Tag Archives: pottery barn

get gifting: a happy housewarming

{Editor’s Note: Happy Labor Day, friends! I hope you’re off doing something exciting, and not stuck at the office, pretending to work but actually just reading SMC to pass the time. I’m so happy to introduce you to our new columnist, Jennefer, who’s about to be your best friend when you’re on the hunt for a gift. Bookmark these…I guarantee they’re going to come in handy!}

Jennefer ~ Welcome to the land of the gift-obsessed! I’m a compulsive gift-shopper, and what was once an innocent hobby has now turned into a full-fledged addiction…complete with a room in my home dedicated to all my “you never know when someone will have something to celebrate” purchases. I can’t wait to share a few of my favorites with you!

First up: housewarming gifts. This time of year always seems to bring on a bevy of housewarming parties. Friends spent the summer relocating, and are finally ready to show off their new digs. Moving into a new home is a big deal, and it deserves to be celebrated! As the dedicated friend/sister/employee of a lucky new homeowner, it’s your job to pony up with not only something fun and creative but useful. Here are a few of my absolute favorite housewarming gifts to give and receive:

1. I consider wine to be the fifth, and sometimes only, food group. And there is nothing better than sitting on the porch sipping vino without the worry of breakage. Which is why I love GoVino. A set of 8, especially when paired with your favorite bottle of wine (mine is The Prisoner – I should own stock in that winery) makes a great, affordable gift…and will come in handy until your pal unpacks her crystal. {GoVino Wine Glasses, $28/8}

2. A sassy, vintage-style apron is a perfect gift for a girl that likes to putter around the kitchen. On first glance, an eye-roll may ensue, however once they give it a spin, there’s something about that girly, retro vibe that always makes it a favorite gift. {Jessie Steele apron, $30 / 3-D Toile Full Apron, Anthropologie, $32}

3. For friends enamored with the culinary arts, an old-school, hand-cranked pasta machine is another go-to. This is one of those gifts everyone wants to try, but no one wants to splurge on for themselves. Plus, even if your friend never uses it, they look great sitting on a kitchen counter (much like the Kitchen-Aid mixer I got for my wedding and never use). {Marcato Altas Pasta Machine, $100}

4. If you’re a traditionalist, a beautiful bouquet is always a winner. Nobody has more beautiful flowers than Calyx, and their orchid bouquets are just breathtaking. Send one of these and you are assured to be invited for dinner again and again, so the return on your investment makes these a surefire winner. {Captiva Orchids, Calyx Flowers, $60+}

5. Monogrammed and personalized gifts amp up the thoughtfulness factor, and prove you didn’t pop into Target last-minute on your way to the housewarming party. It is the advance planning that really makes these gifts special. Two of my favorites for a housewarming are a monogrammed welcome mat or a personalized throw pillow. They can be more of a splurge, but they’ll be used every day and make great conversation starters. {Monogrammed Door Mat, Pottery Barn, $59+ / Custom Pillow, Uptown Artworks, $149}

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compulsive design: decorative desks

That mega house-redesign project I’m working on (the series starts next week!!) has really brought out the compulsive shopper in me. Give me a retail task, and I’m like a frantic, obsessive beagle tracking a scent….no way am I giving up until I find that thing! So, I shop and shop (and shop), looking for every.possible.option, until I’m so sick of whatever I’m looking for that I can’t stand the thought of seeing one more, ever.

Then, inevitably, just as I’m ready to move so that I don’t have to find a console table at all, the right option materializes.

So, I was thinking….I might as well put some of that obsessive hunting to good use and share it. What do you say? Are you up for a little more chatter about design?

With that, a few of my favorite desks from the latest compulsive hunting project:

Left to right, from top: Josephine desk in light blue, World Market, $140 / Parsons desk in diamond-weave grasscloth, West Elm, $499 / Beckett desk, Serena & Lily, $899 / Besta-Burs desk in white (also in black and red), Ikea $269 / Ava desk in nickel (also with wood base), Pottery Barn, $499 / Go-cart desk in chartreuse (also in orange and carbon), CB2, $149

I was looking for something feminine, but not girly. Something I could put in an office that my hubs wouldn’t be embarrassed to use occasionally. And, most important of all, something with a very light footprint that would sort of disappear into the room. My office/guest room/library has become a furniture graveyard – currently, it boasts four bookcases, a queen bed, a giant upholstered chair, filing cabinets and a cedar chest. Adding a desk to the mix almost seems cruel, but I’ve got work to do!

What did I end up with? It’s all in the reveal, friends. I know, such a tease. Mark your calendars – my home redesign series starts next week!

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fug or fab? a porch swing in my bedroom

more random than random, i know.  but i saw this picture from the owners of something’s hiding in here, courtesy of a sneak peek into their home over at design*sponge on monday, and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.  there’s something so fun and unexpected about a porch swing in the middle of a room.  i have some huge bay windows i’m trying desperately to make more functional, and right now, a porch swing facing them is sounding really good.  ooh, or maybe a hammock!

what do you all think about using outdoor furniture indoors?  am i onto something, or slowly losing my mind?

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