Five ways to make your kitchen pretty – by Three Birds Renovations

We know kitchens are at the top of many people’s reno wish list, but they’re often at the bottom of the list when it comes to styling your home. Kitchens need love too, so please don’t forget to style yours! #forgetmenot

If you’re doing a full kitchen reno, or just want to freshen up your existing one, here are five ways to make your kitchen look pretty special:

Put your pretties on parade
I can think of no better way to display your pretties than with a stunning black glass display box, like we built in House 9. I like to style shelves using a combo of greenery, candles, canisters, stacked plates and bowls, and even artwork. I cluster my accessories into groups and make sure there are gaps between the items. Books work well in the kitchen too. Big, chunky recipe books look great on open shelves or just on the benchtop and they have a reason for being there – the recipes are within reach! Tip: Don’t overdo it with too many items – less is more.

Art works in kitchens too
Art in a kitchen works! Cooking can be quite the creative process so it makes sense to have an inspiring, creative piece hanging nearby. Now the obvious constraint is where to find the space to hang art in a kitchen amid all the tiles and cabinetry. I’ll admit hanging art won’t work for everyone, but if there is a side wall or an open shelf you can lean a print on, it’s worth considering.

Tea and toast too good to hide
Numerous small appliances fighting for space on your benchtop is never a good look. But we’ve found the prettiest kettle and toaster we ever did see and they’re just too good-looking to hide away.

We’re totally crushing on the Argento Flora range from De’Longhi. With colour names like Azure Blue, Peony Pink, Jasmine Beige and Peppermint Green, these beauties are sure to make a statement in any kitchen.

Let me show you the Peppermint pretties we chose for House 9 and you’ll understand why they got pole position on the benchtop.

Flowers and foliage
Fresh or faux, I’m not fussy unless we’re talking herbs! Every kitchen is improved with a pop of green. Plants look pretty on open shelves, especially trailing plants that hang down. And if you are using faux... just add water to make them look really real.

Can your kitchen handle some bling?
Changing your handles is a quick and inexpensive way to freshen up your kitchen. Gold or brass handles will instantly add pops of bling. In House 9 we choose large, modern brass knobs from Lo & Co and they do a great job of tying modern and traditional together in this kitchen.

Have fun trying these five styling tips in your own kitchen. You’ll be bringing pretty back in no time!

Written by Three Birds Renovations creative director Bonnie Hindmarsh.

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An Italian Christmas with De’Longhi and @italyonmymind

Paola Bacchia (@italyonmymind) is a part of our De’Longhi family, a true coffee lover and author of two cookbooks. She lives in Melbourne, but just like De’Longhi, her roots are Italian. That’s why we have asked her to describe what an Italian Christmas looks like.

An Italian Christmas, by Paola Bacchia

In Italy, Christmas is a time of celebration with family, and what better way to celebrate than with a feast! Many Italians celebrate on Christmas Eve, following their feast with midnight mass before returning home to open presents. A typical meal really depends on which region you are from. Italians put a lot of time into preparation and often, we feature a special ingredient saved just for this time of year.

Most Christmas tables will start off with platters of cured meats such as prosciutto, culatello and salame before first course, accompanied by pickled vegetables. In central and northern Italy, you might have tortellini in brodo (filled pasta in a chicken broth), lasagne or potato gnocchi served with a meat ragù, followed by roasted stuffed capon (chicken), roasted goat or boiled meats served with mustard fruits or salsa verde.

In terms of sweets, these days panettone or Pandoro will grace most Christmas tables. Typical bite-sized sweets include fried sugary aniseed-laced torcinelli in Abruzzo, spicy dense rococò rings in Naples and chocolate dipped mostaccioli Pugliesi in the Salento. The meal will usually be finished off with a nip of home-made liqueur, often as a digestivo (to aid digestion) such as herb-infused grappa, limoncello or walnut-based nocino before finishing off with a strong coffee.

Though some Italians in Australia opt for the wintery fare that they enjoyed when living in Italy, the seasonal differences mean that many opt for a less traditional and lighter meal. Many Italians love seafood, and that is what we enjoyed for our Christmas celebration when we were growing up here. My father would cook skewers of garlicky prawns and scallops on the outdoor barbecue, drizzling them with olive oil and scattering on parsley. My mother would make her deboned and stuffed chicken, where the chicken meat would form a ring around the stuffing of ham, pressed tongue, pistachio nuts and pork sausage. Dessert would be mamma’s special apple strudel or coffee-laced tiramisù and as we are Italian, we would always finish off the meal with a strong coffee, though the adults might add to their espresso coffee some grappa to turn it into a caffè corretto.

Buon natale a tutti!
Paola Bacchia

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Inspiring coffee recipes

So many of us fall into the routine of drinking the same kind of coffee day after day. But come spring we want to spice things up a bit, so we have asked our friend Chris Trigg to provide us with some fresh coffee recipes.

Chris is a barista at specialty coffee company ONA coffee, a coffee enthusiast and a firm believer in automated coffee machines. Just like us. He has put his PrimaDonna Elite Experience to the test and created three exclusive recipes for our De’Club members. Enjoy and show us your creations by tagging @delonghi_au.

Espresso martini
45ml vanilla flavoured vodka
45ml coffee liqueur
45ml espresso (Use 2 x ‘espresso function’, extra strong aroma, small size)
Ice cubes

Place all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake! It’s important to use fresh ice and add it last before shaking so the drink doesn’t get watered down. Once you start feeling condensation on the outside of the shaker, it’s good to go! Open it up, double strain it into a chilled martini glass, garnish with 2 or 3 coffee beans and enjoy!

Honey iced latte
60ml espresso (Use 2 x ‘espresso function’, extra strong aroma, small size)
200ml milk
Espresso ice cubes
1 tsp honey
Sprig of rosemary

This tasty twist on the classic iced latte is a great way to keep the drink chilled without it being watered down by melting ice. Just freeze some espresso in an ice cube tray ahead of time. Add two shots of fresh espresso into a glass with a teaspoon of honey and mix thoroughly before adding the frozen coffee ice cubes. Top it up with milk and feel free to add more honey to taste. Pop in a sprig of rosemary and serve!

Brew and berry lemonade
200ml brewed coffee (Use the ‘long function’, medium aroma, large size)
100ml lemonade
Slice of lemon

A real crowd pleaser. Use brewed coffee that has been left to cool, and you could make your own lemonade, but readymade works just fine. Simply add these ingredients into a glass with ice and sliced strawberries, and garnish with a slice of lemon.

Stay tuned for more refreshing coffee recipes to keep you cool in the warmer months.

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Senses of summer – Part 2

Belinda from The Curated Life is back with more tips on how to prepare your home for summer in a way that satisfies all your senses.

Don’t forget taste
For me, summer is all about entertaining. There’s nothing better than an impromptu BBQ with friends in the garden on a beautiful sunny day, so come spring I love spending an afternoon in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes ahead of the party season. Especially when it comes to mixing cocktails a little differently. Most Aussies love the classic Espresso Martini – have you tried adding new flavours like mint or strawberry, or even changing the liquor to a spiced rum or Fernet Branca? Obviously, the espresso is the essence of a good Espresso Martini, so I would strongly recommend that you don’t change that!

A sight for sore eyes
After a long winter I love to bring a sense of light and freshness back into my home and one of my favourite places to do this is in the kitchen. It’s where I spend most of my time entertaining friends, so I love for my benchtops to look just as inviting as the rest of my entertaining spaces. One of the easiest ways to update your kitchen is with well-chosen appliances and accessories. This season I’m loving the Argento Flora range from De’Longhi. This gorgeous kettle and toaster set in Jasmine Beige is the perfect way to add a summertime feel to your benchtops. The range has been inspired by nature, so it looks great styled alongside a natural wood chopping board or serving platter and large, loose foliage cut fresh from the garden.

Music to my ears
Now that our homes look, feel and smell great, all that’s left to prep ahead of our summer parties is an amazing playlist. It’s something you often just think of at the very last minute, but music is so critical to a great event. If you’re not great at pulling together a fun, eclectic mix that will keep your guests’ moods up, then spend a little time listening to some of the pre-designed playlists on platforms like Spotify, till you find one that you like. Try searching for ‘summer hits’, ‘party’ or maybe even ‘best of the 90’s’?

Enjoy and happy summer!

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We partner with ladies of style; Three Birds Renovations

We are excited to announce our partnership with home renovation champions, Three Birds Renovations, on their latest home transformation in Sydney – House Nine in the Sydney Hills district. The Three Birds Renovations is a boutique renovation company created by three best friends and interior design addicts, who transform homes and host the Reno School.

Three Birds Renovations’ vision is to help people feel happier, especially in their homes. The Birds’ invite all home lovers to realise their personal potential for home improvement, by inspiring and empowering them with ideas and know-how's from their own renovation experiences.

The partnership is a match made in heaven, because Three Birds Renovations are as invested in providing quality and stylish products for the everyday interior fanatics, as De’Longhi.

“We’ve always loved De’Longhi products so we are excited to have some key pieces across the coffee, comfort and breakfast categories in our latest home transformation,” said Three Birds Renovations creative director Bonnie Hindmarsh.

The kitchen was the first room to be revealed and we had the honour of equipping it with one of our best coffee machines; The PrimaDonna Class. But as hard as it is to believe, there is more to life than just coffee, so we also provided the Argento Flora kettle and toaster. The peppermint coloured Argento breakfast set perfectly complimented the star of the show - the beautiful, curved and colourful island bench. Stay tuned while the rest of the house is being revealed with more De’Longhi products to come.

Keen to see more images of the reveal? Then take a look on our Instagram profile @delonghi_au or @threebirdsrenvations

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