Saturday, April 26, 2008


Last weekend I had an irresistible urge to clean. As a result, I devoted two days to straightening, refreshing, and brightening our home.

These activities, ironing the linens, reorganizing the pantry, clearing away cobwebs, were wonderfully therapeutic. I wondered why I felt so good after accomplishing these relatively simple feats until I realized what I was doing: nesting.

"Nesting" is what we do to make our homes comfortable and happy to live in. Nesting is something I tend to always do in the springtime. A number of activities fall under this umbrella term: cooking, cleaning out the cupboards, donating unwanted things, moving the winter clothes out of your closest. Basically anything that represents a fresh start falls under this category.

I'd like to mention that nesting doesn't necessarily entail a complete overhaul. Start with small things; spring cleaning doesn't have to be top to bottom. No one has the time to take on such a project that large anyway!

I find that my whole family benefits from this seasonal ritual of mine. It's also very gratifying on a personal level to take control of my life by making my environment aesthetically pleasing and welcoming to others.

-Place bouquets of fresh flowers around the house
-Put new candles out and change your table cloth or runner to something bright and springlike
-Change out your daily dishes for a lighter set
-To add a little variety, redesign your mantle displays seasonally

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Have a Happy, Happy Birthday

New birth as rebirth are the hallmarks of springtime. What better moment than now to introduce our new birthday dinnerware!

When I was a little girl, my mother made our birthdays memorable by setting a special table with what we came to call "the birthday dishes." She got out her fine linen, and always used fresh cut flowers as a centerpiece. The care and love my mother put into her children's birthdays inspired me to design dishes expressly for these once-a-year festivities. These dishes, festooned with fantastical cakes aglow with candles, are meant to make the association between happiness and birthday celebration into a family tradition.

When setting a birthday table, I like to use fresh, light colors and a variety of different shapes. I also like to layer patterned dinnerware with basic, single-colored pieces. Placing the cake on a pedestal is also a wonderful way to make a statement that says "Ta Da! Today's your birthday!"

For inspiration, here is a birthday table setting I created using Rosanna product:

Besides our Happy Birthday dishes, here is a list of some other items I used in this shot:
Sweet Dreams ice cream bowls
Dauphine white candlesticks
Dinner Party ice blue plates
White cake pedestals
Napoleon Pearl Pink Flatware (also look at pearlized aqua, ivory, and white)

-When you set the table for a birthday, use the same dishes each year to make the day more of an occasion.
-Create a feeling of familiarity by integrating family heirloom pieces or antiques with newer acquisitions
-Draw inspiration from the season in which the birthday falls- warm colors for autumn, rich hues for winter, light tones for spring, and a vibrant palette for summer.