9 For $9: The Kitchen Edition

Sometimes, the best things in life are free. Other times, they’re just cheap. In this case, I’ve spotted nine design finds to make your everyday kitchen/dining experience a bit more fun… all for less money than you spend at your local Chinese takeout spot.

Eat up!:

-Forget the dreaded PB&J mess. Instead, opt for a handy double-ended knife to keep the goop from the goo. ($9)
-Make your guests laugh with spaghetti-inspired scrubbers that clean stains faster than you can say basil. ($8.50)
-Cat salt & pepper shakers? Why not? ($7)
-Wine Lines are key for your next dinner party. Finally, a stylish alternative to the Sharpie! ($6)
-Wooden measuring spoons that are as easy on the eyes as they are on the wallet. ($9)
-Bored during dessert? Get crafty with origami napkins! ($8)
-The Dress for Dinner napkin will make any guest smile with its cheeky (and functional!) design. ($6)
-A sweet illustrated clam chowder tea towel will liven up your next dish duty. ($9)
-Mini cocktail forks are always a necessity, and these fit the bill. ($6)

Bon appetit, friends!

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Color Crush: Faded Glory

Perhaps it’s the latest patriotic holiday that’s still swimming in my subconscious, but lately I’ve been gravitating toward rough, homespun red, white and blue.

Here’s a peek at my current faves!:

[a]. Striped Trash Bags ($12) at Alice Supply Co.
[b]. Industrial Stand ($650) at Canvas Vintage
[c]. Cotton Blanket ($140) at HORNE
[d]. Porcelain Boot Vase ($320) at The Future Perfect
[e]. Picnic Charcoal Grill ($60) at Bodum
[f]. Crouse Hinds Spotlight ($550) at V&M
[g]. Linen Dip Dye Cushion ($80) at TOAST

Three cheers for good old America!

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A handsome gift guide…

May I be as bold as to say this is the best looking gift guide I’ve ever seen? Not only are the gifts to die for, but the styling and photography? Spot-on and quite refreshing I must say. To be honest, there has been many a time when I would just flip through gift guides in magazines, literally giving it no more than two seconds of my time. But was I in for a treat when I saw this stunner titled “Guest Stars” from the June issue of Elle Decor. “Make any summer weekend memorable with a stylish gift that guarantees a return engagement”. I like the sound of that! And then I proceeded to spend an embarrassingly long time looking at every . single . gift (well, for myself, HA!) Not to dissect this article to death, but – a collage of basic white frames could really make the simplest objects shine – and to stop me in my tracks.

… ok, I have to mention something about this last image. See that stack of cheese? Rustico with black pepper, Brunet, Piave Vecchio, and Pecorino Sardo from Murray’s Cheese. Yum!

{ all images from Elle Decor June 2011, photography by Geoffrey Sokol, produced by Anita Sarsidi }

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Back to the Basics

I am a horrible accessorizer.  There.  I said it.  A typical outfit for me is jeans and a plain shirt and too-comfortable-to-look-good shoes.  My accessories stop at my wedding rings and my stud earrings.  So it is no surprise that my house is dressed rather plainly as well.  The main pieces in our home – the couch, the dining room table, the side chairs – are all simple and classic.  And just like with my personal style, I find it entirely overwhelming to add a print or any glam or even an accessory past the typical white vase with flowers.

Recently, I had an epiphany in the form of this fun purse from Vera Bradley.

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Trend Alert: Sketch Artists

As an avid art collector, any home decor item that infuses sketches or illustrations wins my heart over almost immediately. Naturally, when I spotted a new crop of talented designers setting their sights on all things artsy, I took note:

Above, clockwise from left to right: Anthropologie, Lindy Sue's, Velocity, Izola Shower, Bonton

From dinnerware to bathroom accessories, it seems everyone's breaking out their pencils and tapping into a new side of creativity.

What do you think of the trend? Too childlike? Perfectly informal? Weigh in below!

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