a peek into a prop stylist’s closet


Ever wonder how those images you see in catalogs always look so wonderful, with just the right mix of accidental treasures next to season’s new collection? Imagine a walk-in-closet, organized with a selection of colorful plates, one-of-kind vases and the most eclectic selection of curios you’ve ever seen. That’s what it looks like inside of Sandy Chilewich’s prop closet. The designer, founder and creative director of Chilewich — our go to source for gorgeous yet practical placements, runners and rugs — Sandy’s studio features floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with objects collected over the years from around the world. When a stylist wants to use something that is too rare or precious to own, they often dip into the vaults of other collector heavens to borrow or rent pieces. Some of Sally’s recent finds, above, came from a small shop in Greenwich Village, called the Porcelain Room. For more of an inside look at the creative process behind Chilewich, check out Sally’s board on Pinterest.

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site we’re pysched about: apartment therapy’s new classifieds!


Apartment Therapy has long fueled our shopping designers, especially when it comes to vintage finds on Ebay, Craig’s List or Etsy. Now the mother (or should we say father?) of all design blogs has launched a site called Apartment Therapy Classifieds powered by Krrb (as in cool things you should NOT put out on your curb?). And while trolling around through pages and pages of other people’s unwanted goods may be a fun pastime for those of us without jobs or families, AT’s unveiled a new celebrity curator series to help guide towards the find of your life. The first one up is legendary New York editor, Wendy Goodman, any design junkies dream shopping buddy. Check out her selections and keep an eye on AT’s Classifieds. You may even find a few things from Shelterrific storage on there soon.

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thanksgiving to-do: finally polishing grandma’s silverware

We’re getting ready to host our annual Thanksgiving Redux feast at our house, which means dusting off all the serving platters and seasonal trinkets out that have been in our basement for a year. It’s usually around this time that I start to regret never having a formal wedding registry: I loved our low-key wedding, but it didn’t end with us getting a 12-piece china pattern or the flatware of our dreams. Instead, we’ve been slowing acquiring the things we love and truly need step-by-step. Today, while moaning about our lack of elegant flatware, I suddenly remembered a little treasure box that I was given after we cleaned out my grandma’s house a few year’s back. It contains a set of very fancy, yet very tarnished silverware. Inside is an 8-person set complete with soup spoons, pie knife and tiny little oyster forks. The certificate says WM A. Rogers AA and is says that each piece, except knives, is plated overall with pure silver. My grandma was issued this guarantee in 1952. Though the intricate Oneida pattern doesn’t really fit our clean and modern aesthetic, it seems a shame not to use. But how to brighten up? We picked up a tub of Goddard’s Silver Polish and gave it all a good rub. Quickly it started looking bright and clean. Afterwards we ran it through dishwasher, which I thought seemed silly, but this article assured me it that it work. (The key is to NOT mix with stainless-steel flatware, which can cause a chemical reaction and discolor the silver.)

For more silver polishing tips, see this Real Simple story.

Do you have any silver polishing tips to share? Tell me how to do it better next time!

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the ultimate “yard sale” — oprah sells her stuff for a good cause

Oprah’s had a very busy November. No, we’re not talking about receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Obama yesterday. We’re talking about the auction which just wrapped up at Kaminski Auctions of a collection of Oprah-owned antiques, furnishings, art and signed memorabilia, all gathered from her gorgeous homes in Maui, Indiana, Chicago and Santa Barbara. Over 7500 people bid on the goods which quickly sold out. Among the featured items: A Bottega Veneta steamer trunk that she stored her sweaters in (!) that sold for $10,200. In the end, the sale raised over $600k for the fund. We can’t help but wonder if Oprah was cleaning house in order to make room for some new things. A pre-redecorating purge perhaps? Stay tuned!

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steal this idea: clipboards to display illustrations as wall art

Every time I visit the Marie Robinson salon in the Flatiron district I come away inspired. Maybe it has something to do with walking out with a freshly shorn crop or perhaps it’s just having a half an hour to sit still and unplugged, but the place provides a creative recharge. One thing that inspires the collector in me: A display of vintage illustrations above the waiting area hung cleverly with classic office clipboards. These witty doodles were a discovery James “Ford” Huniford who designed the airy and clean interior. The clipboards make them feel light and spontaneous, as though they were portraits of other clients who recently left the couch to be shampooed. My favorite is the lady above, who looks like she has a secret. They make me want to scour the overlooked boxes of antique stores in hopes of finding my own pile of illustrations. Perhaps I’ll just use clipboards to display my five-year old’s growing pile of masterpieces. Clipboards are about $1 each, so you can afford two rows of ten or more, easily.

So tell me: What would you clip and hang?

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