Winding Down Winter

Winding Down Winter

On this snowy day, the bitter winds and extra layers under our coats kindly remind us that March “comes in like a lion and out like a lamb”. So, don’t put away those snow boots just yet and let’s remember what makes this brutal season, beautiful!

The white-washed city skyline resembles Björn Björnsson’s “Snow Day” themed living room in our Holiday House NYC 2015. Björn’s inspiration for the space was drawn from his winter wonderland childhood in Iceland. Björn masterfully brightened the mahogany wrapped walls with contrasting selections of white-lacquered, mirrored, and crystal pieces. The room was flooded with light. Playful accessories and vivid blue colors on canvas transformed the space into the perfect place to curl up on everyone’s favorite day, a Snow Day.


photo courtesy of Alan Barry
photo courtesy of Alan Barry

The large contributor and sponsor of this blizzard- like atmosphere is Christopher Guy. Björn anchors the space with a custom Martigny Sofa wrapped around a Harper Coffee Table. The Kravet crystal logs tucked away in the fireplace sparked Björn’s vision for the room. Mimicking snowballs, illuminated Vedere globes scattered the floor as twinkling tree lights shined through the ice dusted windows.

photo courtesy of Decorators Best Blog
photo courtesy of Decorators Best Blog

Although Winter seems never-ending, it is just the beginning of a new season at Holiday House! So in the meantime, how do we cure our end-of-the-season blues when we are caught off guard by a snowy Winter’s day?

Wrap yourself in a fur throw with a loved one and indulge in something warm and delicious like designer Robert Passal’s favorite hearty soup!


Carmalized Onion and Portobello Mushroom Soup with Goat Cheese Crostini, by Ronda Carman. 



3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 pounds onions, halved, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

4-6 fresh thyme sprigs

1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms, stemmed, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick strips

3 tablespoons Cognac

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 cups of beef broth

1 cup dry white wine

18 1-inch-thick slices French bread baguette, toasted

8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, room temperature



Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large pot over high heat. Add onions and thyme; saute until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook until onions are carmalized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to medium bowl.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; saute until soft, about 12 minutes. Add Cognac and garlic; stir 20 seconds. Stir in onion mixture, then broth and wine. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until onions are very tender, about 45 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs.

Preheat boiler. Place baguette slices on large baking sheet. Spread goat cheese on baguette slices, diving equally. Broil goat cheese croutons until cheese begins to brown in spots, about 30 seconds. Divide soup among 6 bowls. Top with croutons and serve.


In the mood for something sweet? Snuggle up with Björn Björnsson’s favorite boozy Winter treat:


Holiday Rum Snowballs 



2 cups Vanilla Wafers

1 Cup Sweetened Coconut

2 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup

1/2 Cup Rum



Food Process or use a blender to crush waders very fine.

Combine 2 cups wafers crushed, coconut, 1 cup confection sugar, light syrup and rum.

Roll into 3/4 inch balls and place on wax paper. Sift remaining confections sugar on them so they are totally covered.



Stay warm!

The Holiday House Team