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Monday
Sep282009

Nesting, With Brooke Reynolds

Brooke and her husband at their weddingWhen you find someone whose taste or lifestyle you love, why not see if you can borrow a page or two from her book?

Brooke Reynolds is a wife, mom, and former art director for both Martha Stewart Kids and Martha Stewart Living. She chronicles her craftiness on her blog, creating adorable birthday parties and gifts while finding time for some book design on the side (in fact, Brooke designed Weekend Sewing for Heather Ross, who was last week's Nesting guest!).

What is the most loved housewarming or wedding gift you have ever received?
"A good friend of my husband's gave us a very generous gift certificate to an expensive restaurant in New York City (where we were living at the time)." says Brooke. "He knew my husband well enough to know he would never spend that kind of money on one meal, and since we had a gift certificate, we had an excuse to go and not feel guilty about the money we were spending. We ended up going to dinner on our first anniversary, and it was one of the best meals we've ever had."

One of Brooke's sweet gift packagesWhat is the most loved housewarming or wedding gift you have ever given?
"I like to bring my camera with me when I go to weddings, especially for close friends. I snap pictures throughout the day, trying to capture details and other things that might be missed by the wedding photographer. Then I get prints made and assemble the photos in a folding album and I send it to the couple on their first anniversary."

What is the most useful housewarming or wedding gift you have ever received?
"My sister-in-law Syrenna made a recipe album for us for our wedding. She's a wonderful cook, and included many of her favorite tried and true recipes. She also gave recipes from my husband's side of the family: Dad's pot roast, Grandma's breakfast 'flip-flop,' all the recipes my husband had grown up with."

What is your favorite home item that you purchased or found for yourself?
"My favorite thing in our whole house is a credenza that my husband built. We looked all over for a credenza we loved, but could never find one that was just right (or didn't cost $10,000!). We designed it on paper and then my husband built it in our garage. It's the perfect size and it makes me happy every time I see it. (It also hides our TV inside, so lots of people think we don't own one. I'm perfectly happy letting them believe that!)"

What dishware do you use on a daily basis?

"Our everyday china is a simple white set from Crate & Barrel (the Maison line). All the dishes I own are white, something I learned from Martha Stewart who has a beautiful wall of open shelves in her kitchen in Maine, filled with only white dishes. My collection is nowhere near as lovely as hers, but it's still growing piece by piece, and it all works together nicely."
From left: the credenza Brooke's husband built; Martha Stewart's inspiring Maine kitchen; Brooke's Maison (Crate & Barrel) dinnerware at a party.What is your favorite little treat {a certain type of flower, hand soaps, towels, sheets} especially for houseguests?
"I am still learning how to be a good host. My mom does the sweetest things like ironing the sheets and leaving little treats on your pillow. She also makes sure to have on hand my husband's favorite soap and she even switches out the pillows because she knows which kind my husband likes best. I am trying to follow her example by paying more attention to what my guests like so I can remember specific things for their next visit."

Have you ever registered for china or entertaining tableware?

"I felt strongly about getting a set of china when we got married. I knew too many couples who didn't register for china and then never got around to buying it as the years rolled by. I loved the idea of having something from your wedding that could be used and enjoyed and then passed down to your children and grandchildren.

"We registered for a simple Wedgwood china with a single platinum band. We did take back some of the extra pieces like teacups, saucers and extra serving pieces in order to buy a few more dinner plates. It was more important for me to have plates (salad, dinner, and bread & butter for each guest) than to have matching teacups and soup bowls."
Brooke with one of her little ones at the beachWhat is your next dream or goal for your nest?
"To buy a nest of our own! We lived in New York for 10 years and then moved out to California in 2008. We feel like we have been renting forever and we are on the lookout for a home. Wish us luck!"

Brooke, thank you so much for your nesting insights, which are full of thoughtfulness. Sometimes it's as simple as taking the time to compile a photo album or family recipes, and sometimes it takes the form of a couple hundred dollars to a fancy restaurant; but regardless, it's clear that the most cherished gifts are those inspired by close-knit kindness.

Reader Comments (8)

brooke is such a gem. i keep my own little notebook of brooke-isms, her sweet and genuine ways of moving through this fast world. thanks for sharing more about your nest, can't wait to see whats next for your family! (and what inspirations you share from it!)

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie alaine

what lovely advice! thank you for the interview

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersammyw

Wonderful finds here! Also, I made an interesting discovery. Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote about it this month…
DÉCOR TIPS & QUIPS from AlphabetPIX.com
Bring Out The YOU In Your Home Decor!
Bill Blass said, “Style is primarily a matter of instinct.” Decorating takes on a new meaning for each individual. Different tastes in decor mean different furniture, artwork and color palettes. So what is the rule of thumb for making your place zing if it’s not a certain style, pattern, or color?
Bring out the Y-O-U!
Make a statement and let your personality shine through! Add your zing to make it pop. Hang something personal on the wall with a few well-chosen accents-bold and beautiful. The trend for decor is becoming more and more personalized.
Whatever you want to say while decorating, say it with your own individual style. Put it out there for the world to see and don’t look back. Express yourself! When people enter your home they’ll shoot you a complementary smile, knowing it looks and feels sooooo perfectly like you. And no one can do YOU better.
by T. Miller
Décor Tips & Quips from AlphabetPIX
http://www.alphabetpix.com
Take your individual decorating style to a whole new level of personalization, and discover a new way of looking at the world around you - Create your own Personalized Name Art with Photos That Look Like Letters!
tags: alphabetpix, personalized name art, alphabet photography, alphabet photo art, name in photos, photo letters, photo name designs, name gifts, name photos, photo alphabet, personalized gifts, name designs, decorating, home décor, interior design, wall art, design ideas, wedding gifts, personal gifts, personal art

October 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDecorQuips

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June 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOffice 2010

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