My in-box is always full of such spectacular questions from readers. I wanted to answer a few today.
Wanda asks: I read in the magazine that you serve only clear liquids to your guests. Does this really mean no tea or coffee? What do you serve other than clear cocktails and mineral water when the guests want a warm drink?
Well, I apply the clear-liquids rule only for parties or large get-togethers, when the chance of a spill on my carpet or upholstery becomes greater. Other than that, I always want my guests to feel welcome and at home, so I will serve them whatever they would like. I have a great espresso machine from Breville and love to make cappuccinos.
But for large parties I serve clear beverages. Here are a few great recipes I suggest you try next time you have a get-together: Martini, Pisco Punch, Salty Dog, White Wine Spritzer, Olive-Rosemary Martini, Lychee Martinis, Thyme Lemonade, Lavender Champagne, Shiso Martinis, and Cucumber-Ginger Fizzes.
Lei asks: I was wondering if you could help me out with an item you used in your kitchen. My kitchen is small (like yours), so I have to use small appliances to fit them in and give up on others, like a microwave. I just wanted to know what is the model of the fan you used that shows on picture number 2. Unfortunately, I don’t have the magazine to check all the information.
When I renovated my kitchen I chose to keep the appliances that came with the apartment. The cooktop, vent, hood, and oven are all from Gaggenau. They make some great space-saving ventilation appliances. Be sure to check out the compact AH900 24/36-inch visor hood. Maybe that could work for your kitchen.
Mena asks: My living room has three large separate windows on the back wall. The space between the windows is only about 6 inches. We have had white Roman shades in each window for several years, but it looks so plain. There is no trim around the windows, since there really isn’t space between for two trim boards. Do you have any ideas for window treatments? Our house is an 8-year-old-cottage-style home.
My advice is to treat the three windows as one, instead of as separate windows. To do this, mount a curtain or drapery rod above them, and hang panels that can be drawn over them for privacy when needed. There are some amazing hardware and curtain options at Home Depot and Restoration Hardware. When it comes to making curtains for your windows, here are some fabulous DIY ideas.
Pam asks: Is there a proper way to store brooms when not in use?
Yes, there is. A broom should always be hung for storage or stored upside down to maintain the bristles’ shape. If your bristles do come splayed, wrap a rubber band around the bottom of them and leave it for a day or two. Remove the rubber band and the bristles will be back in shape. (Here is a post on which brooms work for which projects.)