Thursday, September 30, 2010

New England Fine Living opens Oct. 1st

I apologize for being MIA lately! I have been busy working on some design inventory for tomorrow’s opening of New England Fine Living in Middleton. Store hours are 10am to 5pm on Friday, October 1st, so be sure to come in early for the best selection! Most of my pieces will be one-of-a-kind like this silver leaf chair that I almost hate to part with now! There are a lot of other great items to be found ... just visit the New England Fine Living website for more details!

To be continued ...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The mecca to Nate and back

Thanks to the Moggit Girls (lifelong friends Joy and Janet were behind me in line and are seen in picture above) Boston designer Julieann Covino of the blog CreateGirl (not pictured here but I did get a chance to finally talk to her in person but my camera was all the way across the room!) and the power of twitter, I had the opportunity to be an audience member at a taping of The Nate Berkus Show yesterday. And it wasn’t just any old audience that walked in off the streets of New York to be there. Just about everyone there was invited because we share a love for Nate, inspired design, and a hard-to-put-into-words passion for social media. Big time gratitude goes to everyone behind the scenes at the Nate Show for hosting with stylish grace and
lots of humor (that would be Dena), and for
sharing Nate with us for the day!

Bloggers traveled from both near and far, leaving work/school/families/and their computers behind to be a part of this special Nate Day
audience. Having the opportunity to meet so many fun, creative (and well-dressed!) personalities from the same industry *in person* was well up there on the list
of highlights from this trip.

I chose my outfit based on a recent post collaboration with Fashion Coach Susan Kanoff that featured the color purple. The silver rose pin from Stella & Dot is my favorite way to dress up a strand of pearls.

New York native and design blog author of Focus on Design, Rosanne Palazola, was the perfect traveling companion. She kept me entertained on the 4 hour journey with stories about her career in design, her close encounter with Nate this summer, and life in general. We also talked about our joint venture at the new lifestyle boutique New England Fine Living which will open in Middleton on October 1st. She also knew exactly how to get where we had to go in the city in the shortest amount of time, which certainly came in handy with all of the traffic in NY this week!

Friends Sara and Harold were behind us in line at CBS studios where the show is taped. Both were quite charming and appear to have bright futures in design.

Met through the blogs: Marcy of Pine Creek Cottage lives in Connecticut now, but loved my posts and pictures from the historical design show in Danvers
(which happens to be her hometown).

The audience was just as captivating as the host.
So many star sightings for us design bloggers! Our collective stories could probably be a design show series in itself (will send memo to HGTV!) which may explain why Nate could not call attention to all of the creative efforts of those gathered in NY to enjoy this amazing opportunity to meet and greet.
Did I mention Emily Henderson was there??? Be sure to watch the show to catch her segment on how to showcase the treasures in your home. Oh, and she blogs, too.

Souvenirs from the trip: my VIP ticket, a gift card to Payless (perfect for budget-conscious fashionistas), a stunning necklace provided by Send the Trend and promoted by Project Runway star Christian Siriano who shared a few of his fashion tips with us. My box of new business cards also came home with me as they were not needed thanks to a new blog friend, Chanee, who went out of her way to create an entire Who’s Who of faces and contact information for each of the bloggers invited to the show, which was extremely helpful in putting names with faces and blogs!

As bloggers, we are a diverse community of many voices, but we all share a passion for design. Almost everyone in this shot lives in the Boston area.

Sabbespot, Everything LEB, Perfectly Put Together,
Deliciously Organized, Haven and Home

The weather was perfect. The city was full of life.
I wish we could have stayed longer. Next time!

Even though “our driver was picking us up at 7pm, we still managed to enjoy some food and beverage at Affina before making the trek back to Boston. And even though we missed a couple of blogger events (please don’t remind me!) that we just could not squeeze into our quick trip to New York, I was happy to spend the day in a different kind of reality!

I will post the air time of this show when I know the details, and will link to more photos that Rosanne took from her point of view. She may have caught me talking with a few women involved in ProjectUDesign like social-media extraordinaire Leslie Carothers, Maybelline Te of Snug Furniture, and Nicole Nachazel from BiOH. I hope she caught me in deep conversation with both CreateGirl and Jonathan Legate (a rising star in Canadian design) as we amazed at the fact that it took about 140 characters to make
this dream our reality.

And thank you, Nate, for bringing us all together. Some people have the ability to draw a crowd and shine a light on others at the same time. You have that gift along with a generous spirit and big heart! Best of luck with your new show (insert virtual hug here!)


Friday, September 17, 2010

New York State of Mind ...


CityGirl by designvignettes on

I have been shopping for a special trip-to-the-city outfit, which reminded me of this style-with-an-edge post that I was working on with Fashion Coach, Susan Kanoff. Urban and chic, these looks are for the budget-conscious fashionista! Whether decorating a studio apartment, or filling a dorm closet with day-to-night fashions, incredible style can be had at a reasonable price. It is all about attitude!
And you don’t have to be 20-something to appreciate a bargain : )

Edgy College Student Day to Night

Edgy College Student Day to Night by Fashioncoach

The reason why I am shopping ...

You know when you work really hard to achieve some kind of goal and then you almost stop trying because you just aren’t sure if your efforts are paying off plus you really should be trying to find a legitimate way to pay the bills that keep showing up one after another ....

Well, I am so glad that I have continued to keep doing what I love – writing a design blog and putting myself out there by connecting with others in my industry – because this week I feel like I have connected a lot of dots and am finally starting to see the big picture! And I love what I see! Can I just list a handful of the better headlines from my week?

Photo borrowed from Nate’s blog

1. I am invited to be an audience member at THE NATE BERKUS SHOW next week in New York! Remember when I devoted a blog post to Nate back on Nate Day? Well I will get the opportunity to see the very show I posted about being taped at his studio, along with an audience that will be full of design bloggers just like me! My friend, Rosanne who also writes a design blog, will be joining me, and I already know that a bunch of Boston bloggers will be heading to NY, too! This news would be enough to keep me floating for weeks, but there is more ...

2. Yesterday I discovered I was quoted in the premiere issue of RueMagazine (see page 4!)
If you haven’t checked out the launch of this much anticipated on-line designer-eye-candy that is filled with amazing ideas and resources, beautifully designed
and produced by a super-creative team of hard working bloggers, then do it now (well, after you
finish my post ; )

3. I received confirmation that I will have an online decorating column of my own with a new local news source for the town of Lynnfield.
I will be answering decorating questions and will be highlighting local businesses that relate to interior design. How fun is that?! If you have any questions you want answered, send them my way!

4. I even met a lovely new client with a gorgeous home who would like my design help.

5. I still can’t share this surprise yet ...
but I promise it is BIG!!!!

I mean, really, I can hardly stand all this good news at once! And I am not saying that I did not have my share of not-so-good moments this week, but I prefer to look on the bright side and toast unbelievably-special happenings like these that seriously don’t come
along that often!

I will fill you in with more details sometime next
week. Like who I met, what everyone wore, what
Nate is like in person ...

“Pinch me, I must be dreaming

P.S. In case you are reading this ...
Happy Birthday, Nate!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New store sneak peek!

Do you like glitz and glam? Fabulous home fashions and pretty cocktail attire? If you are looking for something with an extra bit of designer sparkle to add to your home or wardrobe than you will love New England Fine Living, a new lifestyle boutique that will be opening on October 1st at 106 Main Street in Middleton, Massachusetts. Store owner, Linda Smith, a local interior designer and event stylist, is putting together a showroom full of cool design items and gorgeous ready-to-wear fashions. New England Fine Living will be a one-stop shop where a fashionista can pick out the perfect little black dress to wear to an evening cocktail party and then grab a hostess gift-to-go at the same time! The shop will also be filled with lots of designer accessories for the home, including some “gently loved
pre-owned furnishings.

Here are a few snapshots of what you’ll see
(but there is so much more to come!)

Vintage jewelry

Fine upholstered pieces plus on-trend accessories

Decorative objects for the home

Glamorous fashions

Designs from Neptune 1 Studios

Framed art by Rosanne Palazola

Distinctive and custom-designed pieces

When I heard about this new design destination (which is practically around the corner from my home) I knew it would be the perfect location for me to both buy and sell. I have already been to the shop a couple of times to set up items in the white “cottage glam
room on the second floor (yes, there will be two whole floors of great stuff!) I will be offering a mix of unique pieces from some of my recent design show projects along with vintage-like items that have been given a touch of modern designer style (much like my favorite designer Nate Berkus is doing with second-hand furniture on his great new daytime show on ABC). There is still room for more vendors, so if you are interested in learning how you could add some of your own designer items to the mix, simply contact Linda for more information. But do it soon so that you can be there for the grand opening on October 1st!

Also in October, Linda will be styling an event for the Ipswich Rotarty Club. It looks like it will be a fun night out and it will surely be stylish! If you plan to attend and need the perfect black dress, stop by New England Fine Living and Linda will be happy to hook you up!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A laid-back room to relax in ...

I just wrote my first guest post for!
It features the Kona chair designed by Emily Carpenter of SCAD for Project UDesign.* Student designers created personal interpretations of the classic wing back chair which incorporated soy-based BiOH Polyol foam and eco-friendly Ultrasuede fabric into their designs. Six finalists have been chosen, and now it is up to the public to vote on their favorite design. The winner’s chair will be produced by Century Furniture and added to their permanent line-up. Then the winner gets to sit back (on their designed chair I would imagine!) and wait for the royalties to come in! How amazing is that?? So after you read my guest post ; ) be sure to go over to Facebook to vote for your favorite. I already did (good luck, Emily!)

And don’t forget to take a look at the bright ideas at where designers are creating custom fabrics, lighting, pillows and more. I have actually been working on designing some patterns of my own as
I mentioned this summer. Who knows? Maybe
you will see some of my fabric designs
featured in the not-to-distant future!

*The fine print ... Project UDesign is sponsored by BiOH Polyols in partnership with Savannah College of Art & Design, Century Furniture and Ultrasuede

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The “Kona” Chair

Check it out! This fun and stylish take on the classic wing back chair was designed by Savannah College of Art & Design student Emily Carpenter and is in the running to win Project UDesign which is sponsored
by BiOH polyols. Contest partners include
Century Furniture and Ultrasuede.

I have been working on a post that will be promoting
it in collaboration with

Stay tuned for more!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Boston and brides ...

Take note of the woman in red confidently
leading this Boston bridal procession ...

Last weekend, my husband and I took the boys to Boston for the day. We started with a ride on Codzilla (so much fun!), we visited the big hammock on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway (so much to enjoy), we saw some artwork by Sidewalk Sam
(I actually went to college with “Sam’s
son, Rob), we saw a guy in a kilt (and not much else!) ride a unicycle and juggle three baby dolls in the center of Faneuil Hall Marketplace (I doubted him but am now a complete believer) and we watched a random bridal procession head down the city street. Of course I had my camera with me (I never leave home without it)
so I quickly snapped the photo above.

About a half an hour later, as we were returning from our walk on the greenway, we saw the same bridal party posing for pictures in a dark brick alley, up against a chain link fence.
What a cool contrast of a private and formal event with the public grit of the city. I thought to myself, “That is totally something my photographer friend, Liz, would do! As I moved in closer to get a better look I realized it WAS Liz! How often do you run into a neighbor photographing a wedding when you randomly head to Boston with all of your children for the first time??? I knew she and I were meant to be friends (and, yes, my husband and I should get out more often with the kiddos!)

When Liz posts pictures from what looked like a very energetic group of wedding attendants, I will get you the link. Do stop by her blog if you are looking for a wedding photographer for your special event ...
along with getting some really cool shots, Liz has a unique ability to capture an emotional moment
in a way that is profoundly beautiful.

A save-the-date postcard announcing the 2nd annual
Fenway Park Bridal Festival

Next weekend in Boston on Sunday, September 12th from 10am to 4pm there will be a blow-out bridal event held at Fenway Park. What a great way to get a guy (or any Red Sox fan) excited about making those final big-day decisions! There will be all kinds of wedding vendors participating along with a bridal fashion show from a new friend of mine, Harper Della-Piana of Seams Couture in Wenham (I met her and her talented mother at the North Shore Design Show last May). Four lucky couples will even win a Fenway Park wedding ceremony (click here for details!)
Tickets are only $15 per person. Save $5
per ticket if you buy them in advance online.

My nephew Roger as ring bearer.
Photograph by Loren Sklar

Our niece and flower girl, Taryn.
Photograph by Loren Sklar

My nephew (who was the ring bearer at our wedding) just had his senior prom at Fenway Park last spring. And now my niece (who was one of our two adorable flower girls) will be walking the runway at the Fenway event for Seams Couture. Did I mention this bridal extravaganza is being run by Rafanelli Events
who you may recall just threw a little party for
Chelsea Clinton?? And who would have guessed that the tiniest members of my bridal entourage would,
ten years later, both be invited to Fenway
Park for black-tie events!

{Photo borrowed from Rain’s blog}

Here is Taryn last spring modeling a classical-music-inspired gown designed by Rain Delisle, the winner of Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Project Tchaikovsky. The winning pair are shown here with Jared Bowen, the arts reporter for WGBH who emceed the event.
I love watching shows like Project Runway,
but I love it even more when I know the life story
of the model wearing the works of art!
Now that is cool : )

If you make it to the bridal event at Fenway, be sure to tell Harper I sent you! I will be posting more photos from her new Wrapture Collection after the show.
For now, enjoy these random snapshots from
our “family fun day
in Boston ...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fall color trends ...

Purple Orchid and Oyster Gray are two colors you’ll see a lot of according to the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall 2010. Bits of black, shiny silver and a hint of gold add drama to this fun and flirty combination. When adding these colors to your home, mix playful
and trendy accessories with
classicly styled silhouettes.

Meet Susan Kanoff, the creator of today’s fashion forecast at The Swap Soiree on November 4, 2010 from 6:30 to 9 pm. Click here for details!