Friday, August 21, 2009

The Best Location to Enjoy Cocktails

If you haven't ever been to the Boat House for cocktails, it's time to go. This tiny bar lounge is tucked away down a small alley off of Coryell Street in Lambertville, NJ. Hidden away from the bustle of the main street, the Boat House offers a secluded spot to enjoy masterful cocktails in a location evocative of Provence. Filled with eclectic memorabilia, the interior is dark, romantic and comfortable. Low lighting casts a gold glow throughout the space, and the outdoor seating on warm nights offers views of renowned restaurant Hamilton's Grill and the canal beyond. The Boat House is the perfect location to enjoy before or after dinner cocktails (or both). Though seemingly out-of-the-way, the Boat House and Hamilton's Grill draw quite a crowd of weekend nights, so be prepared if you venture there on a Friday or Saturday. Other than that, the place is absolutely charming. Visit the Boat House, and you'll feel as if you stepped into a lovely, simpler time.

The Boat House, 8 ½ Coryell St, Lambertville, NJ 08530, (609) 397-2244

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my book, Well-Designed Living, visit or email

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Best of Neighborhood Dining

If you're looking for a casual place to enjoy a wonderful dinner, look no further than Bell's Tavern in Lambertville, NJ. Tucked away in the residential section of this adorable town on North Union Street, Bell's is a great place for casual, Italian fare any night of the week. Reasonable prices and delicious food keep locals coming back again and again. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've dined in their intimate dining room filled with local art and white-clothed tables. The staff is friendly and attentive and often chats with the regulars at the bar in the front room. Entrees on their regular menu run about $12 with half-orders available for less, and specials tend to be a bit more, reaching as high as $25. My "go-to" order is the Southern Citrus Salad with mandarin oranges, bleu cheese and spicy pecans drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette followed by their traditional Ziti Al Forno with marinara…it's the best! Be forewarned that Bell's does not take reservations (or credit cards for that matter). So if you're planning on going for a weekend dinner, be prepared for a bit of a wait. Take the time to enjoy the company of the locals at the bar. Bell's Tavern, 183 North Union St, Lambertville, NJ 08630,, For Take-Out 609-397-2226

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit or email

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Best Of....

As part of my quest to encourage "Well-Designed Living" in every one's life, I've decided to start a "Best Of..." series. These blog posts will highlight the hidden gems and fabulous finds of the area that I love best (Hunterdon County, NJ and Bucks County, PA). So, if you're looking for some advice as to where to dine, shop, relax or explore check back for Cailen Ascher Design's "Best Of..." recommendations and live better!

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit or email

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Home Staging Advice

To get your home sold faster, you have to see your home through the eyes of the buyer. Be objective and really try to see how potential buyers view your space. Your ultimate goal should be to "neutralize" your home, so that anyone who walks through the door can picture themselves living there.

-De-clutter and organize. Remove personal collections, photos and knick-knacks. Clean out drawers and closets. Remember, buyers will look behind closed doors and if closets are messy, they'll assume there's not enough storage in the house!

-Replace & Update. If you have outdated lighting, stained carpets or old bathroom fixtures - switch it out for something new and sleek. These small updates will give your home the edge over the competition.

-Neutralize. If you have bright or dark paint colors or dated wallpaper on your walls, replace it with a neutral, calm color like a soft tan or light gray. This will give buyers a blank canvas to work from and give them a sense that the home is "move-in ready".

-Make it welcoming. Make sure your front entrance is welcoming. Repaint the door if it's scratched, replace the light fixture if it's old or dirty and buy a new welcome mat. Remember, you can only make ONE first impression!!!

-Finishing touches. Add arrangements of fresh flowers, light a softly-scented candle or bake cookies to make your home smell inviting. These small gestures speak volumes to the buyers.

If you take the time to really ready your home before you list it, you're setting yourself up for success. Think like a buyer, and you'll do great! If you're having trouble having an objective eye, ask your Realtor or hire a professional home stager to provide you with a "to-do" list.

For more information about Cailen Ascher Design or my upcoming book, Well-Designed Living, visit or email
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