Flameless Candles Rock

May 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm , by

img80mOkay, so I know this isn’t the newest tip in town, but I’m glowing with excitement over my new flameless candles. I had heard of the battery operated tea lights (fabulous for parties and romantic dinners by the way) but didn’t realize that you could pick these flameless phenoms up in just about every shape and size. D’oh! I do love real candles, but these fabulous fakes will help you avoid blackened Hurricane glass (not cute) and potential hair-on-fire Michael Jackson moments (true story involving a sconce and a tall person). Pottery Barn’s wax versions, pictured above, feature a five-hour timer function and a realistic amber flicker to mimic the light of a real candle. Check out for scented options.

Do Good: Crafting Cards For Operation Write Home

May 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm , by


Inspired by the Operation Write Home mention in our May issue, members of our editoriastarpunchl staff decided to spend their lunch hour crafting blank, homemade Father’s Day cards to be sent overseas to the troops. It took some of us a moment to realize that soldiers probably like to send their own fathers a card for the holiday, and that they can’t simply stop by a drugstore to pick one up. We stamped, cut, glued and colored, and were able to produce 240 cards. Not bad for a day’s work! Donated products and paper from the company Stampin’ Up! made both the experience and our cards extra fabulous—we all fought over the star hole punch. Why not take some time of your own to make a few blank cards for the men and women serving our country? They need cards for every occassion, and it was tons of fun too!

NYC Restaurant Turns Trash Into Design Treasure

May 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm , by

The Collective (53) LE The Collective (12)

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of attending an event at The Collective, a new restaurant in the meat packing district of New York City. The drinks and food were good, but the intriguing design was even better! The design team from ICRAVE searched sites like Craigslist, Etsy and Ebay for the materials to fill The Collective rather than turning to their usual vendors or high-end design shops for inspiration. The results? A wall made of used Legos and casino slot machines; a ceiling composed of Styrofoam and turned into a captivating light fixture; bottle caps from restaurants around the neighborhood; a bar decorated with flying seagulls made from license plates; a host stand made from the hub of a plane and a wall decorated with butterflies made from old records. The list goes on and on. Although you may not decide to turn your entire home into an upcycled shrine, you have to admit that the concept is inspirational. Do you have any “trash to treasure” stories of your own to share?

A Fresh Lilac Arrangement to Brighten Your Home

April 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm , by

Spring is here! Need proof? Aside from my occasional allergy attacks and the absence of warm winter boots in storefront windows (never did get around to purchasing that pair I so longed for) fresh lilac is abundant! I walked past the flower stall on my street this morning and there it was—the sweet fragrance of spring in full purple bloom. I grabbed several bunches and threw together this arrangement. It makes me want to eat a pastry, drink a mimosa, and sing to the hills like Fraulein Maria. I don’t know why.

Here’s a tip: remove all of the leaves from the stems for a clean and simple arrangement. I like to use a large, wide-mouthed vase for a Provencal look. These Regency Long Tom grey pots from Restoration hardware would look amazing on just about any table. What type of floral arrangement screams spring to you?

This Stuff Works: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

April 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm , by

mrclean-magic-eraser-bath-scrubberDon’t you love it when products actually live up to their claims? Us too! That’s why we’ve got a brand-new weekly feature for you. Every Wednesday our editors and readers will share “This Stuff Works” picks for the must-have products they couldn’t live without. First up is Courtney.

A few months back my local grocery store was having a sale on these Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath Scrubbers, so thought I would try them. I tossed them into my basket, and forgot about them until last weekend. (I do clean my bathroom frequently, I just happened to hide this particular product from myself). I read the simple instructions and climbed on in to the tub to see if these things would do the trick. Oh wow—I never thought I could be this excited about cleaning my shower, but this little sponge really was magic! I just scrubbed a bit here and a bit there, and before I knew it my tub was gleaming brighter than the top of Mr. Clean’s bald head. There were no harsh chemical smells either, just a clean Febreze scent which was a total bonus. I’ve already told my friends and family about this great product (I know, you can only imagine how exciting my life is) but I wanted to share it with all of you as well. Happy Cleaning!

Now it’s your turn: Share your “This Stuff Works” favorites–the beauty, home, or other products that you can’t live without–in the comments. You could be featured next week!

Define Your Decor with Curtains

April 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm , by

orgcurtnsTo cover the window, or not to cover? That is the question! I say cover. With all of the different sizes, colors and patterns available in the world of curtains, finding something that suits you, and your windows, is simple. I chose these bright orange curtains for my kitchen window and I absolutely love the homey feel they provide. Here are some simple tips to help ensure that you hang just your curtains, and not yourself.

Take Measurements. I know it sounds simple, but I can’t tell you how many times people get the wrong length. Make sure you measure from where you are going to hang the curtains to the floor. It’s better if the curtains pool a bit on the floor verses having them too short.

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Categories: Ladies' Lounge | Tags: | 4 Comments

New Home Design Book: Designers Here and There

March 31, 2010 at 3:30 pm , by

I am helping a friend redecorate his living room in Brooklyn, so I have been scouring magaziFinal Front Covernes, websites, catalogs and blogs for inspiration. It occurred to me the other day that I hadn’t picked up a single design book—how crazy is that? Information is so readily available these days that we often skip over “good old-fashioned” books. I personally forgot how wonderful it was to flip through the pages of a big, heavy design book filled with gorgeous photography. Want to know about my most recent find? Michele Keith’s Designers Here and There: Inside the City and Country Homes of America’s Top Decorators. I like it because it gives you a glimpse into the tastes and likes of  the decorators themselves—their own personal style. It’s also a fabulous resource because it covers a range of different design styles—every time I pick up the book I notice something new, like the giant photograph of a Pee-Wee Herman puppet on page 16, or the amazing chandelier in Pam Duncan’s Santa Fe home. Speaking of Pee-Wee Herman, my word of the day is “BOOKS” (everyone scream!). Set down your Kindles, iPads, cell phones, and computers and motor on in to an actual book store. Don’t let the technology of today rob you of the tangible and wonderful experince of print. You won’t regret it!