Friday, October 29, 2010

Archive Love, Week 4: Cork Place Card Holders

Drinking wine can provide you with more than healthy antioxidants. It can also provide you with recycled resources that are perfect for DIY party décor. Using a sharp knife, slice off the rounded edge of one side of each cork in order to create a flat surface. On the opposite side of each cork, carefully slice a straight, narrow line. Wedge place cards into the corks for easy eco-friendly place card holders.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Archive Love, Week 4: Vintage Hankies

Touching vows. A memorable dance. The perfect speech. Many events lend to a trail of happy tears. Help your guests dry their eyes with vintage hankies. Organize small baskets or boxes of the hankies within easy reach to help your guests dry their eyes whenever needed (in the picture below, a small note reads “keep your eyes dry & your heart warm [please take one]”).
Photo: Once Wed

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Archive Love, Week 4: A Cup of Joe

Instead of a candy bar, consider ending your next party with an eco coffee bar. Select a variety of organic and fair-trade coffees as well as small sweets for guests to enjoy on the ride home. Additionally, replace disposable cups with BPA-free reusable travel mugs, which can also double as favors.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Archive Love, Week 4: Cork Trivets

Affordable, eco-friendly serving ware if only a few sips away! Consider saving your used corks and repurposing them into trivets that are both stylish and sturdy enough to protect your countertops. The cork trivets will be fun accents for a wine and cheese party or a casual dinner.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Archive Love, Week 4: Woodland Inspired Decor

Embrace the beauty of the outdoors by designing a woodland-inspired party. Look for creative ways to weave natural elements, such as small wood accents and colorful feathers, into your décor. When situated beside elegant plates and stemware, earthy slabs of beautifully textured tree bark and lush moss-filled terrariums are decidedly stylish and sophisticated.
Photos: Once Wed

Friday, October 22, 2010

Archive Love, Week 3: Modern Simplicity

Reduce the amount of potential waste in your next centerpiece by sticking with a clean but modern design. Place a single, colorful stem into a translucent glass vase and fully submerge with water. The water will slightly magnify the flower, transforming something simple into something decidedly stylish.
Photo: Rachel Ray

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Archive Love, Week 3: Fruit Favors

Give your guests something sweet at your next get together. Instead of a candy bar, arrange individual bags of organic cherries or any other variety of local and/or organic seasonal fruit for guests to pick up and enjoy on their way out of the party. They’ll be grateful for a healthy, yet sweet, snack.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Archive Love, Week 3: Apothecary Bottles

Instead of using electricity to light an outdoor buffet or bar, consider this simple, yet romantic solution. Gather clear apothecary bottles (which can often be found in bulk at flea markets) and fill them with wicks and lamp oil. Arrange the bottles inside of a hurricane (you can reuse it after the party) to protect the flames from the wind. Depending on the size of the individual bottles, the flames should last for at least several hours.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Archive Love, Week 3: Smart Eco Place Settings

Give your guests something to talk about during dinner. Instead of purchasing new, traditional chargers or placemats, rummage through your bookshelves for some décor inspiration. Gently tear out pages from an old book (or a dictionary, as pictured below) and place the pages beneath plates for a “smart” (pun fully intended), vintage feel. After a few glasses of wine, guests are certain to share some laughs while reading their favorite passages to each other.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Archive Love, Week 3:Reuse: Recycled Sweaters

While spring-cleaning this season, forgo the temptation to ditch all of last season’s sweaters. Instead, consider giving new life to gently worn sweaters by repurposing them as fashionable décor. Dress up plain bowls by pulling a sweater sleeve over each bowl; line up the cuff with the top of the bowl and secure with some hot glue. Have some old vases or jars hidden in the closet? Simply slip a sweater sleeve over the vase, stretch the fabric so it is long enough to cover the full length of the vase and hot glue into place.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Archive Love, Week 2: Elegant Table Setting

White linens, white china and candlelight. I can hardly think of three images that are more classic. To achieve this look arrange a line of reclaimed glass mason jars (which can often be found by the boxful at garage sales and thrift shops for a few cents each), staggered according to size, down the center of a table. Drop a simple, white soy (or other naturally based) votive in each jar for instant (recycled) elegance. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Archive Love, Week 2: Spotlight on Succulents

Succulents are having a bit of a moment in the design world and for good reason. Since they require very little water and care and can last for years, they’ve become instant stars within the green design community. If water waste isn’t necessarily at the top of your design agenda, consider these facts to help put things into perspective: each year, there are roughly 2.5 million weddings in the U.S. On average, each of these 2.5 million brides will purchase about 8-10 centerpieces for their receptions, each of which will require roughly a gallon of water to keep the flowers looking fresh for the party (forget about all of the water used to care for the flowers pre-wedding day as well as all of the toxic sprays, packaging materials… [my florist father is more than likely shaking his head at me in disappointment right now]). Once you do the math, it’s pretty simple to see why succulents are a stylish and easy way to incorporate some green into your next event. Ask your floral designer about succulents for...
An interesting bouquet...
Photos: Emerald & Once Wed

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Archive Love, Week 2: Making a Comeback: Cloth Napkins

Growing up, cloth napkins were always reserved for special occasions in my home. However, today, as more consumers are making an effort to reduce their daily waste, cloth napkins are making a pretty noticeable comeback. When shopping for décor for your next event, opt out of paper napkins and instead look for cloth napkins, tablecloths and table runners that are made from organic cotton and eco-friendly, low-impact dyes.
Photos: Plover Organics & Bambeco & Etsy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Archive Love, Week 2: Last Minute DIY Centerpieces: Branches

If you find yourself with some last minute company in the coming weeks, embrace the tail end of winter by collecting fallen branches. Simply cut the branches into equal lengths and tie a bundle of them together at the base to create a sense of uniformity before placing each bundle into a transparent vase.
Photo: Rachel Ray

Monday, October 11, 2010

Archive Love, Week 2: Seasonal Inspiration

Lately, I’ve been finding constant inspiration just about everywhere and in everything. So today, instead of focusing on just one fun new find, I thought I’d put together a small collection of ideas, inspired by the changing seasons, which have been keeping my creative juices in full turn recently.
The first is this playful, DIY apple swag. I can already imagine these brightly colored swags draped on the backside of chairs at an autumn potluck or a small barn wedding.
Photo: Side-by-Side Blog

The next two ideas carry me right back to the winters of my childhood. During late autumn and early fall, I always enjoyed collecting stray pinecones in the woods adjacent to my house. Often, the pinecones would end up adorned with glue drops, glitter and a collection of plastic jewels. I like to think of the following ideas as a more “grown-up” version of my childhood DIY projects.

Photo: Side-By-Side Blog

It’s pretty well known by those in my intimate circle that, on nearly any warm spring day, you can find me clipping fresh flowers in my backyard. Spring blooms come in such beautiful colors and shapes that they very rarely need anything else to dress them up. When loosely placed in reused mason jars, such as in the photos below, fresh spring clippings are the perfect centerpieces for any table, no matter the affair.

Photo: Elizabeth Anne Designs
For me, summer brings to mind two words: outdoors and casual. Each idea below embraces simple summer elegance without the need to sacrifice individual style.

Photo: Elizabeth Anne Designs

Friday, October 8, 2010

Over the past two weeks, I’ve come across typewriters in three entirely separate circumstances (which, you have to admit, is a little strange nowadays). The first time was while skimming the pages of Etsy, when I found an amazing aqua typewriter that I had to talk myself out of purchasing. The second time was last weekend while I was browsing through a consignment shop and found a (cracked) green typewriter that I considered picking up and placing on a shelf somewhere in my office. The third time was while I walked past a designer home furnishings store and noticed a brand new typewriter (fashioned to look significantly older than it actually was) staring me in the face. Of course, all of this got me thinking…
In lieu of a traditional guestbook, give new life to a vintage typewriter (which, as you can see from my experiences, apparently isn’t so hard to find), and allow your guests to type notes to you and your partner on your wedding day. Not only will this provide your guests with a seriously fun and unexpected icebreaker, but it will provide you with unique, vintage-inspired messages that can later be framed and hung around your home to be enjoyed for years to come. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cork Candles

Look for small ways to slip some eco design into your wedding or party with unexpected green touches, such as these cork candleholders. Cork, which is a 100% renewable resource, will add a bit of texture to nearly any table setting and, because of its neutral color, will blend with nearly any color palette.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Unique Table Runners

I get very excited when I find chic examples of people reusing reclaimed materials in fresh ways. Here, vintage player piano reels are given a second life as adorable table runners. The interesting designs on the reels are certain to spark excellent conversation among guests!
Photo: 100 Layer Cake

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Food for Thought

With a father who is a florist and a fiance who is a chef, it seems only natural that I am attracted to the idea of using food as a centerpiece. The next time you have guests arriving on short notice, don’t sacrifice a beautiful tabletop simply because of time. Instead, mindfully arrange food items you already plan on serving down the center of your table in lieu of a more “traditional” (and potentially wasteful) centerpiece. For an impromptu summer lunch or brunch, consider arranging small baskets or bowls across your table that are filled with fresh, brightly colored fruits and vegetables (purchased from a local farmers' market) that guests will pick on while enjoying easy conversation. Organizing an evening get-together? Keep things simple yet stylish at your next dinner party by embracing the casual feel of Tuscany. Forgo a formal antipasto plate and instead scatter drinking glasses filled with breadsticks as well as small baskets and plates of fresh, organic olives, tomatoes, Italian meats, etc. to substitute a more structured centerpiece.
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