Cocktails & Interiors: The Washington Appletini & A Toast to the New VP

When I was first introduced to the Washington Appletini, it felt like a celebration in a glass. As my very first fancy whiskey cocktail, it was at once intriguing, surprising in the best possible way, and yet packed more of a punch than I could have ever anticipated.

And it is for all these reasons that this aptly named cocktail (hello, new faces in Washington D.C.!) feels more than appropriate right here, right now. After all, we have oh-so-much to celebrate!

But before I get ahead of myself, why don’t you whip yourself up one of these delightful drinks to sip as we toast and commemorate a new era…in life, in business, and for our beloved country.

cocktails-and-interiors_washington-appletini_rterior-studio_west-hollywood-and-la_moody-inspired-interiorsThe Washington Appletini

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Crown Royal whiskey
  • 1 oz sour apple pucker
  • 3 oz cran-apple juice

Instructions:

  • Add crushed ice to 2 martini glasses and to a cocktail shaker.
  • In the cocktail shaker, add whiskey, sour apple pucker, and cran-apple juice. Shake to combine.
  • Pour out ice from martini glasses and strain cocktail into martini glasses. 
  • Garnish with an apple slice, if desired.
  • And for a smokey, dramatic effect, add a bit of dry ice. After all, this celebration deserves a bit of flair, don’t you think?!

Now, while you are slowly sipping and savoring that carefully crafted cocktail, let’s toast to all that 2021 has already brought us and all that is to come this year. Are you ready?

#BestSippedWith: A Bold, Beautiful, and On-Brand Website

cocktails-and-interiors_washington-appletini_rterior-studio_west-hollywood-and-la_moody-inspired-interiors_new-website-snapshotWhile I am generally an open book when it comes to my life and my projects, there are just a few things that happen behind the scenes that I allow myself to keep hidden until I’m ready to reveal them in all of their brilliant glory. And a brand new website that captures the essence of who I am as a designer and what R/terior Studio stands for…well, that was one such project. 

At the start of this new year, I’m proud to present to you this bold and beautiful site that perfectly displays not only the accomplishments of the past, but also opens doors for new projects, continued growth, and endless possibilities in the future.

Please, take a look around, make yourself at home, and introduce yourself so we can get to know each other over a celebratory cocktail and shared excitement as we look forward to what the rest of 2021 has in store.

#BestSippedWith: Feminist Political Fantasies Fulfilled

It is no secret that for the last year (or more), the whole world has been closely following U.S. politics…most of them (myself included), literally sitting on the edge of their seats, feeling as if they are watching the most suspenseful episode of “24”, trying to focus on the task at hand, but constantly sucked back into the drama…

Well, the dust has settled my friends, and I’m here to celebrate the fact that good things have happened and great things are on the horizon. 

How do I know? Because we just welcomed our first ever female VP, who is not only black, but also Indian. I mean, Indian!!! And as one who is never short on words, I want you to understand the magnitude of this current event, which left me absolutely speechless. 

Well, until my audible gasp during her January 20th acceptance speech when she used the word “chitti”. You see, Kamala Harris’s roots are from the south of India, the same as my mother, who grew up in Chennai (and still has family there). Her use of this Tamil word was beyond significant for me and the rest of the Indian community. In that moment, I felt known, understood, validated, and most of all, full of hope. And I know I wasn’t alone. 

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#BestSippedWith: Haute & Iconic Home Inspiration

In my newfound desire to learn as much as I can about our lovely VP, I happened upon article after article about the gorgeous residence reserved solely for our nation’s vice presidents. 

Surprisingly, however, this iconic mansion has only hosted 7 VPs in its lifetime. It simply amazes me that many vice presidents would choose to forego this luxurious amenity offered to them, as some of us can only dream of living in a home so expansive, opulent, and steeped in history.

Want to see the Queen Anne-style Victorian that has me swooning?

cocktails-and-interiors_washington-appletini_rterior-studio_west-hollywood-and-la_moody-inspired-interiors_vice-president-mansion

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Built in 1893 on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., this mansion was originally home to the Naval Observatory’s superintendent. In fact, it wasn’t until after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination that Congress established an official residence for the post of vice president, presumably because of safety concerns during this era. Prior to this, VPs would either purchase a nearby home or stay at hotels for the duration of their time in office…how crazy is that?!

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As for the interior, well, that changes with each new VP. Since everyone has their own personal style, and this estate may very well be home for them for up to 8 years, it is customary for each VP to hire an interior designer to transform the space into a home all their own that both maintains the charm and history of VPs past while also giving a nod to the aesthetic of the current family in residence. 

Gosh! How fun would it be if I had the opportunity to design Kamala’s space?! One can dream…

And it’s your turn…

Now that I have shown you some seriously celebratory visuals filled with hope, excitement, and a large dose of female empowerment, you’re probably curious if I’ll ever get to the purchasable items that will enliven YOUR space, right? 

So in that spirit, I have put together some of my top picks for a hard-earned, vibrant, and life-giving bar area in your own home…each of them as worldly, inspirational, and happiness-provoking as the last…

#BestSippedWith: Bar Cart Essentials

    1. I feel this “Early Views of India” wallpaper (in paille design colors on crystal grey scenic paper by de Gournay) down in my soul…and I guarantee it will speak deeply to your world-traveling, fine art-appreciating guests as well. (Image Source)
    2. A modern work of minimalist elegance, this contemporary Abrams chandelier from Hudson Valley Lighting would quite literally shed stunning light on any home bar. You NEED this in your world… (Image Source)
    3. This Belgian Classic Slope Arm Sofa from RH may be low to the ground, but it offers high style, a streamlined profile, serious sophistication, and luxurious comfort. (Image Source)
    4. A showpiece all its own, this black Soma Wingback Accent Chair from Theodore Alexander is made of mahogany, fit for a queen, and a must-have for your luxe lady lair…or home bar…whatever you prefer to call it! (Image Source)
    5. These Foley Mink Velvet Dining Chairs, a CB2 Exclusive, would be the epitome of perfection around your table. And speaking of tables… (Image Source)
    6. The fluid movement and sweeping curved lines of this Oblo Dining Table from Nuevo Living bring a contemporary-yet-feminine look to this home bar staple. This table is as fit for an evening of hors d’oeuvres and delightful conversation as it is for drinking and playing the night away. (Image Source)
    7. And while we’re on the subject of play, this Man Ray Chess Set (a necessity for any art lover in your life) pays homage to the Surrealist movement pioneer who has inspired us all for well over a century. (Image Source)
    8. This Astrid Armchair from Sunpan’s MIXT collection is not only jaw-dropping and beautifully chic, but also upholstered in a MERLOT-colored velvet. Wine and interiors, interiors and wine. They just make sense! (Image Source)
    9. An impeccably carved replica of the Althorp House façade, this Holland Bar Cabinet from Theodore Alexander brings another touch of high-class world travel to your home. Not to mention that this conversation piece is sure to have your guests raving time and time again… (Image Source)
    10. A piece of Americana, the Cherner Chair soared in popularity when it appeared in Norman Rockwell’s 1961 painting “The Artist at Work”. Similarly, this authentic Cherner Chair is sure to spike the popularity of your home bar among friends and family as well. (Image Source)
    11. This woven Amelie rug by Surya layers navy blue, burnt orange, dark green, beige, and saffron colors to create a functional art piece that will instantly elevate the floors in your home bar area. Sometimes the perfect finishing touch is the one beneath your feet. (Image Source)

In this year of beautiful new beginnings and broken-down barriers, the Washington Appletini seems the perfect cocktail to craft time and time again. It is full of life, encouraging us to embrace the unexpected. It is dramatic with a sweet finish, reminding us that every hard-fought battle will eventually bring a celebratory victory. It is vibrant and beautiful, like our lovely new first lady, who brings culture, poise, diversity, and grace to the stage when we need it most. 

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So, if you’re feeling as inspired as I am, looking forward to a year filled with even more blessings, let’s chat. I’d be honored to help you reinvent your home to better reflect who you are here and now, while also paying tribute to the life you’ve led along the way.

Let’s design something magnificent and moving, together!

Cheers,
rydhima brar principal rterior studio west hollywood LA bold eclectic interior design firm