Question. Have you read and applied the book Apartment Therapy: The Eight Step Home Cure? I have it, but being away from home for nearly two months now, it’s not really a book I can dig into at the moment. I am a huge AT addict though and find the whole “cure” thing most fascinating – especially how Maxwell’s loyal (and massive!) readership responds to each and every step on his book blog. I can burn hours reading through all the comments. Good stuff.
Confession. I’m a pack rat. Bigger issue is that I don’t pack junk, I pack some seriously nice items that I truly love but have zero space for. People also give me lots of nice things that I don’t want to part with – things from clients, gifts from friends. How do you say goodbye to it all? I need to hop on the home cure band wagon and edit my space because my little home is bursting at the seams and this is not good but at the same time, how do you toss items you adore?
Have you followed the cure and if so, do you have any thoughts/advice on the subject? I’d love to hear what you have to say.
(image from apartment therapy)
Did you spot the new book and blog of the week? If not, it’s time to introduce you to a few of my new faves. First up, Danielle’s design blog – The Style Files – where she blogs from the Netherlands about (mostly) Dutch design, but of course, a girl can’t stop there – so she blogs about design that she finds inspiring from all over the globe. We met up and spent a day together in Eindhoven for Dutch Design Week, so I’m extra excited to have her featured as blog of the week – what a great lady she is! Her blog is so insightful, she posts daily, and she features many great designers and products that are so knock-your-socks off good that I suggest making the Style Files your daily read. (psst: Here’s a photo I snapped of her in Eindhoven. She’s quite lovely, isn’t she?)
Next, a book I’m really nuts about lately, Paul Smith: You Can Find Inspiration in Everything*: (*and if you can’t, look again). I spotted this book for the first time in Hamburg a few weeks ago and wondered why I’d not heard of it before – it’s been out for a few years already. There is so much in life that can stimulate creativity, but because we are exposed to these things on a daily basis (i.e. product packaging) we start ignoring it. Brit designer and global icon Paul Smith teaches us how to look at things in a different way – to really SEE what you are touching and using and watching – that’s the real key to creative and inspired living. This book examines this topic further with loads of pictures that will stimulate your brain and put you on a much more creative track. It’s a great coffee table book since it’s bound to strike up conversations with guests, and a good resource for you to refer to when you find yourself stuck in a bit of a creative rut. If you don’t already own a copy, I highly suggest changing that el pronto ! (Learn more about Paul Smith here.)
I’d also like to welcome an additional sponsor here on decor8, Imooi, who has the most gorgeous jewelry for men and women, along with ladies handbags (love the jewelry for men). Imooi is offering FREE SHIPPING to decor8 readers for a limited time, so if you’d like to gift a friend, there’s no time like the present. Here’s a link to their store on Amazon. Please use code: decor806 at checkout. Welcome Imooi!
Oh, almost forgot… Look at what Danielle found (below) from Tord Boontje for Moroso. Read more here. Sweet find, Danielle!
I’m happy to welcome craft-obsessed Shannon from Make It, a new blogger based in Davis Square, Somerville. She not only blogs, but she’s a crafter herself and loves creating jewelry, painting, knitting and is learning how to sew, too. On top of that, she’s passionately exploring the wonderful world of batik. Shannon even has an etsy store!
Make It focuses mainly on the business side of crafting, so it’s light on eye candy, heavy on well thought out content – Shannon believes in inspiration through education, and posts at least twice daily. Make It offers tips on starting your own business (What’s the right consignment fee for a new boutique? for instance), crafter interviews, selling how-to’s, and a new monthly feature, Ask An Expert. This feature offers Make It readers a chance to learn from those who Shannon deems an expert in their field. She selects a topic that she would like to learn more about, hunts down an expert, asks them a series of questions, and shares the fruitage of her labor with Make It readers. “Everyone is very eager to share their knowledge and I’ve met a ton of talented people”, Shannon says. “The craft scene is mostly female and they I love that there are so many women with entrepreneurial goals.”
Want to know what else Shannon has to say? Of course you do!
decor8: Hi Shannon. Since I’ve already introduced you to decor8 readers, why don’t you tell us about what you’re looking to accomplished via Make It, you know, big picture here…
shannon: I have a lot of goals for myself. Of course, visibility (via Make It) for my own crafty pursuits. I’d love for Make It to evolve to a point where it’s a behind the scenes look at my own experience as I build my crafty business, but I’m not there yet. A book is also something I’m thinking of. There’s definitely a need for a book about the business side of creative enterprises. Someone has to write it, why not me? As I continue to blog, learn more, and meet crafters, the book idea will develop more. I’m currently working on my first freelance writing gig and that’s a direct result of someone from a magazine seeing my blog. Eventually I’d love to start an organization like the Boston-based Artists for Humanity, which is a program that teaches youth artistic skills and then also teaches them about the business side of the arts with the goal of bridging racial, social and economic divides. What an inspiring organization. Make It is a starting point for a variety of creative endeavors that I want to achieve.
decor8: Great goals! From your own experience, and I know you’re new at this, but what is the best thing about blogging thus far?
shannon: It’s such an easy way to get your writing onto the internet for potentially anyone to see. I highly encourage those who want to express their creative side, but aren’t sure where to start, to just blog and develop your ideas from there. It’s so easy and it can lead you places you never anticipated. I see my blog almost as a mini-magazine. I think of the things that I would do if I had magazine about the business of crafts, and then I make those ideas work for my blog. Best part, the budget is lower and the turnaround time is 24 hours instead of 6 months (compared to print publications). The medium of what a blog can be or do is really expanding and I love it. An idea can go straight from my head to my blog and there’s nothing anyone can do or say about it (for better or for worse). On my blog, I answer to no one!
decor8: There are lots of crafty blogs. What do you think makes your blog stand out?
shannon: As far as I know there isn’t another blog offering a daily dose of information about this subject. The Switchboards is an amazing resource, as are a number of other online craft communities: Get Crafty, Supernaturale, Etsy, Craftster. But these are all forum-based communities. Sometimes the problems with forums is that there can be so much information that you have to know what you’re looking for or you’ll get overwhelmed. With my blog, it’s just two posts a day, it’s quick, it’s easy and maybe a reader will hear about something they had never thought of before.
decor8: Let’s switch gears now, shall we? As a local, I’d like to hear what you think sets Boston apart from other cities…
shannon: Boston has alot of the advantages of a big city but feels like a small city. It’s very walkable, it’s very safe and it’s not intimidating in a way I find New York City to be. I also love autumn and no one does autumn like New England! I also really enjoy the proximity to other major cities, in August I went to NYC one weekend and then Philly the next. Everything is pretty accesible.
decor8: What are your favorite Boston-based design/crafty stores?
shannon: Hmm, this is a tough one because as a recent college grad I am extremely frugal. I have relied on Craigslist for so much of my post-college life from furniture to apartments to volunteer opportunities, so that’s my favorite “store” of all time. I also love thrift stores and Urban Renewals located on 122 Brighton Avenue in Allston is incredible.
decor8: Other than blogs, are there any creative websites that you suggest visiting for inspiration?
shannon: I pretty much only visit blogs. I visit The Hunt in NY Times Sunday Real Estate section because they always profile an average person’s space and I love to see how average people live (not magazine people). It also makes me glad I don’t live in the land of $2,000 per month studio apartments. I check Lotta Jansdotter’s site probably once a week. I am a huge fan of her work and her career and she’s a big inspiration. I wrote about her in my second blog post ever. I visit decor8 and other design and craft blogs daily, those are my main source of inspiration.
decor8: What are five subjects that you’d like to learn more about and why?
shannon: I want to become a batik expert, so I want to really dig into that subject. How to be an effective writer (obvious reasons). How to sew and how to quilt. Because batik is the process of designing and dyeing fabric, I want to be able to then make that fabric into something. Also HTML and web design interest me because I’d like to be able to do cooler things with my blog and create my own crafting business website.
decor8: Favorite trends you’re seeing…
shannon: I like the trend towards more organic and handmade items. I think in light of issues like global warming and foreign oil dependence, people are becoming more concerned about where the things they buy come from. That applies not only to gifts and clothing (see American Apparel) but food and furniture. I think it’s great because I want to be a part of the handmade industry, but I also think it makes alot of sense for the planet.
shannon: Pizza and expensive shoes. There’s always room for expensive shoes. :)
Thank you Shannon for stopping by and sharing your blog with decor8 readers.
Due to limited space, I try to keep interviews brief. If you have additional questions for Shannon, please ask her by clicking on ‘comments’ below. Shannon will answer your questions there. Thank you!
(images from Shannon)
Written By: Paola Thomas for decor8
Greetings decor8 readers! My name is Paola and I run mirrormirror, an online lifestyle boutique which specialises in beautiful, unusual and luxurious products made by up-and-coming designers and craftspeople. I also maintain a blog about running my business, trying to run my business with a small baby in tow, my design inspirations, living in London (Notting Hill to be exact), and my upcoming relocation to Seattle, Washington – all while trying to remain sane.
NOTTING HILL – OH MY!
I’m lucky enough to live in the heart of Notting Hill in West London. I know, drool. I moved here ten years ago and am still madly in love with this incredibly diverse, eclectic, vibrant, colourful and inspiring neighbourhood. For many years it has been the heart of London’s West Indian community, which is why every year it is home to the Notting Hill Carnival, the world’s biggest carnival after Rio. It has always had a Bohemian reputation but in the last twenty years its beautiful Georgian and Victorian houses – all painted in different pastel colours – have attracted a host of wealthy media people, bankers, and celebrities. And through the middle (and literally 50 yards from my apartment) snakes the world-famous market on Portobello Road, where antique teacups jostle cheek by jowl with pumpkins and apples, and young designers, making their first tentative steps towards superstardom, rub shoulders with eccentric purveyors of vintage clothing.
The area has always been renowned for its small specialist shops. Within a ten minute walk from my home I can buy eclectic and unusual interiors pieces from Graham + Green, frivolous girly gifts and clothes from Coco Ribbon (both of which were inspirational in setting up mirrormirror), organic baby clothes, every type of exotic spice at The Spice Shop, Diptyque candles, cookery books from a specialist bookstore and, of course, travel books from the shop made famous by Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in the 1999 film, Notting Hill. Being a serious foodie, I’m also inspired by an old-fashioned butchers in an Edwardian shop, the magnificent Mr Christian’s deli and, since I’m half Italian, a most marvellous Italian foodstore called Tavola Delicatessen owned by renowned chef Alastair Little. There’s even a Sardinian deli with a full-size (though still tiny) Fiat car in the window. And don’t get me started on the restaurants!
I’m just starting a series of posts on my blog about the shops of Notting Hill and it would be lovely if you could all join me on a little virtual trip to London. Holly has made me blog of the week so you can peek in on my posts all week long, and beyond, for that matter. I can’t wait for you to join me…
SEATTLE – SOMEBODY HELP ME!
I’m also writing to ask for your help. As previously mentioned, together with my husband and baby, we are moving to Seattle at the end of September for three years (I’m going to try and keep mirrormirror going remotely which is an entirely other story). Could any decor8 readers recommend some great design-y boutiques (especially for homewares), food stores, and interesting specialist shops which will stop me missing Notting Hill too much? Or even tell us which neighbourhoods would be best for us to search for a house? I’m a city girl at heart, as you can tell, so we want to live in Seattle proper, but would love to live in a neighbourhood where there’s plenty to do for a young family. Help!
Thanks Paola for the introduction! Here are some of my Seattle suggestions (right column under “seattle”). I’m sure readers have some ideas for you, too.
If you’d like to learn more about Paola, click here for a complete interview.
(images from mirrormirror)