Valentine’s Day at Collage Home

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Notes From the Sofa

Come and visit Collage Home! We love these new treats for your Valentine’s sweets.

Brass Vase

A beautiful vase to showcase your Valentine’s flowers: Brass Hinged Vase, $85.00

Valentine's Day Collage Home


They’re back for Valentine’s Day! These figurines have been so popular, and we have a few of the newest designs in store now.

Agraria Bath Salts

For the perfect gift for anyone, come in and browse our home fragrance collection. It’s the best in Central Florida! We’ve added some new products from Agraria, including new fragrances for their iconic tassel diffuser and their new line of bath salts. Beautiful, and they smell fantastic!

Revisit a Lost Art This Valentine’s Day

Everybody loves to get letters. Notice, I didn’t say, “mail.” I said, “letters.” Not bills. Not notices. Not statements. And by “letters,” I mean any form of written communication not requiring financial action or a filing-away with other important finance-y (read: boring) things.

Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to send reminders through the mail to the people you love, letting them know that you think of them, that you value their contribution to your life, and that they are worth the few minutes it took to write (with a pen, or crayon – whatever’s handy), to locate their address, and to find a stamp. Email is handy, of course. But email doesn’t offer that fantastic anticipation brought by a slightly heavy, often colorful, hand-written envelope. Admit it: you’re almost embarrassingly excited by these, aren’t you? Just a little?

Especially now that the time-honored Christmas card tradition is becoming less and less popular, a little note in the mail can put a flutter in your heart as you excitedly open the envelope to see what newsy missive might be inside. A funny card? A birth announcement? An invitation? So much more fun to display on your mantelpiece (or on your refrigerator) than a print-out of an email.

That little bit of excitement is the very reason why The Paperie at Collage Home is delighted to be offering so many options for renewing the simple pleasure of note-writing. Come in and browse our selection of cards and of options for personalized stationery. We’ll even be highlighting some forgotten tips for written communication. Isn’t it time to reinvent this age-old tradition?

And now, for something completely useful:

Our friend, Serafina Dimeo, who co-owns the restaurant Sorelli (just outside of London) with her sister, has used this no-fail recipe for years. It’s hands-down the BEST pasta supper ever: rustic, authentic, beautiful, and so, so easy!  You and everyone else will thank us for passing this on.

You need:

1 or 2 packages spaghetti, depending on how many you’re serving.  (You’ll want plenty for seconds.)
5 punnets of cherry tomatoes, baby plum tomatoes, or grape tomatoes per package of spaghetti
1 package fresh basil per package of spaghetti
2 whole mozzarella per package of spaghetti
Garlic, chopped (to taste)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pinch of sugar, to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. In a wide-bottomed pan with a lid, heat a little olive oil, and add some garlic. (Hint: you don’t really have to chop garlic.  It may dissolve, or you can fish it out later. Once it’s been in fat for a time, there’s little value in keeping it in the sauce.  The flavor has already been infused into the oil by the heat.) There’s no need to brown it; just get it heated and coated with oil.
  2. Dump all of the tomatoes in the pan, along with about 2/3 pkg of the roughly chopped fresh basil, salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. (Nope, no water. The moisture will come from the tomatoes.) Let this cook, covered, over low heat, with the lid slightly askew to allow some steam to escape.
  3. Stir after about 3 minutes, and then again after about another 4 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when all of the tomatoes have burst, and the sauce has become dark-ish, and thick. At this stage, you might be tempted to remove the tomato skins. Sometimes we do; sometimes we don’t. It’s entirely up to you. It makes absolutely no difference in flavor, it’s just a texture thing.
  4. Taste the sauce, and see if it needs any more salt and pepper, or if it needs another pinch of sugar to balance the acid of the tomatoes. Up to you.
  5. Turn off the heat, and prepare the pasta. While the pasta is boiling, tear or chop the mozzarella, and roughly tear the remaining basil.
  6. When the pasta is nearly done, turn on the heat under the sauce to medium-low, and add a ladle-full of the starchy pasta water.  Let this reduce into the sauce.  Add more if you want to thin out the sauce.
  7. When you’re happy with the sauce consistency, drain the pasta, and dump it into the sauce, along with the mozzarella and the remaining basil, and mix. That’s it. Pour the whole concoction into a large bowl, and serve family-style with a salad and some bread. Oh, and fresh parmesan, of course.

You can use tinned Italian tomatoes, pre-shredded mozzarella, and short pasta if you’re in a pinch. But it doesn’t look as authentic, it isn’t as beautiful, and it won’t taste quite as fresh.  But it’s still great if you’re really up against it.

This will be the first of many, many times you’ll use this recipe.


Staged by Collage Home

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Orlando Home Staging by Collage Home

Fully Staged 1920s Charmer

The home staging trend is sweeping the real estate market, and Collage Home is excited to offer our unique home staging services to our clientele. Why stage your home? By bringing in the key pieces of furniture and artwork that make the space look lived in, but clean, homes spend approximately half the time on the market. In fact, The National Association of REALTORS found that 77% of buyers agents say it’s easier for home buyers to visualize a property as their future home when it has been staged. So before you put your home on the market, be sure to expertly stage it with Collage Home!

We recently staged a 1920s-era home nestled in College Park. The 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home was completely renovated (including new windows, roof, electrical, plumbing, and air conditioning) with interiors designed by Grant Gribble and Gribble Interior Group, one of Orlando’s top Interior Design firms.  The home features luxurious appointed baths and kitchen with custom cabinetry and natural stone countertops, and the large scale rooms have views of Lake Concord and downtown Orlando. The master bedroom suite is spacious with his and hers closets and adjoining bath with double sinks and a large walk in shower. A beautifully landscaped yard features a brick drive and patio, decorative fountain and detached guest cottage.

Grant Gribble worked with Collage Home staging to add some key elements that completed the home’s show-ready status. We hand-picked furniture to speak to the target market’s every day needs; we chose beautiful, yet functional, pieces in a calming and light color palette designed to complement the home’s gorgeous lake views and natural light. We also pulled art and accessories from our showroom to draw the eye toward the home’s best features, like the living room fire place.  The staging process helps to ensure that the space reaches its full potential, reflecting the lifestyle of the target buying demographic and helping them to envision their futures in the home.

The partnership between Gribble and Collage Home couples a designer’s eye with the resources of our fine home furnishings storefront to offer home sellers a unique advantage in the real estate market. Find out more about Collage Home’s staging services, and click through the images below to see the final, fully staged College Park stunner:


Easy Gifts, Easy Gift Wrap & Easy Recipes

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Notes From the Sofa

These are the easy gifts we’re loving right now! For the man who has everything: Nuance Ice Bucket // Horn Handled Bar Tool Set // Cheval Coasters. Perfect for your Mother–in–Law: Seda France Ceramic Candle // Wick Trimmer // Golden Toile Matches. A selection of our masculine home fragrance collection: Blackcurrant Agate Candle.

How to Wrap Your Unique and Useful Gifts

We love wrapping presents.  Love.  It.  But we also know that there are plenty who do not enjoy the holiday ritual.  If you’re one of those people, visit us at Collage Home to learn the easiest way ever to wrap gifts! There are instructions below, but we’re happy to show you when you visit the shop. Here’s our undisputed easiest, most festive-looking gift wrap solution.  Even your kids (or your significant other! Mais non!) can do this without supervision. C’est vrais!

Gift WrapPhoto Courtesy Neelam Meetcha

What you need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Cellophane bags OR a large roll of clear cellophane OR both, if you’re fancy
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Whatever else might be fun to attach to the ribbon (like the ornaments and fun tags available in our store!)

What you do:

  1. Cut a length of cellophane sufficient to cover the object plus about a 9-10 inches.
  2. Spread out enough tissue (about 3 full-sized sheets’ worth in thickness) onto the cellophane with extra to spare, overrunning the cellophane by a bit or place tissue in bag, with the center of the tissue in the bottom of the bag.
  3. Put the item in the centre of the tissue, or into the bag.
  4. Draw up all sides and secure with ribbon near the top of the object, using enough to tie a substantial single bow or tidy knot, depending on how thick your ribbon is. Use thinner ribbon for a bow, thicker ribbon for a knot.

How fun is that?  It looks like a Christmas sweet!  You could use a different color tissue paper for each person.  So festive under your tree!

Here’s something else:

The EASIEST dessert sauce recipe.  You’ll have most of the ingredients already. This will look like a lot, but once you’ve made it, you’ll start thinking of things to put it on for quality control purposes before you serve it.

Dessert Sauce

You need:

  • Brown sugar – about a cup
  • ½ stick of butter (Preferably unsalted, but who really cares?  Salted caramel is all the rage.)
  • Heavy cream about 250 ml – ish. (about half a small carton)
  • Pot
  • Spoon

Put it all in a pot on medium-low heat.  Stir until butter has melted, and sugar has dissolved.  If it’s too thick, add cream.  If it’s not thick enough, add sugar.

The. End. Serve this on just about everything.

And, another treat for the holiday season. This easy, easy, EASY cheater’s Tarte Tatin recipe, which suits the dessert sauce beautifully:

  • Apples, any type, sliced. Enough to cover the bottom of your pan plus a few more. You can peel them if you want to, but we often don’t bother.  You can also use barely-ripe pears.
  • Brown sugar
  • ½ T butter
  • Dash (a quick one) of balsamic vinegar OR Squeeze of lemon juice
  • A tiny bit of fruit juice (doesn’t matter which fruit, but maybe not tomato) AND/OR splash of brandy, amaretto, or Calvados (best with pears)
  • Puff pastry (store-bought of course)
  • Wide-bottomed pan with lid
  1. Heat oven to about 350-375. Whatever your oven might already be on over 325 will be fine.  You can even go up to 400 if you’re already using it for something else.
  2. Place everything in the pan except the pastry, and cook over medium-low heat.  Stir until butter is melted, and sugar is dissolved. (The amount of sugar is up to you.)
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for about 3-5 minutes.  The fruit should be just about fork-tender.
  4. Unroll the puff pastry.  Place the lid to the pan down on the pastry, and cut around it. Place the pastry right on top of the fruit, and prick with a fork.  You can brush with butter if you want, but may choose not to because this will be the bottom.  Don’t press the pastry down onto the apples.  Leave space where you can to avoid soggy pastry.
  5. Bake in your preheated oven until the pastry has puffed, and is a nice golden color. Resist the temptation to open the oven before the pastry puffs and colors.
  6. Remove from the oven.  Place a dinner plate straight on top of the pan, and when you can—without burning yourself—flip the whole contraption over so that the plate in on a flat surface, and the pan is on top.  Remove the pan.  Voila.  Tarte Tatin.  Serve with toffee sauce. 

So, so easy!  Impossibly delicious!

New Summer Hours

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Collage Home Summer Hours


Now that Memorial Day has passed and it’s officially June, Collage Home will be adopting new Summer hours! Starting this week, we will be open on all weekdays and closed on Saturdays and Sundays for fun in the Florida sun. New store hours are as follows:

Mon: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tues: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Weds: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thurs: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

So stop in to beat the heat, and remember that as always you can shop Collage Home online 24/7!

To Our Collage Home Family

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To Our Collage Home Family,

We are truly saddened to inform you that Angelyn Conklin, our friend and partner, abruptly resigned without notice from Collage Home this week.

Rest assured that Collage Home is open for business.  Our focus is moving forward; we are still providing the same superior services to you, our loyal customers.  This includes displaying the finest in home accessories, gifts, stationery, greeting cards and specialized custom printing.  We enjoy being a part of the College Park business family and look forward to a bright future together.  We deeply appreciate your patronage, your support and your loyalty.

Grant Gribble
Jack Hanson

Remembering Sue Conklin

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Remembering Sue Conklin

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Sue Conklin, who many long-time residents of College Park will recognize as the owner of Gingersnap Station and The Paper Gallery of College Park. Sue was a very special person to the Collage Home family and a beloved part of the College Park community who will always be remembered for her kindness, her love of College Park and her talents with all things stationery. We honor her memory and are deeply grateful to have known her. Her smile, her humor and that wonderful southern charm will be greatly missed.

Designer Louis Sherry Tins Available at Collage Home

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Louis Sherry
Photo courtesy/Louis Sherry

Louis Sherry Makes the Swankiest, Chicest and Most Delicious Chocolates Around

In the late 1800’s Louis Sherry was an important name in New York City, starting as a restaurateur turned confectioner and eventually hotelier. Does the Sherry-Netherland Hotel ring a bell?

But Sherry’s chocolates, with names like Jamaican Rum (aged 7-year-old Jamaican Rum blended with a milk chocolate ganache), Sicilian Orange and Strawberry Romanoff (made with “frais de bois” strawberries and orange liqueur with a hint of vanilla) made his name iconic. This upscale brand of sweets is not your average box of “Sampler” chocolates — and now, you can get them at Collage Home.

Louis Sherry Tins

12 piece tin retails for $40 at Collage Home.

If the delicious-sounding names aren’t enough to get you excited about our new treats, just look at the packaging! Louis Sherry is not only known for his candy, he was also marketing genius. By using these unforgettable rainbow colored tins to hold these chocolate delights, Sherry created a brand unlike any other in the Gilded Age in Manhattan.

This year, Louis Sherry has introduced the designer series for their 12 piece tins. Among those featured in the series is designer Harrison Howard who has been recognized for his screen prints, watercolors, easel paintings and panels. Focusing on the whimsical Asian stylings of chinoiserie, Howard has been commissioned by Caspari, a renowned name in the world of printed paper products.  Caspari and Howard’s exquisite designs have proven to be a favorite of our Collage Home friends.

Harrison Howard

Harrison Howard napkins for Caspari.

Louis Sherry tins have been widely collectible for years. Just in time for Easter, or any occasion for that matter, these exquisite chocolates have arrived at Collage Home. Encased in their iconic tins, these beauties can certainly be judged by their “cover”.

Three styles are available in store now: Royal Blue Bird and Butterfly, Robin’s Egg Blue China Sea and Singerie Teal. Don’t miss out on your chance to collect a few for yourself!

When the Old Becomes New Again

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Custom Stationery at The Paperie

       There is something simply wonderful about seeing a letter or invitation in your mailbox. Your heart may even skip a beat. “Who’s having a party?” “Who’s getting married?” “Someone took the time to write ME a card?” Physical invitations and letters are tactile and include detail — the weight and feel of the paper or card stock, the ink process, whether it’s been letterpressed, engraved, or embossed — that is often missed in an email or evite. It’s a personal statement and it sets the tone of the party and/or the character of the sender.

       In an age of digital media and instant gratification, the custom stationery and greeting card industry is thriving. While the relatively new email invite, or evite, phenomenon serves its purpose (no stamps are necessary, no addressing or running to the post office to mail is needed, and they are instantly received among other benefits), personalized, hard copy printed invitations and stationery sent through snail mail continue to grow in popularity. Despite what you may expect in the modern age, “ready communication” has not been able to edge out the appeal of a hand printed invitation, and a whole new generation has begun to discover the beauty of the greeting card.

Custom Stationery and Invitations
Details on a letterpress invitation by The Paperie at Collage Home.

       Perhaps it’s that the paper used for stationery is heavier and of higher quality than the paper we tend to see in our day to day lives, the beauty of a letterpressed design, or just the personal nature of a hand-written note that lends it a special quality that can’t be captured by any other medium.

       As you may have heard, The Paperie was opened within Collage Home last October. At The Paperie, you can find that special greeting card for that special person, beautiful cocktail napkins, boxed stationery and notes, fun and whimsical note pads as well as personalized paper products. We offer custom orders of personalized stationery, note pads, address stamps, cocktail napkins, hand towels, gift enclosures, and even personalized koozies, cups and bridge sets! (These usually take about two weeks to receive, so plan ahead for that special personalized gift for that person who is hard to buy for.)


Custom NapkinsCustom printing options.

       We also offer in-house printing for invitations of all kinds. This is one of our favorite services because we get to help make a client’s event memorable. Remember, our lines are expanding and new blank stock is arriving all the time. Many in house orders can be turned around within a week!

       It’s exciting to see a younger generation embracing custom paper goods and continuing the tradition of the hand-written note or personalized invitation. It’s no surprise given that the heavy stocks and the embellishments are so beautiful — hand letterpress and gold foiling surely makes a birthday card a mini piece of art. Frame it and the card is a gift in itself!

Custom Stationery and InvitationsGold foil printing on a letterpressed Save the Date card.       

       Stop by and get to know The Paperie at Collage Home and discover how we can make each of your events memorable with personalized stationery and gifts!

Holiday Decorating Tips from Collage Home

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Holiday Decorating Tips from Collage Home

Now that our calendars officially read December (how did that happen so quickly?) we are in full holiday mode in our showroom. We receive a lot of questions about the best way to make a home feel cozy for the holidays, so today we’re sharing our top holiday decorating tips:

1. Less is not more when it comes to lights on a Christmas tree. If you think 400 lights are enough for a large tree, add another 100 or 200.  And always remember to start wrapping the middle of tree trunk. It’s labor intensive, but worth it.

2.  Add lights to your garland swags trailing up the staircase railings or on the fireplace mantle.

Collage Home Ornaments

3. Group together multiple candlesticks of different heights to make a statement as a centerpiece on a table or along a fireplace mantle.

4. Place solid silver and solid gold ornaments in the center of the tree so that the lights reflect off of the ornaments and light up your space.

5. Ornaments don’t have to always be on the tree!  Fill a big bowl with solid color ornaments that complement your décor.

6. White lights have had a good run…. Don’t be afraid of colored lights.

Collage Home Tablescape

7. Candle rings are making a big come back. Small berry or holly wreaths for the base of your candle sticks can make a simple candlestick quite festive.

8. Establish your color palette early. You may choose to incorporate hues from your home décor, or choose complementary colors that pop. Either way, picking your color theme before you start to decorate can save you lots of headache down the road when you realize that none of your decorations look quite right together.

9. When crafting your holiday centerpieces, look up. The chandelier is often overlooked where decorations are concerned, but it offers a unique place to hang shimmering ornaments or garland without taking up valuable table real estate.

Collage Home Holiday

10. Incorporate keepsakes that are unique to your family: portraits from past holidays, children’s art projects, and antique keepsakes from relatives often make the most special decorations of all.

11. Don’t stress! Consider enlisting the help of a professional to help you make the best use of your space. What works in one home might not be the best choice in the next. The less time you spend worrying about making your décor perfect means more time spent with your family… and after all, that’s what the holidays are all about.

Collage Fall Flash Sale

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Thanksgiving Flash Sale

Just in time for Thanksgiving, it’s our Collage Fall Flash Sale! Enjoy 40% off on all of our fall pumpkins and gourds… yes! Even our hand turned and blown glass pumpkins are 40% off for a very limited time.

Plus, take 40% off on all stock of Fall and Thanksgiving paper products: Coasters, Cocktail Napkins, Guest Towels and more!

Collage Fall Flash Sale

And don’t forget to SHOP SMALL!

Small Business SaturdaySaturday, November 26 we’re celebrating Small Business Saturday here in College Park.

Why is this important? When our neighbors and customers shop and spend in 32804, 32804 gets stronger and our community stays vibrant. Vibrant and strong are great things for all of College Park and neighboring communities.  Invite your friends and come out and show your love for 32804!

Collage Home will be serving lemonade and cookies during Small Business Saturday… what’s not to love?

Stop by our space at 1822 Edgewater Drive in College Park this Saturday. We’re open from 9:00am til 5:00 pm! Feel free to call 407-843-0040 for any questions about our Fall sale or Small Business Saturday.

#gettoknowcollage #itsacollegeparkthing