Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Home Update: Feat. Gray Malin

Gray Malin photography

November is a perfect month for a bit of sprucing up around the house. Thanksgiving brings the friends, family & food. Before we know it, the holiday parties have kicked off and December is in full swing. Prior to  hanging the the garland and stringing the Christmas lights, I like to have the “bones” of my apartment in tip top shape. Consider this a perfect time to give the staples an update…think classic throw pillows, rich candles, textured blankets & standout artwork.

I get tons of questions and comments about my “gallery wall” of prints and art in my living room. Made up of pieces of art I’ve collected across my travels, my gallery wall was in need of a standout piece…I knew just what I needed.

img_1195 Photographer Gray Malin (and old college friend) has captured some of the most festive and colorful scenes around the world, including my new obsession – the Hermes clad camel at The Parker Palm Springs (now hanging in my living room!).

Palm Springs Gray Malin

Gray is currently having a 30% off sitewide sale so whether youre looking to upgrade your art vibes before the hoards of holiday visitors, or do a little gift shopping…check out his work here. (ps: Gray has tons of small gifts and trinkets on the site as well…perfect for holiday gifting)

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Preston Konrad Design IdeasMy friends always give me shit for this, but my obsession with fake green apples is a bit out of control. I love the way these look in a crisp clear glass bowl mixed with crisp, white tabletop accessories & lamps. Shop them below:

Interior Design Tips By Preston KonradThrow pillows don’t have to be the same color, or the same two colors for that matter. Try mixing it up a bit with classic yet playful pillows that go with your overall color scheme. Shop them below:

img_1200Make sure your coffee table is inviting and curated. Opt for two great books and top with a candle and something green. (I keep coasters in a mercury glass box for when guests arrive). Shop them below:

Cyber Monday: For Her

Cyber Monday Our Black Friday guide was a hit! Thank you so much for the kind notes and messages online…glad we could help you gals out! We’ve decided to do another shopping guide for Cyber Monday, so without further adieu… x- Preston

Black Friday Sales: For Her

for-her

And for the gals…happy Black Friday sale-ing! x – Preston

Black Friday Sales: For Him

Close view on a manhole in the streets of SoHo, Manhattan, New York, 2009.

Last years guide was such a success that we’ve brought it back and its even bigger for 2016! We’ve scoured the sales and weeded through the junk to bring you guys some of the best finds on Black Friday. Our gals list is coming soon, ladies! Happy shopping!

 

Fall Home Updates: Because It’s Too Hot Fo...

Fall Home Updates: How To Transition Your Crib From Summer To Fall

(because it’s too damn hot to start wearing Fall clothes)

by Preston Konrad

Fall 2016 Home Design Updates

Courtesy of CB2

It happens every year. August rolls around and our favorite stores are pushing Fall harder than I remember. At first, I’m pumped. My favorite shops are stocked to the brim with fresh patterns and textures. The ravaged Summer clearance sections have been shoved to the back right corner of the store and all that remains on them is a few sad, tropical button down shirts that look so sad you can’t imagine how you bought them in the first place.

The thought of some new, darker hued threads gets me all worked up (as does the thought of any new wardrobe purchases). Having worked in the fashion business for over 12 years, I’m aware of the tricks retailers use to get consumers to buy new clothes in August and to clear out the Spring/Summer goods. I should be immune to the ploys but somehow, I’m powerless. In under 5 minutes I have an armful of sweaters, jeans and new woven shirts and I find myself in the cue for the changing rooms. I begin peeling off my shorts & tee shirt (which let’s be honest…at this point, are drenched with city sweat from the walk to the store) and am determined to make my first fall purchase.  I finally get into the changing room and everything goes to shit. The fancy new jeans won’t even slide over my swollen and sweaty gams. The fresh, Fall plaid shirt is sticking to my belly. A bead of sweat drips down my face and onto the crewneck sweater I coveted not 5 minutes ago. What the hell am I doing in here?! It’s 101 degrees outside and it’s not cooling down anytime soon. I’m over it. I have to leave immediately. I kindly give everything back to the changing room attendant and I’m out the door. Having realized that it’s just too damn hot to be wearing Fall clothes, I’ve decided to shift my attention to my apartment. If anything is going to get an early dose of Fall, it sure as hell won’t be me (I mean I JUST got my Summer body like a week ago). If you find yourself in the same boat as me, rest assured… giving your apartment a mid-August upgrade will be easy on the wallet and will give you the perfect dose of Fall while keeping you cool, calm & collected. Check out my top 5 trends interior design for Pre-Fall 2016 and give your place a little TLC.


  • Marble Accents: The marble trend kicked off in 2015 and is not going anywhere anytime soon. Adding a touch of this luxe material to your crib is super easy…from marble coffee tables to desk objects. I’ve found a few pieces that actually have some killer shades of rose gold incorporated into the design..shop them, here:

  •  Statement Bathroom Mirrors: Often the bathroom gets overlooked when giving you place a mini makeover. Give your bathroom an easy fall upgrade by mixing up your mirror game. Look for new shapes like circular, uneven edges, rustic wood or color. If you are replacing a vanity that has storage, look for cool woven baskets to store all of your stuff.

  • Mixed Materials for Your Kitchen: I’ve always been a big fan of mixing materials in kitchen spaces and am so happy this trend is sticking in 2016. The clean, all white kitchen trend is slowly becoming more eclectic and personal. Think about layering in small Persian rugs, rustic wooden bowls, found objects & cool art.

  • Tech-Free Living Rooms: Our lives are being run by technology. There’s no turning back. In 2016 we’ve seen a trend towards hiding or eliminating tech from your living room space in an an overall push for serenity and quality family time. Try to eliminate as much tech from your living room as possible and if you just can’t give everything up, we’ve rounded up some of the best discrete technology and that will blend into your space seamlessly as well as some classic living room favorites.

CHEMEX: How To Brew The Best Tasting (& Mos...

CHEMEX: How To Brew The Best Tasting (& Most Insta-Worthy Coffee)

by Stephen Lloyd / @Stephen_Lloyd

Chemex Set-Up

I’m sure we all can agree that coffee is an necessity for every morning. As much as I love the convenience of going to a coffee shop in the morning… It’s essential to have a coffee maker at home for the long mornings when I don’t feel like getting out and about (and especially when I feel like taking a day to binge watch Netflix…Please no Stranger Things spoilers please!). My at home solution is Chemex, a rad home brewing method with its classic vintage style, thick filters, and potential for brewing large batches of good coffee. Did I mention it’s photogenic too? It’s a no brainer why I choose to use the Chemex when I’m at home. Sure, it might take a bit longer than a traditional coffee brewer but trust me, the manual brewing makes it worth while.  I’ve come up with a few simple steps for you guys to brew up your own batch of coffee at home with Chemex:

What You’ll Need:

  •  Chemex
  •  Pouring Kettle
  •  Gram scale
  •  Filters
  •  Coffee beans
  •  Coffee grinder (preferably burr grinder)
  • GET YOUR GEAR, BELOW:


What You’ll Be Making:

  • Strong – 50–60g of coffee // 600-700g of water // 4:00min brew
  • Light – 33g of coffee // 525g of water // 5:00min brew
  • 41g of coffee // 621g of water // 4:09min brew

Okay, Let’s Do This: 

1)    Unfold the Chemex filter, making it into a cone, and place it on of the Chemex, making sure that the 3-ply side is facing the spout—this will allow air to escape during brewing process.

2)    Rinse and preheat the filter & Chemex with hot water. This will remove any papery flavors imparted by the filter. Once the filter is completely saturated with hot water, carefully dispose of the rinse water.

3)    Place the Chemex and well rinsed filter onto a scale. Tare the scale to zero.

4)    Weigh out the correct amount of coffee and grind it slightly coarser than average pour over (think the consistency of sand).

Ground Coffee In Chemex Filter

5)    Place ground coffee in the pre-rinsed filter. Gently tap the side of the Chemex to level the brew bed. Place the Chemex onto the scale and tare the scale to zero.

6)    Use the water to completely saturate the grounds and allow the coffee to bloom for about 0:30-0:45seconds. (if you put 41g of coffee grounds put approx. 41g of water for the bloom).

Pour-over coffee with Chemex

7)    After 0:30-0:45 seconds, continue adding water until the scale reads the correct weight for the batch size. Pour in a slow steady stream in counter clockwise circles, avoiding the sides of the Chemex and pouring in the middle. You may need to stop pouring momentarily to allow some of the water to drain through the filter before adding more water. This step should take between 1–2:30 minutes or until the timer reads 2:00–3:30.

Morning Coffee Photo

8)    Let drip, remove filter & sip

 * The total brew time should last between 4–5minutes. *

Instagram Coffee Photo With Chemex

Coffee Cup Instagram Picture         Photos by @Stephen_Lloyd

The smoothie that packs a punch

SMOOTHIE BODY

By Preston Konrad

Last year I found myself in Austin, Texas to style an advertising print campaign and I fell in love with just about everything. The food, the vintage shopping, the people, and especially a green smoothie from a little hidden gem of a juice truck. Packed with fruits, veggies AND protein, this bad boy was my go-to healthy snack while on the road (lord knows I needed something healthy after all of the damn good BBQ I was inhaling). When my shoot wrapped, Although I was happy to get back to Manhattan, I was strangely sad to leave my favorite juice joint. I was determined to recreate it upon my return.  

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(pictured above, Juice Austin)

One of the best things about living in New York is that us New Yorkers can get just about anything we need, at any time of day within a few blocks of our apartment. There’s a killer deli (we call them bodegas) on my street. Stocked with the usual finds including everything from paninis and Parliament lights to Palmolive and prunes, this deli in particular happened to recreate my smoothie almost exactly. (I know, thank god lol).  I recently snapchatted my smoothie obsession and was flooded with questions about what was in it…and if it actually tastes good. The answer is HELL YES. Although it looks like liquified lettuce, it tastes exactly like a Creamsicle (remember those?) and is packed with protein to keep hunger at bay. I love grabbing one of these after a SoulCycle class or in the middle of a warm day to keep me full until dinner. I’ve scrounged up the recipe for you guys so you can whip this up for yourself, after the jump:

1 cup freshly washed spinach leaves (make sure to really pack them in the cup)

1 cup freshly washed kale

1 cup fresh or frozen mango cubes

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (you’ll want to aim to get around 20-25g of protein to cut the sugars from the fruit)

½ of a banana (I like to use half to cut some of the sugar but feel free to use the whole thing)

¾ cup coconut almond milk (you’ll want the almond combo to get the nutty aftertaste)

1 splash of orange juice (reduced sugar or reduced calorie)

½ cup – 1 cup ice (to your liking)

*BOOM*

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Spring Home Updates

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.08.46 PMWith Spring weather comes Spring cleaning. With Spring cleaning comes the moment when you realize you’ve thrown out cheesy old plaid throw pillows, or when you realize the “art” you have hanging in your hallway is pretty lame, or when you realize you have no throw pillows at all. We know you’ve been updating your wardrobe for Spring, and now it’s time to focus on updating your pad. We’ve pulled together 3 trends for the crib as well as some affordable and easy picks from each. Enjoy and make sure to tag Preston on Instagram to show the stylish life updates you make to your place.

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Rose gold has become one of the hottest metals to welcome into your home. Adding a pop of this bad-ass metal into your place will instantly add a cool, minimalist feel to your space. Try combining your rose gold object with some crisp, clean marble for an ultra curated look. Be sure not to overdo it here…a little bit goes a long way.

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Consider the succulent to be the new Edison bulb. A few years back, these babies were only found in the coolest shops and lofts in Brooklyn, San Fran & LA and now (especially here in NYC) you can get your hand on one from just about anywhere. That being said, we’re totally down with this trend and love what adding a succulent does to our desk game. The best part? Little to no maintenance required. Boom.

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We touched on this while chatting about rose gold, but marble and marble colored goods are a home trend we’re really digging. Small hits of crisp marble and marble colored accessories add a fresh, clean layer to your pad for Spring.

How to design a perfectly cool coffee table

final table

One of the best parts about Fall is making small tweaks to our space. We pack away the seersucker and floral prints, the birkenstocks and boat shoes get tucked under the bed, and we find some time to make simple & easy adjustments to the rest of our pad. One of the easiest ways to give your crib a fresh fall look is to update your coffee table set-up. Follow these simple steps and you’re on your way to a cool, ‘we didn’t try too hard’ look for your living room…

STEP 1: Select a substantial base 

step1

This Ralph Lauren coffee table book is kind of the end-all-be-all of coffee table books. Not only is it packed with legendary pics from the classic designer, but the size, color and weight of this bad boy make a perfect base for your coffee table set-up. We also love how the spine of the book spells out good old RL’s name in a classic, bold font.

-Center the book on the table with the spine facing out (you want people to see this sucker)

STEP 2: Build up

step2

When you select book #2, make sure the size is slightly smaller and that the colors work well with your base. We’re keeping the fashion & style vibe going by opting for a classic Vogue book, jam packed with classic editorials. Feel free to go nuts here.

-Again, center the book with the spine facing out.

STEP 3: Pick a final book (with a cover you want people to see)

step3

Being that we are obsessed with a good mens slipper, we selected “The Gentleman’s Slipper” as our top book. Not only is it packed with killer content, but the cover is bold, colorful & pretty fucking cool.

STEP 3: A Succulent & small trays (or coasters)

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You can never go wrong with a small, cool succulent. Place your choice botanical right next to a small stack of coasters or small ceramic trays. These will come in handy when your gang comes over for drinks on Saturday night.

STEP 4: Set this sh*t on fire (we’re talking candles, matches & a cool match holder)

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Le Labo makes just about the best smelling candles you can find. Grab a fresh scent (we always opt for Santal 26) and pair it with a brass-toned match holder for your match collection…this will give your overall design a hint of Mad Men coolness.

SHOP THE COFFEE TABLE PICKS, HERE:

Summer body protein, Brah!

9c7bafede21cf0abe2d7c82b4dd57f8dThe panic is setting in. The last snowfall has come and gone. It’s about that time of year again when everyone suddenly realizes the warmth of spring & summer is upon us… aka we are no longer able to hide under our perfectly tailored pea coats and Kanye-inspired parkas. Some of us are realizing that as we pack away the puffer coats, the puffiness we’ve been experiencing is not solely due to the quality of the down in our coats.

We’ve been getting back in the gym like crazy, hitting our Soul Cycle classes regularly, and putting all of our faith in our best friend, protein ( and have been noticing a crazy difference) While calories, whole grains, and fats will always remain important nutrition buzzwords, it’s ALL about protein these days. As more and more consumers are realizing the need for increased protein in their diets, the retailers, food companies, and nutritional brands are answering the call, from Kellogs cereal to Quest Bars.  Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 1.27.57 PM

While there are always “trends” in the food industry, protein has elbowed it’s way to the front of the room and is looking for its time to shine. While younger consumers are increasing protein to lean out, maintain energy and feel fuller for longer, we’re sure you’ve also heard your parents talking about how they found “this great Greek yogurt and it’s PACKED with protein!” as they are looking to increase protein intake for health reasons. Over this horribly long winter we’ve been experimenting with various protein packed products to help sculpt our Summer bodies and have rounded out the group to a select few. (Photo courtesy of Mens Health)

Take a peek at our favs and shop them, after the jump: