Decoterie: Summer 2015

You know that I review a lot of different boxes here at Subscription Therapy, but home décor based boxes are rare, so when Decoterie launched and described itself as “a new subscription box for lovers of beautifully designed homewares” I knew I had to at least try out one box for you guys.

How it Works: “When you sign up for Decoterie , each box will contain a treasure trove worth $300 or more of hand-selected lifestyle products and exclusively designed homewares. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a good cause. Limited edition homewares, textile goods, decorative accessories, and unique objects of desire…Curated by Letitia Elizabeth.”

I checked out Leticia Elizabeth’s shop and it was full of beautiful home décor items plus who can resist “unique objects of desire” with the “portions of the proceeds going to good causes?” The cost is $150 (plus $15 shipping) so this is definitely a pricey sub, but it’s quarterly, guarantees $300 worth of items and has exclusively designed products so I think it’s a “get what you pay for” type of thing. I was able to score a discount on the first box, so I paid $112.50 total.

The Decoterie summer box was the launch box for this subscription and the first box of any sub is always super exciting. Unfortunately, some of that excitement can translate to controversy. It seems there was much angst about missed discounts, and some discord about particular items in the box. I tried to ignore most of it until I got the box myself so I could judge it on it’s own merits. This is the first box in a small run subscription, so I’m willing to leave a little room for some bumps in the road.

Now let’s dive in.

I got a hefty box and inside a gift box, with a handy dandy info card.
PackageOpen Box 1 Open Box 2

BowlBowl Close
Ceramic Tray from PlumeEtPapier
(Suggested Retail: $15.00)
Description: “…These completely custom and gold rimmed ceramic trays are the epitome of what it means to be surprised with gifts through the mail. Myself and Natalie of PlumeEtPapier worked hand in hand to combine precious elements of feminity and function that can be style danywehre from desk, to nightstand to vanity. Use if for jewels, paper clips or even fresh buds of lavender!.”
Verdict: Love!
I’ve never gotten something personalized from a sub box and this was a wonderful surprise. I love how delicate it is and it will look equally lovely holding rings on my dresser or paperclips on my desk. The suggested retail on this is $15 and PlumeEtPapier offers styles for a bit less, but I’m not sure what the real differences between this version and those would be so we’ll stick with the suggested retail.

Case Case Open Case with Pencil
Leather Case
(Suggested Retail: $30.00)
Description: ”Originally designed to be hand-embossed with your initials, I decided to leave these gorgeous nude-colored leather wrap bags plain as they make a beautiful gift if you so choose. Completely crafted by hand from cut to stitch, featuring classic ivory contrast threading, this can be used as a pencil stash, makeup case, or prim and proper mini essentials bag for a day out on the town. I happen to love anything that can fit my phone and credit cards while dashing out the house and still looking trés chic.”
This was an item that I read some folks complaining about because of the size. This is the right size to be a pencil case and can certainly accommodate credit cards and business cards, but despite the description I don’t think it can fit most phones. I understand why Letitia opted not to personalize this but I would have really liked it. I also wish the leather was a touch darker. Since I already have a pencil case, I’m going to use this to coral charging cords when I travel.

Coaster Set Coaster Defect
Coaster Set from HawaiiNot
(Suggested Retail: $35.00)
Description: ”I custom designed these with Hawaiian artist Rei of HawaiiNot to have a luscious goldleaf trim for a little bit of glamour…”
Verdict: Miss
This is the item that caused much heartache. It seems many people complained (quite forcefully) on social media regarding the quality and design of these coasters, which in turn upset not just the sub box company, but also the designer. Decoterie offered angry folks the option to mail back the coasters (at their own expense) and then they would receive different, replacement coasters in an upcoming box. It’s important to note that these coasters could be mailed back in a small envelope so the costs for returning them are minimal.
Now, I heard much complaining about the design of these, but I actually like the faux marble paired with goldleaf. It has an Urban Outfitters/Boho appeal. The big problem is that the coasters are defective. There is cork glued underneath it, but mine was still very sticky to the touch. It’s not something I’d want to use on any surface that really mattered to me.   The gold leaf was also already coming off the edges as you can see in the above photo. I believe either the wrong adhesive was used to create these, or the adhesive itself was defective. For the quality of these coasters, the pricetag is also quite high. If executed properly I’d put these more at a $15 pricetag. I understand that handmade items aren’t for everyone, but I do believe critiques should contain some sensitivity to the person who created them. Having said that, I do think that these were defective, so Decoterie should not have required folks to mail the items back and instead should have just send replacement coasters to all subscribers next month or offered a small discount on their next box. These just weren’t up to the standards of the other box items. I’m keeping mine because I definitely like the style of them, but I wish they were more durable.

Candle Candle Black Dust
Stone Candle by Live Love Joy
(Suggested Retail: $60.00)
Description: “You’ve never seen marble or rose gold glass done this way bfore!…Lovingly made by hand in Australia by sweet Sandra of Live Love Joy, hand poured with the most divine organic essential oils and eco-friendly soy wax, these marble and glass candles are a true indulgence. Draw a bath for a spa day at home, place near a yoga mat for silent meditation, or let the flickering flames and dreamy aromas sway you to sleep.”
Verdict: Like
I’m a sucker for candles, and this one smells lovely so it’s an automatic win for me. There were multiple varieties and I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t end up with a marble one. I could definitely see the $60 value for the marble candle and while the rose gold glass is lovely, I just don’t see it costing quite as much.   I’d value it more at $40.00. This item also illustrates another problem I had with this box. Decoterie did a lovely job wrapping individual items, but they used some type of black shredded filler. Unfortunately it created a black film over some of the items. It doesn’t harm the contents, but it just gives me a little extra work to do in getting all the black dust off. It also takes away from the luxury feel of receiving these. I hope they opt for some different packing material next time.

Pillow Chair with Pillow Pillow Black Dust
Throw Pillow
(Suggested Retail: $115.00)
Description: “I wanted to surprise you with a full-sized pillow complete with insert, so that with future boxes you can enjoy different exclusive pillow covers which can be changed out with the season sor holidays. I didn’t want you to have to run out and get an extra insert to enjoy any of my pillow covers, so I look forward to seeing how you style this beach house summer cottage inspired throw with a hint of bohemian glam!”
Verdict: Love!
And another item that oddly inspired controversy. Apparently someone decided to look at Leticia’s shop website and assumed that one of the pillows from there would be included and called that a spoiler, which went around the internets…except Decoterie never released a spoiler. Some people were up in arms about it, but the fault on this one is all on the subscriber side. If a company didn’t release a spoiler, then you absolutely cannot penalize them for not giving you what you expected. This was another item that had different variations. I love the one I got. It’s got this boho folk vibe that is super easy to incorporate into different kinds of décor. It immediately found a place in my living room (as you can see). This unfortunately was another victim to the black packing dust. It can be cleaned but I just don’t want to have to clean off brand new things, kwim? According to the description on this, we will be receving more pillow covers in future boxes so we can swap them out. I think that’s an amazing concept that other subs should think about incorporating. The price on this seems high, but I’ve seen lots of pillows at crazy high prices so I’m just going to roll with it. Under normal circumstances I couldn’t afford to buy one pillow for over $100, but as part of a box with other items, I’m can do it.

Silk Scarf
(Suggested Retail: $195.00)
Description: “The ripples of evergreen oceans, lucid turquoise seas, glimmering coastal lines are all capture in this delicious 100% silk raw-edge scarf. I love a little hint of raw edges to emulate that organic fel of rough textures found in nature. This print is truly timeless. Lovely as a head scarf, a bow tie, or let it hand on a purse at your next summer soirée..”
Verdict: Like!
I *love* the print on this scarf. It’s got this watercolor dreamy feel to it. My only issue is I’m not quite convinced on the length of it for an eternity style, which is why it’s a “like” instead of a love. I will play around with it and see if I can find some cool styling looks for it. I’m also surprised to find an accessory in what I thought was a home décor box. I think something like handmade cloth napkins or a table runner may have been more apropos.

Thank You Cards by Annie Taylor Design

Verdict: Hit!
Decoterie included some special extras for its inaugural subscribers and I was lucky enough to get these awesome Thank you cards by Annie Taylor Design. They are simple, but lovely and I know I’ll use them. They weren’t listed on the info card and I can’t find these exact ones in Annie Taylor’s online shop, so I’m unsure of the value.

Summer 2015 Decoterie

Verdict: Hit!

Did this box have a few hiccups?
Yes, it did. But this isn’t some giant corporation with lots of industry connections and capital making a sub box, this is an independent designer, finding other designers and handmade items to send to us at a discount. I expect a few snags in the beginning. The three problems in this box were
1. The defective coasters.
2. The messy packing materials and
3. The overvalue of some of the items.
Thankfully I don’t think these issues ruined the box or the overall experience.

I paid $112.50 for this box and even without the coasters, I’m happy with the assortment of things I received. Besides the coasters, the other items were excellent quality and well made. The aesthetic had a delicate, but accessible vibe that I appreciated. Excluding the extra Thank you cards, the Decoterie value on these came out to $450 which to me seems a bit inflated. I do think at the $150($165 with shipping) you are definitely getting your money’s worth. I’d love to keep subscribing to this, but we’ll have to see how my sub box budget evolves. I really enjoyed this box and if you have some room in your budget for home décor, you may want to give it a try.

Are you interested in a home décor subscription box? If so, how much would you be willing to pay for it?


When you sign up for Decoterie , every season you will receive a box of hand-selected lifestyle products and exclusively designed homewares. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a good cause…When you sign up for, each box will contain a treasure trove worth $300 or more of hand-selected lifestyle products and exclusively designed homewares.

Curated by Letitia Elizabeth

The Cost:
Quarterly: $150.00 plus shipping ($15 in the US)
Annual: $575.00 plus shipping ($15 in the US)

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