Nov 30, 2007

Love it! - French tea towels

Bring a punch of color to your kitchen with these traditional tea towels from France. Woven on antique jacquard looms, their patterns and colors celebrate French culture and make the ordinary kitchen towel look drab in comparison. Approximately 21"x29", buy them individually or choose any 4 to be boxed as a set.

Tea Towel 21"x29" $18 each - www.QuelObjet.com
Boxed set of tea towels (any four of your choice) $72

Love it! - Dauphine candlesticks

Love these 18th century French-inspired candlesticks. From the top, to their adorably-footed bottom, they just ooze personality. Available in three polished colors, these candlestick are the perfect blend of traditional and modern.

Dauphine Candlesticks (Black or White) $60 /set of 2
Dauphine Candlesticks (Gold) $70 /set of 2

Market Profile - Bodum

My friend who is a coffee addict, swears by Bodum's French Press. Abandoning his electric coffee-maker, apparently the French Press produces a richer and fresher tasting cup of joe. So in honor of all the coffee drinkers out there, I've picked a selection to cover all your Bodum needs at home and on the go!

All available through www.BodumUSA.com
Chambord Double-wall Press 34 oz $89.95
Chambord Press 17 oz $24.95
Chambord Press 12 oz $19.95
Travel Press 16 oz $17.95
Brazil Press 12 oz $11.95
Assum Double-wall Glasses 7 oz $14.95 /set of 2
Bistro Double-wall Mugs 10 oz $24.95 /set of 2

Nov 29, 2007

Love it! - Darjeeling teapot and mugs

How can this whimsical teapot not catch your eye?! Just looking at it makes me want a cup of tea. A true Jonathan Adler creation, only he can take a cultural reference and modernize it in the chicest of ways!

All through www.JonathanAdler.com
Darjeeling teapot $95
Darjeeling Mugs $24 each

Style Story - Dessert Tiers

These ample servers are perfect for holiday entertaining and impressive centerpieces. Fill each tier with overflowing desserts, h'ors doeurves, fruit or crudites - the possibilities are endless!

Three-Tier Silver Server $68 - www.Monticello.org
Mikasa Antique White 3-Tier Cake Plate $49.99 - www.Amazon.com
Cambridge Two-Tier Server w/ Plates $39.95 - Crate & Barrel
Rectangular Buffet Stand $54.95 (just the pewter stand, platters below) - Sur la table
Rectangular White Ceramic Platters $19.95-$39.95 - Sur la table
Great White 3-Tier Stand $45 - Pottery Barn
Three-Tier Plate Stand $89.95 - Crate & Barrel

Love it! - Sabon scrubs

I happened across Sabon a couple years ago. Their beautiful store and inviting atmosphere drew me in while on a lazy Sunday stroll. One of the sales people asked me if I wanted to wash my hands using their body scrub and since my hands happened to be a little dirty, I did. Boy was I glad because afterwards my hands were like butter! I have only used their exfoliating body scrubs which are totally addictive. The salts come from the Dead Sea and the fragrances have a gentle aroma - I have the Vanilla Lavender, but also enjoy the Vanilla Coconut(wooden scoop sold seperately) Sabon has a whole line of fantastically packaged, spa-like products - And the best part is that they use recycled glass bottles, recycled paper labels and packaging and don't conduct animal testing. Now that's a company I can get behind!

Foam Scrub $30 - www.SabonNyc.com and Sabon stores nationwide
Wooden Scoop $1 each

Love it! - Marston & Langinger glasses

Available in 12 jewel colors, Marston & Langinger's "Tree of Life" glasses are romantic, feminine and simply beautiful! Standing at a modest 4" and a 3" diameter, they might be better suited for party cocktails, rather than a tall drink of water!

M&L Pressed Glasses $13 each - www.MarstonAndLanginger.com

Nov 28, 2007

Love it! - Mint Julep Cups

So the story goes - Mint Julep, a Southern tradition consisting of bourbon, sugar, ice and mint, was originally drank from a silver cup, thus the modern-day "Mint Julep Cup". But this cup, in its many variations, has evolved - now most commonly used as a vase. I just love their beaded detailing, classic beauty and total versatility. Whether you use it as a vase or even a pencil cup, adorning your bedside table or desk, it's a must have accessory that will always serve a purpose!

Mint Julep Cup silverplate 4-1/8"H $18 (extra for monogramming) - www.MonogrammedGifts.com
Martha Stewart Small Nickel 5"H $12.99 - www.Kmart.com
Martha Stewart Large Nickel 7"H $14.99 - www.Kmart.com
Silverplate Julep Cup 4.5"H $17.50 - www.William-Wayne.com
Mint Julep Cup Silverplated 5-3/4"H $11.99 - www.Save-on-crafts.com

Love it! - HENRI BENDEL Vanilla Bean

I know there are a lot of candles and scented things out there, but I had to share one of my all-time favs. Years ago, my friend had received this candle as a gift. I smelled it and loved it, so she in turn gave one to me as a gift. It's called Vanilla Bean by Henri Bendel. I'm usually very sensitive to strong scents, getting headaches easily, but this one was pleasantly different - for starters it doesn't hit you like a ton of bricks! While I normally like vanilla scents over anything floral or "perfumey", it's a vanilla unlike most. Hard to explain, but there's a slight trace of musk to balance out the typical cupcake "sweetness" found in most others. I guess I would say it's a toned-down, mature vanilla - unique. Available through Bath & Body Works, or Henri Bendel - the best part is that it's long lasting!

Vanilla Bean 4"H $30 - available online at www.HenriBendel.com and in stores.
Also available at select Bath & Body Works stores.

Market Profile - HERMES scarves

If you're looking to splurge on yourself, or someone special this holiday, consider Hermes' signature scarves. Founded by Frenchman Thierry Hermes in 1837, it specialized in saddles and leather goods during those early years. It's first women's collection was shown in Paris in 1929. The Hermes scarf was introduced in the early 1930's and along with the handbag made famous by Grace Kelly in 1956, the two fashion accessories have become synonymous with French style and luxury. You can never go wrong with an Hermes scarf in your wardrobe, they are absolutely timeless. And if their signature scarves (36"x36") are out of your budget, consider one of their Silk Ribbons (33"x2") At a fraction of the price, you can get a similar look if you wrap it just right! Tie it around your neck, wrist or bag-handle for a touch of Parisian glamour!

All available through their website or stores.
Hermes Scarves 36"x36" $325
Hermes Silk Ribbons 33"x2" $115

Love it! - Leather passport holders

These bi-colored passport holders will make International travel look so good! Available in an array of vibrant color-combos, they make a stylish gift for any jet-setter.

Baekgaard Leather Passport Holders $20 - through www.BrownsOn5th.com

Love it! - Animal wooden puzzle

Modern design, eco-friendly wood - Pretty inventive for kiddie-blocks, right? Well of course that means you'll find them at the MoMA Store. I just love their modern sensibility and fresh take on the whole animal-blocks thing. With each animal labeled the letters of the alphabet, this block set covers all the learning basics. A totally cute present for kids 5 and up.

Animal Wooden Puzzle $48 - www.MomaStore.org

Nov 27, 2007

Market Profile - tranSglass Collection

Artecnica, a cutting edge company fusing the gap between technology and everyday objects, teamed with designers Emma Woffenden and Tord Boontje to create this glorious collection of vases, carafes and glasses. If you didn't notice, they're made from recycled bottles! With the help of Aid to Artisans, a non-profit organization, Artecnica has collaborated with Guatemalan craftsmen to create these pieces of art. Due to the nature of the material, you will see slight color and shape variations. tranSglass is now included in the permanent collection of MoMA New York - pure design with a conscience!

tranSglass Collection $40 and up - through www.idChicago.com (they say due to the high demand, shipping takes approx. 1-2 weeks)

Love it! - American Forests' Gift-a-tree

So I know this is a design blog and you're here for great gift ideas, maybe a cool vase or gadget? Well I couldn't ignore this wonderful discovery and one of the best gifts you could give someone this holiday season - the gift of a tree! While "design" is one of my greatest passions, one of my newest has become environmental preservation. Through American Forests, the nation’s oldest nonprofit citizens’ conservation organization created in 1875, you can buy a tree in your name or as a gift in another person's name. EVERY DOLLAR PLANTS ONE TREE! It's very easy to do. On their website, www.AmericanForests.org, click on the "Plant Trees" tab. There you can choose from a number of projects that you want your donation to benefit, for instance, the "California Wildfire Releaf", "Katrina Releaf Fund", "Trees for Tigers" and so on. Once you choose a project you can make your donation, $15 being the minimum. Then choose if it will be a gift or not. If it is a gift, they will ask you to fill out the address and name of the recipient who will be mailed a certificate saying that you have planted trees in their name - how great is that!

Another really cool program that American Forests initiated is theHistoric Trees Nursery . The Nursery, a state-of-the-art facility in Jacksonville, Florida, propagates direct-offspring of trees that witnessed events and lives significant to American history. Hundreds of trees are available including offspring of Tulip Poplars that majestically stand at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, or the Oleander that blooms on Thomas Edison's Florida estate. Categories include Presidents, American Revolution, Women, Civil War, African Americans, Native Americans, Veterans, Country Music Artists, Authors, Inventors, and trees of regional significance. Through their Historical Trees website www.HistoricTrees.org , for $39.99 you can purchase a 1-3' tree derived from the original of your choice. Plant it in your own yard - now that's a story to pass on for generations!

More about American Forests:
American Forests' goals focus on assisting communities to restore and maintain healthy ecosystems in both urban and rural areas all over America, whether it's planting trees to restore wildlife habitat, ecosystems damaged by wildfire or working with cities to reverse the decline in urban tree cover. Today, the organization's primary campaigns are "Tree-Planting for Environmental Restoration" and "Reversing the National Urban Tree Deficit". Since 1990, American Forests' Global ReLeaf campaign has been planting native trees in rural and urban ecosystem restoration projects across the United States and around the world. About 85% of American Forests' tree-planting projects occur in the United States and 15% are international efforts. All are conducted in cooperation with local partners, foresters, or natural resource experts. To learn more, check out these links.

Historic Tree Nursery

Love it! - Karma Kiss animal frames

These are the cutest little stocking-stuffers - I bought the frog and monkey. Available in 14 different animals with heads that bobble, just insert any kiddie picture and you'll melt - so adorable!

Rocking Animal Frames $7 each - Karma Kiss

Love it! - Triple Timer

I saw this really cool triple timer at Williams Sonoma. The three separate dials are in varying increments for short to long term cooking. Made by a Swiss company, it has an aviator inspired, stainless steel design that will make multi-tasking in the kitchen a breeze!

Triple Timer $48 - Williams Sonoma

Nov 26, 2007

Style Story - Wreaths galore!

So last Christmas I went a bit wreath-crazy, having them on my door and inside. Even one wreath can completely transform a simple space into a holiday haven - it's probably the easiest thing you could do. There's just something so heart-warming about seeing a wreath on your door to welcome you home. I know, so many styles out there, it's kind of overwhelming. I wanted to make it easy for you by selecting my favs, so here's to the start of the Christmas countdown - go crazy!

1 wreath - Pottery Barn
4 wreaths - L.L.Bean
3 wreaths - Diane James Designs
3 wreaths - Smith & Hawken
4 wreaths - Red Envelope
2 wreaths - Williams Sonoma Home

Market Profile - Tribal Home's kilim collection

These uniquely gorgeous chairs have such decorative appeal. I love the mix of their ethnic patterns, vibrant colors and traditional walnut frames. Upholstered with antique Turkish kilim rugs, Tribal Home carries a bevy of super-affordable kilim furnishings that look like they should be displayed in a museum. And if you're not in the market for a chair, try one of their kilim trunks, foot stools, or throw pillows.

All pieces from www.TribalHome.com
Kilim Chair #KSC-44 $295
Kilim Chair #KSC-43 $295
Kilim Chair #KAC-51 $675
Kilim Chair #KAC-44 $675
Kilim Trunk #KT505 $459
Kilim Trunk #KT506 $459
Kilim Trunk #KT507 $459
Kilim Foot Stools $89 and up
Kilim Throw Pillows $35 and up