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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Happy Chinese New Year!

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Chinese New Year is a holiday that I look forward to celebrating each year. Yesterday,  February 3 marked the beginning of the new year -- this one being the year of the golden rabbit. Each year is designated with animals whose characteristics are said to embody those of the coming year.

Chinese New Year is celebrated over the course of fifteen days culminating in the lantern festival. I like to have different groups of friends over and order in from my favorite Chinese food restaurants over the two weeks.

To set a holiday table, I went to Pearl River in New York's SoHo to gather chopsticks, fans, paper lanterns, and all the other things (in this case , wind-up rabbits) that I need to create a fun and festive atmosphere for me and guests to enjoy.

Here's some pictures of my recent shopping trip to Pearl River, I hope you enjoy taking a look inside of the store...

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These figurines are adorable -- the color and design is very playful.

1 These figurines are adorable -- the color and design is very playful.

Many small figurines can be found in the downstairs part of the store at Pearl River.

2 Many small figurines can be found in the downstairs part of the store at Pearl River.

Buddha figurines can be found in the store too.

3 Buddha figurines can be found in the store too.

These pigs are colorful and playful -- a good idea to use for decoration for the Chinese New Year.

4 These pigs are colorful and playful -- a good idea to use for decoration for the Chinese New Year.

The front of the pigs.

5 The front of the pigs.

Gorgeous vases!

6 Gorgeous vases!

Pearl River is a wonderful place to do shopping for Asian-inspired projects.

7 Pearl River is a wonderful place to do shopping for Asian-inspired projects.

Taking a look at some of the figurines.

8 Taking a look at some of the figurines.

Even traditional Asian plants, such as the Money Tree, can be found at Pearl River.

9 Even traditional Asian plants, such as the Money Tree, can be found at Pearl River.

A photograph of the Money Trees.

10 A photograph of the Money Trees.

The downstairs register at Pearl River.

11 The downstairs register at Pearl River.

Bowls, plates, even pots and pans can be found at the store.

12 Bowls, plates, even pots and pans can be found at the store.

There are several textiles in the back of the store.

13 There are several textiles in the back of the store.

Asian umbrellas are displayed by hanging from the ceiling.

14 Asian umbrellas are displayed by hanging from the ceiling.

All of the umbrellas collapsed and ready to be sold.

15 All of the umbrellas collapsed and ready to be sold.

Beginning my search for paper lanterns to purchase for my Chinese New Year party.

16 Beginning my search for paper lanterns to purchase for my Chinese New Year party.

There are paper lanterns that don't light up, but there are also several decorative lights that can light up.

17 There are paper lanterns that don't light up, but there are also several decorative lights that can light up.

Searching for paper lanterns.

18 Searching for paper lanterns.

I think I may have found some lanterns for the party.

19 I think I may have found some lanterns for the party.

Searching for more of the red lanterns that I found.

20 Searching for more of the red lanterns that I found.

Pearl River's paper lanterns come in all sorts of sizes and colors.

21 Pearl River's paper lanterns come in all sorts of sizes and colors.

A variety of fans can be found at the store. I think fans would be a great decoration to have.

22 A variety of fans can be found at the store. I think fans would be a great decoration to have.

Other sorts of fans.

23 Other sorts of fans.

I decided on the red fans.

24 I decided on the red fans.

Decorative pillow cases!

25 Decorative pillow cases!

Another umbrella hangs from the ceiling.

26 Another umbrella hangs from the ceiling.

Pearl River has an amazing variety of tools to help you cook Asian cuisine.

27 Pearl River has an amazing variety of tools to help you cook Asian cuisine.

Many pots and pans.

28 Many pots and pans.

A wok -- perfect for stir fry.

29 A wok -- perfect for stir fry.

You can find many bowls and plates that have an Asian-inspired design.

30 You can find many bowls and plates that have an Asian-inspired design.

Taking a look at decorations I may want to include at my Chinese New Year party.

31 Taking a look at decorations I may want to include at my Chinese New Year party.

I think these little dragons would be perfect decorations. What do you think?

32 I think these little dragons would be perfect decorations. What do you think?

A variety of hanging decor.

33 A variety of hanging decor.

A close look at the beads.

34 A close look at the beads.

Chinese Yo-Yos! The color of these traditional toys would be perfect decor -- may be for next to a dinner plate?

35 Chinese Yo-Yos! The color of these traditional toys would be perfect decor -- may be for next to a dinner plate?

My basket of products I will be purchasing at Pearl River.

36 My basket of products I will be purchasing at Pearl River.

Very large decorative fans are displayed on the wall near the register.

37 Very large decorative fans are displayed on the wall near the register.

More Buddha figurines -- the color is gorgeous!

38 More Buddha figurines -- the color is gorgeous!

Terracotta warrior statues/figurines.

39 Terracotta warrior statues/figurines.

Another Terracotta warrior.

40 Another Terracotta warrior.

A green Buddha.

41 A green Buddha.

A gold elephant with red jeweled eyes.

42 A gold elephant with red jeweled eyes.

Many different fans fill several baskets.

43 Many different fans fill several baskets.

On my way down to the lower level of Pearl River's shop.

44 On my way down to the lower level of Pearl River's shop.

A waterfall flows between the first and second floor of Pearl River -- you can see it when you are walking down the stairs.

45 A waterfall flows between the first and second floor of Pearl River -- you can see it when you are walking down the stairs.

Beautiful colors on the hanging dragons.

46 Beautiful colors on the hanging dragons.

Displayed on this wall are a variety of hanging paper decorations.

47 Displayed on this wall are a variety of hanging paper decorations.

2011 is the Year of the Rabbit!

48 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit!

Taking a look at a few more decorations.

49 Taking a look at a few more decorations.

Different animals -- you can see the rabbit on the bottom.

50 Different animals -- you can see the rabbit on the bottom.

Many gorgeous lanterns are hung from the ceiling.

51 Many gorgeous lanterns are hung from the ceiling.

Small pieces of furniture in the shop -- ottomans!

52 Small pieces of furniture in the shop -- ottomans!

Gorgeous fabric rolled up.

53 Gorgeous fabric rolled up.

You can find a wall of different types of fabric on the entry level floor.

54 You can find a wall of different types of fabric on the entry level floor.

After shopping, I went home to organize the things I bought and then set up for the celebration in my library. I was able to make my library so chic for my Chinese New Year party -- I can't wait for my friends to come over for dinner!

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My library before setting up for a Chinese New Year celebration.

1 My library before setting up for a Chinese New Year celebration.

I thought of moving one of the library chairs to use the space for some decorating.

2 I thought of moving one of the library chairs to use the space for some decorating.

My television -- in addition to my Chinese New Year party, I would like to watch some of my favorite Asian-inspired movies.

3 My television -- in addition to my Chinese New Year party, I would like to watch some of my favorite Asian-inspired movies.

This table is where I will set up for the party, I just need to move around some books and flowers and clean the table.

4 This table is where I will set up for the party, I just need to move around some books and flowers and clean the table.

Instead of worrying about which chairs people will sit in, floor pillows would look chic and make it easier to fit everyone around the table.

5 Instead of worrying about which chairs people will sit in, floor pillows would look chic and make it easier to fit everyone around the table.

I keep several of my favorite books in my home library instead of at my office at work.

6 I keep several of my favorite books in my home library instead of at my office at work.

I ran out of space on my bookshelves and started to pile books on the table.

7 I ran out of space on my bookshelves and started to pile books on the table.

I will be keeping all of the pillows on the couch for the party, I may add a few others that are different colors too.

8 I will be keeping all of the pillows on the couch for the party, I may add a few others that are different colors too.

The art work that hangs in my library.

9 The art work that hangs in my library.

Beautiful coral that sits on a shelf in my library.

10 Beautiful coral that sits on a shelf in my library.

A close-up of many of my books.

11 A close-up of many of my books.

I have two large stuffed animals -- this is the larger giraffe that stands in a corner of the library.

12 I have two large stuffed animals -- this is the larger giraffe that stands in a corner of the library.

... And the baby giraffe.

13 ... And the baby giraffe.

Cleaning the table before I start setting the table.

14 Cleaning the table before I start setting the table.

It is important to set up for a dinner party or get-together on a clean space.

15 It is important to set up for a dinner party or get-together on a clean space.

A clean library. Now I need to move the two chairs so it is easier for me to move around about the room while I decorate.

16 A clean library. Now I need to move the two chairs so it is easier for me to move around about the room while I decorate.

I decided to unpack all of my decorations from the shopping bags in my dining room -- here is a flower arrangement that has been on my dining room table.

17 I decided to unpack all of my decorations from the shopping bags in my dining room -- here is a flower arrangement that has been on my dining room table.

My dining room before I started to unpack my shopping bags.

18 My dining room before I started to unpack my shopping bags.

It was the day I needed to take apart my flower arrangement of carnations (my favorite flower).

19 It was the day I needed to take apart my flower arrangement of carnations (my favorite flower).

A close look at my favorite flower.

20 A close look at my favorite flower.

Pistachios on my living room table.

21 Pistachios on my living room table.

Another arrangement in my living room.

22 Another arrangement in my living room.

New York has been getting a lot of snow -- some of it ended up on my balcony and outdoor furniture.

23 New York has been getting a lot of snow -- some of it ended up on my balcony and outdoor furniture.

A view of a pier on the Hudson River outside of my living room window.

24 A view of a pier on the Hudson River outside of my living room window.

A vintage glass flower arrangement I put in my dining room.

25 A vintage glass flower arrangement I put in my dining room.

A close-up of the glass flowers.

26 A close-up of the glass flowers.

The color of the glass flower petals are so beautiful.

27 The color of the glass flower petals are so beautiful.

I found several figurines in China Town in New York City.

28 I found several figurines in China Town in New York City.

The figurines were very reasonably priced and they are so colorful and detailed!

29 The figurines were very reasonably priced and they are so colorful and detailed!

I first set up these figurines in my dining room, but I later decided to change their location.

30 I first set up these figurines in my dining room, but I later decided to change their location.

This dragon is so detailed!

31 This dragon is so detailed!

I layed out party favors and decorations on my dining room table before I set up the room I would be having my Chinese New Year celebration in.

32 I layed out party favors and decorations on my dining room table before I set up the room I would be having my Chinese New Year celebration in.

This year is the year of the rabbit -- so I purchased a few small rabbits that can jump around.

33 This year is the year of the rabbit -- so I purchased a few small rabbits that can jump around.

I needed to think of a chic way to show off the little jumping rabbits.

34 I needed to think of a chic way to show off the little jumping rabbits.

I placed all of the little rabbits for my guests on a gorgeous tray.

35 I placed all of the little rabbits for my guests on a gorgeous tray.

Red chopsticks and other red and black cups and bowls will be used for the party.

36 Red chopsticks and other red and black cups and bowls will be used for the party.

I knew right away when preparing for the party that I wanted a Chinese tea set.

37 I knew right away when preparing for the party that I wanted a Chinese tea set.

You can buy several fortune cookies in a box for just a couple of dollars! The fortune cookie is such a well-known treat that comes after a Chinese meal, so I had to get some cookies!

38 You can buy several fortune cookies in a box for just a couple of dollars! The fortune cookie is such a well-known treat that comes after a Chinese meal, so I had to get some cookies!

The cookies came out of the box and they still had a wrapper around each individual cookie.

39 The cookies came out of the box and they still had a wrapper around each individual cookie.

I opened up all of the wrappers and put the cookies into a big bowl until I decided how I wanted to put the treat on the table in my library.

40 I opened up all of the wrappers and put the cookies into a big bowl until I decided how I wanted to put the treat on the table in my library.

A close-up of all of the fortune cookies.

41 A close-up of all of the fortune cookies.

From the store Pearl River in Soho New York City, all of these paper lanterns were easy to put together.

42 From the store Pearl River in Soho New York City, all of these paper lanterns were easy to put together.

I think I may have bought too many?

43 I think I may have bought too many?

I bought a combination of red and white paper lanterns.

44 I bought a combination of red and white paper lanterns.

I put the lanterns together in my dining room before I set them up in my library.

45 I put the lanterns together in my dining room before I set them up in my library.

For each guest, I bought a red paper fan.

46 For each guest, I bought a red paper fan.

The fans folded down.

47 The fans folded down.

Small dragons I bought from Pearl River -- what shall I do with these?

48 Small dragons I bought from Pearl River -- what shall I do with these?

I am going to place a Chinese yo-yo next to each place setting.

49 I am going to place a Chinese yo-yo next to each place setting.

These figurines are so gorgeous! The colors are so vibrant!

50 These figurines are so gorgeous! The colors are so vibrant!

The added feathers around the necks make them look so chic.

51 The added feathers around the necks make them look so chic.

To add more color to the library table for the party, I decided that kumquats would be the perfect touch.

52 To add more color to the library table for the party, I decided that kumquats would be the perfect touch.

I bought them with some leaves/branches still on them.

53 I bought them with some leaves/branches still on them.

The leaves needed cleaning and trimming before being placed in a bowl.

54 The leaves needed cleaning and trimming before being placed in a bowl.

You can see that some of the leaves are too dirty to display.

55 You can see that some of the leaves are too dirty to display.

These oranges are going to look beautiful in the library.

56 These oranges are going to look beautiful in the library.

Starting to set-up the table in my library.

57 Starting to set-up the table in my library.

The table isn't fully set yet.

58 The table isn't fully set yet.

I decided to put several fortune cookies in small cups in different places on the table top.

59 I decided to put several fortune cookies in small cups in different places on the table top.

The Chinese tea set is one of my favorite parts.

60 The Chinese tea set is one of my favorite parts.

On the left of each plate you can see the Chinese yo-yo.

61 On the left of each plate you can see the Chinese yo-yo.

Hanging the lanterns was done with fishing line.

62 Hanging the lanterns was done with fishing line.

I used several of the paper lanterns to hang above the table, but then I had several left over.

63 I used several of the paper lanterns to hang above the table, but then I had several left over.

A photograph of the lanterns and table from when I was standing on the ladder.

64 A photograph of the lanterns and table from when I was standing on the ladder.

Hanging the lanterns was easy, but it did require me to use a ladder.

65 Hanging the lanterns was easy, but it did require me to use a ladder.

The paper lanterns do not have lights in them, but to have them glow in the evening I am planning to place battery opperated tea-lights inside of each.

66 The paper lanterns do not have lights in them, but to have them glow in the evening I am planning to place battery opperated tea-lights inside of each.

Setting up the lanterns. What do you think so far?

67 Setting up the lanterns. What do you think so far?

I hung the paper lanterns at different levels from one another.

68 I hung the paper lanterns at different levels from one another.

A close-up of one of the lanterns.

69 A close-up of one of the lanterns.

Another lantern.

70 Another lantern.

The lanterns are easy to stack on top of one another. This may be a good way to use the rest of the lanterns that I have.

71 The lanterns are easy to stack on top of one another. This may be a good way to use the rest of the lanterns that I have.

You can see a close-up of how the lanterns can hook together.

72 You can see a close-up of how the lanterns can hook together.

I used these Command Decorating Clips to hang the lanterns above the table.

73 I used these Command Decorating Clips to hang the lanterns above the table.

You can see how small they are on the ceiling, no one will notice.

74 You can see how small they are on the ceiling, no one will notice.

The fishing line makes the lanterns look like they are floating in mid-air!

75 The fishing line makes the lanterns look like they are floating in mid-air!

A view outside... Such a gloomy day.

76 A view outside... Such a gloomy day.

It is freezing rain outside!

77 It is freezing rain outside!

Looking east outside of my library window.

78 Looking east outside of my library window.

After hanging a few lanters, I had several lanterns left over... Until I used them to help decorate the rest of the library.

79 After hanging a few lanters, I had several lanterns left over... Until I used them to help decorate the rest of the library.

Individual oranges add color to the plates.

80 Individual oranges add color to the plates.

It was hard not to eat the fortune cookies!

81 It was hard not to eat the fortune cookies!

Decorating Editor Rebecca Robertson helped connect the left-over lanterns. Our idea is to stack the remaining paper lanterns in the corner of the library.

82 Decorating Editor Rebecca Robertson helped connect the left-over lanterns. Our idea is to stack the remaining paper lanterns in the corner of the library.

And there it is! We connected the lanterns and hung them from the ceiling. After hanging the lanterns, I was able to move my library chair back into the room.

83 And there it is! We connected the lanterns and hung them from the ceiling. After hanging the lanterns, I was able to move my library chair back into the room.

Taking a look at the room to see what else needs to be done.

84 Taking a look at the room to see what else needs to be done.

Setting up the bowl of oranges.

85 Setting up the bowl of oranges.

Arranging the chopsticks on the plates.

86 Arranging the chopsticks on the plates.

Setting all of the teacups in their proper place.

87 Setting all of the teacups in their proper place.

All of the colors on the table (and in the library) are so beautiful!

88 All of the colors on the table (and in the library) are so beautiful!

A few of my books in my library are for my godsons -- there is one book that I think they would love to read...

89 A few of my books in my library are for my godsons -- there is one book that I think they would love to read...

The Year of the Rabbit!

90 The Year of the Rabbit!

I think my godsons would love to read this book!

91 I think my godsons would love to read this book!

Setting up the movie in the dvd player.

92 Setting up the movie in the dvd player.

Using my remote to set up the dvd.

93 Using my remote to set up the dvd.

Maybe I should have a fortune cookie...

94 Maybe I should have a fortune cookie...

Fortune cookies are such a traditional item for me to enjoy at the end of Chinese cuisine.

95 Fortune cookies are such a traditional item for me to enjoy at the end of Chinese cuisine.

Reading my fortune cookie.

96 Reading my fortune cookie.

I brought my figurines into the library and placed them on a few book shelves.

97 I brought my figurines into the library and placed them on a few book shelves.

Here they are!

98 Here they are!

Here is the library! The small details are put together to look so chic and glamorous!

99 Here is the library! The small details are put together to look so chic and glamorous!

I love reading my fortunes from the cookies... I decided to write a few for my friends.

100 I love reading my fortunes from the cookies... I decided to write a few for my friends.

101 "You will find comfrot in your curtains."

When I open my bedroom closet door, I keep inspirational images behind the door.

102 When I open my bedroom closet door, I keep inspirational images behind the door.

Located on the bottom right are a few of my favorite fortunes that I have received in the past.

103 Located on the bottom right are a few of my favorite fortunes that I have received in the past.

104 "Experience is what you get while you're looking for something else." Another fortune, "You can't measure the whole world with your own yardstick."

In my neighborhood, the West Village, there is a famous bakery that makes amazing cupcakes -- Magnolia Bakery.

105 In my neighborhood, the West Village, there is a famous bakery that makes amazing cupcakes -- Magnolia Bakery.

These chocolate-chocolate cupcakes will be the perfect sweet dessert.

106 These chocolate-chocolate cupcakes will be the perfect sweet dessert.

Magnolia Bakery adds their signature icing design to all of their cupcakes.

107 Magnolia Bakery adds their signature icing design to all of their cupcakes.

I want to add color to the chocolate cupcakes, adding red sprinkles would be perfect.

108 I want to add color to the chocolate cupcakes, adding red sprinkles would be perfect.

The red sprinkles and chocoalte cupcake.

109 The red sprinkles and chocoalte cupcake.

Adding just a few sprinkles to the cupcakes is the perfect touch.

110 Adding just a few sprinkles to the cupcakes is the perfect touch.

The red dragons bring the Chinese New Year spirit to the cupcakes!

111 The red dragons bring the Chinese New Year spirit to the cupcakes!

A closer look at the dragons.

112 A closer look at the dragons.

Taking the cupcake tray into the library.

113 Taking the cupcake tray into the library.

I found these dragons at Pearl River in Soho -- you can also order them from the Pearl River website.

114 I found these dragons at Pearl River in Soho -- you can also order them from the Pearl River website.

I quickly ate one of the cupcakes! It was hard not to.

115 I quickly ate one of the cupcakes! It was hard not to.

The Chinese New Year got me thinking about a beautiful museum here in the city. The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) has so many gorgeous displays. Take a walk through the museum...

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The Museum of Chinese in America Designed by acclaimed artist and designer Maya Lin.

1 The Museum of Chinese in America Designed by acclaimed artist and designer Maya Lin.

There are beautiful wooden stools in the entry.

2 There are beautiful wooden stools in the entry.

3

Beautifully done -- immigration maps.

4 Beautifully done -- immigration maps.

Artist Kam Mak helped to create the lunar new year stamps.

5 Artist Kam Mak helped to create the lunar new year stamps.

Tangram.

6 Tangram.

7

Beautiful displays!

8 Beautiful displays!

9

10

Take a look at the gorgeous detailing on this costume!

11 Take a look at the gorgeous detailing on this costume!

A Chinese dragon costume.

12 A Chinese dragon costume.

On display here is an opera costume.

13 On display here is an opera costume.

An installation of an herbalists shop.

14 An installation of an herbalists shop.

Another image of the installation of an herbalists shop.

15 Another image of the installation of an herbalists shop.

Photographed here are giant floor tangrams for children to play with.

16 Photographed here are giant floor tangrams for children to play with.

More of the tangrams for children to play with.

17 More of the tangrams for children to play with.

There was a fantastic exhibit of Chinese puzzles.

18 There was a fantastic exhibit of Chinese puzzles.

Chinese puzzles.

19 Chinese puzzles.

More puzzles.

20 More puzzles.

A look inside of the museum. (Photograph from interiordesign.net)

21 A look inside of the museum. (Photograph from interiordesign.net)

More images of MOCA. (Photograph from interiordesign.net)

22 More images of MOCA. (Photograph from interiordesign.net)

A puzzle box. (Photograph from mocanyc.org)

23 A puzzle box. (Photograph from mocanyc.org)

The inside of the museum. (Photograph from mocanyc.org).

24 The inside of the museum. (Photograph from mocanyc.org).

I wish you all a very happy new year!

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Comments (8)

  • WOW!!! amazingly gorgeous post with amazing photos of your decoration beautiful apt and setting. Love love!
    Happy Chinese New Year Kevin!
    I studied 9 years ago Traditional or Classical Feng Shui, it is really an amazing study. I also learned about the Chinese New Year and their amazing culture and 15 days celebration. Every year I put the Cures
    & Enhancers, this year 2011 Yin Metal Rabbit Xin Mao.
    PS I am not talking about Black Sect Feng Shui it is completely difference study.
    I want wish You Great Health and Great Prosperity New Year!

  • Fabulous post, Kevin. Thank you so much! Happy New Year!

  • Kevin,

    an outstanding job of decorating, I use cumquats when they are in season in the bottom of a large vase for stability, you just have to refresh to water regularly.

    I hope you and your friends had a wonderful evening,

    Happy New Year Kevin.

  • Your friends are really lucky! Your party and gift ideas are just great! The new year party will be a success for sure. Enjoy!

  • Great Post! I love everything you did. Hope your guests appreciated it

  • I enjoyed looking at all 115 photos! Loved the way you transformed your library to fit the CNY theme. The dragons on cupcakes are adorable! Great idea :)

  • I love Pearl River and stop in on every visit to New York. The flower arrangements and the decorations are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the fabulous ideas.

  • Oh I love your photos... and the food looks delicious. Your floral arrangements are beautiful, did you train as a florist ?

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