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summer whites

Posted by Cobi on Tuesday June 23, 2015 at 06:22 AM
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Last summer we threw a party in our backyard for some neighbours who were moving away. It was a casual get-together but I wanted it to look nice.

cobi

I decided to go with a white theme and put my rather extensive milk glass collection to work.

Cobi Ladner's milk glass collection

To keep the flower budget down, I bought a few bunches of white blossoms at the grocery store and then cut mint, fern, oregano, hosta and various leaves from our garden to fill in the rest.

Greenery and flowers for Cobi's backyard party

We set up folding tables, end to end, for one long communal table and lined them with white cloths. Neighbours loaned us chairs.

Cobi Ladner's summer table

I tucked, blossoms and greenery into some of the vases and votive candles into others.

Cobi Ladner's milkglass collection

The blossoms lasted so well, we hosted a family dinner at the table the following night.

Cobi Ladner's milk glass collection

To carry the white theme further, I added some cobistyle white lanterns.

Cobi Ladner's backyard with cobistyle lantern

And mixed them with some dollar-store battery-lit ones to line the pool.

dollar store lanterns line Cobi Ladner's pool

Our patio table served as the bar.

Bar in Cobi Ladner's backyard

Garden flowers and leaves in Cobi Ladner's backyard

And an antique French baby-bath I own stood in as the cooler.

Cobi Ladner's antique french baby bath cooler

Even the white plastic cutlery looked in place with the all white theme.

Cobi Ladner's white summer party

The only colour in the backyard were some flowers dotted around the yard.

Flowers in Cobi Ladner's backyard

Who says you have to spend a fortune to throw a nice party? I don’t mean to white-wash it, but it really was as easy as a summer breeze.

Cobi Ladner's backyard

entertaining

celebrate summer solstice

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 15, 2015 at 12:09 PM
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Why not make the Summer Solstice a reason to celebrate this weekend?

cobistyle lanterns by Cobi's pool {cobistyle lanterns (no longer available) in my backyard.}

The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

cobistyle lanterns brighten the garden {cobistyle lanterns (no longer available) brighten the backyard.}

In 2015, the summer begins with the solstice on June 21 at 12:38 P.M. EDT.

Paper lantern's in Cobi's backyard create a party atmosphere {Paper lanterns create a party atmosphere any time of day.}

The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.

floating candles at Cobi Ladner's house {Floating candles ready for the pool in my backyard.}

Ever wonder why we recognize the seasons so late compared to the climate? Although the June solstice marks the first day of astronomical summer, it’s more common for people to use meteorological definitions of seasons, making the solstice midsummer or midwinter.

Cobi Ladner's pool shed {Our pool shed/sauna is the focal point of our backyard, day or night.}

On the June solstice, the midnight sun is visible (weather permitting) throughout the night, in all areas from just south of the Arctic Circle to the North Pole.

Cobi Ladner's backyard {Outdoor lighting makes a big difference to how much you use your space at night.}

On the other side of the planet, south of the Antarctic Circle there’s Polar Night, meaning no Sunlight at all, on the June Solstice.

paper lanterns on a string of lights {Try popping paper lanterns on top of a string of Christmas light bulbs.}

The June solstice dates vary. For example, it’s on June 21 in 2015, but on June 20 in 2016. A June 22 solstice will not occur until 2203. The last time there was a June 22 solstice was in 1971. The varying dates of the solstice are mainly due to the calendar system.

backyard solar paper lanterns {There are solar powered lanterns clothed in paper on the market now.}

One of the world’s oldest examples of evidence of the Summer Solstice’s importance in culture is Stonehenge in England, a megalithic structure which clearly marks the moment of the June Solstice.

Backyard oasis {You don’t have to have a cottage to enjoy a summer evening outside.}

I suggest starting your own tradition of inviting friends over for a backyard celebration (bring a sweater) and stay out until the sky is finally dark.

Backyard dinner {A good excuse to have some Summer fun.}

And if you feel like treating yourself (and your backyard) to a couple of fabulous lanterns, look no further!

cobistyle white metal lantern cobistyle white iron candle holder (8” high) $50.00

cobistyle mustard porcelain lantern cobistyle large (10” x 11”) porcelain lantern, $60.00

cobistyle white porcelain woven lantern cobistyle porcelain lattice lantern (14” high) $60.00

cobistyle white porcelain lantern cobistyle tall porcelain cut out lantern (18”high) $70.00

cobistyle turquoise porcelain lantern cobistyle turquoise porcelain lantern (15”high) $40.00

cobistyle morrocan-style lantern cobistyle Moroccan-style lantern (19” high) $35.00

cobistyle decorative accessories are available at the best boutiques across Canada. Let me know if are looking for something in particular and we will find a store near you!

entertaining

rose-coloured christmas

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday December 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM
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Last weekend I hosted a brunch for my oldest and dearest BFF’s (well they may not want to be called the ‘oldest’ but you know what I mean).

longer view of table

I wish I’d taken more pulled-back pictures to show off the table in context of my dining room, but I was so enthralled by the rosy glow of the set table that my pics appear to all be close range.

brunch from head of table

I layered all kinds of things in crystal, silver and rosy cranberry, and it created such a pretty effect in the daylight for a ladies luncheon.

brunch close up

A few bunches of boxwood snippets from the garden in white cobistyle tea glasses gave a touch of colour relief.

brunch - glass with boxwood

The tray from my mom’s silver tea service came in handy to corral votives and ornaments in the centre of the table and add some vintage charm.

brunch silver tray

I love it when it’s my turn to host our annual brunch because the rule is that the host provides only beverages and the rest bring the food.

brunch from corner angle

I almost feel guilty having all the fun!

overhead, light streaming

Cheers to setting many more tables for old and dear friends this holiday!

entertaining

neutrals get the blues too

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday June 11, 2014 at 07:00 AM
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I had to share this….it’s a table setting on display at the wholesaler I work with for my decorative accessory line. They often set things up so that the retailers you shop with, get inspired for their displays. I thought this table was particularly well done…

overall table setting

You know how I love blue and white as a decorating scheme, both is porcelain and in textiles…

blue and white cups

Well I think people often struggle with how to blend it in at home, but look how great it works here with beautiful neutral tableware similar to what many of us own.

one place setting

It just pops against the white, wood, silver, stainless and natural fabrics.

place setting with pillow

This is a great lesson in how things often work together that don’t necessarily “match”.

place setting close up

So next time you’re setting a table and cursing you don’t have everything matching, try adding something a little unexpected. It may give you the biggest surprise.

The cobistyle items above are the blue and white porcelain pieces, large blue glass vessels, everlasting flowers, mercury glass votive holders and decorative cushions. They are for sale in boutiques across Canada. Just drop me a line if you need help finding something.

entertaining

laurie loves cobistyle

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 07:00 AM
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My friend Laurie is a multi-talented lady. She helped me to realize the cobistyle decorative accessory collection right from the beginning when it was nothing more than magazine clippings, a long wish-list and me blabbing in her ear. It gave me confidence that she actually ‘got it’!

She has now branched out on her own doing a number of things including writing her own blog called Laurie Loves and hosting events where she sells some of her favourite products, in her beautiful home in Oakville, Ont.

table with ranunculas

These are a few pictures from her last event that feature cobistyle products (some are no longer in stock but I thought it was fun to see them in action anyway).

on plate plus napkin ring

For example the ranunculus napkin rings - they were a huge hit for their blowsy, Springy feel and I still have people write to me looking for them.

charger plates

These porcelain bird vases look wonderful empty or filled with a few fresh flowers tucked in as Laurie has done here.

birds with read flowers

Laurie has a natural talent with flowers (both real and imposters) and I understand she comes by it honestly from her mom!

peonies in window

Notice how she cut the stems of these cobistyle peonies so the heads just hit the top of the vase? That way they look full and not floppy!

light pink peonies in glass

Who doesn’t like peonies? These look great all summer long and no arranging required as they come in a square white pot.

tea table with potted peony

Thank you for your constant support of cobistyle Laurie. We’ll be watching as your own Laurie Loves story takes flight.

flower market

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gung hei fat choi!

Posted by Cobi on Saturday February 01, 2014 at 08:33 PM
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Celebrating Chinese New Year has become a fun winter tradition in my house.

paper umbrellas

It’s a cheerful diversion to stave off the winter blues.

apples

And it’s a great excuse for me to play with all of my Asian-inspired cobistyle accessories!

chopsticks on side table

I mix them in with things I’ve picked up in Chinatown over the years.

Chinese new year sign over tea

Odd sets of china tea cups and plates. Did you know a shot of Whiskey in green tea is a tasty after-dinner drink?

tea

I don’t fuss over the food - bbq pork, snow peas, rice, mandarin salad and little nibblies to start.

appies

But I go to town on the table setting - my favourite part! I start with Chinese newspaper (free at the Chinese grocery store) - I love the graphics and print.

newspaper

Then layer dollar-store red woven place mats.

newspaper and red placemats

On top of those go plastic gold chargers - cheap and cheerful but they look fine under candlelight.

newspaper, red placemat, gold charger

I use brightly-coloured paper napkins because they’re easy, but I also love the look of paper with Chinese decor.

newspaper, placemat, charger, napkin

My bowls are Japanese but they work just the same and are big enough for a ‘one-bowl meal’.

bowls

cobistyle glasses with woven holders bring a natural element to the table and are the perfect size for water.

cobistyle cups

And of course I have to use cobistyle chopsticks!

cobistyle chopsticks

But I always offer cutlery along with chopsticks so everyone is comfortable.

place setting with chopstick

Little treats like fans for the girls (they love to use them at the table) and laughing Buda’s for the boys are a fun addition.

fans and Buda's

I used a dry erase marker on the cobistyle porcelain fortune cookies to turn them into place holders.

porcelain fortune cookie

And of course the table wouldn’t be complete without paper lanterns strung overhead.

paper lanterns

It’s amazing how well the colours of the Emerson cobistyle drapery panel mixed in with the colours on the table.

drapery

cobistyle lanterns run down the middle of the table and I tuck a fortune cookie into each of the mini-satin-covered take-out containers.

overall table w lanterns

When the table is done it transforms the dining room and our guests get such a surprise when they arrive.

overall table without lanterns

This year I gave the men a big special-issue Kit-Kat and the ladies a silky loot bag of Chinese candies and a cobistyle surprise.

loot bags

I hope your Year of the Horse is filled with luck, prosperity and love.

front door

Gung Hei Fat Choi!

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April showers brought May flowers

Posted by Cobi on Tuesday May 21, 2013 at 06:59 PM
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I’ve been to Ottawa a number of times in my life but never in the Spring.

tulips

I was so happy when a cobistyle store-event raised itself for a trip to our beautiful nation’s capital in May!

tulips and hyacinth

I’d read about the Tulip Festival and the well-known story of the Netherlands gifting us with thousands of bulbs as a thank you for safe harbouring the Dutch Royal Family during the Second World War.

tulips and daffs

But of course, like most things in life, the pictures only tell half the story - the city was alive! Not only with tulips but also crab-apple trees in bloom, live music in the parks, the beloved Senators winning…every Canadian should try to visit Ottawa in the Spring.

long shot of tulips

It was an uplifting experience, especially when I saw the cobistyle coloured tulip bed - I could have sworn they planted it just for me!

cobistyle tulips

The trip followed just a few days after we had hosted a birthday party for my sister-in-law in our backyard.

lanterns

Although the weather was glorious, it’s iffy to plant flowers in early May in Toronto.

forsythia

And truth be told, we’d already blown the budget on the bar and food!

fireplace

Rather than dole out more money on fresh-cut flowers, I decided to cull as much cobistyle from my supplies, as I could, and brighten the party up with bit of ‘everlasting beauty’.

fireplace

The party was loosely themed ‘Mexican’ and so the bright colours worked perfectly.

peonie in glass

I strategically placed containers full of cobistyle blooms and many guests commented on them, assuming they were real.

peonies in umbrella holder

Of course they would have been spectacular if they were real but so would my visa bill.

cherry blossoms

They did the trick for the party and I’m still enjoying them two weeks later! Cha Cha Cha….

muskoka chairs with peonies

Wherever you are in Canada, I hope your Spring is blooming in a very real way.

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be my Chinese Valentine

Posted by Cobi on Monday February 11, 2013 at 12:40 PM
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Gung hay fat choy Sweetheart! This past weekend I hosted my (now annual!) Chinese New Year party but this year I merged it with Valentines to give it an even rosier glow.

lipstick and cinnamon hearts

At first I thought it would be an odd combo…

paper lanterns and valentines

…but it worked surprisingly well! Have a look…

First the invitations - I found Happy New Year cards (with pink envelops!) at T&T grocery store. They were only $1.49 each and quite beautiful. I wrote the invitation specifying “dress code: RED” and enclosed two traditional Chinese New Years envelopes with chocolate coins inside - so pretty! Walmart was even selling Chinese New Year treats in select stores this year. Bob handled the hand delivery for me.

chinese n.y. valentine invites

Next up was putting together the loot bags (my favourite : ) Inside I put a little combo of things - cinnamon hearts and candle for Valentines - soap, lipstick holder and eye glass case for Chinese New Year.

loot bag goodies

It wasn’t hard to squeeze a little cobistyle into the theme!

cobistyle eye glass cases

I couldn’t resist the Valentine Chinese take-out boxes - sold both at Walmart and Dollarama this year. Perfect!

chinese food box lootbags

Then it was time to decorate the dining room. I pulled out all of my Valentine gear (not a lot) - then I pulled out my Chinese gear (a lot - because I’ve always loved it). It’s a wacky mix but sure beats the February blahs!

tea buffet

I set up a green tea bar on my narrow buffet (note the Johnnie Walker RED which the Globe wrote is good mixed in green tea after dinner - the guys sure liked it anyway!).

table at window

I hung big cobistyle paper lanterns from my regular hurricane lanterns…

paper lanterns

And of course, filled my favourite dishes with candy…

candy in heart dish

And finally, I set the table… I had to use my cobistyle Geisha girl placecard holders even though I know they’re Japanese.

place card holders

I used the cobistyle ceramic fortune cookies to stash a homemade fortune at each person’s place and tucked them inside the cobistyle mini fabric-covered boxes.

ceramic fortune cookies and boxes

Very cute. Everyone took turns reading theirs aloud when we sat down to dinner.

c.up of fortune cookie in box

I used all the red linens I have, plain white square plates and pink paper napkins. It turned out bright and pretty with all the little bits and pieces coming together to make a fun table.

full table

Then on to food! I had a dozen of these adorable little cups that needed a purpose and so I made an easy strawberry sauce for dessert and put one on each plate.

little cups

I also put together two plates of cookies from T&T (the green tea ones are terrific!) and some chocolate covered cranberries for colour.

bar

Then I put together a bar tray to get things started, featuring Chinese beer and my ‘signature drink’ - a Tall REDhead of course!

bar

It’s 1 oz Vodka, 1oz Pom juice, ice, pomegranate seeds all mixed with some lemon lime pop - anyone know how to say Cheers in Chinese?

bar

It was a ton of fun and all that RED was a great remedy to a GREY month.

after the party...

Happy New Year Sweetheart!

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air play

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 16, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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I don’t know why I love paper lanterns so much.
I’ve shown how I’ve used them at a Summer party in the backyard…

lanterns in my backyard

And at a Chinese New Year party to liven up the bland Winter…

lanterns at Chinese new year party

I’ve added them to the cobistyle accessory line in two sizes - small….

cobistyle orange images

And large…

wing chair with lantern

And in great colours…

3 lanterns 3 lanterns

Paper lanterns just seem to have a way of instantly creating a happy, party feeling whether they’re hung from the ceiling of a dramatic ballroom…

green lanterns at party

Or from a simple centrepiece…

paper lanterns on branches

Or from the backs of party chairs…

lanterns on backs of chairs

Even from the ceiling at a cottage…

paper lanterns in porch

Or from an umbrella in the backyard…

paper lantern under picnic umbrella

Paper lanterns have a lighthearted, child-like quality of total impracticality.

3 paper lanterns

And I love that. Whether it’s at a goofy home party just to celebrate everyday life…

lanterns in trees

Or the most important day of your life…

lanterns at wedding

Maybe that’s why I love them. They’re nothing more than paper and air and yet they always bring a smile.

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red, white and phew!

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 02, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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Friends of ours were transferred to the US last year and finally made it home for a visit. Even though it’s a busy time of year, we decided to surprise them with a Canada Day party so they don’t forget their roots are red and white with only a few blue flowers mixed in to show our Canadian open-mindedness.

flag in lobelia

Of course I love a theme party and this one started with summer market flowers in red and white, like carnations and freesia…

flower prep

begonias…

begonias

…and gerberas…

gerbers

I pulled out my thrift-store milk glass collection that always looks great in the summer with candles, flowers or fruit…

milk glass

And added some hosta leaves and lemon verbena from the garden…

bar trolley

It gave me a giggle that as I was arranging the flowers our copy of Macleans arrived and fit right in!

mcleans mag

Even the food looked patriotic!

strawberries

Oregano from the garden… mmmm…

tomatoes

It’s tough to pick The Great Canadian Soundtrack - too many choices!

Canadian cd's

Of course we used a hockey puck as a napkin weight…

dessert plates with hockey puck

And I know Dollarama is American but their Canada Day stuff is way fun and dirt cheap…

cowboy hat

I found these priceless dinner napkins there too ~ good for a few laughs -

napkins

And Bob says I could have been arrested for using their cheap flags for a tablecloth (something about the flag act?) but they looked great!

flag tablecloth

He created a quiz for the night that was really fun - questions about famous Canadians - our daughter wrote up the clues as name tags.

name tags

Everyone got in on the act and many arrived dressed in red and white!

Hito with bandana

It was a great party and one I would do again in a minute - after all, what else am I going to do with all these little flags??

fireplace flower shot

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a cobistyle christmas

Posted by Cobi on Monday December 05, 2011 at 05:58 AM
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If you haven’t seen this issue of Reno & Decor magazine, I thought I’d show you the images from my recent cover story. We photographed the story in my own dining room back in September. With years of magazine experience under my belt, it brought back many fond memories to be dressing a room for Christmas on a warm, sunny day with the windows open.

cobi

What I’m not used to, however, is seeing my own product-line in a story (and in my house!). What fun it was to have fuchsia pink cobistyle chairs delivered from Decor-Rest. Open boxes of cobistyle throws, pillows, Christmas decorations, trays and accessories from Canfloyd. And hang beautiful chintz drapery named after my own daughter, Charlotte, from inVU.

cobi

It was really fun to integrate items that I’d conceived of for my line - like this lacquer box and Xmas balls - with my own personal decorations I use year after year.

cobi

And the colourful cobistyle table-decor with my own white dinnerware, linens and milk glass collection.

cobi

The brocade-covered Chinese take-out boxes are something of which I’m particularly proud. The idea is to use them for party favours or small gifts and the colours are so pretty - they come 4 colours to a box - and brighten up anywhere they’re displayed.

cobi

I guess I have a thing for multi-colours - these cobistyle napkin rings come 6 colours to a box. The jewel-like tones look great with crisp white linens.

cobi

I love my little Geisha girl place-card holders - are they not adorable? They also work as tree ornaments.

cobi

I know the colours are not traditional for Christmas but they look festive and bright just the same, especially when mixed with each other. The advantage too is that you don’t have to take everything down the minute Christmas is over. They look great for New Years and parties throughout the winter.

cobi

This shot doesn’t feature any cobistyle products but it does express my favourite sentiment for the season and so I guess in a way it’s still ‘Cobi-style’…

cobi

Merry Christmas!

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table ideas to fall for

Posted by Cobi on Sunday October 09, 2011 at 07:00 AM
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If you’re hosting the turkey dinner tonight, have no fear - cute fall tabletop ideas are here! This image is stunning. The orange paper lanterns look like giant pumpkins overhead and I love the idea of bringing tartan to the table through napkins and blankeys. We should all have a collection of old wool tartan blankets to pull out in the fall!

cobi

Here’s another cute idea - pull out old family photos to use instead of place cards. What a great way to get people to the table!

cobi

And enjoy memories of family no longer with us.

cobi

If you have a box of price tags from the dollar store - create instant place cards by slipping them over the stem of a pear.

cobi

If you don’t; a little piece of twine works well with any kind of tag and fruit…

cobi

No tags at all? How about metallic pen on an apple or pomegranate? See - no excuses not to tart up the table!

cobi

If you’re more of a ‘professional arrangement kinda gal’ just make sure it’s gorgeous and bountiful like this…

cobi

Or buy a bunch of mixed flowers at the grocery store and cut them really short to create your own arrangement…

cobi

I love this skinny table set with old and new pieces. Classic and lovely.

cobi

Here’s a fun little craft if you own carving tools - these gourd vase and bowl ideas are sweet…

cobi

If warm tones aren’t you, don’t despair - purple looks amazing with fall colours…

cobi

As does crimson! It’s fabulous and unexpected alongside yellows and golds…

cobi

Try using unexpected items on your table or convert things, like candle holders, into props and pedestals.

cobi

Head out to the garden for some branches - understated elegance in a glass vase.

cobi

Or just lay one beautiful branch at each place - Bittersweet is perfect…

cobi

No branches? How about a simple piece of raffia and a wooden bead? See … no excuses…

cobi

Fall foliage also looks amazing in a glass vase - no fuss, no muss, no cost.

cobi

And here’s a perfect kids table anyone can do with kraft paper, crayons, a few pears and pots…

cobi

If you aren’t hosting this year, don’t miss out - do up your mantle and light a crackling fire …

cobi

And then take a moment to give thanks for all of your many blessings…

cobi

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cobistyle comes to the backyard

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 04, 2011 at 06:59 AM
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We spent a day in my friend, Laurie’s backyard playing with some of my favourite cobistyle accessories…have a look!

I’ve decided these fabric lanterns are my ‘signature’ piece. Although they aren’t weather-proof, they’ve got such great character - and look as good on the patio as they do on the dining table. Look at how they turn a plain-jane ledge into a thing of beauty. They’ll look even prettier lit in the evening.

cobi

The smaller size lantern is perfect to hang on those garden shepard hooks many of us have for flowers or solar lights. They’ll mark your walk, day or night…

cobi

You know I’m devoted to the colour combo, blue and white (I’ve preached about it’s classic quality forever). The beauty is that it looks great anytime, anyplace, including the garden!

cobi

And look at it here with the addition of a few hits of orange… gorgeous!

cobi

And what would summer be without our favourite tastes from the garden? You simply can’t get a better appetizer than Tiny Tim tomotoes and basil from the garden with a little bocconcini cheese. Our bamboo skewers are perfect for party bites and reusable if you like. 50 skewers come in a clear branded box making them a great little hostess gift along with your contribution to the buffet table. (The bowls and tray are cobistyle too)

cobi

The cobistyle multi-coloured cotton napkins are a natural to brighten up classic white plates at a garden party. Guests will enjoy getting their favourite colour and won’t even notice if your flower bed isn’t blooming.

cobi

Setting up a summer table is so much fun and such a great excuse to play with colour. Who wouldn’t be happy to sit down to this table?

cobi

Or move things around to colour-block the place settings using a throw, lantern, napkin and chopsticks of similar colours…

cobi

The little cobistyle mini white ceramic bird vases are just right for holding sprigs from the garden (no need to spend money on flowers!).

cobi

I love the idea of throws ready in the garden for when the cool of evening comes. The juicy colours of our super-soft throws (and their washability) make them them perfect for the job. (I wish I could say this garden stool was mine too but it isn’t unfortunately.)

cobi

There’s just something about the idea of putting out lanterns and throws for an evening party in the summer - it’s so romantic…or, as my friends are now starting to tease me, so… cobistyle! ; )

cobi

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tartan and pearls

Posted by Cobi on Monday December 06, 2010 at 05:58 AM
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This past weekend I hosted a simply smashing dinner party, dahling. I called it ‘Tartan & Pearls’ and it was a celebration of my husband, Bob (the birthday boy) and his hero, Winston Churchill (just because).

The UK theme worked beautifully for early Christmas…all the right colours but nothing overt…have a look.

I used blank note cards for the invitation. Tartan & Pearls set the theme for guests and gave them an idea of what to wear. One smart couple came with the woman in tartan and the man in pearls. Another friend came in full kilt and gag-tam with red hair sticking out. Add in a few tartan bow ties and top hats and there were lots of laughs all round.

cobi

For loot bags I gave out little bottles of cognac, black licorice cigars, ‘keep calm’ sniffs and Scottish shortbread.

cobi

cobi

I found plain white note cards at Walmart that worked well for simple tented place cards and inside each one I wrote a Churchill quote. Bob had fun choosing quotes from his many books and speeches and deciding who should say what. When we sat down, the guests were told to look at their quote and to stand at some point during the dinner and recite it while others would chime in “hear, hear!”. I thought some people might be a bit shy but that was definitely not a problem with this group - it sounded like the British House of Commons on a busy day!

cobi

Bob couldn’t help himself from putting together a Churchill trivia quiz. It was so easy and fun. The winner got a box of Walkers Shortbread of course!

cobi

English and Scotch mints filled dishes with wintry white…

cobi

And I got out a bit of Bob’s memorabilia and displayed it around for fun…

cobi

To get things started…Churchill’s favourite champagne: Pol Roger, seen here chilling in the porch in the afternoon.

cobi

We also had a selection of British beers which you can buy singly or in small packs. Who knew Tetley made beer?
For dinner, I couldn’t go as far as steak and kidney pies, but steak and vegetable did the trick. Served with peas of course! And a hearty salad. After that we had a cheese course with English cheddar and Stilton and Carrs biscuits, then gingerbread cake, my homemade butterscotch sauce and cinnamon whip cream, yum!

cobi

Now the best part - the table - to get the theme going I bought a few yards of cotton tartan at the fabric store and cut it into two lengths so it ran from end to end. Then I pinking-sheared the remainder into napkins.

cobi

I have the perfect charger plates for this party, I bought them a number of years ago and they feature hunt scenes on each one. The white porcelain always looks great.

cobi

Down the middle of the table I stacked some of Bob’s Churchill book collection and used it for pedestals for votive candles and little crystal snowflakes my mom just gave me. It worked great and the red covers on many of the old books was perfect.

cobi

I regret I didn’t take a picture of the table just before we sat down when the candles were glowing - it was really pretty - but I was having too much fun!

cobi

There’s nothing better than the feeling you get the morning after a good party. It is most definitely our ‘finest hour’!

cobi

entertaining

setting the bar

Posted by Cobi on Monday November 15, 2010 at 06:00 AM
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With the holidays coming it might be a good time to think about setting up a little bar in your living or dining room. I can’t blame the MadMen phenomenon on the fact that I love the look of a little set up bar in a house. And I personally don’t drink mixed cocktails, so it isn’t even really self serving. I’ve just always found a designated spot for happy hour to look so glamorous and grown up. Very ‘New York apartment’.
What the heck, a girl can dream! Why not try it over the holidays….

cobi

You don’t need much - a little tray table…

cobi

A spot in front of a window, bookcase or blank wall….

cobi

cobi

Even just a tray on an existing console…

cobi

Or bookcase…

cobi

A trolley cart is perfect of course…

cobi

cobi

I love this one in Indochine black…

cobi

A sideboard that usually holds china or accessories can easily be put to work as a bar…

cobi

cobi

cobi

cobi

Setting up on a mirrored surface is extra glamorous and would be sparkly for the holidays…

cobi

I think it’s really just the ‘idea’ of cocktails that makes a bar so appealing. This whole set up does come with a built-in warning however, so be careful…

cobi

Caution: Proceeding with this decor idea may lead to Entertaining.

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