simplicity of this look, I would love to attempt the relaxed/organic mixed-variety arrangements I always see on Pinterest for a dinner party or special occasion, but have always been way too intimidated to try!

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After reading this article in The New York Times, I picked up The Flower Recipe Book this weekend. Authors Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo own Studio Choo in San Francisco, and are masters of relaxed/organic flower arranging. In the book the talented entrepreneurs illustrate how to achieve their signature style with 43 flower “recipes”, brilliantly mirroring the layout of a cookbook! Complete with “ingredients”, step-by-step directions, and a cohesive list of toolbox essentials and techniques; these free-form arrangements now seem much less intimidating!

TheFlowerRecipeBookAre you a fan of fresh blooms in your home? If so, do you prefer this relaxed style or more traditional arrangements?

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Style Profile • Affordable Lounge Chaises

Affordable-Lounge-Chairs-Chaise-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignWhile researching products for The Bungalow’s backyard design board, I was completely shocked over the price of outside furniture, particularly the cost of lounge chairs! Some of my go-to retailers for furniture – Ballard, Crate & Barrel, even Costco – had prices starting in the $700+ range per chair. And that was just for the chair, not to mention cushions and covers that needed to be purchased for certain models. We need 4 chairs for the pool and spending $4,000 on lounge chairs is not in the budget. So I started digging around and found these more affordable options all under $300. I’m in between the Ikea Applaro Chaise which I would need to buy cushions for and the Home Decorator Sling Chaise in orange which goes with my color scheme. Thoughts?

SLING: Home Decorator Sling Chaise $249/ set of 2 (available in several colors) //  West Elm Greenwich Lounger $279 (currently on sale)

WOOD: Ikea Applaro Chaise $129 // Home Decorators Lake Carolina Chaise $259 // Ikea Falster Chaise $169 // World Market Laguna Pool Lounger $249.99

METAL: Walmart Hillcrest Chaise Lounger $299 // Target Threshold Hawthorne Chaise Lounge $131

WICKER & RATTAN: Target Madaga Wicker Patio Chaise $299 // Walmart Providence Chaise Lounge $139 // Target Belmont Wicker Chaise Lounge $226 // Ikea Ammero Chaise $119