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Friday, September 28, 2007

Talking Sustainability with GM

Earlier today, I had the chance to sit down with Jay Ferraro and Adam Denison from General Motors. They're in town as part of the AltWheels Festival.

Over lunch at the Union Oyster House, we discussed the steps GM is taking to become more sustainable. Check this out:

  • By 2012, 50% off all GM vehicles will be able to run on ethanol (There are already 2.5M "FlexFuel" vehicles on the road now).
  • Chevy is launching hybrid versions of the Tahoe SUV and Malibu sedan. The Malibu Hybrid gets as good gas mileage as the Camry Hybrid.
  • Saturn currently offers the Aura Hybrid sedan, and will be releasing the Vue Hybrid compact SUV for 2008.
  • Chevy will reportedly begin production testing the plug-in Hybrid Volt (it goes up to 40 miles before it uses any gas!) by this time next year.
Since this is a design blog, let me point out, the new Malibu is a great looking sedan. Smooth lines, a quality interior - this is not your old Celebrity.

The AltWheels festival is running through tomorrow at City Hall Plaza.

Here is a commercial that GM made for the Volt - a car that's not even "officially" slated for production...

BoConcept Party in SoHo.

Last Wednesday was the one-year anniversary of DesignBoston, and I celebrated the same way any self-respecting Bostonian would: I went to New York.

Okay, I didn't go to NY because it was DB's birthday, but who's counting? No, I (and my friend Chris) went down to take part in BoConcept's Urban Design party, a celebration of their new 2008 collection.

We were treated to a special visit by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark "who is in New York for 'Creative Nation' a week-long event to highlight the dynamism and innovation of Danish design and companies. BoConcept is one of Denmark's leading furniture retailers and so was the logical choice when featuring this modern, dynamic country during the royal visit."

We were also able to meet Morten Georgsen, the top designer for BoConcept, who flew in from Valencia, Spain, where his design studio is.

I had a great time. I got the chance to see Tina Pilgaard, BoConcept's Marketing Director for the US, and got the chance to finally meet Ciara Cronin, the Marketing Coordinator (we had a nearly continuous stream of emails for nearly a year before this).

Lastly, check this out: After the party, I was looking through their newest catalog, and I found an article on home entertainment centers written by Brad Dufton, the Manager of the BoConcept store in Cambridge! Way to go Brad!

Friday, September 14, 2007


To be honest, I know an area rug helps bring a room together, but beyond that, I know little about rugs and carpeting. Thankfully, there's Dabbieri.

A blog from the Dabbieri Collection, "an exclusive brand of beautifully designed carpeting carefully assembled by International Design Guild - an alliance of premier showroom owners dedicated to providing design professionals and consumers with the widest selection of exceptional floor coverings."

The blog is part marketing, part instructive. I particularly like the Design Tips that appear every so often, teaching readers about the use of pattern and texture, or sustainability, or even tips on buying an oriental rug.

Visit Turtle durning the SEOS

While you're walking around the South End this weekend for their annual South End Open Studios, be sure to stop in at Turtle, where local designers will be showing off their wares.

Tess Coburn of Theresa Crowninshield will be there, showing off her limited edition jackets and coats, as will Crista Jackael of Pink Sequin Designs with her handmade hats, pins and accessories.

619 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02118

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I don't normally post about restaurants, but it's their birthday, so I'm making an exception. Bouchee, a French-American Brasserie on Newbury St, opened its doors one year ago today.

The first thing about Bouchee I fell in love with was the interior. Designed by Steven Sousa of Sousa Design Architects, the restaurant is a modern interpretation of a classical French style. It is a bright, open, friendly space. The one thing that truly stands out is the lighting: from the huge, round pendants on the second floor, to the lit stairs and columns, the lighting is truly spectacular.

Of course, the food is just as great. I've eaten there twice and was quite impressed both times. The first time was for lunch: I had the Steak Frites, a 10 oz. sirloin strip with maitre d'hotel butter and pommes frites (French fries). The second time was for dinner: I had the Pork a la Milanese, a breaded, pan fried pork chop with a Pinot Noir reduction and a green apple salad.

The staff is incredibly friendly too. Which is where the real news is. Within the next few weeks, yours truly will be joining Bouchee as their newest Server. Please stop by and say hi!


My friend Gina works in advertising in NYC. She sent me links to a BUNCH of impressive graphic design and advertising companies. It'll take me a while to post all of them, so I'll start with the Boston-based company.

If their website tells you anything, it's that Modernista! is not boring. There are so many moving and clickable things, you will be amused for quite a while.

The heading of their "About" section says it all: "Modernista! is not for everyone. We believe advertising is more an art than a science and that truly great creative work is priceless in today's cluttered market of parity products."

Started in 2000, the multi-disciplinary company has worked with such clients as (Product) Red, Converse (one of their print ads is pictured), and Cadillac. They have also been featured in numerous publications, like Adweek, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

ICFF Studio

Are you a furniture designer looking to get some world-class attention? Well, the next ICFF isn't happening for another eight months, but now is the time to start trying to get in on the action.

ICFF Studio is your chance to get your name and, more importantly, product out there. "Conceived as a way to help young and promising designers with prototypes connect with the ICFF's manufacturer attendees as well as the always news-hungry media, ICFF Studio makes the ICFF a truly practical venue for emerging talents."

Get the rules and submission form here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Recommended reading

The other day, I was bored and decided to Google myself. Yeah, lame, I know, but I found out that the Dwell blog posted about my interview with Sam Grawe and his recommended reading. How cool!

Pinkcomma Gallery

Chris Grimley from over,under emailed me to announce that the multi-disciplinary design firm is opening a new gallery, Pinkcomma Gallery. For the sake of (my) convenience, here is the press release:

Please join us on September 15 and 16th for the opening of the
Pinkcomma Gallery as well as a chance to see office space of our
firm, over,under. Pinkcomma is a new gallery dedicated to showcasing
the emerging design culture in the Boston area. We will be hosting
our first exhibition this weekend for South End Open Studios, with
support from ArchitectureBoston and the Boston Society of Architects.

The show includes reproductions of design sketches from Boston City
Hall's original architects as well as the work of five emerging
design firms that have created proposals for rethinking the structure
as it stands today. See the attached invitation for more information
or visit our website. We are located near the corner of Wareham and
Albany Streets. Look for the big pink sign.

Pinkcomma Gallery + over,under
81B Wareham Street
Boston, MA 02118

Open Studio Weekend Hours: September 15-16, 11-6pm
Opening Event: Saturday, September 15, 6-8pm
On view through October 5 during weekday business hours and by

Feel free to email us if you have questions. We all look forward to
seeing you soon!

Chris Grimley

Mark Pasnik

Rami el Samahy

Roberto de Oliveira Castro

This sounds like a great show. I'm going to stop by on Sunday. If you go, let me know what you think!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Girl in the Green Dress

Check this out: Another Boston-based blog, Girl in the Green Dress.

Traci, the blog's owner, blogs "about design, architecture, art, photography, film, popular culture and add my own photographs from time to time."

Not only is she a diligent blogger (111 posts in July!), Traci's trained in both interior design and historical preservation. She's working freelance on renovating a Second Empire style home in Jamaica Plain and adding an addition onto a home in Maine. Oh, and she's working on starting her own modern design store in Boston. Makes feel lazy by comparison.


Shilpa Akasha is a New York-based textile designer. Her products have been featured in various magazines including ‘Metropolitan Home’, ‘O Magazine’, 'Instyle Home’, ‘Home Companion’ and ‘Elle Decoration’.

Why am I posting about a New York designer, you ask. Well, she's recently launched a new website and is offering a discount to DesignBoston readers!

Browse through her selection of bedding, cushions and throw pillows, PJs and accessories. Pick out what you like, and enter the coupon code "DBOS" on the checkout screen to get a 30% discount.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

New iPod Touch and Redesigned Nano

Here are two big things for everyone that rides the T every day: Apple has released the new iPod Touch and a redesigned iPod Nano.

The iPod Touch looks like it, but doesn't have the phone or camera functions of the iPhone. With a touch screen interface, a 3.5" display, up to 16GB worth of storage and the ability to browse the internet over a WiFi network, this is one sweet iPod. Of course all that coolness doesn't come cheap - the 16GB version is $399.

The iPod Nano is shorter and thinner (only 6.5mm!) than before, but has a bigger, brighter screen. According to Apple, it's the world's most popular music player, and by the numbers I see around Boston, I don't doubt it.

United South End Artists Open Studios

For 21 years now, the United South End Artists have been opening their doors on the third weekend in September for their annual Open Studios.

This year, you will have the chance to meet over 250 USEA artists "working in a range of media...oils, watercolors, photography, sculpture, mixed media, fiber arts, ceramics, jewelry, wood, glass, and metal as well as other visual and performance arts."

Rug maker Linda Garriott emailed me to let me know she'll be in the group space at 460 Harrison Ave on both Saturday and Sunday, September 15 and 16. Be sure to stop by and say hi to her!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

domino's $10,000 Decorating Contest

For the first time ever, domino magazine is having a decorating contest:

domino is asking the public (only amateurs -- no professionals, please!) to show us how good their decorating is and they could win a $10,000 shopping spree.

All people have to do is simple ENTER NOW on www.dominomag.com and upload ONE photo of their best decorated room in their home.

BONUS: Everyone is automatically entered in a drawing to win a free $3,000 spa trip—AND every person who enters receives a free makeup sample.

domino will choose FIVE finalists by October 23rd and then THE PUBLIC VOTES FOR THE WINNER on www.dominomag.com (from 10/23/07—11/30/07). The winner will be announced in January 2008 and will be featured in the February 2008 domino issue. See the website for the complete rules.

MFA College Night

Seeing as I'm back in school, I'm up on such happenings as the MFA's College Night. On Thursday, September 27, from 7 to midnight, the MFA is inviting every college student in the city to come, mingle and enjoy great art and music:

"The MFA is free for college students every day of the year. But tonight, we're throwing a party just for you. Show us your college ID, and we'll give you a DJ dance party, $2 pizza slices, MFA Mobile wallpaper, Thurston Moore on his "Trees outside the Academy" tour, and, of course, ART (lucky you—it's also opening night of "Walk This Way," our kickin' exhibition of shoes on display throughout the Museum)."

For those that don't know, Thurston Moore is the uber-talented lead singer of the seminal alternative/indie/noise rock group Sonic Youth - one of the coolest bands ever. Not that I wasn't before, but I am SO glad to back in school to catch this.


The Huron St./Fresh Pond area of Cambridge is teeming with great design stores. Right up the road from both Reside and Marimekko is Didrick's, a unique store with two floors of elegant interior and exterior furniture, tableware, rugs, and accessories.

Designer products include "glass and pottery by Simon Pearce, crystal and metal by Nambe, Belgian linens by Libeco Home, tablemats and floor mats by Chilewich, designer rugs by Angela Adams and Linda Garriott and so much more." They are also the exclusive in-store supplier of Bamboo Fencer structures.

The space is well laid out, and Jonathan Henke, the owner, is friendly and quite attentive.

190 Concord Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

CW Quinn

Right down the street from the Brookline Village T stop (across the street from my school), sits a tiny store front. A few weeks ago, a sign went up: "CW Quinn - Heirlooms for the 21st Century". There was nothing inside, though. I was intrigued.

One day, I walked by, and the space was filled with gorgeous furniture. But the door was locked. I wanted to check this place out!

Today, Ben Durrell (whom I've posted about previously), sent me a link to the website, with "beautiful store front. have not looked inside yet. opening event this weekend."

I looked over the site, and Ben wasn't lying. The opening reception is this Saturday, September 8, from 4-8pm.

Charles Quinn is the owner of CW Quinn (obviously, right?). A successful architect and product designer, he has now ventured into custom modern furniture made with "time-tested, labor-intensive handcraft processes".

I won't be able to make the reception (it's my son's birthday), but look forward to visiting Charles in the near future.

CW Quinn
2 White Place
Brookline Village, MA 02445

Article: 50 Practical Home Office Feng Shui Tips

For all of you that work from home, check this out: Bootstrapper, a blog focusing on self-employment, offers "50 Practical Home Office Feng Shui Tips". It has tips on everything from arranging your furniture, decorations and plants, to managing distracting sounds.

As a former work-at-home'r (and a current student), I see the value in a lot of these tips.

Thanks to Rich for the tip!

Rosemary Porto | Luxury Kitchen Design

After several years as head designer for Poggenpohl's Newbury Street store, Rosemary Porto has started her own firm, Luxury Kitchen.

I met Rosemary last year when she spoke at a DWR event. I have to say, she has an amazing ability to transform mundane kitchens into breathtaking spaces. If you're looking to redesign your kitchen, Rosemary is the person to call.

Not that you need it, but good luck Rosemary!

Luxury Kitchen