Easter Decor

If you are anything like me, you are probably so over the winter blues.  Banish winter blahs and brighten up your home indoors and out with some fresh flowers, cheery spring colors and whimsical Easter-themed touches.  Let’s dive into the brightness together!

Bulbs in Chalkboard Pots 

Why not add a cheery pop of spring color to your foyer, living room, kitchen or bedroom?  Get a chalkboard spray paint and some super versatile and inexpensive terra cotta pots and start getting creative! Add a tulip bulb and once it has finished blooming indoors, plant it outside and enjoy it for many springs to come!


Wreath Away…

Add some life to your super boring wreath :)  Use plants that represent spring and are easy to care for, such as succulents and moss.  In other words, get moss-y with it!


Get Your Glitter On

Shimmering eggs in a bed of moss make a lovely (and easy!) Easter centerpiece. To create them, paint wooden, cardboard or blown-out eggs in soft pastel shades. Once the paint has dried, apply glue dots in a random pattern then sprinkle glitter over the eggs for a sparkling polka dot effect.  Adorbs!


Bring the Indoors Out

My ultimate favorite!  Why stay cooped up inside when dining outdoors in the spring is such a treat we often take for granted!  Carry the dining table outside and enjoy your Easter dinner in the sunshine surrounded by trees, bushes and flowers just breaking into bloom.  Keep it simple, fresh,clean and bright!


Pretty Place Settings

Seriously, how sweet are these little chicks? Why not creatively show your guests their seat?  Simply print your guests’ names onto small strips of card stock then top each plate with a pair of fluffy chicks and candy eggs.  Chick-a-lish!


Old Vase Go Away!

Do yourself a favor before going to spend more money at the craft store!  Take your old ordinary vases or jars and wrap them with spring-inspired wrapping paper. Mix and match patterns and fill vases with bold flowers to create an eye-catching centerpiece!  Cheap, almost free and gorgeous!  What’s not to love?


Eggs in the Carton

Create an appealing, low centerpiece using eggs, flowers and an egg carton. To make this, pierce the top of a raw egg with a pin, then gently poke the hole with your finger to widen it. Empty the whites and yolk carefully through the hole, and rinse the shell with water. Fill with delicate flowers like sweet pea and mimosa. Place the eggs in a carton or individually in eggcups.  Cuteness doesn’t begin to describe this creative little piece!

RX-HGMAG009_Easter-047-b_4x3_lgFaux Bird’s Nest With Robin’s Eggs

In under an hour, you can turn aluminum foil (yes, aluminum foil), Spanish moss, tree bark and sphagnum moss into a realistic bird’s nest you can fill with painted robin’s eggs or Easter treats.  Ummm…sign me up!


Drama Time 

Tall manzanita branches hung with paper butterflies create an architectural centerpiece for this sun-washed spring table setting by thrify diva Kate Riley. Vintage plates, pale blue dyed eggs and fluffy white hydrangeas work together to create an icy, eye-catching color palette.  I heart it!


Gift Away

Use leftover moss from your centerpiece to make party favors for family and friends. Fill miniature baskets with moss and speckled candy eggs and attach a name tag with each guest’s name on each basket. The baskets serve double duty as favors and place cards.  We heart it and hope that you do too!


Whatever you choose, make sure to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones! Be happy, smile and keep it bright :)

Modernized Sofas and a Chair

When it comes to sofas, we all have a very different idea of how they should look, how comfortable they should be, what purpose they will use, etc. Personally, I need a sofa that will basically hide me. Yes, I am talking about a sofa so comfy with the largest pillows and cushions available on the market that can literally bury me alive. You know the feeling when you throw yourself on the sofa and it doesn’t bounce you back? That’s THE one! But I understand that my version of a heavenly sofa is certainly not for everyone. I realize that the sofa style truly depends on your home’s vibe and the message you want to portray when your friends and family come to visit.

Older generations tend to stick to antique-y look, like the one featured below. It tends to scream “museum” to me, but when done correctly, this same look can be transformed into a more “modernesque” style.


A complete opposite of antique-y traditional, how about this simple, crisp and clean look with straight lines?  Easy fit for any living room, highly functional and it matches any style.  You can coordinate any pillow/rug colors with this grey sofa and add some fabulous art to fill the room.  This design gets my vote!


If you are inspired by art and bright colors, you may like our next sofa. I personally enjoy the boldness of this design and can see myself sipping on that exact glass of wine featured in the picture.  But if you have kids, this may not be such a good option.  Why, you may ask?  One word: WHITE. It is not a secret that white furniture is much harder to clean and keep in the tip top shape.      

White and purple modern sofa with square low profile coffee table in beautiful room

Prefer the Jetsons style?  No problem.  There is a solution for you and it is called VONDOM.  Don’t get it confused ;) It is honestly considered the new world of perfection.  The VONDOM furniture collection showcases a new sensory experience for both indoor and outdoor living. This exciting new assembly features brand new colors, shapes and lines that are unprecedented in the outdoor landscape arena . VONDOM helps create a comfortable and harmonic environment, while arising the senses you never even knew you had.  It creates unique functional art, accentuating the natural beauty of the product. Vondom designs are contemporary and avant-garde.  If you are in Beverly Hills, make sure to check it out… It is nirvana for people who want Bauhaus, art deco, modern, mid century, or designer furniture at wholesale prices.


Batmobile anyone?  Well, this is the closest thing to it right now.  The one and only: Retro Car.  Speaking of super urban! A few Polish designers from the LA Design Studio have created this amazing custom-built auto furniture collection. These handcrafted furniture are made of aluminum, leather and original car parts.  Have a guy who loves fast cars?  This is the ultimate gift for him and his man cave.  Speed limit: Unknown.  Sit at your own risk.


Last, but not least, we have more futuristic and hi-tech designs to show you.  This circular sofa screams 2030!  With some added pillows on each side, it serves as a backrest. Yet, on the other side, there is a mounted flat screen television. Say what?  This futuristic design for a sofa includes capacity of more than two people to get together in a circle and enjoy their favorite movie, show, etc.  Sleepovers just got a whole lot more interesting! With an already installed table in the middle of the sofa, you won’t have to ever leave your spot.  Some of the colors available for this particular sofa are a cheerful red, soft blue, elegant black or white and pink girly.


Shop away… and remember to stay true to your own sense of style and creativity!

St. Patrick’s Day Home Decor

‘Tis the season to be Irish! A true Irish or not, March 17th calls for a celebration, a green one that is! For St. Patrick’s Day this year, why not delve into our pot of “green” ideas featuring holiday crafts projects and Irish-theme decorating ideas?  It’s the day of leprechauns, Celtics and shamrocks!  This is the perfect time to involve the whole family in exploring Irish culture, customs and history. Get your kids involved with fun and crafty projects, such as the ones listed below.  Hope you enjoy them!

Clover Mantel Decoration

Add a touch of Irish-theme decor to your mantel with an easy-to-make framed clover. Trace a clover shape onto a 1-inch thick piece of plastic foam; cut out. Cover the shape completely with crinkled tissue paper to add texture. Spray-paint the clover green, let dry and apply an antique glaze to highlight the textured areas. Secure it to a framed piece of burlap with a bit of hot glue.


Four-Leaf Clover Door Hanging 

Bring a bit o’ luck to your home with this simple but eye-catching St. Patrick’s Day door hanging. Start with wooden shamrock shapes, attach a variety of green scrapbook papers to the wood shapes and let dry. With a utility knife or scissors, cut out the shamrock shapes, attach the shapes to a ribbon with glue dots and add scrapbook letters to each one.  You can find all of the supplies at your local craft store… promised!


Yarn-Wrapped St. Patrick’s Day Vase

Why not re-purpose (and recycle!) a wine bottle into a pretty St. Patrick’s day craft?  Wrap bright green yarn or embroidery floss around the neck of the bottle and end your wrapping an inch or so from the bottom of the bottle. Try using a mix of different shades of green ribbon to tie on a seasonal tag.  Gift it or keep it!


Wreath Away

Turn a simple grapevine from plain to charming just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Embellish the wreath with crafty clovers made from an old green t-shirt, sheet music and scrapbook paper. It’s that easy and super creative!  Cut fun clover shapes from your green fabric and patterned paper, then glue together for a layered effect. Add some ribbon and buttons for dramatic effect and voila!  You got yourself a one awesome seasonal wreath that can be reused for years to come!


Irish Napkin Decor

Check out this simple, yet beautiful napkin decor for the one and only green “holiday!”  Rough twine, raffia, cording or ribbon makes an appropriately rustic napkin ring for an Irish gathering. Embellish with a real (or artificial) shamrock leaf, whatever rocks your boat :)


Bells of Ireland Display

Long stems of bells of Ireland in a green or white vase create a beautiful, classic St. Patrick’s Day touch. Offset the vase with antique green books and vintage croquet balls, as Ireland is one of the founding countries of croquet. Invite over a few chaps and have a ball of a time!


If all else fails, get to your nearest grocery store and buy some Granny Smith apples… Yes, the green ones… the sour ones… the good ones.  Put them in a clear jar and there you have it! St. Patrick’s in a bowl in a matter of minutes.  Easy?  You bet!


Last, but not least… don’t forget to kiss someone… Irish only, that is.  

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.


Contemporary Spaces

Ever been in a space where you felt so uncomfortable that you were afraid to sit down on any surrounding piece of furniture?  I have, which is when I decided that I never wanted my own home to feel that unpleasant.  I honestly think that the owners of this particular home, a.k.a. museum, I am referring to also felt uncomfortable to use their own ritzy and beautifully decorated space.  Pretty?  To a certain extent.  Functional: Most definitely not.   If you want to be isolated from the outer world, do not hesitate: go modern.  Do I like crispiness and white colors?  Sure, of course I do… but I also don’t like to replicate my dental office in my own home.  These people were definitely all 50 shades of cray.

In the past, people would be terrified of the word “modern.”  Anything modern meant that it was too cold and too far out of reach.  I hear it all the time: “Modern? That’s way too expensive for us.” Or: “I don’t want my home to feel like an Exhibition Center.”  But over the years, this view has changed for many.  People started evolving their styles and being more free with their own levels of modernism.  Even the homeowners who love modern design also want their space to feel warm and inviting. Afterall, they like to entertain and have people visit so they can show off their designs and oh, so stylish furniture of the future. Today’s modern interior certainly doesn’t have to feel cold and look or feel like a museum.  It can still be luxurious and welcoming, layered with classic elements full of texture and interest.  With a splash of warm colors such as orange, red or even yellow, one can upgrade from dull to bright in no time.


Nowhere does it say that you have to have all white furniture to feel “modern or contemporary.”  You also don’t have to have imported glass sculptures from Indonesia for your home to feel “modernized.”  It’s all about mixing and matching to achieve that wow factor.  Contemporary today means blending of styles and colors and not being afraid to express your inner artistic nature.  Your space should be functional, not just sculptural. Architecturally clean lines allow for simplicity and orderliness. If you are working with a strict budget, possibly adding a unique chair or a bed frame may be the starting point for the space. With either of these two, you can make that big splash that looks and feels expensive, but is truly not.  Hey, some information should be kept to yourself, right?  Those who like deep wood tones can integrate rich textured fabrics to create a positive, lively contrast. The strong, simple lines of modern design offer the perfect backdrop for dramatic art and accent pieces.  If you don’t have cash for expensive artwork, feel free to paint something yourself.  You don’t have to be Michelangelo or Van Gogh to create your own masterpiece.

Super important factor to remember when designing your own modern space is lighting.  Clear daylight provides crispiness and openness to space, creating the perfect feeling of harmony throughout the home.  Let there be light folks!


To keep the simplicity from becoming sterile, try to incorporate other elements into the space. Add some unexpected traditional and not so traditional details.  Think about adding some brassy or silver-ish frames or possibly revamping some old lamps. That will add light and make the space feel open and clean.  Carefully mixing the patterns and materials can keep the space feel warm and familiar. Even in a strongly modern interior, the mood can be warm and even romantic. And that’s not only if the space features a fireplace.  Think of adding some rustic or woodsy candles to your home.  The smell of rich blends of golden nectar, red apples and spiced berries creates not only a heavenly smell, but also a sense of richness. With some luxurious fabrics and good lighting design, let the good times roll!  

And remember: don’t let pretentious individuals cramp your style!  Create your own masterpiece worry free!  Don’t be afraid to unleash your artistic nature!  Indulge and allow yourself to see the world outside of the box.  Even if only you think it’s unique, do it.  Don’t be afraid to be yourself.  Everyone else is taken.  Design away! 

Food Packaging of the Futuro

We all love food.  But even more-so if it comes in a nicely designed packaging.  Let’s face it: the prettier the design is, the more likely a  consumer will purchase it.  The same goes with functionality.  If it’s too hard to open it, we ain’t eating it.  We have diverse crowds: foodies, gourmet/veggie lovers and vegans… No doubt it is hard to please every palate, but in 2013 even that is possible. There is a little bit of everything for everyone.


People today are interested in knowing more about their food prior to purchasing it.  They want to know the origin, calorie and protein count, etc. Buying ground beef is no longer a simple task.  Times have shifted when it comes to food trends in ways we have not necessarily expected.  Consumers will spend a little more money if they know that whatever they are purchasing is beneficial for them and their families.  The “good for you” trend is finally here.

Let’s take a look at some of the new food package designs that have recently entered the market.

For all vegans out there, you will be thrilled to know that now you too can eat “meat,” but without any meat.  Yes, Beyond Meat has done exactly that. The company focused on replacing animal protein with plant protein, creating nutritional value at lower cost.  And the packaging, as you can see, is quite fun.

lightlyseasonedFor meat lovers, check out the packaging trend in the UK.  Simple, fresh and very self-explanatory.  If you look closely, you will see that the bottom tray is completely eliminated. Who needs one anyway?  Waitrose, wait to go!

UK-supermarket-eliminates-trays-from-meat-packagingPre-packaged desserts have never looked so yummy. These little delicate bites feel like a delicious slice of heaven. Gu Chocolate Puds and Fru Fruity Puds, thank you for existing!  Somehow when something so sinful is packaged in something so delightful…you can’t help but to feel a little less guilty.  At least I do :)  Can I eat the packaging too?  WikiCell, please help us with this ;)


Hungry street strollers, are you tired of regular fast food?  If you are, you will be happy to know that there is a light at the end of tunnel.  An innovative to-go packaging design is out and is creating a big buzz!  The packaging is made out of cardboard that is not glued, leak-proof, and modular.  From Croatia, with love… Food City fast food restaurant is now offering this fun and easy to carry take-out packages.  Functional too and provides no waste!


When it comes to design, we all want something fun, innovative and functional.  These few companies we discussed here re-invented their products and gave them a completely new image.  Image that makes us hungry!  When you see a product and know where it comes from with a familiar design, you want to go straight after it!  Successful companies created memorable packaging that make consumers crave their products.  What’s your favorite food packaging design?  Feel free to share with us!

Unique and Useful Gifts for Hostesses

Sure, we all love parties; especially during the holidays.  People are happy and truly ready to spread some holiday cheer!  But when it comes to gifting regardless of what time of the year it might be, things can get quite complicated.  You have a dilemma of what to get for a hostess who’s been slaving all night and day to make that perfect appetizer you are now drooling over.  You want to reward them and celebrate them, but don’t know how.  The indecisiveness starts to drive you crazy and you settle for the worst: a plain ol’ gift card.  I personally do not like gift cards.  They scream thoughtlessness and a quick fix.  Harsh, I realize.

To help you gather some ideas for this year’s gift giving, we have combined a list of some of our favorite and useful items that your hostesses will just love!  Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  If you are already getting a gift for that someone special, than why not make it super unique and personal?  And no… these do not need to be costly gifts.

Short-term Art

With so many fun websites today, such as Fab and Etsy, why not get them a personalized piece of art you they’ll love?  You can choose from countless prints that best describe your hostess and truly express her personality.  Frame it in a plain black or white frame and you have yourself a very nice, thoughtful gift she will keep forever.


DIY a toolbox jar

Ever felt stuck on a house project because you didn’t have all the right tools?  I know I did… too many times.  Most likely, your hostess did as well.  Grab a few must haves at your local hardware store and create a jar/basket that she will most definitely find useful.  Create a personal label that will make her smile each time no matter how intense her project may be!



A personalized cutting board

I just love this idea!  What hostess wouldn’t like to have a quality cutting board with her name engraved on it?  I know I would!  Feeling overly creative?  Add some distinctive language to the bottom of the cutting board… something personal yet fun for your recipient :)


An actual helpful cookbook

Who doesn’t like food?  Either you love to cook it, eat it or both!  Either way, a good cookbook is always a smart gift.  If you know your hostess’ favorite chef, get them their newest cookbook!  They will love it for sure.  If you want to totally surprise them, get them a cookbook that is unique in every way.  Let them unleash their inner eccentric cook and get crafty with their new and improved menu!


A personalized basket

You can go all out on this one!  Build a basket/bucket that is focused on your hostess’ style and her favorites.  If she is an eternal gardener, get her this beautiful Greens Round Planter from HomeClever.  Fill it up with some essential gardening tools your hostess will adore.  Feel free to include some exotic flower seeds, colorful tools and fun gloves to go with it!

Greens Round Planter


If she is a master chef, get her an unusual seasonal bread mix, chocolate, jelly or an ethnic item that will entice her senses!  Visit your local farmers’ market and pick up an exotic cheese she’s never tried before.  Check out this elegant cheese slicer from HomeClever to include as a gift.  It is such a classy present that would look great displayed in any kitchen, not to mention its functionality and ease of use.  Get Cheese-y with it without actually being cheesy ;)

froma-cheese-slicerWith so many wonderful choices, you can’t help but to gasp for air!  It’s hard to choose, but you know your hostess the best.  Any of these great ideas would make her feel special and loved.  Happy Shopping!

5 Futuristic Lamps For Your Home

Lighting has come a long way from the dangerous oil lamps of colonial times. Whatever your style may be, there is a light fixture for everyone.  Some still prefer a typical traditional chandelier, while others have transitioned to a much smaller and more modest option.  One thing hasn’t changed, however: the fact that we would be living in darkness without these awesomely convenient sources of light. From beautiful hanging pendants to table-top lamps, I’ve compiled some of my personal favorite lighting fixtures.

When it comes to pendant lighting, there are so many options.  If your style is traditional, you may go for a more relaxed lighting option, such as the Lancaster Pendant Bowl.  This particular pendant would fit well in your foyer or over a table in the dining room or kitchen. It demonstrates an easygoing transitional style that fits comfortably, featuring a marbled glass shade held by ample squared arms.  However, if you are more into the modern style as I am, you may choose to go with something more like this.  This EGLO Mercur 3 Light Kitchen Island Pendant is simple, yet very sophisticated.

EGLO-Mercur-3-Light-Kitchen-Island-Pendant (1)

As we all know, some of the most fabulous designs come from Italy.  Italians seem to have that special niche when it comes to designing homes, fashion and so much more.  They always seem to take it to a whole other level and give their all.  Versace, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana all influenced the world we live in today and their inspirations continue to inspire designers worldwide.  Italians have us beat even in the simplest items, such as this table lamp.  Let me introduce you to Nesso.  Designed by Giancarlo Mattioli, this injection-molded thermoplastic standing table or wall-mounting lamp takes four 25-watt E12 bulbs.  Modern and bright, it allows the space to sparkle with charm and elegance.



If you are an industrial style lover, this particular light fixture could futurize your living room in a matter of seconds. Hello Void Light!  I love everything about this light: its design, color, shape and reflection it produces.  It can be intimate, but it can also transpire into a more cold look, whichever you prefer.  This state-of-the-art light fixture would also look great and illuminating in a chic and eclectic restaurant.  ¡Hasta la vista, Henningsen!  Jetsons, please step aside ;)


Transitioning to the outdoors, check out this interesting Luceplan Pod Lens lamp.  This light could be installed in your home garden, the terrace, spaces around the swimming pool, even the vegetable garden. Pod Lens is super versatile.  It can sit high, low, be placed into the ground, in bunches or festoons on the branches of trees.  The lamp is waterproof and its colors are resistant to ultraviolet rays. Pod Lens takes both energy-saving bulbs and normal incandescent ones. If you choose to place this light Inside the house, you can raise it on a high stem with aluminium base and voilà: you got yourself a lightweight floor lamp!


Last, but not least, check out this weird, yet fun looking Wired Lamp.  Inspiration for the “wired” lamp came from the process of model making, using wire to “draw” with in 3D, rather than using paper and pencil. Playing with scale and size has led to the lamp being a fun, inspiring product with a uniqueness of its own. This lamp is a table and desk sized and is now available in three color combinations: Bright Green with a White cotton shade, and Orange cable, Sunshine Yellow with a Black cotton shade, and Black cable and Pure White with a White cotton shade, and a Red cable.


Whichever is your own style, you can’t go wrong by picking any of these innovative and fun light fixtures.  No matter the occasion or room choice, feel free to personalize these same lamps and have them fit into your lifestyle however you desire with just a little imagination.  And of course, don’t forget to let there be light!

Gifts For Your Valentine Vino Lover

Ahhh, the gift of wine… The gift that keeps on giving.  Valentine’s Day is a great occasion to enjoy some vino with the one you love. The tradition of enjoying an intimate dinner and a great bottle of wine is ingrained into the consciousness of romantics around the globe. There are so many fun gift ideas around this time of the year that are sure to awe your loved one!

Buying wine is a form of art.  It’s not an easy task, especially when you are buying for someone who knows wines very well. There are several ways to go about buying wine as a gift. You can start with a favorite varietal or a favorite region or you can set a price point.  Wine does not have to be super expensive to be good. Choose one that your loved one will brag about!


How about a wine club membership?  Now that’s unique!  You determine how many months, which wine club best fits your special Valentine’s tastes and each month brings a new wine adventure to their doorstep. Price range $30-180 per month.

wine delivery

RAVI… yes, RAVI is always a great idea!  Instantly surprise your Valentine with this awesome Instant Wine Chiller.  Ravi never alters the taste and it features a valve that lets you control the flow of wine which helps in obtaining the desired temperature. Vino perfetto!


If you have a Valentine reader to please, gift them a great wine book they’ve always wanted.  Add a personal message inside the book and let your love take on the journey of a lifetime.  From wine region spotlights to food pairing protocol and everything in between, there’s a book and a wine for everyone.


Vino lover with a sweet tooth?  No problem!  There is an easy way to perfectly pair wine and chocolate. This is a chocolate tin six-pack with varying degrees of chocolate intensity to pair with specific red wine varietals. Each eye-catching tin of chocolate is appropriately labeled for each varietal – making your job of tasting easier than ever. A top-pick gift idea for Valentine’s day – Wine Lover’s Chocolate Tins, and reasonably priced at only $20!


You can always stick to fun and unique wine accessories.  Choose from wine racks, decanters, glasses and a multitude of accessories to wine apparel from the Home Clever website. You won’t be disappointed!

Blomus Cioso

Whatever you do, find a way to enhance your Valentine’s Day with lots of vino, love and color RED!