Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seen at the Boston Flower Show : A fantasy treehouse & garden

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the press preview of the Boston Flower Show. It was certainly the time to go because no only was it not crowded, giving me a chance to photograph the different displays, but we also got better access to the displays as well. The biggest and most prominent display this year was this garden eerie by Miskovsky Landscaping of Falmouth, MA  with Allen C. Haskell & Son Nursery of  Bridgewater, MA. Their display was an amazing fairy land that included an adorable - and fully decked out - tree house that I was allowed to see.

I loved the little pair of doves that were in residence - if you look closely, you'll see one below. I was literally "coo-ing" to get their attention for the photo. Almost worked!

The tree house was built on stilts, allowing for a covered seating area below: 

A feature of the garden was this amazing bronze Porter Garden Telescope by Telescopes of Vermont.

And up the stairs to the tree house eerie: 

I could live there. What's amazing is that most attendees wouldn't have been able to see this. I'm guess just press and those who attended the opening gala.

And this beautiful flower was "growing"on the base of the tree house. Not sure of the name.

We're expecting a snow storm this week - yes, seriously - so this is hopefully a respite and promise that Spring will, in fact, be here some day!

Meanwhile, I am headed off to High Point on Sunday with several other design bloggers, courtesy of Hickory Chair, Theodore Alexander, Sligh, Hooker Furniture and Century. I'm very excited and have been told to bring a selection of comfy shoes. If you're going to be there, or have any advice, let me know!

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday shopping tip: Moleskin at Target

Target is now selling this cute collection of Moleskin journals and notebooks design for them exclusively. It's called the Moleskin Doodles Collection and comes in two colors and sizes, each has the classic Moleskine design with rounded corners, elastic band closure and an expandable inner pocket.  Prices ranging from $12.00 - $17.95.

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Skirted Roundtable: On product pitches

This week at The Skirted Roundtable, we chatted about product pitches - the good, the bad and the totally awful! Small and large business alike try to get their products featured in magazines and blogs every day and they're just doing their job. But, marketing 101 usually teaches that pitches should be targeted closely to the outlet's editorial content. In other words, don't waste your time pitching detergent to a blogger who has never discussed cleaning products. And, if you're a small company whose products we might want to read about, make it easy for us - include a picture and a short but interesting pitch. Make my life easy!

Listen to more here.

And, if you have a chance, check out my current issue of ::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living. The theme is color and I have links to some of our best Skirted Roundtable chats with some colorful guests!

And, very excited to announce that SRT partner Megan and I are traveling to High Point next week! We'll be meeting for the first time and doing some interviews along the way. Unfortunately, Joni couldn't make it this time and we'll miss her terribly!

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

A breath of Spring: The Boston Flower Show

The other day, I had the luck to be able to attend the press preview of The Boston Flower Show. The preview was held before the big opening cocktail party and before the show was open to the public. Fresh flowers, beautiful installations, the smell of mulch and no crowds. Perfection.

Here's a sneak peak of the show. I'll have more photos up later on as well. Enjoy!

Design by Paul Miskovsky and Allen C. Haskell Horticulturalists

(see the dove?)

Design by New England Land Artisan and Potted Up

The 2011 Newport Flower Show with Shreve, Crump & Low table scape

The Boston Flower Show is running through Sunday the 20th at the Seaport World Trade Center. Throughout the show there will be gardening and floral arranging demos, lectures, cooking demos, competitions and vendors and book stores. A great way to kick off Spring!

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living - Issue #5

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Sneak Peak ::Surroundings:: Magazine cover unveiled!

As I'm putting the final touches on my newest issue of ::Surroundings:: magazine, I am too excited about the cover to keep it under wraps any longer!

As I'd previously written, photographer Michael J. Lee has come on board as cover photographer for the magazine. I couldn't be more excited about this partnership as it's such as opportunity for me to expand my portfolio and learn about creating a cover shot.  Some of the issues may feature my client work and some will be shots we create from scratch, as is the case with this issue. The amazing Webster and Company showroom at the Boston Design Center was our playground for the shoot. I spend an afternoon walking the floor and pulling together different concepts from their gorgeous collection of furnishings, lighting, art and accessories. I created three vignette concepts and did story boards for Michael's review and input:

Luckily, we were both on the same page as to our favorite and the decision was easy to make! On the day of the shoot, which was about two weeks ago, we arrived with flowers and lots of equipment. Well, Michael had lots of equipment, I had my point and shoot, a tape measure, a basket and a pair of scissors...

The first thing we had to do was pick where we'd set up our vignette which meant removing what was in that spot (very carefully!) and moving my selected items into place. Luckily, there was a perfect location with a big hook (we'd removed an incredibly heavy mirror from the wall) so that we could hang this amazing oil painting by Bill Fisher - and the height was right as well! The wallpaper is Gilded India Tea paper by deGournay.

In the above photo, you can that the lamp base and accessories are different than in the final shot. I'd left those details until we had the shot together, so we could decide what gave us the right feel. We were testing out a pure white vase vs. an earthenware jug. The white vase was too "precious" and the jug blended into the background too much. Don't you just LOVE the Root Table by J.F. Chen? Michael and I both loved the "earthy" nature of the piece and it's roughness next to the dainty Louis XVI chair by Dennis & Leen. As this is an early Spring edition, we also loved creating the feeling of anticipating the coming season - which in New England means that there are wee crocuses blooming amidst the bare branches and remaining piles of snow.  You will also note that the lamp base is different than the one we used in the final image. I loved this crystal ball base, but we needed something with a little more height and went with the Biarritz Crystal base from Vaughn instead and in the end, it was a much better style choice as its swirling design mimics both the Root Table as well as the freedom in the art.

Here is our final vignette set up. As you can see, we were working in a very tight little spot. And, while my imagined "story" for the cover shot was that we were in a front hall and the owner had just picked some flowers and dropped the basket on the chair on their way in the door, the reality is very different. Also, of note, is that the side chair was slightly too low for the table, so four coffee mugs later and all is perfect. (Someday I am going to write a book about photographers "tricks" to get room shots looking so perfect for the camera!).

Here's Michael reviewing the shots as we were creating the final image. What a difference it makes being able to see the final image on screen and knowing when we wrapped up, we had it! Of course, Michael is so good, there would be little doubt anyway, but still...

And, the final image photographed by Michael. Click on the image for a larger view - the detail is amazing! And stay tuned for the magazine to be released in the next day or so!!

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks!

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Can You Smell the Incense?

Mark Chagall windows, Cathedral of Reims, France depicting Abraham and Christ

Tonight, people all over the world are celebrating Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). For believers, this is the day to get "it" all out of our systems prior to the long and sober forty days of Lent that starts tomorrow. I've written before how much I love a church conversion and I thought pulling together a little showcase of some beautiful church conversions would be a nice way for me to kick off the Lenten season.

In London's Kensal Green, via AngloFiles

One thing is clear, living in a converted church certainly means getting used to large, wide open spaces. Space planning in order to bring the volume down to human scale is of the utmost importance.

Contemplation with bubbles? Yeah, I'd go there.

There is an interesting use of space in this Northumberland, England (via SwipeLife) conversion. The long table brings to mind a church school or rectory table. However, the master bed is placed shrine-like on the alter.

This is a pretty spectacular modern update of a classic form, located in the Netherlands, renovated by Zecc Architects,  The whitewashed wall highlights the vaulted ceilings and black iron and stained glass windows   Via Knstrct.

So, could you ever imagine living in a converted church? Would you feel like you're being "watched" and feel the need to speak in hushed tones? Or would the architectural interest rule the day?

I came across the following church restoration project in my research and just had to share. It's still a church, but I must say, the modern with the ancient combined with simplicity and splash really brings out the old school Catholic in me. This place truly "breaths" the Divine. Czech designer's Maxim Velcovsky and Jakub Berdych has redesigned the interior of St. Bartholemew's church in Chodovice in Eastern Bohemia. via Dezeen

Love the use of the Verner Panton chairs with the cross stamped out (rumor is that they voided their Vitra warranty by stamping out the crosses as it might have tampered with the structural integrity of the chair). I believe that this is a Catholic church (maybe Eastern Orthodox?) and it's a little surprising that there are no kneelers, so I assume that the cushions are for both sitting and kneeling on as needed.  The alter at the far end is a mix of modern Eames chairs in front of a high Baroque altar and Tabernacle.

What do you think of the ancient and mod mix?  Sacred or sacrilege?

If you would like my help on your design project, I would love to chat with you! Please email me. Thanks!

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