Monday, March 29, 2010

Flood insurance ...

The Weatherend Westport Island Settee would
make a great outdoor – or indoor – piece.

Photo from Janus et Cie website

Well it’s raining in my part of New England again. Two more days of downpours are in the forecast. Many of us in my local area are just getting over a couple of weekends worth of heavy rain that kept us indoors for days on end, and then flooded many a basement. Fortunately, the basement in our home is not “finished,so all we had to do was watch that the pump did not burn out while working overtime to bring the water back up to the street level.
Others were not so lucky.

A scene taken from the pages of the Janus et Cie catalog.
Does this look familiar to anyone???

Keeping track of multiple pumps while rescuing furniture and other floating odds and ends is not a fun way to spend a weekend! After experiencing one or two storms like this, many often think, “what is the chance that we will be flooded again? Even with safety features like French drains or correctly positioned downspouts in place, the worst can still happen. Around here it is best to prepare for the worst,
yet hope for the best ...

With that in mind, I have chosen some great pieces of indoor/outdoor furniture that I saw recently at the Janus et Cie showroom in the Boston Design Center that would look very stylish in a finished basement and could certainly replace the waterlogged pieces that I have seen out on trash day. While these pieces may be more expensive than hand-me-down sofas that often find a home in downstairs playrooms, they are great investment pieces that you know will survive an inch or two of unexpected water (or 8 or more as some of us have recently witnessed!) With a grouping of these pieces on a tile floor made cozy with outdoor quality rugs, one could have a very chic downstairs dwelling that could easily survive the wrath of Mother Nature!

Almost too pretty to be outdoors.

Water would go right through
an open weave piece like this.

A stylish place to eat, do paper work
(file insurance claims?) or play cards.

This bench seating was super comfortable and could
easily support a crowd of tv viewers or gamers.

Avoiding any type of porous wood is key.

Cast aluminum frames like these are ideal.

Not afraid to get wet.

A wide variety of water-repelling Sunbrella
are available to create a custom look.

Kick back and celebrate knowing that your
investment is well protected (hello bar cart!)

Janus et Cie

Please visit today’s sponsor...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A new neighborhood to shop in ...

I can’t believe that I have not been doing the majority of my home accessory shopping in Concord, Massachusetts! My friend, Beth Hylan, has been telling me forever that I would love the quaint local shops filled with vintage treasures, and she was right. I took a mini road trip to Concord center yesterday to visit Beth in her new shop on the second floor of 44 Main Street (there are stairs outside the building), and met a couple of the other store owners who share this unique vantage point overlooking Main Street.

Here is the new logo that I created
to represent Beth’s new venture.

The overall decor of this shop is
very fresh and spring inspired.

There are lots of fresh greens and
organic objects to take home.

A window vignette greets visitors
both inside and out ...

while cute baby blossoms sprout
from miniature glass vases

Dried flowers and vintage illustrations are combined
with antique texts to create unique works of art.

All of Beth’s pieces tell a story.

You will find many new offerings in her
collection of handcrafted jewelry.

I might have to come back for these two ...

Just beyond Beth’s store window, to the left of her shop, is Nesting on Main. It is just as lovely as I have been told (Beth has been a regular there for years)! I could certainly spend a lot of time pouring over the many unique finds at this well-established vintage boutique (which I did!) The shop feels very French and is filled with curiosities.
Here are some photos of what I discovered while browsing ...

Such unusual green nests!

I love the scale of this super-sized black clock.
These pillows are a popular trend right now.

I did not realize that I *need* to have
a turtle shell, but now I think I do.

This photo looks a lot like one posted by Jamilyn of Living It At Home, another New England design blogger who loves a good treasure hunt. She happily stumbled across Nesting on Main in her travels.

Very pretty

Sweet lampshades
and interesting bugs.

I am mentally filing this image away
for when I need a bunch of antlers!

Although they do carry some
that are “ready to go.

I certainly will be back to check on this new favorite spot of mine. I left today with a bunch of great accessories to decorate a spring mantel, plus lots of inspiration for future design projects.
I will post pictures later!

After leaving Nesting, I stopped in to take a peek at the third space in this 2nd floor location. The shop owner of The Muse’s Window, Karin Biow, recently moved into this large space on the right side of Beth
s shop (she used to be in Beth’s cozy-corner).

This store is chock full of colorful
wares from talented artists.

Many one-of-a-kind ceramic
pieces grace the shelves.

Imagine how pretty these would
look set on a spring table.

These figurines would add a
whimsical touch to any space.

Crafted out of leather and filled with sand, these
heavy little guys from The Muse’s Window were my favorite. They make a sturdy and adorable door stop, perfect for a nursery or playroom (or for a designer’s office, if one felt so inclined!)

Next time you are in the Concord area, make sure you stop in to say hello to these delightful three shops located on the second floor of 44 Main Street.
Tell them I sent you!

Studio B

Nesting on Main


The Muse’s Window


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Classic good looks ...

Today was a super busy day project-wise (and it ain’t over yet!), but I had to take a minute to post this very photogenic pooch that I came across in my travels. He actually moved from his usual position of looking out the window to strike a pose for me.
Isn’t he adorable?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Featured Artist: Rosetta Nasisi

“Women at Beach by Rosetta Nasisi

As promised, I am showcasing some of the recent works of native Italian artist Rosetta Nasisi today. I met her on Monday at the Boston Design Center while checking out the Sooki trunk show held at Grange.

“Women Bathing by Rosetta Nasisi

Rosetta is a fine artist and art educator.
She has provided art instruction to
and children,
in the States and abroad.

“Woman by Rosetta Nasisi

She has exhibited in numerous galleries
in her native Italy and on the East Coast
(New York, Massachusetts, and Maine).

“Flowers by Rosetta Nasisi

Her works have found homes in private
collections in the United States, Italy, Japan,
South Africa, and New Zealand.

“Dog Napping by Rosetta Nasisi

Nasisi has many professional artist affiliations,
and has won numerous awards for her art.

“Woman in Black by Rosetta Nasisi

If you are interested in seeing more of her
work, or commissioning a piece for your
own private collection, please contact Rosetta
(and mention you saw her featured here!)


Fine Artist/Art Instruction

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fashion Trends: Sooki at Grange

Seen at the Boston Design Center:

On-trend fabrics, colors and design collections were perfectly matched on Monday at an invitational trunk show held in the Grange showroom featuring the globally-inspired collections from Boston’s South End clothing boutique Sooki.

Throughout the showroom, spring fashions were casually draped over the classically designed French furnishings. This violet ensemble layered over champagne pink is a hot color trend for Spring 2010 according to the Pantone Fashion Color Report.

The Grange showroom was dressed to impress ...
this room elegantly combined nude pink and
berry sorbet with basic black and creamy ivory.

Similar color combinations were
discovered around each corner.

Brightly saturated colors are in the fashion forecast:
Aurora (Pistachio), Tomato Puree (Hot Pink, Orange),
Violet pair nicely with neutral Tuscany (Sand).

These hand-printed Italian leather handbags
by Ransom + Scout
caught my eye.

I saw one that I liked in particular (as usual,
it is difficult for me to resist a bunny!)

When I posed for this picture with Grange Showroom Manager, Diane Blackman, we did not realize that I coordinated with the black and white dress from Sooki hanging behind me!

This white felted jacket from Sooki
delicate linen shawl collar was stunning.

Suzan Griffith, the owner and creative force behind Sooki, gave me a brief history of her life in fashion, while showing me her spring line-up of quality-constructed garments that she defines as “classic design with an edge.
Suzan’s background in both interior design and luxury retail (former Boston and Nantucket locations include Sitwell and Panache) give her a distinct eye for design that is cultured, tailored and fun. Everything Suzan selects seems to have an artistic point of view. Don’t you love the black felted vest with slate gray ruffled trim that she is wearing in this picture?!

From Sooki: handcrafted jewelry and
fancy footwear were on display.

Unique handbags stood out from the crowd ...

while stripes and solids “play nice at Grange.

Loving this trio of multi-colored chandeliers!

Linda Cravens of Sooki and Florence artist (now residing in Boston)
Rosetta Nasisi model Sooki fashions. I spoke with Rosetta about her work, and she generously offered to send me some photos!

This piece titled “Woman in black” reminds me of the rich wood tones from the Grange showroom elegantly paired with designer fashions from Sooki! Check back on Wednesday when I post
more works from Rosetta Nasisi ...

Grange, One Design Center Place, Boston

Sooki, 505 Tremont Street, Boston, MA