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Il Papiro

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A recent visit to Il Papiro, a stationery shop on Lexington Avenue, reminded me of how I love the shop's fine selection. The shop owners, John and Marilyn Leon, have operated the United States branch of Il Papiro for decades, priding themselves on maintaining a century-old technique in paper-making.

Il Papiro is one of the only existing paper-makers today that utilizes the 'papier a cuve' method of decoration. Said to have been invented by the royal book binder of Louis XIII, 'papier a cuve' is a process of applying paper to colored liquid solutions for a permanent, marbleized finish.

Because the paper technique is liquid based, no two products come out exactly the same. Every gift item or personal treasure at Il Papiro is hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind.

Have a look at the shop and some of its wonderful items!

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The interior of Il Papiro is colorful and well-designed.

1 The interior of Il Papiro is colorful and well-designed.

This is Marilyn Leon, co-owner of the shop.

2 This is Marilyn Leon, co-owner of the shop.

Owners John and Marilyn Leon.

3 Owners John and Marilyn Leon.

Il Papiro carries many boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes — pretty containers for paper clips, jewelry, or keepsakes.

4 Il Papiro carries many boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes — pretty containers for paper clips, jewelry, or keepsakes.

One of my favorite items at Il Papiro is the classic, marbleized journal.

5 One of my favorite items at Il Papiro is the classic, marbleized journal.

Such fun writing utensils!

6 Such fun writing utensils!

The back wall is full of stationary, all wrapped with fine ribbon.

7 The back wall is full of stationary, all wrapped with fine ribbon.

There are too many great items to choose from.

8 There are too many great items to choose from.

All the stationary is hand-painted, and would make a wonderful gift.

9 All the stationary is hand-painted, and would make a wonderful gift.

Owner John Leon showed me one of his most popular items, a beautiful box for storing wedding invitations, photos, or prized trickets.

10 Owner John Leon showed me one of his most popular items, a beautiful box for storing wedding invitations, photos, or prized trickets.

Made with acid-free paper, the box protects photographs and paper from yellowing with age.

11 Made with acid-free paper, the box protects photographs and paper from yellowing with age.

I could use a few of these on my desk to hold paper and business cards.

12 I could use a few of these on my desk to hold paper and business cards.

They are so pretty, too.

13 They are so pretty, too.

Seeing all the different patterns of paper is inspirational for me as a decorator.

14 Seeing all the different patterns of paper is inspirational for me as a decorator.

I love this leather portfolio. It is incredibly well-made.

15 I love this leather portfolio. It is incredibly well-made.

Notice the different techniques and styles Il Papiro uses to display their fine items.

16 Notice the different techniques and styles Il Papiro uses to display their fine items.

I was lucky enough to get to see the 'papier a cuve' process. Each photo hanging on the wall demonstrates a different step.

17 I was lucky enough to get to see the 'papier a cuve' process. Each photo hanging on the wall demonstrates a different step.

Beautiful papers for wrapping or framing.

18 Beautiful papers for wrapping or framing.

This photo series gives you an idea of how the colored liquids are shaped into beautiful designs for the paper.

19 This photo series gives you an idea of how the colored liquids are shaped into beautiful designs for the paper.

Start to finish, the process is amazing!

20 Start to finish, the process is amazing!

A great, daily agenda.

21 A great, daily agenda.

Wanting to feel completely authentic and traditional, the owners decorated the shop with Venetian glass lamps.

22 Wanting to feel completely authentic and traditional, the owners decorated the shop with Venetian glass lamps.

The ceiling is absolutely gorgeous, dark, wooden, exposed beams.

23 The ceiling is absolutely gorgeous, dark, wooden, exposed beams.

Aside from the New York store, Il Papiro is located in Palm Beach, Florida, Venice, Rome, and several other locations in Italy (as well as online!). Their line of paper goods includes hardbound address books, photo albums, stationary, and a variety of desk accessories.

Promoting an important artisan-family tradition, Il Papiro crafts some of the most interesting and beautiful papers I have ever seen.

Kitchen Organizing Tips

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The summer is almost over, which means fall is right around the corner. Now is a great time to get the house back in order, before fall is in full-swing and the holidays are upon us. The kitchen should be the room you start with, since it's the center of most living spaces. The most common problem with kitchens is that there is never enough space for everything. However, there are so many ways to optimize what space you do have without creating a mess of stacks and impossible-to-close cabinets. Below is a comprehensive collection of tips that cover all aspects of the kitchen, from your cabinets to the sink.

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Silverware organizers don't always fit larger items, so Martha likes to lay these flat in a drawer lined with protective material.

1 Silverware organizers don't always fit larger items, so Martha likes to lay these flat in a drawer lined with protective material.

Martha collects Japanese knives, which she stacks neatly in their own dedicated drawer.

2 Martha collects Japanese knives, which she stacks neatly in their own dedicated drawer.

These wooden boxes, in different shapes and sizes, make great drawer and cabinet organizers.

3 These wooden boxes, in different shapes and sizes, make great drawer and cabinet organizers.

Cake decorating supplies are often easily lost or misplaced because they are small. Create a drawer just for them and place the smaller icing tips and frosting combs in plastic containers.

4 Cake decorating supplies are often easily lost or misplaced because they are small. Create a drawer just for them and place the smaller icing tips and frosting combs in plastic containers.

It is smart to have a utility drawer in your kitchen. You never know when a light bulb will burn out or an appliance will run out of batteries. Keep all the essentials in one place, separated with plastic containers.

5 It is smart to have a utility drawer in your kitchen. You never know when a light bulb will burn out or an appliance will run out of batteries. Keep all the essentials in one place, separated with plastic containers.

Organize napkin rings into plastic containers, so you'll never have to worry about losing or misplacing any rings.

6 Organize napkin rings into plastic containers, so you'll never have to worry about losing or misplacing any rings.

If your kitchen is the hub of your home, chances are you're constantly using it as a second office. Keep all of you labels, stationery, and other supplies in a drawer. Mesh organizers work just as well in a kitchen drawer as in a desk drawer.

7 If your kitchen is the hub of your home, chances are you're constantly using it as a second office. Keep all of you labels, stationery, and other supplies in a drawer. Mesh organizers work just as well in a kitchen drawer as in a desk drawer.

Instead of simply tossing tea packets and strainers in a drawer, keep them organized with a compartmentalized space like this one.

8 Instead of simply tossing tea packets and strainers in a drawer, keep them organized with a compartmentalized space like this one.

In my kitchen, I use expandable organizers to store my cooking tools. They're great because they adjust to fit each drawer perfectly.

9 In my kitchen, I use expandable organizers to store my cooking tools. They're great because they adjust to fit each drawer perfectly.

Martha loves these jadeite containers, and she puts them to good use in this drawer. The small dishes hold all the elements of a well-prepared first-aid kit.

10 Martha loves these jadeite containers, and she puts them to good use in this drawer. The small dishes hold all the elements of a well-prepared first-aid kit.

Bins and baskets are a great way to organize cookbooks and other items on exposed shelves.

11 Bins and baskets are a great way to organize cookbooks and other items on exposed shelves.

No need to clutter counters with mail. Simply peg these personal mailboxes to the wall to free up more space.

12 No need to clutter counters with mail. Simply peg these personal mailboxes to the wall to free up more space.

Instead of using magnets to hang up kids art and calenders to the fridge, tack them on linen bulletin boards which are sturdier and more aesthetically pleasing.

13 Instead of using magnets to hang up kids art and calenders to the fridge, tack them on linen bulletin boards which are sturdier and more aesthetically pleasing.

Wire racks make a great under-the-sink storage solution. You can keep all cleaning supplies in the drawer and rags and scrubbers piled neatly on top.

14 Wire racks make a great under-the-sink storage solution. You can keep all cleaning supplies in the drawer and rags and scrubbers piled neatly on top.

I use easily installed metal dividers to keep flat items organized vertically.

15 I use easily installed metal dividers to keep flat items organized vertically.

You can also use tension rods for the same effect.

16 You can also use tension rods for the same effect.

A kitchen island can make the perfect storage area. Here, baking sheets are sorted vertically, mixing bowls sit on shelves and towels can be both folded on shelves or hung from a hook.

17 A kitchen island can make the perfect storage area. Here, baking sheets are sorted vertically, mixing bowls sit on shelves and towels can be both folded on shelves or hung from a hook.

Use all of the available vertical space in your cabinets by investing in some wire racks.

18 Use all of the available vertical space in your cabinets by investing in some wire racks.

This double turntable is great because it has two levels, and everything is accessible with a quick spin.

19 This double turntable is great because it has two levels, and everything is accessible with a quick spin.

This wire rack is usually used as an inbox in the office, but it works great as an shelf accessory to hold mugs.

20 This wire rack is usually used as an inbox in the office, but it works great as an shelf accessory to hold mugs.

Wire racks are an alternative option to stacking, which can damage and scratch dinnerware.

21 Wire racks are an alternative option to stacking, which can damage and scratch dinnerware.

Not enough shelves? Make your own by stacking a serving tray between sets of glasses.

22 Not enough shelves? Make your own by stacking a serving tray between sets of glasses.

See-through containers are a storage solution that add a decorative element to your kitchen. They protect dried goods from the humidity and pests as well.

23 See-through containers are a storage solution that add a decorative element to your kitchen. They protect dried goods from the humidity and pests as well.

Spices have their own shelf in Martha's home. These narrow shelves can be bought almost anywhere and they will make a huge impact on the storage space in your kitchen.

24 Spices have their own shelf in Martha's home. These narrow shelves can be bought almost anywhere and they will make a huge impact on the storage space in your kitchen.

Use your walls as storage space. Install hooks and items like graters can find a permanent home.

25 Use your walls as storage space. Install hooks and items like graters can find a permanent home.

Even if you don't have the space for regular-sized cupboards, smaller, shallow cupboards are perfect for stacked cups.

26 Even if you don't have the space for regular-sized cupboards, smaller, shallow cupboards are perfect for stacked cups.

Martha wastes no space in her kitchen. Even the space between refrigerators is used for more shelving.

27 Martha wastes no space in her kitchen. Even the space between refrigerators is used for more shelving.

Create a perfect prep area by buying products that can be stored away when not in use. An improvised shelf keeps counters clean of rolling pins and dry-food canisters. A compact cookbook stand rests on the window ledge.

28 Create a perfect prep area by buying products that can be stored away when not in use. An improvised shelf keeps counters clean of rolling pins and dry-food canisters. A compact cookbook stand rests on the window ledge.

Store and display china with platter guards (top shelf) and dish ledges (middle shelf). Platter guards are created using dowels and curtain fittings. Dish ledges are achieved with quarter round molding fixed to the shelf with wood glue.

29 Store and display china with platter guards (top shelf) and dish ledges (middle shelf). Platter guards are created using dowels and curtain fittings. Dish ledges are achieved with quarter round molding fixed to the shelf with wood glue.

Protect china or everyday tableware from damage with guards cut out of felt or acid-free paper.

30 Protect china or everyday tableware from damage with guards cut out of felt or acid-free paper.

To hide glass-cabinet contents, create miniature curtains in a color that goes well with your kitchen decor. All you need to do is custom sew a curtain and install a small curtain rod on the inside of the door.

31 To hide glass-cabinet contents, create miniature curtains in a color that goes well with your kitchen decor. All you need to do is custom sew a curtain and install a small curtain rod on the inside of the door.

Martha likes to keep metal and wooden utensils separated. In this case, they are in different pots, within a woven tray.

32 Martha likes to keep metal and wooden utensils separated. In this case, they are in different pots, within a woven tray.

If you don't have enough counter space to keep cooking utensils in plain sight, make space by bringing in a rolling cart. Large pans, ramekins and jars for utensils fit easily, and can be moved around the kitchen easily.

33 If you don't have enough counter space to keep cooking utensils in plain sight, make space by bringing in a rolling cart. Large pans, ramekins and jars for utensils fit easily, and can be moved around the kitchen easily.

Keep all of the spices you need on hand next to the stove or a prep area with a cake stand.

34 Keep all of the spices you need on hand next to the stove or a prep area with a cake stand.

I use this wire pullout in my kitchen to store small appliances for everyday use.

35 I use this wire pullout in my kitchen to store small appliances for everyday use.

This thin pullout is the perfect place for lids and spices needed near the stove.

36 This thin pullout is the perfect place for lids and spices needed near the stove.

This wooden box makes an easy pullout by adding surface protectors or rolling tracks.

37 This wooden box makes an easy pullout by adding surface protectors or rolling tracks.

I love the way these shelves pull out.

38 I love the way these shelves pull out.

Most people don't think of protecting skillets, but these items need the same attention as fine china. By nesting pots and pans between large coffee filters and paper plates, you'll keep your saucepans scratch-free.

39 Most people don't think of protecting skillets, but these items need the same attention as fine china. By nesting pots and pans between large coffee filters and paper plates, you'll keep your saucepans scratch-free.

Martha likes to hang her pots and pans from hooks on an overhang. This frees up storage space in her kitchen while also adding a chandelier-like element to the room.

40 Martha likes to hang her pots and pans from hooks on an overhang. This frees up storage space in her kitchen while also adding a chandelier-like element to the room.

The shelving in my kitchen extends all the way to the ceiling, which makes some of the shelves nearly impossible to reach. Martha had me install a drawer beneath one of my bottom cabinets to house a step ladder.

41 The shelving in my kitchen extends all the way to the ceiling, which makes some of the shelves nearly impossible to reach. Martha had me install a drawer beneath one of my bottom cabinets to house a step ladder.

De-clutter the sink area by storing soaps and scrubbers in pretty dishes.

42 De-clutter the sink area by storing soaps and scrubbers in pretty dishes.

Martha collects these vintage enamel containers, and they make perfect holders for scrubbers, sponges, or soap next to the sink.

43 Martha collects these vintage enamel containers, and they make perfect holders for scrubbers, sponges, or soap next to the sink.

Underneath my sink, I've installed hangers and racks to add more storage space for scrubbers, towels, and other small items.

44 Underneath my sink, I've installed hangers and racks to add more storage space for scrubbers, towels, and other small items.

Camp Style

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When decorating a room, sometimes it's helpful to envision a particular setting—a place that has specific textures and colors to inspire your creativity. For me, one of the most memorable settings is camp. Rustic and playful, wooden and airy, and definitely inspired by summer, a camp style of decorating can create a naturally beautiful living space.

I've found many examples of rooms that clearly take their design inspiration from camp. All of them look comfortable and chic. Please have a look!

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I love the way the bright colors complement this casual furniture. 
(marthastewart.com)

1 I love the way the bright colors complement this casual furniture. (marthastewart.com)

Decorating Editor Rebecca Robertson created a beautiful living space in the design studio at Martha Stewart Living. Her coffee table, pictured here, made from an old cot and several trays, is very camp-chic. (marthastewart.com)

2 Decorating Editor Rebecca Robertson created a beautiful living space in the design studio at Martha Stewart Living. Her coffee table, pictured here, made from an old cot and several trays, is very camp-chic. (marthastewart.com)

What a hybrid between indoors and outdoors! The setting is so serene. 
(remodelista.com)

3 What a hybrid between indoors and outdoors! The setting is so serene. (remodelista.com)

This is truly a fabulous interior. I love the white painted beams and large map print. (houzz.com)

4 This is truly a fabulous interior. I love the white painted beams and large map print. (houzz.com)

Positioning the beds so close together give this room a camp style. And the big windows provide air and atmosphere. (marthastewart.com)

5 Positioning the beds so close together give this room a camp style. And the big windows provide air and atmosphere. (marthastewart.com)

The long wooden table and benches remind me of a mess hall. (remodelista.com)

6 The long wooden table and benches remind me of a mess hall. (remodelista.com)

So many different camp-inspired products come together in this room: a trunk, a rustic lamp, a lawn chair, and lantern sconces. (blueprintmagazine.com)

7 So many different camp-inspired products come together in this room: a trunk, a rustic lamp, a lawn chair, and lantern sconces. (blueprintmagazine.com)

Thanks to mix-n-match chairs, lanterns, and bandanna place mats, this room screams camp.(blueprintmagazine.com)

8 Thanks to mix-n-match chairs, lanterns, and bandanna place mats, this room screams camp.(blueprintmagazine.com)

This is one of my favorite camp-inspired rooms. The designer re-vamped the conventional bunk bed in a very stylized, fashion-forward way. (melledesign.com)

9 This is one of my favorite camp-inspired rooms. The designer re-vamped the conventional bunk bed in a very stylized, fashion-forward way. (melledesign.com)

Look at the drapes in particular in this room! They roll up and snap into place, just like in a tent. (kingandgrove.com)

10 Look at the drapes in particular in this room! They roll up and snap into place, just like in a tent. (kingandgrove.com)

As you may be able to see from the rooms above, creating a camp style does not have to be difficult. A handful of products or pieces placed around a room can go a long way in establishing an atmosphere that calls camp to mind. Here are some great product ideas to give you an idea of where to start with your camp-inspired decorating.

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The square shape of this trunk is unique. It would make a great side or end table, while providing hidden storage.
(trunkoutlet.com)

1 The square shape of this trunk is unique. It would make a great side or end table, while providing hidden storage. (trunkoutlet.com)

These State-Fair edition field notebooks feature different facts and trivia. They are a cute accessory for sketching, writing, and drafting. Little items like these remind me of camp.(canoeonline.com)

2 These State-Fair edition field notebooks feature different facts and trivia. They are a cute accessory for sketching, writing, and drafting. Little items like these remind me of camp.(canoeonline.com)

This hamper has a woodsy, country feel. Its a versatile piece that can hold anything from laundry to kids' toys. (brookfarmgeneralstore.com)

3 This hamper has a woodsy, country feel. Its a versatile piece that can hold anything from laundry to kids' toys. (brookfarmgeneralstore.com)

These are fly swatters made the original way, and meant to last. I think they would make a fun seasonal gift.
(garrettwade.com)

4 These are fly swatters made the original way, and meant to last. I think they would make a fun seasonal gift. (garrettwade.com)

I remember staying up late reading in bed at camp, under the type of lights that clip to the wall or a drawer. This would be useful in a child's room for a little extra light. (brookfarmgeneralstore.com)

5 I remember staying up late reading in bed at camp, under the type of lights that clip to the wall or a drawer. This would be useful in a child's room for a little extra light. (brookfarmgeneralstore.com)

This chair combines modern design with a traditional, rustic finish. It's an interesting piece that would stand out indoors or outdoors.
(urbanoutfitters.com)

6 This chair combines modern design with a traditional, rustic finish. It's an interesting piece that would stand out indoors or outdoors. (urbanoutfitters.com)

I love the color and traditional pattern of this rug. It reminds me of Native American inspired camp style. 
(Martha Stewart for macys.com)

7 I love the color and traditional pattern of this rug. It reminds me of Native American inspired camp style. (Martha Stewart for macys.com)

I love the simplicity of these wool blankets. They look so cozy!
(brookfarmgeneralstore.com)

8 I love the simplicity of these wool blankets. They look so cozy! (brookfarmgeneralstore.com)

This pewter oil lamp is so elegant.
(canoeonline.com)

9 This pewter oil lamp is so elegant. (canoeonline.com)

This bench feels like it belongs on the porch of the dining hall. At home, it would make an interesting and functional bench in a mudroom or kitchen.
(jaysonhomeandgarden.com)

10 This bench feels like it belongs on the porch of the dining hall. At home, it would make an interesting and functional bench in a mudroom or kitchen. (jaysonhomeandgarden.com)

I've included several lanterns in this post, but this one in particular draws my attention. The combination of leather and brass is very attractive. 
(chelseagiftsonline.com)

11 I've included several lanterns in this post, but this one in particular draws my attention. The combination of leather and brass is very attractive. (chelseagiftsonline.com)

I couldn't resist these linen napkins.
(brookfarmgeneralstore.com)

12 I couldn't resist these linen napkins. (brookfarmgeneralstore.com)

Neutral accessories, like this lamp, are suitable for a wide variety of rooms. 
(anthropologie.com)

13 Neutral accessories, like this lamp, are suitable for a wide variety of rooms. (anthropologie.com)

It is very easy for the bathroom to look untidy, with soap dishes, containers, cups, etc. everywhere. This set of bathroom necessities will help keep the room looking sleek and unified. 
(Martha Stewart for macys.com)

14 It is very easy for the bathroom to look untidy, with soap dishes, containers, cups, etc. everywhere. This set of bathroom necessities will help keep the room looking sleek and unified. (Martha Stewart for macys.com)

The color palate of this plaid throw is great and very camp-inspired.
(shopterrain.com)

15 The color palate of this plaid throw is great and very camp-inspired. (shopterrain.com)

Twig embellishments are really trendy now. This twig frame is a beautiful accessory to a camp-style room. 
(horchow.com)

16 Twig embellishments are really trendy now. This twig frame is a beautiful accessory to a camp-style room. (horchow.com)

And this twig spoon!
(shopterrain.com)

17 And this twig spoon! (shopterrain.com)

The wicker wrap around this pitcher gives it a unique style. It would look fabulous filled with water or wine! (shopterrain.com)

18 The wicker wrap around this pitcher gives it a unique style. It would look fabulous filled with water or wine! (shopterrain.com)

A camp-style post would not be complete without bunk beds! I like this one in dark wood. 
(ikea.com)

19 A camp-style post would not be complete without bunk beds! I like this one in dark wood. (ikea.com)

This extra long skewer is perfect for making s'mores. 
(surlatable.com)

20 This extra long skewer is perfect for making s'mores. (surlatable.com)

These colorful plate sets are hassle-free (like they would be at camp). Perfect for dinner with kids or picnics outdoors.
(llbean.com)

21 These colorful plate sets are hassle-free (like they would be at camp). Perfect for dinner with kids or picnics outdoors. (llbean.com)