Monday, February 21, 2011

New England Finery!

Just a quick post today to introduce a brand new online magazine...New England Finery.  Yvonne Blacker and Linda Smith, interior designers from the north shore of Boston (and friends of mine) have put together a fabulous magazine highlighting the finer points of the New England area - interior design, fashion, local businesses and New England success stories, to name a few.  Click on the link to read for yourself!


I introduced the two of them this summer.  (Yvonne and I both display our items at Linda's Middleton store, New England Fine Living.)  Their creative talents clicked and voila!  the birth of  a magazine! 

My husband Dave and I are in one of the photos taken at the Steven's Estate in Andover MA, and a picture of my vignette from the Danvers Historical Society's Design Show appears at the end.  Thank you, ladies, for including me!  I'm honored to be in your first issue!

"Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." - Herman Cain  

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Color Of The Heart

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!  Here's a no-brainer - color of the day....? (If you don't know the answer, go back to bed and start over again!)

Red - one of my favorite colors!  But like me, can only be taken in small doses!  It can be bold, sassy, and confident!  Red is my go-to accent color.

My "Wizard of Oz Ruby Red Heels" adds a playful touch to a neutral outfit...

The cardinal - a great pop of color during these very, very, very white days!

The rose my husband gave me for Valentine's Day!  The poor man - I have hog-tied him to the sofa on Monday nights to watch my favorite reality show - The Bachelor.  When he brought home the rose, I said "Yes, I will accept this rose..."  I need to step away from the TV...

Using red in your decor can be tricky.  If used in too many places, your room will scream at you, like the red of this Valentines themed hotel room.

Google Image
This is just RED DONE WRONG!!  There is no break from the red.  If I slept here, I'd be praying for white sheets!

Google Images - Elle Decor

The above picture is RED DONE RIGHT!!  The red walls are a soft orangy red, broken up by white moudling.  A few red furniture pieces for accent and that wonderful "not red" rug makes this room easy to be in.

Google images - Mdecodesign

The bold stripes of this kid's room from Mdecodesign makes this room fun!  White furniture and natural wood flooring let's the red stand out.

Google Images

 This ultra-contemporary room, above, uses red in a few places to make a bold statement.  Red is at home in all settings if used correctly.

Enjoy the rest of this Valentine's Day!  Embrace your "redness"!

"Red is the ultimate cure for sadness." - Bill Blass

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Road Trip!! - Day Two

Day Two at the New York International Gift Fair...Yvonne and I said goodbye to my friend, Tina, and headed to the Javits Center.

Me and Tina
 As soon as we walked in, we came across this fabulous display of glass and lampshades.  Artecnica of Los Angeles, CA  ( offers a sleek collection of tranSglass - their brochure calls it "recycled radiance" and I agree!  Not only is the glass made of recycled material, they enlist the help of "Aid To Artisans", a non-profit organization that provides assistance to artisans worldwide.  Beautiful products while providing opportunities to others!

Artecnica tranSglass

If you like their glass, you will love their lighting!  Chandeliers made from cut white Tyvek paper.  Midsummer Light, Grand Trianon and La Couronne are some of my favorites!

Midsummer Light Shade

 Look at that fabulous detail!  Finely cut white Tyvek paper! A real show-stopper in an entryway or hallway!  Kind of reminds me of the flowing skirt of a woman's gown.

I can see the Petit Trianon (left, white) flanking the sides of a bed over a pair of nightstands.  La Couronne (right) made of thin copper foil material would look fabulous in a teenage girl's room!  

Wandering over to the Textiles section,  we found my favorite pillow guy from J & S International.  He always has these great wool chain-stitched pillow covers.  Of course, I had to purchase some to spruce up my sofa for the spring season (that may never come!!)  And some for a favorite client of mine who has a leather sofa that's screaming for something to soften it up!

J & S International pillow covers

 Here are the detachable "muff cuffs" I mentioned in the last post from Caron Miller ( How cute are they!!  Slide them onto the sleeve or your coat or sweater and you have a whole new look! 

I never thought I'd say it, but I've had enough shopping!!  Time to lug those suitcases 7 blocks through the snow (what were we thinking??) and onto the bus for the long ride home. 

Yvonne Blacker with me at Tina's apartment

Good friends and shopping...the perfect weekend!

"Shopping is a woman thing.  It's a contact sport like football.  Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase."  ~Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Road Trip!!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am sick of winter, sick of shoveling, and sick of looking at nothing but white!!  So what's a girl to do??  Grab a girlfriend and head down to New York City for the New York International Gift Fair!   The semi-annual event open to designers and retailers, features vendors from all over the globe showcasing their goods.   Yvonne Blacker, my fellow design blogger and traveling companion (remember the Nate Show??)  hopped a bus with me for two full days of furniture, accessories, texture and design inspiration!  Just what I needed to get my creative juices flowing!!

The displays were fabulous!  Even though the Pantone Color of the Year is Honeysuckle (a bright, dark pink), we saw lots of grey and dusky lavender.


This display from Oly ( consisted of a great mix of traditional and contemporary accessories.  Sleek white sofa contrasted with the thick wood of the chandelier...traditionally carved cabinet and the ultra-chic sunburst mirror. And, of course, the requisite animal print pillow!  Animal prints are big this year!  Giraffe, zebra, and cheetah abound in their natural coloration and dyed counterparts.  (Teal blue zebra, anyone??)

How about this sofa with the cut out back?  More like two lounging chaise chairs put together!  Interesting and artistic!

And for those with a real sense of whimsey and nostalgia, how about a Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn chair from Camilla House Imports?

Rounding the corner, we came upon Boston favorites Stacy Kunstel and her partner Michael Partenio of Dunes and Duchess showing off one of their wonderful candelabras.  Stacy is also the Homes Editor of New England Home magazine.  Check out their website for romantic tales of  design!

Stacy Kunstel and Michael Partenio

We were supposed to be at the NYIGF scoping out new products for our design business, but we somehow got sidetracked in the more "gift-y" sections too!   Caron Miller ( had these adorable fur cuffs that you can slide onto the arm of your coat or sweater and voila! instant elegance or faux fur fun!! (Had to buy some!)  They also had cuffs for your boots too!  Transforms your basic boots into a fun fashion statement!  Then we came upon MagneHealth Inc. (  They were showing their selection of magnetic bracelets and rings that are supposed to work on pressure points to help suppress appetite and help with arthritis pain.   Since I like to eat (sometimes too much!) and I have arthritis in my hands, I had to buy some of these too,  if only to test them out to see if the claims are true!   ( Of course, the fact that the black and crystal beads are absolutely stunning, had nothing to do with it!!).   Hey, I was in Manhattan for two full days and didn't buy any pocketbooks or will power had to give out sometime!

Weary and overwhelmed from traveling and shopping, we headed to my friend Tina's lovely garden apartment in Chelsea.  (Thanks T for your gracious hospitality!)   A quick walk around the corner brought us to The Cuba Cafe and their extremely delicious mango mojitos and chicken empanadas.   My "teen-hood"  friend,  Annie,  joined us to make our night complete!  Stay tuned for Day Two and more fabulous finds!

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping."  ~Bo Derek