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Shelterpop

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    A flat surface is the most common area where piles of mess and clutter can begin to build up. So it's important to remind ourselves to keep flat surfaces like kitchen counters, coffee and dining tables, and the tops of dressers in check.

    Resist from adding on to neat stacks of mail because sooner than you'll know it, it'll be too much to handle all at once and everything will end up getting shoved away inside drawers. Keeping these surfaces in check will help you keep other spaces tidy and clean as well.

    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

    Getty; Corbis

     

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    Change things up this summer with new, sweet bedding. Here's how to win your favorite comforter.


    You change out your summer and winter wardrobes ... why not change our your bedding for something light, summer-y and cheerful? Enter to win one of four brand new comforters from Springmaid's new garden collection, the Garden of Surprise & Delight right here -- just scroll to the bottom for details! And then make sure to be a part of its online debut this coming Monday, July 18th exclusively on springmaidgarden.com and www.springmaid.com.

    Now, take a look at these comforters and let us know which one is your favorite -- you could win!




    Lemonade Tea Party - Bright aqua with pop-y, decorative blooms on a vine.



    Love Me, Leave Me - A sophisticated, grey and white garden.




    Pretty Grande - Soft honeysuckle with a kicky damask pattern.



    Indigo Bouquet - Big fluffy flowers on a deep blue backdrop. So dreamy...


    Interested in winning? Here's how you enter:

    To enter click below to tweet and tell us which bedding you love the most. Don't forget to follow @ShelterPop and add #BeddingMakeover so we can find your tweet.

    Follow ShelterPop on Twitter

    o. If you're not a Twitter fanatic, leave a comment below telling us which bedding set is your favorite. And make sure to include what size you need!

    o. Your comment or tweet must be left before midnight on Wednesday, July 20th and you may enter only once.

    o. 1 winner will be randomly selected to win one of the comforter sets (not including accent pillows) valued at either $89.99 (twin), $99.99 (full/queen) or $109.99 (king).

    o. The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.

    * Click here for complete Official Rules. Winners will be notified by email, so be sure to provide a valid email address!

    And don't forget - we're also giving away a Sony laptop over on Facebook!

     

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    Love is patient, love is kind, love is ... accepting another person's bad taste in decor? Not always.

    Check out this story from our friends at HowAboutWe.com's The Date Report!




    When I walk into a guy's apartment for the first time I feel a bit like an anthropologist; uncovering mysteries about a life I'm just getting to know. I'll see photos of a trip to the pyramids, and I'll want to know why he went there. A discarded guitar makes me curious about his musical proficiency. And his books! I could spend hours looking at a boy's bookshelf, comparing his favorites to mine.

    But then there are the other men. The ones whose apartments are not an invitation to find out more, but rather a warning sign that something about them may be a little... off.

    Just a few months after I graduated college I was set up on a date with a coworker's friend. The date was nice, the guy was funny and I wanted to know more. When he brought me back to his place I was excited, curious and ready to explore.

    To celebrate, we found some non-awful dolphin art on Etsy. Clockwise from top left: Berkley Illustration, TypePosters, Vintage by the Shore and Vintage Dictionary Art.



    The first thing I saw was a photo of a dolphin. Not some National Geographic artistic kind of photo, but rather something he likely took while vacationing at Sea World. The first dolphin photo was sweet and charming. I started to wonder when he went to Sea World, if he took his little nephews, what it was like. Then I saw the next photo. And the one after that. From the framed photo on his coffee table to the one of him with Flipper hanging above his bed, his entire apartment was decorated in dolphin photos. There was even a series of them hanging in his bathroom. I counted at least 30 photos, but I'm sure I missed some. When I asked him more about his decorating choices, he simply replied, "How can you not want to be a dolphin?"

    How indeed.

    A few years later, I was on a date with a guy I'd been seeing off and on for about a month. He invited me back to his place for a drink, but asked me to wait outside for a moment while he quickly straightened up. 20 minutes of standing on the street in the Tenderloin (and two calls to friends asking about how odd this was), he finally let me in.

    There is honestly no way to describe his apartment in a way that will do it justice. Filthy dishes were piled on his desk, clothes covered the floor, papers and mail were strewn from every corner. Mold covered the wall. There was a dirty cat box with (seemingly) no cat. And the bathroom. Sometimes I still have nightmares about that bathroom. In short, the man's apartment looked like the inside of Charlie Sheen's mind. I had no idea how to act. Or where to sit. Or even how to make eye contact with him (what in the world did this place look like BEFORE you spent twenty minutes fixing it up!? WHERE IS THE CAT?). Or even how to explain why I didn't want to see him again.

    As I reminisce about past terrors (and I didn't even mention the boyfriend who thought he only had to wash his sheets twice a year), I wonder if there is a support group of some kind. Or if there is a girl that is willing to look past these "cosmetic issues" for the right man. Or if perhaps I'm just being too picky. So please, share! Consider this your bad apartment safe space.

    Looking for more decorating dealbreakers? Our writer rounded up some of the wortst offenders. Or head over to The Date Report to read about making the bed (and other post-hook-up etiquette) and dating someone to take advantage of their air conditioning.

    HowAboutWe.com writer Joy Engel lives and works in Portland, Maine where she tweets far too much and solves the occasional murder-mystery while riding around on a bicycle. Everything she writes is her personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of her employer or its clients.

     

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    Watch one family make their kitchen a safe -- and fun -- place for their tots.





    Yes, baby-proofing is a must. But no, it doesn't have to zap all the style out of your kitchen. Instead of going the traditional route with chunky white plastic locks, our Minute Makeover guru Bob Richter brought in easy-to-install sleek hooks that get the job done ... on the inside of the cabinets.

    Once the cabinets and drawers are safely locked up from little wandering hands, Richter created a kid-friendly space just for the Pratt kids. Mini, bright furniture gives them a space to draw and play while their parents can get dinner ready.

    Looking for more Minute Makeovers? See our four-seasons makeover, a kitchen saved by a "culinary man cave" and see how to make open shelving work for you.

     

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    The final Harry Potter movie is here! And to celebrate this most magical and epic wizard story of all time, we've put together four rooms inspired by the house colors for Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.

    If you're not familiar, the four different wizard houses are defined by specific colors: Gryffindor is red and gold, Hufflepuff is yellow and black, Ravenclaw is blue and bronze (according to the book--it's blue and silver in the movie), and Slytherin is green and silver.

    Scroll through and see how these colors have inspired us to create and furnish a room.


    Gryffindor Room
    Clockwise from top left:
    Sunburst On The Scene mirror, $299, Wisteria.
    Margaret Iron chandelier, $525, Circa Lighting.
    Nolan Cayenne rug, $20, Crate & Barrel.
    Sherwood table, $650, Jayson Home & Garden.
    Odette armchair, $1,330, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.



    Harry Potter Houses Roomsharrypotter.wikia.com


    Hufflepuff Room
    Clockwise from top left:
    Anastacha wall sconce, $1,112, YLighting.
    Ferm Living knitted floor cushion, $216, Velocity.
    Herräng candleholder, $15, IKEA.
    Spencer dining table, $600, West Elm.
    Lilly Pulitzer Breakers barstool, $679, Horchow.


    Harry Potter Houses Roomsharrypotter.wikia.com


    Ravenclaw Room
    Clockwise from left:
    Slim étagère, $509, Room & Board.
    Bitossi Ceramics in Rimini blue, $40-225, Design Within Reach.
    Howard Elliot mirror, $205, Macy's.
    Portsmouth sofa in Sunbrella navy, $1,313, Pottery Barn.
    Another Man's Treasure lamp, $898, Anthropologie.


    Slytherin Room
    From left:
    Randall club chair, $1,550, Williams-Sonoma Home.
    Mini Sunburst mirror in nickel, $225, Gracious Home.
    Links cube, $1,750, Judy Ross Textiles.
    Green rubber vase, $39, The Conran Shop.
    Emerge pendant for T-Trak, $252, YLighting.


    And if you haven't already, check out Emma Watson's (Hermione Granger) style evolution from wizard bookworm to fashionista as chronicled by our friends over at StyleList.

     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick: Disney silver Mickey plate and dome ($26), catch-all tray ($16), and Tinkerbell salt-and-pepper shaker ($20) by Arthur Court, Rue La La.




    It's a day full of childhood nostalgia and whimsy over here. We couldn't take our eyes off of these specially made Disney collectible silver tabletop accessories. The thing we love most is that the silver and glass give the pieces a crystallized look that makes it pretty rather than tacky.


    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Sunday at noon. Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    Yes, put some thought into getting a clothesline that you'll use. It can be as simple as stringing a rope between trees or fences. This helps save energy on dryers in the summer and, let's face it, nothing really quite compares to the feel and smell of naturally laundered clothes.

    Also, wooden clothespins are attractive and have a natural look when they're used for line drying, but plastic ones are durable and can stand up to wear and tear (even rainstorms). But just like your clothesline, choose pins that you'll actually use. Your local hardware store will carry both wooden and plastic ones.

    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

     

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    Some politicians are concerned about the standards for energy-efficient light bulbs. What side are you on?

    Check out this great story from our friends at The Stir!



    Let's be very clear about one thing: I'm not a huge fan of energy-saving light bulbs. In fact, when we moved into our current apartment, the bathroom light was filled with the ugliest version of these things, and they're still there because who has the cash to get the prettier ones?

    energy-saving-light-bulbsPaul Keller, flickr


    I hate composting, too, but I freakin' do it because I don't want the earth to be taken over by giant landfills any sooner than it has to. No-brainer, right?


    Except some knucklehead politicians actually put their time and energy into overturning a law creating new energy standards for light bulbs. Instead of, I dunno, creating jobs or figuring out healthcare. Light bulbs. They were fighting about light bulbs. And they finally have lost their fight, thank goodness.

    Open letter to Washington: I want safe, efficient stuff in my home, and I want it to be as cheap and easy to find as possible. So stop fighting for energy-wasting home accessories.

    Listen, there are various things the government makes sure are up to standards in our homes, and there's a reason for that. It makes the world safer.

    See what Amy over at The Stir thinks the government should keep a handle on, by law over on the original post.


    And don't miss these great stories:
    Should Front Yard Vegetable Gardens Be Illegal?

    Antique Home Collectibles on Sale for Just $0.44 Each

    Barn Doors Worthy of the Big City

     

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    This week, artist and founding arts editor of The Huffington Post Kimberly Brooks talks about her crimson shade of purple.

    Combining her curatorial eye as an editor with her perfectionist sensibility as an artist, contemporary painter Kimberly Brooks's lush portraits bedazzled us from the moment we first laid eyes on them. Scroll down for our quick Q&A about her favorite shade of purple--used in the below detail of a painting of actress Chloe Sevigny (Big Love)--and her grandfather.

    Portrait: Stefanie Keenan; "Detail of "Chloe Sevigny" by Kimberly Brooks, Oil on Linen: Courtesy of the artist and Taylor De Cordoba.


    1. Do you have a favorite shade of purple?
    I prefer the darker red purple, bordering on plum or grape.

    2. What comes to mind when you think of this shade of purple?
    I love concord grapes, they remind me of my late grandfather, Herman Lewis, Jr. who lived in an insane house on a cliff in Malibu overlooking the ocean. In the kitchen, he put a steel pyramid over the fruit bowl because he said it made the fruit stay ripe longer from the energy. In addition to bananas, there were concord grapes. I had never tried concord grapes except for at his house. I loved to bite the bitter skin off with my teeth and then gum the sweet nubby inside on the roof of my mouth and then spit out the seeds in the crystal ashtrays which were everywhere.

    3. Do you have a favorite item that is in this purple you're describing?
    I have a detail of a painting I just did of Chloe Sevigny for my last exhibition called "The Stylist Project." I can't show the whole thing...YET. But it has a lot of purple. I love mixing french ultramarine blue with alizarian crimson red to get a dark transluscent shade of purple.


    4. How do you see this shade of purple used in a home?
    Purple is a very glamorous color in a room when mixed with neutral colors.

    5. What are three colors that would go well with this shade of purple?
    Grey, sand, white, black, palest yellow, and deep plum.

    6. If you could give your shade of purple a name, what would it be?
    Malibu Concord.


    Kimberly's next show opens this September in Los Angeles at Taylor De Cordoba gallery. Want an invite? Shoot her an email at kimberlybrooks.com.


    And if you haven't already, see our previous chat with textile designer and illustrator Lena Corwin about purple, here.

     

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    Getting to know the faces and stories behind our favorite gardens. Today: Mechanic/urban gardener Trevor Jack.

    Trevor Jack's container gardens. Photo: Marie Viljoen


    On a corner lot in Brooklyn, surrounded by new development, St. Vincent and the Grenadines native Trevor Jack grows vegetables and salad greens in dozens of white construction material buckets, an empty bath and paint cans. Across the road, raised on scaffolding behind the garage where he works as a mechanic, he has another small garden, elevated to reach the sunlight between high buildings. In the lilting accent of the islands, he talked to me about his gardens.

    1. Why do you garden?

    I like all my things to be fresh. My vegetables are more fresh than what comes from the store. They spray chemicals on those vegetables.

    2. Who or what inspired you to garden?

    I start to garden from the day I was born. My mother and father taught me. We grow everything. You name it, you can have it.

    3. What was the first plant you grew?

    Banana! I had a tree.

    4. How often do you garden?

    Every day.

    5. What is your USDA zone?

    I don't know about zones.

    6. What size is your garden?

    My boss lets me garden in his parking lot and I grow on scaffolding behind the garage.

    7. What plant has most disappointed you?
    All plants are good.
    8. What plant has made you happiest?

    No plant make me happiest. It's how you take care of them...

    Eggplants ripening. Photo: Marie Viljoen


    9. What do you love about your garden right now?

    The eggplant is getting ripe.

    10. What do you feed your garden?

    Miracle Gro. You got to give them nourishment. I have not tried other fertilizers, so I cannot compare.

    11. What would you like to grow, that you can't?

    Everything. Here people only grow two, three vegetables -- tomatoes, peppers, corn.

    12. Food, flowers, native or ornamental?

    Vegetables. Vegetables can make me grow, but flowers I must throw away.

    13. Most inspiring gardener, garden writer, thinker, blogger, personality?

    I don't have time to think about other gardeners.

    14. What plants do you dislike?

    I like all plants.

    15. Would you like more sun or more shade?

    More sun. Here we only have two months of real sun. Garden need more sun than shade. Two things make garden grow: sun and water

    16. Where is your favorite public garden?

    I don't have time to look at gardens. I water by hand every day, carry water from the garage. The time I finish work, taking care of my garden and making something to eat, is time to go to bed.

    My advice? It is very important to teach kids to garden. Construction, fixing cars? If there is a choice between gardening and these other things, choose gardening.

     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick: Hong Kong Garden blue-and-white plates by Thomaspaul, $24/set of 4 dinner plates (left) and $20/set of 4 dessert plates, Gilt Home.


    Inspired by classic blue-and-white china, these dinner and dessert plates feature storybook-like images of people in gardens. The 11"-diameter dinner plates and 9"-diameter dessert plates are made of melamine and sold in sets of four, meaning they're perfect for toting to actual garden picnics!


    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Monday at noon. Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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  • 07/15/11--07:28: Makeover Your Old Teapots
  • Filed under: , , ,



    A basic white teapot is certainly functional, but Carter Oosterhouse shows you how that same plain Jane teapot can be fun, too. Whether it's an ocean-inspired blue with seashells, a textural play with leather wrapping and earthy tones, or wallpaper découpage with bright colors, you can choose the best fit for your decor (and personality), then use Carter's simple techniques to make your old teapot all your own, all over again!

     

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    You've seen our Fashionable Room column where we look to some of the best-dressed starlets for decor inspiration. Now we're turning to the best-groomed men for some pointers.

    This Weekend's Pick: Jason Bateman

    Our favorite family man and Arrested Development star Jason Bateman kept up his unpretentious and good-guy act at the recent 2011 Espys Awards where he donned a jet-black suit and matched it with a subtle blue-stripe button-down. The look got us thinking of a an office for him that is equally casual and unfussy but still stylish and functional. Check it out!

    jason bateman room officeJoe Scarnici, WireImage


    And you can get the look in your home with these products:

    Clockwise from top left:
    Adesso Twixt table lamp in black, $100, Bed Bath and Beyond.
    Polo desk chair in nova blue, $199, The Container Store.
    Hampton bookcase in espresso, $149, Walmart.
    Besta Burs desk in high-gloss black, $269, IKEA.
    Avington armless slipper chair, $100, Target.

     

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    We love the StyleList's "It Happened Last Night." We love decor. So why not put them together in a shoppable, fashion-fueled room?

    This Weekend's Pick: Kim Kardashian

    What is it about Kim Kardashian's every move that captivates all the gossip magazines and, let's face it, most people we know? While we usually leave it up to sister site StyleList to check in on her outfits, we couldn't skip over this one, a retro-style homage to a classier, more covered-up era. So Kim, we salute you and your take on this look with a Kardashian-inspired room.

    fashion-room-kim-kardashianGetty Images; Courtesy photos



    And you can get the look in your home with these products:

    Clockwise from top left:
    Soji Solar Lantern, $25, Bambeco.
    Troy Galvanized Planters, starting at $20, CB2.
    Bubble Club Sofa by Kartell, $867, Design Public.
    Cat Eye Glasses Sleeping Mask by Mary Green, $25, Refinery29.
    Palmetto Wicker Accent Table, $149, Pottery Barn.

     

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    Who cleans up after the children of the rich and famous? See what life is like as an high-end cleaning lady and take a peek at some of the messiest, most disgusting rooms.

    Check out this story from our friends at The Daily Beast!



    Since 2005, Kia Grasty has been cleaning up after Penn. While her partner at Diamond Cleaning, Candy Boyd, handles more conventional work-commercial buildings in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-Kia has parlayed the effusive recommendation of one student, who found her on Google, into a customer base of dozens of Ivy League neat freaks and slobs-including high-profile scions like Kim Delaney's son, Vera Wang's daughter, and the heir to the Beverly Hilton-many of whom pay her for the entire year in advance.

    Kia Grasty via The Daily Beast



    Grasty doesn't judge her clients for a sense of entitlement because she doesn't see entitlement as a bad thing. "Students should be focusing on books not disinfectant and cleaning the bathroom," she says. That said, what she sees could sometimes inspire a proper horror movie, from hay-bale-sized piles of clothes to clogged toilets to, at one frat, mounds of defecation in a bathtub, which she captures for posterity with her cell phone camera. While Grasty will often scold her kids, telling them "they done lost their minds," that "they know better than that," at the end of the day, she'll still pick up the clothes or scrub the bathtub as long as it takes. Her only gripe: when they spent money on booze instead of hiring her more often.

    Grasty recalls her first Penn cleaning job, a $45 fee from a student name Griffin Rotman. "I walked in and his house was de plorable," she says, speaking in a preacher's cadence and with a raspy cigarette voice. "Him sitting there on his bed like King Tut. After I finished, he said I'll keep paying you $45 'cause [my room is] big and I'm gonna trash it." Because of how much business he has brought her over the last six years, Rotman is another of Kia's "privileged" customers. "When Griffin calls me, I jump," she says. "I'm not gonna lie to you. As fast as I can get to him. I never tell him that 'cause I don't want his head to swell up, but I do."

    Kia Grasty via The Daily Beast

    As she lets herself into Cortese's house a few days after the party (she has her own set of keys) Grasty looks like an athlete-crew cut hair, a big T-shirt, sweats, and Nikes-hauling a sack of laundry in one hand and a box of cleaning supplies in the other. On her way to his room, she scans the rest of the place to see what kind of mess she'll be facing after she's finished folding his cashmere sweaters, lining up his shoes, stripping his linens, vacuuming-the full treatment.

    More than a cleaner, many students view Grasty as something of a surrogate mother (Kim Delaney is far from the only parent with Grasty on speed-dial), who goes so far as to help coordinate moves and stock up apartments in advance of the new academic year. "To me it's more than just cleaning," she says. "I'm counting on my students to be the best that they can be. The smile on my face is when I ask my kids what's your grade point average. That's what inspires me." Her clients taught her how to text and she lights up whenever she receives messages during school breaks saying, "Kia! We miss you!" and, "Hey, we didn't want you to think we forgot about you."

    Read the rest of the story over on The Daily Beast. And see more of those dirty rooms...

    Or check out these other great pieces:
    Buying Art You Can't Take Home
    Fighting Design Piracy

     

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    A good general rule of thumb for keeping clutter contained is to not allow things into the house in the first place. That's not to say you shouldn't buy something that really, really catches your eye. Just remember to think twice before purchasing. And if something new does make its way into the house, make it a rule to give two objects away to balance things out.

    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

    Getty; Corbis

     

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    We found some of the worst wine stains out there -- white carpets, pristine tablecloths, you name it -- and are bringing you the best ways to combat those stains.


    http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=1004701&pid=1004700&uts=1310660911
    http://www.aolcdn.com/ke/media_gallery/v1/ke_media_gallery_wrapper.swf

    Wine Stain Disasters

    Can't you just hear the hostess screaming after a cringe-worthy spill like this? No fear. Red wine CAN be removed from a white carpet with

    Wine Stain Disasters

    Wine Stain Disasters

    Wine Stain Disasters

    Wine Stain Disasters

    Wine Stain Disasters






    Check out more great cleaning articles like our Daily Clean-Up tips and find out what your mess says about you.

     

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    We asked four designers how your home can help you make (and keep, and enjoy) friends.

    In our latest bid to show you how your home can help solve your problems, we're exploring how it can help you make friends. We reached out to the New York Design Center's new Access to Design designers to get their thoughts and tips on how your home can inspire you to get more creative. (You can also get great advice and find a designer at accesstodesign@nydc.com.)

    how-to-make-friendsCourtesy of k.brant interiors



    Kirsten Brant of k.brant interiors wants you to focus on seating.
    "In this space I built a banquette that wrapped around the entire room so there would be seating for everyone and their friends. A great place for conversations! There are televisions and drink tables for your snacks as well as a bar with a wine fridge and soda storage right next door. Any space with a lot of seating is great for being with your friends and making new ones."

    how-to-make-friendsCourtesy of Christopher Coleman Interior Design



    Chris Coleman of Christopher Coleman Interior Design is committed to color.
    "Create a welcoming hang-out place. Mix and match to bring the friends home! Look for pieces that are eclectic, colorful and modern. Mix shapes and sizes and don't forget the accessories that add a dazzling interest and create conversation."

    how-to-make-friendsStools from PROFILES via NYDC


    Richard Lee of Richard Lee Interior Design relies on "portable furniture".
    "What I like to use are little benches that can go behind a sofa or under a table, that can be pulled up and perched upon. I call it 'portable furniture', and it can be used to augment other furniture arrangements ... instant conversation-seating additions."

    how-to-make-friendsCourtesy of Tara Seawright



    And Tara Seawright of Tara Seawright Inc./Interior Design has her eye on materials.
    "When designing a room for entertaining, I want to be sure that guests will feel at ease. This space is glamorous, yet still comfortable, and offers surfaces made of marble, glass and mirror -- all of which are appropriate for guests to place glasses on without wondering "do I need a coaster?". The fabrics are also durable, and the rug is patterned to avoid seeing all spills or crumbs. This room also allows the hostess to be at ease, and when your hostess is relaxed everybody has a great time."

     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick: Fiesta dinnerware sets in scarlet with accessory tabletop set ($39), 3-piece serving dish set ($39), and 11-piece cultery set ($89), One Kings Lane.


    These festive dinnerware sets by the iconic Fiesta brand are must-haves for your kitchen! Made in the U.S., Fiesta's ceramic dinnerware sets are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe, lead free, and extremely durable. We love the plates, mugs, and utensils in shiny scarlet. Red not your style? They also come in equally festive sunflower yellow and tangerine.


    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Thursday, 11am. Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    Inspired by Brimfield, we're celebrating flea markets around the country this week with tips and insider notes. Today, a diary of my weekend as a seller at the biggest flea market fair in the country.

    There's a lot to take in at the Brimfield Antique Show in Massachusetts. It was my first time there this past weekend, and I had to consistently keep my shopping urges in check. That's mainly due to the fact that I wasn't there to shop...I was there to sell.

    A friend of mine who works at an antique textile and art gallery in Manhattan had rented a booth at the fair and he'd asked if I might be interested in helping him out. My answer: Of course! But only if I could keep a diary of my time there to share a seller's perspective.

    Scroll to see my log and check out my posts on Wednesday and Friday for what I learned as a seller and handy advice from experienced vendors.


    FRIDAY

    6:00PM - Leave New York City for Brimfield in a car jam-packed with merchandise.

    10:00PM - Arrive at our site in Brimfield to unload our goods and set up our booth. Luckily we called ahead to let them know we were arriving late and had all our documents so it went quickly...sort of.

    SATURDAY

    12:30AM - Finally finish setting up the space and drive to hotel for the night. Exhausted.

    6:30AM - Alarm goes off. Snooze? Please?

    8:00AM - Arrive at our booth for final touches.

    8:30AM - Fair opens! People start coming by and looking at our textiles and art.

    9:35AM-10:15AM - Help a number of shoppers with questions. One woman wants to know how to hang one of our antique rugs as a wall tapestry. Love that idea!

    10:40AM: Spot Diane Keaton shopping at the booth across from us! I know she's passionate about home and design, but I'm still star-struck!

    11AM-1130AM: Take a break from the booth and stroll around to see what others are selling. See two of the same statue at two different stalls. One of a kind? Um, yeah right.

    12:00PM - Rearrange merchandise to show off pieces that were not as prominently displayed before. Friend goes off to meet other vendors. Sit patiently and help a few interested shoppers.

    1:15PM - A couple shows up and the husband asks about a green embroidered hanging textile. Help the husband with his inquiries and offer the price. The husband loves the piece but needs to convince his wife. Kind of love this husband. Usually it's the other way around!

    1:20PM - Sells green textile! Friend comes back just in time and helps wife with another textile, which she ends up buying also!

    1:45PM-2:15PM - Lunch break. Thai food.

    2:20PM - Our site manager comes by to greet us and see how we are doing for our first time at the antique show. So nice.

    2:30PM-5:30PM - Help passing customers with pricing on select pieces. Start wrapping up for the day around early evening. Head back to hotel to turn in early and get in a lot of sleeping hours.

    SUNDAY

    8:30AM - Arrive at booth and find that a number of people have packed up and left. Should we give up?

    11:30AM - A couple comes by and buys a watercolor painting. Hooray for not giving up!

    12:00PM-2:30PM - Lunch break and start packing up merchandise since it is the last day of the fair.

    4:00PM - Car loaded up and head back to New York City. Much more elbow room now that we've made a few sales.

    Despite that our timing was slightly off this time, my friend and I had an amazing time. It was a great learning (and selling!) experience, and now we've been primed for the real deal...the September show!

    For more information on how to get your foot in at the Brimfield Antique Show, visit their website here.

    Check back tomorrow for more tips on tackling the flea markets this summer!

     

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