Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Funday - Events Galore for the New England Design Industry

Certainly, one of the the most unexpected yet best parts of being a blogger are all the event invitations that I receive. It's always an honor to be invited, especially to smaller events, because the brands or artists who are hosting are making a real investment in getting to know me and in me getting to know them. There's always lots to learn and enjoy, that's for sure! I've been short on posts these last couple of weeks but I didn't want to miss sharing some of what's been going on.

For starters, last evening I attended an intimate Better Living dinner at the Miele Gallery in Wellesley, MA. Miele is well known for their housekeeping products from cooktops to vacuums.  I learned last night that their very first product in the 19th century was a butter churn. Germany based Miele (pronounced like Sheila or Tequila)  has been making big inroads into the US market for a long time with their beautifully designed products. They have been hosting a series of dinners around the country that focus on "farm to fork" cuisine and feature a local chef who is championing the locally grown movement. Last night's "Table Artist" was Will Gilson who treated us to a delectable dinner that featured locally grown produce made using Miele's various kitchen appliances including their induction cook top and steam ovens. Chef Gilson is just about to open a new restaurant in Inman Sq. Cambridge called Purtian & Co. which will stay true to his sustainable philosophy while remaining deeply rooted in New England tradition. If you want to keep up with the official opening (late October) of Puritan & Co. follow Will on Twitter. #yum

The "Sous Vide" Buttermilk Poached chicken dish was cooked in a Miele steam oven and was incredibly moist and flavorful.

They also used the steam oven to make the Corn Flan which was served still warm from the oven. Delish. Thanks Miele and Chef Gilson for the wonderful evening!

Not all events are invitation only and I wanted to share some of what is coming up:

Tile of Spain, a trade representatives for the world famous Spanish tile making industry, is presenting Designs within Designs: Progressive Ceramics in Today’s Architecture, a complimentary CEU program and networking event at the BSA in Boston on Wednesday October 17th. This free event is for architects and interior designers. Click here to learn more or register now!

::Surroundings:: Contributor Lori Dolnick adds: "Beyond the CEU, wonderful food, wine and a chance to see the latest tile innovations from Spain… expect the unexpected. I have been to a lot of design events and trade shows. Cevisama in Spain took me by surprise. I never knew there was so much depth to tile: so much technology, environmental benefits and artisanal skill. The Tile of Spain manufacturers lead the world in innovation and design, which is why they partner with Universities around the world, like Harvard - working on tile technologies for the future. Tiles that not only clean themselves, but the air around them; tiles that are warm to the touch while minimizing the need for heating or cooling a space; integrated photovoltaics for onsite renewable energy; raised floor & chambered wall systems that create a user-defined, reactive environment and reactive glazes that can change color or act as a switch for utilities."

I'm sad I won't be able to attend the event myself but I also wanted to share a sneak invite for a contest they are running. Want a chance to win a trip to Spain? Click here to learn more.

On Wednesday the 3rd, the Boston Design Center will be presenting a day of events called The Look. Sadly, what was up until last year a 3 day event with lots of featured speakers and seminars has been shrunk down to a single day. Showrooms will be featuring their own in-showroom events all day long, plus there will the BDC's annual Trends 2013 presentation offered by VP. and General Manager Julie Rogowski, a designer's luncheon sponsored by New England Home magazine, and the finish off the day a cocktail party for the announcing of the next inductees into the New England Design Hall of Fame, also sponsored by New England Home magazine.

 Cassandra LaValle

New this year is a focus on design blogging (yes, the BDC has FINALLY figured out that blogging is a "thing") with featured guest Cassandra LaValle of the popular lifestyle & fashion blog Coco + Kelly. Joining Cassandra in the new BDC Designer's Club 342 will be nine of New England's top design bloggers including:

We're starting with a press breakfast and will be tweeting and blogging throughout the day. Check out Leslie Fine's blog for more information, including everyone's Twitter handles here.

All of these events are Trade only, so I hope to see many of my fellow designer's there!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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

Monday, September 24, 2012

Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places

Check out my latest article on Williams-Sonoma Designer Market Place about where designer's find inspiration.

And let me know if you've ever found inspiration in an unexpected place!

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

Friday, September 21, 2012

Million Dollar Decorator returns: Letting the f-bomb's fly

Sadly, the gentlest design soul in the land, Nathan Turner, is not returning to Season 2 of Million Dollar Decorators. We do have Kathryn Ireland, Mary McDonald, Jeffrey Alan Marks (with his trusted-to-be-shirtless sidekick Ross Cassidy) and Martyn Lawrence Bullard - talented designers all. But Nathan brought out the soul of season 1 and if their preview is any indication, S2 is likely to be drama drama all the time. Typical Bravo reality b.s. I liked S1 a lot - while there were big egos and drama, there was some real decorating, insight into dealing with clients, and how genuinely friendly the LA design scene can seem. This clip looks like they've thrown that concept "under the bus" (to employ an overused reality show saying) and possibly each other. We'll see. Last year we interviewed Kathryn here and Martyn here on The Skirted Roundtable, and I interviewed Nathan here on my blog. We're still hoping to snag Mary McDonald! (Apologies for the ad on the following video. Please feel free to check your email for the next 15 seconds!)

In other returning tv news, did you catch the return of The West Wing? Okay, it's not a return, per se, but nearly the entire cast got together and made a video in support of a candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court and her fight to get voters to realize that beyond the Dem and Rep sides of the ballots, thirteen states have a section for non-partisan elections, such as the Michigan Supreme Court election.  Not many local election candidates can muster the power of the presidency (albeit a fantasy one) to help get out the word, but this one has a sister in very high places. If you were a West Wing fan and still mourn the loss of great scripted television, here's a morsel of what we're missing:

Have a nice weekend!

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My 4-3-2 Plan: How to Stretch the Design Budget

Read the rest on Williams-Sonoma Designer Marketplace, an excellent resource for design inspiration and ideas from some of today's leading designers.

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

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finding Inspiration

My design and bloggy friend Carmen Natschke, aka The Decorating Diva, has launched a great new series of blog posts on finding inspiration. Carmen asked several designer/bloggers what's inspiring them and I was honored to be included in such a gifted and creative group!

The first batch has been posted and below are the images that designers and bloggers find inspiring. It's a great read! Do any surprise you?

Pop Quiz: Which image is my inspiration? Read here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Seen in Boston: Century Furniture

I was at the Boston Design Center yesterday for a panel discussion with Dara Caponigro, editor-in-chief of Veranda Magazine (which was great, more to come on that soon) and stopped into one of my favorite showrooms, Century Furniture. They had a lot of new gems on display which I wanted to share.  First off, I loved the displays of accessories such as the classic blue and white china, the calligraphy brushes (apparently, they are thing in decorating, who knew?) and the charming flowering "plant" made from metal in the top image.

The calligraphy brushes are works on art all on their own, aren't they?

This velvet and illusion pillow had me at hello.

The showroom is debuting the new Charlotte Moss collection, including this adorable trompe l'oeil chest called Her Louisville. There is also a His Louisville Chest available as well.

The featured vignette in the showroom is the new Atlanta Canopy Bed from the Charlotte Moss collection. Ms. Moss is know for her beautiful bedrooms featuring 4-poster and canopy beds and this one does not disappoint.

The bed is flanked by the Auburn Nightstands.

As always, the Richard Frinier Andalusia chaise with canopy looks so comfy and inviting after a day traipsing around the BDC.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering that brighty sunny day

(911 Memorial photo by Linda Merrill)

"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living."  ~ Cicero ~

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Museum of Fine Arts Boston: A Grand Gallery Makeover

If you notice, on the right hand wall, they are installing what looks like plates and other porcelains on the wall, so they install a wood base over the marble walls to anchor the shelves. But they also have large photographs of the wall mounted at first, which I assume is for positioning. A great tip when figuring out how to hang art on a wall - even without the ginormous color printers that the museum has access to!

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

Friday, September 07, 2012

Jason Wu for Brizo

Two years ago I participated in one of the best design blogger events going - the Brizo Fashion Week with Jason Wu. Luxury faucet company Brizo partnered with fashion designer Jason Wu in 2006 by sponsoring his runway shows and other creative collaborations.  Each Fall and Spring, Brizo brings a group of 19 designers, architects and design bloggers (totaling over 100 at this point) to learn more about the Brizo brand and to attend Jason Wu's runway show. Jason Wu's new collection for Brizo is now available for purchase through design trade professionals. Described as striking a delicate balance between "Scandinavian inspiration and baroque detailing" the powder room collection is both masculine and feminine. As with all of Brizo's product line, the collection features touch and temperature control technologies.

Jason Wu's fashion show was just livestreamed and I took a few screen grabs. I will say that I just love his clothes and style. Traditional and modern, always feminine and sexy. 

Love the effect of the stripe on the floor flowing up to the mirrored back walls. Jason Wu's website will be streaming an edited version of the live show shortly - so check it out:

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