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A Taste of Madrid, Spain: Tapas, Vino, y Más

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, it stands to reason that it is also the best way to get to know a culture. In Spain, there is no better place to get a taste of the best of Spanish food, wine, and culture than its capital, Madrid. There, much of life is enjoyed outside of the home whether with a café con leche (coffee with milk) at a local coffee shop or discussing fútbol (soccer) in the park or Plaza Mayor (Main Square). In fact, Spain has made an art form of welcoming patrons to bars, while preventing patrons from getting tipsy with its tapa culture. While you can spend a lifetime getting to know this Spanish city, this self-guided tour will help you enjoy the spice of life in a shorter timeframe.

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Residential Role Model

A CUSTOM BUILDER’S DREAM HOME IN THE LONE STAR STATE

Why settle for less in a domestic setting when fabulous and foolproof features can blend together seamlessly?

The proof is in the pudding at this regal Texas residence that’s earning plenty of accolades. Its “livable luxury” description fits the bill for the new build, according to interior designer Lori Caldwell of San Antonio, Texas–based Lori Caldwell Designs, who poured a whole lot of passion into this project. “Anyone can walk in the house and feel like they could live there. It’s comfortable and inviting,” says Caldwell. “We tried to use materials that could withstand entertaining and kids, like the quartzite in the kitchen that doesn’t stain or etch.”

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Pretty Enough to Eat

Planting Edible Ornamentals in the Garden

Oil and water may not mix in the kitchen, but edible and ornamental plants do mix well in the garden. You have the potential of growing your own food while simultaneously creating beautiful ornamental plantings. Here are some combinations to get you started.

EDGING

Instead of edging a border with a low-growing flower or shrub, consider planting lettuces, potatoes, parsley, peanuts, chilies, or peppers. Chives are a tasty garnish that produces the prettiest edible flowers in late spring.

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Set in Stone

After four years, designer Harmony Weihs, principal of designHarmony, had enough. The kitchen in her 1963, midcentury-modern home located in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland had not been updated since it was first built. That meant that the home’s seven-foot kitchen ceilings, electric cooktop stove, original linoleum flooring, Formica counters, tile backsplash, and wood cabinets—“which were literally falling off the hinges,” she says— were still intact . . . barely. “It was so cramped,” says Weihs. “There just wasn’t any space to do anything in the kitchen besides cook.”

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Nibble & Nosh Small Plates That Celebrate the Season

What better way to share the season of gatherings and entertaining than with delicious food? Serving a variety of tempting small bites creates a festive table. A place where conversation lingers, laughter ensues, and palates are satiated. For an evening of nibbles, I like to prepare a collection of dishes that play to all the senses; creamy, crunchy, sweet, savory, fragrant, indulgent, and of course fresh and simple. This might seem like a daunting list of requirements, but I assure you it’s quite easy with the following menu.

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Brain Games

Working on Your Mental Fitness

WRITTEN BY MARESA GIOVANNINI

Brain Games

Photography by MartinPrescott/E+/Getty Images.

In the world of health, there is a lot of emphasis on physical fitness. You know you’re supposed to eat right, get thirty minutes of exercise at least three times a week, see your doctor annually, and avoid all the vices. But you don’t get as many regular reminders about keeping your brain as fit as your body. As the societal norm moves away from a foundation of community, the simple interactions that once kept people’s minds engaged are waning. Whether you want to improve your memory or be proactive so you can stay sharp as a tack for the long run, consider adding some of these activities to your to-do list today.

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APRÈS SKI

A FAMILY GETAWAY WITH A

TAILOR-MADE COOKSPACE

WRITTEN BY KATHRYN O’SHEA-EVANS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LISA VOLLMER

When Massachusetts designer Jess Cooney was hired to resuscitate this Berkshires kitchen, it had fallen on nothing short of hard times. “The previous owner got divorced, I believe, and ended up not really finishing the house all the way, so they started to cut corners at the end knowing it wasn’t going to be their home,” says the designer. “They threw some cabinets into the kitchen last minute, but didn’t do the trim or baseboards, and the fireplace was just left inserted with sheetrock—not finished in any way!” Enter Cooney, who was tasked with bringing it up to snuff for the new homeowners. Her clients intended to use the Alford, Massachusetts home as a de facto ski lodge for their family including their two teenage sons, and it needed to stand up to New England winters. It also required a classic look that would stand the test of time, because, as Cooney says, “most kitchens need to be updated every ten years.”

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THE TILE THAT BINDS

AN ATLANTA KITCHEN WITH

A SHOWSTOPPING ACCENT

WRITTEN BY CAROLYN M. RUNYON

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CATI TEAGUE PHOTOGRAPHY FOR GINA SIMS DESIGNS

Atlanta-based creatives—photographer Cati Teague and designer Gina Sims— have worked together for years. Sims designs and Teague shoots. But when Teague needed a kitchen redo, she called on Sims, principal at Gina Sims Designs, who was happy to help. “[Cati’s] got a great eye for design—I was absolutely thrilled to help her transform her 225-square-foot kitchen,” says Sims. The loft is located in Inman Park, Atlanta’s first planned residential suburb and first electric trolley neighborhood. When the street car system provided an easy commute to work in the big city, Atlanta’s nineteenth-century elite rushed to the rural area to build businesses and grand homes near beautiful parks. Teague’s loft is located in a circa-1890 commercial building situated right near the beautiful Atlanta Beltline—the perfect place for daily walks with her dog.

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Put a lid on it

MASON-JAR MEALS

GRANOLA, BANANA, AND YOGURT PARFAITS

The mere mention of the word parfait induces cheers of happiness in my house. And this is one of our favorites. It’s made with bananas, granola, and Greek yogurt, which pair well with all sorts of festive toppings—from butterscotch chips and peanut butter to raspberries and white chocolate. This is a fun and tasty parfait that you can serve for breakfast or dessert with a quick topping mix-up.

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Curtis Casual – California Living by Way of Texas

WRITTEN BY LAUREN DUNEC HOANG
PHOTOGRAPHY BY J. TURNBOW PHOTOGRAPHY

Interior designer Ginger Curtis, owner and principal of Urbanology Designs, has always been a California girl at heart. When it came time to furnish the home she shares with her husband Eric Curtis and their five children in Fort Worth, Texas, she knew she wanted to bring in some style elements of her childhood in California, but with a fresh, contemporary update.

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