....And the Winner Is?

Well it is that time, Halloween, the day I promised to reveal the winner of my Blog Commenting Contest.

First, let me announce the entry prize.

The respondent who received 5 additional entries was Marie O for her comment,

"I happened on your blog because a friend recommended it on Facebook. I was disappointed that there was no "About Me" link where I could learn more about you and your blog. Please consider adding it!"

I loved the fact that she provided such honest feedback of such great value, not only to myself but also to and for the readers.  I will never know how many other people have visited my blog, or a readers blog for that matter, and felt the same disappointment.  Marie brought to light the realization that many readers may not click through to my Google profile or to my website to read my profile there. It was a point well taken, and if you click through to my site, you will see that I've already responded with a "temporary" About Sarah

In 2nd place for value-added comments, was Finishing Touches, who received one additional entry. Her comment that provided a mini-design lesson in response to my Turquoise post:

"There are 2 photos that stopped me in my tracks-The Kensington House and the Phoebe Howard photo. It is their subliminal details that take the symbolic meaning of the color turquoise to the next level of design. In the Kensington House the soft ripple effect of the sea is played off on the headboard, the exquisite ripple fold sheers, and the soft curves of the furniture. In the Howard room, the mirror sets the tone with the scallop edges which is then reflected in the valence across the room. Colors not only inspire a room, but they can inspire our selection in the details we choose."

Now, on to what you were all waiting for.  Just who is the winner of the $200 Visa Gift Card?
I used Random.org to select the winner but I also solicited assistance from a colleague from the Custom Home Furnishings Industry to draw the winner.  [For those of you who might like to feature your own contests on your blog, this is a great tool - a true random generator - and is used commonly across the blogosphere].

Thank you so much to Merlyn Corcoran, for selecting the winner!  Many of you know Merlyn as the "Wizard" or "Mother Hen" - one respected for and looked to for her infinite knowledge. Noone can touch her, with her legendary stats of having provided more than 20,000 value-added posts to the CHF forum! I couldn't think of anyone better to select the winner for me.

And..........THE WINNER IS....KAREN!

Karen left the comment:

"Every year for the past twenty we've been getting together on July 4th weekend with several familes. The group has grown in numbers with dates and fiances so we decided the following: Everyone had to bring their own chair for the weekend, but it had to be one that you found or was given. You were not allowed to purchase one. In addition, you had to create a Haiku about the chair. The Haikus provided an evening activity with many, many laughs. One newly-engaged couple recovered their chair with a beautiful silk fabric, others gave their chair to a friend, and others used theirs for firewood in the bonfire. All of the chairs had a 'second-chance' that weekend."

Karen, please contact me with your mailing address so I can get your gift card sent right out to you.

Thank you so much to all who participated. It was great fun and I really enjoyed reading your comments!!  I hope you will continue to visit my blog and leave me a note or two to let me know how I'm doing.  I want to provide information that is fun, informative and meaningful to you. Your comments and conversation are the only way I can be sure I'm staying on track.

Karen, congratulations to you again.  Please get in touch with me so I can have the gift card sent right out to you!

Happy Halloween everyone!!

~ Sarah

Blog Bites: Getting Tuft with Your Upholstery?

Need we talk about the sophistication and elegance tufted furniture can bring? This classic, tailored, and certainly timeless look adds polish to any room. Read on about this week's three featured blog posts and let us know which pieces you love!

Upholstery is a large part of my business and re-designing, shopping for or viewing furniture that has been built utilizing the finest in upholstery craftsmanship is just as exciting to me as shopping for shoes is for many women.  In upholstery, one of the hallmarks of a master craftsman or woman is their ability to produce fine tufting.  That being said, blog posts that focus on the art and beauty of tufting definitely catch my eye... and so the three posts I'm about to share certainly have! 

Florida interior designer, Jade, of Jade N. Timmerman Interiors, featured a great post, Tufted Love, on her blog, Flip Flops & Pearls Design, earlier this month. Here are a few gems from her post.

Done in leather or done with out the tufting, this would come across as a very masculine piece.  The all white body, nail-head trim and tufted back however give it refined elegance. It becomes a take-me-anywhere sofa that can be dressed up or dressed down. Imagine how fantastic this would look in a sitting room with boldly painted or papered walls?

And who wouldn't love to have a seat at this elegant dining table? I much prefer upholstered over wood chairs for elegant dining and these absolutely fit the bill! Don't they look so comfortable and inviting?  Take to the sofa after Thanksgiving dinner?  No need, with these chairs there is no desire or need to get up!

I love this eclectic corner! It brings great energy in what might otherwise have been a cold or secluded spot. A few pops of color is all it required to draw your eye to the coziness of that tufted settee.

The very talented and dear, Wanda S. Horton, a North Carolina designer I have been blessed to get to know through our social media connections, was inspired to feature tufted furniture in her post, "A Little Imagination Goes a Long Way" after checking out the Horchow website. I love her borrowed quote from Horchow: "tuft love -- with more dimples than a roomful of toddlers." How fitting is that?

What is especially brilliant about this post is that Wanda featured the same tufted frames upholstered in alternate fabrics - utilizing different accents and in different spaces, illustrating just how unique a piece of furniture can look according to individual taste and selection. Wanda says it best: "...the same upholstery frame, treated with different fabrics and room settings, can spin you into so many design directions."

While both of these pieces exude an air of sophistication, this first creates a more stately (and as Wanda notes, "perhaps expected") feel and the second oozes modern sleekness.

blue sofa

What to say about this next one, but "Wow!" Gorgeous leather, amazing detail. Tradition tells me I should sit up straight in these rooms, but the sofa makes me want to put my feet up and lie down!


Wanda promises we'll hear more from her about tufted furniture, so keep your eye out for that. She's a lady of great style herself and always showcases the most gorgeous in design!

The third post comes from Tracery Interiors. This headboard, a custom piece in linen designed for an Alabama home, was inspired by a page the client tore from Southern Accents. Comfortable and sophisticated! See -- tufting doesn't have to mean stuffy.

Original inspiration:

Photo by Tria Giovan for Southern Accents

Tracery Interiors used this chair from Lee Industries (upholstered in white sailcloth) in a little girl's room. Divine! What a special place for her to sit and read or snuggle with mom or dad.

Ever considered a tufted ottoman? This one says "sophisticated casual" and offers fantastic extra seating or space for playing games or serving cocktails and apps. I love the versatility of a piece like this! And I recently had a reader who commented on another post with a question on what to do about lack of table space in her living room.  I had suggested ditching the side tables and opting for one large table that could serve as both a coffee table and ottoman. This is exactly what I had in mind!

So tell me, what do you love about tufted pieces? What are some of your favorite ways to add tufted furniture to spaces? At Storibook Designs, we love the timelessness of tufting. Because when you adore a piece for years to come, isn't it worth every penny?

Ten Tips for Your Next Painting Project

Painting seems to be one of those projects that people either love or hate.  No problems here if you hate it because we prefer to handle all the painting for our clients.  We do realize though that many of you enjoy painting yourself but you are looking for a refresher course on the basics.  So, with you in mind, I present to you Ten Tips to get you back on track and painting with precision!

Tip#1: PREP! Remove old paper, loose paint, plaster, etc., then patch, sand and wash down the walls before painting. There are many cleaning compounds you will hear of but it doesn't need to be fancy.  A mixture of five parts water to one part vinegar can be used to clean the walls. This works especially well after removing wallpaper to remove any remaining adhesive.  Keep in mind, you want to wipe the walls, not soak them.

Tip #2: CAULK! After walls have been cleaned and primed, you should now go through and caulk all gaps between moldings, trim and baseboard from wall.You do not want to just pick up the cheapest one you see.  The point of this is to fill in the gaps and you want that to stay over time, so look for one that has minimal shrinkage and will accept paint.

Tip #3: PRIME! I always recommend primer coats.  The primer coat prevents "bleed through" of old paint, as well as allowing you to get smooth, even color with less coats.  Gray primer has long been recommended as an undercoat for walls that will be painted in red, but it is often the best tint to use as primer and sealer under many other colors.  Ask the paint specialist where you are purchasing to assist you in getting the proper shade of gray.

Tip#4: MATCH! When purchasing primer, it is best for paint adhesion to match base coat to top coat: oil to oil, water-base to water-base, latex 2 latex, etc.

Tip#5:  SELECT! There are many paint finishes available these days, so study up to determine which finish will be appropriate for your needs.  Here is a quick summary to help you out:
  • Flat: Provides the smoothest coat, is excellent as a camouflage to flaws, but can not really be cleaned. This is often used as a base coat or primer and works excellent as a base coat for decorative and faux finishes.
  •  Satin: leaves a subtle sheen. It's great for trim, moldings, cabinetry and hi-traffic areas. Easy to clean.
  • Eggshell:  Just as the name implies, it leaves a finish similar to an eggshell.  It is a great base for faux and decorative finishes, can be used throughout the home and is washable.
  • Matte: Is said to be between eggshell and semi-gloss, though I'll be honest, I've gotten several different answers and I don't see a huge difference.  Where some of my painters have said they see a difference though is in application and re-touching. According to them, they feel the matte finish is better for touch ups if needed and goes on smoother.  If you have thoughts and experience on this, I'd love to hear them!
  • Semi-gloss: Highly durable and washable this is most often used for trims, moldings, doors/drawers and cabinetry.  It requires perfection in wall prep and application because the added sheen allows flaws to be much more noticeable.
  • High-gloss: Most often see this as an exterior finish but can be used inside the home as well.  If you are looking for durability in a laundry room, bath or kitchen, this will provide that. Like the semi-gloss however, drip marks, streaks and flaws in walls are much more apt to be noticed.
Tip #6: SPEND! You're not helping yourself if your sole focus is price when it comes to the selection of brushes and rollers. All brushes are not the same and believe me, you do not want to be pulling paint brush hairs off the wall every two seconds. You want a brush that will last, provide an even coats and edging and a roller that can get through the day and even the next if necessary.  Need to hear it from another source? Take a look over here and see what Old House Web has to say on the matter.  Myself personally, I don't buy anything but Purdy brand.  They have never let me down.

Tip #7: EXTRA!  Get yourself a treat.  Pick up one of the mini-long-handled roller for the hard to reach places.  Seriously, this little gem is one of the best things ever invented and if you find yourself having to get behind radiators that you are unable to move, get the underside of shelving in linen closets that are permanently in place you will be loving this little tool. 

Tip #8:  TINT! Consider your ceiling as another wall and restrain yourself from painting it the standard boring ceiling white. You can choose a complimentary color to really stand out.  Often times I'll have the wall color mixed 20% - 25% lighter for pale shades or a higher percentage for deep tones.  It really pulls a room together, especially in rooms with high ceilings, where all that empty white space can make a room feel cavernous. 

 This isn't the best shot, but this is one of the rooms we recently worked on and the cathedral ceiling predominated the space more than the walls themselves and made the room feel very cold.  I had the paint mixed 20% down and now the room feels like warm candlelight when you enter.

Tip #9: TAPE? Notice the question mark? That is because I'm hoping you haven't already made up your mind on this topic.  I say, NO TAPE!  If you use a quality angled brush and you maintain steady, consistent application you can get professional results with your edging.  This is one of the critical elements to any painting job.  I am not ashamed to say that its one of the first things I look for when I go in a house to inspect a paint job.  Tape wastes time, money and causes more problems than its worth.  Get your technique down and skip the tape, that is my advice.

Tip #10 ORGANIZE! Have a system to go around the room(s) and you will find the job will go more quickly.  I recommend you do the ceiling first, then walls and finish the trim, moldings and doors at the very end.  Keep in mind, if you haven't painted the ceilings and trim in ten years or more and you are thinking of painting the walls a new color, you should do it all.  Invest in the ceiling and trim paint and give the entire space a fresh coat.

Now are you ready to start painting?  What did I leave out? I'd love to hear your questions and any great tips you may have.  If you've got some good pointers, please share with us.

Go forth and paint with precision!


Would you like an extra $200 in your pocket?  I'm offering a fantastic contest and wanted you all to have an opportunity to win!
The Prize:  $200 Visa Gift Card (value = $200 USD)

Entry Requirements:  Leave a minimum of 5 unique (can not be the same on each posting) comments on 5 different blog posts, listed  and linked to at the bottom of this note. Additional details about commenting are marked with an * below.

Start/End Date:   10.23.10 thru 10.29.10 at 8PM (Eastern Standard Time)

Qualifications: Entrants must be in the United States or Canada. We are unable to include entrants from other countries.

Winner: The winner will be selected using an electronic random generator, however, I have also included a special caveat.  Please note that I will select one comment that I consider to be the "best" and that persons name will be entered 5 additional times, thereby increasing their odds at winning.

How to Play:
  1. Read some of the posts from the list below.
  2. Comment on a minimum of 5 different posts, individually.
  3. Complete by October 29th. All who have commented on atleast 5 of the blog posts listed below, between NOW and Friday at 8PM, will have their name entered in to the drawing.
  4. *Comments MUST relate to the post, be more than a few words, and at the very least a sentence. Comments should obviously be reflective of the content of the post, show value, offer varying viewpoints and/or simply speak to what was of interest to the reader*
  5. To emphasize point #4 even further, I will be selecting a "best" comment and the author of that comment will have their name entered an additional 5 times. ("Best" does not necessarily translate to flattery.  To be considered "best" I will be looking for comments that offer additional value and viewpoint to the topic).
  6. Winner will be chosen and announced by 5PM on Halloween.   [Please see very bottom for the not-so-fun legal notice pertaining to this contest]
Everyone can find something fun to do with a $200 Visa Gift Card! Enter the contest today and start thinking about the ways you will spend that money!! Be sure to leave your email address (it is not published) that is best to reach you at so that if you are the WINNING NAME I can notify you on Halloween!!

Thank you and good luck!! ~ Sarah

Organizing Inspirations: The First Step in Designing Mama's Home (Guest Post)

log Bites: Have You Noticed the Turquoise Trail?

Tuesday's Tips: Party Planning

Blog Bites: Autumn Tablescapes

Interior Inspirations from My Web Favs: Material Girls

Making the Bed: A Guide to the Basics of a Comfortable Rest

Your Guide to Decorating without Color: All-White, Done Right!

Bringing Harmony Into Your Home

Shed-tastic! Your Great Escape is ...where?

Let's Talk: Cash or Credit?

Get In Gear...Or At Least Get It Organized

Interior Inspirations from My Web Favs: Apartment Therapy

Entertaining Alfresco, Part II: Functional Elements

Dining Alfresco in Your Own Backyard

Interior Inspirations from My Web Favs, Part 1: Houzz

The Essential Elements of Spa-tacular Bathrooms

Designer Nurseries Shift Into High Gear by Going Neutral

Finding Your Perfect Mate Part 2: The Styles of Sofas

Chairity: Give them a Second-Chance!

Pride in your Picasso: Decorating with Kids’ Art

Finding Your Perfect Mate Part 1: The Sofa Basics

Add Wow To Your Walls: A Guide to Art Work and Photographs

The Secret To Getting What You Want: A Guide to Buying Carpet

Too Many Toys? Tips for Getting Your Child's Play Space Under Control

Six Ways to Feng Shui in the Kitchen

Make Your Entryway Inviting

Feng Shui in the Bedroom: A Room to Restore You

Go Green with Fabrics!

Slipping into Slipcovers

Refresh, Revitalize, Renew: Upholstery

Sitting Pretty- Outdoors!

Adding Playfulness to Your Room Design

What Does it Mean to be Green?

Jackie Blue Home

Winner will be notified on October 30th, 2010 and has until November 7, 2010 to claim their prize. If winner does not claim prize, a new winner will be selected on November 8, 2010.

We reserve the right to pull comments that we feel are inappropriate, malicious, contain profanities, deemed as spam or are meant in any way to cause harm to the sponsor.

By submitting an entry or accepting a prize, here permitted by law, each winner grants Storibook Designs, and those acting pursuant to the authority of Storibook Designs, the irrevocable right to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use, in any media the entry and winner’s name as news, publicity or information and for trade, advertising, public relations and promotional purposes.

Organizing Inspirations: The First Step in Designing Mama's Home

A couple years ago, I met Michelle when she visited my Design Center with her then newborn son. Many months later, through the magic of social media, we continued our communications via the world wide web, first on LinkedIn, Facebook and followed soon after on Twitter.  When she launched her blog I was thrilled for her and have always gotten a kick out of her day-in-the-life-of-a-mom monologue's.   I'm really excited she is sharing her voice here and am certain you will enjoy her ideas and cunning wit as much as I do. So, without further adieu, I present to you Peas Out Mama's first guest post here at Storibook Designs Open Studio. ___________________________________________________

A little over a year ago, I entered the blogosphere, writing about my life in the mama 'hood. As a stay-at-home mom to a now 19-month-old, blogging turned out to be a most useful venue to gripe about share the ups and downs of life as a new parent figuring her way out. Peas Out Mama ("a mommy blog with a little crunch") began as means for me to be creative, get back to the writing I'd nearly abandoned years ago, and quite frankly, have a life beyond my kid (sort of). I never imagined anyone besides some close friends and family members would read (imagine)! And now, I'm so thrilled to have been invited as a monthly guest blogger for Storibook Designs!

So what's this mom know about decorating and design? I know I spend ridonkulous amounts of time at home. And if you're a parent or designer, you know how hard it is to create a kid-friendly home that doesn't look or feel like Toys R Us staged a hostile takeover. A home that's inviting to both kids and adults. A home you want to hang out in. And oh yeah, and it has to be safe, too. Safety. Right.

For me, creating my home is quite literally a work in progress. I scour the stream of catalogues that grace my mailbox, I flip through magazines, and I clip the stuff I like. Old school. With scissors. I collect paint chips of colors I adore. And here's where all this genius inspiration goes:

I understand. Really, I do. To the untrained eye, this looks like a coupon organizer, right? Oh no. Check this out:

It's a veritable design inspiration mini mini portfolio complete with labeled sections (our room, office, porch, living room). So I'm a little Type A. What of it?

Want a little peek inside? Well, since my living/dining room could use a major facelift, I'll give you little lookie at some of the things I like. Here's the Chloe sofa from Macy's:
We already have the Brandon rug from Pottery Barn, but I want the Franklin rug, too:

I also love this floor lamp (Torsade floor lamp by Visual Comfort and Co. from Circa Lighting). It's totally not in my budget (well, unless I'm cool with my son skipping college), but hey, a girl's gotta dream a little. And besides, it's all about inspiration, not replication.

And how about Nantucket Fog or Van Courtland Blue from Benjamin Moore? Pretty relaxing, right? Like I'm a tired mom and could use a nap relaxing?

These are just a few my happy little nuggets. It's true; collecting these pieces, if you will, make me happy. They  inspire me, allow me to create (even just in my mind for now) my vision for my home. Hey, I even let the hubs in on it (but only if he produces some quality ideas). How's that for adding a little fun to your marriage? Who needs a dinner out when you can collect paint samples together in the aisles of Lowe's with a child clinging to your hip? Pure romance.

You may chuckle a bit (believe me, I do, too) at my little organizer. It has to be the least technologically savvy way to do this. Recently, Sarah introduced me to snipi.com and I'm loving it. I'm not sure I'm ready to put my cute pink folder to rest and lose the tangible take-it-with-you option, but I admit that the thought of organizing (oh organizing, how I love you so) my inspirations electronically...well, that just brings me to an extra-happy place. I confess I'm a bit of a techno-moron, so while I'm sure there's a way to do this electronically and take it with me, my head might explode. Baby steps.

So how do you get (and keep) inspirations for your home or for those of potential clients? Any tips or tricks? Please let me know...okay, even if it involves more technology. I'm ready for it; bring it on.  

Blog Bites: Have You Noticed the Turquoise Trail?

This week in Blog Bites, let's take a look back and highlight some favorite images showing turquoise some love.  I'm sure you know that turquoise earned special ranking as the 2010 Pantone Color of the Year, so it certainly didn't lack any "air" time.  Interior design bloggers have left quite a trail... you've noticed, right? Pantone fame aside, I've always been partial to turquoise for its liveliness and its ability to simultaneously energize and calm a space. How is that possible?

Pantone's press release explained that turquoise "evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a langorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of well-being." Indeed! But while it may be hard to imagine the serenity of tropical waters year-round, the images that have been showcased among many or our favorite interior design blogs in the last ten months illustrate some fabulous possibilities!

This past year, we've seen turquoise everywhere, from nurseries to office space......

Photo: Style & Grace (via Oxygen.com)
Photo: Mary McDonald Designs (via Domino)

Material Girl's Chicago contributor, Julia Buckingham Edelmann stepped right up to the plate, offering up her "ode to turquoise" early this year when the official announcement was made. Her post, "And the Winner Is..." showcased this delightful corner... bar!  What'll you have?
Picture 23
Photo: Metropolitan Home
Now one certainly can't talk turquoise without meeting Erin of House of Turquoise, who shamelessly admits her obsession for the color. If you want to see image after fabulous image of turquoise inspiration, you must check out her blog!
In her post, "Delightful Turquoise Laundry Rooms", we are enamored with images of charming spaces that would motivate anyone to get a little ironing done!  They give me a sense of domesticity of days gone by. I imagine this is the type of laundry area Americas' Mom, Mrs. Cleaver - played by the late Barbara Billingsly-must have had!

Original Image: Domino
The Simplified Bee really hit it out of the ballpark with me though.  The images she included in her tribute to turquoise are real show stoppers.  In particular, this room designed by Kate Ridder is outstanding in its use of color. I'll be honest, I can't figure out if its a dining or conference room but I.AM.IN.LOVE. with the contrast of red and chartruese against the turquoise.  Can't say the chandeleir would be my choice and I'd surely change the lampshades and I may even abandon the botanical, but all the rest I find quite intriguing.
Photo: Kate Ridder Designs (via Simplified Bee)

Chandra Michael's post, "Is it a Coincidence? The Power of Pantone’s Color of the Year", featured two designs that showcase turquoise in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. I can think of quite a few of my clients that would fall in love with these two spaces.
You may not have thought to use turquoise for your kitchen cabinets, but look at what a bold statement you can make. Would you have expected kitchen cabinets to look so amazing in this color? What a way to greet the day! (And yes, in case your wondering, the textile side of my brain has window treatment plans for the windows.)
Photo: Judith Balis Designs (via Sugarluxeblog.com)
Here too, in this kitchen below, the color brings so much energy.  This space was designed by the amazing and fabulous Pheobe Howard. The spectacular impact of this design can not be suppressed. It's a definitive WOW!
So you see, the turquoise trail has led us all around the house and in combinations that were both surprising and serene.  But there is one space I've yet to include and that is the space most would be first inclined -seeing as it is a water color- to introduce it.  Of course, turquoise works fabulously in a bathroom, creating a retreat where crisp and serene meet and Houzz.com offers up plenty of inspiration.
Ozone - bath modern bathroom
Photo: Architect Koning Eizenberg (via houzz.com)
I'll be honest, these would be perfect for the man of the house but for me, I've got something else in mind!  Of all the bathrooms I've seen, this one Seleta shared has my heart! I have never really thought of blue for my own bath but there is an air of romance and girliness to this that makes me wish I had one just like it of my own.
I am imagining a deep claw-foot soaking tub on the opposing wall we do not see.  Ahhh,  a good book, soak in the tub...sounds perfectly wonderful after a long day, doesn't it? 

But before I run off, I must bring up the fact that the end of the year isn't actually too far away.  You know what that means? You got it. Pantone will be announcing the 2011 Color of the Year before we know it.  Care to make a prediction?  2007 was awarded to Chili Pepper. 2008 was Blue Iris.  2009 was Mimosa.  Take a leap... what color do you think we'll be seeing next?

I'd love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment, it makes my day to hear from you.

Tuesday's Tips: Party Planning

Sometimes I get requests that go beyond the standard home decor.  Parties are a biggie! People are always looking for ideas to make their special celebrations unique.  There are lots of reasons to host a party and especially this time of year.  Fall birthday's, Halloween and then of course the holidays.  So for today's tips, I thought you might appreciate a few fantastic resources for making your parties more fun and festive.

I'll start with the talented Paper and Pigtails. Besides and adorable name for her Etsy shop, her products are just too cute to resist. For girls or boys, you purchase some of the cutest invitations that you can print at home on your own computers.  Party printables.. how awesome is that?  Be sure to check them out.

And how about cake? I know Maine is not a convenient location for all my readers, but for those of you in and around Boston, you must check out Z Cake Lab.  This is the brand new business of Zach Olbrych, although you will see from his work, this is clearly not a new endeavor.  Zach is a magnificient artist and since the day I saw his sneaker cake, I've been a huge fan!

But his cakes are more than just pretty to look at... they are delicious too!  I mean seriously, take a look at this!! Makes you wish for a slice, doesn't it?  Yum!!

I think I need to find a reason to order a cake myself. STAT!  Hmmm, halloween is a good enough reason, right? 

My party planning tips would not be complete if I didn't lead you to Pizzazzerie!  This is the young brain-child business of Courtney McPherson Dial but you wouldn't know it! She's got a great team on board with her - including the incredibly talented Phronsie Horton Dial, the artist behind the themed tablescape designs, and together they leave no stone unturned.  Their daily posts provide endless inspiration for throwing the perfect party, from recipes, hostess and gourmet guides and ENDLESS imagination.  I love their recent Pink-O-Ween endeavor.  Anders Ruff Custom Designs and Courtney have teamed up to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation


So what is the next celebration you are going to start planning? I hope these resources are of use and provide new inspiration and excitement.  Do you have any great tips for hosting, planning, throwing a great party?  Please share with us.  We love to hear from our friends!

Blog Bites: Autumn Tablescapes

Why "Blog Bites"?

In the world of media, a sound bite is "a brief recorded statement broadcast especially on a television news program." In a busy world, sound bites help us keep up with what's going on. It's our hope that Storibook Designs "Blog Bites" will do the same for you! The idea for "Blog Bites" developed from the recognition that so many talented decorator/designer bloggers share their expertise on a daily basis. It's almost impossible to keep up with the wealth of amazing information and inspiration available! With that in mind, Storibook Designs will give a weekly shout-out to three blogs that we think treat our featured topic the best. We know you're busy, so we're doing the research for you, collecting the best information, education, and sources out there and bringing them right to you. As the posts roll out, please comment, let us know how we're doing, and share any topics you'd like us to cover.

It's autumn here in New England, the perfect time to think about changing up your home decor and accessories. And while images of pumpkins, gourds, and apples may dance in your head, along with the orange, red, yellow, and brown hues that surely serve as reliable staples of fall decor, I hope you'll find some inspiration from these tablescapes in this, the first of the Storibook Designs weekly series, "Blog Bites."

Simply Stated, Jennifer Sbranti's blog on realsimple.com, features three fabulous tablescapes. This one, clearly inspired by natural elements, uses gorgeous linens as real eye-catchers.

This next tablescape uses traditional hues in whimsical leaf-patterned linens paired with crisp white dinnerware.


The Studiolo, blog of Killy Scheer and Oliver Paradis's design firm, Frisson, featured a gorgeous Thanksgiving tablescape designed for a client. They drew inspiration from items already in the client's collection. Love that the tablecloth is black (admittedly difficult to tell from this image), which makes the non-traditional colors pop even more and creates a rich, elegant mood.



Sentimental Sublime's post "Design Candy: Fall Tablescape Inspirations" did a great job of compiling some beautiful Thanksgiving tablescapes from the likes of Martha Stewart, HGTV, Epicurious, and Fine Living. There's even some DIY-friendly inspiraton in there. Here are a few of our favorites. We love the classic colors and elements in the first image; and check out the geometric, modern feel of the second!


How do you change up your decor when the seasons change? Do you try to work with what you already have? When you're in your own space day in and day out, it can be tough to see the possibilities right in front of you. Linens can make all the difference to bring out the best in your dinnerware or centerpiece. The tablecloths, runners, and cloth napkins in each of these images make the ordinary extraordinary by literally setting the table's foundation!
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Craftsmanship: custom artistry by hand

Craftsmanship: custom artistry by hand
At Storibook Designs we create custom designs by hand; here it is not just sewing, it is art!