Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Basket

Inspired by the hope of Spring and memories of chocolate-filled Easter baskets from my childhood, I had fun dreaming up unique gifts to offer your host (or mother) this Sunday. I found this beautiful porcelain produce basket at Anthropologie (you can also buy something similar online) and decided to fill it to the brim with goodies. My very own mother came up with the brilliant idea to use shredded grocery bags as filler (genius). I can't think of a more creative way to recycle!

First I made a traditional Easter basket stuffed with chocolate from Jacques Torres. Let's be honest...who wouldn't want to receive this as a gift?

For the goddess of hearth and home, a basket filled with a bird's nest and dyed Easter eggs.

I think this collection of herbs and sea salt would be the perfect gift for a passionate gourmand(e).

Once the treats find their rightful home, the basket can be used to store produce in the fridge.

Have fun creating something personal for your host or hostess. A gesture like this—festive, thoughtful, and practical—is a genuine way to show your gratitude.

Friday, April 1, 2011


While Spring has decided to hold out on us a little while longer, I've taken matters into my own hands with some "springspiration" for my home. Sure, it may be snowing outside, but the season is alive and well inside my apartment. Here are a few simple ideas to brighten up your space.

The easiest way to capture the essence of Spring is to bring nature indoors. Fresh flowers arranged in large, wild bunches add a bit of unkempt beauty to an otherwise ordinary table or countertop. I love the gorgeous Garden Roses below (and they smell outrageous). The bowl of lemons in an old ironstone bowl add color to my black side table.

These huge pink branches make a statement and yet feel natural, as if they're growing in my apartment.

It's time to put away the wool throws and the dark, heavy fabrics in favor of fresh patterns and textures. My favorite design is Ikat—which has been a popular trend for the past few years—because it really pops against a neutral palette. I have a blue Ikat pillow on my couch that always feels new. No matter where I put it, it brightens up the room.

You can utilize color in simple ways without having to commit to a complete overhaul of your home. Choose "goes with everything" colors like red or cobalt blue (which is the color of this season, both in fashion and interior design). My red French apron hangs in my kitchen and has become part of the decor. I use the old, red-striped tea towel everyday.

I bought the blue chair from a friend years ago and I think it works well juxtaposed with the browns and lucite. I love the mix of old and new.

The last idea just makes me so happy I could scream. I think one of the fastest ways to update your house for spring is to outfit your bed with crisp, white sheets. It's like diving into a clean, blank slate. You don't have to spend a lot of money; the sheets on my guest room bed are from Target. Of course there's always linen (by now you should know about my vintage linen obsession). Restoration Hardware has a a beautiful collection of Belgian linen bedding; I especially love the big linen duvet. An all-white bed is definitely my idea of heaven.

All of this to say, don't waste anymore time waiting for Spring to arrive. Take charge of your own personal indoor climate by bringing the fresh, light qualities of the season into your home. Maybe it will even inspire warmer weather and sunnier days!