Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
I was poking around the Sandwich Antiques Center yesterday (which has become my go-to place for interesting gifts) and came across this fabulous Abercrombie and Fitch wicker picnic basket. It's empty and some of the leather strapping is missing, but the size and overall condition, not to mention the $20 price tag, made it a perfect buy for my office.
I'm not entirely sure if it's genuine, actually. Here are some full sets that have been listed on line:
Did you do any weekend scavenging?
Saturday, September 24, 2011
As I previously mentioned, I'm in the process of redecorating my bedroom. I have a pair of oblong silk pillows that I made a couple of years ago that I'd like to sell. They are on sale over at my Etsy shop.
Hope you're having a great weekend!
Friday, September 23, 2011
Iconic Finnish brand Marimekko is launching mini-shops within Crate and Barrel's across the country in order to highlight their home category of products. I had the chance yesterday to visit the new shop on Boylston Street in Boston and meet with several lovely reps from Marimekko, one more passionate about their brand than the next. Unless you've been living under a rock, you're undoubtedly familiar with the colorful and graphic Marimekko prints which have been influencing design since 1951. There are, of course, many imitators, but once you're familiar with the real thing, it's easy to spot the knock-offs. While these graphics are not in my usual wheel-house of design style, I do love the bright and fun quality that would enliven any space, particularly on a cold or dreary New England day (much as it is today!)
email me and I'll include you in the drawing!
My favorites are:
Have a great weekend!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Without a doubt, the best part of blogging are all the relationships that form along the way. And, relationships without borders. Instead of meeting design colleagues in our own neighborhood or region, we can get to know designers from all over the world. So, I was very excited when I received an email a few weeks ago from Jennifer French of Inside Out Colour and Design that she and her husband and daughter were traveling in the US and going to be on Cape Cod this week.
We had a lovely lunch today as they made their way from Cape Cod up to Maine and it was so nice trading industry talk about how we each run our businesses and the state of business today. Jennifer spent last week taking in the whole NYC scene, a little of which she posted on her Facebook page.
Safe travels Jennifer!! I'll make it Australia some day!
Friday, September 16, 2011
My latest post for Williams-Sonoma's Designer Marketplace has just gone live and I wanted to share it with you. I wrote on the importance of using a professional photographer vs. DIY work when it comes to shooting a portfolio. So, check it out and let me know what you think!
I'm currently hard at work putting the finishing touches on my next issue of ::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living digital magazine. The theme of this issue is Upholstered Furniture and as it happens, I'm using an image, shot by Michael J. Lee that is featured on the Williams-Sonoma site, as my cover image for the magazine. Since it's been previously published, I thought I'd give you a sneak peak before the launch of the publication:
I should have the issue published early next week (fingers crossed!). This is my 8th issue and I am so honored to have the readership that I have for a relatively small and very targeted publication. So far, I've received over 72,000 readers across the first 7 issues. Not bad for a completely one-woman operation! So, thank you!!!
Friday, September 02, 2011
I also checked in with Pinterest to see what members pinned as their favorites in the categories:
And finally, here are my favorite images in the two categories that I pinned on Pinterest:
I can't explain why, but the dark and moody bedrooms make my heart race in a way that the lights and brights do not, though they are all beautiful.
So, what say you? Do you have a preference above, and, does it match your actual bedroom?
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Have you read or heard the term "Wabi-Sabi" recently? If some of the design blogs are to be believed, it’s becoming a "thing" in interiors. Yet, the very act of force, of trying to make something a "thing", opposes the essence of Wabi-Sabi.
To truly understand Wabi-Sabi, one likely has to spend years studying Zen Buddhism and the social and cultural mores of the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. Wabi-Sabi has developed from two different philosophies, and can be (sort of) summed up by Richard R. Powell, who wrote in his book Wabi Sabi Simple, "It nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect."
"Wabi" can mean loneliness or distance from society, a sense or remoteness that is grounded in the natural world. The four seasons, most especially autumn, are deeply connected to the spirit of Wabi. Unlike Western cultures, which celebrate Autumn as the season of bounty and harvest in preparation for the long winter ahead, Japanese and Zen Buddhist cultures see the Autumn as the unavoidable path to death, the ultimate distance or separation from all we know. However, this is not a state to feared, but to aspire too. It is the shucking off of worldly possessions to live in an other-worldly state.
"Sabi", while closely related, is focused more towards the transience of life and the inherent beauty of change. In the BBC Four Documentary "Searching for Wabi-Sabi", an elderly Japanese woman describes herself as an example of Sabi. She is who she has always been, even as her outward appearance has changed over time. In Eastern cultures, the elderly are revered for their knowledge and wisdom and the natural aging process is seen as beautiful.
It’s the process of transformation, the celebration that nothing is permanent and perfection cannot be achieved. "Wabi is a guiding principal of life, the stripping away of anything that is unnecessary. But it’s ultimately indefinable as words are not adequate when trying to understand the world," says a monk in "Searching for Wabi-Sabi".
Is Wabi-Sabi even applicable in American home design?
With buzzwords such as "rustic simplicity", "roughness", "economy", "austerity", "modesty" and "nature" floating around it, "Wabi-Sabi" feels a little Shaker in its austerity, recessionist in its economy and environmentalist in its closeness to nature. But, these ties are inherently not accurate, or at least not deep enough. The Shakers did believe in austerity and the stripping away of anything that is unnecessary, but they did not find beauty in destruction or natural decay. There was no "chippy" paint on the Shaker’s furniture.
Economy is important, but it’s not about reuse, reduce, recycle, it’s a feeling closer to emptiness and total lack of need.
It seems to me that in our Western culture, Wabi-Sabi cannot really become a design style in anything but the broadest of terms. We can embrace imperfection and the patina that comes from age and use, but we cannot force it. Faux antiquing will never be Wabi-Sabi, nor will finding an old stick on the road and hanging light bulbs off of it to make a chandelier. Half painted walls (I'm looking at you Apartment Therapy) and unfinished furniture are not rendered beautiful just because they are imperfect and will never be Wabi-Sabi.
On the other hand, a beautiful handmade vase filled with a single flower may be Wabi-Sabi. The vase is an empty vessel open to possibility, and the flower is an object of natural beauty that is on its journey between first bud to inevitable decay.