Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

After winter storm Juno blanketed New York City this week, we couldn’t help but think about some of our favorite winter inspired rooms from Holiday House in recent years.

Darrin Varden Design’s “Winter Solstice” for Holiday House NYC 2013 is the perfect place to hunker down during a storm with a Manhattan in hand (recipe for Darrin’s Winter Solstice Manhattan is below).

Photo Courtesy: Paul Domzal
Photo Courtesy: Paul Domzal

Varden eschewed classic winter white and instead embraced a deep, rich palette with Benjamin Moore’s Galapagos Blue on the walls and dark custom finishes by Christophe Pourny Ltd.  A large-scale artwork by Angelo Musco captivated visitors with its swirling patterns that, at first glance, looked aquatic but revealed gracefully intertwined human figures at closer look. Topping off the evocative design was a Roll & Hill antler chandelier that brought the outdoors inside this cozy, sexy space perfectly designed for the coldest time of year.

Photo Courtesy: Paul Domzal
Photo Courtesy: Paul Domzal

For Holiday House NYC 2014, Noelia Inbánez of ByNoelia was also inspired by the “Winter Solstice” but went a different direction with her palette of bright whites and sparkling metallic elements that symbolize the fact that days are now getting longer.

Photo Courtesy: Alan Barry
Photo Courtesy: Alan Barry

Her luxurious kitchenette was a secret retreat off the master bedroom with a wine cooler stocked with champagne, a wet bar, an espresso maker and a microwave, making it the perfect haven for a snow day. Decked out with floor-to-ceiling Gaggenau appliances and Scavolini cabinetry and softened by a Patterson, Flynn & Martin furry area rug, this space oozes luxury.

The stunning Élitis wallpaper, cleverly placed on the ceiling, allows you to gaze at the stars without leaving the comfort of your cozy home!

Photo Courtesy: Alan Barry
Photo Courtesy: Alan Barry

Noelia shared a recipe for Socarrat Paella Bar’s famous garlic soup (below) to warm you up while we wait for warmer weather!

Winter Solstice Manhattan

Step 1) Make Vanilla-Infused Bourbon:

Split a whole Tahitian vanilla bean pod and place the split pod into a full bottle of high quality Bourbon. Close the bottle and let steep at least 48 hours but up to a week and remove the pod.

Step 2) For each cocktail, add to a shaker:

  • 2 oz vanilla-infused bourbon
  • ½ oz black cherry bourbon (Jim Beam Red Stag) or vanilla cognac (Navan)
  • 2 dashes cherry bitters
  • Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass or champagne coupe. Garnish with Morello cherries.

Sources for rare Ingredients:

  • Tahitian Vanilla Beans: Euro Vanille Tahitensis via L’Epicerie.
  • Morello Cherries in Kirsch: Griottines via


Sopa de Ajo: Garlic Soup from Socarrat Paella Bar 


  • Extra virgin olive oil – 6 soup spoons
  • Sliced garlic – 4 cloves
  • Old bread or country bread – 6 oz.
  • Chicken Broth – 16 oz.
  • Spanish sweet paprika – 1 tea spoon
  • Sea salt – a pinch
  • Eggs–4


  1. Poor the olive oil in a medium size casserole, sauté the garlic at a medium flame for a minute or two.
  2. Add the Spanish sweet paprika and stir it for a second.
  3. Add the bread.
  4. Add the chicken broth. It has to be already hot.
  5. Let it boil for a minute or two.
  6. Add salt according to taste.
  7. Break the eggs in a separate cup and add them to the casserole one at the time.
  8. Let it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until the eggs are done. Be aware of not 
overcooking the eggs or leaving runny yolk.
  9. Serve the soup in 4 different bowls