MAISON&OBJET Honors 6 Lebanese Designers (You Really Need To Know)

 

If you love design and you’ve never been to MAISON&OBJET, you’re really missing out. I mean, really missing out. I don’t go to most American design shows anymore for a few reasons. With a New York home base coupled by my media access, I’ve seen a lot of this stuff before the general public. More importantly, the majority of design and decor coming out of the U.S. the past few years is everyone’s ever-so-slightly tweaked version of “what’s trending” stateside. Essentially, it’s all the same stuff. It’s boring, less relevant and one step away from tacky.

There are exceptions to my massive generalization, of course. Kelly Wearstler, Miles Redd, Martin Lawrence Bullard (um, not American) and Jonathan Adler are just a few major talents  that come to mind. You have incredible artisans, craftsmen and designers throughout the U.S., but very little attention is paid to them beyond the high design circuit. Instead, we are in a sea of cliché patterns, shapes and finishes that you can find at Target or Home Goods on a good day. Design Bloggers (does that even still exist?) and influencers-whose primary job is commentary-are revered more than the actual designers themselves. It takes courage to design something. You never know how it will be received, but you do it anyway. It is a long process of education, experience and labor. Simply commenting on what someone finds “so pretty” or Instagram worthy is neither journalism nor design. I don’t see a lot of courage in that.

Yeah, I totally went there. Let’s move on, shall we?

In stark contrast, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the U.K. and Lebanon are designing rather than manufacturing and could give a shit about Blogueuses. France has a large Lebanese community and many of them are separated by six degrees or less from the Armenian community. Since I am French-Armenian (by way of Marseille) and the majority of my paternal family lives in France, I am very familiar with the design scenes in both France and Lebanon. I’ve been chatting up Beirut for years, but since many Americans have a paltry understanding-or more appropriately, misunderstanding-of Lebanon and it’s people, they have remained somewhat under the radar. France, on the other hand, has taken notice. Bravo, France!

This year Maison & Objet awarded six Lebanese designers some well deserved props. The annual ‘Rising Talents Awards‘ is a platform that promotes young designers by giving them a chance to exhibit their work for an international audience. This month, it was Lebanon’s turn to present its talents. Yella!

Carla Baz, Caramel Studio, Paola Sakr, Anastasia Nysten, Carlo Massoud, Marc Dibeh  are talented, cutting-edge and fabulous. They represent the future of Lebanese design.

Here’s some of their work:

Carla Baz is French-Lebanese, has a Master’s in Product Design for the Luxury Industry from ECAL Lausanne. In London, she trained with  Zaha Hadid Architects and went out on her own shortly thereafter- a move swiftly rewarded by the Boghossian Foundation. Armenians know good design, thankyouverymuch.  Image: Borgia Candelabra product by Bonadea. Photo © Bonadea; website: http://www.carlabaz.com

Caramel Studio – Karl Chucri and Rami Boushdid met at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut. After earning their master’s degrees in Europe, they reconnected in Lebanon and founded Studio Caramel in 2016. Their dual architecture experience has clearly influenced their approach to furniture design, usually with a nostalgic nod. Image: Mirage music box, photo courtesy of Caramel Studio.website: https://studio-caramel.com/

Paola Sakr studied product design at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, but talented in other disciplines that are evident in all of her work. This multidisciplinary approach to design is both innovative and artistic. “Impermanence vases”, Collection of 7 concrete vases made of abandoned pieces and material scraps, photo courtesy of Paola Sakr. website: http://www.paolasakr.design/

Anastasia Nisten – Born in Ottawa, Canada, Anastasia Nysten grew up in Finland, France and Lebanon. After studying Industrial Design at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, she started her career with Karen Chekerdjian. Shout out to my fellow Armenian designers! After spending a few years in London working with Michael Anastassiades, she opened her own studio in 2015, making her mark in Beirut and Dubai.  image: Troll chair, courtesy of Anastasia Nisten; website: http://anastasianysten.com/

Carlo Massoud   After graduating from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and ECAL Lausanne, Carlo Massoud moved to New York, joining Nasser Nakib Architects to oversee bespoke furniture design for their top clients. His projects fluctuate between functional and artistic, often containing political messages. Image: Mar Mikhayel, photo © Filippo Bamberghi. Website: https://www.carlomassoud.com/

 

Marc Dibeh – After studying at the École Nationale Supérieure de Paris Val De Seine, Marc Dibeh returned to Beirut to pursue a Master’s in Product Design at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. After working alongside Marc Baroud for three years, Marc opened his own studio in 2009. Still collaborating today-Dibeh’s Wires series took him to DesignMiami in 2013.  Image: Camille Cake Stand, from ‘a narrative selection of stolen products’ ; photo © Marco Pinarelli. Website: http://marcdibeh.com/

 

Voilà!

Gros Bisous/Bacheegs,

Courtney

 

 

8 Ways To Make 2020 Your Luckiest Year Ever

 

Happy New Year!

I want 2020 to be your luckiest year yet.

So, luck is a funny thing. Those who have the good kind believe they are lucky. Those who believe they have “bad luck” perpetually think of themselves as unlucky. Nobody is lucky by accident. We all have the same story, it’s just how you choose to tell it to yourself. It’s not about controlling situations. Rather, it’s how you view them; finding the hidden opportunities, trusting your instincts and taking audacious action.

I believe I have extraordinary luck and I am reminded of this daily. I am not a guru with The Secret To Life that will unlock some Utopian existence where money and unicorns rain down on you. Not even close. I have experienced heartbreak, defeat, overwhelming sadness and life-threatening illnesses I pray you never experience. Yet still, I look at my life as one overflowing with good luck.

So how do you find good luck? I don’t know the exact answer, I just know that luck is the long game with a big payday. This is how I do it.

Forgive Yourself

So, I’m definitely coming out of the gate strong AF with this one. But, self forgiveness is paramount to clearing the path for good luck. We ALL have things from our past that evoke varying degrees of regret or shame and typically, we keep these thoughts to ourselves in that Secret Compartment in our minds. We think it’s easier to use these thoughts as some kind of shield from repairing the errors of our ways, while also serving as a form of self penance. But, nobody wins here. At many points in our lives, we all experience pain and holding on to it does nothing beneficial for you. Until you make the deliberate decision to forgive yourself, you are living in the past and focusing on something you feel negatively about. Simply put, negativity blocks luck. If you feel bad about something, your brain is acknowledging your actions were in conflict with your values and beliefs and you are already healing. Apologize when you’ve done something wrong, learn from it and then let that shit go. Ok, we got the tough stuff is out of the way. Let’s move on.

Be Courageous

“Lucky Breaks” always come from courageous actions. People often mistake courage for fearlessness. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is being afraid and doing it anyway. You’re laying your fear and vulnerability out there on the line and taking a leap of faith. But as Steve Harvey says, “Jump and the parachute will open”. I believe this with all my heart. My biggest successes have come when I was scared shitless, took a deep breath and said, “Screw it. What do I have to lose?”. Nothing worthwhile has ever happened in the absence of courage. Also, continually doing things you think you cannot do builds confidence.

Do Stuff

You will not get lucky sitting home watching TV or staring at your phone all the time. You need to get out, go to professional events, social gatherings and actually talk to people. Stay active physically, take a class or attend a lecture about something you’re interested in. Be friendly, warm and genuine. Try different things, don’t always do the same thing.

Be Kind

If you don’t believe in karma, then you most certainly don’t believe in luck because they go hand in hand. You have to do good things for other people in order for good to come to you. You have to donate your money, your time and your spirit. You have to give when there is little public glory in doing so. You have to be nice, grateful and humble. It sounds like a sappy cliche, but it is so true. The more you give, the more life will reward you. You have to wish good things for others, give compliments. Try and make at least one person feel good everyday. Don’t worry, there is enough room for everyone. Throwing shade does not make your light shine brighter, Darling. Au contraire.

The 70% Ready Rule

Don’t wait to do something until you’re 100% ready. I’ve got news for you, you will never be 100% ready. When you think you’re kinda-sorta-almost ready, you’re ready. There are opportunities at every corner, but you have to be ready to grasp them even when you think you’re not quite there yet. You can figure it out later.  The same opportunities are available for all of us, but lucky people identify them quickly and pursue them. People love to say, “You were in the right place at the right time”. That’s false. It’s all about being in the right state of mind. You’re ready, I promise.

Embrace Failure

When I worked on Wall Street, I was taught that I would have to pitch 10-15 potential clients in order to get one to sign with the firm. This was one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my life. Why? It trained my brain that every “no” was actually a wonderful thing because the “yes” was that much closer. You will fail. I have failed a hundred different ways. But, I am keenly aware it’s part of the process, which makes it ok instead of a soul crushing event. When you understand this you will keep going until you succeed. It’s the law of averages, that’s it. Keep failing, just don’t quit. Nobody ever emembers your failures, only your wins, aka your “lucky breaks”.

its Not Too Late

Luck is something that is perpetual and abundant. No matter how old you are, trying something new can be a fabulously rewarding experience. This goes back to courage and readiness. Get away from thinking you can’t do something because you “missed the boat”. The fact that you’re still thinking about it is proof that your dream is still possible.

Lose Negative People From Your Life

The luckier you are, the better your life becomes. This often underscores other people’s dark areas. They become so focused on “How’d they do that?” and clouded in jealousy, they never allow the good luck to flow to them. Do not give this any thought, shrug it off and ignore. There will always be naysayers, there will always be people who try and bring you down. Don’t take the bait and just keep doing your thing. Try not to be nervous.

I hope this year is your luckiest year yet. Happy New Year!

 

XO,

Courtney Cachet

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO USE THE LATEST FASHION TRENDS FROM PARIS IN YOUR HOME

As Fashion Week events around the world come to close, editors and influencers have headed home, filing articles and booking photo shoots. While I do this too, I also spend a great deal of time thinking about how this will impact interior design and home trends. I was in Paris during some of the hottest shows this year and left with a lot of inspiration.

What does runway fashion have to do with our homes? 

A lot, actually.

Fashion has a major influence on interior design products in every sector of the market from luxury brands to Target. The style trends for Fall 2019 that are making waves on the runway, will trickle down to home decor everywhere from color choices and textures to style and form. 

Since fashions change seasonally, incorporating current trends into your home is a little trickier and some might argue, unrealistic. I disagree and think ideas widely considered unrealistic are usually the most fabulous.

But, how do you do it?

The answer is quite simple, actually. I follow the approach French women take towards fashion, having had it drilled into me since I was a child by my very French father, Marc. Following these guidelines, will leave you with a home that is stylish, but also elegant and timeless.

CLASSICS BEFORE TRENDY

First, start with timeless classics.

French women always stick to classics as their base in fashion. They work trends in with small details. Doing this in the home creates an equally elegant look. Start with classic neutrals you can play with. A neutral sofa, paint color, etc. Unless you use $100 bills for firewood, stay away from trends for major renovations like kitchens and baths.

Example: Marble is classic, blue kitchen cabinets are trend

CLASSIC LUXURY KITCHEN DESIGN BY COURTNEY CACHET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full disclosure, I designed this kitchen in classic white and marble because I felt it was stylish, but timeless and that’s my personal preference for kitchen design. The blue kitchen, while striking, is more trendy and mightn’t be ideal for many homeowners. Unless you love (and I mean LOVE) blue. See where I’m going with this?

Photo Credit: Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

The best piece of advice my father ever gave me was, this:

“When you buy quality it only hurts once. When you don’t, it hurts over and over again.” Case in point, think about something you bought at a budget big box store because you wanted something affordable. How’d that work out for you? Exactly. Buy the best you can afford and you’ll spend less in the long run while simultaneously looking much better.Example: Three cheap sofas vs one good one you’ll have for twenty years.

QUALITY SOFA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FASHION TRENDS ARE YOUR DETAILS

Some of the standout trends were suedes, patchwork, lace and highly saturated color. No doom and gloom vibes of last year, thank goodness.

I was invited to Patrick Pham’s show in Paris this January and he had lots of bold colors and patterns that would work into the home nicely in small doses, like these pillows. They also overlap with he patchwork trend, adding a modern spin.

 

Photo Credit:Patrick Pham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another designer showing in Paris while I was there, Ziad Nakad creates luxurious, over the top gowns that were a vision to see. If you like this, then I say go bog or go home. Exhibit A, courtesy of Horchow.

Photo Credit: Ziad Nakad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Horchow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOLD PRINTS

Certain French and Italian luxury brands, however bold in their year to year designs, remain classics. Hermes is the perfect example. Here is the Super H Hermes scarf, which I upholstered an antique chair with. I may miss my scarf, but tI think hat chair is pretty fabulous. I used an Hermes, but you could use any print that suits your taste and budget. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtney Cachet Custom Designed Hermes Chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, remember. Start with neutral classics, add your fashion items in the details and always buy the best you can afford. Et voilå. 

XO,

Courtney

 

 

 

 

FOUR HALLOWEEN COCKTAILS THAT ARE LESS SCARY THAN YOUR KIDS FUN SIZE KIT KATS

It’s almost Halloween, people! I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for Fun Size chocolates and they’re not so fun after you’ve eaten eighteen mini Kit Kats..So, in the interest of keeping you distracted from dipping into your kid’s candy haul, I’ve got a few cocktail ideas for the adults!  Whether you go Full On Halloween or you’re a Bare Bones kinda Halloween reveler, every party needs a couple of scary good cocktails before you send those witches away on their brooms. And just for the record, two people is a party in my book.
Since I have become a Keto devotee in the past several months I became a tequila drinker, too. It’s all about the No Carb Buzz, basically. That said, these recipes are all tequila based but with some added sugar via the mixers and agave-you can add sugar free if you like. I only like a few luxury tequila brands, because now I’m also a Tequila Snob, thankyouverymuch. No Jose Cuervo, sorry folks. These easy mixed drink recipes are tailored around DeLeón Tequila, which is made from the finest 100% Highland Blue Weber agave sourced from the Los Altos region of Jalisco. Perfect for Halloween or any other time really, but I’m trying to keep it relevant.
If the measurements are a little above your measuring pay grade, just go by ratios. For examples, The first recipe would use a fifth of agave (.25) and almost half lime juice (.5) to the amount of tequila (1.25), etc.
Drink up Witches and Happy Halloween! 
XO,
Courtney
Bloody Bite
1.25oz DeLeón Platinum Tequila
1oz Blood Orange Juice
.5oz Lime Juice
.25oz Agave
Top with club soda
 
Perfect Storm
1.25oz DeLeón Platinum Tequila
.75oz Pimms
.75oz Lemon Juice
.75oz Simple Syrup/
Fill with 4 oz Hot Water
Smoking Mirror
1.25oz DeLeón Reposado Tequila
1oz Pineapple Juice
.75oz Lime juice
1oz Agave
.25oz Mezcal
Bloody & Bitter
1.25oz DeLeón Platinum Tequila
.75oz Dry Vermouth
.25oz Cynar ‘Italian Artichoke Bitter’
.75oz Lime Juice
.75oz Simple Syrup
Top with Club Soda

Fork It Over: Karl Lagerfeld + Christofle Cutlery Collab Launches In Paris Next Week

Karl Lagerfeld for Christofle

Karl Lagerfeld can now make an appearance at your dining room table. Sort of.

The iconic designer has teamed up with French brand, Christofle on a limited edition cutlery set as a part of their Mood collection. In a not-often-seen departure from their Traditional European Luxury vibe, the capsule pays (a slightly edgier) homage to architecture and Art Deco,  with details throughout. Each 24 piece set is housed in either a shiny steel or black lacquer finished egg, numbered and bearing the engraved signature of Karl Lagerfeld. Taking it even further, each piece is stamped with his logo, in case you forgot.

It’s hard to overlook the irony of a logo stamped cutlery collection, given his widely known aversion to women who like to eat and fashion “vulgarity”. Um, remember those comments he made about Adele? *Cringing*  I know, I digress.

From a design perspective, the look seems fitting, given Lagerfeld’s love of Art Deco furniture, cultivated by longtime friend and legendary French designer, Andrée Putman. The streamlined aesthetic is in everything he does from clothing to accessories and now forks and knives. Priced at a cool 2490 Euros, The buyers will likely be a garden variety of Chinese logo lovers, Saudis who can burn $100 bills for firewood and collectors.

Available for preorder on Karl.com. The collection launches exclusively at the Christofle store on Rue Saint-Honoré and the Saint-Germain KL boutique on September 25th, followed by the worldwide launch October 1.

I don’t think of this as a “Must Have” Luxury. At all. But, I do love design and  “off-brand” collaborations. It will be interesting to see how this performs.

What do you think?

“Mais Oui!” or “Fork you, Karl?”  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Gros Bisous,

Courtney

 

How To Throw A Football Party For The Girls

Football isn’t just for the guys. We ladies like to get into the action, too. This season, why not plan a girls-only football party? Beer and greasy food aren’t your thing? No problem, we can get in the spirit in a way that fits our own style.

So, what’s the difference between a football party for the boys and one for the girls? Well, a little ambiance, of course. Here are my easy and fun tips for foods, drinks and decorations that’ll give your game day a bit of a girly twist. Because, really. 

FOOD

Your girlfriends are going to expect something a little fancier than nachos made with microwave cheese or Papa John’s delivery. You can transform the usual manly eats-aka carb loader diet killers- into delicious (and daintier) finger foods. Stir up some turkey chili served in shot glasses, mini tacos, low-fat dips, turkey meatballs and crudite. Dare I say, even a salad?

Have fun with it, too. Try a seasonal pumpkin turkey chili, mini English muffin pizzas or just ask your friends to bring appetizer-sized versions of their favorite game day munchies. Can somebody say, Trader Joe’s?

I love a football-themed dessert. You can try these super cute nut football helmets. If you prefer to stick with what you know, you can just use football-themed toothpicks, straws and napkins. My friend, Tara is the Baking Queen. In my house, we know the food is ready when the smoke alarm goes off or flames start shooting out of the oven-whichever comes first. If your baking skills, like mine, aren’t quite ready for Pinterest, fret not. Supermarket bakeries will always have cute football cakes for you to choose from rather than having to bake your own. Know your strengths, I say.

ADULT BEVERAGES

For most people, it’s not a watch party without alcohol. I kind of agree, truth be told. But that doesn’t mean you have to serve the same swill as the boys. Opt for a selection of great fall beers, wines (or even bubbly!) and have a tasting during halftime. I also like rimming glasses with colored sugars and flavors that coordinate with the theme. Now, that’s my kind of Fantasy Football!

You can also skip the beer altogether and serve a single signature cocktail. You can “serve [the drink] two ways in the colors of the teams playing, it’s easier than having to create a number of different cocktails and buying the ingredients for each libation. I’m a big fan of the Signature Drink route. Plus, nobody wants to play bartender all day and too many choices can be too much work. Keep it simple.

Champagne Tasting??

THE DECOR

When it comes to parties, what separates the women from the boys is often just a bit of attention to the little things. And perhaps, their ability to eat forty-seven wings in the span of an hour without gaining any weight and/or projectile vomiting.

You can ine your table with AstroTurf, draw yard lines with fake snow from a can or chalk-you can pick it up at Home Depot super cheap- and add small to midsized floral arrangements in sports themes, like this one from 1-800-Flowers.com

Football Flowers

 

Use black and white striped napkins to match the refs’ uniforms.

Pin name cards to small Nerf footballs for each guest.

For fun photos after cocktail hour, hang a yellow banner behind your table and have a Football for Dummies on display (could come in handy for those rule debates!). Also get some megaphones and a set of pom-poms for props. Cute, right?

Women CAN rock a football party!

Who’s your team?? #godolphins!

XO

Courtney

For more ideas and daily inspo, make sure you check out my Instagram feed!

10 HURRICANE TIPS FROM A MIAMI GIRL

I moved to Miami in the spring of 1992. The first hurricane I ever experienced was Hurricane Andrew, just a few months after we arrived from New York. I was a young girl in a new city who knew nothing about hurricanes and thought everyone was just a little bit loco running around buying up everything in sight at the local Publix Supermarket. Water, batteries, gas, dry goods, you name it.

And then the storm came.

It is a day I will never forget, nor  the months that followed. I have never forgotten the fear, either. By the grace of God or some other powerful force, I was spared the atrocities that affected so many others. But I learned a lot.

Mostly, I learned that you should never mess with a hurricane, you should never underestimate its wrath.

The hurricane will win.

Here are simple, easy tips I learned in my 15 years in Miami. They can help you stay safe and then help you bear the inevitable inconveniences that a hurricane brings to the table.

Listen To The Warnings!
If you are told to evacuate, heed the warnings. This is non-negotiable. If we learned anything from Katrina, certainly this would be it.

Have a Hurricane Kit (and no, it’s not too late)
Cash, batteries, flashlights, battery operated radio/television, bottled water, toilet paper, non-perishable foods such as cereal or crackers, canned goods, a can opener, a small cooler, candles and diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby food if you have small children. If you take prescription medicine, make sure you have extra on hand. This is especially important for people who are elderly or have medical issues that require a little extra care. It could be a few days before you can get to a store.

Freeze Up
Put your refrigerator at the coldest setting. Fill your bathtub with ice. Set your air conditioner really cold, too. This way, if you lose power it takes much longer to defrost and ruin everything in there! Make sure you buy a lot of food. It’s always better to have more than you need. Cans of tuna, bread, snacks and other non-perishable items.

Charge Up
Fully charge ALL of your electronic devices and then fill up your car with gas. You can always charge devices in your car.

Secure Important Paperwork
Place all your important papers in a secured plastic bag, box or even better, a small safe. Identification is difficult and time consuming to replace so be sure to include social security cards, birth certificates, titles or deeds to property, as well as your hurricane insurance policy, should you have one. Special family photos like wedding albums, baby pictures should also be considered.

Go To Home Depot
Plywood is a coveted commodity for those of who decide to stay. Boarding up windows that will take the brunt of the wind and rain is a wise decision. If board is not available, protect your windows from the wind by criss-crossing them with layers of duct or packing tape. This will be enough protection for light-to-medium winds. If you need plywood, go to your local Home Improvement store asap. Trust me.

Pets
Don’t forget your pets! I have had two dogs throughout every major hurricane in the past 15 years. They get scared, just like we do. Keep this in mind and give them some extra TLC. Dogs are especially intuitive to weather conditions and might get more freaked out then you. They also get hot. Ice, water and extra treats and cuddles are a must.

Prepare For Loss of Power
Assume the power will be lost. It might not happen, but assuming you will lose power will prepare you much better. You will be hot, sticky and pissed off. Water, a bathtub of ice, lots of beer, wine and/or hard liquor usually helps. If you have kids, you’re kind of screwed. They get really bored really fast. Board games, books, and a fully charged iPad with tons of movies are your new BFFs.

Stay Inside!
Don’t go outside. It is hands down the dumbest thing you can do. I cannot stress to you how many stories I’ve heard through the years of people getting struck by a tree, a down wire, flying debris. Stay inside, stay inside, stay inside! When you go outside after the storm, assume ALL WIRES ARE LIVE WIRES! Thousands of people have been electrocuted after major storms by touching live wires. When walking your dog, make sure you have them on a tight leash and monitor where they go.

Be A Good Neighbor
After the storm, check on your neighbors. Sometimes, a pack of D batteries is all it takes to make someone else’s day.

Good luck and stay safe.

Five Frivolous Luxuries I’m Loving For Spring..Cha-Chingggg

Spring. Hope, color, renewal and oh yeah, new stuff! Here’s what I’m loving this week for Spring. Frivolous, expensive and undeniably fabulous. And, so what? Don’t you deserve a pink flume pillow, a fringe outdoor umbrella, a Fornasetti candle, a Baccarat butterfly and the most perfect yellow luxury throw. Click on the photo for where to buy.



How Not To End Up Like Jack Pearson On “This Is Us”: Essential Fire Safety Tips

Courtney Cachet Crock-Pot

If you’re still reeling from last week’s episode of NBC’s, “This Is Us”, you are not alone. Although we may have forgotten how we looked whilst ugly crying ad nauseam, we should not forget the much bigger lesson learned. No, it’s definitely not trash your beloved Crock-Pot. Rather, the importance of having a working smoke detector (or several) in our homes.

SMOKE DETECTORS SAVE LIVES. PERIOD, THE END.

Jack and Rebecca might be fictional characters, but the horror of residential fires is very, very real. About 3,000 people are killed each year in HOME fires. You can cut the risk in half if you have working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Be sure to have the right type of alarm. According to the FDNY website, Alarms must be approved by Underwriters Laboratories (look for a UL mark) and have an audible end-of-life warning. All new and replacement smoke alarms should have a sealed 10-year battery that is non-replaceable and non-removable.

No doubt, some are better than others. First, you need to understand there are TWO types of fires: Smoky, smoldering fires and fast fires with flames.

Smoky fires are best detected by alarms with photoelectric sensors.

Fast fires with flames work best with alarms with ionization sensors.

Yeah, I know. Who knew? It is important to note that The International Association of Firefighters recommend the use of photoelectric smoke alarms.

Consumer Reports says you’re safest with a dual-sensor alarm that quickly detects both types of fire, such as the top-rated Kidde PI2010 and the First Alert 3120B. They both cost around $30.

An updated model of The Nest Protect – a combo smoke and carbon monoxide alarm was tested by Consumer Reports in 2015 and was found to be still slower to respond than other smoke alarms to flash-flame fires. Interesting.

The consensus is to buy BOTH a dual-sensor smoke alarm and a separate carbon monoxide alarm. This model by First Alert is also reco’d by Consumer Reports.

Think about that for a minute. Thirty dollars can save you and your family from disaster. Seems like a no brainer, right? Think again. Roughly two thirds of American homes DO NOT have a carbon monoxide detector. A CO detector is an absolute must must if you have any of the following:

Any fuel-burning appliances like a furnace, water heater, range, cooktop, grill. But make no mistake, even a home that is “all electric” benefit from a couple of CO alarms because you probably have a generator.

Some important things to remember:

It’a NOT your Crock-Pot

Full disclosure, I was a spokesperson for Crock-Pot in 2014. I am no longer a spokesperson, but still a huge fan and was very upset they got a bad rap because of a fictional show. And bravo to them for handling it so well, like in this video with Milo Ventimiglia. Bottom line, it wasn’t the Crock-Pot that killed Jack. Let’s keep our eye on the ball, Super Fans.

 

“But It Goes Off When I’m Cooking And It’s So Annoying..”

Ah, yes. I am guilty of this, too. This is especially true for anyone who lives in an apartment. A good friend of mine is a NYC firefighter and gave me a great piece of advice once. He explained that he lived in a small NY apartment and every time he cooked he had to disconnect the smoke detector. So he wouldn’t forget to reconnect it after dinner, he always placed it on top of his pillow. This way he knew he would never go to sleep without it. I thought this was a very good tip. Thanks, Richie Gleason!

Have A Plan

It’s also a good idea to have a family plan. In our house, I have told my two children since they could speak in the event of a fire where they were unable to get out of their room they should jump out the window and run. I showed them how to cover their head and crouch down and everything. You can buy ladders that attach to window sills, but when every second counts I still think it’s better to jump if your planned exit is compromised. We live in a two story home where the jump is far less likely to injure them as greatly as a fire might. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy topic, but the thought of myself or someone I love dying in a fire is enough to induce a full on panic attack for me, at least.

Ask A Fireman’s Advice

I have found that most fire stations are filled with really nice firefighters who are always willing to speak to you. Walk in your local station and just ask questions you have. Bring your kids, listen and learn. If you have an hour to watch TV, you have an hour to do that.

Top Seven Fire Safety Tips

I got these directly from the NYFD Website, a great source of information and a plethora of downloadable tip sheets. Here’s what they say:

  1. Don’t smoke in bed, lying down, when drunk, drowsy, etc and extinguish butts completely  (I can’t believe we still have to remind people of this, but we do)
  2. Don’t use extension cords with large appliances
  3. Don’t leave food cooking unattended
  4. smoke alarms on every floor and in bedrooms for extra safety
  5. Plan, practice an escape plan. Close the door, GET OUT. You have three minutes.
  6. Keep matches and lighters away from children
  7. Don’t  leave the house or go to bed with candles burning

This weekend, why not take a few minutes and check all your smoke/CO alarms and see if they are in working order, need to be replaced or if you need additional units? There is nothing more valuable than keeping you and your family safe.

Remember, Crock-Pots don’t kill people. Homes without smoke alarms kill people. Stay safe and take care.

I think we should make it a national goal that every single home in America is outfitted with the necessary smoke alarms, don’t you?

Lots of Love + Cheers to the weekend!

Courtney

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