Restyling my living space is one of my favorites ways to relax. It’s meditative, creative, and unblocks any clogs in my imagination. Out in Amagansett, I can spend whole evenings puttering around the house, rethinking tabletops and bookshelves ~ visually refreshing the space (and my own sense of perspective and place) by constantly rearranging the objects within it.
I especially adore redressing the handmade picnic table that takes pride of place in the heart of the house. It’s at the center of all our goings-on, so I treat it with an ever-evolving installation of found objects, candles, plants and flowers. Every weekend we’re out there, it changes slightly. I’m so lucky that Zach loves to cook because it gives me an excuse to create beautiful tables to compliment his cuisine. The man lives for hospitality; he loves to eat and entertain. Whether it’s just the two of us or 200 people for a party, he takes mealtimes seriously: always the freshest ingredients, playful flavors and thoughtful wine pairings. He cooks as a demonstration of love, and I create beauty so that we may live in it.
He’s prepping for a big event over Memorial Day weekend, and I love getting to be the guinea pig on which he tests recipes. We’ve been working on it with Ecco Domani, an Italian wine brand with deep roots in the fashion world. Their Ecco Domani Fashion Fund has helped emerging designers get off the ground for years, and many of their past winners (like Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung and Rodarte) have proven to be among the industry’s most luminous talents. |ABOVE| Pinot Grigio chilling in a Tina Frey ice bucket from Love Adorned in Amagansett |BELOW| a bowl of clementines, our favorite snackInspired by the light citrus and delicate floral aromas that combine with hints of tropical fruitiness in their crisp, refreshing Pinot Grigio, Zach worked out a menu that marries fresh local vegetables with fun, fruity flavors. Toasted coconut gets mixed into a ginger-lime vinaigrette sauce, then tossed over chopped tomatoes and shredded kale. Juicy chunks of watermelon are joined by sprigs of basil, mint and crumbling feta cheese. Seared tuna sits on lettuce leaves, under a creamy chipotle sauce, sliced avocado and shredded cabbage, for an lighter approach to tacos. It’s healthy, casual (but special!) beach food ~ just the way we like to eat. |ABOVE + BELOW| our meals out East are always conjured up from what’s available at the farm stand down the street ~ like these beautifully colored heirloom tomatoes|ABOVE| chopped tomatoes tossed with shredded kale and a homemade toasted coconut vinaigrette sauce |BELOW| seared tuna covered in avocado and cabbage and served taco-style in crisp lettuce leavesOn the flight home from Venice, I read an interesting blurb in the inflight magazine, concerning the way social media has changed the amount of value we place on material things. The writer theorized that because sharing our lives’ adventures has become so easy and instantaneous and the perspective so intimate (and well-filtered), being able to boast a fantastic experience now commands far more societal esteem than a new designer bag.
I think that’s just about the best argument for the social media revolution I’ve ever heard. It means that we are investing in experiences, memories ~ mind-expanding trips around the world and quality time spent with friends. Sharability encourages us to look for the beauty already around us, and to create more of it ourselves at every opportunity ~ authentically upgrading our adventures, each and every day. Its transparency incentivizes us to take a little more time setting a table, to buy fresh flowers and use real linens and classic glassware ~ to make an event out of everyday moments.|ABOVE| handmade plates picked up on EtsyAnother life lesson I’ve picked up over so many trips to Italy over the years? It’s always a good idea to make time for languorous lunches, with a cornucopia of clean foods, good friends, and crisp white wines. Work can wait a while; life is for living, and every day is a special occasion if you choose to make it so.