to decorate / design within reach almoco flatware

I have been using my gold matte Almoco flatware for over 3 years. As previously mentioned in my West Elm flatware review, the Almoco set was priced only slightly more than West Elm. I don’t pamper them, they have no rust/tarnishing issues, and I can throw them in the dishwasher (handles down and spread out). Design within Reach, I think, is the exclusive distributor/seller of the Almoco flatware, and they are currently having a semiannual sale (ending today!). Though the sale only 15% off, every bit counts when it comes to a place like Design within Reach! There is also an Amex offer out there which you can stack with the discount (for Amex cardholders only).

The Almoco flatware is also available in black matte (love), copper, silver matte, along with gold matte. Personally, I prefer the mattes. There are also cost savings built in to the 20 piece setting.

Since I only purchased two settings via eBay back in the day, I plan to round it out with the sale, and also pick up some black. I will report back on the black.

Gold matte, stock photo

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general / brain dump

(Image source: The Animal Print Shop)

I. Food

  • I’ve been following David Lebovitz‘s pastry blog for ages. His new iPhone app just relaunched and is only 99 cents. I got it even though I don’t have my next trip planned. There is tons of food p0rn!
  • This recipe for the famous wings from Portland, Oregon’s Pok Pok look surprisingly easy.
  • If you frequent Starbucks, I hope you have a loyalty card (which can be created from any gift card). I don’t go as frequently as I used to, but if you do, I highly recommend buying a discounted gift card. I’ve been a happy customer of Raise.com. They are legit and Starbucks gift cards sell on average for 20% off. Though $80 or even $100 sounds like a lot, Starbucks fans know that that doesn’t last very long. Raise.com has a ton of other retailers as well so it’s a nice, indirect way to get a discount on something that never goes on sale. Why pay full price when you don’t have to? (Note: I’ve never sold any gift cards through them and can’t comment on that.) New customers get $5 off orders over $50.

II. Fashion

  • Gilt City has a free 30% coupon for J.Crew Factory through September 14. It works on top of existing promotions but does have some fine print. In general, I’m not a fan of outlet quality but have really liked some of the J.Crew incarnations at Factory. You can find reviews if you Google, but often the Factory version is more wearable (whether it’s longer, in easier to maintain material) and the price isn’t bad. These Baggus (already on sale) are excluded from the promotion but are still a great find! These jewelry trays are cute.
  • Love the new Clare Vivier spot design. Especially this Margot tote and this pouch. If she ever did a collab with Baggu…

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to eat / worst buy of the year – west elm rose gold flatware

Updated below…

You remember how I was super excited to finally get the West Elm rose gold flatware? Well, to my extreme disappointment, it tarnishes. It was supposed to be sturdy enough for every day with its plated stainless steel. I’ve been trying to return it but West Elm won’t send return labels and only does UPS pickups. I’m at work during the day, and you know. Note: the rose gold flatware is currently not sold online, but they do have another gold set that has a matte finish.

I eventually bit the bullet and mailed the flatware back to West Elm. I’d only purchased two sets so they conveniently fit in USPS Priority Mail’s padded flat rate envelope (~$6). West Elm proceeded the refund. Finally! Based on comments left on this thread, tarnishing was not isolated to the rose gold set but also the matte gold set. 

Upon further research, I set my eyes on the Portuguese-made matte gold Almoco flatware that is sold at Design Within Reach. Each set is 25% more than West Elm’s, but I found it for a good price nearby (and enjoyed dragging my friends to pick it up with me on an exciting Saturday night). Each set is beautifully packaged in a display box. Each piece is also significant more substantial looking than West Elm. I will review the Almoco after some use…

Almoco Update 1: I’ve been using this set for a while with no complaints. I treat it like my former Ikea set – I’ve left it in the sink with dirty dishes, I’ve run it through the dishwasher (handles down and somewhat dispersed), and I also handwash and set to dry. It still looks like new! I’ve seen it go on sale at Design within Reach but the sales are extremely infrequent.

Almoco Update 2: I’ve been using Almoco for over 2 years. No problems. I hand wash, throw in the dishwasher, or leave them in the sink to soak. If you use the dishwasher, follow their instructions — handles down and disperse. Two thumbs up!

to decorate / {high and low} design within reach platner coffee table

Top: Design within Reach Platner coffee table ($1,421), Bottom: Stainless Steel Coffee Table from the Foundary ($477)

The photo quality of the Foundary table isn’t great, but it looks just like the DWR one in person. And that’s how I convinced myself it was ok to buy this blindly online. I have a typical small NYC apartment. During my coffee table search, I was looking for a glass or acrylic coffee table because they evoke airiness. While I would’ve preferred something with gold accents, all of the ones I liked were way out of my price range. I subscribe to many flash sale websites but don’t check them daily. I found this coffee table back in October, thanks to CopyCatChic.

If you are in the market for a coffee table, the sale is open for another half a day. It comes shipped in two packages. It’s best to have moving gloves on hands (splintery wood is used in the packaging), cash (to tip the delivery folks to carry it up x flights of stairs), and some strength (to rip open the crate). Here’s a grainy pic of my table after I “assembled” it.