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Fresh finds from Alessi for Spring! You can never have too many cute clocks…

“Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of lightning, at once exists and expires.” ~Charles Caleb Colton

alessi sole clock super stelle
alessi sole clock in sunny yellow
alessi sole clock in heavenly harlequin
super cute!
alessi sole clock in perfect proust

(photos from alessi)

Posted in uncategorized on March 13, 2006

A Rustic Garden

While out and about on Saturday, I discovered the perfect ladder for my bathroom at Cross Road (no website, sorry) in Peterborough, New Hampshire, storefront photo above. The moment you walk into Cross Road, you’re transported into a lush garden filled with flowers, art and accessories for the home and garden. Jars of yummy soap imported from France, moss filled planters with fresh daffodils, wrought iron birds displayed with precious linens from Provence. The store is set on a sparkling narrow river with waters rushing over smooth stones from Mt. Monadnack. As you shop, the gentle waters calm you and the soothing sounds of Sarah Brightman lull you into a total shopping coma. You’ll also hear Sarah Andersen, the owner, chatting away with her loyal customers, addressing everyone by first name, inquiring about their new puppy or answering questions pertaining to bulbs and gardening.

While at Cross Road, I found a lovely 5 rung ladder that I immediately scooped up because I’ve been wanting one for my bathroom. I also love that the bottom of the ladder is wider than the top, a small detail that I was looking for in a ladder.

Have you ever visited an apple orchard with those gorgeous handmade wooden ladders leaning against the apple trees? Or, perhaps in country homes you’ve seen people using ladders as an accessory, often to display quilts. My ladder is not for apple picking or quilt display, but towels instead. I had the idea of using a ladder in my bathroom to lean against the wall as a display piece for towels vs. the typical way, a mounted towel rack. I want to bring a bit of nature to my home, and with my bathroom being robins egg blue, beige, and cream, it adds the perfect touch. If you’d like a rustic ladder, or anything else charming from the countryside for indoor or garden use, and you’re not in New Hampshire anytime soon to visit Cross Road, then hop over to a rustic garden, an online store carrying everything from barn stars to wrought iron ornate shutters, vintage corbels (love!), and of course, antique wooden ladders.

(photo credits: top photo contributed by my husband thanks honey!, bottom photo from rustic garden website)

Posted in uncategorized on March 13, 2006

Furniture Shopping – Oh Joy!

Yup, still working on the addition to our space, month three already. Patience, Holly, patience! So much for the quick little project that I’d hope to wrap up by end of January! The space is 11×18 and very bright, the walls being a simple Ben Moore cameo white with a very organic style oatmeal + cream berber carpet with tiny flecks of gray and beige, a clean modern look that doesn’t show vacuum marks and cleverly disguises dirt. It also wears very well and actually looks nice, for wall to wall carpet. I preferred cork flooring, or bamboo, but for now, it’s berber. Since the room is still about a month from completion, I’m slowly building a design board for the space so I can pull together my ideas to keep me focused. I’m a bit of a Santino (Project Runway) when it comes to Interior Design. I sometimes need to go to a store and browse until something hits me versus devising a plan in advance. The result is that I pluck beautiful things from a gazillion stores, throwing together things that, in the end, really don’t jive together. Interior Designers are not trained to design this way, I should know better, but old habits die hard. I made myself start a design board for this room for five simple reasons:

a. to save money
b. to remain focused
c. to save money
d. to design a room that is functional, meeting all of our needs first and being beautiful, second. (vs. the other way around which is what most of us end of doing.)
e. and finally, to save money!

The room needs to be a sleep space for guests, a work space for me, a place for painting, sewing, quilting, etc. and most importantly, it must be uncluttered and attractive so that guests don’t feel stressed by the room. I don’t want paperwork and design notebooks distracting visitors, everything needs a place, preferably hidden.

So far, I’m leaning towards kiwi/lime/soft blue with chocolate accents and hints of coral combined with teak or a birch workstation, round coffee table, a 2 seater sofa or modern sleeper (like the logo or case study from dwr), and a few chairs. What do you think? I saw these (below) from furniture by lee and liked them, but I think I really want to go with something that will sleep guests vs. an air mattress (heh heh).

Have you visited the furniture by lee website? If not, it’s a good place to start for furnishings. Some more great furniture sites, in case you didn’t know already:

* room + board great all around, mid to high prices.
* mitchell gold + bob williams currently having a 20% off special order event. mid to high prices but so worth it because they last for years to come.
* storehouse a personal favorite since I love their room design pages and the prices suit my budget.
* cb2 – good budget option, as is IKEA. Online or visit their stores in the Chicago area. Fingers crossed, cb2 will branch out of chicago to a city near you!
* 2modern – a range of offerings in many price ranges, excellent customer service, free shipping, and an excellent site to navigate.
* design public – excellent website with beautiful photos and great descriptions and free shipping.
* dwr – not a budget option, but worth a splurge! If you’re in Boston, pop on over to their showroom in the south end at 519 Tremont.
* picque – nicest people to deal with, ever!
* hudson – upscale. wear a bib. drool fest.
* montauck sofa – upscale. beautiful showrooms, if you’re local (Boston) visit the one at 52 Boylston.
* domain – antique repros, exquisite furnishings, mid to high prices. mostly high. showrooms are inspirational.
* roche bobois – modern, crisp, clean. NOT a budget option. showrooms located all over the world, but locals can slip into their dreamy showroom in Boston at 585 Commercial Street.

and of course, the usuals like crate and barrel and pottery barn (check out their new spring bedding.), and west elm (with a new store opening in Boston this summer in Kenmore Square!)

For the locals hit:

jordan’s furniture – great showroom in Reading, tons of ideas and an ice cream shop, candy store, restaurant, and a trapeze school where you can soar to new heights. (Yes, really.)
boston interiors – excellent budget finds, locals know it as the Pottery Barn knock off store, which is a good thing for budget shoppers.
the chair gallery – more than chairs! modern imported furniture, clean design, beautiful showroom in tax-free New Hampshire. Inexpensive delivery to Boston (a friend was quoted $100).
in home furnishings – jaw dropping showroom in Natick, french farmhouse styles and stunning antique repros that are perfect for the vintage modern home.

For now, I’ll keep shopping.

Anyone else in the midst of renovations or selecting new furniture? If you know of any great furniture stores in Boston or beyond, drop me a line of click on ‘comment’ below and share your knowledge with all of us.

(photos top: storehouse. middle: furniture by lee. bottom: storehouse.)


Posted in uncategorized on March 13, 2006


Berlin designer Birgit Jobst and the Design House of Germany introduce Stripes, dishes that perform double duty! A mug holding coffee can be flipped over and used as an egg cup. A tall bowl easily converts from holding your lucky charms to, flip! a fruit cup. The clean modern design appeals to me, but having dual serving options is a real selling point. Can’t resist the happy colors! A slice of fresh orange combined with tranquil blue adds the perfect combination of zest and calm to any breakfast table.

If you prefer to see spots over stripes or perhaps funky forasetti plates or the studio dror vase of phases (smashing, aren’t they?), visit eTabletop. They’re dishing beautiful collections like the lemon grass from rosenthal or the sculptural innovative designs from ole jensen for royal copenhagen.

Bon Appetit!

(photos from eTabletop)


Posted in uncategorized on March 13, 2006


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