Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Entertaining With A Joyce Farms Black Heritage Turkey

"For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison {to the Bald Eagle} a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
Benjamin Franklin

With my three domestic divas in the kitchen conjuring mouth watering recipes over Thanksgiving, I can say with confidence that we had our best holiday meal ever, ever.  We began with a Joyce Farms Heritage Black Turkey, a first for me. Recognized as one of the original American Turkey breeds, Joyce Farms raises these pheasant family cousins on small farms in North Carolina--the old fashioned way--free range, antibiotic free, vegetarian fed, small batch, under a watchful eye. As the preparation begins,  I don't care what anyone says--I stuff my bird for the symbiotic effects that the moisture, herbs, and juices marry to create a succulent whole. Trust me, I've done this before.

Trussing the bird with sturdy kebab skewers and kitchen string works easily for me, especially on a big bird like this. Because I use convection and the bird browns rapidly, I drape cheese cloth drenched in butter and protect the bony tips of the wings and drum sticks with foil. Chopped onions beneath the turkey help brown the juices and add flavor to the gravy. I'm a baster, so I pour more melted butter over it approximately every 40 minutes.... And Voila!! There is a great deal of debate regarding basting but old habits die hard. I'm going to have to buck up and try to restrain myself for reasons of comparison.

Our tried and true menu is below: 
Food and Wine Magazine
(adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook)
(Gourmet 2006)

We topped off our beautiful meal with
with vanilla ice cream.

The question is, would I spend the extra money for Joyce Farms Heritage foods again, and the answer is a resounding yes!  While you pay a premium to cook a bird that takes twice as long to reach maturity, it is still a bargain compared to the price of visiting France or the very top restaurants that buy from this very special family farm.  Saveur Magazine calls their poultry Bird's of Paradise and we wholeheartedly agree. 

Thank You for joining our virtual feast.
We are thankful to our readers, online clients, interior design customers and blogger friends! We wish you blessings for the holidays!! 

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Our Wake Forest University Intern Reports From Abroad: Mallorca

By Danielle Adler

Dovecote Decor is fortunate to be a short walk from Wake Forest University and as a result we have had a wonderful group of interns who help us build and manage our online store. Danielle has been a terrific asset on our team, and while we have missed her during her junior semester abroad, we are delighted she has shared some of her travels with our readers. Danielle also has interned for Sue at The Zhush and Madeline Weinrib.

One of the first trips of my semester abroad was to Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain. I was fortunate enough to stay at “Es Cap Blau,” a unique home tucked away in the mountains. There, my two friends and I were able to relax by a serene infinity pool and take in the island’s famously picturesque landscape.

Not only did our refuge provide incredible views, perfect weather, and a much needed sense of tranquility, but we were also treated to delicious meals. On my first day, after snoozing until 10 a.m. I enjoyed a cappuccino while gazing at the “naturaleza” and snacking on poffertjes with an added touch of Grand Marnier! For lunch, we dined on fresh pasta tossed in a parmesan-salmon sauce, and for our evening meal we devoured a savory truffle flatbread pizza. For special occasions, a stone path leads up to a secluded area on the mountain overlooking the sea, creating an idyllic atmosphere for memorable celebrations.


The setting and cuisine were enough to have me begging to stay for another month, however, the ultimate element of stylish home decor had me wishing Es Cap Blau was my permanent home! Our host combined gifts from guests, items from world travels, artwork from creative friends, and favorite books to create a comfortable eclectic ambience. Each item in the home had a memory or meaning attached to it, further enhancing the warmth and appeal.

Love this ice bucket!
Not only is Es Cap Blau a hidden gem, but when we ventured down from our oasis, hiking out to Port Vell and taking a dip in the Mediterranean, we found the island to be a magical unforgettable adventure.

“The earth is covered with bands of magnetism; wherever these magnetic lines cross we find places with an exceptional energy. Mallorca is such a place.” - Diandra Douglas

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Hillbrook Collections Bespoke Garden Houses Delivered to Your Home

Social Media is truly a crossroads for interesting new encounters. No, I am not on, much to my friends derision, but while scrolling through Instagram I came across this image which immediately piqued my curiosity.

Is this what I think it is? As I scroll down I discover that yes, it actually is an outhouse that seems to be going out for delivery. We work with custom orders all the time, but this is a truly unique project and being the sleuth that I am I needed to know more. 

So, I clicked over to Alison's website, Hillbrook Collections, and was dazzled by her stunning array of garden houses, potting sheds, pool houses, gazebos, playhouses and trelliage. I fired off an e-mail to her and within about an hour we were chatting like old friends on the phone. I mean really old friends. We know people in common, our children have attended the same school, and we like the same artists, designers, galleries etc.. However, I am truly enamored with her beautiful garden houses, so I was treated to a wonderful story. 

Alison was raised on a wonderful old original Penn land grant property with a lovely outbuilding for storing firewood. Lamenting the unattractiveness of contemporary storage and potting sheds on many properties Alison's Mother, Nellie Ahl, studied numerous follies, pavilions and garden houses in Great Britain, Europe and America compiling ideas for their design and decoration then.... fire literally struck. Their barn burned down and the local Amish builders came to replace it, and she says: "Exactly like in the movie Witness." I am imagining a handsome Alexander Godunov in the mix! 

Back to reality! The friendships with the Amish craftsmen created the solution of how to provide quality architectural garden buildings to a wide audience. 

Alison, has recently revived her Mother's artisanal business and is busy creating more unique and beautiful garden houses. The Amish craftsman build these perfectly scaled and pitched buildings on their farms from the custom options worked out between Alison and her client. They are constructed within about a month and delivered on site for the final installation on the client's property. Here is where the magic began:

Amish culture epitomizes the practice of slow-living and informs the quality and detail  of each creation at Hillbrook CollectionsThe hardware, finials and lanterns are all hand forged in Lancaster County. Clients can specify whether houses need to be fitted for electricity and heat. Sometimes a working team of Belgian horses will come by for a visit! Some of my happiest memories of childhood are in my playhouse. With five brothers, my childhood apotheosis was when my Mother shocked me on a day that was neither Christmas nor my Birthday and said: "I have something for you." Incredulous, I looked up at my very tall and yes, intimidating Mother, and asked: "What?" When she smiled and tucked an old fashioned key into my little hand and told me I could have the playhouse for myself, I died and went to heaven. I had my own personal space! I could kick people out, invite them in, serve tea, clean feverishly, and conduct leisurely conversations. There is power in a playhouse. 

My "bit of earth" had an old fashioned pipe constructed swing set within a twenty foot privet hedge.  It was a Mighty Fortress. I believe garden houses, gazebos, pool houses and follies are little destination shelters from the storm of family life--a touch of punctuation and needed privacy. 

Even when you are 16 going on 17, but really. only.... in proper dinner attire! However, on a utilitarian note, non-basement/garage aesthetic space is good for the soul. Hillbrook Collections has multiple internal fittings for tools and projects. 

Below, a stylish Alison poses in front of the beautifully landscaped hexagonal garden Shed that she has been telling me about all fall. The height of the finial adds a stately exclamation point and the subtle dentile molding at the base of the roofline defines the subtle bespoke finish, like a beautifully hand stitched button hole.  

And here is the completed masterpiece compelling visitors to peek in as the destination for a tidy axis plan garden.  Be sure to visit Hillbrook Collections website, as in addition to the portfolio, Alison has compiled a wonderful image library of inspirations from all over the world. 

Visit our online store
as we are adding new 
products from the October Market 
every day!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meeting Great Designers at High Point October 2013 Market

High Point has more crackle when Rizzoli brings in their stable of top talent interior designers. It's a thrill actually to run into them at multiple showrooms and chat them up during the slower moments. Interior Design celebs have a great deal in common 99% of the time. What I enjoy the most is their active mental engagement. A common first sentence is: "I've been thinking more about xyz this year and how......" Lillian August was thinking about iconic women designers. Alexa Hampton was teaching younger women how to sizzle up intergenerational possessions and my new favorite fellow is the esteemed William Yeoward designs for the Jonathan Charles collection.

I always thought of William Yeoward as a crystal designer, and since--sorry WY I'm not a big one for crystal--I sort of missed the big picture. Silly me!! Like my friend, Hutton Wilkinson, William is encyclopedic in his knowledge of interior decoration at all levels. Drawing on this vast visual storehouse of history, Yeoward created his furniture line aligned to his design mantra: "When you buy something for your home, it is essential that the piece will give you continued pleasure, not just immediate gratification followed by years of disappointment." Believe him, like the slow-food movement, slow design makes for a better outcome. The Ataross console is classic gothic architecture kicked up to the millennium with a gray finish to break up all the mahogany finishes, although it comes in a classic brown Oak finish if you've overdone the griege.

While I am in "sitting pose," aching as I take this photo, I am as T.S. Eliot would describe: "In a still point of the turning world." There is so much grace, proportion and history flying at me I feel that I am being scrubbed clean from the horrors of tract mansions of the 80's and early 90's and the flour sack, burlap onslaught. Note his signature polka dot motif smartly dressing the sides and backs of his upholstered dining chairs.

Architectural and balanced, the Alnwick Bureau sports a flirty exaggerated cornice mixing a bit of muscle with pretty tones of cream and blue. Witness strength and beauty--an olympian on the cover of the furniture consumer's fantasy cereal box.  William Yeoward reminded us: "Beautiful things are always beautiful, it's perception that changes." He is so articulate and funny I recommend his book.

I know...I know...I know this is a quirky piece that requires some daring but..... I keep coming back to it as I review my market photos. All of us carry within us the image and memory of a beloved house, and Yeoward's  Daphne Cupboard is reproduced from a distant relative's possession. It evokes an Auntie Mame dramatic moment. Somebody grabbed a garden folly and brought it inside. You have got to love the Brits for their hubris and aristocratic confidence.

I love the detail of the hand carved traditional English fox on Yeoward's Godwyn console. The signature gray polkadot lining will be an identifying marker for generations to come. My other new design crush was Timothy Corrigan. He was delightful to chat with and honestly his restoration of the 18th century Chateau du Grand-Luce is the epic restoration of the century. It is the only chateau in France to escape the ravages of the French Revolution due to the loyalty of the towns people for the Baroness who housed and rebuilt the village after being burned. We will have more later on the vast topic of the 45,000 square foot chateau, but I will say Timothy Corrigan is as relaxed and elegant as his decorating style. Thanks Currey and company for having TC in the showroom! We always enjoy the Currey family hospitality!

We share a love of Belgian Shoes!

Timothy gets the men's sans the bows FYI
This book is a must!!

More Later.....

If you see any furniture in our blog or online store
that you would like to purchase or discuss
please give us a call at 
or send us an e-mail

If you are a local reader join us Friday November 15th from 4-6pm
and Saturday, November 16th from 9-6pm at the Benton Convention
at the Junior League of Winston Salem
We have lots of beautiful gifts!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

High Point Furniture Market October 2013 Highlights

 Roaming through The High Point Furniture Market  over the last 30 years, we often find markets with no direction or articulation of vision. On the other hand, there are markets that are "tight--markets," where  a distinct palette and style emerge defining an era. Color has been nudging its way back and is in full fearless force again. We are seeing wonderful plums, turquoises, oranges, pinks, emerald greens mixed with abandon. Defining nail head patterns and contrast piping accentuate silhouettes as the designers showrooms illustrate how to mix mid-century, traditional, graphic patterns with English Chintzes for a millennial take. You could almost call it Sibyl Colfax goes to Hollywood. Alexa Hampton outdid herself at Hickory Chair this market. She was the epicenter of market chatter.

Traditional English Chintz cozies up with Indian boho designs and bold graphic mid-century patterns for a look that defines the fresh traditional aesthetic. Alexa's style lesson video is coming soon, once I edit myself out of it!

Mixing up patterns the dining room chairs creates a delightful motion within this dining area. Anchored by Alexa's stunning Gustav table, the lightness of the upholstery serves to balance the composition.  Across the street at Hickory White, Lillian August brilliantly interpreted her take on modern traditional, demonstrating how you can skew the look towards the more modern. In fact she named her 2013 market experience The New Era of Traditional Design. Below she mixes three different chair styles and fabric patterns, defining understated casual elegance. We are seeing so much of this in fashion right now.

We enjoy our visits with Lillian each market, as she is always gracious and generous in her discussions  of how her current inspirations define each facet of the showroom. As a life-long student and master of interior decorating, this year Lillian selected The Legacy of the American Women of Design and created glamourous iconic combinations that function for today's lifestyle. She was especially kind to our two Wake Forest University interns. She recommended we all read The Great Lady Decorators: The Women Who Defined Interior Design 1870-1955 by Adam Lewis. It should be in my mailbox tomorrow!

I cannot wait!

This new market introduction "The Karl" is a capitalist's dream. Glamourous, with classic Greek Key detailing this piece can be lacquered in any Benjamin Moore color. The style lesson is like a great recipe--use fresh ingredients in a simple way. With a statement chest, over-sized ceramic urn and an iconic sunburst mirror, Lillian August achieves an enduring stylish vignette that is unforgettable. She shows it as a pair flanking a mantle piece and the look is pure fabulosity!

Nobody, but nobody does better mirrors at market than Lillian August. May I add that the price points are excellent! Another fresh traditional showroom at market is Chelsea House. They do a perfect job styling mid-century, chinoiserie hip and the prices are jaw droppingly terrific.

Chinoiserie is beautiful with all styles of design and the bold graphic trellis patterns lend themselves particularly well to add architectural integrity to a space. That is why we are seeing more of it throughout the showrooms; they are on-trend traditional. This buffet/console has the perfect yin-yang balance of strength and grace.

I can tell you exactly why blogger pal Lisa Mende "style spotted" this classic architect desk by Lisa Kahn for Chelsea House. It is a huge look for the price tag and is utterly transitional--meaning it goes with everything. Note to viewers: You are looking at two desks, one in nickel and one in gold back to back.

As I scroll and scroll through over 2,000 images of 6 days of shopping High Point, I can definitively conclude some of the binding ingredients of this market, what designers understand and why trend is moving in this direction.  There is a confluence of beautiful furniture and accessories flowing from Grandparents to children to grandchildren. The savvy high end designers light the path, illustrating how to kick traditional to contemporary. This market clearly accents transitional solutions for intergenerational design schemes.
More Later!!!
Many of these items are not yet in our 
online store, so if you see a scheme or a piece that you 
would like to purchase call or e-mail.