Choix – pillows with punch

Nantucket is home to AMAZING design. From fashion to home furnishings, fine art, to fun jewelry, ACK has a knack for attracting the talented and visionary.  This season I have been surprised and delighted by a number of new shops. My insatiable appetite for new design accents is so easily fed on this island it’s intoxicating.

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Joey Wolffer . Esme Yozell, Retail Marketing Manager

I visited a tiny spit of a shack on South Wharf called Joey Wolffer.  A little bit of everything,  the stores clothing was unusual and beautiful, jewelry, just right, and accessories  – so fun, and trendy. What really caught my eye were the pillows.

Esme Yozell, Retail Marketing Manager shared with me that her Mom Abby is the designer of the pillows they have showcased in the store. A lover of France – her Choix Home brand is metallic fabulousness.  Inspired by international travel, and vintage baubles and materials, the pieces are unique, beautiful, and inspired.

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While Choix has more than pillows, its the pillows that speak to me.  From Camo, to fabulous nubby textiles, sequins to metallic surfaces, fringe and a fair amount of statements that seem timely, and emphatic.

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Pineapple appliques, Fun words and non-sensicals like HA!  Bossy!  Never! – the variety of interpretation that can be associated with them is fantastic.

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I have a thing for sequins – i have an even bigger thing for fringe. Oh boy –  ridiculous. I love that Abby has embarked on this business venture, has tied her daughter Esme into the process as she manages this Nantucket store, and brings her love of travel home to us all.  Find her pillows at:  Jeoywolffer.com or choixhome.com.

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Esme with her computer case.

 

Recommended Screen Time

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Overlays.com . Anchor Novelty Panel

I’m all about the details.  Don’t get me wrong, you’ve got to have a big picture vision, but like any good golfer, if all you’ve got is a monster drive off the tee, you’ll be losing to the likes of me.  Everyone that golfs knows that the short game is where you shave strokes, where you annihilate your opponent.  It’s the same with design – for those of you that think I”m being overly dramatic, if you want to stand out – you simply have to do it in the details.

Left:  Applied to a valance gives it texture and interest.  Right:  Applied to a simple wood dresser, and painted in a solid color offers subtle texture.

Now you can spend money getting those details right, or you can get clever.  The fact is, the less money you spend, and the more clever you are, the greater the wow factor.  It’s the almighty leveler of design.  Artistry and ingenuity will always turn an eye.

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Sold in long lengths in excess of 90″ – 2″ wide, these are perfect for creating interest at baseboard level, along the moldings at the ceiling, or as a simple detail on a piece of furniture.

As I headed to the Cape to continue developing options for The Manse, I had my Galbraith & Paul – Lotus Fabric in toe.  I know, I purchased it about a million years ago now.  I’ve been in a state of recovery after having paid a mind boggling amount of money  (for me) to the Federal Government in Capital Gains tax that took the wind out of my sails.  I just stopped moving forward, and I never stop moving forward.  I have a deep fear of sinking to the bottom of the ocean like a stone, so trading water as fast as I can is a past time.

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Glam it up with a bit of gold.

Fear not, the fabric was a toe back in the water.  I popped into Helen Baker Interiors, 94 Main Street, West Harwich to ask for her help in fabricating the curtains, and enlisting her services for The Manse.  I have ideas, but so does Helen and she is great fun to work with.

Get ready to get creative.  Choose your pattern or custom design your own.  $150. base fee will get you started.

As we were catching up, introducing one another to new favorite finds, like a game of … have you heard of this…. I shared LuxHoldups.com and a few fabric designers she hadn’t worked with previously and she shared with me Myoverlays.com  – HELLO – this site is awesome.

The classics will never fail you… go Greek.

I absolutely adore geometric patterns and fretwork.  This site offers laser-cut applicable wood patterns to transform your simplest “read inexpensive” pieces into something really special.  Template, glue, paint, and prepare to be noticed.  I’m not a huge, DIY’er, but I think I could tackle this type of project.  Just considering the color combinations would pass the time.  I love that these templates can be applied to wood, glass, mirror or drywall, and come in various sizes, and custom options.

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Transform any old piece of furniture or add to existing built-ins – this age old pattern brings a touch of class

I won’t name the high-end furniture maker’s, whom I adore, and maintain allegiance, but with these beauties, you could create your own corner of cool for …. dare I say ….. thousands less.  One last pitch for a product with which I am not associated in anyway – they have templates specifically designed for the modification of IKEA furniture.  Case closed.

 

What a difference a day makes – or two

I love a weekend project.  The feeling of accomplishment that comes from doing something that I think is going to increase my enjoyment, comfort, or make me money!  There’s always that.  The making money part is a decidedly motivating factor in sacrificing a weekend – one of just 52 after all.

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There might be more than a weekends worth of work here!

Marni Elyse Katz, writer, design blogger, art collector and self-proclaimed reluctant chauffeur offers advice in this article she wrote for Coastal Living, where she called on me to ask if I had any thoughts on the matter.  Check out the article and prepare to draft your weekend plan.  It might just end up paying for your next vacation.

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Venice anyone.  Nothing says worth the effort like a ride on a boat through the canals.

 

 

Rosy Glow: Living in the pink

Photographers live for “the golden hour” that time of day when the light is glowy and romantic, and casts a shimmer and sparkle on those that are bathed in it.  It’s sequins and fireworks, and candle light.  It’s dew drops, and effervescence, and youthful sleepiness.  It’s first bloom, it’s a Florence skyline, it’s perfection.  I want perfection for a moment.  There…I said it.  I want it in that moment when the light sheds years from your world weary skin, and plumps your heart to overflowing with happiness and possibility.

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No. 4 Coming Together . Painting – Stephanie Shank . Verellen Sofa

I think I may be on my way to achieving it in my living room.  I went for the pastels and the peaches, the blush and palest of the cream white tones.  I blanketed it in a backdrop of Benjamin Moore Sand Dollar.  (oh Ben, we’ll get to you tomorrow – you’ve stepped up your game yet again – how you do please me).

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Pastel puddles under toe (not to be confused with undertow which sweeps you along and spits you out if you know how to work with it, or has disastrous ramifications, if you don’t)  We won’t think about that now.  We’ll think about the luscious Landry and Arcari Turkish Oushak that tickles my toes, and my fancy all at the same time.  Though I wasn’t sure it achieved my bright side fantasies, it is well suited to the setting and I have grown very fond of it.

 

Achieving lighting levels that will flatter you and your guests require some simple rules of thumb.

  • Variety:  Cans, pendants, chandeliers, standing lamps, table lamps, wall mounted,
  • Bulbs:  Say no to Florescent, yes to LED, and don’t be afraid to strategically employ soft pink bulbs,
  • Dimmers:  yes please – have an Electrician install them everywhere, variety is key to achieving a sultry smolder or a blushy beam,
  • In-direct:  keep them guessing.  From what point does the light emanate?  Hide it behind a plant, beneath a molding, allow it to splash a wall or painting rather than direct it’s beam toward some Bell in a Ballgown.
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Oomph Slipper . Bungalow5 Side Table . L & A . Turkish Oushak

I’ll be bringing back an Electrician – a fourth time.  There’s work to do yet, but my furnishings and art are working hard to do their part.

Re-Making of the Manse

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The Manse . circa 1789

Finding new life after more than two hundred years shows fortitude and resilience.  Jo-Jo’s late 18th century home sat directly on the frozen earth, no modern barriers of protection, its only insulation the newspaper and sail cloth that lined the walls underneath the wall paper.  Who knew wallpaper wasn’t all form, it was a big part function.  I stand educated.  Perhaps all these less technical methods allowed the house to breath.  One’s survival depends on it, after all.  I thought the old girl would crumble when she was jacked up, when that carefully preserved earth was shoveled from under her, when her old bones, which were crooked with age, were laid gently down on her new foundation, miraculously, they did not break.

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The new addition.

She rested, and settled, and straightened herself out.  When they say “built to last”  this is what they mean.  Like a surgeon at work on a poor souls scoliosis riddled back, when the builders were done, she’d grown taller.  Nearly a foot of ceiling height was gained, a modest 6′ addition added to the rear of the house to accommodate another bedroom. She underwent eye surgery of sorts, getting all new windows, and a hair cut in the form of asphalt shingles.  Her every day dress is shingled on three sides, but she’s wears her Sunday best, in the form of pale grey painted clapboards, and Nantucket Red painted doors, on her front facade, greeting Parishioners as they head to Holy Trinity just steps away.

She has been an excellent patient, allowing her team to work wonders as they fortify her skeletal structure, remove and strip the toxins – mold, lead, termites – that took up residence at 261 Main, and prepare to insert an entirely new respiratory system (Heat and AC where it didn’t exist before), and a sparkle in her eye, in the form of all new wiring and lighting.  Somehow, even now, with not a light on, she manages to shine.

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The took the whole tree trunk …why not?

This weekend was all about the big push to outfit her.  A gal can’t be expected to wear only one outfit for the next 200 years.  Flooring, hardware, appliances, fixtures, paint colors, wallpaper, you name it.  My head is swimming.  We visited Stonewood Products . 15 Greatwestern Road. W. Harwich to look at flooring and interior siding options.  Rough Sawn Fir, and Schoolhouse Oak, Shiplap in Pine.  I looked at Smeg, Blue Star, Miele, Bosch, Fisher Paykel, refrigerators and stoves at KAM Appliances . 210 Yarmouth Road . Hyannis, MA.  Martha Stewart, Woodman, and Kraft Made kitchen cabinets, and tile, Home Depot.  Subway, penny, Carrera, fish scale, Tileworks . 705 Main Street . Harwich. MA.  Vanities, sinks, color combinations.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.

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Jim Falla . The Architect in the midst of his creation.

I’ve never seen the point of troubling too much over the decisions.  You make them.  Some are good, some are bad.  You do your research and then take action.  The amount of time you worry over whether or not it’s a good decision, doesn’t seem to impact the outcome for me, one way or the other.  So, since time is money.  I make them quickly.  Jo-Jo does not.  There will be a lot of coaxing to get her to commit.  She makes me put together design boards with three options for every space.  She insists that she is my Client, in the way only Jo-Jo could.  In the way only the youngest in the family could get away with.  Much love Jo-Jo – you’re boards are in the process of being assembled.  Get ready to decide.

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Stonewood Products . I wish you could smell this place…heaven.

As I sit and look at the snow falling in the back yard, I envision a tiny house in its farthest corner.  This tiny spit of land already holds two homes, but I feel strongly that it could accommodate one more. It would be tiny after all.

Money Can’t Buy Me Love: Finding a way

Money…what a disdainful word.  I sometimes love it, sometimes hate it, and often live in fear I won’t have enough of it.  This is all normal.  Everyone must make choices, decisions, look longingly at an item, or a destination that must wait for another time.  This longing is a good thing.  It forces you to ask why you want something (in my case it’s typically because it’s beautifully designed),  and it keeps me up at night, devising ways in which I might obtain said object, or falling into a fitful sleep where I dream I own it. That about sums up my obsessiveness in a nutshell.

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Amir Khamneipur’s . Gold Table

Unrequited love got me thinking about this.  A few months back I read House Beautiful’s edition about small spaces.  They featured an interior designer’s home in Manhattan.  Just 700SF.  Amir Khamneipur’s home is exactly the home I would craft if I had that kind of money.  It’s so clever, it’s a grey goddess of color beauty, and it’s accented by mirrors, and metallics.  I am a big fan of all.  It features a gold dining table with a powder coated base in off white.  It’s heaven, and I have been like a lovesick teenager doodling images of it on the pages of my notebooks, expressing my adoration at every turn, and finding a way to bring it up, casually in conversation.  Ugh, a fool for love.

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www.thechroniclesofhome.com – Jen’s DIY Grasscloth coffee table.

This table is in fact, one of Mr. Khamneipur’s own designs.  You can buy it.  This tiny little bit of a table, just 2 feet wide by 44 inches long, runs at a cool $7900.  Well that price made my love go stone cold.  The table is too small for even my little dining nook.  If I am completely honest I had a moment of total insanity when I contemplated getting two to fill the space.  Please!  It clearly was not meant to be.  Fate has a plan for me, and it’s not Amir’s table.

Left:  Grasscloth Wallpaper . Wallpaper Direct  Right:  Benjamin Moore’s Peach Cloud

I got to thinking about customizing a piece that will appropriately fit the space.  I do want that gold top, but the logistics and timing, not to mention the cost, had me considering another option altogether.  What about grasscloth?  How hard could it be to do make one on your own?  Surely, there must be someone out there that does just this thing.  Well in fact there is.  I found a gal who has a blog called The Chronicles of Home.  Jen even lives locally.  Now she is a DIY’er, and I am not.  I like to say – “You Can Do it….I can help”!  Jen made her own custom grasscloth covered coffee table.  Quite lovely.  She riffed on a World’s Away Design, covering the base in grasscloth as well.  Me, I plan to have my Dad construct the table, and my wall covering expert paper it.  Once it’s papered I plan to run two fat gold metallic stripes down the center with a peach stripe crisply inserted between the two before I varnish the whole thing.  I may paint the legs gold too instead of covering them in the grass cloth.

Left:  Ralph Lauren’s Metallic Gold Paint Right:  Farrow and Ball’s Lotus Wallpaper.

Love should be willing to meet you at least half way, don’t you think?  Happy Home Adventures.

 

 

Spring Coat

Spring…it’s so full of promise. The fresh air that puffs in through the crack in the window, freed from the confines of its casing after the long winter.  The smell of cut grass and the sound of birds chirping – children’s laughter.

Left:  Mulberry Spring line . 2013 . Right:  Rhianna in Dior.

It’s natural to think of the outdoors, but why should your fence have all the fun?  Your furnishings are just as deserving of a fresh coat of paint as those wind ravaged planks.  When you live in locals that celebrate the seasons, it’s natures way of saying, “dress for the weather”.  Your interior should adjust to the change in temperature and temperament – just as your exterior does.  Hello spring shopping.  While its true I don’t need a change in season to signal a time for shopping, but others might.

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Bungalow5 . Taboret . In need of a new shade, but it’s 8 years old, is the perfect size for my small apartments, and works so well!

A fresh coat of paint on a piece of furniture can change the mood from cozy, dark, and mysterious, to playful and light. Now I am not suggesting you paint your furniture every four months, you’d never get it out of the shop before it was time to do it again.  Putting it on the curb isn’t the solution either.  Perfectly good pieces deserve a second chance.  When you buy furniture that is well made and classic, it can not only withstand the ages, but your whims.

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B5 . Powder Blue . What a pretty hue.

As I look around my admittedly chaotic, and cluttered home (construction is not yet complete, and my carefully orchestrated existence is exposed…quelle horror), I spy the pieces that I have carefully curated, and consider which will go to the shop to be sprayed.  If you are a DIY’er, or just someone that aspires to the same, there are plenty of resources out there to guide you on your skills journey.  Whenever I am desperate to learn something  new, super fast, I turn to YouTube.  Don’t laugh.  Everything you ever wanted to learn is packaged in easy to understand, instructional videos.  Pause as many times as you want, until you are certain you’ve got it right.  Me, I don’t have time for that.  Someday, but now, my minutes are accounted for, and I must use them wisely.

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B5 . What color would you choose?

My Bungalow5 Taboret will find its way down to Porcelain Patch & Glaze . 140 Watertown Street . Watertown . MA – www.porcelainpatch.com  where it will buy its new spring coat!