Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

loving red

I’m absolutely loving the new “Loops” tabletop collection from Chiasso – the vibrant red tablerunner, placemats, and coasters with a mod circle cutout pattern make this collection a modern entertainer’s dream! The Loops items are indicated as holiday products, which they would definitely be lovely for – but I think you could use these all year round! (pair with lavender or aqua accents for a non-holiday look, or with black and bamboo for a modern asian-zen tabletop).

Also pictured above: fabulous glass optic coasters and reusable red plastic ice cubes from cb2, and Torro (tall) and Pont (short) vases from Wrapables.

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mojito madness!

In the past few years , the Mojito – a lime flavored rum cocktail garnished with fresh mint sprigs – has seemed to garner a popularity and status that rivals the oh-so-chic (thanks to the Sex and the City girls) Cosmopolitan – or “Cosmo” for short.

From an entertaining perspective, what I personally love about the mojito is the way it looks! Garnished with lime slices and fresh mint leaves, the mojito serves up a gorgeous burst of green for your party and looks fantastic as a signature drink display. For a cute gift idea, pick up a Mas Mejor Mojito Set (pictured above) from After5 – which comes with 4 traditonal tall mojito glasses, a wooden mint muddler, and a citrus knive for limes. ($39.99/set). Cheers!

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domino home registry

If you love contemporary home design and haven’t already browsed through [any!] issue of Domino Magazine yet, add it to your list of to-do’s, because I guarantee you’ll get hooked! Earlier this year, the makers of Domino also introduced an online Home Registry – where you can create wish lists for yourself or just check out some of their always-stylish recommendations for a little design inspiration. Here are a few of their entertaining product picks that I’m loving right now: (from top) Vivre Dinnerware from HORCHOW, Mix & Match Placemats from Dwell, and Bodini Napkins , also from Dwell.

Click here to visit the registry and do some wishing of your own!

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fabulous bottle openers…

These fun, modern bottle openers make me oh-so-happy! Set them out with the drinks at your next party to give guests another reason to smile…or pair them with your favorite bottle of wine or capped-bottle drinks for a clever & unique hostess gift! For example, this cute & sleek Elephant Bottle Opener would look great packaged with a 6-pack of Carlsberg Elephant Beer, or the green Hop’n’Pop Frog Opener would be perfect for a pack of Sparkling Pear Izze Soda or Jones Green Apple Soda.

Other favorites pictured here: Parrot, Alessandro M, and Anna G corkscrews, from – and stylish, stainless steel Bottle Opener Fridge Magnet from

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Mod Halloween – Part 5

Today is the last day of the HWTM Halloween series! Here are a few final treats to satisfy your entertaining appetite…hope you found some goodies for your own festivities!

Part 5 goodies: (starting from top)
Bewitching Bouquet from Martha’s Flowers, adorable do-it-yourself Candy Creatures (click here to read the how-to article from, Orange Tall Tini glass from cb2, Dante Stemware from Pier1 (choose from goblet, wine, or flute), Halloween Tabletop Collection (set of 4 plates) and Haunted House Vinyl Placemats (set of 4) – both from Pottery Barn Kids, Halloween Nyoki Grass Pets from Wrapables, black and orange Decorative Sand from cb2, and last but not least, get you kitchen a real conversation piece with The EX Voodoo Knife Set from Perpetual Kid :)

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Mod Halloween – Part 4: Goth Girl Party!

Who says Halloween HAS to be all about orange and black? For a fun twist on Halloween, grab your girls and throw a not-so-typical Goth Girl cocktail or dinner party! Start with a bold palette of hot pink, red and black and throw in some mod skulls and ultra-chic goth girl art – and you’ve got yourself a very cool party atmosphere. Don’t forget to tell your guests to dress to the theme!

(Pictured above) Heart Skull Hand Towels from pixelgirlshop and Villetta fabric doll by blacklilypie.
(Pictured below) I’m a HUGE fan of the artwork by Pinkytoast. Her somewhat surreal and ultra-cool designs are absolutely perfect for this party theme! The prints come in various sizes on heavy cardstock and are affordable (most around $13/each)! Display a few of them in simple black frames (IKEA-style) and line them up in a row for a cool centerpiece or bar backdrop. A few favorites are pictured here, but you can check out the entire (extensive!) collection at her etsy shop.

(Pictured below) Cool picks from Urban Outfitters: Etched Skull Scented Candles ($16/each), and 2 skull scarves that easily double as table runners: choose from Knit or Lightweight.

And last but not least, don’t forget to send your guests home with some treats…like these Big-Eyed Green Love Punk pocket mirrors by Pinkytoast (many other mirror designs available as well) or Ukiyo5 Pink Skull Keychains!

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Mod Halloween – Part 3

Trick or Treat? If you’re looking for something good to eat (or drink!) this halloween, here are a few tempting ideas…
Goodies seen here include: (starting from top)
Pumpkin Patch and Monster’s Ball sugar cookie tins from Elenis (yum!), Assorted Halloween Petit-Fours from Grandin Road, and Halloween Bat Crackers from Plum Party (love the packaging!).

Now for the drinks…Fun for all ages: Black Lemonade (pictured) and Jack Black’s Orange Stash (not pictured) by Skeleteens, Boylan’s Orange soda, and the Halloween 2006 Jones Soda mini-cans! Find these limited-edition Jones Soda flavors in-store at Target! (or click here for more info on them).

Fun for the over-21 crew: Stolichnaya Orange vodka, Bacardi O Original Orange Rum, Blavod (BLACK vodka!!) and Orange Curacao from Dekuyper. Check out for fun concoctions you can make with these spirits…

And last but not least – don’t forget to dress up your drink! These Black Cat drink charms and swizzle sticks are perfect for Halloween cocktails and mocktails!

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Mod Halloween – Part 2

More fab Halloween finds for you today!
Here we go with Part 2: (starting from the top)
Adorable (and reusable!) Halloween Straws featuring spider, bat and ghost patterns, bright orange and black Midnight Madness paper plates & napkins, super-mod Spider Appetizer Plates and Halloween Stripe Spreaders, square Ghost Serving Platter and Appetizer Plates, rubber Day of the Dead Coasters (donning traditional Mexican graphics!), and last but not least, Halloween Cookie Cutters, Spider Spatula, and Decoratifs (time to get baking!).

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Mod Halloween – Part 1

Happy October! It may only be the beginning of the month, but chances are that most of us already thinking about the end…Halloween is such a fun time to entertain and BE entertained…and that’s why it will be the focus of HWTM this week. The next few days will be filled with lots of fabulous Halloween-themed finds for parties, tabletops, decorating, and gifting…hope you find some treats you like!

And now, for Part 1: (starting from the top)
“Boo!” Graffiti-Style Graphic (made from removeable vinyl! – $24), Raven Candle Holders ($24/2), Skull Lantern (10″ high – $30/ea), Black & Orange Marble Scatter and Eyeball Marble Scatter ($15 per jar), Gnarly Branch Taper Candles ($12/2), Terracotta Ghost Lanterns ($10/small, $19/large), Haunted Candelabras ($25/ea), Orange & Black Tea Light Holders ($14.95/set of 3), Pre-carved Alabaster Fun-Kins ($59/set of 4).

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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 (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 (!

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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 .

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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feathered inspiration

Feathers have been a hot trend recently – and they just happen to be a fantastic element to work into tabletop displays, flower arrangements, and even gift packaging! I’m particularly inspired by the vibrant teals, royal blues, and gorgeous greens in the naturally show-stopping feathers of the peacock. Choose from jewel tones and shimmer for a more elegant affair – or matte blues and greens for a more casual-mod atmosphere. Don’t forget to incorporate decorative feathers (available at most craft stores) into the party decor! Tuck them in floral arrangements, decorative centerpieces, napkin rings, and so on. (I’ve even fastened them to champagne flutes using chenille craft stems!)

A few of my favorites pictured above:
from cb2: Crackle Dinnerware by in both green and teal, Comma Plates in aqua and green, Tambien Drinkware, and Cubic Glass Blocks / from Crate&Barrel: Green Charger (earthenware), Miranda Vase (teal glass) and Mona Bottles (green glass) / from Pier 1: Capiz Spheres in mediterranean blue and pesto green / and from Patina Stores – the gorgeous Peacock Towels (set of 2 kitchen towels).

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shimmer and glitz

Bring some modern glamour to your table with sparkly silver and glitzy gold! I’m loving the starburst graphics on these Black Galaxy and White Galaxy vases from Sprout Home. For a beautiful centerpiece, mix them with some solid metallic accent vases – like this collection from West Elm (where they’re currently on sale!). These Jewel Bead Spray Cluster napkin rings from Crate & Barrel a great complement to the galaxy vase graphics and a fun accent to your tabletop!

More fabulous silver and gold products shown here: Della Glass Candlesticks by Crate & Barrel and Thread Vases, Crazy Wire Vases, and Crazy Wire Balls – all available at Chiasso.

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mod party kits!

Drumroll, please…….if you’re going to be playing hostess at an upcoming bridal shower, baby shower, or birthday party, is about to make your life a whole lot easier! With their Mod Party Kits, has done the work for you and created dozens of fantastic party themes to choose from with – of course – fabulous MOD vibes and tons of style! Each kit comes with party supplies for 8 and include mod box fill-in invites, party favors, paper tableware, menu/place cards, mini stickers, party decor, and more! You can also purchase add-ons to take the theme even further…or purchase some of the items a la carte. Click here to check out the entire collection. Which ones do you love?

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atelier lzc

Drool…….seriously does textile design get any better than this? I was recently introduced to the Figments website over at the Funky Finds blog and just had to do a post immediately after stumbling upon some of their Atelier LZC goodies! Atelier LZC is a french design studio that creates to-die-for textiles, illustrations, objects, fashion and screenprints. Thank goodness they have some great pieces for entertaining in the mix, including fabulous paper napkins, dishtowels and table linens! (more…)

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marimekko marvels

I made a visit to the marimekko website yesterday and was so excited to see their new fall collection! As expected, they have tons of amazing and unique new textiles by extremely talented designers, and I was particularly interested in some fantastic kitchen and tabletop product designs! Favorites pictured here: black and white mugs and latte cups from popular classic patterns, the new chocolate and turquoise Aukusti collection featuring Erja Hirvi‘s Karelian-inspired Elokuu pattern composed of diamond-tailed birds and plants, and the oh-so-modern Fokus collection by Anna Danielsson, available in a bright red/white motif or the always classic black and white.

Marimekko is available throughout the UK, but I’ve had a hard time locating many of their products in the U.S. Thank goodness Holly was kind enough to offer this tip on locating US vendors/shipping info: Email josie at [email protected]. Thanks, Holly!

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