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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.


10 essentials: marta

1. Nag champa incense. It reminds me of India and is affordable. I always burn it to welcome guests.

2. The Eiffel chair by Charles Eames. Its modern accessible and versatile. Mixed with vintage, rustic or paired with modern.

3. Marta glasses. It’s named after me for a reason. It’s the only glass we use at home so I own many of them.

4. Sit down dinners at our house. Casual, with family and friends.

marta's dinner party

5. Candlelight. My favorite is a 12” white taper candle from Tag. It burns beautifully.

6. Road trips with my husband and 2 golden retrievers. We always take the longer scenic fire photo by Szift at

7. Boots—especially cowboy.

8. Ethnic art because its elemental, honest and human.

9. Architecture and design bookstores—an obsession.

10. Real fires—outdoor fire pits, indoor fireplaces. I love the warmth and the smell.


mix/match modern dining furniture

whirlyhangingcandlehldrFC091. Forget matchy-matchy.
Tables and chairs that complement each other can be much more interesting than a dining set. When choosing a table with a raw, natural finish—like rivet or engineer—consider juxtaposing a sleek, very modern profile. The orbit chair is a great versatile option.

2. Go completely eclectic.
For a totally unique look it’s always fun to do a variety of different dining chairs. This will definitely show your personality and each can be a conversation piece. Consider a running theme such as all white or all wood to help pull off the look.

3. Keep the scale of the table in mind.
If the chairs are too small or too big in proportion to the table, they could look uncomfortable or awkward.

4. Consider your personal lifestyle.
Choose a polypropylene or metal chair if you have children that spill since these materials clean up well.

5. Dining vs. Kitchen
Eat-in kitchens tend to be more casual while dining rooms tend to be more formal. For a more luxurious look, go for the upholstered joe chair. This chair also stands alone well on its own as an occasional chair.

6. Small Space Options
If your room is on the small side, or if storage space is an issue, try an extension table or stackable chairs like the slim chair.

7. Think outside the dining room and consider all possibilities.
Another great versatile option for dining chairs are stools. They can be pulled from the living room or kitchen and used as extra seating.

Tell us, what’s your style? Your favorite mix?

Thanks to chris, store designer miami, for this submission.


the tennessee sparkler

libertini cocktail

Raise a glass to toast a new signature cocktail deliciously propping libertini in our current catalog. Created by Tom, our resident mixologist, he calls it the Tennessee Sparkler since it’s based on “the Tennessean”. Cheers!

1-1/2 oz rye or bourbon
1/2 oz maraschino liquor
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 oz simple syrup

Shake with ice
Pour into a chilled glass
Add fruit garnish
Top off with champagne or prosecco


edit and repeat

tesso and mello

One of the key elements of modern is repeating simple, well-designed pieces for dramatic impact. Whether its bookcases, wine racks or wall art, making a statement in multiples is clean and easy.

When editing, choose pieces that are simple in design. This will allow the function or finishes to amplify.

For example, a tesso bookcase (above) on its own may seem “lightweight” with it’s clear glass shelves. In multiples they become part of the architecture of a room, much like a built-in. The final effect is that the eye goes to collected objects on display.

The texture found in print block panels is stronger when there’s simply more of it. And lastly, cellar wine racks are much more useful—and visually powerful—when rowed or stacked.

What items work in multiples for you?