Why Interior Designers And Home Stagers Prefer Bar Soap Over Liquid (#GotBitcoin?)
Hard-milled cakes are making a comeback, and many decorators cheer the choice. Plus: five stylish little trays to set them in. Why Interior Designers And Home Stagers Prefer Bar Soap Over Liquid (#GotBitcoin?)
NOT VERY LONG AGO, many of us gave up solid soap for the liquid version, happy to bid adieu to the gelatinous mess that inevitably accrued underneath a bar of soap and to the anxiety (fallacious, it turns out) that it could pass along germs.
Recently, however, some consumers horrified by the trillions of tons of plastic making its way to the oceans are feeling obliged to return to paper-wrapped milled soap, not least because it’s an excuse to buy a handsome holder for it.
“I’ve always hated pump soaps,” said Todd Nickey, interior designer and co-owner of home goods store Nickey Kehoe in Los Angeles. “Bar soap in a dish adds a layer of decoration and personality to a powder room.” The kitchen sink, too, can be made less utilitarian with a cake of soap in a thoughtfully selected tray. Gwen Whiting, who co-founded The Laundress, a producer of home-cleaning products that includes a Kitchen Soap Bar for hands and wooden utensils, elevates bricks of soap with silver and porcelain pieces that once held different jobs. “I think it’s nice to use a saucer or small dish from a special hotel or restaurant—not stolen, of course,” said Ms. Whiting, who also looks for simple white chemistry ceramics and small silver hotel trays in vintage shops.
Kate Smith, who produces Swedish Dream skin care in Cranston, R.I., employs simple dishes from Crate & Barrel and Anthropologie to cradle the many soaps she and her business partners test. To battle the pools of goo they form, she stands flat-edged bars on their side. “It’s a trick I learned while sourcing soaps in Genoa, Italy, in the 1990s,” she said. “It will dry much faster this way.”
As for the germaphobes: A study underwritten by Dial actually inoculated bars of soap with E. coli, and the germs were not transmitted to subjects who washed their hands with them. As “Friends” character Chandler Bing announced in a 1996 episode, “Soap is soap. It’s self cleaning!”
While there’s no way around the wiping down your beautiful soap dish will regularly require, your guests will thank you. “It might require a little more maintenance,” said Mr. Nickey, “but often pretty things do.”
Carolyn’s Natural Organic Handmade Soap
Not all soaps are made the same. There are some that are good for you and some that may do more harm than good. Soap entrepreneur and cancer survivor Carolyn Aranda can attest to this.
Lather Is The Best Medicine
Since being diagnosed with stage 1 uterine cancer about 30 years ago, Aranda has been particular about what she puts in her body. “I do a lot of research on scents and chemicals like parabens and sulfates. They are typically found in cosmetics, shaving and hair care products, which are absorbed by the skin,” says the Camarillo resident and mother of two grown children.
She started experimenting and making her own soaps and laundry detergents three years ago. In the process, she learned about various ways of making soap. She picked what she calls the “most natural” way. She says, “It’s the simplest and least toxic way to make soap.”
Aranda adds her special touches of natural and proprietary ingredients. Sometimes, she’ll add customized ingredients for a more personalized touch. To add natural color, she uses a special mix of fruit and/or vegetables. For packaging, she also tries to use as little plastic as possible.
Sudsational And Soaptastic
For the holidays, Aranda has a few holiday-themed designs up her sleeves. Think gingerbread men, snowmen, snowflakes, snow crystals and Christmas trees.
In the past, she has churned out stars for the 4th of July, pumpkins for the beginning of fall, some Halloween designs and seashells for the summer. “Others just have regular bar soaps, but I can jazz up the soaps with various interesting designs and even two-toned ones,” she says of her unique sudsational and soaptastic products.
Prices range from $5 a piece to $4 for three or more soaps. Small soaps retail for $2. Custom orders are encouraged although there is a wide variety of designs and scent combinations like lavender, lemongrass and peppermint to choose from. There are no minimums.
Raising The Bar
Variety is the spice of life, and soaps apparently. Aranda is currently concocting more soap varieties and promoting gift baskets for the holidays. Think corporate and party giveaways. She’ll help you come up with a theme and put together gift baskets to match your idea, drawing upon her years in corporate America.
She also looks up to her husband for his business acumen. “He inspired me to break away from the 9 to 5 grind, pursue my interests and set up my own business,” she says.
She’s also dabbling with the idea of widening her reach and shipping internationally. Also, adding more adult themes for bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Look for her at a farmer’s market or bazaar near you soon. Soap is the limit for this solo entrepreneur!
For more information go to https:// www.facebook.com/Carolyns-Natural-Organic-Handmade-Soap or call 747.231.SOAP (7627) or email email@example.com.
Your Questions And Comments Are Greatly Appreciated.
Monty H. & Carolyn A.Go back