Friday, January 29, 2010

Take Out

In trendy restaurants, sometimes the best take-out is the inspiration. While an entire concept designed for a large communal space is unlikely to work in your apartment or condo, once in awhile, there's a signature decoration that can be handpicked and easy emulated at home.See how to take these ideas to-go below...
The inspiration: At Chicago's The Publican, this dressed-up beer hall is nondescript, except for the peppering of round bistro lights.

To emulate: Visit CB2 to check out their firefly pendant light (below), which retails for $199, to create a dramatic look over your dining room table. The upside -- your friends will begin to equate eating-out with dinner at your place.
The inspiration: New York's Bobo charms from head-to-toe with sophistication and nonconformity that invites. The cozy yet eclectic style is achieved through stacked books, an assortment of wall hangings, and mixed-matched antique chairs.

To emulate: Buy a pair of Jayson's Home and Garden small antique chairs (below) finished off with a rich flower chintz patterned covered seat. Then, mix it up with some vintage finds at flea market or resale shop and recover the seat in a solid or stripe or another pattern that is distinctively different, but has a coordinating color scheme. The inspiration: New York's Bagatelle, the notorious french bistro and daytime clubbers delight, exudes a girly-girl ambiance. From the marble top bar to the shabby chic furniture to white rows of lit candles, many of the restaurant's embellishments can easily be recreated.
To emulate: has an plethora of crystal chandeliers under $200, like the "Maria Theresa" 6-light (below). See it's easy to pretend to be a French aristocrat: Doesn't the one below look identical?

So next time your dining out, get some carry-out. It's about the only thing in this world that costs nothing and is calorie-free.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wine Not

It livens your cheeks with a little rogue. It lets you smile, laugh and flirt a little more. It helps you fall asleep by the count of three. In the varietal of red, it's even healthy for your heart.

Frankly, there's nothing disreputable about wine to a twenty-something in high heels, who has just worked a 10 hour day and wants to put her feet up, except that it takes up space.

To negate the problem, here are some innovative wine racks that will take your precious kitchen space clutter-to-clever.

Crate and Barrel's versatile design is the mounting-stacking wine rack, which implies you can stack one-on-the-other or hang on the wall. Made of shesham wood, each 5-hole rack runs for $29.

Sister store, CB2, has another solution with a leaning acrylic rack (below) that holds 3 across, 8 down, but also gives a "sculptural effect." It's available now for $169. If you get excited by the design of a wine bottle-- the labels, the corks and the wax seals, or if it's a rare Bordeaux, then there's really no better way to show off your "rack" than a clear display case.

Or from Umbra, a cru wine rack in either black or white (below) is artsy, playful. At only a foot wide, it allows you to store wine vertically for $180.

But you might find that your problem isn't storing a case of wine, but instead your dozen plus party glasses. Then, check out Target's wine glass shelf (below) where simply hang your glasses by the stem from a sleek, java black finished shelf. It runs for $49.

All in one, utilitarian-style hanging shelf holds bottles of wine and your wine glasses for $126. If your kitchen is Hamptons farmhouse chic, then rustic and simple is your consummate wine caddy.

Cheers, you can still have your glass of wine, too.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Madison Ave. Comes to Dallas

It looks like a sight from Madison Ave., but Madison, a store bringing rarity to gift-giving, is located in the home-decorating mecca of Dallas. In the ritzy suburb of Highland Park, Madison is basically a gift matchmaker for the elite.

For your next bestowal, try selecting one of these pricey-sounding items that even non-Highland Parkers can afford.

Is your boyfriend always leaving his toothbrush sink-side? Gross! It's not only leaving a opaque film to clean-up, but it's not very sanitary. For Valentines Day, buy him a masculine and chic horned rim glass (below) to stow his brushing machine. It will only run you $20, but you'll have much more love to give.

Don't want to be a party pooper? Nobody intends to be either. Toss those paper plates or your boring set of white at your next fete. This "Winchester Mandala"plastic plate design (below) will add some levity and uniqueness your next baby shower or housewarming party. It's not a gift per se, but your guest of honor will appreciate the kind gesture. Each re-usable plate is $15.

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride? Yes, by our late 20s, there's been countless dollars spent on bridal gifts and the worst part -- who can remember what they gave anyone? Madison offers some unique items, like this silver-plated fortune cookie holder (below), to use as a card or place seating holder, for $18 each. So you know where your money went and most importantly, the bride can recall what you gave her.

Because everyone is fortunate enough to live in the state -- where everything is bigger and better, Madison has brought their top-notch merchandise to you. Find the above gifts and more by clicking here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mapping Like Google

Undoubtedly, our generation has an aversion to maps. They remind us of a professor-like style, a musty, strange smell and our 3rd grade social studies classroom.

Who wants to bring that back? (No one).

What about into your home? (I'd rather not).

What if we showed you how to reinvent it? (Okay, I'll take a look).

What did you think? (That's cooler than Google.)


Just because you rented a studio, you don't have to believe it.


If you want to create the allusion of a bigger apartment, or one that has more than one room, innovate with a floor-length screen that's not just fashion-, but function-forward.

For $69, this Zen-influenced screen (below) is cool, yet calm, in a black-and-white motif.

Add a splash of color and Southern charm to make a statement with this screen in turquoise (below) for $469.

Or go with a criss-cross embellished mirror and wood mirror (below) for $259. Click here to buy.

Bring the green of your garden indoors with a bamboo screen (below) listed for $172 on

Even for those not demarcating the lines of a new room, a Crocodile-inspired room divideris a funky touch for $194.

A Piece of Work

Housing Works, a thrift store chain in New York City that's dedicated to a good cause, gives a shopper the works; but it delivers a piece-of-work to a savvy, vintage-seeking nut (like me).

Let me explain the logic. In a shopping adventure over the weekend at Manhattan's Upper East Side location, under clutter and sorting through indecipherable objects, a few, sparse gems were found.

If given the right amount of love, care, and repair, these items could be saved, like the white dresser below with bamboo trim retailing for $115. Add some high gloss paint and some new pulls from Restoration Hardware or Anthropologie to create a keeper.

Liven up this small wire-rimmed chair (below) for $65 with a coat of paint. See if your local fabric store sells scraps of fabric, which can cost a couple of dollars, and get a referral for a seamstress to make a pillow seat.

Sometimes silly tchothkes make the most clever gifts. This $3 plate (below) is priceless.
Click here to see Housing Works locations in the New York City area.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Smokin' Hot Ciggies

A lady in a frock, seductively inhaling from her cigarette holder conjures up images of old-world glamour. While smoking has lost most of its sex appeal, the table it made famous --coined the cigarette table-- has not.

The cigarette table, a petite-sized table with skinny legs, sported an ashtray on top and was found throughout the entertaining rooms of the upper crust, from the parlor and the sunroom, to the library and billiard room.

You didn't have one; you had many.

But today, even sans ashtray, the cigarette table adds purpose and style. It's the No. 1 sidekick to any chair. It's a place for your guests to rest their drinks or a storage spot for a book.

It's rare that something stays smokin' hot for this long. Start shopping below...Go ornate with Wisteria's Venetian top table (above) priced at $199.

Be industrious and deposit more of your paycheck, too, with a $60 metal table from Urban Outfitters (above).The "Greta" table (above) with an antique gold finish is a steal for $245 from Jayson Home & Garden. Modernize the cigarette table with West Elm's framed side table (above) for $149, which will tuck closely into any chair or sofa.

Go Twiggy with this stick-leg side table from CB2. Buy online now for $99. Restoration Hardware's "Newton" accent table (above) possibly falls outside the technical description of a cigarette table, but it works, too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Turq & Caicos

It's official. Turquoise is Pantone's "it" hue for 2010. To celebrate we're scouring the Web for our favorite, budget-conscious turquoise pieces and accents.

If you've been on the turquoise bandwagon -- long before the trendsetters named it "in," then send us a photo and tell us how you've reinvented the wheel with turquoise. Our email is

We'll showcase your greenish cyan and call you a trendsetter.A turq soap holder designed by Jonathan Adler (above) for just $20. Click here to buy.

For $15 each, start a collection of tumblers (pictured above). Click here to buy.
Click here to buy the turquoise ceramic stool (above). A bundle of turquoise, vintage-style books (above) runs less than $50. Click here to buy.And how could we forget our foo dogs in turquoise? Check out our previous post on foo dogs.

Or if you want to bring the year's new color into your kitchen, buy a Kitchen-Aid mixer (above) to complete your ensemble of turquoise.

If this isn't enough, then let us direct you to "Everything Turquoise," a blog featuring a limitless number of greenish-blue desires.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Frame Game

Seeing how many frames of assorted sizes, subjects and colors can fit on a wall is an artistic challenge. The cover of Elle Decor's September issue illustrates how mixing-and-matching big and small frames of photographs, prints and artwork can look so effortlessly cool and sophisticated.

But there is a method to the madness of arranging an eclectic wall of frames. Let's call it the "frame game" and below is how to win it.

1. Arrange smaller size frames in a group because they will look bolder and more substantial in relation to the wall. (The only exception to this rule is a massive piece of art that you want to be the eye's sole focus).

2. One way to arrange is a mirrored fashion, which is placing a large painting over the middle of your sofa or console, and on each side, you position three smaller pieces that are similar to one another. Below is an example of a symmetrical layout:

(Or if that sounds too hard, this Pottery Barn arranging system can be purchased (above)).

3. Or take the asymmetrical route, where nothing needs to be uniform, as in the picture below. It doesn't matter if the frames are the same in size or color, but that there is a visual balance. One idea on how to do it to trace your frames into poster-board cut-outs and then post them to the wall.

4. This Jonathan Adler-designed room (below) shows us not to be intimidated in using the full space to hang frames. Start hanging right above and below your room's moldings.

5. Some other tips for an asymmetrical design, include:

-- Go with an odd number of items over even.
-- Visually "heavier" pieces below "lighter" ones and dark-colored pictures below light ones.
--Consider hanging your items in a square, triangle or circle for continuity.
-- Mix in a mirror if you need a visually "light" piece.
-- Don't be afraid to organize over the top horizontally, as pictured below.

--Depth can be added when selecting mats and frames, but instead of going to the hassle and expense of re-framing, buy a handy frame riser (below).

Sale-ing Into the New Year

The holidays might over; but it looks like the sale season is taking off.

ABC Carpet and Home is offering up to 75 percent off on one-of-a-kind pieces until January 24th at all store locations. For more information, click here.

Calypso Home is offering 20 percent off all home merchandise for one-week only (January 11-18) at their home store locations (click here to see if there a location in your city) or use the code HOME10 when shopping online.
Been putting off the purchase of a new mattress or bed frame? is offering an additional 10 percent off bedroom furniture until January 11. is discounting comforters and pillows 30-50 percent.

Gump's San Francisco's online sale is offering up to 60 percent off. Click here to view what's on sale.

Jonathan Adler slashed prices on pillows, textiles, dinnerware and lighting up to 50 percent.

BoConcept is liquidating floor-samples --60 percent discount at their New York Soho store (69 Greene St., nr. Spring St.) through Jan. 31.

Wisteria has deeply discounted accessories 50-75 percent off. Click here to see the selection.

Do you know about any killer sales online? Or in your neighborhood? Email us at

The Geometric Formula

Synthesizing traditional glamour and new-age aesthetics, the re-edition line from the Hamptons-based home store, Mecox Gardens, captures every style palate. On the resin "George" table (below), the geometric base updates the round coffee table into a contemporary look. The top can be customized into any of the following finishes: dark shell, white shell, gloss black, gloss white.

The Chic Find: A price tag of $1,900.

The Chic Find for Less: A price tag of $199.

The "Geo" side table (below) is available from West Elm. Click here to buy.