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coffee + cre8tive with a hint of romance! [mar 16 06]

If this doesn’t inspire spring fever (see photos below), I don’t know what will. These photos come to us from Paola, decor8 reader and Notting Hill resident. When I saw them on her blog, I immediately had to ask if I could share them with all of you. She lives just around the corner from Portobello Road, home of the world-famous Portobello Market in the heart of charming Notting Hill (perhaps scenes of the movie starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant flicker through your mind?).

With it’s unique character, Notting Hill is a place that you’ll visit vowing to return to again and again. It was on my 5th trip to Notting Hill that I received notice from the hotel concierge that my penpal left a message, he wanted to fly me to his city in Germany to finally meet him in person. Of course, since we had been emailing and calling eachother daily for nearly a year, this message intrigued me so I actually left Notting Hill early and flew to Germany. I still remember sitting in a nearby travel agency with butterflies asking myself if I had gone completely mad. That German penpal is now my husband of nearly 5 years. Seeing photos of Notting Hill reminds me of this amazing time of transformation in my life.

I still recall nights in Notting Hill very clearly, walking back to my hotel after I’d gone dancing with friends, all of us grabbing fish and chips wrapped in brown paper. Eating and walking at the same time, engaged in animated post-cocktail conversations with our giggles bouncing between buildings on narrow streets.

During the morning, I’d wake very early and explore Portobello Road, since I enjoyed watching the vendors set up their wares for the day. The sun fresh in the sky, bright fruit carts offering a bounty of goodness that I hoped to consume for breakfast. The morning midst cool around me. I relished such moments when I could have Portobello Road to enjoy before the crowds came.

Later in the day, it transformed into a colorful carnival of sights, smells and sounds set admist stunning Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian architecture. I’d often shop for vintage buttons, home accessories, handbags and colorful items from the far east. I purchased my favorite cashmere wool blend pea coat there in 1999, thankfully it’s still in style because I can’t seem to part with it. I purchased it since I was told Germany was about 15 degrees cooler and I knew I’d need it for my trip. A few days later, I was exchanging hellos in a German airport with my penpal, who later became my husband.

Have you been to Notting Hill? Please share your experience…

(Photos from Paola Thomas, who owns a lovely online store that reflects her amazing eye for color and texture. You’ll swoon. Irresistible!)


Posted in uncategorized on March 16, 2006

New Design Blog!

Meg is one cool + creative California based chica, and a very loyal penpal of mine since we both share a love of writing and design. Plus, it’s just plain fun to bounce ideas off of other creative types, so our emails are always a few pages long and we tend to ramble a lot about pitch ideas. I love her new blog, Designer’s Library. She recently featured a great post about ceramicist Sherry Olsen that I think you design peeps out there will absolutely love. Welcome to blogsville, Meg!

(photo from Designer’s Library.)

Posted in uncategorized on March 15, 2006

International Stores…

Also open to int’l stores – Paris, Berlin, London, Rome. Thanks Paola for offering to pull together a London list for me…

Posted in uncategorized on March 15, 2006

Reader Homework!

I’ll be offline for most of the day today, but I’ll be back to post after 4:00 p.m. EST. BUT, this doesn’t mean you’re off the hook because I’ve left you with plenty of, well, homework!

Here’s the situation, I’ve added a gazillion new links and made some edits to the decor8 shopping column (right), so I’m hoping you can help me.

* First of all, new additions are clearly marked with * so you can easily spot them. I’ll remove the *’s this weekend, but for now, they’re staying so you can find all the new stuff.

* Next, please click through all the new sites I’ve added and make sure the links work. I didn’t have time to QA everything tonight, a girl needs her beauty sleep! If something is broke, please smack me in the head so I can edit as needed.

* Now, scan the cities; if I’ve missed your city, and you have some great stores to suggest, please send me an email. Speaking of email, I’ve added an email link to the top of the right column so you can reach me. I tried to avoid you for the longest time, but you wouldn’t let me… heh. heh. kidding. Anyway, I’m looking for mid-large cities, so smalltown, nebraska doesn’t qualify. Stores in a metro area are fine, as long as they’re within 20 minutes of the city.

* If you do spot your city, but notice that I didn’t mention stores that you love for home accessories, furniture and/or stationary, please email me with the store name, city, and URL.

Vision: To move the shopping lists to another page and organize them better, especially as they grow…but for now, this works. With so many of us on the go, it’s good to know about hip stores in the area you’re planning to either relocate or travel to, right? At least, that’s how I see it. I travel monthly (weekend trips), so I personally require something like this to use as a guide.

I sincerely thank each and every one of you for your support and readership, and look forward to reading your emails when I return later this afternoon.

See you today after 4pm with more fresh finds!


(photo from mod livin)

Posted in uncategorized on March 15, 2006


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