Good morning all my lovelies!
Sometimes, the simplest way to bring designer elements into your home involves your family’s necessities! I mean the really fundamental stuff we all need to take care of our daily life! I have a couple of ideas that get so overlooked: tissue boxes and wastepaper baskets. Yes, that’s right. Ladies and gentlemen, we can do better—soooo much better.
I must admit that I’ve made a call or two to some of the bigger tissue manufacturing companies to nicely ask them: Why? Why these busy boxes? Why the over decoration? Why not a divine array of heavenly hues? While my calls were listened to politely, as you can see in the grocery aisles, nothing changed. The only solid colored boxes I have found are from Target’s private brand. Sometimes the colors are just too wonderful for words, at other times not so good. If you haven’t spotted these yet, look for them on your next visit to Target. Just remember if you find a hue that works for you, you’ll want to give yourself a little stockpile.
Tissue Box Covers
Now, let’s really talk about the crème de la crème of beautiful works of art: Marye-Kelley Decoupage ( This privately owned Houston company is dedicated to making life’s mundane items cheery and beautiful. Let me share a quick funny story: While searching for product for the lovely shop I had in Wichita, I struggled with a frustrating Internet search for these tissue boxes. I had bought several of Marye-Kelley’s tissues boxes over the years from other stores, but I continued to misread Marye’s signature inside the box. My darling mom was my roommate at the time, and when she overheard me whining, “Maybe she’s out of business! She came to me while I was on the computer and said, “Try this spelling—and Jan put your glasses on!” as she handed me a note with “MARYE KELLEY” printed in very readable 2” letters. As it turns out, leaving off the trailing “e” in “Mary” and the last “e” in Kelley made a huge difference. Anyway, I found one of my favorite companies on the planet and I still order from them frequently.
Melinda owner of Marye-Kelley sells a beautiful product line beyond just the tissue boxes, which she offers in three types of construction. I always order the paper mâché, the least expensive! The company can craft all sorts of custom items for you as well, frames, paper weights, trays, letter boxes, coasters, a whole array of delightful home accessories. Recently, I took some striking black-and-white photos of my parents’ early years of marriage and had a tissue box fashioned with them. Instead of four picture frames, I can showcase them in one delightful tissue box. Now, grandmothers, wouldn’t you love this way to display a grandchild? I am telling you, you will squeal with joy! A mundane necessity becomes a true accessory—and a genuine keepsake. If you are interested in ordering please send me an email:
So, what to do with that beautiful box? Here’s the formula for the perfect side table prettification: a handsome tissue box, an amazing lamp and one other well-chosen piece. There you have it: The perfectly dressed side table or bedside table. So simple! I know, my darlings, you have heard this speech before. But with a new season upon us, get moving on it!
I strongly believe that every room, with the exception of the dining room, should have the perfect tissue box. (No nose blowing in the dining room! Oh my gosh, gorgeous, what would Miss Manners say!) This might seem to be a bit of an extravagance, but consider this: You can get tissues on sale because the boxes are damaged or the designs are undesirable. The condition of the box makes no different to you because you are slipping that icky box into a beautiful cover and no one is the wiser. Aside from Marye-Kelley, Dillard’s always has a nice collection, Bed Bath & Beyond has plenty, and there is always something at Tuesday Morning.
Wastepaper Baskets
Now for design pet peeve No. 2! Please consider classing up your wastepaper basket for another dazzling design rescue. Yes, I openly admit it: I am a snob about a few things in life. I admit it candidly and proudly! This is such an overlooked, but a very essential part of a living room and family room. Let’s say you’re having an spring allergy attack in the family room. Imagine a beauty waiting near a side table or under a console table, ready to collect a tissue or two. Think about the desk where you sort and toss your mail. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a wastepaper basket on hand? A beautiful one!
How many of us have the white plastic Rubbermaid standing on guard under the kitchen and bathroom sinks? Well, trash cans don’t have to be a sterile white—no, no, no! Again, Marye-Kelley has some works of art that will make you beam with pride and joy when you place them in these rooms. And I haven’t even mentioned the bedrooms! Just Google the amazing array of wastepaper basket choices and it will make your head spin! I found handsome contemporary nickel, leather, antique mirror, recycled wood (that looked like old barn siding), French iron and more. I could go on and on. Finding them is never going to be the issue—trying to decide which one is perfect is the problem.
Another ingenious and magical thing you can do with most wonderful wastepaper baskets is to plunk a live plant into them. The size is almost always perfect, but if not, put something at the bottom to elevate the plant. If it’s not waterproof, make sure to water the plant at the sink, place the plant pot into a plastic bag and return to the wastepaper basket. I’ve used these baskets as containers for mums, hydrangeas or even daisies in the spring to lead off a buffet. Having a collection of these beautifies at your fingertips is the greatest. A nice, clean, plastic lined wastepaper basket can easily become an outdoor dining wine or Champagne bucket. So my dears think beyond the soiled tissues and mail!
Some of my whacky ideas are not that whacky! Necessities can be wonderful items that you can use more ways than one. Tissue boxes and wastepaper baskets are so incredibly basic, but both items can add such a lovely bit of happiness to your rooms.
Hopefully I’ve given you something to think about this weekend. If you don’t do it now, you’ll remember my words the next time you’re cozied up on the coach with nowhere to dispose of that used tissue. Have a wonderful and fun week. I will be here next week with something else your home is begging for!