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Travel

Meet Me Tonight in Chicago!

August 23, 2011

Hello! I’m in Chicago on stop #2 of my Decorate US Book Tour and tonight I’ll be doing a workshop and hanging out with the locals  at Anthropologie on 111 E. Chicago Ave. (across from Marshall Field’s). See below for your invitation – if you can RSVP please do, but if not, the event is open to the public so you can get in with no problem! The mood board event at 6:30 is full but you can arrive after that to hang out with all of us, get your book signed and enjoy a fun, creative night together at Anthropologie.

Meet Me Tonight in Chicago!

See you tonight Chicago! I also can’t wait to introduce you to my very special guest – you’ll love her I’m sure!

(image: anthropologie)

Travel

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

August 23, 2011

Hello everyone! As promised, I want to keep you in the loop as I’m on my book tour in the U.S. to let you know where I’ve been, where I’m going and how each city has received me – so far, so good! One city behind and 5 more to go! Tonight is my event in Chicago at Anthropologie and then I’m off to San Francisco first thing in the morning. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind but I am not jet lagged, feel great, and am enjoying each moment of it because the last thing I want to do is return home and have it all be a bit of a blur. So I guess you can say that as much as I possibly can at least, I’m savoring the moments.

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

photos above by the lovely Kim Lucien

Boston was a joy. I was careful to not invite all of my friends because I thought it was better to get together with them separately, but I did invite 10 or so of my closest and it was so nice to see them again after being away for two years. I also was able to see lots of my Blogging Your Way students – I really loved putting a face to their names. I was able to meet so many people who, up until now, I’d only “known” online and so I think it will help to strengthen these already good friendships now that we’ve seen one another and know we are the real deal.

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

Me and Matthew Mead – weeeee!

When I arrived to Anthropologie on Saturday morning, I was greeted by an enthusiastic staff who were all so happy to see me. This instantly put me at ease. My good friend, Boston designer and Decorate contributor, Fernanda Bourlet, was there to greet me as well as she was my special guest for the event. She was going to speak for 5 minutes about mood boards but in the end we ran out of time but I want to thank her for being there with me – the support meant a lot. Fernanda is a very talented and special lady!

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

After arriving, I was lead upstairs to the area where I’d be doing a mood board demo and they set everything up so beautifully I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like going to a wedding with a buffet of baked goods, mimosas, bottled waters hand decorated with fabrics and a huge bookcase that they decorated with my book and fabrics, swatches, everything I had asked for and much, much more. There was even a huge mood board for me to work on and above it, tissue paper pom poms hanging from the ceiling.

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

My signing table was on the 1st floor, they wanted me to be more centrally located for that part of my event which was a great idea. The table was gorgeous and completely set up with pens, flowers in an “H” mug, stacks of Decorate, a big poster and more of the tissue paper pom poms suspended overhead that were also upstairs. No detail was overlooked. Even the “rope” used to corral people into line was handmade with fabrics. It was all so impressive.

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

Photo by: Desha Peacock

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

Photo by: Amisha Thakkar

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

Above: Flowers to sent to wish me well on my book event – so sweet – from Rag & Bone Bindery in Providence. VERY nice gesture.

Aside from having a book signing in Anthropologie (a dream come true), I was able to meet so many readers of decor8 and now, Decorate, and I made sure to spend a little time with each person because the last thing I wanted was for someone to stand in line and then be brushed off. I was very happy when people thought to give me their business cards because it helps me later on when I want to keep in touch. I also brought my signing book so while everyone was standing in line, they could sign my guest book while I was signing at the table. When I went home that day, I read each entry and it made me smile to know them all now in a much more personal way.

After my 30 minute presentation, I was going to take a 30 minute break but when I walked downstairs and saw a huge line I knew it was time to meet and greet everyone so I took my seat and started signing. I signed books non-stop from 11:30-1:15 and the event was supposed to end at 12:30! THANK YOU BOSTON! That was an amazing kick off event for me and I’ll never, ever forget it. I also have to thank Chronicle Books for getting me over here in the first place and sponsoring this tour along with the generosity of Anthropologie and their creative ideas – I am still blown away by how much thought they put into the event.

For everyone I met – I’m honored that you took the time to come out to meet me on a beautiful Saturday morning when you could have been at the beach! Thank you for taking time to see me and I’m so happy I was able to sign your book. I also want to thank everyone who wanted a photo with me – this may sound funny but it is also a real moment for me when someone asks that. :) Thank you for making this blogger feel like a superstar, it’s a nice feeling sometimes – we all need a little love and encouragement.

Boston Highlights From The Decorate Book Tour

Ladies who took me out to lunch after the Anthropologie event. I’ll post all of their names next week so you can meet them, too! Photo by: Monica Lee.

Embarking on this book tour alone was one of the scariest things I’d ever done. Flying to the states unsure of what would happen at the first event was a challenge for me on all levels but I’m glad I just went for it – my determination to meet as many of you in person as possible paid off and I’ll go home next week with the satisfaction of knowing so many more of you than before on a much more personal level.

THANK YOU BOSTON!!!!

(images linked to their sources below, if unlinked, I took them.)

Events + Markets, Travel

Meet Me Today In Boston

August 20, 2011

Hello everyone! I’ve landed in Boston and though I’m totally jet lagged I’m up preparing for the Decorate event at Anthropologie this morning and very excited to meet all of you who are coming out. I am so glad to be back and really look forward to it and to introduce you to my talented and lovely special guest. For those of you who couldn’t get a seat to the 10:30 a.m. mood board presentation (it will last for 30 minutes), you are invited to join us immediately following (try to get there by 11:30 since I leave at 12:30) to meet me and have your book signed. That portion of the event is open to the public so stop by!

Meet Me Today In Boston

Meet Me Today In Boston

See you soon at Anthropologie on Boylston Street everyone! Yay yay yay! See the above invitation for details.

Next Stop after Boston: Chicago on Tuesday, August 23rd.
(image: Anthropologie)

Books + Magazines, Travel

Markets of New England

August 18, 2011

Hello everyone! I’ve been so busy this week preparing for my upcoming 13 day US book tour for Decorate! I’m pinching myself that this is really about to happen, ME on a BOOK TOUR! Oh my, this is going to be the ride of a lifetime! Since Boston is my first stop, I thought I’d shout out a beautiful book by New Englander, Christine Chitnis, called “Markets of New England” published by The Little Bookroom.

Markets of New England

Constantly amazed by the talent in her native region, Christine decided to write a book about crafters, artists and farmers who inspire her there, including many in Boston. Here are some photos from the book that she thought you may enjoy.

Markets of New England

Seeing these pictures, which were taken by Christine herself, gets me even more excited to be back in Boston tomorrow where I spent nearly twenty years of my life. I’m dying for the smell of the salty air and some fresh grilled seafood and maybe even some clam chowder. I love the coast… I’ve not been to Boston for two years since relocating to northern Germany so I’m very excited to return and I wonder how it will feel to be back on American soil in a place that I once called home.

Markets of New England

This book also made me think about the South End Open Market – I definitely have to hit that this Sunday! Anyone else in Boston have plans to go or do you have a booth there?

Markets of New England

Markets of New England

Markets of New England

Markets of New England

Note: I usually don’t post about books until I’ve seen them myself, but with 38 positive reviews on Amazon, I trust that it’s a good one though I can’t personally say whether I like the book or not — I’ve only seen the photos shown above. I guess you can consider this post a headsup that the book is out there and to check it out the next time you’re in a book store. Hopefully I’ll get a copy of it in the future and then I can do a proper review of it. Until then, enjoy the sneak peek above and if you own a copy please let me know what you thought of it!

Lovely book, Christine!

(images: Christine Chitnis)

Travel

A Caravan Hotel Room at Huettenpalast Berlin

August 12, 2011

If you’re into the whole caravan trend but still don’t consider yourself outdoorsy enough to actually rough it by staying in one surrounded by night noises, then perhaps you should try camping indoors at the Huettenpalast hotel in Berlin developed by Silke Lorenzen and Sarah Vollmer. The concept itself is so genius, you could really do a lot with this idea. Instead of checking into a hotel and disappearing, you can socialize with others outside of your camper while still being indoors. Ha! So cool. Check out these great rooms within rooms… There are cottages too!

A Caravan Hotel Room at Huettenpalast Berlin

A Caravan Hotel Room at Huettenpalast Berlin

A Caravan Hotel Room at Huettenpalast Berlin

A Caravan Hotel Room at Huettenpalast Berlin

A Caravan Hotel Room at Huettenpalast Berlin

A Caravan Hotel Room at Huettenpalast Berlin

Instead of your standard hotel room, Huettenpalast recycles camper trailers and refurbishes and fits them to an indoor space for 40-60 Euros a night! If you’re a social traveler who wants to meet new friends and enjoy the great indoors, then this just may be the hotel for you.

Would you stay at Huettenpalast? Thoughts?

(images: huettenpalast)

Travel

Creative Flats

June 29, 2011

Goodness! I have so much to write about this week that I almost wish I had a team of writers that I could just assign all of these stories to because it’s hard to cover all of the stuff that I’ve been finding lately. I’m so inspired by a lot at the moment, my cup is flowing over. I think it has to do with summer and all of the people I’ve been meeting on my recent trips  – and even here in my own city there is so much to explore and do that keeps me energized to write. I’m going to keep you busy for the next few months with all of my finds so I hope that you enjoy what I have to share in the weeks to come. Are you ready to drool over this amazing business idea and these great flats? Because the company I’d like to share is called Creative Flats and the concept is brilliant.

Creative Flats

Though these flats are only based out of Montreal (too bad I don’t visit there each year as I once did when I lived stateside), the idea of having creative, beautiful resting spaces on vacation, a home away from home, isn’t a new idea but also isn’t so common even despite all of the traveling that creative people do to promote their work or to simply gain inspiration.

Creative Flats

Creative Flats

Creative Flats

Creative Flats

Creative Flats

Creative Flats

Creative Flats

The idea behind Creative Flats, which launched 11 years ago, is to serve style conscious clientele who want to stay in high-end beautiful apartments vs. cracker box ho-hum hotel rooms for the same price. Creative Flats is owned by decorator Nathalie Bouchard and stylist Annie Horth and together they bring that Nathalie/Annie charm to each apartment for a stylish, authentic and even home-y feel. I love how they mix objects from different periods and how detail-oriented they are. They’re a little Domino meets Vicente Wolf which is the best of the best really. Clean, modern, fresh.

I just stayed at a hotel and though it was nice, there was no attention to detail, security or comfort. I think the idea of Creative Flats is a great one – you have your own apartment, you can enjoy space to spread things out, everything is taken care of for you so you are completely comfortable. The more I travel, the more I crave comfort and convenience. I want extras, in fact, I expect them if I’m paying a good amount for the room. I want to enjoy beautiful surroundings but even more, I want to feel secure and taken care of and though it seems odd to say this, I want to feel like I am a special guest – I like that.

What do you look for in hotels and apartment stays away from home? Have you ever stayed in an apartment vs. a hotel? I have a few times, and some were hits and others definite misses or shall I say, “Run Screaming!” misses because they were that horrible. I wonder what your travel experiences have been most recently at hotels and apartments? Care to share?

(images: creative flats)

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