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help! i'm looking for the perfect photo album

Dear Shelterrific, Don’t you hate it when, having found the perfect item (could be a dress or a purse or…), the manufacturer stops making it. This was the story with the T. Anthony photo album I loved. It was perfect: The cover was the signature T. Anthony combo of canvas and leather, very low-key chic. It was a three-ring binder format with over-sized (don’t know exact dimensions but can find out) plastic covered sheets inside. I’ve been seplaceing for something like this album everywhere and have yet to find one even vaguely similar. Any chance you can help me hunt one down? Thanks! Lisa

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Lisa! I hope you don’t think we’ve forgotten you. You sent this email a few weeks ago and we have been on the hunt. You’re right, this is a tough one to find. “Vaguely similar” is as close as we could get! We spotted this one (above left) in a catalog the other day and immediately thought of you. It’s the Berkely Memo Album from exposuresonline.com. It’s not real leather though. How ’bout this other one from Burnes of Boston? It is not exactly like the T. Anthony one, but it’s pretty, don’t you think? Other ideas: Our favorite blog for all things photo, Fototiller suggested these woodbutton hole albums from Book + Marks, that are nice, but that similar. Does anyone else have a suggestion for Lisa? Help us help her! Thanks!

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help! i’m looking for the perfect photo album

Dear Shelterrific, Don’t you hate it when, having found the perfect item (could be a dress or a purse or…), the manufacturer stops making it. This was the story with the T. Anthony photo album I loved. It was perfect: The cover was the signature T. Anthony combo of canvas and leather, very low-key chic. It was a three-ring binder format with over-sized (don’t know exact dimensions but can find out) plastic covered sheets inside. I’ve been seplaceing for something like this album everywhere and have yet to find one even vaguely similar. Any chance you can help me hunt one down? Thanks! Lisa

photoalbum3.jpg

Lisa! I hope you don’t think we’ve forgotten you. You sent this email a few weeks ago and we have been on the hunt. You’re right, this is a tough one to find. “Vaguely similar” is as close as we could get! We spotted this one (above left) in a catalog the other day and immediately thought of you. It’s the Berkely Memo Album from exposuresonline.com. It’s not real leather though. How ’bout this other one from Burnes of Boston? It is not exactly like the T. Anthony one, but it’s pretty, don’t you think? Other ideas: Our favorite blog for all things photo, Fototiller suggested these woodbutton hole albums from Book + Marks, that are nice, but that similar. Does anyone else have a suggestion for Lisa? Help us help her! Thanks!

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help! i need a sofa that will fit through my door

I want to know if there are any great looking sofas that will actually fit into a small apartment. We have a really tight corner turn right past our front door, and I had to say bye-bye to my 8 foot long Shabby Chic sofa when I moved. That’s okay, maybe it’s time for something more contemporary, but what? Is there anything adorable and affordable that could be assembled inside an apartment? — Sharon

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Funny you should ask that, Sharon. We went through that exact same seplace when we moved into our apartment two years ago. I measured the maximum width of the doorway (31″) and was then dismayed to find most sofas would not fit through it. We ended up going with one from BoConcept, mostly because it does just what you ask: They assemble the sofa in your apartment! No need to worry about doorways. There is a sacrifice to pay for this, and that is quality. Because the furniture does not have a solid frame, it is not the best contructed one you can buy. I say they have about a five year life span; ten may be pushing it. This is the one we got, though ours is in gray felted wool. You can choose which arms and feet your want the sofa to have as well. About $2,000. Click here to see all BoConcept Sofas. Another option is Room & Board’s small scale selection.

Anybody else have small sofa suggestions for Sharon? Please let her know by leaving a comment here.

P.S. Both BoConcept and Room & Board have showrooms in NYC. Visit before you buy!

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help! got any party mixer ideas?

We had an email request the other day from Malina that said: I recently moved to Texas and wanted to have a big “Hey, we’re back!” party. I need some sort of activity or theme that would get people to interact with strangers. I have asked around, with no luck. We have tons of outdoor space that can utilize….. Any ideas? Thanks.

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Great question! It’s been ages since we’ve thrown a party (for adults anyway) and this reminds us how much fun it can be. We spotted these fun napkins (above) while browsing around Up To You, an online boutique from Toronto. (You can order them by clicking here and then scrolling down the page a bit). It reminded us of one party mixer game that has always been a hit for us. Not sure what you would call it (officially) but maybe one of you knows?

1) Buy a bunch of “hello my name is” stickers and write celebrity names on them. We always like to use pop cultural references of the moment (hello K’Fed!) but you could use historic figures, tv characters, whatever floats your boat.

2) As your guests walk into your party, slap one of those stickers randomly on their backs.

3) Instruct them that they must ask other guests a series of “yes” or “no” questions that will help them figure out who “they are.” Like, “Am I a blonde woman?” “Do I have any children?” “Do I make a living singing?” etc. To make it a little tougher you could have a time limit. Or limit the number of questions people are allowed to ask.

4) Once the guests guess who they are correctly, they can move their names from their backs to their fronts and relax! You could give prizes to first three people who accomplish this task.

Goofy? Yes. But it is fun (especially if a bit of alcohol is distributed as well). Click here to download some free “hello my name is” templates that you can print at home.

What about you? Got any fun mixer ideas to share? Please do!

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help! i need a storable table to go with these chairs

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The other day we got an email from Nikki that said: Hi! Those Robin Day stacking chairs at DWR are pretty cool – and on sale too! [only $36 each instead of $78!] Any ideas for a dining table that might work with it? I have a small loft so a permanent dining area is not an option. These chairs would be great to store away in the closet or locker until company comes but I’m stumped on what table to use (it would have to be stored ). My style wavers between zen minimalism and retro cool. Perhaps some other readers have some interesing suggestions they’d like to share? I’d appreciate any advice! Thanks.

Wow! What a great find, Nikki. You should definitely buy those chairs, and even though you may not have much space now, they will look great with a proper dining table one day. In our decor dreams, we’d pair it with something heavy and wooden to counter the colorful plastic seat and metal legs. Something like DWR’s double teak table, or maybe Crate & Barrel’s Big Sur, perhaps? But for now, you need a space saver. The one that came to mind was Ikea’s Lakafors, $60. It’s fine for four people, and folds up into nothing. If you have a little room, say for a small everyday table but want something that will expand for guests, try BoConcept’s Extendable dining table. It’s perfect for two, but can double in size. We think it’d look great with the Robin Day chairs in a bright color. Got any other hide-away dining table recommendations? Please let us know!

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