Compliments to the Chef

As more Americans turn to home cooking and entertaining, the functionality of a kitchen is more important than ever when choosing a home.

Over the past half-century, kitchens have become somewhat fetishized; a place to display high-tech appliances and high design cookware, a social hub for friends and family, and a continuation of home style that showcases elegance and considered design choices. Pare it back to basics, though, and today’s kitchen is still essentially what it always has been: a place to prepare food. And homeowners, spurred recently by stay-at-home orders, but also inspired by home-cooking television shows, health concerns and the rising expense of dining out, are increasingly relying on their kitchens in times when eating out is not an option, as well as using their kitchens as additional entertainment space; somewhere to try their hand at cooking for their friends and family. For house hunters who relish the opportunity to regularly entertain and prepare food for guests, it pays to know what to look for when assessing kitchen space during your house search—and the best person to ask is an expert.

Edouard Massih is a private chef and caterer in New York City. He hosts intimate dinners in his own home, giving local diners the experience of enjoying his food in a less formal, more personal way. Massih, who was born in Lebanon, found his love for cooking in his grandmother’s kitchen. Sharing food and creating community has always been the driving force behind Massih’s cooking, and he has discovered a way to do that in his own backyard—literally.

“I wanted to invite people into my backyard, because I had a very unique space in Brooklyn, and not a lot of people [in New York] get to have dinners in a backyard,” Massih says. To bring to life his vision of cooking for the community, Massih extensively renovated his Greenpoint backyard, creating a lush urban escape where guests can enjoy the exquisite food that he prepares in his own kitchen—each dish enhanced by a dash of his grandfather’s olive oil, all the way from Lebanon.

Having worked on his kitchen to ensure that it had everything that he needed to support his at-home dining experiences, Massih has the knowledge of both a professional chef and a home cook. We asked him for some tips to help aspiring culinary hosts to choose the right kitchen space, starting with the five kitchen elements that he finds to be indispensable. First, Massih says, is “the right fridge, or the right fridge space.” Part of taking the pressure off yourself when entertaining, he says, is making sure that you’re prepared in advance. “Entertaining is all about making it simple for yourself when people are there— being able to prep ahead and batching the drinks; having the pitchers of water ready in the fridge; and having everything ready to go. Maybe serve more cold stuff than hot. You can do a pasta salad and an orzo salad, and make it two hours in advance.”

Preparing food in advance, chilling drinks and ensuring that all of your produce is fresh all comes down to having the right fridge. And while interactive fridges with weather forecasts and recipe databases can be useful, the main thing is space—and plenty of it. If you want to get fancy, you could go for a hot-water dispenser and temperature-adjustable drawers, both of which assist in various cooking processes; just make sure that you have enough shelf space to hold all of the food and beverages that you’ve prepped for your guests.

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Because you can’t make a lot of food without creating a lot of mess, Massih insists that having two sinks is vital: one dedicated to food prep, and one to cleanup. You can keep your prep equipment near your prep sink (think bowls, colanders, appliances), and dishes near the cleanup sink (which should ideally be close to the dishwasher). In addition, having two sinks creates more flexibility for multiple cooks, and streamlines the flow while you’re cooking.

The third must-have for Massih is “a lot of prep area—lots of counter space.” You need space for laying out, preparing and organizing ingredients, which most people consider when thinking about counter space; but if you’re planning on entertaining groups of diners, you also need enough counter space to plate all of the meals at once. Nobody wants to be balancing plates on top of kitchen stools because there’s not enough room for everything on the countertop.

Fourth for Massih is storage, in terms of both kitchen cabinets and a decent pantry. You want plenty of space, and also space that complements your cooking flow. Pots and pans should be as close to your stove as possible—either on a rack above or in a cabinet below—and serving utensils like spoons and tongs should be close to where you do your plating, to minimize the number of steps you have to take to collect your cooking tools, which helps with efficiency when you’re cooking for a group of people. A walk-in pantry is ideal, with various shelf sizes and storage options for appliances that are not in regular use. For chefs, there’s nothing worse than a cluttered cooktop.

Lastly, Massih emphasizes the importance of, as he calls it, “legit trash.” “You want a trash can that’s near the sink or accessible around [where you’re working], and not one of those little tiny trash barrels that fits nothing,” he says. “Otherwise, every two minutes, you’ll have to take the trash out when you’re prepping.” Massih also spends a lot of time cooking in other people’s kitchens as part of his catering and private-chef business, and the one feature that he is always delighted to see is a back kitchen.

“What is really nice about some of [the private homes that I cook in] is they have a back kitchen, like the ‘help’ kitchen,” he says. “That really does help a lot. If I [had the resources], and I was looking for a house to entertain in a lot or to do a lot of dinners in, then that’s definitely something that I would look for. “A lot of these kitchens nowadays are very open-plan, because the idea of it is that it’s really fun. But it gets annoying when you’re [hosting] a formal dinner, and you can’t do dishes [or hide them away] while your guests are eating. Having a small back kitchen really helps, because then you can hide all of the stuff that you don’t want people to see.”

There’s nothing wrong with a kitchen as a style statement, and most people whose interests lie in kitchens will admit to some fetish-like reverence. Just keep practical concerns in mind, particularly when you have culinary aspirations; remember, you can have a waterfall countertop AND legit trash. That’s what we call the best of both worlds.

For more information on Edouard Massih and his home-style cooking, visit www.edouardmassih.com.

The post Compliments to the Chef first appeared on Century 21®.

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This Dream Getaway Home is Part of a $220 Million Aspen Ranch

If you’re a fan of the mountain farmhouse aesthetic, you’re in for a treat. Nestled into a hillside just minutes away from Aspen core sits the Mount Daly House, one of the eight modern ranch retreats at the 800-acre Aspen Valley Ranch.

The massive Colorado ranch — owned by oil and gas executive Charif Souki — was initially listed back in May 2020 for $220 million, which propelled it to the top of the list of most expensive residential properties for sale in the U.S.

Since then, marketing efforts for the property, led by Souki’s son, Chris Souki, along with Carrie Wells (both with Coldwell Banker) have shifted, with the massive ranch being divided into more manageable assets. One of which is the biggest home on the ranch, Mount Daly, which has been listed alongside a future homesite (so far simply titled Lot 9), which has a 13,000-square-foot proposed floorplan that would outshine all the other existing homesteads on the property.

Inside Mount Daly, a luxury ranch home in Aspen, Colorado.
Inside Mount Daly, a luxury ranch home in Aspen, Colorado. Image credit: Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate

The asking price for the two properties — Mount Daly and Lot 9, the future homesite of a 6-bed, 9-bath dream ranch home with a generous 13,000-square-foot floorplan — is a whopping $30 million, but that’s not above the mark for properties in the area, especially considering that the lots total 82 acres (in what’s undoubtedly a phenomenal location).

Mount Daly house has 5,373 square feet and comes with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, and a barn. Designed by Michael Fuller, the residence beams with mountain farmhouse aesthetic, with its interiors paying homage to western culture and history, boasting reclaimed beams, barn wood, stone features, and other traditional ranch-style elements.

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Inside Mount Daly, a luxury ranch home in Aspen, Colorado. Image credit: Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate
wooden bedroom of a luxury home in aspen
Inside Mount Daly, a luxury ranch home in Aspen, Colorado. Image credit: Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate
bathroom of a luxury ranch in aspen, colorado
Inside Mount Daly, a luxury ranch home in Aspen, Colorado. Image credit: Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate

Best of all, the home rests on the valley floor at the confluence of two mountains, offering some of the best Elk Mountain range views. The massive windows carefully placed throughout the home make the most of these views, and invite calm and relaxation.

picture perfect views of the mountains from inside the aspen ranch
Inside Mount Daly, a luxury ranch home in Aspen, Colorado. Image credit: Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate
outdoor entertaining area of a luxury aspen ranch in colorado
Outdoor entertaining area at Mount Daly, a luxury ranch home in Aspen, Colorado. Image credit: Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate

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The post This Dream Getaway Home is Part of a $220 Million Aspen Ranch appeared first on Fancy Pants Homes.

Source: fancypantshomes.com

Newly Renovated, 1915-Built Townhouse in Park Slope Asks $4.4 Million

A four-bedroom townhouse with park views and tons of charm has recently hit the market, and we’re dying to tell you all about it. The listing, brought to market by Compass’ Michael J. Franco, is right next to Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s second largest park, and has plenty of outdoor space (and a rooftop deck to boot).

The townhouse sits in one of Brooklyn’s trendiest, most desirable neighborhoods — Park Slope — with its leafy streets lined with brick and brownstone townhouses, many of which were built near the turn of the 20th century and have been lovingly updated over the decades by young families migrating from Manhattan. Much like its neighboring properties, the 2,600-square-foot townhome at 15 Prospect Park was originally built more than a century ago in 1915 and retains its old-world charm — but has been carefully updated to meet modern standards of living.

beautiful townhouse in prospect park, Brooklyn
Park Slope townhouse on the market for $4.4 million. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco

With 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a generously sized living room, and a finished basement, the Brooklyn townhouse also comes with a few rare features for a New York home: ample outdoor space and private parking (that includes a private garage and its own driveway).

The layout is split on three levels, with the first floor housing a large living room and open dining room — both with distinctive pre-war features like classic moldings and arches — and a renovated kitchen that opens up to a lovely terrace.

inside a beautiful pre-war townhouse in Park Slope, Brooklyn
Beautiful living space with distinctive pre-war features like arches and moldings. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco
dining room of a pre-war townhouse in park slope, Brooklyn
Beautiful living space with distinctive pre-war features like arches and moldings. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco
renovated kitchen in Brooklyn townhouse
The renovated kitchen. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco
lovely terrace of a pre-war townhouse in Park Slope, Brooklyn
The Park Slope townhouse has a lovely terrace. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco

The second floor is home to 3 bedrooms and a sizeable landing which is perfect for either a library or a home office, while the third floor is dedicated to the primary bedroom suite and its massive walk-in closet, renovated bath with skylights and soaring ceilings, with a separate sitting area/den. The third level also provides access to the townhouse’s own rooftop deck, which adds more outdoor space and looks like a perfect place to entertain guests.

bedroom of a charming brooklyn townhouse in park slope
Bedroom opens up to Prospect Park views. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco
bathroom with skylight in brooklyn townhouse
 Renovated bath with skylights and soaring ceilings. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco
roof deck of a brooklyn townhouse in park slope
Rooftop deck of the $4.4 million townhouse in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Image credit: Compass//Michael J. Franco

The property is listed for $4,400,000 with Compass associate real estate broker Michael J. Franco.

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The post Newly Renovated, 1915-Built Townhouse in Park Slope Asks $4.4 Million appeared first on Fancy Pants Homes.

Source: fancypantshomes.com

7 Top Decorating Ideas for Your Bedroom this Fall: Making Your Room More Cozy & Stylish

Fall is one of the most exciting seasons of the year. The trees, the smells, the comfy sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes; it’s a cozy, wonderful time and who wouldn’t want to enjoy that warm vibe all year long? And since this is the season that prompts us all to spend a little more time inside, homeowners and renters alike tend to step up their interior decor game and invite the fall into their homes, adding notes of warmth and pops of color that are typical for the fall season. If you’re one of the many people that love fall

Source: fancypantshomes.com

Design Trends that Add Extra Flair to Your Fancy Home

After Celebrity Snoop Dogs launched on Channel 4 on June 26, our collective obsession with celebrity homes became even bigger. Thanks to a GoPro camera strapped to a celeb’s beloved pooch, viewers are afforded a glimpse inside an A-Lister’s house.

While some celebrity homes may be described in some circles as ‘understated’, others are unashamedly extravagant. The world has always been strangely fascinated with celeb homes, with countless regular Joes making a huge effort to replicate certain aspects of a celebrity home when designing their own abode.

Whether you are a world-famous celeb or just someone who appreciates an exquisite home, here are a few of the hottest home design trends to follow before the year comes to an end.

Decorative elements are more dramatic than ever before

If you want your home to have the same theatrical appeal as your typical celebrity crib, consider investing in a range of dramatic decorative elements that will breathe new life into your home.

Tapestries that depict tranquil landscapes, colorful oriental designs or mythological artwork are considered hot property right now. Additionally, old, ultra-modern accessories including black-lined frames and mirrors, modern prints, oversized sculptures and vases, and contemporary cushion covers, carpets and rugs can all add a touch of drama to a room.

You can even opt for a dramatic kitchen or bathroom by steering clear of traditional white tiles and finishes and opting for dark colors and copper or gold fittings.

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Bonus rooms add significant value to a house

Celebs are known to have a love for the extravagant, which is why you will find  everyone from J-Lo to P. Diddy owning homes that feature bonus rooms such as gyms, sunrooms, cinemas and wet bars. Industry specialists ranging from Hollywood interior designers to home builders in Delaware are creating exquisite, award-winning homes that effortlessly incorporate innovative spaces such as sunrooms and home cinemas into a home design.

Depending on the amount of space you have available, you can add a number of lush spaces to your home design. Home offices are always popular, as are dedicated homework rooms for children. Smoking rooms, man caves, game rooms, home theaters fitted with all the latest hi-tech gear are also becoming increasingly popular among new homeowners, as are she-sheds.

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Mixed metals make a lasting impression

Mixing metals is once again trending this year, with celebs and ordinary people alike opting to mix warm and cool metals to obtain an intriguing, luxurious look.

While metal finishings have been popular for quite some time, furniture in gold, silver, copper, tin and aluminum are all gaining popularity fast. Although metal is very fashionable, there are a few guidelines that need to be adhered to when it comes to decorating your posh abode. When mixing warm metals such as gold and brass with the cool colors of silver and stainless steel, it is important to choose a primary metal and an accent one. You can, alternatively, also opt for neutral metals, such as cast iron, that effortlessly combine with any other metals.  

This year’s design trends will make it possible to spruce up a house with ease. Even if you do not own a mansion in Beverly Hills or Presidio Heights you can still make sure your house is super-stylish and comfortable to live in (and nab some nice compliments from anyone that comes and visits).

Keep reading

How to Add a Touch of Luxury to Your Home without a Costly Renovation
Here’s Everything You Need to Set Up a Meditation Corner in Your House
These Luxury Bar Stools will Take Your Kitchen to the Next Level
Hearing Colors? Here’s What Colors to Choose in Your Home Based on Your Taste in Music

The post Design Trends that Add Extra Flair to Your Fancy Home appeared first on Fancy Pants Homes.

Source: fancypantshomes.com