If you’ve been keeping up with Beach Bungalow 8, our blog of the week, you’ll see that Megan has a huge crush on John Robshaw. She’s not alone. So do I. And if you thought the post showing the Brooklyn store, Layla, was an impressive display of Indian textiles, well visit John Robshaw. Crazy beautiful. Exotic, colorful, chic…
I love to see designers that travel and collect inspiration from distant parts of the globe, then reinterpret those motifs to produce a modern version of a block print (for example), which Robshaw does by turning up the color to say, hot pink. Robshaw travels India and Southeast Asia for inspiration and goods, and although the colorways may be chic and modern, the ancient craftsmanship isn’t anything new — yet it’s still a theme of his work, hand-stitched and hand-printed textiles are what make his designs so appealing to me.
(images from john robshaw and nonchalant mom)
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)
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.
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)
Company C is another rug company that I’ve had my eye on since ’05 and they continue to impress me with their selection. I’d love it if they ventured into two-tone bamboo motifs or goyard-esque prints, some chevons, a bit more crisp and modern. Although they do have the happy houndstooth in 5 colors, which would give your room some pop for sure. They also carry excellent color combos in stripes, too. So we’re good. Company C takes care of us.
I spent time recently at their retail store located at 123 Commercial Street in Portland, Maine and found a few rugs that, in person, looked far better than the images on their website, so I have to share my picks with you. Rugs are funny like that, they so often miss the mark in print, but when you actually see them in a showroom, you can’t believe it’s the same rug. Take their faux bois rug, the Knotty. The woodgrain pattern is gorgeous, and in person, a thousand times better than what you see in print. It’s available in gold too, but I fell in love with the blue. In my opinion, Company C needs to show their rugs in actual rooms on their website, rugs floating on my screen does nothing for me.
The Carnaby Swirl is another gorgeous rug. Again, not impressed online, but in person, it’s stunning. Available in sunflower, sea grass, poppy, or cilantro, my favorites are the sunflower and sea grass. The Sloane Square pattern also struck me as a winner. It’s great if you want to introduce color into the space but you’re still hung up on neutrals. It’s okay, it’s hard to crossover from neutral safety to bold color and you know what, no one is saying that you need to because it’s your home and you have final say. But if you want to sneak in some color, I think the rugs shown here, from the woodgrain to the carnaby swirl, allow you a chance to experiment a little. :)
If you want to turn up the heat a little bit more (go girl, go!), opt for a flame stitch pattern like the Lehar rug (tippy top photo, header pic). Another BEAUTY in person, it’s really plush and the colors are fantastic. The Sonoma rose caught my eye, which surprised me, because online I wasn’t impressed by it at all.
Psst: If you’re ever in New Hampshire, visit their flagship store in Concord, where they also happen to hold an annual tent sale in September.
(images from company c)
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.)