five things we learned last week

kletia 5 things3

1) Ikea fabrics: WIN. Even if you don’t like other aspects of Ikea, the fabric selection is an all around winner for selection and cost, and the proof is in Rebecca’s adorable pillows. Susan Abramson says: “I love the orange and white – such a happy colour and design!! And you can’t go wrong with an Ikea fabric – it’s almost always 100% cotton and priced great so it won’t owe you anything once you tire of it.”

2) Book cataloging sites are helpful in theory and in practice. Shelfari and GoodReads are two options that count Shelterrific readers as fans. SarahB says: “I started using Shelfari 3 or 4 years ago, when someone in my book club told me about the site. I’m an avid reader (I read 63 books last year), and Shelfari is a great way to keep track of what I’m reading, what I’ve read, and what I want to read in the future.”

3) Subtle wall stencils have mass appeal. Rebecca F.’s idea to paint a stencil in the glossy finish of her bathroom wall color has fans. We love the subtlety! Christina says: “Oh I love this! Great stencil and I love the idea of stenciling the same color on a wall but in gloss. Thanks for the awesome idea.”

4) Toothpick holders have a following. Very collectable, they have multiple uses and might make great Mother’s Day gifts! Kimberj says: “One thing I always keep an eye out for is cut glass salt and pepper shakers. I only look for singles that have no mate. I fill them with some kind of lovely organic spice or a cinnamon sugar mix and use them as hostess gifts for parties, holidays, or even a housewarming. I never thought about toothpick holders. What a lovely idea. They could even be filled with festive party picks for appetizers or specialty cooking salts.”

5) Money saved on booking a non-Saturday wedding is worth it for many of you. Our reasons for Friday weddings differ from those of Will & Kate. Sara says: “I got married on a Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. One of the best parts was that our rehearsal dinner was a catered Thanksgiving dinner. We did save some money on the venue because it was a Friday. Another bonus was that guests had time to travel home on Saturday instead of Sunday.” Did you save money by avoiding a Saturday wedding?

photo by Kletia Garies

blogwatch: where we’ve been clicking this week

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Who knew the 18th & 19th centuries were so chic? Psychedelic Federalist wallpapers, at Readymade.

The Nub chair by Patricia Urquiola: like an atomic windsor chair. Via notcot

Smitten Kitchen went to Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster, and all she brought us was this recipe for sour cream cornbread with aleppo pepper.

Make an INSANELY easy MCM-inspired planter with inexpensive Target pots — thanks again, Curbly!

DIY life shows us how to dress up vintage black & white photos with bright & colorful matting — a great Mother’s day idea!

Put down that Morton’s salt! Harold McGee introduces us to the wide world of salt, and why it’s so important to go natural.

mother’s day gift ideas: toothpick holders

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When my mother-in-law started collecting toothpick holders several years ago, I have to admit, I didn’t really get it. Then I bought her a collector’s guide and my jaw about hit the floor when I saw all the different holders. Literally thousands — and that’s just pressed glass. There’s also toothpick holders made of metal (silver, pewter) and porcelain.

Although toothpick holders are no longer considered part of a well-set table, they come in handy for other uses. Filling out the front of a bookshelf, holding a miniature bouquet or keeping your rings safe, to name a few.

Toothpick holders have sold for as much as $10,000 at auction (that’s not a typo). I usually find good ones to gift for well under $20 but have occasionally paid more. With a lot of collectibles, however, there are recent reproductions so if you’re spending a lot, check out some of the collector’s guides first. They’ll help you identify the difference between old and new. You can also find information and links on The National Toothpick Society website. — Sarah L.

registry favorite: beverage dispensers

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anthro bev dispenser

As I’ve been preparing for this year’s run of the summer wedding gauntlet, I’ve noticed a pattern: Crate & Barrel’s cold beverage jar with stand, $49.95, has been on every single registry I’ve looked at. I love everything beverage dispensers stand for: summer parties, cocktails, refreshing drinks! But never have I actually attended an event where I’ve seen one in action. Yes, considering the trend the reason could lie in the fact that the friends that would have the type of soiree that calls for one haven’t received them yet, but still, this item seems to be a popular one for these summer registries. It also calls to mind Anthropologie’s designer version, $298, but with its equally Anthropologie price tag, my summer drink serving needs are best left to the registry specialists at Crate & Barrel. What do you think, readers? Any other hot registry items to keep on the radar? Did you ask for a beverage dispenser, and if so, do you use it? — Sarah C.

Related:
planning a wedding: fun with the registry
post off: what item just didn’t work for you?
wedding registry idea: something old instead of new

oh happy day: the marimekko shop at crate and barrel is open!

marimekko

Crate and Barrel and Marimekko go hand in hand — in fact, their history together dates back to the early 1960′s. Even though C&B has been a reliable source for Marimekko textiles and bedding, it’s mostly been integrated into the regular stock. That all changed when Crate and Barrel opened the first Marimekko shop in their Soho location (as covered by Sarah C. back in October), featuring even more Finnish retinal delights than ever before. Now coasters west, east and in between can peruse this augmented collection, as the online Marimekko shop opens today! So shop now — or if you’re close enough to drop in to one of the brick and mortar locations opening soon, even better. Locations and opening dates are as follows: New York (Madison Avenue, April 28), Chicago (North and Clyborn, May 5), Los Angeles (The Grove, May 19) and San Francisco (Union Square, May 26). — Megan B.

And for more of what to expect when you go, check out more of Sarah’s photos of the Soho store at our Facebook page!