It’s no secret that I’m a fan of a street fair but come winter time there’s not much time spent strolling leisurely through the streets thanks to that pesky wind chill factor. Although there is one reason I am willing to bundle up and brave the frigid temperatures during the holiday season. New York City’s Bryant Park sets up a holiday street fair (something pretty close to it) that offers all kinds of goodies and gift ideas. Some of my finds on this trip included hand warmers and cool hanging decorations that catch the light in just the right way. Check it out.
Rows and Rows of shopping
The tree at Bryant Park NYC
The booths have lots to offer
Last August I wasn’t thinking about hanging stockings by the chimney with care. Back then, I was enjoying warm weather, sunshine and anything that involved eating outside, which is how I found myself at one of the ubiquitous street fairs around the New York City. Italian sausages, fresh lemonade and grilled corn rounded out my leisurely summer afternoon. With my stomach full, I was in the perfect mood to make a retail discovery and the Shalant booth caught my eye immediately. Shalant is a company started by David Lant and Lilach Shani who combine their love of travel and design by offering beautiful home accessories that offer rich vibrant colors and a variety of patterns. And although I didn’t know it at the time I’d found the perfect gifts for some friends during the holidays.
This month I’ve been spotlighting lots of cool items that I found while attending the NY International Gift Fair. There was so much to see I could have spent days exploring. Two more stand outs that I discovered were the creations from Anne Taintor Inc and Artecnica.
In my last post about the NY International Gift Fair I mentioned my finds at the Japanese Pavilion. I found a few more goodies that I wanted to share. Although most of my correspondence is done electronically these days, I tend to be old fashioned when it comes to writing thank you notes. I always feel like my gratitude is best expressed with a handwritten card. I found a few which are so lovely; they’ll inspire thank you notes for sending one.
Cavallini.com or TouchofEurope.com
I had a great time at The New York International Gift Fair last month. The hall was filled with hundreds of exhibitors showing off the latest and greatest in gifts, trends and style. I stopped by the Japanese Pavilion and discovered a few things that definitely caught my eye.
Things I love include: seeing how people live by visiting them at home, hor d’oeuvres or tapas and great conversation. That’s why I’m usually the first to accept an invite to a house warming party. I like the idea of helping someone to turn a house into a home. The hard part of this is choosing the perfect gift.
You want to give something useful, attractive and appropriate. I’ve found something that I think fits the bill perfectly (and I’m a little obsessed too). Take a look at these stylish and practical fire extinguishers by Fire Design. Every home should have at least one.
So what’s the worst house warming gift you’ve ever received?
Sure, we’ve all heard it – don’t judge a book by its cover. But when that’s all you’ve got to look at, how can you help it? I’ve been talking about libraries for my last two blog entries but the most important part of any library are the books. I love the old world look of leather bound books. There’s something romantic and sophisticated about these ornate covers.
There are a few ways you can achieve this look for yourself:
There are experts you can hire.
There are booksellers who specialize in them.
Online auction sites have plenty of options.
Or you can check out these how-to instruction from HGTV.com:
Leather and Metal – http://www.hgtv.com/crafting/leather-and-metal-book/index.html
Faux Crocodile – http://www.hgtv.com/crafting/faux-crocodile-book-cover/index.html
For inspiration take a look at famously beautiful libraries:
Queens College Library Oxford – theblogonthebookshelf.blogspot.com
More Amazing Libraries Back Here »
The last time I posted a blog entry I imagined the perfect cozy reading nook – very easy to do. The hard part is sorting through the books you’ve got and storing them. Personally, I find the bargain section at the bookstore irresistible and I accumulate huge piles like snowflakes in winter. So I’ve developed a system. Every six months or so, I go through my shelves and ask three key questions. 1. Did I love this book? 2. Will I read it again? 3. If I have yet to read this book, will I ever? If I answer “no” to any of these, the book goes to charity.
HGTV.com has a few great tips about decorating shelves and bookcases at http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/home-decorating-guide-shelf-decorating/index.html.
I also discovered creative, stylish ways to store your favorite tomes. Check this out:
shelves in rafters – apartmentherapy.com
More Cool Shelves »
When I was a kid in school one of my favorite parts of the day (other than snack time) was reading time. It always felt special because we got to choose a book ourselves and there was a special part of the room to sit and read. Recently I wondered why, as a grown up, I couldn’t have a reading corner of my own.
If I could, I’d dedicate an entire room to a library. There are some creative ideas on HGTV.com:
Get ideas for your library»
One summer when I was a kid visiting with my grandmother, I remember connecting with her about our mutual love of rocking chairs. She had two on the porch and most mornings that’s where I’d find her enjoying her breakfast while watching the comings and goings on the street. What is it about that gentle back and forth motion that simply calms us down?
In my last blog I mentioned that I recently attended the Architectural Digest Design Show (http://www.archdigesthomeshow.com/) and one exhibitor that captured my imagination was Laron Algren Woodworking. These ergonomic creations are simply exquisite. These chairs are comfortable, beautiful and easy on your mind and body.
Although I haven’t gotten around to getting a rocking chair for my own home I do love to find them in unexpected places like the one in the office of my co-worker Barbara. It certainly makes meetings there a little more fun. For more great rocking chairs check out Marketplace (http://marketplace.hgtv.com/).
Barbara K’s rocking chair