Although I am a modernist, the French Country tableware will always grab my attention. I guess it is the comforting feeling that they carries. Plus, they fit what I eat. What I found at Barrel & Barrow brings a twist on the classic. Take, for example, the Côte Est Espresso cup with its spoon hanging from the handle ($6.95 AUD).
I may be biased because this is my all-time favorite salad, but I would like to put on my table the Niçoise Salad bowl ($19.95 AUD). And this is accounting for that fact that they should have written Salade Niçoise. I can not judge if their recipe is right, which would be the deciding piece of information. But one thing is for sure, this collection is affordable. Even the Pewter Salad Servers are a bargain at $49.95 Australian dollars (about $57 USD).
+ Wheel & Barrel Homewares
I imagined myself relaxing at the lake cottage on weekends when I browsed the catalogue of the Danish designer Rie Elise Larsen. She cleverly mixes traditional with modern. The styling of the pictures really sells the story. Like Arren Williams did, I felt in love with her metal light pendants. She also carries the colorful hooks, in small and large sizes.
For eating on the porch, I would like to put my hands on her beautiful metal trays available in 5 different sizes and 5 colors. The XS tray seems the perfect size to serve croissants in the morning. And it’s so cute in purple.
Sadly for us, her home and kitchen products are only available across Europe. I hope that someone will want to distribute her products in the USA or Canada because I enjoy what she does.
+ Metal pendals
+ Kitchen products by Rie Elise Larsen
+ Store locator with European countries only
What is great about shopping at Ikea for a party is that you can afford to buy the items in large quantity. Here are two finds that would be great for a summer party in your garden, at the beach or for a picnic in the park:
+ BARFOTA Hanging tealight holder $4.99 CAD for a pack of 2
+ SODA drinking straws $1.50 CAD for a pack of 200
+ HÄLSA Steel vacuum flask $8.99 CAD
For an ocean theme, look at their vibrant turquoise glassware and bowls.
+ GODIS MIX Glasses $8.99 CAD for a pack of 6
+ BLANDA Serving bowls, available in assorted sizes from $1.99 to $9.99 CAD
I could not visit Japan without buying some tableware. I resisted many items since the way Japanese food presentation is quite different than how we eat as Westerners. In Japan, they use tons of bowls, from medium size to the tiniest bowls, in every meal. I opted instead for plates that I know I will use over and over. I plan to use the white cup and its tray for breakfast or to serve a sweet treat with our tea. I paired the cup with a black salad plate to fashion a breakfast set for 2.
Then, I bought the black and the white L-shape plates and a few rectangular plates for serving appetizers when we entertain.
My husband, who does not share my passion for tableware, provided good advice on what would be practical at home. The only thing I regret that I did not buy is a medium size ta-ta-la Kikoku dish. My plates and cups are in the dishwasher as I am writing this post. Now, I just need to find how I can fit them inside my already full kitchen cabinets.
Marukatsu is located in the Kappabashi district of Tokyo, which is next to the Asakusa district. Kappabashi has become a hot tourist spot. This is the restaurant supply shopping street where you can find anything you need to open a restaurant. For my friends living in Montreal, think about Distribution Alimentaire Aubut but multiply it to a long street of shops and add restaurant furniture and decorative items. Kappabashi is heaven for someone who likes to entertain at home. I bought two bags of individual plastic bottles to serve sauce or vinaigrette, including a bag of pig bottles. They will bring a cater look to my food presentation.
+ photos: Momo by Marukatsu
There is something about the old-fashioned, almost Victorian look of this small tableware collection designed by Thomas Paul that I find very appealing. I guess it is because it invites you to take it easy for a while.
Luddite was a social movement organized by the British textile artisans to show their opposition to the industrial process. Thomas Paul designed this collection as a reference to a simpler way of living. It could be the starting point of a tabletop for a gentleman’s birthday or a baby shower for parents.
+ Thomas Paul Luddite Dinner Plate $10 USD at Velocity
+ Luddite Side Plate by Thomas Paul $8
+ Luddite Tray by Thomas Paul $26
+ Luddite Beaker by Thomas Paul $10
These adorable fruit baskets would add a nice touch to any outdoor party this summer. The Farmers Market baskets are made of a sturdy bone china in a glossy finish. You can buy them online at Jayson Home & Garden or at the Chicago store.
+ Farmers Market baskets small $20, medium $32, large $38
+ Via Oh Joy!
Heath Ceramics opened a small 500 square feet store at the historic San Francisco Ferry Building, which is a great place for shopping. The best thing is that Heath Ceramics is located next door to the delicious Miette, and across from the awesome Blue Bottle Coffee. So even if you do not find what you are looking for at Heath, it will not be a wasted trip.
+ Heath Ceramics at the Ferry Building – photography by Mariko Reed
You know my fascination with mingling plates. I am always on the lookout for more. I spotted the Puzzleboard by Oooms earlier. It was always depicted as a service tray or an interlocked cutting board. I thought it was a fun design. Now, I think that the Puzzleboard is brilliant! I discovered that each jigsaw puzzle piece is also a mingling plate. The multi-purpose characteristic makes it a good buy. Oooms ships worldwide for a flat fee of 7.50 euro per order.
Most mingling plates are built to support a wine glass. I mentioned before the Social plates, which fit different glass types and a soda can. But the bare essential look of the Social Plates is not suitable for a hip cocktail party.
What if you prefer a glass of beer
I discovered on Design-Milk two Spanish designers who found a stylish solution for a beer and tapas night. Giovanna de Ávila and Joan Sunyol collaborated to create Out of Work (also named Outside of work), a mingling plate that comes with a handmade blown glass beer glass. O.O.W.’s hand made ceramic plate is stackable.
O.O.W. was exhibited for the first time at Designboom’s Mart 2010 at Stockholm’s Furniture Fair. As far as I know, it is not available in stores, at least for the moment. I suggest that you contact Giovanna de Ávila, if you are interested by these artisan mingling plates.
+ Puzzleboard by Oooms 19.50 euro / $27.15 USD
+ Out of Work on Giovanna de Ávila‘s Web site
+ O.O.W. photos: News about Giovanna de Ávilas
What a clever and adorable idea! Imagine the reactions of your guests when you cut the first piece of cake. I feel it is more unique than the typical individual heart cake pans. Just for the reveal, I want to add this cake pan to my bakeware. Besides Valentine’s Day, it would be perfect for a bridal shower or for Mother’s Day.
I spotted it at the global Muji shop. I did not find it on Muji USA. If you have any clues on where to find this scalloped round mold, please inform me. I want to get other options in case that I could not find any at the many Muji stores in Tokyo.
+ photos: Muji Rhythm
If you are not a domestic goddess, my best advice is to get unique hors d’oeuvre dishes. This way, you simply have to throw the food in the dish to produce an immediate Wow factor. It is hard to be more eye-catching and functional than the Dune hors d’oeuvre dish.
It is part of the Setcast collection is the result of a close collaboration between the London based multi disciplinary design studio voonwong&bensonsaw and one of China’s most distinguished manufacturers of bone china, Asianera.
+ Dune Dish $175 USD at Merchant4
In less than a month, I will be traveling across Japan. I cannot wait! While shopping is not the purpose of the trip, I will visit a few design shops. One of the stores that is high on my list is Fog Linen Work. I discovered this superb raw linen collection last fall.
Even though you can buy the collections at selected retailers across the United States and Canada, it is not the same as shopping at the designer’s shop. I cannot wait to see up close the kitchen linens designed by Yumiko Sekine.
A Must-Have Magazine
I read on La Tartine Gourmande about the latest magazine that Fog Linen Work produced. It features creators around the world that introduce their life with fog linen. The concept is awesome. You can check out a digest to get an idea of the bilingual magazine (japanese and english).
As far as I know, each creator took the set of pictures. You will get a glimpse of the creative universe of Maria Alexandra Vettese, Ryan and Alissa of Horne, Julie Baine of Pod, clay artist Rae Dunn, photographer Marisa Shimamoto, photographer Jennifer Causey, photographer Jenny Hallengren, Sally Yang of DWR, textile designer and illustrator Lena Corwin, stylist Elodie Rambaud, designer Lotta Jansdotter, and food photography and stylist Beatrice Peltre.
+ Around the Fog magazine – march 2010 issue 945 yen
+ Fog Linen Work
+ other photos: La Tartine Gourmande