By Sandra Hutchinson
Originally founded to import Christmas cards designed by European artists, Caspari, Inc. is known for its extensive line of beautiful, artful paper products. The range — paper plates, napkins, place cards, gift bags and wrapping paper, placemats, picture frames — are sold in fine stores worldwide. Caspari opened its first boutique in 2001 in Paris, and then in 2005, another in Charlottesville, Va., in the heart of the downtown shopping district.
It’s one of my favorite shopping destinations.
Not only does the Charlottesville store carry the extensive line of Caspari paper products, but it is a treasure trove of beautiful decorative pieces for the home, such as dishes and glassware, pottery and garden-themed items (often British-made). And most wonderful of all is the way the items are displayed — in table settings and vignettes, always with floral arrangements (real and artificial), that offer a smorgasbord of ideas for creating tablescapes at home. Who knew paper plates and napkins could be so rich in color and design?
Here’s a selection of photos taken inside the store. The Caspari Design Store is located at 100 West Main Street, in downtown Charlottesville, Va. Phone: 434-817-7880. Please check ahead for opening hours if you go. Since I first began visiting the store more than five years ago, it has always been closed on Sundays. The Caspari Web site for online shopping is casparionline.com.
The themes of Caspari’s paper goods range from Chinoiserie to rich floral designs to playful circus themes, perfect for a child’s birthday party. Here’s a table set for a carousel-themed party, complete with beribboned giraffes!
Or, how about a garden party table, set with faux orchids and topiaries, in Guy Wolff pots?
Sometimes the Caspari store displays gorgeous natural arrangements, like this one below, with peonies, roses and bells of Ireland. My only suggestion — there should be a Virginia wine, like a Barboursville Viognier, instead of a California Chardonnay, sitting in the wine coaster on the table!
about a red, white and blue nautical theme?
And Caspari is great around any of the holidays. Below, this springtime display offers much to choose from for Easter baskets.
Don’t forget to call ahead for hours (434-817-7880), and let me know how you like the Caspari Design Store!