Browsing Tag

black and white


A Black and White Tabletop for a New Year Dinner

tabletop ideas for new year eve

If you prefer a clean look to glitters for your New Year celebrations, this modern black and white tabletop concept is for you. Assemble a bouquet and pick a stylish, festive tablecloth to polish the look. You could replace the flowers with four numbers on a stick that read 2013.

1. Small drop vase at CB2

2. Iittala Artik Cutlery Serving Set at Greener Grass Design

3. Contemporary Ice Bucket at William Ashley

4. Tasting plate at Uncommon Goods

5. Champagne Glass and Top Hat Silver Centerpiece at

6. Nero tableware collection at Arabia Finland

I hope this mood board gives you ideas on how to set up your New Year’s table. Have fun tonight! But first, don’t forget to check out my bubbly cocktail suggestions here and there.


Five Unusual Halloween Pumpkins

leafy carved pumpkins by sunset magazine

I scoured the Web for beautiful, fun and unique style pumpkins. The main constant is to stay away from the orange pumpkins.

night owl pumpkin by martha stewart

+ The carve-by-color technique gives this Night Owl pumpkin a cool and unexpected twist. One element that it not mention on the online instructions is that you also need to paint your pale Lumina pumpkin on page 6. (via Martha Stewart)

sneaky trick or treat pumpkins by Sunset magazine

+ Anyone can do this nice trick. The effect of the sneaky trick or treat pumpkin is obtained by placing your stencil for the trick backward on the back of the pumpkin. Put a candle inside the pumpkin and simply position the pumpkin to see a reflection of the word trick on the wall. (via Sunset magazine)

unusual pumpkins :: carved and painted black and white

+ An antique plate inspired the design of the Thorny Vines Pumpkin. Country Living carved the vines on a perfectly shaped blue hubbard pumpkin.

+ The Black & White Painted Pumpkins were done with the typical pumpkins that were brushed with a coat of white flat acrylic craft paint. You can skip that step if you buy white pumpkins. (via Country Living)

leafy carved pumpkins by sunset magazine

+ The leafy pumpkins seems to be giant zucchinis that also grow on width. (via Sunset magazine)


My Momo Dinnerware by Marukatsu

momo plates, trays and cups by marukatsu

momo plates, trays and cups by marukatsu

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.

ta-ta-la bikoku dish by marukatsu

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.

Kappabashi district

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


Cool Tableware by Design House Stockholm

trinity bowl or candleholder by design house stockholm

Whether it is for you or a gift, you can never go wrong with unique and practical tableware.  When I wish for space-saving, affordable yet “feel special” items, I often look at products from Scandinavian designers.

trinity :: stoneware spin mug and saucer by design house stockholm

Made of stoneware, the three compartments of Trinity slides out to accommodate different objects in a straightforward arrangement. It can be used as bowls or a candleholder for block candles. Trinity is practical for serving party nibbles and candies. You can buy it in black or in white stoneware. Trinity was designed by Lisa Hilland.

Available in the same black or white stoneware are Spin mugs, saucers and stirrers designed by Marie-Louise Hellgren. I think they would be great for making hot chocolate.

design house stockholm store in sweden :: top light candlestick by Lena Bergström

Lena Bergström adds style to the 1970s candle in the wine bottle idea. But her Top Light candlestick is a lot more stylish. As you can see on the picture, you could paint and add a graffiti word on the wine bottles to create a more sophisticated  look. Or you can use antique carafes as the stand.

Where to Buy?

As a fan of Scandinavian design, I was intrigued to know if we can get products from Design House Stockholm in Canada. We do! There is now a concept corner at Bergo located in The Distillery District in Toronto while a concept corner opened October 8, 2009 at Design House in Vancouver, Canada. Plus, you can find some pieces at The Montreal Museum of Fine Art. There are a good numbers of local retailers that sell Design House Stockholm products in the United States. In total, you can find the design house Stockholm’s products in 16 countries.

Let me mention that the picture of the store shows the first franchise store opened by Åsa Fritz and Lena Damberg in Jönköping, Sweden. It is a beautiful store with a view on a waterfront.

+ Black Trinity bowls/chandleholder by Lisa Hilland $49.99 uSD  – white
+ Stoneware Spin mug, saucer and teak stir by Marie-Louise Hellgren $19.50 USD
+ Top Light Candlestick by Lena Bergström $27.50 USD


A hip floral tabletop theme for a family brunch


You do not need a design that screams Easter to look festive. Since the typical pastel Easter decorations are not my style, I created a series of hip and fun Easter tabletops. I will be presenting two tabletops today in two separate posts.

What is great for you is that my Easter tables featured tableware items that you can reuse for any occasions. In fact, the design comes from the shapes and the patterns of things you need to eat, not from a bunch of superficial accessories. It is simple and beautiful.

The birth of a concept

Thinking outside the box allows you to find fresh concepts. I usually start by analyzing the key elements of the celebration. The idea is to approach an event design from a different perspective. Basically, I look at at the Easter brunch party this way:

  • Easter is a festive, family gathering that occurs in Spring
  • Hosting an Easter party means planning several activities for kids and a table where the children will feel comfortable
  • The egg and the bunny are the more popular symbols associated with Easter.

Let’s review my floral Easter table. Every since, I saw the beautiful Atelier Lzc Party Napkins at Rose and Radish, I wanted to use it. My jumping point was this cute Black Floral Salt & Pepper Set by Sagaform. I selected this inexpensive salt and pepper set for the egg shape. When I put the napkins with the salt and pepper set, I found my theme. The rest is a matter of creating harmony and a focal point.

The cocoon-shaped soup tureen, the ice cream bowls and blue condiment bowl exhibit fun and comfort. Two terms associated with family life. The ice cream bowl by Miriam Mirri is huge so prepare one bowl per family or couple. Adding a communal course to your meal goes with the spirit of Easter.

The story goes that Miriam Mirri designed the spoon as a heart so that you can eat ice cream from one side of the spoon without touching to the other side. I am not convinced but it is a cute marketing story.

Finishing touches

The Coral Dinnerware shows that you do not need to go neutral to look organic. The style would harmonize well with any time of food. You can put it on your every day table, use it for casual entertaining or reserve it for special-event dining occasions. The choice is yours.

The Coral series has only a 7-inch bowl and a 9-inch plate. To complete your place setting, pair the Coral dishes with solid color dinnerware either in black, red or white. I would use a blue tablecloth to highlight the dinnerware. You want the Coral dinnerware to be the focal point of the tabletop.

The illustration of the Poppi Art invite links everything together. It is the theme that is fun yet sophisticated. I presented it as an Easter tabletop but really this tabletop design is fit for any occasions.

Buy online: Poppi Art notecards at Whimsy – price: $12 for a pack of 10
Buy online: Atelier Lzc Party Napkins at Rose and Radish – price: $13 for a pack of 20
Buy online: Soup Tureen by Steffen Schmelling for Ego at Unica Home – price: 120 USD
Buy online: Coral Dinnerware Series by Jill Fenichell for Bongenre at Unica Home – price: bowl $8, plate: $10 USD
Buy online: Big Love Ice Cream Bowl and Spoon by Alessi at Unica Home – price: $45 USD
Buy online: Nio Blue Glass Condiment Bowl by Oliver Hemming at Unica Home – price: $45 USD
Buy online: Sagaform Black Floral Salt & Pepper Set at Wrapables – price: $9.95 USD


Kitchenware by Jamie Oliver to be introduced at Ambiente Fair

jamie oliver new kitchenware collection

I learned that the multidisciplinary design studio Ontwerpwerk created a new line of kitchenware for the Jamie Oliver brand.

This is a black and white collection made of melamine, synthetic resin, bamboo or polyethylene. And they delivered some innovations.

It is more hygienic to use different surface to cut meal and vegetables. Ontwerpwerk thought about that fact when they design two easily identifiable surfaces for the cutting board. Cut your vegetables on the white side and cut the meat on the black side. A two in one, I love that!

Unfortunately, I cannot find an English-version of the Ontwerpwerk Web site. But I read on David Report blog that:

The line consists of bowls in different sizes, a colander, storage boxes, sealable measuring cups, cutting boards, a salt and pepper mill, knives and a knife set.

The products distinguish themselves by their sober design, functionality, quality and affordability. Ed Annink, partner at Ontwerpwerk, has created a timeless design which enhances the products’ sustainability.

The line looks promising. I cannot wait for its introduction at Ambiente Fair in Frankfurt, Germany from February 8 to 12, 2008. Hopefully, I will be able to tell you more after the launch.

Learn more: Ontwerpwerk voor Jamie Oliver
Via: Jamie Oliver kitchenware on David Report


A rich Christmas feast by Habitat

habitat christmas decoration

My husband entered my office while I was putting up this board and he exclaimed Wow!

Until Habitat makes the plunge and opens stores in that side of the ocean, I can share my passions through their styled pictures. This Holidays, their stylists came up with stunning decorations for your Holiday parties.

Deep shades of red

Mixing an array of reds and violets with silvers, bronzes, browns and golden tones summarizes the Christmas trends saw at Habitat. Black and white acts as accents colors. They play around rich colors to create their rooms.

I do not know if you notice but greens are absent. This is a beautiful design lesson on how to limit the hues to one or two area in the color wheel. The result is a sophisticated festive look.

Gift ideas

For a retro look, think about the analogue wall clock FLAP or to confuse your friends at the end of the evening, get the TIK TAK wall clock. And browse for more cool clocks and to equip your bar with handy accessories.


The GARLAND pendant designed by Tord Boontje for Habitat looks adorable whenever you are entertaining. Designed by Philippa Prinsloo, the FELL VIEW candle holder collection is available in two sizes.

Take cues from the way Habitat set the tables. Examine how they cluster things to add focus points on the buffet table. How they play with heights to simulate movements in the room.

The dessert table is particularly adorable. The table is well put together yet the design look lived in. The best way to reuse their concepts is by combining these designs into your own when designing your table.

Christmas decorations

Habitat sells a range of Christmas baubles (balls), flat-packed decorative little trees, Christmas tree decorations, garland lights and more.

A must this season is the long curtain light chain. Made of illuminated pearls and crystals inspired by fashion trends, PERLINA is designed to ripple down walls, over tables, along mantelpieces or to be arranged as a circular centerpiece.

Buy online: Christmas decorations at Habitat
Buy online: FLAP analog clock at Habitat – price: 90 £
Buy online: TIK TAK clock at Habitat – price: 90 £
Buy online: GARLAND pendant lamp at Habitat – price: 18 £
Buy online: FELL VIEW candle holder at Habitat – price: 30 £ for the small
Buy online: PERLINA, long curtain Christmas lights at Habitat – price: 39 £


Inspiration Board: Girlie Mother’s Day Dinner Theme

Girlie Mother\'s Day Dinner Theme

This board is all about the huge floral black & white trend. I love this style so much that I bought this dinnerware set called Bandana in April. You can find it at any Stokes retail locations in Canada.


My Bandana dinner set was the starting point for designing this Mother’s Day dinner party. The great thing with black and white is that you can use a few colorful splashes to add sparkles to your look. Pink is my accent color.

I reuse the aqua and brown table linen that I used on my previous board so you can see in action how flexible this floral tablecloth really is. I strongly felt that it was important to put each place set under a solid neutral napkin linen. The idea is to create layers.

I found these eye-catching pink napkins shopping on my lunch break; they are from Ideal Home Range. Then I got the idea of using a purse as a vase. This is a simple DIY project.

Fashionable Centerpieces

Find a glass bowl that nicely fits into the purse. A kitchen bowl can work since the bowl will be hidden. Then, elegantly assemble various shades of pink flowers to make a one-of-a-kind centerpiece. I was too busy this week to create one myself. So I got the pictures from one of my great floral design sources, The Flower Council of Holland.

Frozen Yogurt Dessert

When Bea from La Tartine Gourmande published her grown up yogurt ice pops, I bookmarked her recipe for my upcoming inspiration boards. Her shooter glass pops look sophisticated and whimsical at the same time. Like always, a glimpse at her photo sold you on her recipe.

Gift Idea for the Stylish Mom

Aprons are in demand right now. The man in mom’s life can get the embroidered Yummy Mummy Pink Mocha apron by domistyle as a little present. Finally, I am showing you the letterpress card from papered together that I bought for my mom.

This design symbolizes a girlie mom. I create the Girlie Mother’s Day Dinner Theme board to emphasize both feminine fashion and glamour. This concluded my Mother’s Day inspiration boards. I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms.

Link: Web site of Stokes – the inventory is not up-to-date
Link: Rhubarb and Raspberry Yogurt Ice Pops – Sucettes au yaourt glacé rhubarbe et framboise on La Tartine Gourmande
Link: Mother’s Day design ideas by The Flower Council of Holland
Link: domistyle web site
Link: papered together store on etsy