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Lord & Taylor just opened a new home department in their flagship store in Manhattan (39th and 5th).  I stopped in at their grand opening this week and snapped a few shots.  Furniture and furnishings are by Ralph Lauren.

Blue-and-white dinnerware complement a plaid-patterned tablecloth and chairs. Designer: Philip Gorrivan

A trio of wolves stalk a well-laden table under a canopy of green. Designer: Brad Ford.

Fall colors dominant with leafy branches,tall branchy candle stands and fringed table cloth with window-pane check. Designer: Garrow Kedigian.



Pilsner glass, by Ritzenhoff, with art-decorated theme

Seems drinking beer out of a can or bottle is becoming practically medieval.

But wait a minute… didn’t all those medieval taverns in Europe serve beer in a mug?

Yes, Americans are being influenced by long-standing European trends to pour beer into a glass or mug. But not just any vessel will do… the right glass is starting to matter, at least to some. The thinking goes that the shape of  the glass enhances specific aromas or characteristics of the beer, just like specific stemware shapes enhance specific varieties of grapes. 

A number of glassware companies got on board with this trend about 2 years ago. But the news here is that sales are

Mikasa's Brewmasters Collection, a set of four glasses for Pilsner, Wheat, Stout and Ale beers. Sales from 2008 to 2009 more than tripled.

brisk and growing, even in a slow economy… including multi-packs that include up to four different types of beer glasses. For those of you with a hard-to-buy-for male in your life or a bridal gift dilemma in your future, beer glasses may be just the thing. 

So how did this happen, some beer drinkers might be asking. And why?

More people entertaining at home. Seems no one can afford to eat out and save for retirement.

Pressure on beer drinkers by newly educated wine drinkers to belly up, or come to the party, so to speak, with a little more sophistication. Savvy wine folks are clearly embarrassed setting their carefully-selected wine glass down next to a beer can.

A microbrewery trend, including a host of independent American brewers making their own beers and an infusion of European beers and Belgian ales.

Some seriously savvy marketing by European beer makers, including giving away specifically shaped glassware with their logos on them, along with how-to-pour information on the back of the bottle.

Pilsner glass, Crate and Barrel

Beer education sites such as and, and beer-centric magazines such as Cheers.

If you’re not up for spending the money on… or allocating an entire shelf to a complete varietal collection of beer glasses, opt for a Pilsner glass. It’s the top seller and a good all-round choice.

                     Goodbye Detergent Scrub 3 
How fun are these??   No, they’re not a clump of pasta! These spaghetti-like creatures are actually abrasive scrubs… a new line of products from Goodbye Detergent.

You don’t need to use soap or detergent with the Spagetti Scrub. Made from corn cobs and peach pits, they’ll do everything from clean sinks and pots to peel vegetables.  

The open design makes them quick drying… inhibiting bacteria growth, mold and messiness. They can also be tossed in the microwave for 10 seconds after using to speed drying.

The coarse scrubs (made with corn cobs) are ideal for cleaning metal cookware, kettles, sinks, grills, and peeling vegetables. The gentle scrubs (made with peach pits) work on wood, plastic, and any other materials that are prone to dull or scratch.

Expect to pay about $9 for a package of 2 scrubs; each should last 3-6 months.

miele-001Not only are we cooking more at home these days, we’re enjoying it too. And that’s good news, considering less of us have extra money to eat out!

In response, there are plenty of new kitchen appliance trends out there… reflecting our desire for better, bigger, faster and healthier ways to prepare food. If you’re eager to sort out lasting trends from passing fancies, here are the trends you’re wise to weigh into your next kitchen alteration, according to appliance specialist, Barbara Barton.

1. Stainless steel appliances. No, it’s not going away anytime soon. Despite our concerns about fingerprinting, we love the sophisticated, restaurant-quality look of this sleek material. It’s today’s new ‘neutral’ color and considered even more versatile than even white appliances.

2. Drawers. Used for everything from warming and diswashing to microwaving and refrigeration, kitchen drawers are easier on the back, safer and more convenient than below-counter cabinets that require bending down and searching into the deep, dark abyss of hard-to reach corners. 

3. French door refrigerators. These are the two-door variety that resemble a walk-in closet. They’ve got plenty of capacity and are perceived as restaurant-quality.

4. Wine coolers. Wine sales are still strong and the U.S. consumer is quickly become the top consumer of wine internationally. With that, wine coolers are being a standard in many homes, whether integrated into kitchen or dining room buffets, or free-standing.

5. Speed cooking. We may have less time, but we don’t want to give up quality food preparation, making microwave, convection and air-assisted technology popular new features.

6. New hood designs. A great way to differentiate your kitchen design or integrate a little European design… unusual, unexpected and custom hood designs are growing in both range and popularity.

7. Outdoor kitchens. More time at home means more time outside, and grills, refrigerators, warming drawers, beverage and bar set-ups are on the increase. Outdoor kitchen appliances are still a luxury trend but  more value options are appearing on the market.

Source: Qualified Remodeler (Mar ’09). Photo: Warming drawers from Miele.