Monthly Archives

January 2008

Books + Magazines

The Left Bank Look {book}

January 10, 2008

This week I thought I’d give you a peek inside the pages of my latest favorite book, The Left Bank Look by Anne Hubert. I picked up the German copy Anders Als Die Andern while I was in Germany last year, but didn’t want to show it to you since all the text is in German and it’s largely a how-to book so you’d need to be able to read it to fully enjoy all the great ideas Anne presents. I researched the title back in September and discovered that it would be released this year in English so I pre-ordered it on Amazon (only $11!) and it arrived yesterday. I’m so happy that now I can share it with you. If you’re even slightly on the crafty side, you’re going to love it.

The Left Bank Look {book}
Anne Hubert lives in Paris and works as freelance textile designer and owner of Cherry on the Cake. She loves to customize pre-existing materials giving them her unique personal stamp. The Left Bank Look is a refreshing DIY book because most of the projects can be completed rather quickly with little sewing involved and allow you to get as creative as you wish. Love that part. Go wild!

The Left Bank Look {book}I love how she uses images of shoes, cherries, and
her friends to add life to her striped pillows.

In her book, Anne uses the basic elements, t-shirts, shoes, linens, tea towels, etc. that you already own and shows you how to transform them into something personal with a French twist. Projects that range from dyeing, painting, image transfers (my favorite), each technique is easy and the results are fresh and funky.

I want to try the elbow patches project (love them) with floral fabric against a plan white cotton top and the Polaroid image transfer technique taking photos and bringing plain white curtains new life with a subtle pattern.

The Left Bank Look {book}The Left Bank Look {book}Polaroids and doilies transform mundane sheers.

The Left Bank Look {book}The Left Bank Look {book}Elbow patches – not just for kids. I want to do this to a few shirts for Spring.

The Left Bank Look {book}The Left Bank Look {book}The Left Bank Look {book}Anne suggests using what you already have and
then add some of your personal style with items ranging from
doilies to your favorite fabric scraps.

The Left Bank Look {book} Same book only in German with a different cover.

Doesn’t this book look great? I was waiting and waiting to share it with you, I’m thrilled it’s now in English and I hope you’ll find it as interesting and inspirational as I do.

Would you like to know more about designer/author Anne Hubert? Click here to read an interview that Lisaa had with her recently.

(photographs taken by holly becker for decor8)

Shop Tours, Shopping + Products, Travel

Hudson {Boston}

January 10, 2008

The stylish Hudson is located in the South End neighborhood of Boston, a historic tree-lined section known for it’s brownstone architecture, excellent restaurants, and cobblestone streets. Though it seems many storefronts remain vacant and are due to be renovated, this gorgeous section of Boston has so much charm that you can only guess that within the next few years, finding a space to open a shop will be next to impossible.

Hudson {Boston}
Especially with the help of creative types like owner-designer Jill Goldberg who recently opened Hudson to bring a little west coast style combined with global decor to Boston. With plans to open a second location in nearby Wellesley in April, Goldberg brings a trained eye and a sense of style that is both relaxed and rich in one effortless breathe. Her aesthetic combines ethnic prints with stripes, Madeline Weinrib meets Cape Cod, Shabby Chic, John Robshaw, topped with vintage feed sacks as pillows all in a single shop (Goldberg designs the feed sack pillows herself). Here are a few photos of the store for you to enjoy, but because Jill is like the rest of us and simply must move around furniture constantly, the store always looks different whenever you enter.

Hudson {Boston}Hudson {Boston}Hudson {Boston}

With Hudson in town, the new home decor store Grand opening later this month over in Union Square Somerville, and the goals that the city of Boston has to restore Newbury Street back to it’s more independent roots (more privately owned boutiques/less chain stores), and several storefronts sitting vacant in the South End waiting for a little TLC, if you’re looking to give Boston your own unique retail vision why not consider it now? I’d love to see more design come to this fantastic historical city – and with so many of the properties boasting wood floors, soaring ceilings, great architectural details, etc. I’m willing to bet you’d find your perfect spot just like Jill did at the beautiful Hudson.

(images from hudson boston)


Norwalk Furniture {Candice Olsen}

January 10, 2008

I have to begin this post by stating that I know very little about Candice Olsen and though her style feels a bit more traditional than what most of us seem to gravitate towards, I must point you over to her furniture collection at Norwalk because some of the pieces are quite affordable, lovely, and can be used in a range of decors.

Norwalk Furniture {Candice Olsen}
Take this Maxine sofa for example, first spotted in Country Living magazine. The girly pleats, tailored welting, and decorative nailheads are great accents that give this piece a very expensive look without the price tag (it’s priced at around $1,750). It’s available in tons of different fabric choices, but I’m a fan of it in pearlized gray or pure white. The Bette, a double-hump camelback sofa with a tight back and exposed legs is another favorite of mine, I like the apple green velvet because it looks like it would only become prettier over the years with a little wear and tear. I have to highlight Lola, another look I love because it’s so sleek and feminine, and this surf blue is fantastic. My favorite sofa, which surprises me because it is so traditional and English, is the Naomi high-back in white. I’d love to order this in a white linen because it has lots in common with the gorgeous Kirin from Oly Studio (saw it in person this past weekend at Hudson) and I’m willing to bet that it’s at least half the price (The Oly one is around $5,500 but you can be certain that if I had the cash, I’d go with the Kirin for sure).

Tip: The Norwalk website has lots of tools for playing around so if you have time to burn it’s a lot of fun to view these sofas and all of the chairs and ottomans in the Candice Olsen collection in like 2,000 different colors. ;)

(images from norwalk furniture)

Shopping + Products


January 10, 2008

From the Science geek to the nature lover and flea market fan, Mothology carries wares that feel 100 years old with that good old gorgeous vintage appeal that so many of us adore. French linen, mercury glass, metal chairs, canvas bucket’s, it’s all vintage-inspired and available online at Mothology.

Shops like this one are especially good for those of us tucked away in the freezing snow without a flea market in sight for at least another four months. It kind of helps us cope. I can’t wait until it’s time to head back to Brimfield in May (13-18). I’m so happy to learn that it doesn’t fall on the same weekend as the ICFF and the National Stationery Show because this year I may be able to finally attend both (I usually pick Brimfield over the New York shows). Now I can attend both events. May will be a busy month, yay!

(images from mothology)

Shop Tours

La Merceria {Toronto}

January 9, 2008

Ready to see some dreams put into action? This inspiring email just arrived so I had to share it, especially powerful for those of you dreaming of the day when you’ll hold a set of keys to a brick and mortar store of your very own. Sandra Rojas-Chinni had visions of starting her own store and turned them into reality with the recent opening of home design store (complete with espresso bar!) La Merceria located in Toronto, Canada.

La Merceria {Toronto}
Sandra had this to say, “Thank you Holly for being such a great source of inspiration. I actually wrote to you last year asking for career advice because I wanted to make a change in my life and your blog has inspired me so much and in many ways it helped me and my husband in creating our own business. We combined his passion for coffee and food with my love and experience in the product and design fields. It’s been a lot of work and sacrifice but seeing our dream come to reality is so rewarding and the response has been incredible. Many of the lines that we carry (such as Simplemente Blanco) I discovered by reading decor8, Thank-you again!”

La Merceria {Toronto}La Merceria {Toronto}La Merceria {Toronto}La Merceria {Toronto}La Merceria {Toronto}La Merceria {Toronto}
How is that for inspiring? A couple going in on a shop together combining their talents to form a shop with beautiful things for the home and yummy treats for the tummy. If La Merceria had a Boston location, I doubt I’d ever leave. All this white space, warm wood tones, and subtle texture really clears the mind of stress and causes lots of creative ideas to take shape. I imagine having coffee here with a good friend, picking up some bath salts and a bar of lavender soap, then heading home for a relaxing soak while listening to a little Bebel Gilberto by candlelight. See what a good home store can do to a girl?

Congratulations Sandra, your shop is beautiful – thank you for the virtual store tour. :) For those of you based in Toronto or planning to visit there soon, La Merceria is located at 506 Adelaide Street west.

(images from la merceria)

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