Tag Archives: lifestyle advisor

Sophisticated Living – What is it?

sophisticated_living

More important, how to I obtain it?

I often talk about sophisticated living and how everyone can live their lives that way.  But, I think many people are confused about what I mean and how to achieve it in their daily routines.

Most people assume that to live a sophisticated lifestyle you have to have a lot of money and spend it lavishly.  I’m here to tell you that sophisticated living has absolutely nothing to do with how rich you are or your spending habits.  Instead, it has everything to do with putting effort into what you choose to surround yourself with – the items you touch on a daily basis, the things that you use not only with your family but also with your friends and colleagues when you entertain.  It has to do with everything that lives behind the cabinet doors in your home.

Your cabinets should be filled with things you enjoy touching and using, the feel of them, the weight and balance of a favorite kitchen knife or dining fork, even the casual water glass you use on a daily basis.  They don’t have to be silver or cut crystal – they just have to be something you love to use.  That’s not to say that I don’t love beautiful silver and crystal (because I do!) but everything doesn’t have to be formal and it definitely doesn’t have to belong to only one manufacturer or only one pattern.

The things that we surround ourselves with and use are a reflection of ourselves and should be items that we love to share with others.  Whether it’s because they have a great story to tell or are handed down from someone we loved or because we simply happened upon them on a trip!  They could be the silliest BBQ plates that were found in a second-hand shop on a road trip that turn a casual afternoon barbecue into a long night of laughter.  All of these contribute to sophisticated living.

The photo includes some of my most cherished items – the one piece of silver my mother had (the simple Revere Bowl), the first champagne glasses I ever purchased when I was 21, the beautiful Baccarat Mille Nuits champagne flutes that were a gift from my best friend that started my collection, the box of salt cellars that are clearly missing one little dish and two spoons but were so sweet I had to buy them from an antique dealer, various silver serving pieces bought at flea markets all over the world – even my cherished wooden cooking spoon (burn marks and all) that I’ve moved from home to home over the last 40 years.  All of these items are a reflection of me, who I am and what I want to share.

The joy has been in the collecting of these things and it continues every time I reach for one of them to use.

How will you pick the perfect wine glasses for your home?

Wine glasses with Fran

With so many options, designs, and ideas sometimes it’s hard to settle on a choice – unless you have some professional help.

They say that if you really know what you want in life, making decisions is easy.  But, that theory doesn’t always apply evenly to all things.

Picture this: you move to a new home, and you want everything fresh. So, you start with wine glasses. Seems simple enough, right? You go to a store where you know the selection will be excellent, and suddenly you realize – oh my gosh, there are so many! How do I choose?

The problem for all of us is that we can’t always picture in our mind what kind of dishes we want for daily use, what style of silverware, table service, or even shape of wine glasses! How about those wine glasses? Go to your favorite store and you will find dozens of different styles and designs – all for the same purpose – drinking wine. Some are based on different types of wines you can serve, but most are focused on functionality and the style you want to add to your home entertaining experiences. That’s where it gets even more complicated.

I know, it may seem sometimes like I have all the time in the world, traveling, going to really great restaurants, writing blogs and producing videos. The fact is I’m a home entertaining consultant. What that means is that I work with my clients to help them make those difficult choices so that they can entertain with ease and grace. I interview them about their tastes, habits, preferences, and dreams. I bring together every detail about what they envision for their home and how they want to feel when they sit down with friends and family around a table. I use my years of experience in the restaurant business and home entertaining to guide them through all of the dozens and dozens of options.

Which is exactly what I did for a client recently.

She was a little overwhelmed, but she easily articulated to me her goals. For instance, she told me how she and her family like to eat at home and how she likes to entertain casually. We talked some more, and she shared that they also love to drink wine with their dinner every night. So wine glasses were essential, however, she wasn’t so picky about separate glasses for red and white wines. I narrowed it down for her – simplified her choices to a ‘universal’ wine glass in a style that she loved that could work for both types of wine for everyday use.

Based on what I learned from my client, I had a sense of what she wanted for everything else – from the kitchen to the dining room. Then I discovered that she and her family also like to dine al fresco, weather permitting, but didn’t like the idea of “ugly plastic stuff” in her home. Who says outdoor plastic glasses and plates have to be ugly? I found a selection of beautiful plates, serving pieces and fabulous durable glasses that will hold up well, look great on her patio and that she could love.

Yes, life is all about making choices. Some are worth spending hours to make.  But some choices are a lot easier than you think and should be more fun. Maybe all you need is a little help.