July 25th marks one of our favorite days of the year - National Wine and Cheese Day! If you follow Lance on Instagram, you'd see his obsession with dairy's best offering. He's putting cheese on everything - and appreciating each and every variety. There isn't an After Hours event that doesn't feature one of his charcuterie boards - and with good reason: we're all crazy about his cheesy selections. It seems like every combination makes the perfect bite! So, he's sharing his basic "recipe" for putting together the ultimate cheese board so you too can celebrate National Wine and Cheese Day in Cape House fashion. So, without further ado, from Lance himself: START WITH three to five cheeses. I like to use a semi-firm to firm cheese, usually with a little kick. Try a gruyere or cheddar - or one of my favorites: chipotle gouda! I also add in a soft, spreadable cheese, like a brie - I'd suggest trying Sweet Grass Dairy's Green Hill with it's buttery flavor and creamy texture. A mild cheese is also a great addition, like Sweet Grass Dairy's Thomasville Tomme (are you sensing a theme here? I LOVE Sweet Grass Dairy... ask me about the time I went to cheese school there!) NEXT, add the meat. Now, there's some controversy about adding meat to your cheeseboard, but if you've seen how much I love bacon and the like, you know I have no qualms about adding a little protein to mine! Prosciutto is always delicious, as is a spicy soppressata, or my favorite spicy candied bacon (I'll save that recipe for another day!) NOW, it's about balancing the rich flavors of each cheese and meat with accoutrements. I love marinated olives, peppers, or artichoke hearts for the briny, salty notes they add to your board. I'll include grapes, strawberries, or thinly-sliced apples or pears for a sweet or tart note to balance a creamy, rich soft cheese. A drizzle of honey or olive oil - or my current favorite from the store: Gullah Gourmet's raspberry mustard dip adds a sweet, tangy later of flavor to any of your cheese choices. Don't forget the bread and/or crackers (who are we kidding, I always include both)! DON'T FORGET to make it all look good. I take the time to roll up slices of meat, find the perfect cheese board and knives, and always garnish with a bit of green - like a few sprigs of rosemary, which really take the board to the next level. AND FINALLY, THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: create the perfect bite! Think about balancing all the flavors you've just built on your board. Start with a garlic thyme cracker, add a touch of Sweet Grass Green Hill, a small bit of prosciutto, and a drizzle of that raspberry mustard dip. Wash it down with your favorite vino, and you're in business! And everyone knows, wine and cheese are best enjoyed with those you love - so, follow these steps, and never cheese alone!
Mother's Day is just around the corner: mark your calendar for Sunday, May 13th! Planning to gift mom with more than a hug and note this year? (Although, those are THE best gifts you can give!) Sit back, and relax - we've rounded up our favorite options from the store below! See something that would be perfect for one of the mom's in your life? Give us a call (904-844-2384) or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we're happy to help make Mom's Day special!
Proper lighting can make or break a space: do it right, and your room feels well-lit and perfectly designed, wrong, and the room looks too flat and dim. Tiffany (co-owner of Cape House and owner of Lola Interiors) shares the principles that guide her lighting decisions for both clients and her own home:
TIP ONEWhen choosing lighting for your space, address three important elements: general (ambient) lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. General, or ambient, lighting provides overall illumination to the space. Accent lighting highlights specific elements in the room, adding texture and shape. Task lighting is pretty self-explanatory: it's purpose is to provide light for a specific job - think spot lights on a painting or a desk lamp. Every room should have a mix of these three types of light to create interest and address all lighting needs.
TIP TWOLet the room dictate the lighting mix. In every room, planning ahead for enough general overhead lighting is crucial (for us, that more often than not comes in the form of recessed lighting). It's not easy to - and sometimes you can't - add it later on, so be sure to account for enough early in the design process. We often incorporate dimmers, so you can adjust the level of light for a number of needs and occasions. Beyond that, each room will have different requirements:
- Task lighting is important in the kitchen (nobody should be wielding a knife in a dimly lit space!) When placing can lights, avoid putting them behind where you plan to get work done - otherwise, shadows will be abundant! We love incorporating under cabinet lighting and/or a stylish sconce over the sink to ensure there's always enough task lighting.
- In the living room, we like to incorporate lamp light at different levels, mixing table and floor lamps - it's inviting light that can also serve as illumination for reading. Directional sconces or picture lights on living room built-ins add an element of style in addition to functionally spotlighting your display.
- In the bedroom, we love the inviting light that lamps bring. Not enough table space next to the bed? One of our favorite tricks is to install wall mounted lighting on a three-way switch - like a swing arm sconce - that can be used as task or ambient lighting without taking up real estate on your bedside chest.
- When choosing bathroom lighting, side sconces will always provide the most flattering light (think like professional makeup lighting). One of our favorite tricks for making the room feel larger is to mount sconces on top of a cut-glass mirror. It can actually be more cost effective than a framed mirror - and it makes a unique statement.