Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

been out of town for the week….

Hi Everyone –
I’ve been out of town for the past few days so I apologize for the delay on posting this week. Promise to make it up to you next week! Got lots of goodies to share – including some cool new product brands that I discovered on this trip – and then tons of fabulous (and modern!) HALLOWEEN finds and party ideas…think you’ll like :) Have a great weekend!

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fabulous buys!

You know that feeling you get when you find something you love and discover that it’s been marked down to “ridiculously” cheap?! Well, that’s the feeling I got when I visited West Elm this weekend! First find was this gorgeous square “gridlock” pillow case in “putty/capri” (pictured in bottom left of top image). Only $6.99! This will be perfect to go under the centerpiece for the teal & chocolate tabletop design I’m working on…Next up – matching vibrant teal napkin rings – perfectly modern circles, perfectly priced at .97 per set of 4…Nice – I’ll take 3! I don’t see the napkin rings online, but if you’re lucky enough to live near a West Elm, they might have them in-store (fuschia and lime colors also available).

Here are a few more of my favorites that ARE available online: hammered metal vases, hammered metal flatware, baton vases in stem and turquoise, and simple teapot, creamer & sugar bowl ($6 for all 3 pieces!)


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midori ribbon

I was browsing through thisnext.com (a fantastic new shopcasting website) this morning and stumbled upon a fabulous ribbon & gift packaging company called Midori, Inc. – which was recommended by style court. Instant Bookmark! Click here to browse their entire amazing selection of ribbon, nesting boxes, and cotton papers. I’m especially loving the goldfish and pineapple nesting boxes (centerpiece ideas!) and cherry blossom papers.

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new chiasso beauties!

Modern art or modern dishware? You decide! Either way you look at them, these new frosted glass plates from Chiasso are serving up some serious style! 2 fabulous patterns to choose from: Shimmer (brown, gold, and silver) or Rococo (black and white scrolls). Each pattern sold in sets of 2 (one large, on small) for $28/set.

For a gorgeous tabletop design, pair the Rococo plates with these black and white damask candle holders from Patina (www.patinastores.com)!

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mosaic madness

Fabulous colors, simple geometric shapes, and retro flowers – what a great mix! French Bull’s Mosaic pattern is a flash from the 60’s past – updated with a modern twist! Made of sturdy, shatterproof melamine, and available in dinner plates, side plates, individual bowls, oblong serving platter, flatware, salad servers, a 15.5″ round platter, and 2 more fab items not pictured here: drink coasters and 3-piece storage container set…phew! I don’t think they missed a thing! View the entire collection here.

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serenity now

The affect of color is truly amazing…For some reason the simplicity and colors in these retro-chic melamine nesting bowls immediately give me a sense of serenity and relaxation – the feeling you’d get from relaxing at a cottage on the beach…which is always a good daydream! These robbins egg blue, white and sandy grey nesting bowls are available in both round and square sets of 3. ($7.95/round set & $8.95/square set). Complete the look with coordinating cocktail spreaders – 6 pieces (3 forks & 3 spreaders) for only $7.95/set! With prices like this, these also make an adorable gift idea for your favorite hostess with the mostess!

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lena corwin

My friend Suzy at LorenzStudio recently emailed me about these beautiful melamine plates from talented textile designer and illustrator Lena Corwin! I’m especially loving the limited edition “Springtime” pattern pictured above (yellow & blue). Personally I think these plates could work for any season! Better order up quick though – Lena’s website notes that “Springtime” is almost sold out! (P.S. Lena has a great reads on her blog too!)

UPDATE! Just found out that Lena will be posting on the design*sponge guest blog for the next 2 weeks and made her debut today! Click here to check it out.

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joy by mel lim

Looking for some gorgeous and truly unique gift packaging, stationery, or amazing custom invitations? Then let me introduce you to Mel Lim, an amazing graphic designer and fellow San Diegan whose distinctive design talent had me glued to her website until I’d checkout out every last one of her creations! Her company, aptly named “Joy by Mel Lim“, offers “joyfully” inspired gift wrap and boxes, gift tags, fabulous gift baskets, and more. And I can personally testify to the fantastic quality of the product – I received my first (and definitely not last) order recently and was absolutely impressed by everything about it! Keep up the great work, Mel!

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fashionable favors

Do your party favors a favor and package them in an oh-so-hip favor box from Paper Source! These petite pillow and takeout boxes look great embellished with a ribbon or sticker and come in a wide variety of solid hues and mod patterns that are sure to add a hip, unique touch to your wedding, occasion showers, or parties! Boxes sold in sets of 5 and range from $4 – $6.50/set.

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joseph joseph

I recently stumbled upon Joseph Joseph – an ultra-cool design house based out of London – and was immediately smitten! Founded in 2002 by twin brothers Anthony and Richard Joseph, this company is chock-full of absolutely fabulous kitchen and tableware! A few of their fantastic pieces are pictured here – and more to come in the future!

These hip glass “Mini Snack Dishes” are a modern hostess’s dream…Use them to brighten up your tabletop or serve hors d’oeuvres with style! Not only are the patterns bold and bright, they’re also made of scratch- and stain-resistent toughened glass and completely dishwasher safe. Cool and convenient…I’ll take one of each, please!

The name says it all with these “Chop 2 Pot” cutting boards. This cutting board features both a handle AND polypropylene living hinges – so when the handle is squeezed, the board folds into a chute to help guide chopped food straight into the pot. Chop, lift, squeeze…now THAT’S clever!

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absolutely wowed by whimsy

I was SO excited to learn about this amazing gift wrap company – whimsy press – on design*sponge last week. They have so many fabulous wrap patterns – it’s ridiculous how long it took me to narrow down which ones to picture here (honestly!). Whimsy’s gift wrap collections include the asian-inspired “Dim Sum Cool Papers“, the NEW “Femme Fatale” papers boasting rock-n-roll patterns with a girlie flair, and so many more great themes that easily land them as this week’s fab find of the week! Click here to view them all on their oh-so-cute website. Be sure to check out “Dude Wrap” too – the design & humor in the “Bugz” pattern is great! (thanks again, Grace!)

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"brown season" style

Love, love, LOVE this new pattern by notNeutral! “Brown Season” is a whimsical-mod mix of outlines and silhouettes brought to life in high-contrast chocolate brown and white. I’m especially loving the serving plate with it’s bold tree silhouette graphic. This pattern is available as a coffee set, cup & saucer set, and birch veneer placemat & coaster set. A great way to welcome fall…and guaranteed be in style all year round!

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bar bowling!

Looking for a conversation piece to add to your bar? Then strike it up with this Bowling Ball Ice Bucket and Bowling Pin Cocktail Shaker! With their witty concepting and cool minimalist design, these clever fab finds are guaranteed to get noticed!

**Great idea for a “host” gift or bachelor pad housewarming!** (although as a “hostess” I wouldn’t mind receiving these either!)

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double pleasure

These super-hip artsy glass serving platters from wrapables pull double-duty as both beautiful mod serveware and fabulous eye-candy! When not in use, insert them into these cube-like black wooden plate stands (sold separately) and you have an instant splash of modern art to display! Patterns shown here (starting from top): Swing, Clover, and Orchid. (Swing will be making it’s debut in my own kitchen soon!)

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girl’s night!

It’s girls night! We all need (and deserve!) these "just us girls" gatherings once in a while – so – whether your pleasure is a night on the town, a day at the spa, or relaxing and chatting at the pad with popcorn and chick flicks, it’s time to motivate and get your next girls night rolling! Here are some super-cute and modern invite ideas to get everyone excited: girls night invites (chartreuse and purple), hey ladies! coaster invites by Snow & Graham, and girls night out invites (available blank or custom-printed) from mygatsby.com .

Want to go all out for a girl’s night in? Then check out author Lauran Maffeo’s Girls Night In for some fabulous entertaining ideas for everything from a movie night to a spa party! And keep the conversation going with funny and thought-provoking questions from "Girls Night Out " by Table Topics!

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say "hello!" to fabulous new gift wrap

I was so excited to stumble upon this adorable gift wrap by hello! lucky at luxe paperie this morning! This is the first time I’ve seen it there and the patterns are way too cute! The darling fawn and ukelele monkey patterns would be super cute for a baby shower, and the bursting with pride (blue birds), birdies (pink and red) or wildflowers are so cute for a bridal shower or wedding…and monkey birthday is guaranteed to make anyone smile on their special day. Each pattern is available in coordinating greeting card designs as well!

Quick tip: Remember that you can use gift wrap to decorate your special occasion showers and parties too! Incorporate into frames, centerpieces, or photo coasters for a unique touch to your party decor!

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