Feather Your Nest Friday - Open Kitchen Shelving Dilemma

Kristina Crestin Design

I've been working on an elaborate post in between other material for two weeks covering styling tips for open kitchen shelving.  We've all seen those gorgeous, stylish kitchens with upper cabinets replaced with open shelving, perfectly styled and looking so appealing. I've even removed the doors from one of my cupboards to try my own tips. 

However, I've really been struggling with this post and then it dawned on me that before I could honestly suggest Do's and Don'ts, I had to answer some questions that continue to gnaw at me.

I love the look of open shelving in kitchens perfectly styled with neat stacks of dishes and accessories, but how practical are they to maintain? Will it require new dishware to look appealing? And where do you put everything else?  

I started thinking about how often I wash my dishes. For my family it's usually once a day, which means many of my dishes are stored in the dishwasher until evening. Anyway, my point being I kept butting heads with a list of drawbacks that I really want to answer. 

Therefore, I've decided to reach out to you for your input and ask for your help.  If you have open shelving in your kitchen (or have had in the past), I would love to know what you think. Are you happy with your decision? If you had it to do over, would you design a kitchen with open shelving? Or, would you go back to traditional cabinets with doors? What are the pros and cons? What tips can you share that help you keep the shelving looking stylish? 

If you've never had open shelving in your kitchen, what do you think about this trend? Are you considering open shelving in your kitchen? What do you consider to be the pros and cons?

If you would like, please feel free to email photos and or tips to decoratedmantel@gmail.com.  With your permission, I would love to share your ideas and tips. Unless otherwise requested, I will share only your first name.

Sound off in the comments! Or send them to my email!

I look forward to hearing from you!

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Delicious Grilled Brussels Sprouts

I love Brussels Sprouts prepared in a variety of ways, but even if you're not a big fan of this vegetable you might enjoy this grilled, smoky version with a hint of spice. They are delicious, easy to put together, and fast cooking on the grill.

Here it is...

Grilled Brussels Sprouts


2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
4 Tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
4 Tablespoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut stems off of the Brussels sprouts and remove any yellow outer leaves. Place the Brussels sprouts into a large, microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Add the avocado oil, garlic, dry mustard, smoked paprika, pepper and salt.  Stir to combine. Allow the sprouts to cool until you can handle them. Skewer Brussels sprouts on metal skewers leaving about ½ inch in between each sprout. Place skewers on BBQ grill on medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes, then turn the sprouts over and cook another 5 minutes. 

Serve as is or, if desired, add remaining oil and garlic mixture before serving.

PRINTABLE: GRILLED BRUSSELS SPROUTS (misspelled "Brussels" on the recipe--oops, sorry)
Modified from:  Alton Brown - FoodNetwork.com

Hope you enjoy!

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Tuesday's Tumblr Favorites - Autumn 's Magic

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." -Albert Camus

There is so much to love about this season. I drove up the canyon this past weekend and the mountains are bursting with vibrant colors of red, orange, yellow and green. It's magical! 
What is your favorite part of Autumn? 

It's Tuesday so here are some of my favorite images from my Tumblr blog this week.  Enjoy!

I hope your week is magical!

Warmest regards,

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Enjoying Fall Leaves

Are you adding Fall touches around your home? I'm trying to get my home decorated for the season, but I still have work to do.

 The mountains here in Utah are vibrant, bursting with Fall color. It's inspiring! This weekend we drove up the canyon to enjoy the beautiful Fall leaves and I brought a few branches home with me to use in a couple of arrangements.

This arrangement cost $5.00 for red sunflowers. I cut the beautiful purple verbena from flowers growing in my yard, and added branches of Fall leaves, greenery and twigs from my yard for filler. There is so much you can do with flowers, branches, and twigs from your yard to save yourself money on pretty floral arrangements, and to add a touch of Fall around your home.

If you're interested in a few tips for creating a beautiful floral arrangement, see my post on one of my Floral Arrangements of the Week: HERE. 

The beautiful gold-leaf embossed lumbar pillow and throw are from West Elm. Links to their sources can be found below if you're interested.

After I took a few photos, the sun set lower in the sky and I loved how beautiful the room glowed in the setting sun as it filtered through the windows so I clicked a few more.

  My two little Superheros came to visit this afternoon and they were so cute! 

 I'm sure they won't be wearing anything but their Halloween costumes for quite some time!! 

I love having a vase filled with branches of fresh Fall leaves in the house while they last. They can always be replaced with stems of artificial leaves but there is nothing like nature.

Before you're raking up all of your Fall leaves, enjoy them indoors in a vase or as filler in an arrangement.

Have a wonderful week!

Warmest regards,

Lumbar/White with Gold Leaf Pillow - West Elm
Throws/Citrus Yellow & Warm Mandarin - West Elm
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Fresh and Delicious Caprese Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

The lovely Italian salad of sliced tomato, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves gets a delicious twist with Pesto Vinaigrette. 

I am addicted to the recipe I'm sharing today for Pesto Vinaigrette and it can be used for dipping bread, served over pasta, green salad, or any other number of dishes you can think of. It's so delicious! 

Tomatoes are the ultimate vegetable of the season. Ripe and ready off the vine and bursting with flavor, savory tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil combine together for the perfect combination of freshness, flavors and textures, and can be enjoyed as an appetizer before a meal, as a side dish with a meal, or if you're like me, I love it on its own as a meal.

The aroma from the fresh tomatoes and basil alone make my mouth water!

It's easy to assemble and looks appetizing and beautiful on your table.


Caprese Salad with
Pesto Vinaigrette

4 medium tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 (8-ounce) packages fresh mozzarella, sliced ¼ inch thick
½ (1-ounce) package fresh basil
Pesto Vinaigrette (recipe below)

On a large platter, alternate slices of tomato and mozzarella in a circular pattern.  Garnish center with basil leaves.  Drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons Pesto Vinaigrette over tomato and mozzarella slices.  Serve remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Pesto Vinaigrette

¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon prepared pesto*
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Whisk before use.

*I use fresh pesto sauce that I purchase from the deli at my grocery store. My favorite place (if you happen to live in the Wasatch Front area of Utah) is Harmons Grocery. You'll find it in the refrigerated section near the vegetables where they sell their own products, or ask for it at their Deli. This recipe is the best with fresh pesto where possible.

I love Caprese Salad any way it's served, but I have to say that this Pesto Vinaigrette is a favorite!!

Print Recipe: Caprese Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette
Note regarding Pesto Vinaigrette recipe: this isn't included on the printable recipe, but I purchase fresh "pesto sauce" from my grocery store. If you live locally, the tastiest fresh pesto sauce in my opinion is from Harmons Grocery. You'll find it in the refrigerated section near the fresh vegetables where they sell their own products, or ask for it at their Deli. 

Warmest regards,
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