Stories for: Home

Gift Guides, HomeHoliday Gift Guide ’10: Home Beautiful

ONE. Pinhole Press 12-Photo Monthly Framed Calendar — There’s nothing like receiving something truly customized and personal for the home, and Pinhole Press is a new company that allows you to turn your pictures into sophisticated gifts that anyone from your boyfriend to your grandmother would love.  Our favorite product is the 12-frame, 12 month calendar where you set each month to a favorite picture.  Each month comes beautifully  mounted in a wood frame. It’ll be perfect on the living room table or the front foyer-trust me, this is a calendar you’ll be proud to show your visitors! And coming in at under $35, you can afford to make a calendar set for everyone important in your life.

TWO. SushiSamba Cocktail Tree — It can be hard to find a nice gift for the home, but we’re loving SushiSamba’s Cocktail Tree. It’s such a creative way to display elegant stemware (who wants to hide nice glasses in a cabinet?) It would look amazing as the centerpiece for a holiday gathering, but you could definitely use it any other time of the year as well. Plus, it’s so unique (each one is hand made) that you won’t have to worry that you’re giving someone something they already have. In fact, we think it makes such a statement that we’re saving up for one for ourselves!

THREE. Tiffany Blue Box Plate — Any fan of Tiffany & Co. knows just the signature blue box alone is worth getting excited about, but to receive a big one that contains another “blue box” inside — in the form of a 9.5-inch bone china plate — is truly a wonderful feeling. For $75, the price is reasonable but the look on the recipient’s face should be priceless. Plus, everyone needs a good serving plate for appetizers or desserts. We think a mound of pfeffernusse cookies would look great on this one. In fact, we think we’ll go bake some to put on ours right now!

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Home, Jewelry, Lust List, ShoesLust List: November 2010

Fragrance, HomeModern Naturals

I used to buy Illume candles all the time, but for some reason, lately I haven’t purchased any because I’m still trying to get through the backlog of candles currently taking up way too much space in my closet.  The problem is, most of those are what I’d call summer scents, and now that we’re heading into the fall, I want to burn richer scents that make me think of autumn.  That’s where Illume’s new Modern Naturals collection comes in.  There are five different scents in the collection and they’re all perfect to bridge the transition from spending your days in the pool to dragging out the hats, scarves and gloves again.  Here are the five scents:

  • Citron Basil – Refreshing citron zest and basil leaf infused with Spanish rosemary, green hyacinth and sheer musk
  • Earth Rose – An alluring blend of sensual rose and patchouli topped with midnight jasmine and sparkling mandarin leaf and lavender
  • Persimmon & Spice – Persimmon and fresh pumpkin top this spicy blend of nutmeg and clove
  • Quince Cypress – Cypress, Siberian fir and eucalyptus are infused with quince, black currant and lime
  • White Thyme & Pear – Crisp pear and fresh thyme blended with a hint of soft jasmine and rich vanilla

I tested out the Citron Basil and Quince Cypress scents and loved them both.  Citron Basil is lighter – sort of a citrusy, spicy blend and Quince Cypress is a richer, deeper scent.  I could definitely smell the fir and eucalyptus in it, which I love, but neither was overpowering.  What’s great about these scents is that you can get them in several different sizes, from the Mini Glass Candles, which are $7 and burn for 15 hours, to the Boxed Glass Candles, which are $28 and burn for 65 hours.  They’re even available in Reed Diffusers.  (I’m a huge diffuser fan because I’m always nervous that I’ll forget to blow a candle out before I leave my place, so I feel like diffusers give me peace of mind sometimes).  I’m so ready for the cooler weather to start…

Beauty, HomeSoy Delicious

I’ve been spending a lot of time at home writing lately, so I’m going through even more candles than usual as I try to make a comfortable environment for myself to work in.  The newest one that I’m trying out is from the Soy Delicious line.  The candles are made with 100% soy (instead of paraffin wax) and they burn cleanly, with almost no smoke coming from the tin.  (Very nice for your health).  The scent I tried is called Karma, and it’s a relaxing blend of rich lavender and warm vanilla that immediately welcomes me into the room where it’s burning.  What’s really cool about these candles though is that once the candle liquefies, you can dip either your finger or the small spoon that’s included in the package into the liquid and use it as a moisturizing protein rub on your hands, feet, cuticles, or elbows.  (I’ve been using it on my cuticles and it’s made them really soft).  It sounds crazy, but the soy liquid is only slightly hotter than your body temperature, so there’s no chance of being burned.  (But make sure you blow the candle out first!)

The candles come in a wide variety of scents, so if you’re into more of an energizing fragrance, be sure to check out Orange Groves or Pina Colada.  (My next one is going to have to be Fresh Linen though, since that’s my favorite all time candle scent). The candles retail for $34 and can be found at www.soy-delicious.com.

Fragrance, Home, Insider's ObsessionsInsider’s Obsessions: Gretchen Hollingsworth

We adore the candle line, Paddywax, created by Gretchen Hollingsworth. What started out as a whim, it is now a 14 year old company with many fans (like us!). Paddywax is probably best known for their gorgeously scented and imaginative candles with elegant packaging – together, making the product irresitable! Gretchen clearly has a “nose” for beautiful things, so let’s find out what she’s obsessing about this month! READ MORE

Chicago, HomeMacy’s Flower Show 2010

The annual Macy’s Flower Show is underway for 2010, and it’s a fun, free way to celebrate the season! Called “Spring is in the Air,” it’s taking place from now until April 11th at five Macy’s locations: Chicago, Minneapolis, NYC, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. I was lucky enough to get the inside scoop on Chicago’s Flower Show, taking place at the historic store on State St., and I can’t wait to check it out for myself!

The State St. store features over 20 displays with over 100 varieties of exotic trees and flowering plants. There are also beautiful tablescapes by the Martha Stewart and Lenox collections that will definitely inspire how you’ll set your table. You can even take a guided tour hosted by a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener. Pictured above is an amazing 16-foot birdcage display in the Walnut Room on the 7th floor, featuring white spriea, orchids, tulips, daffodils, birds of paradise, blue hydrangea, and different ivy and grasses. And don’t miss this year’s centerpiece–a hot air balloon, reaching over 2 stories high, with a gondola filled with beautiful greenery and flowers. Be sure to check out Macy’s Flower Show at 111 N. State St. while you can, and click to see even more pictures! READ MORE

Home, ObsessionsHappy O

I love that Easter is one of those defining moments of spring where it’s just a good excuse to eat good chocolate, wear bright colors and generally celebrate the season with your friends and family.  Every year I try to do something around the holiday just because I’m happy that the flowers are out, the grass is green and can finally look forward to sunnier weather.

This year I’m hoping to impress guests with one of the most genius Easter themed products I’ve ever come across: colored Happy O Wine glasses by Riedel.  The set comes with 4 glasses with 4 colored bottom rims-  red, green, blue, and yellow.   The glasses are really playful and fun in addition to being stylish and practical- they are appropriate for both red and white wine.   In addition, they  make such a pretty accent on your dining room table (or wherever you drink).  Each set retails for $60- making it appropriate as a gift or for yourself.  So far everyone who has seen mine has commented on how cool they are and every time I look at them, I can only think of sunny days and white wine.  I’m marking them as an obsession!

Fragrance, Home, ObsessionsObsession of the Moment: Paddywax Journey of the Bee Orange Blossom Candle

Fashion, Home, ShoppingLiberty of London for Target

Whenever I am across the pond, I always have to stop by the amazing department store Liberty of London near Oxford Circus.  And by stop by, I mean spend half a day in the beautifully curated store, admiring and lusting after everything.  So naturally I jumped at the chance to attend a press preview for the new Liberty of London for Target collection that’s hitting stores nationwide this Sunday.  I snatched a few items to spruce up my apartment (see above) and have got the dish on all the goods you can expect to see. Liberty lovers will be excited to see their signature prints and florals on everything. For luck New Yorkers, there is a pop-up store in progress right now at 1095 Sixth Ave (at 42nd St) March 11-March 13 from 9am to 8pm. READ MORE

Fragrance, HomeCasa di Francesca

Having recently moved, I always find that home fragrance is an easy way to make an apartment feel a little bit more like mine, even though there are boxes that need to be unpacked. When I opened the diffuser by Casa di Francesca, I immediately felt a sense of luxury and comfort.

From their collection of scents, I tried Pure Pear.  The scent captures the scent of lush white pear blossoms and the ripening fruit; in my apartment, it lends a sweet but also crisp and clean scent. The overall feeling is very sweet and rustic, and it makes me feel instantly relaxed…like taking a deep breath and going “ahhh.” What could make you feel more at home than that?

The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.

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