Arts + Crafts, Inspiration

A few of my favorite things…

September 18, 2007

I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite things this week. The first shot is of Boston Home magazine flaunting it’s sparkling new image. With the arrival of editor Rachel Levitt along with a new art director, the renamed Boston Home magazine feels fresh, hip, and for me, way more exciting that previous issues that still felt a bit trapped in the Ye Ole New England that most of us like for it’s charm, but certainly don’t mind merging a bit of the old with latest trends and ideas. This magazine is great news for Boston because the city is rapidly growing and with transplants making a home for themselves in brownstones and loft spaces throughout the city, they really need a great local magazine to turn to for inspiration and resources.

A few of my favorite things...
If you look carefully at the cover (top right), you’ll see my friend Fernanda of Simplemente Blanco, an interior designer, amazing stylist, product designer, seamstress (the list goes on forever, she’s such an inspiration to me!) from Argentina who now lives in Boston with her husband. They have an artist’s loft, office, and showroom in the South End, a home in Brookline, and they’ve recently opened a new retail storefront called On The Side, collaborating with the extremely talented guys from Boxx Furniture. The store flaunts the more industrial, contemporary furniture from Boxx, and the soft touches, clean lines, and multiple layers and textures of Simplemente Blanco. Together, the unexpected combinations of warmth and beauty mingled with modern and industrial, really work. And that’s the beauty of an amazing designer – they can merge several different styles and somehow make them work in ways the average person may never have thought of. Gorgeous. Here’s a shot of their new storefront, located at 46 Waltham Street in Boston.

A few of my favorite things...
If you’re local, you have to go visit them, they’re all very nice people and the space is exquisite – a breathe of fresh air for Boston. Also be sure to pick up Boston Home magazine and look for the article and beautiful interior photos of the Simplemente Blanco home in Brookline. Congratulations, Fernanda!

Another favorite thing of the moment, Martha Stewart’s Good Things (just hit newsstands, top left) showing all these affordable and easy DIY projects for the home. For $4, it’s compact, loaded with ideas, what every DIY enthusiast should own. I have to try out the stenciled doormat next Spring, it looks so easy and I love the idea of personalizing one using paint and stencils. FUN.

A few of my favorite things...
The next little thing I’ve found quite useful lately is the Perry Street clock at Kate Spade. It’s available in yellow, blue, black, green, and pink (in stores, online just yellow) and so very cute and sturdy. It even has a little screw in kick stand that holds it up, and the alarm is loud enough to wake you from even the deepest sweet dreams. Because it’s so compact, it makes for the perfect travel companion, this little guy is going with me to Germany. It’s also affordable at $40, a mini splurge that you’re sure to love for years, plus it would make the sweetest gift.

A few of my favorite things...
While browsing the South End Open Market this past Sunday, I met Mimi Kirchner and viewed her textile artwork and dolls, which are so intricately made that I walked away thinking she must have more patience that 10 people combined. I purchased this 4 x 6 artwork, and although you can’t see the details, the girl is painted, sewn, and it appears as though she used ink to draw in all the details on her face.

A few of my favorite things...
For $22, this is such a special piece of work. I framed it in a $3 IKEA frame and think it looks really pretty, maybe I’ll give it to a friend or something. I was glad to meet Mimi as I only first heard about her about a month ago from the girls that run the Boston Handmade blog.

A few of my favorite things...
If you love cooking and gorgeous imagery in cookbooks, you have to get your hands on Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. It’s flat out AMAZING. Trust me on this. The recipes are wonderful and you can spend an entire afternoon just looking at the pictures in this inspiring book. I saw it at Anthropologie last night and still feel bad that I left it behind. I’m going to order it right now… If you’d like to learn more about Tessa Kiros, visit blogger Who Wants Seconds and read her interview with Tessa.

A few of my favorite things...
And I can’t talk about favorite things without showing you some Amy Butler fabric that I picked up last night. A decor8 reader commented once that Fabric Place in Woburn wasn’t as nice as the one in Framingham, so I headed over there on my way to meet my friend Paris for dinner and shopping at the new Natick Collection, I had to swing by Fabric Place to explore – and score! Lots of Amy Butler fabric in my favorite colorways – blues, blues, and more blue tones!

A few of my favorite things...
This one will become a roman shade or curtain of some sort for my kitchen where the walls are yellow – I think it will really highlight them. This is one of the projects I plan to work on while in Germany with my seamstress friend Susanna. Some of the others will be used to make a large gumdrop pillow, another project for Susanna and I to keep me busy on rainy days. When these projects are complete, I’ll share them with you.

A few of my favorite things...

And of course I’ll bring along my new Amy Butler Sew-It Kit, it includes a booklet, tons of patterns, instructions, thread, 2 pieces of fabric, and more!

What are some of your favorite things of the moment?

(images by holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Zesty Betsy September 18, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    I do love Mimi’s dolls and postcards, too. Especially her Fat Fairies ~ they are so unique, personable, and even use recycled materials.


  • Reply kayte September 18, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    i’ve been wanting to buy that book too! i have been freelancing at anthro again and the temptations are plenty!

  • Reply Leah September 18, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    ha! i was at the open market on sunday too! perhaps we crossed paths!

    some of my favorite things at the moment: skinny cow fudge pops, old books found at flea markets stuffed with lists and letters and recipes, a fuzzy blue sweater from anthropologie that makes the idea of winter less awful, organizing for the spirit by sunny schlenger, and encaustic art.

  • Reply MimiK September 19, 2007 at 12:06 am

    It was so great to meet and talk to you on Sunday! I love how you framed up the fabric postcard :-)

  • Reply Tina September 19, 2007 at 2:40 am

    Hi Holly! I’m glad you were able to find Amy Butler’s fabric in Framingham! I was the one who mentioned that it might be better. I hope they’ll still have a good selection by the time I get out there. Thanks for the report!

  • Reply erin scissorhands September 19, 2007 at 2:54 am

    my first thought when i saw the “good things” magazine in the top photo was “that HAS to be from martha stewart!” she has some great stuff. i can’t wait to check this out, especially after being swept away by the most recent blueprint issue. 2 different magazines, i know, but i’m still really excited! especially now that we have this awesome sneak peak from you- what a great project!

    a few of my current favorite things: vases, flickr, hand knit mittens…west elm will always be way up there for me…nice package design, hand bound hard cover journals, block prints. oh, and i’m still fascinated with moroccan design because of it’s wonderful colors and lines. etsy is my favorite home away from home, such a great community to sell in. okay, i’m getting carried away.

  • Reply Anonymous September 19, 2007 at 3:04 am

    I was not sure where to post but saw this ‘decorating’ tips section so thought I’d try here! Love this blog and am referring back a lot as we are finishing major renovations on our home and will be decorating 4 rooms top to bottom. One issue is a formal dining room… our current is very small, can seat 6 max it is next to the kitchen and ‘formal” living room but both connect to the kitchen. Now that we have added a large family room and a libray I was thinking of switching the fomral dining a living room as the living space is almost double the size and would allow for great entertaining table, etc. The main issue is this is the room where our major fire place is located and it’s the first room you enter off the foyer… is this just a bad idea or have you ever advised clients on this type of issue?

  • Reply angeline September 19, 2007 at 6:57 am

    some of my tuesday favorite things…

    { navy+fuchsia, yellow+gray, moma’s tongue-in-cheek wineglass in decanter, the promise of autumn, pumpkin spice muffins (add one can pumpkin to spice cake mix instead of water), when my 8-month son reaches out and hugs my neck with chubby arms, fluffy birds }

    – angeline
    { from }

  • Reply Lisa September 19, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks for the Perry Street clock mention- I was looking for the perfect gift for my best friend who I’m going to visit for a few days next month – I already placed the order! Cheers!

  • Reply Hilary glime September 19, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    That Stenciled door mat is awesome. unfortunately just a number “8” wouldn’t look as cool in front of my door.

  • Reply decor8 September 19, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Why not turn the 8 on it’s side? That would be fun? Or do the 8 straight up with mini flowers or something flanking it on either side. OR you could make your own stencil of an 8 ball, that would be cool!!!

  • Reply Angela September 20, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    So glad to see you feature Mimi Kirchner’s work. She’s an asset to Boston Handmade and creates such original and lovely pieces.

  • Reply Sheree September 21, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    I love the Fabric Place! That was my fabric store of choice for the 5 years I lived in Cambridge, Mass. Miss that area tons. They did not sell alot of designer quilter’s cottons back then though. The wools and cashmeres were divine though. The silk for my wedding dress was bought at the one in Woburn! We used to stop at the Pancake House there for breakfast before shopping.

    Right now I am really loving plums with browns and charcoal grey. I also love all the european fabrics I have started collecting since moving to Germany. The colors really brighten up these cloudy days!

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