What's in a box?

My favorite box!

Last week I got a cryptic email message from my friend Elizabeth: "Do you know about birchbox?? I just got in!" No, I don't. How could that be possible when I read so many blogs?

Of course I was curious and decided to give it a looksy. Turns out Birchbox is a monthly service that delivers hand-picked beauty and lifestyle products to your door for $10 a month plus free shipping -- all in a nifty box. The service allows you to sample high-end brand products before you take the plunge and buy. Birchbox also offers expert advice and awards points with every purchase.

Here’s the rub. After you request an invite, it can take up to four weeks for women to "get in." The wait is shorter for men, but I guess that's only fair because they have to pay $20 a pop. After creating my account, I received an email confirmation. The wait begins.  

Hand-picked beauty and lifestyle samples, delivered to your door for $10/month.

Try before you buy makes subscribing appealing as does the sheer element of surprise.  
Olive Box is a monthly subscription service for paper lovers. That would be me. Inside an olive box you can expect a "beautifully curated selection of paper and lifestyle products" delivered to your door in a delightful box. Subscription options are available. Buy month-to-month and pay $25 plus shipping. Three-, six- and twelve-month subscriptions are incrementally cheaper with free shipping, but must be prepaid. I already have enough stationery. And, I have a self-imposed moratorium on visiting PaperSource. Who cares? I'm going to treat myself to a surprise for one month. I'll let you know if it's worth it.

Geography is certainly not getting in the way of enterprising interior designers. Let's start with Arkansas-based designer Tobi Fairley. Reading her blog exhausts me. She is the Oprah so to speak of the design world. I guess that's what makes her so successful. She recently posted a new list of inspirational quotes and resolutions --  all 14 of them. I'll be back come January 1 to steal some, but for now I should probably heed this advice:
Back on topic. Tobi's InBox Interiors is a do-it-yourself option for interior design. Investment (aka pricing) is based on which room/s you are looking to transform. I encourage you to view the interactive look book. It's pretty cool.
Another high-end option is Windsor Smith's Room In A Box. Windsor is a California-based, award-winning designer and her prices reflect it. On her site you will find a step-by-step process complete with videos to walk you through the experience. If you're looking for something at a lower price point per room, check out Decorator in a Box.  
Have you ever subscribed to a service or surprise in box? Do tell.

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