City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Archive for November, 2013

Punch Up Your Décor With A Pouf

Handmade Moroccan poufs designed by John Derian.

Handmade Moroccan poufs designed by John Derian.

You’ve probably noticed these whimsical, slightly Bohemian, tuffet-like pieces popping up in stores and home magazines in the past few years, but have you considered introducing a pouf (or pouffe) into your home? Used for ages as low seating and accent tables in Morocco, soft-sided poufs are available in endless color choices and patterns, and come covered in every type of material — from silk to cowhide.

Shaggy pouf from Better Homes and Gardens.

Shaggy pouf from Better Homes and Gardens.

Poufs also have been glorified in vintage Hollywood films where they provided seating at elaborate vanities.

And while you could spend hundreds of dollars on hand-embroidered leather poufs made in Morocco, there’s no need. Shop around and you can snap up an accent pouf for around $100. Beware, however, that some poufs sold online come without stuffing.

Think of a pouf as a pop of color in just about any room in your house.

Bold splash of red from Houzz.

Bold splash of red from Houzz.

They’re …

Continue reading Punch Up Your Décor With A Pouf »

Ten Tips For An Ideal Guest Room

Putting together a comfortable guest room for overnight visitors means more than throwing a clean set of Spider-Man sheets on Junior’s bed and adding a handful of extra wire hangers in the closet. On the other hand, you don’t have to perform a total room makeover, either. Follow these tips to give your guests a comfortable, restful stay.

Invest in guest bedding. Buy the best quality, neutral colored sheets you can afford and set them aside for guests. That way, they’ll remain pristine. You really don’t want your guests sleeping on spotted or worn sheets. Same with the pillows. Keep a pair of fresh pillows just for guests. If you don’t have a lot of extra room, put the pillows and guest bedding in Space Bags, suck out the air and stash the pancake-size package out of the way when not in use.

Speaking of pillows. Avoid excessive piles of decorative throw pillows on the bed unless you have plenty of space where your guests can put them away. Your guests don’t need to …

Continue reading Ten Tips For An Ideal Guest Room »

How To Create A Perfectly Folded Napkin

By now, you’ve seen napkins manipulated, folded, stuffed, fanned, and generally transformed into countless, impossible shapes, ranging from absurd to “I wonder how they did that.”

You choose. Under which category do these origami napkin shoes fall?

How about this over-the-top fold from Marie-Antoinette’s table at the Court of Versailles?

If you’re interested in the history of napkins, and the intrigue once associated with them, check out What’s Cooking America.

Now that entertaining season has kicked into high gear, it wouldn’t hurt to know at least one napkin folding technique. Trust me, it’ll come in handy, and your guests will feel special that you went to the trouble.

I present you with the envelope fold from vintage Martha Stewart.

The beauty of this easy fold is that you can do it far ahead of time if you like, since you’re not creating 3D swans or floral arrangements with this elegant, flat fold. But, ironing is involved. You’ll need starch or …

Continue reading How To Create A Perfectly Folded Napkin »

Holiday Centerpiece Do’s and Don’ts

The space on your holiday table is prime real estate, and there’s no reason to clutter it up with a clunky, obnoxious centerpiece that obliterates your guests from across the table, and, even worse, doesn’t leave room for the gravy boat. That doesn’t mean you should eliminate a centerpiece, either. Just get it right.

What to do:

Do incorporate some meaningful treasures. For instance, if you’re not serving soup but have a lovely tureen, consider using it to hold your centerpiece. Here’s a perfect example from The Cottage Market.

Do consider placing appropriate centerpieces where guests will frequent, other than just at the dining table. Some ornaments and a bit of greenery at the bar, a small cluster of pine cones and a candle in the powder room, a large bowl of seasonal fruits and nuts on your kitchen island will tie your rooms together.

Do keep in mind guests with pollen allergies. You can still enjoy a festive table arrangement without traditional flowers. Look to …

Continue reading Holiday Centerpiece Do’s and Don’ts »