Patron Upcycling

September 26th, 2013



I saw this Halloween decoration the other day at HomeGoods and thought to myself: Why do I know this shape?

It’s the same shape of the iconic Patron tequila bottle, right?

In my book Upcycling I took one of the very sturdy Patron bottles and turned it into an outdoor lantern: you just need a metal washed for the top of the bottle, tiki torch oil and a wick that goes with those tiki torches….

But now I’m thinking I could make one into a mercury glass inspired decoration, too.

First, I need to get my hands on a Patron bottle.    While the thought of finishing off a bottle in the form of shots or margaritas is tempting, here’s my trick to get these beautiful bottles for free:  Just ask a local Mexican restaurant to save them for you.  You would not believe how many they go through in a day making drinks and they are more than happy to give them to ya.

Just don’t get pulled over for speeding when driving home with them: try explaining why you have 10 empty bottles of tequila in the backseat of your car.   And NO: Saying you’re upcycling them may not work.


Find: Belkin Cabinet Mount

September 25th, 2013



I’ve been adding some modern upgrades to my home lately to make it more energy efficient, and tech-ready.

I’ve upgraded the speed of the WIFI, brought in some new computers (die-hard Vaio user turned IMAC person now) and added programmable smart outlets throughout the house that can be turned on and off with the push of a button from my Iphone.

But one little handy gadget I added recently isn’t electrical at all, but this: a kitchen cabinet mount for my Ipad.

At my home bar, this little gadget securely holds my IPAD that I can use to look up recipes or watch a program while I’m busy in the kitchen making dinner or drinks for guests.

And it just looks cool, too.    Not to mention it’s a cinch to install since it does not need to be screwed into anything; it just balances right on the shelf and can be removed in seconds.


New Sustainable Furniture

September 19th, 2013


I work with an incredible design and sourcing team to create my Danny Seo signature line of home products sold at stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods.   This season, we are doing amazing things with sustainable materials to create solid, good-looking classic furniture at truly incredible prices.

This bedside table, for example, is made with reclaimed wood and retails for under $150.


I love this side table:  The sturdy and durable metal base features a sustainable mango wood top in a whitewashed finish.    Did you know that once a mango tree stops producing fruit, they are cut down in order to grow a new tree?   We are using the old trees to make new furniture!


This side table with all the deep drawers is made from reclaimed wood, too.    It’s under $200 and one that I adore.  I am thinking of buying this one and putting it in my River Cottage home to store books, board games and maybe (JUST MAYBE) put a TV on top.



And isn’t this side table a beauty?   In a dining room, behind a sofa, or even in a large bathroom with large apothecary jars on top full of all your bathroom essentials .


Online Shopping

September 9th, 2013


Do you shop online?

Whenever I’m pressed for time and I need to find something very specific, I’ll turn to the Internet to find it quickly and get it done.   One green tip is to buy things and elect for ground shipping: it uses less fuel than overnight shipping and often if the shipper is based in a nearby state, you’ll still get it overnight at a much cheaper cost.

One site I recently discovered is called VAUNTE.   It’s an online consignment store where handpicked sellers literally sell their lightly worn designer goods at a drastic discount.    It’s pretty much all women’s clothes and accessories, but I found a men’s sweater for sale that was too good to  be true… so I bought it!



Looking at the purchase order in the box, I found out the seller was no other than the famed interior designer Nate Berkus.  How funny is that?


100% cashmere and a perfect fit!    And about 90% less than what it would cost if brand new and at a store.


I also wanted an aluminum 3 ring binder for my office.  Something very durable, good looking and not made from plastic. When it came in the mail, I was happy to see two things: Made in the USA and also from recycled aluminum!



Perfect!   And if the day ever comes where I need to dispose of this 3-ring beauty, it’s fully recyclable.  No plastic parts whatsoever.  All metal.    Doubt that day will ever come, but it’s good to know.


It’s the Small Things

July 23rd, 2013



A plaster dipped silk flower (left to dry it hardens like porcelain) in a small dish under glass.    Yeah, it’s a little Beauty and the Beast… but it somehow works on my living room desk.



Solar lighting has come a long way.    These lantern style lights have multiple LED lights inside that cast a clean, bright glow at night.   I’ve scattered them on tables, stairs and on top of tree stumps in the backyard to give the yard a magical glow.



Happy to have my dining room and living room back from weeks of renovating.   They housed dishes, pots and pans, appliances and just everything else that WAS in the kitchen.       When I got the rooms back, it was a good time to re-decorate and purge a bit.    The mini bar cart is now gone (repurposed in the craft room) wince the new kitchen  has a whole bar set up now.



Rainy days means Mother Nature is caring for my outdoor plants.    This tree stump outdoor table is holding up quite well.