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Thursday
Nov192009

10 essentials: the modern buffet

cylinder vases, white square plates, marta barwareYou’ve sent an open invitation for your party—so do you really know who’s coming to dinner?

For large parties, the easiest way to serve is buffet-style. Consider setting up early—even the night before so your day can be spent cleaning, cooking and getting dressed up without sweating the small, last minute stuff.

Following are 10 essentials for the modern buffet.

1. Create a festive mood with cylinder vases filled with Christmas ornaments in fresh colors.

2. Keep the setting clean and modern with stacks of white square dinnerware.

shadow bowl

marta and party cropped

3. Sleek marta barware is perfect for any cocktail, soda, juice or wine.

4. Scatter tealights for the warm glow of candlelight.

5. Have plenty of party flatware for each guest—and each course so you can be mingling instead of washing spoons for dessert.

6. White restaurant napkins are made for hungry crowds.

7. Water in beaker glass pitchers. Be sure they’re never empty since everyone’s drinking more of it.aluminum round tray solo

8. Shadow white porcelain serving bowls for pasta or green salads.

9. An oversized aluminum tray to serve cheese, fruits or breads.

10. Two corkscrews and plenty of your favorite wines. Open a few bottle early to let wine breath before pouring.

They’re all inexpensive—even in multiples. Isn’t that something to celebrate?

hint: Have plenty of everything so unexpected guests feel welcome.

Wednesday
Nov182009

one of a finds: ugandan sunburst bowl

A modern interpretation of an ancient craft passed down mother to daughter, these one of a find sunburst bowls were handwoven by village women just outside Kampala, Uganda.

The stepped ribs of coiled raffia over banana fiber recall the region’s mountainside farming known as “mountain terraces”.

The craftsmanship of these women provides both an outlet for their creative expression and much-needed income to educate their children. By using one of the few resources available in their remote area, they are weaving their rich cultural past with a future of hope.

Tuesday
Nov172009

the brooklyn flea's "gifted" holiday market

We love a good flea market find—and sharing a good secret—so check out the Brooklyn Flea Market…in Manhattan!

Starting on Black Friday, November 27th, thru December 24th, the pop-up venue will feature 50 vendors—just in time since the market goes on winter hiatus November 22nd.

For more information, including directions and hours, visit brooklynflea.com.

Thursday
Nov122009

designer customers: lonni paul

lonni croppedYou never know who’s going to walk through CB2’s orange doors—especially in Los Angeles.

Recently Lonni Paul, LA based interior designer and HGTV Design Star runner-up, came shopping for a modern Hollywood loft she was working on.

She chose an array of merchandise for the project—city slicker and peekaboo tables, big dipper floor lamp, lounge shag rug, toro barstools, cord pillows, an abstract mobile and many tabletop items. We were anxious to see the final “reveal”—check it out below.

hollywood loft

photo: Doug Hill

We were so impressed with Lonni’s work that we couldn’t help but ask her a few questions.

Is there an object or person that changed how you think about design?One of my first clients had a very traditional home which is not my personal style. Working on that project made me change the way I think about design because I realized good design makes any style beautiful. Especially if you think outside the box and throw some contemporary accessories and art in the mix. Also, Phillipe Stark is such an inspiration to me. Everything he does changes the way I think about design.

Is there something outside your field that inspires you? Fashion and art.

What’s the most overlooked detail in a room design? Scale. Many times people buy something for a room because they love the piece but they don’t consider how it relates to other pieces already in the room—or even the room itself.

Future trends? I believe in the near future “green/eco-friendly” will be a necessity and the norm.

Thank You Lonni!

Thanks to cristina, store manager west hollywood, for this submission.

Wednesday
Nov112009

hints for hosting holiday guests

In the next seven weeks family and friends will gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa—and New Year’s!

You’ve made the most gracious offer to share your home with holiday visitors for a few days—what greater gift is there? As a guest, most often we’re concerned we’re an inconvenience to our host’s routine and space. Reassure them by saying “Welcome!” with these thoughtful gestures.

cora carafe

1. A simple cora carafe on the nightstand shows you care about their well-being. Adding a slice of fresh cucumber or citrus makes the gesture even sweeter.stainless soap dish

2. To give guests some personal space in the bath, tie a ribbon around a new bar of soap and their own stainless soap dish. Placed on top of folded towels at the foot of their bed, its a luxurious amenity comparable to a 4-star hotel.

3. Make guests most physically comfortable by providing a bed, or a flex convertible sofa, in a spare room. Maybe you’ve been thinking about it and this is just the motivation you need to seal the deal?

4. If your budget for the season will be spent on gifts and an air mattress instead, consider a new set of percale sheets and keep them dedicated to future guests.

flex and cable cropped

5. A cable throw across the foot of the bed can warm feet at night or at the very least, guests won’t have to ask for an extra blanket if they’re feeling chilled.

6. Offer some reading material that expresses how happy you are they’re spending time with you. “Here’s to You!” is a compendium of inspiring quotes to celebrate the special people in your life.

7. Print some of the photos you’ve been sharing via email and post them around the house using magnetic photo frames. When guests are packing for home, be sure to wrap them safely as a momento of their visit.

Some are small, special touches while others require time, effort and a budget. Those are the long-term investments—gifts for yourself perhaps? In the end, guests will feel welcome, less stressed feeling less of an inconvenience, and more able to fully enjoy holiday festivities.