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Inspiration, Shopping + Products, Travel

Inspiration & Beauty from Nirali Magazine

June 5, 2007

If you know Priya Patel from the the blog, Pomegranita, then you know that this lady has an amazing eye for color and design. In addition to Pomegranita, she’s also the Creative Director of Nirali Magazine, your complete online source for all things South Asian, including politics, and trends in fashion, the arts, and entertainment in the South Asian community. It’s a wonderful read for people of all backgrounds, but is especially valuable to brides of South Asian heritage that are busy preparing for their wedding right here in North America.

Inspiration & Beauty from Nirali Magazine
Priya mentioned that the current issue will be published in two installments. The first went live yesterday (June 4th) and the next will go live on June 18th. The magazine is covering 7 real weddings — Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian and mixed religion marriages, and will feature the vendors involved, such as photographers, videographers, tent rental vendors, and South Asian fashion. Very helpful for brides-to-be!

Inspiration & Beauty from Nirali Magazine
Although I usually shy away from posting about weddings and fashion, with ethnic textiles being such a huge trend right now, along with all the bright jewel tones we’re seeing in design, I thought this website may inspire you on many levels – and most importantly, increase awareness when it comes to all the wonderful cultures living right here in America.

Inspiration & Beauty from Nirali MagazineInspiration & Beauty from Nirali MagazineThanks Priya for writing to me and sharing Nirali Magazine with decor8 readers!

(images from nirali magazine)

Shop Tours, Shopping + Products, Travel

Greenward – New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]

June 4, 2007

I had such a great weekend, I can’t remember when I had so much fun crammed into only a few days. I kicked things off with a ‘girls night out’ on Friday with my amazing mother, hung out with my bff who was up visiting me from Miami, then spent time in Cambridge shopping at Paper Source, browsing Nomad (great ethnic textiles here) and Abodeon (awesome vintage mid century finds), then hit Greenward, a brand spankin’ new must-see store for products with a conscience.

Greenward - New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]
When you’re in need of beautiful planet-friendly homewares, books, magazines, jewelry, baby gear, bike accessories, and stationery, shop Greenward because this place has a great selection and is in a great little hood. I mean, with Starbucks and other random cafes sprinkled around, tons of great ethnic eateries, Paper Source, Nomad, Abodeon, and other boutiques all within a few blocks, you can easily take the T over to Porter Square and do a little Mass Ave. shopping for a few hours. Greenward is located at 1776 Mass Ave., so it’s only a 5 minute walk.

Greenward - New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]
I was impressed to find Greenward for several reasons, the first of course being the cause, shopping eco when I can is important to me. But also the selection is great. It’s not crunchy and boring, which is sometimes what you think of when you picture eco-friendly finds. With Jill Bliss, Little Otsu, Good on Paper, Josh Jakus, Pear Tree Studio, K Studio, and Pangea Organics on the list (to name a few), this shop carries the best of modern green goods that are currently on the market. They even have those great bike baskets in green and white that have been all over the blogosphere lately (Joy wrote about her basket here).

Greenward - New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]
In addition to the great products, the location can’t be beat. Don’t let the below street level location fool you, it’s not dark, depressing, or hard to find. Quite the opposite. Owners Scott Walker and Simone Alpen (soon to be husband + wife, if her name sounds familiar, she’s the brains behind The Bazaar Bizarre) did a fantastic job with their bright signage and in the overall design of the space. With tons of natural light flooding in and cheery colors dotted all around the store, you can only guess that a lot of planning went into this store. The moment you find out that the displays are all hand built using eco-responsible woods, the flooring is cork, overhead lighting is energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, and the walls were painted using low-VOC paint, your suspicions are confirmed.

Greenward - New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]
The energy in this store is just great, almost like you’ve left Boston for a few moments and entered sunny California. When you walk in, you’re not only greeted with great products, but also with a friendly smile, the smell of a delicious soy-based candle burning, and great tunes (music is a huge plus for me) piped through “green” speakers constructed of oak reclaimed from whiskey barrels. Take a complete tour of their space here (lots of product shots). Or if you’re local, go check out the store and see this great green store for yourself.

Greenward - New Eco-Friendly Store! [Boston]
A huge thanks to Scott for sending these over to me. Hi Simone!!

(images from greenward)

Arts + Crafts, Shopping + Products, Travel

Cathy Nichols (Thanks, Creative Thursday!)

May 23, 2007

I’ve been blogging a lot about artists lately. I think I could devote an entire blog to it and never run out. My current obsession has to do with my own need to start painting again, not to sell but as a hobby. It’s also fueled by my friendship with Marisa of Creative Thursday. I respect, admire, and above all, cherish Marisa for her wisdom and how genuine she is. These are all very important things to me, especially since some do not place a value on doing the right thing and being fair and Marisa does. When I need to pull myself back to center because the world feels really big (you know that feeling right?), I visit her blog because it’s her diary and I like reading about her connections with others in LA, the fun places she visits, and most of all, her podcasts. It’s refreshing to press “play” and be instantly connected to a voice that is speaking your language, and I don’t mean English.

On Marisa’s blog today, I read about a reunion she had with some of her artist pals, one being Cathy Nichols, whom I’d not heard of before. It reminded me of the value of positive female friendships, and by positive, I don’t mean *kiss* *kiss* “How’s the job?” as they half listen to your answer while thinking about what they’ll say next, I mean friends that listen, support, advise. Women that care. Friends that clean your house when you are too sick to do it yourself, or surprise you with cards and calories you don’t need – like homemade cupcakes.

Cathy Nichols (Thanks, Creative Thursday!)
After peeking at Cathy’s online portfolio, I thought about all of you and how you may like her aesthetic. I also thought about how much I love seeing so many nice friends on the blog, commenting daily, sending me really nice emails. My inbox is a little wacky, so if things bounce back or I don’t reply right away, please understand that I’m in a lot of places right now with work, life, and soon to go on vacation, so bear with me. Anyway, visit with Cathy and view her work, you can purchase originals or prints directly from her website using paypal. Let me know what you think.

And thanks Marisa, for all that you are, all that you do, and everything you share with your growing base of fans.

(image from cathy nicols)

Inspiration, Rooms, Shopping + Products

Urban Outfitters Offices in Philadelphia

May 17, 2007

You never know who is reading your blog… The other day, I wrote about A Stitch in Time, an informative image packed article in the May issue of Metropolis magazine featuring the Urban Outfitters corporate campus. To my delight, the architect and design team on that project, Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd, contacted me offering images to show decor8 readers. Located in Philadelphia’s navy yard in 5 historic industrial buildings, this office space is exquisite. With that being said, enjoy the tour below. For more images, click here to view a mini slide show I’ve created.

Urban Outfitters Offices in Philadelphia Haven’t we all had dreams of working amidst larger than life balls of yarn, sitting in beautiful chairs, and passing by a wall loaded with buttons?

Urban Outfitters Offices in PhiladelphiaUrban Outfitters Offices in Philadelphia
This is a super creative environment where I think anyone could blossom, look at this place! You’ll have to excuse me, it’s just that I get excited about office space, as it was a huge part of my former life managing facilities and working on space redesigns and I often think about it in my sleep, still. But wow, look at this space, not only are the buildings spectacular, but I love the overall flow and how spacious it feels, it’s like a city within a city. I also like how they’ve carved out all of these creative spaces where groups can congregate to chat and that the work areas are clustered together with low wall cubicles or no wall at all. It gives one a sense of belonging to a group, a team, vs. being stuffed into high wall cubicles and isolated from those you’re working with.

Urban Outfitters Offices in PhiladelphiaUrban Outfitters Offices in PhiladelphiaUrban Outfitters Offices in PhiladelphiaUrban Outfitters Offices in Philadelphia
For me, the greatest lure is that an old, abandoned property was transformed and reused for a new purpose instead of either sitting there and slowly falling apart or worse, bulldozed. Urban Outfitters brought new life into an otherwise dead navy yard. It’s so important to reinvent a space intended for a different purpose in a new, creative way. Firehouses and old schools are now condos in many neighborhoods as are houses of worship. It’s such a smart way to go. And, as these pictures show, no one had to sacrifice because it’s much more impressive because of its bones and history.

Thank you Ligeia for the images! For more views of this space, click here to view a mini slide show.

(images from MS&R. photography by lara swimmer.)

Arts + Crafts, Rooms, Shopping + Products, Travel

The Ribbon Jar

May 17, 2007

Have you heard of The Ribbon Jar? I discovered it while browsing the wonderful world of the amazing Matthew Mead. The Ribbon Jar is an excellent source for super cool ribbon.

The Ribbon Jar
I love the nordic style of these waves, and the preppy pink and green ribbon. Some of these would be terrific on clothes, but also to trim a lamp shade, sheets, pillowcases, and even the hem of curtains. Do you sew or are you the glue gun queen of the world? I am mixed, depending on time, but I do have a rule that I follow. I go the glue gun route if I never plan on washing the item. But since I sew, I usually sew things on. If you don’t sew and you cringe at the sight of a glue gun, try the amazing velcro tape that my crafty mother introduced me to eons ago. It is actually great stuff. Anyway, check out The Ribbon Jar and see if you spot anything for your next project.

The Ribbon Jar
Psst: If you’re not familiar with Matthew Mead, I wrote about him in March here on decor8. Here’s a glimpse of his work above. He’s amazing, I bow to this man. You have to visit his website and watch his style cast videos from his studio in New Hampshire. He is so creative, I refer to him as the male Martha.

(images from the ribbon jar and matthew mead)

Arts + Crafts, Events + Markets, Shopping + Products, Travel

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market

May 17, 2007

This weekend officially kicks off Spring here in Boston with the SoWa Art Walk on Saturday and Sunday May 19-20, 2007 from 11-6. Yeah!

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market
And while you’re in the South End checking out all that fabulous art in the mill buildings, head over to Chris’ gem, The South End Open Market, to mingle and shop all the artists, craftsmen, farmstands and other cool vendors as they open for the season, kicking things off on Saturday and Sunday from 10-4. Free parking and admission is yours at this open air feast for the eyes (and tummy!).

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market
A few places on my list for the SoWa Art Walk:

Boxx Furniture: Custom designed furniture by Pablo and John, check out their furniture and let them help you create something you’ll love. You can find them all weekend long in their SoWa showroom located at 46 Waltham St., Studio #210.

Garage Sale: Gorgeous high-end furniture, art and jewelry that may not be marked at garage sale prices, but you can expect to score some things that you love for at least half of their original cost. This store is located at 55 Waltham Street.

Polly Becker’s illustration studio. Because a Holly Becker must meet a Polly Becker, right? Located at 258 Shawmut ave #5.

Design Salon Group Show “Five Females”, featuring Jennifer Hill from JHill Design, Ann Karash of mittenmitten, Kelly Smith of etcetera media, Jill Rosenwald of Rosenwald Ceramics, and Erica Von Sc of Vonica Designs. Total girl power at 46 Waltham St, Studio 305-A.

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market
Simplemente Blanco – A must stop on my list. I can’t wait to visit with Fernanda and see what she’s been up to. I love her home accessories and soaps. Beautiful things. Don’t miss this studio. 46 Waltham St., Studio #203

Julie Shaw Lutts – Fantastic artist, can’t wait to visit her studio at 450 Harrison Ave, Studio 412-A.

Jennifer Hughes – Another amazing artist that I want to visit. I love the idea of walking around the South End all day from studio to studio, checking out all this beautiful work on display. We did it last year and had such a great time. 460 Harrison Ave.

Linda Cordner – Her encaustic work is beautiful, you have to check it out in person. 450 Harrison Ave., Studio 316-B.

And Yuko Adachi. I don’t know much about her work, but her website is so intriguing, I have to visit. Plus, anyone born in Tokyo and raised in Japan, Paris, London and the USA has to have a lot of cool energy. 450 Harrison Ave., Studio #228.

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market

(images from jhill design (thanks jen!), south end open market, and sowa art walk)

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