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Layla (Brooklyn, NY)

Have I been living beneath a rock, because I missed this place along my travels, and not to sound snobby, but as any shopaholic knows, we cover our territory (regional). Layla is amazing, and I discovered it today thanks to Domino online.


I did a little research and found out that owner, Alayne Patrick, plays curator in this vibrant Indian boutique and from these images, she blends both modern and traditional Indian patterns and prints that dazzle. In addition to bedding and clothing, she also carries a selection of both new and antique jewelry. Has anyone shopped Layla? What’s it like (price, quality, selection)? Where in Brooklyn is it? And lastly, is there a website because I’m not finding a link anywhere…

Aren’t these colors inspiring though?

(images from domino)

Posted in Shop Tours, travel on April 27, 2007

Ferdinand (Portland, Maine)

Another gem of a store in Portland, Maine that I visited last Saturday was Ferdinand, co-owned by designer Diane Toepfer. The moment I walked in and spotted tons of cram cream tape and Japanese goodies, I knew I’d thoroughly enjoy the experience, but wait, it gets better.

I had a chance to meet with Diane, watched her do a little screenprinting (she gave me one of the zebra designs she was busy working on), and spent some time making small talk with her. I guess I’m a nerd, but I cherish these intimate exchanges with shop owners, it means a lot to me when they take a moment to explain a process or give a tour. It was really relaxing and nice hangin’ with Diane. She’s totally chill and so is her store. I wasn’t surprised to find out she and her hubby relocated to Maine a few years ago from the west coast.

Here she is working on her zebra cards. It was cool when she told me that her husband reads decor8, as I’m always excited when I go to random stores and someone there has heard of my blog. I’m sure other bloggers can relate, it’s really exciting! Blogging is amazing, it links so many of us together, it’s truly inspiring, don’t you think? Anyway, Ferdinand is a large store, packed with everything from cram cream tape to pins and jewelry, tees, cards, pillows, pottery, and lots of adorable owls made of natural materials, like bark. I highly suggest visiting and spending some time with Diane yourself.

I could have easily purchased every single one. I love how she arranged them on a bright aqua wall. Check out the baby bibs on the second shelf below from Japan. Can you stand it?!? Cute!


Sorry, no close up product shots. I need to work on my photography skills, I know. But I’m trying and hopefully, you’ll see me improve over time. :)

Here’s a few of Diane’s latest designs above. You can buy these online. Do you like my zebra below? I put him in the living room for the time being. I love that Diane signed it, and adore the raw edges. I have to get him in a frame…

When you’re in Portland, mark down Ferndinand as a must-see shop. They are open Wednesday-Saturday from 11-6, and are located at 243 Congress Street, not far from Angela Adams, so you can hit both stores.

And there’s good news for those not heading into Maine anytime soon… You can shop some of Ferdinand’s wares online.

Thanks Diane for taking time with me, it was so nice to meet you.

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Shop Tours, stationery, travel on April 27, 2007

Edith & Edna (Portland, Maine)

Another beautiful stop I hit whilst in Portland was Edith & Edna, a new store that stocks only items that are handcrafted by artists, but not just the locals, but from talented designers across the globe, from Morocco to Sweden. Joanna Mendicino, Zid Zid Kids, BlaBla, Alena Hennessy, Curious Bird, Karin Eriksson, and dozens more, they’re all there waiting for you to buy, cherish, love forever. Corny I know, but I feel a sense of excitement when I buy handmade.

I was instantly charmed the moment I approached the store, as the window display was really sweet and stood out amongst the other windows along busy Market Street. I actually purchased a few items directly from the window, I couldn’t resist. When I stepped into the store and browsed the wares, I was happy to see so many things I’d written about on decor8 before, so of course I highly suggest shopping Edith & Edna when you’re in Portland.

This is Julie George-Carlson, one of the owners that I had a chance to chat with (her business partner, Brandie Mayes, wasn’t available). She was packaging my new goodies when I snapped this picture. What a sweet lady she is!

The location is prime, the store is so fresh and inspiring, and after you finish shopping, you can hop across the street to Starbucks to chill out. After Market Street and topping things off with an Edith & Edna experience, my brain started to spark and sizzle a little bit (sensory overload), so I grabbed my fave mocha light frappuccino and looked through my bag of goodies. :) If you aren’t a Starbucks fan, head down to the waterfront for cold bubble tea (love!). I actually did both, because bubble tea is a rare find in New England, it’s more of a west coast thing, I highly suggest it.

I love their business cards, or shall I say, business blooms. Clever idea. Julie gave me this one, it’s crafted from magazine pages. Oh, and thanks Julie for your exceptional service and for allowing me to photograph your beautiful store!

By the way, here’s a glimpse of the general area for the non-locals. It’s so pretty there, great architecture, yummy seafood places, you can truly make a day of it in Portland. And don’t miss the Portland Museum of Art. (Psst: If you are a Currier member like me, you can get in free right now.)


(images by holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Shop Tours, small business, travel on April 25, 2007

Angela Adams Store Tour (Portland, Maine)

This past weekend, I met Carrie at the one and only Angela Adams retail location and thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Located in downtown Portland, Maine at 273 Congress Street, it’s a must see for any Portland visitor, especially Angela fans!

What a pleasure for me to see the space for the first time, and since I know so many of you love her work, I have to share the photos that my husband and I took. You can click on any image below for a larger view, or view them all of them (and more!) in my flickr set. Ready to check it out? Here you go…


Thanks to Nan and Carrie for everything!

(most images above taken by thorsten becker, see flickr set for specifics)

Posted in flooring, Shop Tours, travel on April 25, 2007

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