Tuesday, February 5, 2013

By Invitation: Passport to Design Blog Tour

With our design bloggers: Erin Greene, Michelle Cortizo, Linda Holt, Megan Meyers,
John Kelsey, 
Kristina Crestin, Linda Merrill, Katherine Hawkins, Danika Herrick

I had heard so much on twitter, etc. about how fun blog tours are – the Brizo sponsored Fashion Week blog tour was my main inspiration even before they had put me on their current guest list – that I recently decided to put one together to help promote the Boston Magazine Passport to Design Sweepstakes. With five gorgeous design showrooms located within a short driving distance from each other here on the North shore, I knew it would be a worthwhile trip even for a group of busy designers. Transportation was provided to each showroom, refreshments were served, bloggers had their sweepstakes passports stamped and were each entered to win the $20,000 Home Makeover giveaway. Not a bad way to spend a day out of the office! 

In case you haven’t heard me blogging or tweeting about the Passport Sweepstakes before (please say you have – promoting it is part of my full-time job at Designer Bath after all!) one lucky winner will receive five gift certificates in the amount of $4,000 each to Circle Furniture, Tile by Design, Designer Bath, Landry and Arcari, and Lucia Lighting to spend however they wish. When we invited our bloggers, we suggested they bring their cameras/iphones so that they could record their favorite items ... just in case : )

The official Passport to Design sweepstakes drawing will be held in March after the last seminar in the series, so there is still time to pick up your own passport and enter to win (next seminar is at Tile by Design on February 6th). In the meantime, however, let me show you how we spent our bloggers-day-out ... 

We ended up with a fabulous group of bloggers – most of whom I knew, but a few I met for the first time – when we got together last Tuesday at Circle Furniture for hour one of our day long design journey. We immediately got our bloggers set up with name tags and hashtags, because what is a blogger event without Instagram updates and tweet pics? If you are on either, type in #Passport2Design and you can follow a whirlwind photo tour of the day’s events.


At Circle Furniture in Danvers, we were welcomed by marketing director Sarah Cooney and one of Circle’s social media voices/ showroom stylist Sean William Donovan. The showroom team put out a light breakfast for the bloggers and Sean gave us an entertaining tour of what is new at Circle. Everything at Circle looks fabulous to me since I am at the stage in my family life cycle where the pre-frat boys (8 to 14) have completely taken over the living room. I took lots of pics of vignettes that included accent pillows and throws ON the sofas, not in a tattered pile on the floor. And there wasnt an Xbox in sight! Can I live here?

Cindy Barry, showroom manager at Circle with
Erin Greene, blogger for Boston Magazine

Cindy with Michelle Cortizo of Cortizo Interiors

I love the gray of the sofa combined with the colorful carpet beneath.

Bloggers relaxing in Stressless-style: Megan Meyers, Erin Greene, Danika Herrick

North shore based designers Katherine Hawkins and Linda Holt

Perhaps we should offer pretty items like this in our Designer Bath showroom?

A pillow designed for designers! 

TILE BY DESIGN // danvers
Doug Madden of Tile by Design, cupcakes provided by Gifford Events

The next showroom stop on the tour was Tile by Design in Danvers. We were welcomed with champagne mimosas and cupcakes-to-go. I think I may have been first in line for the bubbly. While we were there, store owner Jerry McGinn pointed out some of the newest trends in the world of tile.

Tile that looks like reclaimed wood ... tweet-worthy for sure!

There is so much to choose from ... designing with tile truly is an art! 

Katherine Hawkins and Linda Merrill

I am obsessed with shades of gray.

Michelle Cortizo, Kristina Crestin, Danika Herrick

DESIGNER BATH // beverly

How happy was I to have a showroom full of design bloggers! Usually I am the only one walking around snapping post-worthy pictures, but on this day I was entertained by a design-savvy group discovering on their own some of my favorite brands in real time. I gave them the assignment to photograph a favorite faucet. Click here to see their choices on our website. (Thanks, bloggers!)

Original Brizo fan Michelle with new to the brand fan Danika 

Danika was also a fan of our sleek Zucchetti tub from Italy.

Sparkling new faucets and light fixtures to come!

Part of our showroom was being updated during the tour (we are constantly changing out our displays) so later on I will post an “after photo to go with the freshly painted wall above.

Midway through our tour, I brought the bloggers upstairs to our state-of-the-art heating system training room for a quick lunch break, while I checked emails and ad deadlines at my desk. I also grabbed a swag bag for each of them, tucking a few Designer Bath goodies inside.

The splash of orange is my favorite part of the training room
(designed to coordinate with our logo, of course!) 


I have to say, Landry and Arcari in Salem is one of THE most photographable showrooms! Our third stop on the tour, we were captivated by the rich and colorful woven pieces of art. Landry and Arcari has a wealth of carpets to choose from, whether you are looking for traditional styles or more contemporary designs. When designing a room, if you can start from the floor up, you can really be inspired with the least amount of limitations. If you have a carpet in good condition that you no longer want, they may even buy it from you! A carpet that needs repair? They can fix almost anything or come up with a solution to make a rug look its best regardless of age. 

The team at Landry and Arcari educated us and even served us tea!

Even the smallest carpet had the power to stop us in our tracks.

John Kelsey with Mary Donovan

Carpets made of hides may not be for everyone,
but they are quite stunning and so very soft! 

Great for a sunroom, pool house, or even a bathroom.
Gray and orange striped version caught my eye ...

Somehow Danika found the one chevron carpet in the middle of a huge stack.

A trip to Landry and Arcari is like traveling to a foreign marketplace. 

Their vast inventory is beyond amazing! So. Many. Carpets!

Rug repair is done on-site by hand.

Ken Gurley shares the history of the over-dyed carpet,
a design trend made popular by Calvin Klein.

Official Landry and Arcari mascots.


Okay, time for one more round of champagne! The always-effervescent Lucy Dearborn uncorked a few bottles for us to celebrate the last stop on our Passport to Design blog tour at her sparkling showroom, Lucia Lighting in Lynn. Lucy knows lighting and she certainly knows how to engage a group of bloggers who have been traveling for the better part of the day. With glasses in hand, we took a quick tour through her 8,000 square foot showroom. Lucy pointed out some of her latest finds along the way ... 

Lights made out of recycled glass are green and gorgeous!

A room filled with both traditional and traditional-inspired pieces.

I think this is my favorite room ... I love the light directly over the table
(my dining room would look amazing with a pair of these!)

And above is another favorite from my space at the Wenham design show.

Bring on the bling! Wouldn't these be a nice surprise in a walk-in closet?

Lucy wouldn’t let us leave without a bit of sparkle to take home for ourselves, a bright ending to our very full day of design inspiration! I had so much fun touring with our Passport to Design guests and I know that all of the showrooms enjoyed the company/most welcome paparazzi!

Below is a list of related posts from our very important bloggers (I will update as I see more of them). Thanks for sharing your day and your thoughts with us!

Linda Merrill

Michelle Cortizo

Kristina Crestin

Danika Herrick

Megan Meyers

Erin Greene

My Passport to Design Blog Tour Curation ...

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

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