When I think of summer I think of weekends at the beach, swimming in the pool, ice cream sandwiches, flip flops, sea glass, outdoor dining, BBQ’s, gnats and floppy beach hats (to name a few).  All of which I was able to experience over the weekend which made my kick off to summer that much more enjoyable. 

One of my favorite finds this Memorial Day was FLEA which is one of the most adorable shops/cafes in Rowayton, CT set up in a chic two door garage just behind Sails restaurant on Rowayton Avenue.  This shop has it all — handmade seashell and seaglass frames and mirrors, summer tunics, refurbished furniture, dog beds, throw pillows, framed artwork, perfume, jewelry, woven baskets, bookends, candles and more.  And the best part?  While you’re shopping and looking for that perfect nick-nack or funky new side table you can sit down (or take it on the go) and enjoy a freshly baked cupcake or brownie.. or better yet a homemade ice cream sandwich!  All deliciously prepared by dough*girl baking company.

How amazing is this space?

Picture frames, flip flops and stools.  You name it, they’ve got it!

Custom made throw pillows and bookends – perfect to spice up your own home or give as a gift to someone special

Cheeky little signs that are good for a quick laugh

unique paintings and candles that will light up any home

custom made computer cases and mercury glass votives

Laura and Laura (the co-founders of FLEA) will be there all summer and then some..I highly recommend stopping in to have a look around and to taste some of the freshest and tastiest baked goods around.  You can visit FLEA on their Facebook page (don’t forget to “like” them) for information and updates until their official website is up! 

I was also able to take a spin on this custom made electric cruiser which is now on my list of “things I need (want)”  For more information on these special cruisers please contact Jimmy at voltbikes@hotmail.com or call him at 917.359.1230.  The website is coming soon!

 





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After a long stroll and tour of the showrooms mentioned in my last post, we finally landed (and i mean we were able to sit back and enjoy some southern BBQ) at Hickory Chair where we chatted with Alexa Hampton, Mariette Himes Gomez, Thomas O’Brien and Suzanne Kasler.  They took us through their showrooms to explain how their lines were evolving and what was new to market this year.  I could go on forever about each and everyone of them but I won’t bore you with babble and I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Belle King Bed by Alexa Hampton

Thomas O’Brien’s upholstered bookcases and luxurious velvet sofa with nailheads

How amazing are these Anastasia benches by Suzanne Kasler?

Mariette Himes Gomez standing in front of her beautiful Calla bed

 

Hickory Chair is known for its timeless style since 1911 and in celebration of their 100 years in business they launched a new 1911 collection which is a must see.  These twin beds below are enough to make me want kids so I have someone to put in them!

The draping adds a little drama where drama is needed!

Gorgeous breakfront that’s available in different finishes.  Another great thing about Hickory Chair is that there are many custom options so you can make each piece your own.  Notice the blue in the interior of the cabinet – such a pleasant surprise when you open it up.

 

More to Share from Hickory Chair

Simply divine.  All of it!  Hope you are enjoying my photos from the tour of the showroom.  They say that pictures are worth 1000 words, but I can tell you that after having seen the Hickory Chair showroom in person, I can be certain that they live up to their reputation.  Each piece is crafted with quality, style and their consumer in mind.  Most importantly, they believe that building trust with their customers is most important so you know you’ll be treated with the best service when shopping at Hickory Chair.

 

 

 





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I’ve just returned from the famous High Point market in North Carolina where I was able to browse through some of the best showrooms in the business, mingle with editors, store owners, buyers, publishers, designers, bloggers and more.. and let’s just say, the trip was a success.  It’s not often that you get to have lunch with  Alexa Hampton, Suzanne Kasler, Thomas O’Brien, Mariette Himes Gomez and Katharine Hable.   

Century Furniture

There were so many amazing things to see at Century this Market but a few things really caught my eye.  They have such a wonderful range and variety of pieces and styles, so it makes it easy to find something you love.  They’re constantly evolving and refreshing their lines so that what you saw as traditional yesterday, is still tradtional, but with a twist and a touch of the unexpected.

 I entered through their garden room which emerged from nature and organic inspired fabrics.  Botanicals and gardens are very relaxing and refreshing in general, so who wouldn’t want to bring that into their home?

 A gorgeous sideboard with beautiful carved details and a touch of whitewash

Notice the fern tree fabric on the headboard and the branch-like legs on the bedside table

This chest of drawers is nature at its best.  Such a great and unique piece that will catch the eye of just about anyone

Another collection that stood out for me at Century Furniture was Ed Robinson’s natural, weathered (yet practical) line seen below.  Ed knows how to push the envelope ever so slightly to create a natural feel that’s modern and approachable.

Here you see Ed explaining his line beside his gorgeous sandblasted center table with the most exquisite base I’ve seen in a long time

 A hand rendered sketch by Ed sitting on top of the actual DR table that was produced from the sketch.  Rustic yet divine!

soft and serene

The chair below was created by a student who was selected as this years winner in Century’s student design competition known as Project UDesign.  Ryland Quillen created this fabulous next generation sustainable wing chair that wowed the judges and you can see why!  What a great and fun idea to bring a new piece into your line.

Ryland Quillen’s winning chair!

 

Hooker Furniture

I was pleasantly surprised when walking into the Hooker showroom which seems to be moving more in a transitional direction as opposed to the traditional and classic styles I remember them for.  Their Melange line stood out for me the most because every piece in the line was inspired by textiles, art, jewelry and apparel rather than existing furniture.  It just goes to show that inspiration comes from everywhere and all creations come from things that are beautiful.

A beautiful silver leafed scalloped chest of drawers lined with a fun wallpaper design on the inside!

A rustic and weathered chest of drawers with a beautiful interior lining.  Notice the ornate knobs on this piece.  Hardware can do wonders to your furniture

Hand woven water hyacinth dark mahogany bed that’s even prettier in person!

 

Sligh

Sligh furniture specializes in quality home entertainment and media furnishings that are highly practical.  So much thought goes into each piece which made me realize how focused they were on their consumers needs.  If you’re going to build a media cabinet you need to think about all the elements that are going to make that cabinet function while still keeping it stylish and well made.  It was clear that Sligh did just that.

A simple yet beautiful desk with more function than meets the eye

Here you can see how they incorporated a secret outlet for all your charging and plug-in needs!

A close up of a cabinet with a lovely robins egg blue background

One of my favorite moments in the Sligh showroom was when they showed me their room filled with 1000 (almost) oragami birds which are supposed to bring you good luck.  I’ll let you know if my luck changes in the next few days.  fingers crossed!

 

Theodore Alexander

TA struck me as high end, well crafted English furnishings that will give your home a sense of  distinction.  Although I wasn’t allowed to take pictures while in the showroom I did catch the Keno brothers showing off their unbelievable new collection exclusively sold at Theodore Alexander.  This collection is a must see because of its innovative, modern approach to fine, handcrafted and extremely labor intensive work. 

The Keno brothers (known best from ‘Antique Road Show’) explaining their collection and concepts behind each design which i have to say are extremely unique and breath taking.  They have a variety of finishes which include olive ash burl veneer and tamo veneer to mention a few.  You can see the gorgeous chevron box in the foreground that was enough to make me want more. 

 

I’ll be back to share more from my trip to the high point market including one of my all time favorites, Hickory Chair.  Until then, browse around the websites of the companies mentioned above – you won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

 

 

 





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It’s not often that people trudge around the city and go from one thrift store or flea market to the next looking for great deals these days.  Everyone wants the deal but they also want the convenience.  That’s why online shopping is the way to go.  And better yet,  I’ve started some shopping for you and found some really cool pieces, with great prices that have a lot of potential.  To continue shopping, visit Etsy, an online community where people sell and buy things that they make from all different cities around the world.  Items from top to bottom: (3 bulb pendant fixture – $345, set of 6 french shabby chic chairs – $1200, wee blue side table – $115, red wall mirror – $68, reclaimed cedar console – $105, pair of antique parlor chairs – $400, halo pendant – $130, pillow cover – $25, pair of slipper chairs – $175, milk glass pendant – $79)

This would be great as a side console or makeshift bar to entertain both indoors and out!

With a new paint job and trendy fabric, these chairs would be the hit of any room!

Happy shopping.  The deals are out there if you know where to look!

 





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People are often asking me how to update their look and bring in a modern edge without going overboard.  There are plenty of ways to do this, but the best and most affordable is by having fun with accessories, trim and artwork.  Take these fun, bold and trendy fabrics from Calico Corners and make an assortment of throw pillows.  You could even trim existing pillows, the bottom of a skirt on a sofa/chair or your curtains that are just dying to be jazzed up.   If you’re feeling brave, I highly recommend re-upholstering a traditional chair with a fun ikat or geometric pattern.  Your chair will thank you later.  There are no limits, so do your room a favor and give it some life!

Take a look at some great fabrics at great prices from Calico Corners that will help you get your project underway!

khandar cinibar – $16.14

magnificat – $21.24

corazon seaglass – $50.14

soiree leaf – $18.69

damon – $45.89

ada adobe – $33.99

precision – $59.49

key west – $12.74

baldwin brown – $18.69

cats cradle – $22.09





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Get Lost!

Posted By MaterialGirls | Feb 04, 2010 | 3 Comments | Category: Events, Fabric, Shops and Showrooms

If you haven’t ever heard of Lost City Products, you must check them out!  They are a New York fabric power house that is known for modernizing hand-embroidery.

We have featured their breathtaking fabrics in our Weekender newsletter before, but of course we had to share them on the blog too!

Not only are their fabrics readily available to the trade and to retail stores, but their exhibition, Lost City: The Art of Embroidery will soon be accessible as well!  Be sure to stop by its opening, hosted by Magasin Totale, on February 4th (from 6-9pm).  The exhibition runs from February 4th through March 1st in Brooklyn, NY. (Wed-Sat 12-6 pm)

Oh, forgot to mention one thing- it’s FREE!  So go soak up as much information as you can from Afshan Durrani, the founder of Lost City, on this beautiful art form.

10 Jay Street, Suite 724

Brooklyn, NY 11201





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I have been a little obsessed with Home Goods lately.  In case you don’t know, they are owned by TJ Maxx and Marshalls so it’s the same concept, designer pieces at insanely discounted prices! I think I have been going there at least two times a week to shop for clients, shop for myself, and just to look around when I have nowhere else to put all of their beautiful “Home Goods”.  My favorite part of shopping there:

THE PRICES ARE UN-FREAKIN’-BELIEVABLE!

Here are some of the many treasures I found…

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I love this turquoise color in this ceramic piece. This was $29!

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I ended up taking home this very large green ceramic pot and am going to put it next to my fireplace and fill it with logs for the winter! I love to use a piece out of context.  It makes it so much more interesting! It only cost me $59!

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I really liked this black urn. Every time I go in there I try to think of which one of my clients could use it. Eventually I’ll buy it for myself out of desperation and then have nowhere to put it!

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And the same thing is going to happen with all of these glam geometric patterned wooden boxes. They are around $16.99 ea! I may end up filling my office with them.

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Speaking of offices, I ended up buying this huge silver mirror for a client’s office and am going to hang it above his desk.  I prefer big statement pieces when accessorizing rather than zillions of little picture frames that clutter up a space. This mirror is 40″ round and only cost $79.00!

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This large dresser is in perfect condition except that it is missing some knobs (easy to replace, and I like replacing them with clear glass knobs anyway, but I’ll try to talk them down on the price regardless!). It is $599 and I want to get it for a client’s bedroom.  So pretty!

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I wish I had taken a better picture of these! They are faux crocodile leather ottomans in a perfect color orange. $79 ea! I bought one in chartreuse for my living room….

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My living room :) The starburst mirror on the mantel is also from Home Goods. I had bought it for a client and am procrastinating on dropping it off at her house because I love how it looks there on my mantel and I can’t find another one that I like! It was $29! Seriously, $29!

PS: Isn’t my little yellow table so cute! I bought it at a garage sale and spray painted it and then distressed it. It was a stained dark finish before and now it is so sunny and bright! I want to get a cowhide rug to go under this little vignette. I think it will finish it off nicely! I’m trying to talk myself out of a zebra print one because they are SO trendy, but I LOVE THEM! I can’t help it!

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The other side of my living room (you don’t get much space in NY for your $…I mean your $$$$$$$$$$$$) But I did what I could with it! The lamps are from Home Goods too, of course. They have the BEST lamps for the prices. These were $59 ea! You can see the interior of the shade is lined in metallic silver to match the bases. They are really beautiful and very well made! Unfortunately, they are also going out to a client’s house soon! :(   I always find the best things for my clients and never for myself!  So frustrating! I’ve decided that I am going to search every Home Goods within 50 miles to find this exact pair! I don’t want to give them up!

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Another Home Goods find. $299.  You can’t really beat that and the lines on this are complemented beautifully with the neutral fabric and natural wood finish.

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This little side table would be perfect in my Masculine Decor blog I wrote last month. So “Man-Chic”!

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You can’t really beat this chair for $99. It would be cute in a bedroom in a corner, something to throw all your clothes on!

I feel like I didn’t even do a good job of showing all that they have to offer, looking back.  Their linens are great, mirrors are spectacular, accessories are AMAZING and like I said earlier, the best part is that it is all so ridiculously affordable!  They also have the best holiday decor.  I see things there that I recognize from Z-Gallerie all the time! If you’ve never been, do your self a favor and GO! You’ll end up obsessed, just like I am, frantically re-doing your home every two weeks, just like I do!

Happy Shopping!





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So, I know I’m suppose to be writing about NY, but I LOVE this LA store Room Service, which looks like it took all of the cool furniture and design inpiration from Kelly Wearstler’s Maison 140 and made it accesible to buy! Hooray! I am a HUGE Kelly Wearstler fan, aren’t we all, but I SWEAR I loved her WAAAAAY before she became so famous! Kelly, I LOVE YOU!!!

Anyway, back to my blog….So, I’m sure you have all seen Maison 140 pics a million times over, but take a look at this montage and compare to the pics from the Room Service store below. They really nailed her look and they seem to be trying to make it somewhat affordable (for now anyway).

Maison 140…been there, done that (and I want to do it again, and again, and again…)

This bedroom vignette is a total take off on Kelly Wearstler’s style, but that’s ok because I LOVE HER!!!…did I say that already?

Aspen Sofa $1995

Black Riviera Chair $1,3595 ea…ok, well these are a little pricey, but soooo HOT!

SOOOOOOOOOOOO Kelly, but they funk it up a little more with the mod pieces. Definitely her colors and patterns though!

So, Room Service, if you’re reading this, PLEASE COME TO NYC!!

Oh, and Kelly, if your reading this, I LOVE YOU!!





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Ethan Allen, Revisited

Posted By Abby - New York | Feb 22, 2009 | 3 Comments | Category: Shops and Showrooms

While browsing my Sunday paper I came across an article about Danbury, CT based company Ethan Allen. They have recently launched a new Contract Division and hope to start providing furniture to the hospitality industry.

According to the article, 85% of Ethan Allen’s products have been newly added within the last 3 years. I myself have noticed a revamping of sorts from recent commercials so I decided to check out their website. In my opinion the site is a bit hard to navigate but they offer up several looks and inspiration images to help get you started.

I liked a lot of what I saw on the site and thought the featured “looks” to be a nice touch (especially for non-designers). Perhaps with almost stagnant home sales and a lull in home furniture sales we will see more residential furniture companies target the hospitality industry. Let’s just hope the hospitality industry needs them.





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I spotted these Greek Key side tables in a shop window called Trovare Home located in Cos Cob, CT!

Their website doesn’t seem to be up and running yet but I found a press release with the help of google:

The shop was closed when I was in town so I couldn’t browse but I will be back to check it out!

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