Tag For Love

Tag For Love: The Hudson Valley As Design/Decor Magnet

This is not news. Literally because the New York Times has been saying that “{Insert trending Hudson Valley town} is the new Brooklyn/Hamptons” for at least ten years. Hey, they recently tried to make “the Camptons” happen (a portmanteau of “Catskills” and “Hamptons,” for the uninitiated) as a new moniker.

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Then there’s House Beautiful’s plug for Field & Supply in Kingston (is it truly worth traveling across the country for?) and its cute little map showing only Beacon and Kingston (NOT Milton, Rob, sorry to say). Same issue: a tour of Pennyroyal, a Catskills retreat built by the mother of American interior design. And this month, Architectural Digest references the HV (that name’s not happening either, is it?) dour times, and has two huge features about Dutchess County properties (both converted barns, too.) I’ll go back and count to make sure. Yes, a lot of the love gets thrown at uber-trendy Hudson, but there are a lot of gorgeous Insta-worthy homes scattered around horse/wine/apple country.

So what does this all mean?

On one hand, it means nothing–these are the same plaudits (and cries about gentrification and traffic and “citiots”) we’ve always heard. But to be more Tag-For-Love about it: It means we’re still a design destination for those in the know. After all, the robber barons Gilded Age industrialists fled the confines of New York City and headed north to construct their castles and keeps over a hundred years ago.

wilderstein
My favorite historic mansion, Wilderstein (screw you, Vanderbilt Mansion!)

We have cute little shops, architectural classics, charming downtowns, cutting-edge art museums, and enough space to experiment with design styles in spades!

And we’re lucky enough to live right in the thick of it! The Hudson Valley is a wonderful place to live (and visit) because it truly has it all…including major design cred. I’m just glad the design/shelter world is finally giving us the props we deserve. Beverly Hills? Milan? Ibiza? So over. Tastemakers in the know go to the Camptons.

Tag For Love

Tag for Love: Beeswax Food Wraps

Co-host Rob here. A few years back, J. gifted my fam Bee’s Wrap beeswax food wraps for Christmas. It was long enough ago that I thought J. was just trying to be hipster with the eco-friendly, new-fangled product. As it turned out, they’re a thing. And they’re great.

Fast forward: beeswax foods wraps are just a part of our household now. So I forgot how fab they were until I was reminded by the May 2019 issue of Better Homes & Gardens just how hard working eco-friendly food covers are.

BH&G featured the Lekue Stretch Storage Cover. And let’s be honest, they look a lot like condoms for food! They are still better than ripping off countless sheets of plastic wrap that never seem to stick to anything,

They just don’t make things like they used to.

Speaking of making things…if you’re more a DIYer at heart, there are lots of posts and articles on how to make your own reusable food wraps. So no matter which way you go—beeswax, silicone food condoms, or make-your-own wraps—eco is the way to go.

Who does food condoms better?

Lekue or…

Rob?

Tag For Love

Tag For Love: Conversation Pits & “The Party”

Cohost J. here. Not to be all reaction-y, but a post on Dwell.com says that living room conversation pits are back in vogue. I guess I am reacting to it here, because it’s been a few days since our last “Tag” post due to a combo of busy-ness and not feeling inspired in either direction. Love or hate, after all, are meant to be the extremes. So, thank you Dwell for doing the work for me!

Anyway…so Dwell’s post covers the greatest hits of conversation pits, a few of which you’ve probably seen on Ye Olde IG lately. The purple one, for sure.

Photo: Darren Bradley

I’m a fan–mostly because I’m a fan of promoting conversations between people, and a dedicated space to do that gets a thumb’s up in my book. Of course, if you have a podcast, you’re pretty much an advocate for conversations anyway.

Are they for everyone? No. Will their revival be seen as yet another blip on the design trend timeline? Almost certainly. But as one Dwell commenter points out, perhaps they’re cool again because we’ve developed another type of living space: the media room. If that’s where the TV is, that leaves the traditional living room up for grabs as the spot for non-digital interaction. Though my house doesn’t have a sunken conversation pit, we treat it as if it had one: the family room in the basement is for TV watching (and kids, mostly) while the living room is really “the daddies’ cocktail lounge.” It’s great for drinking, but also magazine reading (hullo), book reading, listening to music, and all the stuff that’s impossible when there’s a TV in the room. It’s a conversation pit without the pit.

Me in my “conversation pit,” talking to myself apparently.

So if you can build one (or buy a house with one, don’t fill it in just yet) go for it. The outdoor versions may be more feasible and longer-lasting, trendwise, anyway.

And also, as another Dwell commenter points out, their timeline leaves out one of the most iconic sunken living rooms of all time: the fireplace ringed by couches in the 1968 Blake Edwards movie, The Party. It may have one of the coolest sets ever put on film. (Hmm, maybe a CBB movie night is in order!) There’s not only the conversation pit to ogle: there’s a crazy indoor water feature with a stepping stone path, planters, multiple pools, killer chandeliers, and the fact that the conversation pit is also kinda a two-tiered affair. If you haven’t seen it, check it out for the decor alone!

Firepit + shag carpeting + colorful pillows = fab conversations, or acoustic jam sessions.
Hilarity ensues.
Peter Sellers stars in “The Party” from 1968
Perfect for clumsy/drunk guests.

And for the record, our friends Brian and Chris, referenced regularly on our show, do indeed have a sunken living room in their big MCM party house in Poughkeepsie.

Tag For Love

Tag for Love: Hot Gardeners

Spring has sprung! Gardening has begun. And the only thing that perks us up more than tulips and daffodils is hot gardeners.

It’s true, we swooned over Urban Farmer, Kyle Hagerty, on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens’ March 2018 issue. His website Urban Organic Gardener and YouTube Channel have kept our squashes growing all year long.

As it turns out, swooning over hot gardeners is a “thing” with us. In our April 2019 episode, Kelly Norris has us ready to jump right into (garden) beds.

Matt Mattus has us dreaming of big…gladiolas. He declared them #ontrend in BHG March 2019 issue.

Lest you think we only Tag print-media hotties for Love, we completely agreed with Queerty.com when they declared Gab the Gardener an Instastud based on his IG feed. Gabriel Rochard is multi-talented. Just the way we like our gardeners.

And our ode to hot gardeners couldn’t be complete without getting pumped over Bravo’s “BackYard Envy” host, Garrett Magee. This mustachioed hunk might make some think “70s gay porn star.” We’re totally okay with that. We love #retro!

Photo: Instagram @garrettbmagee

Photo: Instagram @garrettbmagee

Shirts off to lots and lots of hot gardeners all Spring, Summer, and Fall!

Tag For Love

Tag For Love: Hugs

Are you a hugger?

Do you wanna greet everyone with a great, big bear hug?

Or maybe you just like a quickie. You know–a quick hug before jetting out the door to work or quick hug for the hosts when you arrive at that party.

Better Homes and Gardens’ recent post confirms it: if you’re a hugger you’re probably happier and healthier.

Research by Carnegie Mellon finds that hugs can serve as a buffer from a bad day.

We agree. Hugs are amazeballs. So, go ahead and hug away. It’s good for you!

Tag for Hate · Tag For Love

Tag For Love/Hate: Gwyneth Paltrow

Let’s be honest. Most of us have a Love/Hate relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow. Academy Award winning acting. Life in the spotlight. Bougie children’s names. Incredibly fit in her forties. Signature lifestyle brand with the awful name. That whole “conscious uncoupling” thing. It’s often hard to know whether to Tag for Love or Tag for Hate.

Following her IG feeds (either her personal page or for her lifestyle brand GOOP) keeps you swimming in the conundrum.

Love? Hate? Love? Hate?

All sides of the eternal debate seem to coalesce in one recent IG post.

Gwyneth Paltrow, from her Instagram feed.
Oh, Gwyneth.

Announcing her new offices, Gwyneth stands in front of sleek, blonde-wood bookcases with leaning, lower shelves prefect for highlighting magazines, art, or favorite books. Showcase bookcases in the face of KonMari? Love! The shelves are sparsely filled, prompting her to request recommendations from followers on books on design, food, and corporate culture. Seeking fan input? Love!


That green jumper she’s wearing? Oh my goddesses. HATE!

Round and round it goes. Love? Hate? Love to Hate? Hate to Love? Oh, Gwyneth, you perplex us so. With no end in sight it seems best to just go ahead and employ a Tag for Love/Hate. It’s a mindfully selected compromise focused on equilibrium to reduce stress and help reach optimal wellness.
We’re sure it’s What Gwyneth Would Do.

Tag For Love

Prepping For The Kips Bay Decorator Show House

Oops, is that headline misleading? To be clear, we are NOT part of the 2019 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. As if! No, we just want to go–it’s the interior design event of the year. Images from the house pop up in the mags, mood boards and blogs all year long. Hopefully we can go this May.

The third floor study, pre-renovation.

The list of participating designers was announced today and it’s a mix of A-list designers and newcomers. CBB favorite Corey Damon Jenkins is one of them so congrats Corey!

We’re looking forward to some amazing lewks and over-the-top ideas.

One of 2018’s biggest, most photographed moments: the staircase by Sasha Bikoff. Photo from her website.

Are you planning on taking it in? (Phrasing, sorry!)