We’ve been running like crazy, non-stop, since the summer so it is kind of shocking to all of a sudden wake up to -- SHAZAM (!) -- holiday season! But that is also exciting around here because we have two very special projects that we are so excited about that lasso the holidays in a big way.
This year our David Stark for west elm holiday collection brings the hand-made to you. In much the same way we that we transform everyday materials in our Brooklyn studio into inventive decor for events all over the world, we’ve invented a series of items for west elm where you can feel the hand and heart of the person that crafted it. In fact, we actually invented an imaginary party in our minds that we were designing for. The world was our chic party client. (wink!)
Since we have been especially obsessed with paper (the pop-up flower shop that we created for the launch of our book was conceived in the same headspace!), the items in our holiday collection mix metallic papers with recycled newsprint in unusual ways while a series of ceramics, tableware, tiled mirror and linens ground the paper in permanence. I like casting against type. Newsprint is definitely DULL, but it is fun to make it the belle of the ball, donning sparkling hats and surprising everyone with its festiveness.
Here are a few of my favorite things from the collection:
This four-pack of our Newsprint Flower Shades transforms regular wine glasses from your cupboard into glamorous cabaret lamps -- instant centerpiece! Just add LED votive lights which never make a mess. I am going to give packs of these shades with accompanying LED lights as my holiday gifts this year! And the shades fold up flat so they don’t take up any room at all when you store them.
I love this Newsprint Tassel. I think I love it because it is elegant and silly all at the same time. Of course you can hang it on a tree, but I would also hang it from an antique key in the lock of a door or armoire, around the neck of a bottle or vase, from the pull on a window shade, tied to the ribbon on a gift or as a fun napkin ring.
I am pretty tapped out for space in my home, so when we designed our Twig Topiary, it was important to create flexibility for easy storage. Not only do the arms bend into any decorative position, but you can stand them straight up, too, so that you can easily hide this little bugger in a tight closet after the holidays!
The newsprint is surprisingly festive next to the shimmer of metallic. These fractured ice, graphic plates pair beautifully on a cocktail or dessert buffet. I will use them year round!
The mirrored objects were conceived with multiple uses in mind as well. The wreath can hang on a wall or door but it can also sit on a table as a fruit bowl or hold a glass cylinder and a pillar candle in its ring. The bottles have removable fittings in their openings. Leave the fittings in and you have fantastic candle sticks. Remove the fittings and you have great vases. The bottles don’t hold water so either use a little water tube available from a local flower or craft shop to hold your bloom or use one of our paper blooms, leaf stems or dove stems which don’t need any help at all!
We designed our Two-Part Vase because we are always searching for the perfect container for all floral scenarios. Here, in one fell swoop, you have the perfect bud vase that shows off a single bloom in all its glory OR . . . you take the top off, and you can make a lush bouquet in the bottom half of the vase. I like when I get multiple uses out of a single object. I will also use the bottom to hold a bottle of wine or water on the table or even as a candy dish.
As a kid, I would sit for hours and make these Concertina/accodordian garlands with my gum wrappers! And you know what? They’re STILL cool!
This Newsprint Leaf Garland is lighthearted and chic. Of course it is perfect on a mantle, but I also wind it around a wall mirror, down the length of a dining table, enhancing a chandelier, marking a stair bannister, and coiled as a wall wreath.
Our Leaf Ornaments made from recycled paper look great on the Twig Tree Topiary, but I also use them as hang tags on gifts, place cards tied to napkins on a dining table, as a gift tag tied to a bottle of wine, hanging from a chandelier – the possibilities are endless.
These clip on flowers can be used in a variety of ways too. I have been clipping them on to napkins and to wreaths, on to garlands, but you know what else? They make a great bookmark!
We also made these flowers in kraft and recycled paper. I mix them in with the silver and gold – no problem.
These plates and bowls were so popular that they have sold out, but I wanted to show them here, because I really like them and they look so good with the rest of the collection.
David Land’s video, shot on location when we shot the catalogue, shows how everything works together!
Now . . . when we are planning a party, we ALWAYS start with the invitation. I always say that the invitation should be a little clue, a little window into what the party is going to feel like, and I am so happy to premier our very first line of e-vites, thank you notes, holiday cards, and stationary with Cocodot. Many of the pieces work hand-in-hand with our west elm collection and others are just, plain fun. There are templates in which you can upload your own photo, you can change the text with a myriad of fonts and colors, and cocodot will manage your rsvp’s too. Here’s a little preview of what we have going on there.
Let us know what you think, guys. And have a GREAT Thanksgiving everybody. I’m going to Boston to be with my family, and I am thankful for many, many great things.