Archive for July, 2011

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Kate Landers here again, to share with you tips for creating a charming birthday celebration based on your child’s favorite storybook or character. My goal is always to create an experience for the birthday child and their guests, helping them feel as if they are living right out of the pages of their favorite fairytale. In my experience I have found this can nurture the imagination in ways eating off of party plates with images of a character, cannot. Please note that what is most important is providing the child with what makes them happiest on their special day!

  • Include The Birthday Child In Planning Their Party I highly recommend involving the child in as many age-appropriate aspects of the party planning process. This is an incredibly rewarding gift to the child and creates great anticipation and excitement. One way to do this is to have the child help select the theme for their party, based on their favorite storybook or character. Parties based on fairy tales are particularly enchanting, but can also feel overwhelming. Rather than trying to re-create the entire book, focus on just one character, chapter or scene, and use that for the theme. It will also allow you to create a much more cohesive look.

    The beloved character Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz was selected for the theme of this charming birthday celebration, focusing on her blue and white gingham apron, ruby red slippers, and basket carrying Toto to be used as inspiration for elements throughout.
  • Use The Story As Inspiration For Your Color Scheme I recommended sticking with two or three primary colors for your color-scheme. Whether you choose colors from a character’s costume or from book jacket illustrations (or maybe what your child dreams up!), this can help reinforce your theme throughout all the details of the party.

    We selected a light periwinkle blue, ruby red and crisp white color scheme for our Wizard of Oz-inspired party, based on Dorothy’s costume in the film. We incorporated these colors in all aspects, from decorations to party favors and desserts!

  • Create Storybook Costumes For Your Guests Costumes are incredibly powerful for young children. Whether wearing a pair of felt fairy wings and a tulle tutu, or superhero mask and cape, children often feel transformed when they are disguised in costume pieces. I recommend offering a simple costume piece for the birthday child and their guests to wear during the party, and take home as a favor (which they can re-use again and again!

    For our party, we went a bit overboard, providing each child with a pair of ruby slippers, gingham apron and pettiskirt (pettiskirts are enormously popular). This worked because of an incredibly small guest list of all girls. Notice how we tied the aprons to the back of each child’s chair, with a custom printed tag–this created a darling table set up for photos, and the aprons doubled as place cards letting each child know which seat was set just for them (not to mention it helped us make sure each child got the proper size).

  • Use Storybook Elements As Inspiration For Your Dessert Table If you opt to design a dessert table for your party, I highly recommend using the scenery, magical creatures or fabrics from the characters’ costumes as inspirations for your desserts and props. In our case, we used baskets instead of cake stands and platters to display the desserts (since Dorothy always carried that straw basket on her journey through Oz). We also used her blue gingham apron and ruby red slippers (as featured in the film, not the book) to help us dream up designs for the desserts, cupcake toppers and dessert tags. {A VERY special thank you to the fabulous printables designer & party stylist Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio for creating all of the darling printables you see throughout the party! They are available for purchase in her shop. Also, many thanks to Jessica of Pen N’ Paper Flowers Studio & Design for creating the darling Dorothy silhouette!}
  • Create Activities Based On Story Elements Guests Activities are often important at a child’s birthday celebration, and can be a wonderful way for you to creatively emphasize your storybook theme. For example, for our party the guests enjoyed a felt game of pin-the-badge-of-courage-on-the-cowardly-lion.

For resources used in our Wizard of Oz-inspired party, visit here.

I wish you much success in your child’s next birthday celebration. What storybook or character might you use as inspiration for planning your child’s next party?

Get To Know: Elka Karl, Casa Sugar Editor

Get to know: Elka Karl, CasaSugar editor
Clockwise from top right: industrial inspired 116 Bookcase, Ikat pillow, Regina Andrew Antique Mercury Glass Saucer Pendant, CasaSugar

Elka Karl has served as the editor of CasaSugar for the past four years. She’s written for and been featured in magazines such as Real Simple, ReadyMade, and Kitchen Sink, for which she was a former editor. She lives in a ‘20s-era bungalow in Berkeley, CA, where she gardens in her giant backyard and enjoys throwing dinner parties with her husband. The mom to rambunctious toddler Uli Forster, she loves bike commuting with him and taking him backpacking and camping.

Give us a peek into your personal style, faves and hot trends to watch out for!

  • My signature colors: : Blues and greens — shades of the Northern lakes region of Wisconsin where I grew up.
  • 5 things in my handbag right now: iPhone; my beloved Moroccan leather wallet (I searched over a year for the perfect wallet; this is it); Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick, a pouch of organic pureed baby food (for my kiddo, not for me, ha) and CleanWell handwipes.
  • Trends I have my eye on: Natural dyework in textiles, industrial, refurbished furniture pieces and high-quality craftwork.
  • The superpower I would love to have: The ability to heal others.
  • I can’t live without: Slouchy leather boots, Google maps (for bike routes), my Public bike and Yepp babyseat.
  • My favorite place on Earth is: The South Shore of Lake Superior, Washburn, WI.
  • Book I am reading/listening to: Right now, I’m reading The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall and A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar. I’m listening to Atmosphere’s The Family Sign.
  • Plans I’ve got in the works right now: I’m in the planning stages of collaborating on a research-heavy novel with my husband. He has great research skills as a former PhD student and a current attorney; I have a good sense of character development and dialogue, thanks to an MFA in fiction. Hopefully, this project will not drive us crazy!
  • Layla Grayce items I covet: The Kalon Blocks With Fern Engravings would be so perfect for my son’s room! I also love Matteo’s product line, and the Quatrefoil Quilt’s subtle pattern is a great way to add movement and energy to a bedroom while keeping the color palette uniform. The Currey and Company Parker Pendant – This pendant’s major pop of red and cool spoked design would define a room. I’d love to see it in a dining room.

Camille Spies {Stripes}

Camille Spies {Stripes}
{1} Oilo pendant {2} DwellStudio Draper Stripe pillow {3} straws {4} Plenty striped dress {5} Aidan Gray Striped Portia Chair {6} rainbow cake

I’ve always been a sucker for stripes…whether Parisian or preppy, nautical or Jackie-O-inspired, they always feel fresh & serve as one of my favorite design elements. Camille Styles here, with this week’s trend in interiors, fashion and entertaining, and today I’ve chosen a few of my favorite things that boast this pattern. Punch up a neutral room with a bold navy & white Oilo pendant or a cheerful DwellStudio pillow. And since stripes are both casual & classic, they’re perfect for infusing into summer party details…dress up drinks with punchy striped straws, and delight guests by cutting into a layer cake that reveals a stripe-y surprise!

Get To Know: Ellie Somerville, Lonny Associate Editor


Clockwise from top right: Reinaldo Lourenço’s Spring 2012 Collection, Alexandra Champalimaud Lafayette rug, Ellie’s signature colors of blues and greens with current fave “Studio Green” from Farrow and Ball, Ms. and Mrs. Minimergency Kit in gold, Alexandra de Markoff “Really Red” lipstick, Mrs. John L. Strong notebook, Limed Oak Pagoda Nightstand, Bodum French Press, Lonny magazine

Associate Market Editor Ellie Somerville joined Lonny magazine after its very first launch in 2009. Born and raised in the South and a graduate of the College of Charleston, she now calls Manhattan home. A lover of picnics and travel, Ellie describes her style as “masculine yet romantic” and admires interior design for its ability to create everyday, livable art.

When she’s not scouring the market or assisting on photo shoots, Ellie is learning to cook and dreaming about her next vacation (this time to Istanbul). Like most New Yorkers, she is currently faced with the challenge of designing a small apartment (most recently a studio), but because of her strong sense of Southern hospitality, she hopes to someday have a space large enough to host Thanksgiving dinner.

Give us a peek into your personal style, faves and hot trends to watch out for!

  • My signature colors: : Blues and greens. They’re peaceful and not at all girly. I especially love Farrow and Ball’s “Studio Green.”
  • 5 things in my handbag right now: iPhone, Alexandra de Markoff “Really Red” lipstick (thanks to Callie at Scout Designs for that recommendation!), Mrs. John L. Strong notebook for spur of the moment ideas, Ms. and Mrs. Minimergency Kit (always comes in handy), and a take out menu from Macaron Café (their sandwiches are the best).
  • Trends I have my eye on: Although the use of geometric patterns isn’t necessarily new, I loved Reinaldo Lourenço’s fresh take on them in his Spring 2012 Collection. Plus the patterns are so easily translated into home items – a great example being the Lafayette rug by Alexandra Champalimaud for the Rug Company.
  • The superpower I would love to have: Teleportation! So I could travel the world…
  • I can’t live without: Coffee. In any form. I love making mine in this Bodum French Press.
  • My favorite place on Earth is: I don’t think I could ever actually decide on my favorite place, but I love “The Cottages by the Sea” on St. Croix. They’re not at all fancy but one of the most beautiful and relaxing places I’ve ever been!
  • Book I am reading right now: The $12 Million Stuffed Shark by Don Thompson. A great read about the economics of contemporary art.
  • Layla Grayce items I covet: I’m in the process of decorating my new apartment so it’s hard to narrow it down! Lately I’ve been on the lookout for a tiny nightstand and I think the Limed Oak Pagoda Nightstand is just the piece I need. Also it’s so cool that Jamie Young has forayed into fashion! I would take this Jitney Bag with me everywhere.

Trend Watch: Summer Brights

Trend Watch: Summer Brights
Clockwise from top left: Arteriors Paulette Aqua Glass Table Lamp, Bungalow 5 Callista Gold Mirror, Trina Turk Fabric by the Yard in Aqua Soleil LA Print, Wangright Cocktail Table in Yellow Lacquer

Trend Watch: Summer Brights
Clockwise from top left: Trina Turk Embroidered Blue Spectacles Pillow, Trina Turk Embroidered Green Spectacles Pillow, Trina Turk Vivacious Pink Embroidered Linen Pillow, Oly Studio Diego Round Side Table, Jonathan Adler Herringbone Rug in Turquoise, Oly Studio Abe Lounge Chair in Persimmon Leather

Take the “Always look on the bright side of life” motto to heart and bring some bold, brilliant colors to your interiors. Summer is the perfect time to work this look, bringing in pops of bright aqua, blue and green with citrusy yellows, lime and orange. We’re loving these zesty hues uses as accents against lacquer white furniture with touches of sparkling gold. Go for a strong statement with a rug, lamp or accent table in a vivid and unexpected color, or just dip your toes into the summer brights trend by accessorizing with colorful pillows and accessories. Be daring, be adventurous – it’s summer! Shop our summer brights

Get To Know: Jaime Derringer, Design Milk Founder & Editor

Jaime Derringer, Design Milk Founder & Editor
Clockwise from top right: Arteriors Pascal Iron/Glass Entry Table, Regina Andrew Jute Pendants, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, Beastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, Jaime’s signature colors, Jonathan Adler Orange Herringbone Rug, Design Milk

Jaime Derringer is founder and editor of modern design blog Design Milk, which has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Time Out New York, San Francisco Chronicle, Singapore Home & Decor magazine, and Real Simple magazine. Design Milk is one of the Google Engineers’ Staff Picks and a Twitter influencer in Art & Design. Inspired by her two dogs, in 2010 Jaime launched modern design blog Dog Milk to expose dog lovers to pet design that fits their uniquely modern sense of style.

In addition, Jaime has been noted as an expert on design trends, speaks on design and design blogging, contributes to a multitude of design blogs and acts as a business consultant.

Give us a peek into your personal style, faves and hot trends to watch out for!

  • My signature colors: Black, white and gray.
  • 5 things in my handbag right now: Business cards, tissues, California Pizza Kitchen coupons, mini Moleskine notebook and a Pria energy bar.
  • Trends I have my eye on: Chevron – I’m trying to figure out if I’m ready for this one to go away. Rope – I think this one is just starting to build some steam.
  • The superpower I would love to have: The ability to clone myself.
  • I can’t live without: my iPhone and hugs.
  • My favorite place on Earth is: my new home.
  • Book or Music I am reading/listening to right now: I just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I can’t get enough of the new Beastie Boys album – I think it’s my new summer soundtrack.
  • Any big/personal or professional plans in the works that you would like to mention? We just moved into a new home, so we started writing a little bit about it on Design Milk under a column called House Milk. There’s so much to do and I hope my readers will enjoy following along
  • Layla Grayce items I covet: Dash and Albert Indoor/Outdoor Diamond Black Ivory Rug, Arteriors Pascal Iron/Glass Entry Table and the DwellStudio Home Trellis Dove Duvet Set

Little House, Big Design


Tiffany Harris, Annette Tatum and Wendy Estes meet up at The Workroom



Little House Summer Aqua Duvet Set



Little House Ikat Pink Crib Bedding

With ribbon-clad mannequins and ruffled pillows lining the shelves, the Annette Tatum Workroom feels more like a decorator’s playroom packed with prints and patterns to delight. We met up with our amazing friend Annette last week for a tour and were ready to move right in. We knew you’d feel the same way, so we’re back with new Little House crib and kids bedding designed to dress a child’s nursery or bedroom with as much style and comfort as we expect in their wardrobe. From pretty blooms to on trend ikat, in colorways both soothing and spirited, Annette creates the perfect mix and match look sweet dreams are sure to come by. Shop the entire Little House collection.

Camille Spies {Numbers}

Camille Spies {Numbers}
{1} Aidan Gray Storage Crate {2} Vintage Pop Number Print Oversized Boyfriend Cardigan Sweater {3} Numbered Bowls {4} DIY Number Jars {5} Pillow

Does anybody else out there feel like numbers don’t get used nearly enough in prints & decor? Camille Styles here with this week’s trend in interiors, fashion and entertaining, and right now I’m loving the 1, 2, 3′s. Even if math was never your strongest subject, this is one look that suits just about anyone. I’m especially loving the rustic twist a simple stamped number can add to a pillow or storage crate, and the art deco feel it can give a cardigan. And of course, is there any better way to stay organized than counting off your favorite bowls & containers?