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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)

Inspiration, Travel

Danish Interiors – Swoon!

September 7, 2007

Susan Serra (the kitchen design expert) told me several months ago about a trip she had planned to Denmark, as she knows I was considering visiting Copenhagen myself this Fall. Well, plans have changed…

Danish Interiors - Swoon!
Instead I’ll be flying to Stockholm for an extended girl’s weekend in October and a design show, so when Ms. Susan returned from Denmark sharing with me images of home interiors and furnishings (many from her own family), I instantly felt transported there – like I’m not missing out anymore. In fact, none of us are – we can all sit right here and enjoy Danish living.

Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!
And these two photos (below) show where Susan and her family stayed while there. They sublet this apartment in downtown Copenhagen because it’s spacious and provides them with a private space that serves as their home away from home. When traveling for extending periods, Susan says, “Sublet!” as it’s the most affordable, and fun, way to travel and explore a new culture. I couldn’t agree more.

Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon! Don’t you love these chairs and that head on the wall?? Great!

To see more of Susan’s shots of interiors while in Denmark, click here.

Now for some home furnishings… Most of these she shot in various stores around the city.

Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon!Danish Interiors - Swoon! How much is that doggy in the window???

To view more photos of furnishings, click here for Susan’s complete album along with websites linking to these fabulous stores.

Thank you Susan for contacting me and so nicely offering these images for us to enjoy. xo!

Happy Friday everyone, I’m heading off to Brimfield — See you on Monday!

(images from susan serra)

DIY, Inspiration


August 31, 2007

Jesse from Swatchbox Technologies told me about a new site they’ve launched called DesignMyRoom that allows you to decorate a room virtually using either your own photo or one of the rooms in their library. I haven’t tested it yet since I family here for a few days, and then friends coming in from Montreal so I’ve been running around crazy, but if you’re bored at work today perhaps you can test it out and report in on what you think. I’d love to know. :)

It works like this. You first upload a photo of your own room or select an empty room from their website. Then you decorate it by adding paint, flooring, furniture, etc. You can resize, move, and rotate objects as you see fit. Then you can opt to share it with the community at DesignMyRoom for feedback. Beyond that, I’m not really sure what other features this site offers, but I’m interested in testing the waters next week when I’m back at my desk. It looks pretty cool! Thanks Jesse for the headsup!

(image from designmyroom)

Inspiration, Small Business

Etsy Art in Rotterdam

August 29, 2007

More etsy art walls from readers! This is fun! Next up is reader Nike from Rotterdam. “I live in Rotterdam and I’ve been reading your blog for sometime and I enjoy my visit. Thanks for all your effort, it’s really nice to see beautiful things everyday. In one hand, your post are sometime so inspiring, but the other hand, I’m addicted to prints and fabrics nowadays. *thanks ;)* Anyway, I’m sending you some picture of prints that I purchased from Etsy. There are more pics on my website of our apartment if you feel like checking it. (Tour entire apartment here).” -Nike.

Etsy Art in Rotterdam

I love that it’s all on a shelf, you can totally rotate this collection as your preferences change. Perfect!

Etsy Art in Rotterdam

Psst: You HAVE to view the DIY project in her craft folder online, it’s a magnetic wall of Europe. It’s THE BEST.

Great space, Nike!

(images from nike)

Inspiration, Rooms

China Sprout

August 28, 2007

I was just thinking about Chinese design the other day, so the link to China Sprout from reader Kristi came at the perfect time. I want to plan a dinner party around an Asian theme with lots of teal, white, turquoise, pink, and white (vs. the traditional red) and this may be the perfect place to start scouting for decorative finds.

China Sprout
Here are some of the things I would use at my party. And of course, it would be take-out because I’d want to put all the thought into the decorating and it would need to be somewhat of a ‘party in a box’, I could just pull out my Chinese things, set up, order take-out, and call over my friends. And lots of Arizona tea bottles (because they are so pretty), and a few bottles of sake of course. Actually wait a minute. Our friends are coming down from Montreal this weekend…. Hmm. Maybe an outdoor party in my backyard? What do you think? Could I pull this off in only a few days?

China SproutChina SproutOh, and I was just thinking about take-out boxes and how cute they are, but imagine if they had them in colors? And so I googled it and viola! China SproutChina SproutChina Sprout
Or I could go with these tin plates from Mottahedeh. So pretty and $45 a set for plates that won’t break sounds good to me.

And of course, a party wouldn’t be a party without a pretty tablecloth. I’d like a patchwork tablecloth in these Amy Butler prints from Purl for the table. (I love Purl.) And of course, flowers spilling out of simple glass jars tied with ribbon in your accent colors. Keep it simple, ya know?

Psst: The Oriental Trading Company is another great one, I’ve been ordering from them since I was 15 years old and they have great stuff, but mostly in bulk… Just search under keyword “chinese” to find things to fit this particular theme.

Thanks Kristi for the China Sprout tip.

(images from china sprout)

Arts + Crafts, Inspiration, Small Business

Fabulous Art Walls from Readers

August 28, 2007

I had a few readers write in today to show me their fabulous art walls (yay!) either DIY projects or affordable art finds on etsy. This one is from reader Elizabeth, “I love your blog and visit it several times a day, so I wanted to send you my own art wall. These are little canvas paintings I did myself. I’m in the process of making several small paintings, bags, aprons, and home goods to start an Etsy shop, but it’s not quite up yet. I thought I’d send you this anyway.” – Elizabeth B.

Fabulous Art Walls from ReadersFabulous Art Walls from Readers
And this terrific wall arrived in my inbox from creative reader Kristi, “My absolute favorite art wall in our home is in our daughters’ room. We purchased these peasant paintings in China and had them framed when we came home. Each one is an original, hand-painted piece and depicts the same scene in a different season. I hung them starting with Winter since that’s when my girls were born. Peasant paintings, or folk paintings, are readily available on the web. China Sprout is one good source.” – Kristi T. (Details on room design and additional images here.)

Fabulous Art Walls from Readers
Anyone else care to share? This could be fun!! :)

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