Archive for July, 2009

DSC01025Have an empty wall in need of some color? Here’s a quick fix: hang up an under-$10 pegrail from your local home supply store (I got mine from Lowe’s for $8), and resurrect some of those scarves that you collected during the pashmina-craze of the late ’90s that work with the colors in your décor. In addition to brightening up your walls, you get the added bonus of incorporating some of those long-forgotten beauties back into your wardrobe.


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DSC00989Although I try to eat veggies and fruit as much as possible, all too often our weekly produce ends up withering away in our ancient fridge “crisper” drawer.  I spotted a better way to store those fresh peaches and get a summery design kick to the countertop at my stylish friend Marianne’s house this weekend.  Placing produce in a pretty basket (she got hers here) keeps it at room temperature and moving faster from kitchen to table.  How can you resist fresh strawberries staring you down?

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West Tisbury LambI was first introduced to Alison Shaw’s work when visiting a friend on Martha’s Vineyard in the early ’90s.  Since then, Alison’s West Tisbury Lamb has become one of my favorite baby gifts.  But it wasn’t until I visited her site recently that I realized the breadth of her work.  Ranging from abstract seascapes to striking black & white architectural images to the colbalt blues of her collection from Greece, Alison’s portfolio includes sheer beauty for walls.  As a fledgling artist myself, I’m particularly drawn to her images from artists’ studios, proving that a messy space — in and of itself — can be stunning.

Alison Shaw Artists Studio

Posters, notecards, and books available online.  Fine art photography prints available at Alison’s gallery in Oak Bluffs, exhibits listed here, or by calling 508-696-7429.

Images: Alison Shaw  

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Night Night, Amy!

Amy Butler BeddingFor those of us who are fans of the bright, modern, fresh designs of Amy Butler (I sometimes wish I had a daughter just so I could dress her in clothing made with Miss Butler’s fabrics),  there’s something new to covet — a just-released line of bedding available at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I had heard word from fellow home design bloggers that Miss Butler would be releasing a line this summer and have been checking in on her site ever since.  Thanks to a late-night Twitter check-in tonight, I hear it’s finally available online!  Five collections, delicious colors, 400-thread-count sheets and 100% organic…get a good (and beautiful) night’s sleep!

Image credit: Amy Butler Design

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Butterfly Chairs

Urban Outfitters Butterfly ChairI don’t know if they’re making a resurgence, or if the great lounge chair from my childhood home just happens to be everywhere I am right now, but Butterflies seem to be following me.  First, a month or so ago while passing through Urban Outfitters — a foldable version with a leather cover.  Then in a Ralph Lauren Home ad while reading the Sunday Times.  A few weeks later, two set side-by-side as the seating area in a newly-opened local clothing boutique.  And finally, the very chair from my childhood on a recent visit to Vermont. 

Butterfly chairs, designed by Argentinian architect Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy in 1938, became commercially available when Knoll began producing them in 1947.  Since then, numerous manufacturers have produced versions of the original design, and today you can find them a retailers ranging from Modern Furniture Classics to Circa50 to PB Teen

It’s shape and endless cover choices means the incredibly versatile Butterfly can give a room a strong design statement and be used nearly everywhere.  In my house growing up, our Butterfly chair played a leading role indoors, but they can make a really stunning set up outside too, just check out the patio at the Parker Palm Springs

 Parker Palm Springs.AT


Image credit: Apartment Therapy

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bookshelf cropI’ve been in love with built-in bookshelves for as long as I can remember.  Maybe it’s that they remind me of my childhood home, or maybe it’s just that I knew from early on, without really knowing, that built-ins can be a beautiful way to maximize a space and make it feel positively custom.  Whatever the reason, I have been ripping out pictures of built-ins and fantasizing about them since I started hoarding home design magazines a decade ago.

So my dream finally came true when after spending more than two years talking incessantly about how the knee-wall in our master bedroom would be the-perfect-spot for built-ins and making grand promises of how my ever-growing piles would transform into neat, useful, and dare I say, decorative additions to our room, my husband finally gave in.   

Enter Bill Jones of FreshAir Millworks, carpenter extraordanaire.  In one short week (and only one day in our house for the installation), Jonesy whipped up a new piece for us that delivered exactly the vision I had every night as I fell asleep staring at that wall.  I don’t know why it took us so long to move on this project — possible fear of working with a contractor (we’re newbies), not knowing how to access a contractor without getting ripped off (personal referrals are key), or just getting up the gumption to spend a chunk of money on something so — well — permanent (that’s a hard one to swallow unless your absolutely sure what you want).  But the whole process of working with Jonesy was so easy, that it’s hard to stop coming up with projects for him now. 


Want a little bit of FreshAir Millworks for your home?  Contact Bill Jones at (508) 587-1109.

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Watering-Can Shower

MSLO Watering Can ShowerNow that summer has finally arrived (better late than never), I’m looking forward to long barefooted days outside.  Although the kid-proof rug in my mudspace is terrific for stopping tracked-in dirt, after my boys spend a couple of hours digging in the yard excavating dinosaurs, they’re ready for a wash-down.  Rather than giving their toesies a full-force hosing, I love this stylish and sensible idea from Martha Stewart.  Place a teak bath mat (a great slip-free surface) and a full watering can by the back door to rinse off dirty or sandy feet before coming inside.  Another dual-use option is a galvanized boot tray, souped up with drilled-in drainage holes and filled with smooth pebbles — should the rain come again (and you know it will), bring it inside and use it as a parking space for your wellies.

Image credit: Martha Stewart

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