Quick and easy recipe for those holiday gatherings

As we all are painfully aware, these last few weeks of the year are packed with activities, both personal and professional.  If you find yourself tasked with the responsibility of hosting co-workers, clients or friends and need a recipe that is not only quick and easy but will have your guests coming back for seconds, this one just might be the answer:

english trifle from allrecipesdotcom

Ingredients:

Lady fingers

Raspberry jam

Fresh or frozen raspberries

Good sherry!

Raspberry jello

Jello pudding (I get 1 x lemon and 1 x vanilla then layer them)

Whole milk

Whipping cream

Process:

Spread the lady fingers with jam and place in the bottom of a clear glass trifle dish.  This will make it possible for you to see the beautiful layers before serving.

Make up the jello with 1 cup of  boiling water and then add 1 cup of sherry – set in the fridge.

Make up the jello pudding and layer on top – set in the fridge.

Whip up the cream and place on top.

Throw on some fresh raspberries or whatever decorations take your fancy.

Et voila!  A true English trifle that will delight your guests.

We first shared this favored recipe with you in December of 2013 and are looking forward to enjoying it again this holiday season.   Now all that is left for you to do is set a beautiful table, provide a delicious beverage and enjoy spending time with those who are important to you, both personally and professionally. Bon appetit!

To view our entire collection of architectural hardware, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

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Pantone announces 2015 Color of the year

Those involved in the interior design and fashion world eagerly await an announcement by color experts, Pantone, of the color of the year.  This year they caught everyone who was expecting some shade of blue off guard by selecting Marsala as the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year.

Pantone Color of the Year 2015 Marsala

Pantone Color of the Year 2015 Marsala

According to the executive director of Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, “Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth…nurturing and fulfilling.”

While this color is as rich and delicious as the wine it is named after, it is also a versatile shade that will be right at home in any room in your home from the kitchen to the bath to the bedroom or will warm up the lobby and guest rooms of a boutique hotel.  It is easily paired with most colors and will complement all types of wood and metal used in the space.  Hospitality and residential designers alike will find many uses for this new color.

In the kitchen

A crisp and clean contemporary kitchen with Marsala walls, small appliances or fabric provide the perfect backdrop for stainless steel hardware.

Ergo wave pull in stainless steel finish Martin Pierce Hardware

Ergo wave pull in stainless steel finish
Martin Pierce Hardware

 

In the bath

Whether it is in a beautiful spa bath at home or a luxury hotel retreat, the beauty of bronze or high polished brass fixtures, hardware and bath accessories make a striking combination when paired with richly hued Marsala linens and paint in a more traditional setting.

Hedgerow soap dish by Martin Pierce Hardware

Hedgerow soap dish by Martin Pierce Hardware

On the exterior

Add a punch to the entry by painting the door with this new color and using oil rubbed bronze hardware for a warm greeting to guest or clients.

Solid bronze door lever from Grapevine collection at Martin Pierce Custom Hardware

Solid bronze door lever from Grapevine collection at Martin Pierce Custom Hardware

 

How will you use this latest color trend in your upcoming projects?

You can view our entire collection of custom hardware at http://www.martinpierce.com.

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Our final homage to Antoni Gaudi’s architecture

As we continue to share highlights of our recent vacation to Spain we saved the best for last.  Although, quite honestly,  each of Gaudi’s works stands on its own; each is a harmonious tribute to nature.

Sagrada Familia

I think the reason that La Sagrada Familia has become the focal point of Gaudi’s achievements is, in part, due to its continued evolution.  Gaudi began work on it in 1883 and continued to work until his death in 1926 when it was less than a quarter complete. Work has continued over the decades, funded by private donations.  The basilica is scheduled to be completed by 2026 which will be the centennial of Gaudi’s death.  On a side note, it is deemed a basilica, meaning significant church, as Barcelona already has a cathedral and apparently you can only have one per city!

Look closely at the exterior of the Sagrada Familia and you will find that it consists of layer upon layer of images and symbolism.

Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia photo Martin Pierce Hardware

Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia
photo Martin Pierce Hardware

Once inside the visual delight continues.  Pillars inspired by sinew and bones are an amazing feat of both engineering and aesthetic design.

Interior of Sagrada Familia photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

Interior of Sagrada Familia photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

It is fun to compare the design of the pillars to the sinewy movement and design of our Epic entry door handles from our Ergo Collection of architectural hardware.

Entry way door pull from Ergo collection of custom hardware from Martin Pierce Hardware

Entry way door pull from Ergo collection of custom hardware from Martin Pierce Hardware

And light and color are never forgotten by the maestro!

Interior of Sagrada Familia photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

Interior of Sagrada Familia photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

The location and grand scale of this iconic building has certainly secured its position in history and is worth a visit since photographs do not do it justice.

You can view our entire collection of custom hardware at http://www.martinpierce.com.

 

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Ada compliant contemporary hardware designs

Stainless Ergo Front door lock from Martin Pierce Custom Hardware ADA compliant

Stainless Ergo Front door lock from Martin Pierce Custom Hardware ADA compliant

Many of today’s designers and architects are seeking door and cabinet hardware for hotels, spas, nightclubs and commercial buildings that are not only attractive but that also comply with strict ADA building codes.  In other words, hardware that is easy to grasp and operate for those who may have some physical limitations. This might be necessary in brand new construction or in a retrofit situation.  This is difficult enough without adding the additional requirement of good looks.

As the population continues to age and, in this very competitive market, it is important that buildings be designed to allow easy access to all who wish to enter.  After all, a businessman does not want to deter someone who might have difficulty gaining entrance and/or navigating the building from entering and conducting their business.  More importantly, consumers need to be able to gain access to their home, their doctor’s offices or retail shops.

We are pleased that our Ergo collection of custom hardware meets these demanding standards.  The lever design of our entry and passageway pieces are easy to operate and create a stunning look that will please any lover of contemporary design. Several of our collections, including Morphic, can, upon request, also be adapted to meet ADA standards. This might include lever style handles in place of knobs and pulls that do not require a strong grasp in order to easily operate them.

If you are in the market for door hardware with a crisp and contemporary look and that is ADA compliant or would like to view our entire collection of custom hardware, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

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Add color to your custom hardware

color wheel

 

Most of us are familiar with and expect oil rubbed bronze, stainless steel, nickel and brass finish choices when it comes time to select door and cabinet hardware.  But we are here to tell you that you can add color to your hardware.

Adding a specific color will not only add interest but it can offer other positive influences. For example, hospitality designers will appreciate the ability to incorporate a client’s specific brand color to a project’s hardware, thereby highlighting the brand.  If the hardware selection incorporates design features such as floral motifs, animals, bugs etc., adding color will allow these patterns to really “pop”.  Our lizard pull shown below is a fine example of the impact color can have on custom hardware.

hot patina color added to lizard pull and available at myknobs.com via pinterest

hot patina color added to lizard pull

A subtle introduction of color can also have a big impact.  The effect is seen in the color we added to our Morphic cylindrical entryway pulls and debuted at this year’s HD Expo in Las Vegas.  The cutout design offers the perfect opportunity to add color to this sleek and contemporary collection of custom hardware.

Morphic cylindrical pull with a hot orange powder coated accent from Martin Pierce Hardware

Morphic cylindrical pull with a hot orange powder coated accent from Martin Pierce Hardware

Is there a place in your next project for some color?  If so, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com to view our entire collection of architectural hardware.

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How does an Englishman celebrate Thanksgiving?

thanksgiving plates stamped with give thanks

We thought it might be fun to publish last year’s Thanksgiving post as it references one of our favorite recipe books, Fields of Greens.  This book features one of my favorite recipes which is a potato au gratin dish and that recipe can be found here.

Please enjoy this post again and know that the holiday sentiment is the same as last year–that you and your family and friends enjoy a relaxing and healthy holiday with those closest to you.

Originally published November 27, 2013:

As you can imagine, Thanksgiving in our home is celebrated a bit differently than the typical American  way of enjoying a large feast of turkey and stuffing, pies and sauces. But we do enjoy spending time in the company of neighbors, many of whom are transplants as well, and being grateful for all we have.  And, like any gathering, we enjoy a delicious meal that often includes beef or lamb but without a bird in sight!

One of our favorite dishes to make is a potato au gratin from the My Field of Greens cookbook.   The recipe and helpful tips can be found here and, while time intensive it is well worth the effort and makes for great leftovers the next day.  And from what I understand about this American holiday, it really is all about the leftovers.  I like to fry it up in a bit of olive oil, add a fried egg and some leftover prosciutto or bacon.  It brings back fond memories of my mother’s bubble and squeak, although hers usually included mashed potatoes and cabbage.  Delicious!

We at Martin Pierce Custom Hardware want to wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday spent with family and friends.

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Our vacation to Spain continues

The next stop on our visit to Barcelona was to see CASA BATLLO.  This iconic Modernist masterpiece is located in the center of Barcelona on the historically prestigious street Passeig de GraciaI.   It was originally commissioned by Lluís Sala Sánchez but totally renovated by the Batllo family from 1904 -1906.

It is known locally as the House of Bones, no doubt because so much of its form is inspired by the vertebra of both man and other animals. Can you see the reference to vertebra in the design of the staircase?

Casa Battlo staircase by Martin Pierce Hardware

Casa Battlo staircase by Martin Pierce Hardware

The house, like so much of Gaudi’s work, incorporates fantastical earthly and non-earthly themes.  For example, the ocean with its waves, sea creatures and sea shells carved on the doors, are captured in tile.

Casa Battlo, Barcelona Spain photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

Casa Battlo, Barcelona Spain photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

As you can see, Gaudi’s Casa Battlo makes wonderful use of colored tile, in particular the color blue.  A fine example of this is the inner shaft that was used to cool the house with louvered wooden shutters that opened to allow cool air in.

Casa Battlo photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

Casa Battlo photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

The curvaceous and fluid shape of the wooden windows and doors is reminiscent of tree roots and plant tendrils.  Be sure to take notice of the unique wainscoting design on the walls.

Casa Battlo photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

Casa Battlo photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

And the arched roof crowns of the building are, by all accounts, Gaudi’s interpretation of a dragon.

Can you spot the dragon on the rooftop of Casa Battlo Martin Pierce Hardware

Can you spot the dragon on the rooftop of Casa Battlo?
Martin Pierce Hardware

 

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