Whenever fellow Memphis blogger Cara Greenstein would post glimpses into her home on IG, I always wished that I could expand the photo a little further to see the full room. Her beautifully curated Instagram serves as the appetizer for her blog Caramelized, a food + lifestyle blog created with a purpose to share, celebrate and elevate everyday experiences.
A PR maven by day, Cara has become a go-to source for Memphians and beyond who are looking for restaurant recommendations and entertaining tips for hosting at home. On any given day you can catch her out on the town with her husband Alex for cocktails and bites at one of the city’s hottest restaurants or bars, or home whipping up a quick meal for her family and friends. In addition to having what looked like Pinterest ready home, Cara’s also just a really cool woman. I’ve been able to get to know her over chats about style and blogging over the last few years, and was excited that she was down for a Creative Spaces feature.
Keep reading to learn more about Cara and take a peek inside her Caramelized home.
Tell my readers a little about your blog Caramelized.
Caramelized is a creative outlet and business I began six years ago as a college student in Austin. The site has grown into a Memphis-based food and lifestyle resource where I’m grateful to share daily experiences and details that, just like the cooking technique of caramelization, bring out the sweetness and goodness of the element at hand. My mantra “sweet touches to everyday experiences” is articulated through every recipe, restaurant write-up and tablescape tutorial!
Caramelized covers a variety of topics from style to food & entertaining. Which is your favorite topic to blog about and why?
I love the “entertaining” topic most because it encompasses so many elements we often take for granted. A color palette for a dinner table or buffet can translate to the chosen recipes, the hostess’ outfit, and the specialty cocktail. It’s such a fun culmination of my favorite things!
Where is your favorite place to be in your home?
The kitchen! It’s the center of my creative outlet, and it’s where Alex and I start our day together over coffee and a catch-up. At the end of the day, I also love taking a cup of hot tea upstairs to my Caramelized office for a writing session or quick read.
I loved seeing little peaks of your home on Instagram, so I’m excited to share more on the blog. How would you describe your interior style?
My interior style is neutral, calm and contemporary. White, grey and wood tones are woven throughout—and because extra space isn’t excessive, the parameters prompt me to have become more of a minimalist decorator.
Is your interior style mirrored in other areas of your life?
I would say so! My wardrobe is admittedly overwhelmingly neutral – white, grey, ivory or black – and my serving pieces/accessories reflect a calm yet contemporary look.
What’s your most cherished item in your home?
It’s a tie between Alex’s grandmother’s fine china set, which we keep in our Restoration Hardware hutch, and our Anthropologie mercury bar cart—not because we enjoy heavy liquor, but because its bottles remind us of our beloved house guests, our wedding reception (we still have leftovers), and the gatherings we’ve hosted here the past three years.
Where are your favorite places to shop for décor?
Bella Vita and The Back Room by Bella Vita both have incredible array of serving pieces, furniture, bedding, art and accessories. I also love to go to Sheffield’s or South Main Antiques once a year or so to collect interesting vintage pieces that contrast from my clean-lined contemporary town-home.
Your dog Sawyer is an adorable (but pretty big!) pup, lol. How do you keep your home styled but “dog friendly”?
Thank you! Sawyer is thankfully not interested in snacking on our furniture, so as long as we keep tempting toys out of reach (especially my shoes), our home style can remain in place. We did, however, have to say goodbye to our acrylic coffee table because of space issues. If anything, it has made me use our kitchen/dining table more frequently, whose formality I appreciate.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at home?
Pour a glass of wine, kick off my shoes, and chop and sauté something bright and delicious on the stove.
You also share a lot of content around entertaining and setting a mood, from the cocktails, to the food to the tablescapes decor. Do you have any tips for seasonal entertaining & decor, especially with Fall on the horizon?
It’s hard to believe fall is already arriving—to transition, I’ve begun incorporating fall-hued ingredients with subtlety such as golds and yellows in my dishes, apples versus berries in cocktails, roasting versus grilling for warmth. My favorite fall DIY is my dried apple napkin ring!
When you have friends and family come into town (and there’s no time to entertain at home) where do you like to go?
I love taking guests around our neighborhood Downtown, bopping from Loflin Yard to Big River Crossing, as well as grabbing drinks at The Gray Canary or a tour at Old Dominick Distillery. The South Main area alone is rich with culture and creativity. We’ve also enjoyed using Explore Bike Share bikes to traverse down Main Street and even toward Midtown during the Levitt Shell series or for a fun night in Cooper Young.
To keep up with all of her Caramelized fun, be sure to follow her on Instagram at @cara_melized.