Nod to the Nautical: Cape Cod in almost summer.

n2

View from the Marshside . 28 Bridge Street . East Dennis . 

It takes a long time to warm up here on Old Cape Cod.  There really is no spring, but as we await the arrival of the Easter Bunny the sun is shining, and I continue my quest to outfit my sister’s nest.  Wheee.

n1

Waving the Lauren Flag – “naught” bad.

Of course with the entire gang here, my plans for getting things accomplished have been turned on end.  I’ll have to work double time in the final weekend to get it all done.  My stomach drops as I think about the unthinkable – that it will never be done in time for the shoot.  It will be what it is, when the 28th rolls around, and God willing it will be enough.

 

n3

Schumacher.  Old Cape Cod.

I stumbled across a new store on 6A in Brewster, and as its name:  Nautique suggests, its chock a block full of nautical furnishings, fabrics, curiosities, custom signage for your home, and screen doors too.  I spend hours pouring through the fabrics, because while I love nautical, I don’t love being knocked over the head by it.  A nod here and there is enough to remind me of where I am.  I’m no Ralph Lauren after all.  Anyone that can reinvent themselves going from Lipshitz to Lauren, and creating a dynasty, can without argument do nautical to the nines.

n6

Stove with scallop motif.  Stunning.

How I admire his style.  At Nautique he is well represented among other designers.  This sailboat fabric from Schumacher really pulled at my heartstrings.  It feels like its from the 50’s and even though I said no to the overt, I found myself dreaming of this design as a roman or a wonderful sofa or bed pillow.  The wood stove with the scallop motif was to die for and I am trying to figure out if we can incorporate one into The Manse and at what cost – oh everything can be done if one has money….

Sign

Mark your territory with a custom sign.

 

Farming is no Fable: Farmhouse Pottery

Shhhh….can you hear that?  It’s the sound of serenity.  The traffic thins, the mountains rise around you, the rivers start to rush, and the people slow down and smile.  It’s not a Splenda smile either – all Emily Post etiquette.  It’s warm maple syrup, tapped from the tree where the wind whispers a happy tune.

Vermont is a special place.  Oh it has it’s troubles like any place, but when it’s you, the smell of firewood burning in the distance, a brisk breeze making your cheeks rosy, the smell of fir pines as you tromp through the woods, they do seem far away.

farm 6

Eight Days a Week.

On my annual work retreat we tucked away to Woodstock, Vermont, a storybook New England town, to work, and to hear one another, away from the noise of the city.  We worked, and it worked.  Maybe it is as simple as clean air, clear ideas, renewed spirit?  Whatever the reason, I feel lucky and inspired.

Farm 2

Artisan’s at work.

On my way out of town I stopped into Farmhouse Pottery.  My Boss Lisa gave me a beautiful parting gift from this store, and having seen a blog post from Erin GatesElements of Style, I couldn’t leave without seeing more.

Zoe and James have created their very own American dream.  Harvested from the land, mined, tooled, and worked by artisans – all here in the states, they have created something sophisticated in its purity, and simplicity.  The retail store and the workshop juxtapose mud and beauty.  Thoughtful vignettes abound, a wall of pottery, a whitewashed stump turned side table, a linen pillow, apron or napkin, a custom crafted table set with wooden bowls, dried flowers, and decorative clay fired trees.  A floor stained in a custom pale gray.  I’d move right in – though I am pretty sure that Zoe, James and their two little girls live upstairs and would find my presence unwelcome.  Now if I could perfect my pottery making skills, it might be a different story all together.  One of the artisans assured me that after making 500 or 600 vases – I’d really get the hang of it.  He wasn’t kidding.

pillow.jpg

Linen Pillows . from $85.

Paule Marrot: born to art

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 7.51.28 PM

Doves . Paule Marrot via Natural Curiosities

Destiny – perhaps Paule Marrot was destined to be an artist.  At just 14 years of age she attended L’ecole Des Arts Decoratifs. She was painter, a textile designer, an engraver, and a  teacher.  She was a favorite of Jaqueline Kennedy, who used her textiles to design a room in the White House.  Two dimensional  in nature – at first glance, they may appear to be simple, but they are in fact quite sophisticated.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 7.54.02 PM

Shell 2 . Paule Marrot

They are cheery and whimsical.  They are a walk through a European garden in summer.  They are in full bloom, when you are in need of a smile.  Drawing inspiration from nature, and the ocean, Paule produced over 320 textile designs during her career.  Collaborated with Renault and sold one of her fabric designs to renowned fashion designer, Paul Poiret.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 7.55.52 PM

Trees . Paule Marrot

Today her prints can be purchased from Natural Curiosities, and fabric from Brunschwig  Fils.  I adore them, and would love to have them in one of my homes, and I wouldn’t ever sell it.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 7.54.44 PM

Cherries . Paule Marrot

Perfect Picks for People Like You and Like Me

Screen Shot 2018-02-10 at 9.29.44 PM

Zara Home . Golden Sphere Coffee Table $199.

Take three parts obsession, mix with two parts curiosity, and one part spending problem and you’ve found someone – ME –  that finds a lot of things.  Things that I fall for, quickly, like a crush.  I know it’s just as likely to be a passing fancy.  Two primary reasons for that are money, and space.  It’s true that some of those obsessions keep me up at night.  Some find their way into my dreams, and skip along into my waking hours.  These I know will likely not leave me alone until I find a way to make them my own.  Least you think I get whatever I want, I’ve been doggedly hanging onto the idea of the Jean de Merry sea urchin chandelier in wrought iron.  This I spied for the first time in 2007, eleven years ago.  I want it nearly as badly as I wanted it that first time I walked into BG on the 8th Floor of Bergdorf Goodman.

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 6.03.26 PM

Zara Home . Rattan Cage Coffee Table. $199.

Sometimes the anticipation is nearly as good as the actual getting of the thing.  Sometimes…but other times I just want it immediately.  This week I came across a few gems I thought I’d share.  First, Zara Home has put out a collection that is really affordable and super cute.  The Golden Sphere Coffee Table, and second the Rattan Cage Coffee Table, both $199.

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 2.40.04 PM

Seraphina Velvet Bed . CB2  $1099.

CB2 has a simply angelic, tufted bed called the Seraphina Velvet Bed, in a soft off-white that will send you into pillowy clouds of heavenly sleep.

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 2.20.55 PM

Voila Custom Seating . The Wing . NYC.

And last but not least…Voila – a contract design and furniture fabrication shop.  Voila in deed.  If you can imagine it, which I do ALL the time – they can build it for you.  How cool is that.  The Belgian founder, Katrien Van der Schueren first brought her skills procuring and framing prints to the LA in 2008, and later added staging, furniture design, and events to the line-up.  I wonder if she has plans to open on the East Coast?  While I feel entirely worthy of the pieces, the price of shipping these days is a killer.

Some day – until then, I’ll dream a little dream.

Gaining “Clare-ity”: Clare V. and the Collaboration Chain

Yesterday, I posted about Clare V. and her collaboration with The Inside.  Today I want to talk about her collaboration with Wallshoppe, an LA Based on-line wallpaper company.  I’m excited, fascinated, and daunted by all that these young ambitious designers do.  I wonder if they struggle, but eventually reach a tipping point where the opportunities flow, and one need only respond – YES – more than one says no?  Whatever their secret – they are leveraging the heck out of it, and borrowing – or associating – themselves with other like minded designers, to cross promote.

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 12.21.59 PM

Clare V. X Wallshoppe . Stipes Onyx . 27″ x 54″ Removable Lengths at $58.

I feel a little like Alice in Wonderland after having fallen down the rabbit hole.  The Everygirl took me to The Inside, the Inside took me to Clare V., Clare V. took me to Wallshoppe, Wallshoppe took me to Laurel + Wolf an Interior Design firm founded by Leura Fine, who is the brainchild behind Wallshoppe.  First she set out to democratize interior design, with her on-line consultancy – need help with a single room?  Multiple rooms, a whole house, and know that you want options – there are three different pricing packages to meet your needs, and designers that match with your style (they help you figure out exactly what that is – by the way), create a floor plan, interact with you about the selections, and they purchase the items you want and have them shipped to your home.  Floor plan in hand, and styling assistance a live chat away, you can be sitting pretty in your professionally designed living room in less than a month.  (Merchandise availability and lead time dependent). No wonder the venture capitalists went gaga for this gig.

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 12.26.48 PM

Nate Berkus  X Wallshoppe . Malibu Blue and White

Wallshoppe has done something really smart, a mon avis, as it relates to those more timid souls, afraid of making a mistake, and staring for the next 40 years at a pattern that makes them ask themselves – “what the hell was I thinking”? – They made it in both traditional rolls, and in removable, easy to install, coordinating patterns and colors.  If Farrow and Ball and Schumacher are boardroom and stilettos, Wallshoppe’s collaborations with Nate Berkus and Clare V. are flip flops and a day at the beach, or a walk barefoot in the grass.  They are easy, and cheery, playful, and whimsical, and they make me smile.

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 12.29.21 PM

Wallshoppe . Y Not – Pushpop

I do hope that Clare V. will not be offended that I plan to augment her design.  After all, it is inspired by HER design, that is making me want to change the paper.  Let me explain.  She has designed in collaboration – of course – this pale pink on white wallpaper – Liberez Les Sardines.  That’s French for “free the sardines”.  Maybe some of you are catching on to why I like her so much.  While she hails from Minnesota, she worked in France for a TV Station, married a Frenchmen, and her designs – with their signature stripes – are quintessentially – French!

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 12.30.39 PM

Clare V. X Wallshoppe . Sardines in Pink.  Just imagine it with that hot pink stripe, gold and green!

So I asked myself – where are those stripes when I want them?  Need them?  They are missing from the Liberez Les Sardines!  And I simply cannot have that, so I will be introducing them to the removable wall covering.  What’s the worst that could happen?  It wrinkles up?  So what – even without my neon pink stripe, my mossy or kelly green ( I haven’t decided yet), and metallic gold, it’s going to look fabulous inside the closet of the pink bedroom on the Cape.  Oh happy day.

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 12.31.27 PM

Nathan Turner X WS . Splattered in Watermelon

 

The Inside Scoop: furnishings at swoon worthy prices

It’s not often you swoon over something you can absolutely have, it’s usually things that are, well out of my reach, that make me fall all over myself.  That 12 carat diamond ring that I attempt to convince myself I wouldn’t want for fear of being held at gunpoint, or the shear weight of lugging it around (I’d risk both).  The yacht that sails around the Caribbean with my own personal chef capable of supporting whatever dietary whim strikes my fancy with delectable meals that make me forget there’s any dietary restriction at all.  I could go on and on about the things that make me swoon, but the point of this fainting episode awaits.

The Insider CL Headboard

Camelback Headboard . Blue Buffalo Gingham. Queen $559.

The Inside is the brainchild of  Christiane Lemieux.  I didn’t know of her before I stumbled across her site via The Everygirl who I follow on Instagram.  Instagram is my primary source for new design information, inspiration, and products – not magazines, not the real life designers that I work with and around everyday – Instagram.  Get on it, and start following it.

The Inside . Claire V Settee

Clare V. Sardine Settee. $999.

Christiane is a Parsons grad, which on its own is to be revered.  She is the founder of Dwell Studio which was sold in 2013 to Wayfair.  She is the author of two books:  Undecorate and The Finer Things.  She is the Founder of Cloth & Company a textiles outfit, and now the Founder and CEO of The Inside, a furniture line – that in her words is: “designed . Created . Made in the USA.  With a mix of colors, patterns, textures, and collaborations – Clare V., Peter Som, and now The EveryGirl – this furnishings line, which is produced using 3D models and digital printing, arrives at your doorstep via UPS in 3 weeks.  It’s custom made for you, and it’s incredibly inexpensive – think dozens of options for under $1000.

The Inside Peter Som Stool

Peter Som . Chinois Bench. $689.

I nearly fell of my sofa and spilled my tea when I saw it.  I’ve come across many inexpensive lines that admittedly held my attention – some old favorites (HomeGoods . Target . West Elm), some new to my resource bandwagon – Urban Outfitters, but The Inside deserves not just a look, but the swipe of a credit card.

The Inside Citrine Stool

The Inside . Citrine Cabana Stripe . $299.

Clare’s cheeky designs will bring a smile to your face.  Peter’s refined and traditional prints will bring sophistication, and the crisp classic neutrals of The Everygirl collaboration, collectively – they leave you with no excuses.  Go ahead.  Add it to your cart.  After all, you don’t need to cart it home.  It will arrive on your doorstep, and your home will thank you.

A final nod to Clare V. because I cannot stand how cute these are.  I simply ADORE them. Left:  Racer Stripe Monogram (put your initials there)  $339.  Right:  Eyes Settee. $1149.

Sail Cloth: Putting together a coastal fabric collection

In my mind’s eye I breeze through the perfectly designed rooms of The Manse in a flowy cotton Ulla Johnson dress,

admiring my careful selections with pride, and a knowing nod to myself, just as I imagined it would look.  In reality…there are dozens of mistakes I will make, returns, concessions, screamed vulgarities, frustration, some tears followed by elation.  If I am making it sound terrible – it’s not.  It’s this very part that keeps me going.  That has me dreaming of different color combinations, fabrics, and patterns – textures and scale.  Like a golfer that swears they will quit, and then hits a perfect shot, I’m in for life.

 

I’ve already bought, and plan to return a number of items that upon further reflection – will not work.  If this were a Chatham Bars Inn buffet – my eyes would be bigger than my stomach – the repercussions are worse than a stomach ache though, because the beds won’t fit in the rooms!  Ugh.  New plan.  While I think I’ve come up with an alternative approach, it’s a disappointment.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 11.46.06 AM

Cheeky Monkey . Add a little red felt heart on Harwich and we’re in business.

I want to be sure to get the fabrics right so I am laying out several scenarios and asking for input.  Jo-Jo will weigh in here of course.  I was turned onto a fourth generation textile design company out of Sheffield, MA called Tillett Textiles & T4 run by Kathleen Tillett and son Patrick McBride.  This company is hot!  They allow you to choose your pattern and your color way along with about a dozen materials from which you can print it.  If you are in love with their designs, and want a coordinating wallcovering you might consider printing on a lightweight fabric and then having it paper backed before hanging it.  Helen Baker of Helen Baker Interiors Inc. turned me on to them.  She knows the coolest resources!

White and Blue Bedroom:  2nd Floor

Top Left:  Carp Allowed It in Navy – Tillett Textiles (Roman Shades)  Top Right:  Bolero in Indigo – Sister Parish (Window Seat Cushion) Bottom:  Beans and Boys in Red – Tillett Textiles (Pillow for Window Seat).

Sister Parish is a textile and wallcovering brand founded in 2000 to honor the style of and spirit of Sister Parish of the influential Parish-Hadley Interiors firm that famed designers Brian McCarthy and Bunny Williams once called their work home.  I became familiar with them a few years back when I saw a pattern called Serendipity with it’s happy little stars and polka dots – two things bring a smile to my face.  Their patterns are perfect for a coastal haunt.

Pink Bedroom

Left:  Mally Skok . Mewar Pink Orange. (Window Seat Pillow piped in kelly green). Right:  Sister Parish . Clara B . Simply Pink (Window Seat Cushion.

Above:  Similar Wicker Chair – Antique Market Find with Top Left:  Tillett Textiles . Puffy Petals in Forest Green.  Top Right:  Tillett Textiles . Dots of Non in Forest Green piped in pink.

Above Left:  Tillett Textiles . Dots of Non in Forest Green – converted to wallcovering for bedroom closet interior.  Right:  Sister Parish . Clara B – custom upholstered daybed.

Last year, while at the Innovation and Design Center in Boston’s Seaport, I met Mally Skok.  I went to the talk because I had seen a room she designed for a show house and I was struck by the organic patterns and playful motifs.  She has a fascinating story, and is as lovely as her designs.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 12.26.21 PM

Custom Upholstered Day Bed with Trundle by livenUpdesign. Via Etsy.

I love so much of what Serena and Lily produces, but struggled with colorways that would work in this particular application.  If I have to be honest, which I do, because what’s the point of writing all this if I am not honestly sharing my preferences, thoughts, and opinions.  I’m not perfect – nobody is and NObody likes a property that looks too perfect.  It feels inauthentic (probably because nobody lives there) Don’t you forget that.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 12.53.10 PM

Louis J. Solomon . Commode for inside the closet nook.

So S & L is out and I am embracing a mix of designers that you may know, and others who may be new to you.  I do hope you approve.  Comments are sometimes welcome – just kidding – if I couldn’t accept input and alternative suggestions, where would I be?  Please do write.