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Summer Greetings from Basic French

The very sweet Carol from Basic French wrote to me recently about the new additions over at Basic French online. She reminded me that they can ship anywhere in the world and offer beautiful French gift wrapping services upon request at no extra charge. Upon placing your order, let them know that you found them on decor8 and that you would like the item gift wrapped. Just let us know if you would like something wrapped for a special occasion.

New to Basic French, these artful collage postcards with subtle french messages for only $2.50 each, this canvas folding chair with removable fabric, a floral handhooked cotton rug with linen backing (totally reminds me of cath kidston, what do you think?), and this perky stripe set featuring Basque espadrilles with a tote. If you love to cook, here’s a rose poppy floral apron to add to your list, too.

Don’t you love these Moulin Roty stuffed animals? Call me old-fashioned, but I just love these colorful enamel thermometers, too.

Did you know… Basic French also has a brick and mortar store located in Red Hook, New York on 5 East Market Street?

(images from basic french)

Posted in uncategorized on June 13, 2006

iLuren: Arc Lamp

I’ve been sourcing for lamps lately, and this new arc lamp from iLuren, handcrafted and designed by Ruth Hyndman of San Francisco (by way of England) really appeals to my contemporary sensibility. Constructed of Peruvian walnut flanked by elegant arcs of raw off-white clay, it’s clean sophisticated lines are sculptural, lovely. (You may know Ruth from her spot or clarity vases, or perhaps you’ve seen her moon lamp?)

psst: Curious to know more about the designer? Link to her website, Ruth Hyndman Design.

(images from iLuren)

Posted in uncategorized on June 13, 2006

Simplemente Blanco Visits Istanbul, Turkey

Let’s escape to Turkey for a moment. If you love travel + architecture, you’ll enjoy this…

Fernanda Bourlot, owner/designer of simplemente blanco in Boston’s South End, heard of my interest in Istanbul, so she sent me some wonderful photos from her recent vacation to Istanbul, along with a little ‘story’ behind each picture. Fernanda comments that Turkey was very interesting to visit because, “it has one part that belongs to Europe and the other part to Asia.” She mentioned that the people were very nice and always ready to help you out whenever you were in need of something. She said that the only challenge was the language barrier – English isn’t spoken except at the hotel where she stayed, so interacting with others was next to impossible. She thought that if she could have talked to the locals, she would have had an even richer experience.

Fernanda enjoyed visiting the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish), a prominent landmark and center of Muslim worship, from the Byzantine period, with its interior covered with tiny blue Iznik tiles (hence the name, blue mosque). It is regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of Islamic architecture. Construction began in 1609 and was completed by 1616 by order of Sultan Ahmed I. It has a very large courtyard with ablution fountains where people wash to prepare themselves before offering up Salah (Islamic prayers) in the mosque. Boasting six minarets and cascades of domes, the mosque is sibling to Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) just a few minutes’ north.

Haghia Sophia (translated from the Greek as the Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, now known as the Ayasofya) was a former Eastern Orthodox church dedicated to the Divine Wisdom, but today serves as a museum. It’s a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture with its decorated interior of mosaics and marble pillars. Built by emperor Justinian 1 over the ruins of previous churches constructed by the Greeks on the same site after the revolt 532, then was converted into a Mosque and today as a museum. Some parts of the Haghia Sophia are quite damaged since it has suffered through several earthquakes.

Has anyone reading been to Istanbul? Care to share your experience below (comments)?

I’ve not been, but our dear friends, Attila and Marie in Germany, went last year (he is part Turkish) and they really loved it – they highlighted one of their favorite experiences being at large family gatherings, everyone feasting outside around a large table, filling the air with conversations in Turkish, German, Italian, Spanish… And of course, great food, wine, and laughter. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Thank you Fernanda for sharing these lovely photos with decor8 readers!

(photos copyright fernanda bourlot 2006)

Posted in uncategorized on June 13, 2006

Crafting The New American Dream

The new American dream is much more entrepreneurial,” says Kamenetz. “And it’s about shaping ones own destiny: mobility, flexibility to do your own work, and the ability to have a career as an expression of who you are as a person.”

This article in today’s Boston Globe really embraces how I feel in some ways, at least when it comes to how personal fulfillment and the joy obtained by doing what you love is more important than living your life merely to support your lifestyle, performing a job you hate because it pays for your mortgage. Do what you love! I think many of you will enjoy this article…

Crafting the new American dream – It’s still about “doing better than your parents” but the focus is on fulfillment.

The American dream has changed. It used to be a college education, a steady job, a nice house (and a family to fill it), and a better financial picture than what your parents had. There is a new American dream that is still about “doing better than your parents,” but not in a financial sense. This dream is about fulfillment.

Boston-based artist Ariel Freiberg just got engaged, and she and her fianc? are gearing up for this new dream. “We were brought up to think it’s important to own a piece of property. It’s how you build your life in this country. But buying a house is not a major goal for us. It is not what will make our lives secure and it will not help us define ourselves.”

Click here to continue reading this article at

(image from bostonworks)

Posted in uncategorized on June 13, 2006


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