Browsing Tag



Stackable Mu A Stools and Home Accessories

mu a stackable stools by 18Karat

mu a stackable stools by 18Karat

As I selected my top 3 things from March 2010 of the Canadian House and Home, I stopped to browse the catalogue of 18Karat. I first introduced that design, import and distribution company back in 2007. Their catalogue is filled with great home accessories.

The Mu A Stool is the latest addition to the MU stools collection. They select MU because it means wood in Chinese. They later discovered that, in Japanese, MU is the gap or the quiet, the small spaces in-between the constant being of our lives, or the space in-between structural parts. It is funny how coincidence works. Mu A can be used as a stool or a side table. The fact that is stackable makes it a great option to add extra seating when you are having a party.

18karat white vases :: woven, sweater knit and ramen vases

This picture of the woven, sweater knit and ramen vases would have fit well on my white on white home decor story. Event though it is not new, I am still fond of sweater knit vases.

18karat linea table linens :: napkins and placemats

Finally, 18Karat is a good source for pure linen placemats and napkins. Made from 100% Lithuanian linen, I appreciate the raw colors and textures of the  Linea line. This is the style  you need for casual chic entertaining that will enjoy for years.

18Karat operates a beautiful store at 3039 Granville Street in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

+ Mu Stool Collection Mu Counter Stool $480 CAD, Mu A stool$380
+ Kitchen textiles at 18Karat $50 CAD for 4 napkins, $75 for 4 placemats


Napkin Folding: Diagonal Pocket for a Fresh Look

modern diagonal pocket napkin fold

The diagonal pocket fold is not harder to make than the (square) pocket napkin fold. I prefer the diagonal pocket fold for its elegance. It is a twist on the basic silverware pouch. The difference is that you create a band instead of simply diagonally folding the top layer (step 1). I think that the band creates a more sophisticated look.

Before we go over the step by step instructions, let’s review a few basic rules. Any sit down dinner, even the most casual one, requires that you use cloth napkins. Ideally, you should keep around several solid and pattern cloth napkins that go well with your tablecloths. The bigger the napkins, the easiest it is to fold it. I recommend that you use 20 to 22-inch pressed napkins.

How to Fold a Napkin into a Diagonal Pocket for the Silverware

Step 0: Fold a square napkin in half, then into quarters. Orient the napkin so that the open corner is facing the top left side.

how to fold a napkin into a diagonal pocket

Step 1: Gradually roll up diagonally the top-most layer of napkin and press it down to form a band. I usually start rolling a band that is 3/4 of an inch and adjust as needed to get the look I want.

Step 2: I stop rolling when I reach about 1 inch from the lower corner. It is easier to secure the wrapped sides if you stop before reaching the corner.

Step3: Turn the napkin over so that the open corner is now facing your body. Fold that 1/3 of the bottom side.

Step 4: Fold 1/3 of the top side and tuck it in the bottom corner to secure in place. Press well. You can iron the napkins for a crisper look. I did not took the time to do it for the pictures.

Step 5: Use the pocket to place the silverware, a flower (with a florist vial) or a menu card.


Three Awesome Halloween Craft Projects by Eddie Ross

skull centerpiece tabletop by eddie ross

If you are looking for eye catching ideas to dress up your Halloween tabletop or buffet table, you must check these 3 craft projects realized by Eddie Ross. The guy is impressive when it comes to styling. The experience he acquired working for Martha Stewart serves him well. His craft project explanations are simple and easy to follow.

I browsed all the posts Eddie Ross for Halloween. These are the cream of the cream as far as I am concerned.

1. Sinister Centerpiece

The sinister centerpiece is the focal point of this elegant Halloween table. Attention to details adds to the theatrical feel. I love it. Besides the skull centerpiece, the rest of tabletop should take no time to assemble. All you need is spiders from the toys store and to secure a ribbon border on solid grey table runners or tête à tête.

2. Spider Web Doilies

eddie ross spider web doilies

The spider web doilies fit as well in a kids party or an event for grown ups. Make them in several sizes to fit the container that you will put on top. Get the instructions on how to make your own glittered spider web doilies on Eddie Ross.

3. Batkin Rings

eddie ross party ideas for halloween

The simple Batkin Rings are hand cut with black felt. We seen it before with Martha Stewart Halloween scenes, but I never get tired of small branches used as sticks for caramel apples. The glass black platter is one of several black glass tableware pieces that you can find at Eddie’s etsy shop.

+ Sinister centerpiece craft project
+ Spider web doilies craft project
+ Batkin Rings craft project
+ Halloween party
+ Glass black platter $45 USD on etsy
+ photos via Eddie Ross


MYdrap Delivers Single-Use Cloth Placemats and Napkins on Rolls

mydrap single-use and reusable cloth placemats and napkins

MYdrap is a Spanish concept of table linens that is quite unique. For the first time, you can get the efficiency of single-use napkins and placemats without letting go the elegance of your table. There is more. MYdrap are the first cloth serviettes, available in roll or pre-cut, that offer double the possibilities: for single use or to be washed and used again.

mydrap home and hospitality ranges

MYdrap is a range of reusable, washable, biodegradable and recyclable cotton or linen placemats and napkins. I really like the roll idea. There is a line designed for home usage and an hospitality range targeting restaurants, catering companies and airlines.

MYdrap is available in 17 colors. The neutrals are made with linen. The brighter colors are made with cotton. The napkins are available in cocktail napkins, lunch napkins and dinner napkins. RollPack UK is the distributor in United Kingdom while Virages introduced the collection in France this summer. At this point, MYdrap seems to have no intention to cross the Atlantic. I would have like to try them.

+ MYdrap


Latest Napkins and Plates by Skinnylaminx | Etsy Finds

table linen by skinnylaminx on etsy :: napkins tea towels plates

Brighten your kitchen with a dash of yellow. You can start with a few accessories.

You can grab and nicely display the napkins and tea towels by Heather Moore of Skinnylaminx. This illustrator and designer from Cape Town, South Africa, makes beautiful table linens. Her gray and yellow look sophisticated when put together. The mix feels soft.

For a twist, use her 13.5 x 13.5 inch napkins as placemats for a dessert course or a simple breakfast. The plant and flower yellow pattern is printed on 100% cotton hopsack using water-based ink.

Heather owned cool plates and mugs. I would like to find similar, so keep me inform if you know a source in Canada or the USA.

The plates may lead to a new venture. Heather decorated these plates for the South Africa House! exhibit. She transferred 3 of her design on ceramic dinnerware. Each place setting is different and devised from one color palette. Check the rest on her collection on her blog. The patterns are all superb.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: Specimens yellow table napkin – starts at $6.50 USD each
Buy online: Specimens pale grey table napkin by skinnylaminx – starts at $6.50 USD each
Buy online: Mugs in gooseberry tea towel by shinnylaminx – price: $12 USD
Learn more: Mountain Garden [Skinny laMinx]


Plait Textiles Brings Hand-woven Beauty to Your Table

hand-woven napkins and runners by plait textiles

I planned to discuss something else until I got a Facebook wall message by Janick of Creativadoration. Amongst other things, Janick informed me that she posted something this morning that I will probably like. Janick was right.

These napkins are lovely. The pictures by Jennifer Causey make these table textiles even more desirable. It was the perfect way to wake up.

The Secret Behind Plait Textiles

With savory names like Chocolate Wasabi, Cherry Clafoutis, Salted Raisins and Salted Caramel, Plait Textiles stimulates our appetite.

Designer Jennifer Pellman is the artist-designer behind Plait Textiles. Jennifer hand made 100% cotton napkins and table runners from her home studio in Madison, Wisconsin.

This graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art and the University of Illinois School of Architecture creates table linens with a rustic charm.

The 22-inch square napkins are big enough to be used as placemats. The table runners from her standard collection are 18-inch wide and you select the length, up to 8 feet. You can also select your own colors as long as you order at least 12 napkins.

One particularity of Plait textiles is that every piece features the natural selvedges, a characteristic rarely left as a finished edge in commercial textiles.

Face to Face

I am an adapt of Face to Face, which are typically 24 to 30-inch wide. Since I do not know if there is an English word for it, let me explain what is a Face to Face. I discovered it at Arthur Quentin, an upscale French style tableware store in Montreal.

Face to Face covers the table corridor made by sitting in front of each other. Thus, it runs perpendicular to a table runner. I am planning to get a set soon, so I will be able to show you.

Plait Textiles could custom made one for you since the maximum fabric width for custom made is 44 inches.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: Set of 4 napkins by Plait on etsy – price: $120 USD
Buy online: Table runner by Plait on etsy – price: $28 USD per foot
Learn more: Plait Textiles
Photo credits: Jennifer Causey – rights reserved
Via: Plait [Creativadoration]


Easter party ideas recap


If you have not decided yet what to do for this upcoming Easter, I compile a list of my best posts on the subject. I hope it would help you find the inspiration you are looking for.

Shown here:

More design ideas from this year and last year:


Cute and stylish baby shower ideas

blue and red apron : flip flops : cocktail napkin holder : baby shower gift ideas

Instead of a design mood board, I composed one around potential gift ideas. I will tell you all about why these items have baby shower written all over them.


You probably know by now that I adore aprons. And with a new baby, the mother needs more than one for years to come. It is not because you have a baby that you should stop being fashionable. Since you have less time for yourself, it is better to protect your clothes while you are running your daily errands in the house. For example, when you start to give solid food to your baby, the apron protects your clothes up to a certain point.

This Cherry Tart Chef Apron is from an etsy’s seller called BellaBeeDesigns. A hostess version was also available; I just bought it. Every Bella Bee’s apron is handmade with designer fabrics that are 100% pre-washed cotton fabrics. She used designers like Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry. These aprons are created to withstand many years (even generations) of use and washings.

One special attention of Bella Bee is the recipe that comes with her beautifully packaged apron. Matching potholders, tea towels, totes, handbags and a few baby bibs complete her collection.

Cocktail Napkin Holder

For a dash of retro, go for this Brown Pineapple Cocktail Napkin Holder available at To Bee Named. When you do not have a party, you can put inside hand towels or use as a tray for small baby items.

Flip Flops

Because you want an uncomplicated, comfortable shoe to walk around the house, get the Expecting in Style Flip Flops by Bonnie’s StylePress to the mother-to-be. Theses flip flops have a sculpted arch for added support. Other illustrations are available.


Because no baby showers should be held with a proper invitation, I went shopping at Tiny Prints. I selected a new addition to their line, the gender neutral yellow Teddy Shower. Cute and cheerful!

Anything can be the inspiration for a party décor. One way to assure that the gifts go together is to consult each other or to give a wide enough theme to everyone.

Buy online: Cherry Tart Chef Apron by Bella Bee Designs – price: $45 USD
Buy online: Brown Pineapple Cocktail Napkin Holder – price: $21 USD
Buy online: Blue Expecting in Style Flip Flops by Bonnie’s StylePress – price: $29.95 USD
Buy online: Yellow Teddy Shower at Tiny Prints – price: $31.25 USD for 25 invites


Let the art of Paula Scaletta set the tone of your party

Paula Scaletta's coasters and paper napkins

The eco-friendly girl in me relies most of the time on linen napkins at dinner party. But I still stock some paper napkins because their drawings add an instant impact to the table.

Develop your theme from the paper napkins

If you do not know what theme to use for an event, a simple trick is to get your inspiration from the illustrations on paper napkins. From there, develop your theme by accentuating key elements.

The best way to reduce the stress of impromptu entertaining is to be prepared. Opt for motifs that create an instant mood. The jewels of paper napkins are usually found at your local specialized boutiques or the Web.

When you see one motif that really grabs your attention, think how it can fit with your dinnerware. If you can imagine a look, buy right away a pack or two. This way, you can quickly design a stunning table all the time. Build also a reserve of cocktail napkins.

A charming French baker theme

I feel romantic and definitely French these days. Yesterday, I bought Petits fours when I was in Sutton. I also felt in love with the utensils on Dinner at Eight.

Paula Scaletta is the artist behind Petits fours. I dig for more of her creations on the Web. I found that you can get affordable art prints, coasters and paper napkins with her drawings.

A stunning collection of Botticino decorative tile coasters designed by artist Paula Scaletta are available via Studio Vertu. I did not find a specific retailer.

A quick tip of how to mix and match

The coasters and the two napkins I selected complement each other. When you try to mix and match decorative items, start with items that share a common atmosphere. Look at commonalities between the epoch and the art techniques. Target a harmonizing color palette since it often looks more refined.

Learn more: The Paula Scaletta Coaster Collection by Studio Vertu
Buy online: Ruban Fleuris Linen Lunch Napkins at Plates and Napkins – price: $5.95 USD for 20
Buy online: Dinner at Eight Lunch Napkins at Plates and Napkins – price: $5.95 USD for 20


Style Me Pretty’s Board Contest: Having a Pure, Sweet Sophistication Birthday Party by EZ

EZ Pure, Sweet Sophistication wedding board for Style Me Pretty Contest

I told you last week that I updated three inspiration boards that compete in the Wedding Board Contest organized by the blog Style Me Pretty. It is my way to feature the ideas of her readers.

Why not recycled these wedding boards for a milestone birthday party? I highlighted the couple of changes I made from the original board with a pink square.

The first board is the Pure, Sweet Sophistication wedding board created by EZ. Bluish-greys with chocolate brown are one of my favorite color palettes.

Sept. 5, 2007 Update:
I digged a little bit further and I found out that EZ is the girl behind the blog Creature Comforts.

About my alterations

I reused the Sweet Song Birds from Wendy Kromer Confections because they fit so well with the table top design.

The Crest Linen Napkins and Table Runner by Modern Basics nicely complement this scheme. Design Public sells them. The napkins exhibit a generous 20 by 20 inches format. That is the dimensions you should be looking for to create a sophisticated, classy look. I would place the table runner above the shown tablecloth. The off-white runner will add the subtle backdrop to anchor the centerpieces.

Stay tuned for the two other boards.

Buy online: Sweet Song Birds available at Wendy Kromer Confections – price: $100 USD for a set of 4
Buy online: Modern Basics Crest Linen Napkin available at Design Public – price: $100 USD
Buy online: Modern Basics Crest Table Runner available at Design Public – price: $99 USD
Board Author: Creature Comforts
Via: Inspiration Board Contest II, Day 5 published on Style Me Pretty


Having trouble making Martha Stewart’s Bunny Ear Fold Napkins?

Martha Stewart\'s Bunny Ear Fold Napkin

A reader asked me for help because she was unable to create the Bunny Ear Fold Napkins that I taught about earlier in March. I did not try it because honestly I am not good at folding napkins.

My repertoire relays on simpler techniques. I tried it quickly with a piece of paper while at work. Fair to say, Martha’s instructions were incomplete. I need step by step graphical instructions if I want to do this.

So I went looking for help, others must get trouble making it as well. I found the message boards on Martha Stewart’s Web site. One message board has people that made the fold napkin telling you tips on how to succeed.

From that message board on Martha’s board, you will see links to other Web site with step by step pictures. Although the results are no near as nice as Martha’s Bunny Ear Fold napkin on, it still provides useful tips that can help some of you. Milliken Table Linen gives you graphical instructions on how to create a fold similar to Martha’s look.

I have to stress one key element: you must use starched napkins to get spectacular results. Have fun with it.

Link: Bunny Fold Napkinss on Martha Stewart’s Message Boards
Link: Bunny Rabbit Fold Napkin at Milliken Table Linen Web site