Would you like to take a little studio tour with me for a moment? You will enjoy it, I promise. This is the new studio space of a talented friend in Boston, Fernanda Bourlet, a native of Buenos Aires with a sensibility for all things modern, natural, neutral and of course with a nod to her culture and relaxed lifestyle in Argentina. She recently moved from a few blocks over to this open space in the South End on Thayer Street and spent a month renovating it from top to bottom — literally speaking. She painted the floors, had to completely rewire the place with electricity, install new HVAC ducts, you name it – this space was born out of love and a lot of hard work! Not to mention what you see IN the space — most of it, with the exception of furniture some props and of course vintage finds, was designed and hand crafted by Fernanda and her team of makers based in Boston. See the pendants below with the lovely layers? I plan to buy one or two when I move for my home and she will ship to Germany so yay! for that. Are they not gorgeous?
I own several beautiful items from her line, Simplemente Blanco, and I cherish them all. From hard carved soaps and soap petals to bath salts, pillows, lighting, curtains, textiles, Fernanda designs only the best and the prices reflect her passion for making beautiful things accessible — while you may pay a bit more for a pillow than you would, say, at a major retailer, her items are still affordable given all that is involved in producing them locally.
When I spend a week at the Liberty Hotel in Boston over the summer, I noticed several of her pillows on the sofas in their lobby. I remember glancing down thinking that the pillow was so beautiful and somehow familiar to me. I flipped it over to see the Simplemente Blanco label and thought, “But of course”. I think that with the attention being more on handmade, beautifully made and of course, made locally that anyone would love and appreciate her line. Fernanda is a truly special, magical kind of lady and her products reflect who she is – she is very genuine and warm at heart. Fernanda’s home and products have been featured in many magazines and her collection is sold at fine retailers in the U.S. and Canada and someday here in Germany when I open a shop!
(images: simplemente blanco)
Ready for this week’s talk it out topic? I’ve been reading a lot lately about designers who are online and how they often compare their work to others and feel overwhelmed by all that they see. I guess this is called inspiration overload. Comparing your work to others can go from a natural curiosity to a full blown obsession causing stress, emotional and health problems, not to mention a bad mood and lack of motivation to do your own good work. I occasionally feel overwhelmed by all that I see online, but it doesn’t impact me or my mood because I have learned how to just unplug and find better things to focus on that doesn’t make me feel less than worthy.
Some have confessed to me that this isn’t the way for them — they get very caught up in the work of others, often feel copied or as they say, “ripped off”and very frequently visit the sites and blogs of their competitors feeling envy and displeasure. Not healthy, right? But I think for women (I don’t know about men but they seem to function differently online amongst their competitors) it is this left over from high school feeling that the most popular and pretty girls win. I learned from an early age that there will always be someone slimmer than you, richer than you, more successful than you, smarter, prettier…. gosh the list goes on. The point is that you cannot reach the top because there is no top. What is beautiful to you is ugly to someone else. I personally love Cameron Diaz and think Drew Barrymore is darling. My friend Josh thinks Drew is, “a dog” and my friend Alexander says that Cameron is, “a troll”. I mean HELLO. I love these women and think they’re like the goddesses of my generation. But then someone else is sitting there thinking and seeing something very different. See my point? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Art and design is the same. What one likes another thinks is absolute garbage. The person you envy may be producing things that quite a few others consider poor design. They may consider your work to be above and beyond that of whom you envy.
There is only your personal best and your pinnacle that you can reach. Comparing yourself to others to the point of feeling dissatisfaction with who you are or what you do is obviously not healthy. Others have different thoughts, ideas, passions, beliefs, family experiences, education, etc. so of course what they create will be different from what you are making. Remember to, the same person you envy may envy you in return. Or, sadly, they may secretly battle a major illness or have a tough home life while yours is stable and secure. It is important to remember that everyone does not have IT ALL going for them. No one is perfect or living the perfect life.
So I’d like to ask you, how do you feel when you see other products in the same pool as what you design? Do you feel jealously? A feeling of competition? Do you ever think your work is not good enough? Are you learning from others? Do you feel burn out by all you see or inspired? If you feel burn out, how do you manage to change this in order to be productive and happy with what YOU are creating? So I will leave the ball in your court now to continue this discussion…
Thoughts? Feel free to rant, reveal, explain, ask and whatever else in the comments section below, that is the purpose of this weekly comment, hence the title! So no wallflowers – don’t be shy!
(image: elle decoration south africa)
Although clocks by the Faire Houre collection are starting to make their blog rounds, I have to give them a nod as I find their clocks lovely and their styling impeccable. They make me want to buy a few, especially since I’m always trying to remember what time it is on the east and west coast now that I’m so many hours ahead of time! I finally understand those people who have 3-4 clocks in a row on their wall over their desk. I always thought it may be an attempt to look international and jet sett-y but um, it’s very practical.
About these lovely plates, Faire Houre owner Jenilyn says, “I love well cared for pieces of china, they have so much history and are so unique. I can never pass one up when I come across a good find.” I’m so glad she doesn’t!
And I’m forever messing things up as we use military time and not the standard time as I used my entire life in the states. Oh and you should have seen me during the annual fall back period. We had our hour change about 10 days or so before those in the states so I was exceptionally upside down during that period. All I can say is that when it comes to time, I could own a thousands clocks — I love them so much! And having girly china function as clocks, even better.
Faire Houre makes my ticker tock! :)
(images: faire houre)
I was catching up on Danielle’s blog a moment ago and saw the most gorgeous sofa there. When I clicked her link over to a company called Pinch Design in London, my heart jumped! I found the exact cabinet that I’ve been looking for to put in my living room — at least the living room in my next home as I’m happy with what I have from IKEA for now despite how my husband misses our Swedish mid century credenza that we sold and left behind in New Hampshire. My cute husband isn’t happy with my poor little white Besta Burs. He doesn’t like the wheels, he doesn’t like the storage, and he wants our credenza back! :) Thing is, I’m looking for something a bit more modern and instead of mid century, more this century, and that is why the one shown here from Pinch tickles me so.
I also LOVE their sofas. I’m scared to look at the price tag though. But I will write to them and inquire anyway because it is gorgeous and perfect for the needs of both my husband and I. And who knows, maybe they deliver to Germany or have a rep here? All I know is that the next credenza I purchase will be a keeper — it has to stay with me for years and years because I’m becoming more and more interested in buying quality pieces that stick around, perform well and are timeless classics. Maybe this is an age thing because I didn’t care about this at all ten years ago. Hmmm.
(photographer: James Merrell for Pinch Design)