Monthly Archives: July 2008

We *Heart* The USPS

Hey you design-a-holic… were you aware of how cool the new postage stamp is? Because I am totally crushing on the Charles and Ray Eames commmorative sheet. I am definitely getting a few, one for framing on my wall like the big design dork I am, and one for upping the coolness factor on the bills I still have to pay with a check. ( Why can’t everyone just go paperless already?!!!… ok, not complaining. I can now use my Eames stamps as… gasp… postage!)

Charles and Raye Eames commemorative stamp sheet (panel of 16 $6.72)

Don’t Forget to Say "Thank You!"

When someone is kind enough to let you stay in their home, whether for one night or one month, it’s common knowledge that you should thank them. When the trip is an extended one, it’s generally expected that you thank your host or hostess (or both) with a gift. The longer the stay, the more the gift. Here are some ideas for the next time you find yourself on someone’s couch (or, if you’re lucky, in their guest room).

A Weekend Stay:
We always had a lot of weekend visitors at my house growing up. Usually aunts and uncles passing through town on their way to another destination. Occasionally, an old friend of my parents coming for a short visit. When you find yourself on a visit like this, bring a little something to say, “I know you’re going to tidy up like a madman before and after I leave, so thanks for the extra effort.”

A Weeklong Vacation:
Once you are staying with somone for an entire week, you’re probably disrupting their schedule at least a bit. There are meals to be made, sheets to wash, and daily entertainment to be prepared. When you are staying with someone for that amount of time, put more thought into a thank you gift. They’ve worked hard!

For the host that likes to get outside an grill, put together a gift basket with a few of these gourmet barbeque sauces from Williams-Sonoma. Get a small piece of jewelry for a fashion-loving hostess (or host). A coffee table book on a favorite subject is usually something people want, but may not get for themselves. That’s your chance!

The Month Long Move-in:
If you’re staying for a couple weeks to a month, some big time kissing up is required. Your host may love to spend time with you, but they’ve still have to change around their schedule for you more than just a couple of times. Get something you know they’ll love- something they may not just get for themselves. Your gift to them should be a splurge!

I love these Orimono Pillows from Anthropologie. The bright colors will add a lot to a room and certainly brighten your host’s day after the extra cooking and cleaning they’ve done! To give your hosts a break after your visit, get them a giftcard to a nice restaurant- enough for some good wine, a delicious dinner, and dessert. You could also snag a couple tickets to an event they would love- a concert, a play, the ballet, etc.

Thanking your host will not only make you feel better about imposing on them, it will also guarantee another stay at their home if you need it! And don’t forget, it’s always necessary to send a little note after you’ve left to say one final “Thank you!”

PR5 Report: Episode 2

Well, last night’s episode of Project Runway was a wild ride. It seems the theme for last night was too short, badly fitted, and talking in the third person. The old routine of creating a schtick just to get a clip reel dedicated to you during the reunion show is getting really old. Last season it was Christian and his declaring everything “fierce”. I can already see it for this season: “Suede rocked it!”, “Suede is a bisexual Sagittarius!”, blah, blah, blah. We get it, Suede.
Now, focusing on clothing, I’m starting to get a little scared about this bunch. The people getting the most camera time aren’t the most talented. The best designs of the evening came from Kenley, Joe (the most underestimated designer of this season), and Terri.
Terri’s dress, Joe’s dress, and Kenley’s (should’ve been the winner) dress.
And as for the rest of them, I understand that the models didn’t give them the most ideal fabrics to work with, but you work with the cards you are dealt. The dresses were either too tight, too short, too 80’s, or too badly constructed (auf’d Wesley commited three out of the four sins)! If these designers want to be on par with the designers in seasons past, they are going to have to learn how to “make it work”!
For more, check out the photos from last night, and read Entertainment Weekly‘s take on the affair.
Auf Wiedersehen!

Everything But The Kitchen Table…

A preppy kitchen booth with extra storage below is always handy.

Lately, I’ve been hunting for the perfect kitchen table and chairs. Something small enough for my little apartment’s dining room, but still enough to fill the breakfast nook of a house in the future. I really want a clean and modern round table to surround with industrial metal or mix-and-match antique dining chairs. Luckily, I have lots of pictures to serve as inspiration in my search!

A relaxed and airy breakfast nook at Amanda Peet’s home.

A simple and rustic booth in a breakfast nook.

Tres minimal… Straight pieces of wood and chairs with just a little curve.

A nook with a view at the home of Billy & Katie Joel.

Granted, this takes a little more effort to build a bar out from the counter, but the combination of marble and colorful barstools is fantastic.

The HF List: Oh What a Tangled Web…

I remember those days, maybe 10 years ago, when the internet was not the behemoth that it is today. The web was there, but it wasn’t so world wide. Today, most people spend a good portion of their workday on the internet, not to mention their downtime. Why buy an encyclopedia when you can Google? Why go to the store when you can have it shipping for free? Words like “google” and “netflix” have become verbs, as in, “He seems nice, but did you google him yet?” or “I’m not going to spend 10 bucks to see that movie. I’ll probably just Netflix it.” Women’s Health ran an article in its June 2008 issue about the 100 Most Useful Sites on the Web. Click here for the full article, but I included my favorites here:

1. Working out is tough, but it gets a bit easier if you’ve got a good soundtrack to jam to. The best songs for major cardio are in the 120-150 bpm (beats per minute) range. To find out if your songs make the cut, bring up Convert-a-lot and you’ll have the perfect mix in no time!

Don’t ask him to do anything naughty. He won’t like it!
2. Don’t waste time on just any website. Waste time with Subservient Chicken. It’s a guy in a chicken suit that will do your bidding. Just don’t ask him to get naked. He is not cool with that!

3. Next time you’re invited to a dinner party, don’t bring just any ol’ bottle of booze. Check out the recommendations at Cork’d and you’ll be on the guest list for every dinner party to come!
4. Ever spent way to much time searching for an 800 number only to give up? I have and it is frustrating to no end. Go to Hard To Find 800 Numbers. They’ll find it for you.

One of the Rooms We Love at HFH’s Flickr page.

5. Flickr is the best place to find amazing photos for free (noncommercial use only). I’ve found some truly inspiring pictures there! And, HFH has a photostream there of inspiring interiors for your time-wasting pleasure.
6. It’s no fun to buy a ticket to fly across the country only to find the fare has dropped a week later. Sign up with Yapta. They will moniter your flight information and if the fare drops, they’ll let you know and help you get a refund. That’ll get you some new vacation shoes!
7. Being an adult means being responsible and being responsible means prepping yourself for the worst. As much as we don’t want our houses to be broken into, it happens. It happened to my parents and it was a nightmare. But fortunately for them, they were insured and had an inventory of all of the bigger items they owned. When it came time to replace them, they knew exactly where to start. If you need a place to start, go to Stuff Safe. They make it easy to upload pictures of your stuff with descriptions and values. And hopefully, you’ll never need to use it!

Have a lovely day with the little bit of random from See Jane Work.

8. Work can be boring. Make it better with cute office supplies. Okay, so they won’t make your job suddenly exciting, but they’re nicer to look at than your basic black Swingline. See Jane Work has some of the most fun supplies around.

9. Hate your boss? (Even if I did, I couldn’t tell you here!) Let ’em have it without getting fired by posting an anonymous rant on Work Rant.
10. For all of you book fiends out there (Eclectorator, I’m looking at you!) check out What Should I Read Next? Just enter the title or author of a book you loved and it will give you 10 suggestions that you will also love. I tried it, and it was dead-on.
11. Why would you want to pay for shipping when you could not pay for shipping. Go to Free Shipping On for the inside scoop on free shipping from over 500 stores.
They have a ton of fantastic, time saving, just-plain-cool sites on their list. Enjoy perusing the internet!

HF Weekly Obsession:

I put this little vignette together just for this photo. Something classic (the tufted 1430 Loveseat from Lee Industries in Tampa Slate), a couple things organic (the Organic Cocktail Table and the Twig Table in Brass Lamp; Black Granite), and something geometric (the Tommorrowland Rug). Mix these pieces for an adult and striking living room combination. Then tell the kids to stay in the playroom.

PR5 Report: Episode 1

As a lot of you may know, Project Runway 5 started last night. I can tell this is going to be a bumpy ride. The challenge (taken from season one) was to create a garment out of supplies from the grocery store. Right away, Tim jumped on several of the contestants for choosing tablecloths, which are basically fabric. That defeats the whole purpose of the challenge! However, a few of the contestants took this challenge as a chance to shine and produced some unique creations:

From left: Daniel’s plastic cup dress had to be molded to the dress form; Joe’s pasta dress made from oven mitts and dry pasta; Kelli’s winning design made from bleached and dyed vaccuum cleaner bags and burned coffee filters.

I know I’m not the only one out there watching this show, so what did everyone else think? Let me know!
Auf Wiedersehen!