I've been thinking about packaging a bit lately. Strange, I know. But I was thinking about how important it is in the overall experience of a gift or a purchase - that sense of specialness and of something out of the ordinary and everyday.


Source: weheartit.com via Adelaide on Pinterest




I think it was because I realised that I was hoarding empty boxes. Looking at them lets me relive the memory attached to the gift, or the contents. I'm quite confident in saying that I'm sure a lot of Laduree's (French Macaron shop taking the world by storm) success lies in the exquisite boxes that the pretty macarons come packed inside. That and the stunning window displays, and perfection of colour coordination has certainly created a lot of lusting after a rather small and sugary confection.




Hermes boxes as interior decor has also been in favour of late. Look on Pinterest and you'll find a myriad of different photos of dressing rooms stacked with the boxes, orange boxes artfully displayed on side tables, or in hallways, or as towers in the corners of rooms.


I personally found it very useful to have a small stack of luxury good boxes in my dressing room (no where near as many as those pictured, I have to add). We were burgled a year ago, while we were on holiday in Italy. In a comedy of errors, the thief broke into our dressing room. It was comedic, because he ignored the very large Security stickers on all the windows of the house that warned we had a monitored burglar alarm. In addition, he was unlucky to land in the dressing room, as I had had a sensor light installed in it (Mr AV constantly left the light on all day or night which used to drive me up the wall). So imagine his surprise and disorientation to land in the dressing room after some arduous time spent jemmying the window quietly in the dark, to find that the lights immediately went on and the alarm started blaring away. Panicking, he wasted valuable time opening the small stack of (empty) Tiffany and Hermes boxes on my shelf looking for the contents, before fleeing into the night empty handed as the police arrived. Word to the wise - do not hide your valuables in your underwear drawer. That was the only other place he rifled through.


Speaking of underwear drawer, that is where many of my nice shoe boxes have ended up. They make the perfect drawer dividers to separate socks and knickers etc. I am particularly fond of the Kate Spade ones, which are such a lovely cheery colour.


And I was doubly surprised a few years ago when Mr AV returned from a work trip to London with a ring from my favourite jeweller there, Elizabeth Gage. It was a gift for the arrival of our second child. Part of the surprise was that the baby had arrived about a year or so before the gift and was now officially a Toddler, but the other part of the surprise was the quite tall box the ring was in - I have never seen anything like it. Isn't it gorgeous with its little tufted pom- pommed top. It made it even more exciting to see what was inside.



I also have to add that Matches Fashion send the most divine marbleised boxes with their beautiful clothes and accessories in - they even have a magnetic closure. I noticed the other day that my mother in law has been hoarding them and is using them to store other things in. It makes it tempting to buy something just to get my mitts on one of them.


So do you throw or keep your pretty packages.... and what do you do with them?

30 comments:

  1. I keep them for a bit, hoping to find a use for them, and some of them get used to hold bits and pieces, but if they haven't been put to a use after 12 months, it's off with their heads, so to speak.

    That is the most amazing ring box. Laughed about the burglar! He must have been very frustrated!! xx

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    1. Oh the Burglar was quite funny - he was last seen driving off in a BMW, while my neighbour carefully noted the number plate down.

      I've thrown out quite a few shoe boxes in my time, but the Kate Spade ones are so nice, that I haven't! xx

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  2. I love old boxes, for years I had a set of vintage stationary boxes I got from my aunt/grandmother, I used to keep the spare buttons you get with new clothes in them! Not sure where they are now- surely I didn't throw them out!

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    1. Hope not Deanne! I have a button box.... it was getting too small, so I used one of the empty Smythson stationery boxes for the buttons. Couldn't bear to throw out the boxes, they are made of such nice thick card. xx

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  3. Luff the KS boxes too.

    I keep hermes boxes but not the carry bags. I have kept a few tiffany boxes too.

    I saw some hermes bags framed in an orange dressing room and thought they looked cute.

    My house is like a fortress- bars, crim safe, more bars, sensor lights. But if someone is determined they'll get in.

    What did you get from Liz Gage?

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    1. I've seen the framed luxury goods bags in dressing rooms. The boxes seem more useful to me than the bags for some reason.

      Exactly right on the burglary front. If they want to really try, they'll still get in. The locks on our windows were pretty good. They're even better now. But it makes me a little wary posting about going away on holidays on the blog until after the fact in case I tip someone off that knows where I live.

      The ring is a big gold knuckleduster, with a 3D gold rose on it, with a diamond in the centre. I always loved her Intaglio rings, my husband picked it out, and while it isn't an intaglio, it's beautiful. Might do a close up one day, it's quite sculptural. xx

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    2. We have good locks, sensor lights and an alarm system, also CCTV cameras around the perimeter of the house which do seem to deter burglars, so far anyway. Also when we go away for any length of time we have a trusted house sitter which has worked out really well. But once I bought a backyard ornament of a large metal naif painted rooster. I loved it. But it disappeared. I spent ages running through the back CCTV pictures trying to find who might have stolen the rooster and could never see any strange people. When I told husband he was forced to confess he was responsible. Apparently he hated the rooster and threw it out one day when I wasn't home!

      That ring box is stunning! Would die if husband ever turned up with one like that. Brilliant idea to have decoy Hermes boxes, mine still have all their scarves in them, probably very bad idea.

      Have rather gone off Laduree marcarons. Think there's only so many you can eat without getting bored. The Paris shops do sell sweet little presents though. Bought very cute little totes for my granddaughters with large cupcake on each.
      I collect pretty perfume bottles (Chanel, Sisley, Ralph Lauren Safari etc) - it's good using the perfumes first too! Especially the lovely clear glass bottles in different designs with either gold or silver coloured tops. They look quite pretty lined up on shelves in the ensuite. Best wishes, Pamela

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    3. Oh the empty perfume bottles are hard to throw out too - it seems like such a waste. You live in a fortress Pamela! We haven't got CCTV cameras, but always thought the alarm would be enough. We're as secure as we can be with a half renovated house. That's a very funny story about your rooster and the CCTV footage!! Mr AV's family home lost a lot of antique garden ornaments by burglar.... the gardener was gardening, it started raining and he downed tools. Several hours later when it stopped raining, he went back to find that all the big urns and statues had been stolen. It was very sad, as they went with the house. The only ones left were too big to move easily.xx

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    4. Yes security isn't easy in a house being renovated. During the time we were having the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry done the front door had to stay unlocked and even open sometimes as the men went in and out with all the stuff. One day when I was working on the computer at the back of the house one of the men came to tell me I had a visitor. A strange woman (not one of our neighbours) had wandered in while the door was open and was scrutinising our lounge and dining room. When I asked her what she wanted she just said she'd come in for a look to see what we were doing. Didn't seem to occur to her that she was doing anything wrong by entering a house uninvited. Luckily nothing was missing and the workmen were alert.
      Sorry to hear about Mr AV's family home and the garden ornaments, one gets so attached to nice things like that. It sounds like a planned job as the thieves would have needed a utility or van to take away so many big urns and statues. Have heard there are really professional garden thieves like that. Our cameras can pick up people/cars parking in the driveway or at the front. We had them installed after people up the road had a robbery: expensive mountain bikes etc were stolen from their driveway. The thieves were picked up on the neighbour's CCTV system, which was scanned by the police and the thieves were identified and caught. They even got their stuff back because it was all done so quickly. So we were convinced the installation was a good thing to do despite the cost. Best wishes, Pamela

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    5. That was lucky with the neighbours getting the footage - maybe CCTV would be a good idea....hmmmm. I think when a house is being renovated people often think it's ok to just walk in, although as you were living in it, that was a bit much! While our fences were being rebuilt we often found people on our property, trying to peep through the temporary fencing to see what we were doing with the house behind. Usually they'd see me looking back at them while I was pegging out washing and get a horrible fright! I am often wondering where the antique garden statuary etc at auction houses comes from - why you'd choose to remove hundreds of year old items from a garden and sell them, when they are an intrinsic part of the design....many would possibly have been stolen. I often wonder what happened to the urns etc at Mr AV's parent's house. Some remain, and they are very unusual and beautiful (all Italian and a hundred plus years old). xx

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  4. I'm with Glamour Drops (now that's a sentence I never thought I would write in my lifetime!). I keep boxes for a while and then throw them out if they are getting in the way. Plus a decent amount of my good jewellery etc has been bought on overseas holidays and I have disposed of the packaging prior to coming home as I often run out of space.

    The ring box is indeed truly gorgeous.

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    1. Or have you disposed of the packaging for customs purposes???! When my Hermes scarf was purchased on a New York trip, I told Mr AV he wasn't allowed to turf the box. I knew he'd want to as he never takes a suitcase. He made a lot of annoyed noises about how Incredibly Hard it was for him to have to haul that Enormous (!) box back with him.

      Ring box is lovely. I leave it out (empty) because I like to look at it! xx

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  5. You are so right about Laduree...there is something about that shade of green and gold trim. Pierre herme would be a lot more popular if they sorted out their packaging, I hate that thick plastic they use sometimes...

    I used to move so much I never kept my boxes but now I do and they do make the wardrobe more "dressed" if that makes any sense.

    But that story about the burglars...sorry but it just made me laugh. Hope they were properly caught though?

    Yes and don't put stuff in the freezer, they look there as well...

    Happy valentines day!

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    1. Oh the burglar made me laugh too....which everyone who knew me thought very odd. They thought I'd feel violated, but he was clearly such an idiot it was just funny. Interestingly when I was telling people about him rifling through my underwear drawer, they all said that they kept their jewels in there!! I couldn't believe it, it's so obvious. You're right about the freezer too, as well as the bedside table. Have a great day! xx

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  6. Well, a wee while back, I got rid of my shoe boxes, I had so many and I would forget about the contents, I need to see my shoes, but I do have that stack of Matches boxes which I use as storage. That's really interesting about Mr Burglar, our boxes make excellent decoys.

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    1. My mother was the same with the shoe boxes....all full (she was known as Imelda in the family) and stacked up in the wardrobe, but I think she'd forgotten what she had. I had no idea that the matches boxes were so lovely, otherwise I would have spent a lot more time perusing their site instead of NAP. xx

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  7. Also have strategically placed collection of....empty....blue and orange boxes in the wardrobe so glad to hear it's a proven decoy. That jewellery box is stunning, can only imagine what the surprise inside was like! My best after birth of baby gift.....didn't come in a box! Embarrassed to admit that have been known to bring Laduree boxes home in the luggage....I love cake and Parisian cake especially....memories! Rx

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    1. Hmmmm - what do you mean by the best gift that didn't come in a box??? I thought you said your husband had been very generous since the birth of your 4 jewel wise.....are you referring to the baby?? Laduree boxes are so pretty, it would be hard to jettison, plus they're small. I had to leave behind the enormous Gucci box my knee high boots came in when I was in London. I've never felt so silly in my life walking down Bond Street essentially knocking people out with the enormous bag they'd put the boots in. I was trying to be nonchalant as if I always buy things from Gucci in enormous bags. Hard when I kept getting jammed in sliding doors etc. Anyway, left the box in the hotel room due to luggage space. Pity, it was a nice box, although goodness knows what purpose it could have been recycled for. xx

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    2. Place went to in Antwerp whacked the rock in the setting.....and I put it straight onto my finger.....so no box! Took a salad & bottle of wine to a dinner party once in a Gucci bag & the hostess folded it up & kept it! Rx

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    3. Didn't think you were referring to the baby being the special gift. Of course they are..... but a jewel to celebrate the arrival is rather nice too. Your ring sounds lovely. Funny story about the Gucci bag.... at least you found a use of it! I did bring home a few empty bags with me from overseas.... my sister received her last birthday present from me in a purple Liberty bag. She was v. excited and I had to explain the contents didn't match the bag! xx

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  8. My 16 yo daughter has quite a stash of Tiffany boxes, which she displays with great pride on her mantlepiece . However, I am not sure if this isn't a little tacky? Yet I too have a lovely stash of Kate Spade hot pink boxes which I can't bare to part with, after buying a dinner set. They are now fading, so not sure how much longer I will keep them. The Tiffany boxes seem to keep their lovely aqua colour!

    I have just finished reading a fun book called "Bringing Home the Birkin' by Michael Tonello, which is all about his life in Spain where he had a business re-selling Hermes products on Ebay - specialising in Birkin handbags. He writes a lot about the orange Hermes boxes!

    I do have a guilty secret, in that I often choose perfume, skin care and makeup based on how pretty the packaging is and what it will look like on my dressing table.

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    1. Oh Olivia, I don't think it's tacky for your daughter to display her Tiffany boxes....just as long as she doesn't grow up and theme her wedding around it, with the cake as a stack of Tiffany boxes, and the bridesmaids in the aqua blue with white ribbon sashes etc!

      I read Bringing home the Birkin too - very eye opening, especially when he went to the client's house with the Hermes boxes stacked all over the house.

      I choose certain things for the pretty packaging too. The new Aerin line from Aerin Lauder is very pretty....don't know if it will make it to Australia, but she clearly understands the importance of a nice box! xx

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  9. Another great post Heidi! I am a complete box hoarder too. My husband hates it but I can't be parted with them. It does feel like throwing away part of the gift to get rid of them. After the birth of our first daughter he gave me a beautiful necklace from Kiki McDonough... it went back to the shop to get polished and they gave me another box. So I kept it as well as the original, despite knowing that I'm being ridiculous!
    This has reminded me that I have not had any gift for my second daughter who is now 10 months old...
    Your security system sounds amazing. I'm so glad that nothing got stolen.

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    1. well, my baby gifts have been rather haphazard Charlotte, I have to say. Mostly they have arrived several years after the baby. I never got one for number 3, but I did get given my pearls last year for no particular reason, so that will probably do! That's very funny you've kept two boxes for the one necklace! The security system is just fairly normal, only the sensor light (which was more because of Mr AV annoying me) made it seem different I would think. He probably thought he was being filmed. It took me a while to work out if anything was stolen because I had stashed things in strange places as we were going away... we were well and truly in lock down mode! xx

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  10. I love boxes too .... but this is only a new development!!! I cannot bear to admit that I have thrown away those little flat Hermes scarf boxes in the past..... What was I thinking??!! When I asked the sales assistants in the H shop in Sydney whether they could give me a couple... they were extremely indignant!!....I did however, manage to acquire a couple at a Hermes duty-free shop in some or other international airport once!!!.... I am going to have a look at Matches Fashion as their boxes are lovely!. The security system for my Jewellery is laughable ..... all stashed in-between a pile of sweaters, or I sometimes take things off ( uncomfortable rings etc) and stuff them into pockets, only to find them months or sometimes a year or two later... having silently mourned their loss...too terrified to tell my hub!! I would love a baise lined drawer in an elegant walk-in robe, which operates on a code-lock... mmm!!.. Jennyxx

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    1. Oh dear - all the Hermes boxes in the bin?! A drawer with security code would be rather nice.... I once went to a special vault in the back streets of Knightsbridge in London with a (wealthy) friend. It was all very James Bond - she had to punch in a code to get us into the inner entry, then give her details (she used an alias), then another code, plus a key and she finally disappeared into a room to sort through her jewellery. I was left in the inner entry part while she did that with around 6 security guys with guns. All very interesting! Your jewellery method sounds a little more haphazard, and I suppose if you can't find them, the burglars definitely won't as well! xx

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  11. Oh Heidi, how I wish you would open an interiors shop in Adelaide. You have such an amazing eye. Kx (theblogahousebuilt)

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  12. I might K, but I've been thinking I"d like to import stuff that I can't find in Australia lately. At any rate, until the reno is over I won't have any time to pursue anything.

    K, I cannot post comments on your blog anymore - it tells me that I have to be a team member to post, but I'm a follower, so don't know what's wrong!! xx

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  13. Heidi, what gorgeous boxes! I think I want to purchase something from Matches, just so I can open up one of their beautiful boxes. I used to pass their divine Marylebone High Street store on a regular basis.

    You have fabulous taste and am really enjoying your blog xxx



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    1. Thank you for the lovely compliment Fifi! I didn't realise Matches had an actual bricks and mortar store, I'd thought they were just internet only like NAP, I'm learning a lot via blogging! xx

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