Welcome to what I hope will become a new series about friends and their homes. This inaugural post focuses on the weekend getaway of Andrew Malin and Matthew Goetz, co-owners of grooming brand Malin + Goetz, with whom I go way back. I threw this behemoth of a questionnaire at them, and–whatta ya know?–they filled it all out! I hope you find this interesting. And any comments appreciated!
Dream house? Matthew: We just renovated a historic 1830 Greek Revival home in the Hudson Valley and love it! Andrew: I love historic homes – but I also love modern architecture. So my dream home would be a historic home with a modern addition. Happily, we have just that in the Hudson Valley.
Favorite paint color? Matthew: Ben Moore Decorator’s White—cool, crisp and a little blue or grey or white depending on the light! Goes with everything. Andrew: Matthew and I don’t always see eye to eye on everything, but if there is one area where we share a common and unified approach, it’s with paint color. Depending on the room or space, we tend to always agree on Benjamin Moore’s Decorator White. But I’m prone to like their Super White too.
Herb of choice? Matthew: Mint! Who doesn’t love mint? It smells incredible in the garden, in your hand, on your hand, in a glass of tea—hot or cold, and tastes great. It is also a beautiful plant, settles the tummy, and freshens breathe. It is the perfect herb (and, so easy to grow that it can take over!). Andrew: Basil. I can’t get enough of it. It’s great on a tomato sandwich with a healthy (or unhealthy) slathering of homemade mayonnaise; depending on how you look at it.. Our garden’s production of basil really ought to be included in the GNP – but in lieu of that, I make tons of pesto. It could be a full time job.
Dinner party secret ingredient? Matthew: Laughter, it makes everything better. Andrew: Butter. But just not any butter – we buy a local Hudson Valley cultured butter that has a super high fat content, and just makes everything it touches taste amazing.
Napkin brand? Matthew: I am a big fan of the white industrial flower sack towels. They are an inexpensive way to dress the table. Andrew: I’m a big proponent of an eclectic mix of different patterned dish towels for napkin use. We pick them up on our travels or integrate them with some favorites from Williams and Sonoma. And having an abundance allows all hands on deck to help with the dishes..
Knife brand? Matthew: This is an Andrew question. I use what he buys. Andrew: Wüsthoff is my go to stable brand. I also have a wonderful Japanese cleaver. I can never have enough knives.
Preferred pasta type: Matthew: Andrew question. I eat what he cooks (although, I love pasta). Andrew: De Cecco is my staple brand. But since I’m a sucker for great packaging, I love searching for obscure niche Italian brand pastas. And luckily the pasta usually matches the packaging.
Pantry must-have? Matthew: Fresh pepper and sea salt. Andrew: Pasta, Canned Marzano Italian Tomatoes, Anchovies, Sardines, Tuna, red wine, and Dog Food for Mr. Greenberg, our pug.
No dish is made without _______. Matthew: Fresh Pepper or Sea Salt (although, Andrew will have a better answer since I only eat and don’t really cook) Andrew: I don’t have a better answer. Salt and Pepper.
If we don’t have _______ in the fridge, I freak out! Matthew: Seltzer Water (I gave up alcohol three years ago and consider this an indulgence!) Andrew: As freshly squeezed as possible Grapefruit Juice, Milk, Parmesan Reggiano, Prosciutto, free range eggs, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, an assortment of cheese, and a couple bottles of white wine.
Favorite room in the house? Matthew: I love our bed, bedroom, bed linens, eating in bed, reading in bed, and sleeping in general. Andrew: Our kitchen. It has food and wine, and it’s very charming too.
Rainy weather activity? Matthew: Reading the NYTimes and drinking coffee. Andrew: Sitting down with a good book or finding a good movie.
Dream decorator? Andrew: Rule number one, never call them a decorator – they are Interior Designers. As for a favorite, I don’t know that I have one. I love readying all the design magazines, derive inspiration from so many different designers. But in reality, we really like doing it ourselves. So no favorite, but lot’s of inspiration. Matthew: I am a proponent of surrounding yourself with the things you love that have nostalgia, memories and value. So, I like that we decorate our own home and love it. However, I am a big fan of Ilse Crawford (above, right. Her work, above left).
Cherished piece of artwork? Matthew: We have a bigger than life size portrait of our Pug, Mr Greenberg, in our home and another in our shop in Santa Monica (which was previously a dog store). Andrew: I bought an a modernist painting at auction years ago. It’s very pure, and very simple, and extremely elegant. I love it because it’s so incredibly pure and graphic.
Quick-fix meal? Matthew: Corn Flakes Andrew: Spaghetti alla Carbonara.
What’s the best hostess touch you do or have experienced? Or stolen? Matthew: Since we make our own products, we can design a sleeve that fits over them, and, in place of the product name is the guests name. All of the guests become the “ingredient list”. They make the most intimate and memorable name cards. Andrew: When we have a big group over for dinner, we always make everyone switch seats halfway through the dinner. This keeps things lively and interesting.. And it’s definitely a gift if you there is no chemistry to the person you are sitting next to.
What’s was your worst dinner party debacle? Matthew: When the guest of honor did not show. Andrew: Running out of wine.
Dinnerware brand? Matthew: We collect vintage white ironstone. Andrew: Nothing really matches, but they are all really beautiful.
Cuisinart or vitamix? Andrew: I like the original design of the Cuisinart. But I’d probably go with Vitamix when the Cuisinart dies.
Blender or mixer? Matthew: We have both but I love our blender—it is a beautiful object (that I never use). Andrew: Hand blender/mixer. Great for making quick soups, sauces and always a very big mess.
What is the one thing you can’t get right in your house décor? Matthew: We prefer windows without treatments, and, aside from the obvious privacy issues, future fades…. Andrew: The bed. Not the mattress; the frame. Matthew and I can never agree on this. Personally, I’m fine with the box spring and mattress on the floor. If I’m wine challenged, it makes it easy to get in to bed; for Mr. Greenberg too.
Preferred bed linens? Matthew: I love LINEN everything but have a lot of classic and practical Frette and some Matteo duvets. Andrew: So long as the thread count is high, and the color is white, I’m very happy.
Fluffy or flat pillow? Matthew: Fluffy but firm down. Andrew: I like a fluffy pillow, and I really like the long Euro pillows.
Fave home store? Matthew: Design within Reach. Andrew: I try to avoid reproductions, so I’m always on the lookout for unique pieces. We have a bevy of wonderful choices in Hudson, the town where our country house is. Short of that, there is always 1st Dibs.
Towel of choice? Matthew: Frette but I love the waffle towels at ABC (not sure of the brand) Andrew: White Frette towels are always on the top of my list.
Early or late riser? Matthew: Early, but sleeping-in, if ever possible anymore, is a dream…Andrew: Very early riser.
How do you spend your first 15 minutes in the morning? Matthew: Brush teeth, put in contacts, coffee and paper. If I can stretch this to 30 min or one hour, bliss. Andrew: Feed Mr. Greenberg first thing; he’s hungry in the morning.. Juice, Coffee and the New York Times (Paper edition) for me. Then off to the gym.
How do you spend your last 15 minutes of day? Matthew: Reading, with the TV on in the background. Andrew: Walking Mr. Greenberg. I have a little cheees before I go to bed, and then brush my teeth and wash up.
Favorite podcasts for the commute? Matthew: Andrew has me liking “This American Life” and “Gardener’s Time.” Andrew: I also love the FT’s “Listen to Lucy” – she’s “brilliant.”
Finally, the real reason I’m doing this: Care to share a favorite recipe? Andrew: Spaghetti con Pomodori, from Marcela Hazan. If possible use fresh tomatoes from the garden that have been peeled and seeded. Canned San Marzano imported Italian tomatoes will do when tomatoes are not on season.
Roughly chop tomatoes. Sauté tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil. Add half a peeled onion. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Cook until thickened (half hour or so). Discard onion.