Notes From the Janery Studio
As Virginia's countryside is exploding with wineries great for weekend adventures, a few are competing on national and international levels. One of those is RdV Vineyards, which I was fortunate enough to visit this past weekend.
RdV's Bordeaux-style blends have held their own against quality French wines in several blind tasting events. They produce only two high-end wines each year and offers tastings by appointment only, so I had high expectations for quality wine.
What I didn't expect to find was beautiful design and fabulous modern furnishings!
While there are many beautiful wineries in Virginia, most are styled more in a cozy rustic feel. RDV manages to blend the American farmhouse aesthetic with large glass windows and contemporary furnishings for a very sleek, mid-century modern vibe. The result? It looks a lot like my dream home.
I hope you'll enjoy this look at the design that RDV has to offer. What I can't share with you is how delicious their wine was. But don't just take my word for it; Chef José Andrés was there during our visit, and we learned he has several barrels in the cellar that RDV is producing just for his restaurants.
The cellar and barrel rooms were equally gorgeous.
These soil samples were on display in the cellar, showing Virginia's granite from a depth of 18 inches all the way down to 35 feet (from L to R).
Notes on visiting the winery: Tours and tastings are by appointment only. While this means you must plan ahead, it's worth it. Instead of a loud, crowded winery experience you can enjoy a calmer, more relaxing and intimate visit.RdV Vineyards2550 Delaplane Grade Rd, Delaplane, VA 20144
If you're like me, you aren’t comfortable with a blank canvas.
Show me a wall of taupe, beige, or white, and I can’t wait to dress it up with wild abandon. After all, that’s what makes neutrals amazing; they give the rest of the color wheel room to play.
Imagine my surprise when I came upon this teal fabric with its barely-there herringbone, and I couldn’t decide what hues to pair with it. Because almost every color made sense.
Teal is one of those magical colors that looks great on everybody, and that sensibility extends to our four-footed friends and the rooms where they love to sleep.
Deep enough to add weight to a pastel palette, yet soft enough to lend a light-hearted air to a stately room, teal is the neutral reprieve we’ve been waiting for.
It’s both cool and warm, blue and green, exotic and familiar, and it’s further proof that you can have a big personality and still be able to bring out the best in everyone, including the adorable kitty above.
Janery’s teal pet beds and pillows have made themselves at home with customers all over the country, and I’ve loved seeing how well they fit into every family and every family room.
This weekend only, get yours at 15% off, and tag #janeryathome once your room comes together! :)
Throw pillows are one of the easiest ways to change up a stale space, but not all pillows are created equal!
Follow these tips to avoid the most common mistakes made when choosing throw pillows or pillow covers for your home.
1. Opt For Removable Covers
Your home is fabulous, but it’s also full of life. And life is messy!
Dogs jump on the sofa with muddy paws. Cats insist on curling up and shedding against your newest pillows (perhaps because you don’t have a Catnip Cuddler?) Children throw pillows around with sticky fingers.
Sound like your life? Just say no to pillows labeled “spot clean only.” Always choose pillows with covers that can be removed for washing or dry cleaning.
2. Choose Zippered over Envelope Closures
Removable pillow covers are made with either envelope closures or hidden zippers. Janery pillows have always been made with hidden zippers in the bottom, because (in this case) looks matter.
When a pillow is sewn with an "envelope closure,” two pieces of fabric are layered to make an opening in the middle of the back of the pillow. You insert and remove the pillow through that opening.
Envelope Closure on the back of a pillow
A lot of inexpensive handmade pillows are made this way. It's easier to sew, but then you can’t display the back of the pillow and it never fits plump inserts as well.
Case in point: In the photo above, the corners of the pillow are not well filled. But if a larger insert was used, the envelope opening would stretch and gap.
Hidden Zipper Throw Pillow in Gray Phoenix
Invest in a zippered pillow covers so that both sides can be displayed, and so you can use an appropriately oversized pillow insert.
Speaking of which . . .
3. Size Up on Pillow Inserts
Don’t subject your home to a case of limp and sagging throw pillows! To keep your pillows looking plump and fresh, always use oversized inserts.
Pillow Cover with a too-small pillow insert - see the wrinkles?
What is an oversized pillow insert? The insert should be 2” larger in each direction than the pillow cover. This means my 20” square throw pillows have plump 22” pillow inserts inside them, and my 14” x 30” long lumbar pillows have 16” x 32” inserts.
Not sure what size insert you need for a pillow cover? Lay the cover flat to get an accurate measurement, and then measure top-to-bottom and side-to-side to determine the size.
4. Don’t Skimp On the Stuffing
Have you ever had a pillow get lumpy and loose loft? Or had a feathers from inside a pillow stab you through the covering?
When it comes to pillow stuffing, there’s a wide range of quality available. The pillow inserts at the craft store are made with inexpensive, firm polyfill that will lump quickly. Some inexpensive "down" pillows are just 20% down and 80% regular feathers that poke through.
At Janery I don’t offer feather pillows because of animal cruelty issues and allergies, but I offer the perfect compromise!
Our pillow inserts are stuffed with imitation down, a fluffy polyester filling that feels as amazing as a down pillow and holds shape well over time. Plus, they're made in the USA in a small factory that I trust more than an overseas sweatshop.
Follow these tips to find fabulous throw pillows for luxury that lasts.
And if a Janery pillow catches your eye, you can shop with confidence. I've put a lot of thought into my designs, from the oversized, USA-made, faux-down pillow inserts, to the removable washable covers with hidden bottom zippers.
Want to stay in the loop with my latest designs, and get access to our exclusive private sales? Click here to join the Janery VIP club for these benefits, along with bimonthly emails.
The pack of puppies stepped out in front of my car, oblivious to any danger. The big black and tan leader of the pack watched warily as my car slowed to a stop. I looked at Charlie in the back seat of my car, herself a former stray from this very neighborhood, and suddenly I was opening the door, climbing out, and cautiously approaching the pack of dogs.
It was a rainy day in March, and I was driving through the neighborhood where I’d found Charlie. When I’d lived there, it wasn’t unusual to see a dog roaming the street. I never knew which were strays and which just had irresponsible owners. One pair of strays was so street-savvy that animal control had been unable to catch them for years.
On this day, though, the motley pack of dogs seemed frozen in place as I exited the car and began to approach. I was slightly unnerved by the intense gaze of the Rottweiler. He didn’t trust me, and I didn’t trust him.
But before I could get too close to the pack, a small black and white puppy broke away and came up to me, and as I knelt down to him he wriggled right into my lap. When he cocked his head and looked up at me with one blue and one brown eye, and I was gone.
I didn’t need another dog. I had three cats and two dogs, and I was working several jobs while finishing my last semester of college.
As the black and white puppy cuddled in my lap, the rain began to fall harder.
I scooped up the puppy and stood there, unsure what to do. What if this was someone’s puppy? I wrestled with my conscience, thinking that anyone letting their puppy run loose in the city shouldn’t have a dog. Then I saw an old man sitting under his covered front porch, watching me with what I’m sure was wry amusement.
I can only imagine what he was thinking….
I waved and said hello, and then I wondered if the puppies were his. Never too shy to talk to strangers, I approached and asked him about the sweet boy who was now wriggling in my arms and licking delicate kisses on my face.
The puppies were indeed strays, born on Christmas to a white German Shepherd down the street. I knew that dog. I’d driven by her house many times, my heart breaking each time I saw her on a short metal chain in a patch of dirt, with only a decaying dog house for shelter. I’d also seen her running free in the neighborhood, but I don’t know if it’s because she escaped or the owners let her off the chain to roam.
The rain was pouring down now, soaking me and the puppy as the old man talked to me from his covered porch. After I learned the full story, I snuggled my Christmas puppy close as he licked my hands, and walked back to the car.
It would take me a few days to settle on just the right name for Merlin, the black and white puppy with the one magical blue eye.
Charlie Cushions are designed to blend seamlessly into even the most fabulous spaces, and it always makes my day to see one in use! I was so thrilled to spot Janery’s Navy Herringbone Charlie Cushion on the Hi Sugarplum blog, when Cassie shared her Master Bedroom Refresh.
I love a good pop of color and strong pattern mixing, so of course I love Cassie’s bedroom. She has the incredible ability to mix unique patterns and colors to keep her space interesting, rather than just blindly following trends.
Head over to Hi Sugarplum and check out all the details of her fabulous master bedroom makeover!
PS: If your pup needs a fabulous waterproof dog bed that won’t cramp your style, you can check out all of Janery’s modern dog beds right here.
Happy Valentine's Day! This is a great time to remind people that you care about them by tucking some sweet handwritten notes in the mail. It's also a great time to celebrate loved ones in your life with a good cocktail, like this tasty Orange Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail. (But before you mix it up, consider sending some short-but-sweet Valentines to our deployed troops or seniors in a local nursing home.)
My mom introduced me to the magic of the hibiscus flower when she served hibiscus champagne at my bridal shower. She rarely drank alcohol, but she sure was giddy over the pretty effect of the blossom and bubbles combo. And that was before she had a drink!
If you want to take the simple route like we did that day, a hibiscus blossom in the bottom of a champagne glass is a great way to dress up your typical bubbly. I wanted to kick things up a notch, though. This Orange Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail is a fancy twist on a simple classic, but still easy to splash into a glass, even if you’ve never mixed a cocktail before in your life!
- 1 bottle Champagne (or other dry sparkling wine)
- 1 jar Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup
- Citrus bitters
- 1 Orange or Clementine
- Fresh Thyme (optional)
- Squeeze a spritz of fresh orange into each glass.
- Carefully extract hibiscus blossoms from the jar, and place one blossom in each glass, making sure the blossom points up.
- Add a splash - about 1 tsp - Cointreau to each glass.
- Add one dash of Citrus Bitters to each glass.
- Carefully pour in the Champagne until the glass is ⅔ full.
- Run an orange slice around the rim of the glass and serve with love!
Cocktail Serving Notes & Variations
One bottle of Champagne makes about 4-5 tropical hibiscus cocktails, depending on how big your champagne flutes are.
Tips on sourcing the hibiscus: I got mine at Fresh Market grocery this time, but I’ve also ordered them from Amazon in the past.
Don’t be afraid to experiment! I made a fun variation where I made a strong mug of Youthberry tea from Teavana, and mixed that with Champagne and Hibiscus.
Craft and serve this cocktail with love! Sappy but true - I totally believe that cooking for people, and that includes mixology, is love. If you’d like a stronger pink tint to the drink, just use a spoon to add more hibiscus syrup after the cocktail is in the glass. This syrup is sweet, so the more you add, the sweeter the drink.
For an extra fancy herbal twist, put some sprigs of fresh Thyme in your hands and clap it once or twice to release some of the oils, then add to each glass before serving. The Thyme adds just the littlest flavor that plays well with the citrus. I absolutely love an unexpected herbal note in cocktails.
Hibiscus Mocktail, aka Designated Driver Version
Of course I can’t leave my non-drinkers and pregnant ladies hanging without a DD version of this sparkler! It tastes fabulous if you whip it up with club soda and fresh squeezed orange juice, and add a sprig of Thyme to really make it feel like a fancy cocktail. If you want to keep things looking rosy rather than orange, mix cranberry juice and club soda with a healthy splash of hibiscus syrup.
Regardless of how you drink it, may I recommend serving with some chocolate-dipped fruit ?
PS: If you're in the mood for some new coasters or cocktail napkins to accompany your cocktails, check out what Janery has to offer!
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