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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Help Wanted at Hudson

Hudson, the South End "purveyor of fine home furnishings and accessories," is hiring.

According to a recent ad on Craigslist, "Hudson is looking for an outgoing individual who is comfortable dealing with customers and trade professionals. Someone who is passionate about interior design and is knowledgeable of current trends is ideal."

The right candidate will have previous retail experience, a background in Interior Design and is both dog-friendly and a non-smoker. As it is with retail, weekends are a must. The position is set to begin just after the New Year; it will be a part time position, 20-30 hours a week.

Again per the CL ad: "This is a growing store/Interior Design Business, there is a great chance for growth in both the Retail and Interior Design sides of the business."

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Have a wonderful Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Angela Liguori on Etsy

Angela Liguori, whom I've written about previously, contacted me to let me know that she has recently started her own Etsy shop.

Now, you can purchase her "custom made invitations and announcements, hand-bound books, fill-in invitations, recipe books and cotton ribbons directly imported from Italy," even if you can't get to her Brookline location.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Yale Appliance Blog

Yale ApplianceAnyone that has the misfortune to commute up and down 93 South everyday knows Yale Appliance. The Dorchester appliance store, and one of the City of Boston's first Green Award recipients,
has its own blog.

Run by Steve, a 22-year veteran of Yale Appliance, the blog highlights changes in the appliance industry, new product releases, as well as steps that you can take to make your home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Yale Appliance
296 Freeport Street
Boston MA 02122

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dinner with Bloggers

Last week, I was invited to a group dinner hosted by a few people from GM's New Media team, including Adam Denison, who I met in September. Also invited was Aaron Tang, who writes the designverb blog, and Erin Kane and Kristin Brandt, creators of the Manic Mommies podcast.

The idea of dinner with an industrial designer, two working mothers (Erin is a PR rep, Kristin is in advertising), three reps from a corporate giant, and an interior design student seems a bit strange, but it was a great time. Everyone was excited to see the ways that Web 2.0 is connecting the world, from blogs to podcasts to even microblogs like Twitter.

Also, congratulations to GM for winning an award of excellence from the Society for New Communications Research. Good job, guys!

IDSA Boston Holiday Wrap Party

The Boston chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America is getting together for "a night of gift wrapping, food, drinks and holiday cheer for everyone!"

The Wrap Part will be at Essential Design, a local industrial design firm. The party is this Thursday, December 13, starting at 7:00. RSVP here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Artweek Boston

Throughout the city this week, various restaurants and bars will be giving up their wall space for Artweek. Over a dozen artists will be featured in seven events, at a different location each night (the first event was last night, sorry!). Live and DJ'd music will provide a soundtrack to the visual stimuli. For a full schedule of events, go to the Artweek Boston site.

Benedetto Imports

For centuries, the island of Murano, off the coast of Venice, has been a center for glass making. At work a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to meet Carol Scalzo, the owner of Benedetto Imports, which imports Murano Glass.

Benedetto Imports sells all types of Murano glass objects - vases, jewelry, mirrors, and more. The chandelier pictured is in production and will be installed in the Revival Flooring & Stoneworks showroom in Hingham, MA.

Carol says she takes no credit in creating these wonderful pieces of art, but "putting them together is an art within itself." I don't doubt it!

I'm typically into more modern design than Murano glass, but between the world-renowned level of craftsmanship in the glass works and Carol's expertise in the importation and installation, I have to give my recommendation.

Benedetto Imports
Carol Scalzo
mobile 781-956-2363
office 781-255-0762

Vessel's Friends and Family Festive Frenzy

The Vessel people said it well enough...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dining By Design

Linda Merrill was lucky enough to take part in the preview day of the recent DIFFA Dining By Design event. It took place last weekend in the Black Falcon Terminal in South Boston.

Now in its 10th year, the Boston event was the last DBD event of the year. Take a look at Linda's write up and the great photos she took.

Also, congratulations goes out to Linda, who will be on the board of the IFDA for 2008. Way to go, Linda!

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Do you have a blank wall that could use a little art? How about custom art? Too expensive, you say? Not so with Artsetera, a new Boston-based site.

According to Artsetera's own Warren, "Artsetera is a very unique concept in that we allow the visitor to create sets of canvas wrap squares (12" x 12" x 1.5") that they can then see in a room setting and even change the wall color to match their home decor. Sets can range from 1 to 9 and customers can even rotate the squares to make a unique impression." Sets start at only $60.

All of the paintings are designed by Lincoln-based artist Amy Goodwin (who owns the first production Flatpak house!). The designs are sent to China, where the paintings are made, in a "painting factory" (Amy has a good description and photo gallery of it).

I haven't seen any of Artsetera's paintings in person, but it sounds like the attention to quality is there. Again, Warren: "We use a proprietary painting process to produce uniquely brilliant works of art. Each picture style is custom designed and hand painted in oil on canvas. We then use a proprietary process to digitize the image. The original artist then computer-enhances and colorizes the painting. Finally, the images are applied to high-quality cotton canvas and hand-brushed over for a textured, layered, unique look."

To sum it up, Artsetera seems to be good quality, customized art, at a reasonable price.

Paul Lukez "Suburban Transformation"

Paul Lukez - Somerville-based architect and Assistant Professor of Architectural Design at MIT - has released a new book, Suburban Transformations.

In it, Lukez "outlines innovative proposals for restoring sustainability and energy efficiency, as well as unique, inviting identity, to America's suburbs. He presents meticulously detailed plans for Boston suburbs Burlington, Dedham, and Revere (as well as locations in China and the Netherlands) and introduces a detailed mapping system (called the Adaptive Design Process) that gives suburban planners, developers, and residents a method for envisioning a range of dynamic futures for their communities."

Along with the book, Lukez has set up a complementary site, "a repository for design ideas and reference for suburban design and development." The book and site are meant as a catalyst for discussion on creating sustainable suburbs that have "a distinct character and unique identity."

Chris Kelly, Lukez's PR rep, told me the book is academic, yet an interesting read. He is sending me a copy of the book to review. I am quite interested to read it, both for myself and for review. Once I'm done, I'll let you all know what I think.

If you have any books, new products, or whatever that you would like me to review, please contact me.

Angela Adams Stockings

What is Christmas in New England with stocking hung by the chimney with care?

Sure, we love our traditions, but why be so, well, traditional about the stockings you choose? Spruce up that mantle with a few of Angela Adams' new Holiday Stockings!

The stockings are available in three styles: the mod-inspired Kenga (above), the playfully-circular Lulu (right), and the boxy-but-fun Corice (below).

Aside from the fact that they are great designs made by a top notch designer (so you know it's great quality), they are designed a couple hours drive (or a pleasant train ride) north of Boston, in Portland, ME.

Also, if you want to keep up to date with all that's happening with Angela and her rugs, handbags, and the rest, check out her blog.

New Bliss Home Site

Just in time for the holidays, Bliss Home, one of my favorite stores on Newbury Street, has relaunched blisshome.com.

Right on the home page, you are presented with gift options in the under $50, $50-100, and over $100 ranges. They also have adorable holiday figurines from Alessi (scroll down a bit).

As always, the store is jam packed with great gift ideas. Having won the 2007 Best of Boston award for Best Tableware, you can bet that's one product they have top notch choices on.

Bliss Home
121 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116


My roommate Amanda, probably the most eco-friendly person I know, tipped me off to this great new house design: the zeroHouse, designed by Scott Specht, AIA, of Specht Harpman, a New York- and Austin, TX-based architecture firm.

The tall, thin structure is completely self-dependent: It generates its own electricity via solar panels on the roof; collects its own water through a rainwater collection plane into a 2700 gallon cistern; processes its own waste in a digester unit underneath the house; and is completely automatic, "monitored by an array of sensors, and regulated by a 'house brain' that can be controlled through any laptop computer."

Not only built for efficiency, but also comfort, the zeroHouse feautres a living-room, kitchen, full bath and two bedrooms. The living and sleeping zones are fully climate controlled, with separate high-efficiency heating and air-conditioning systems.

The photos of the zeroHouse feature it alone in an otherwise humanless, nature-filled landscape. I'm sure it's meant to highlight the "off-the-grid" ability of the house, but I would love to see an entire block of zeroHouses in Boston.

(via ecofriend)

Friday, December 07, 2007

New Dwell.com

Dwell has recently launched a new version of their website. The new version is touted as giving "the site a fresh look, fluid navigation, and flawlessly showcases Dwell's award-winning editorial content and photography in a way that is distinctly Dwell."

The site is broken into five categories - Dwell Daily, Homes, Products, People & Places, and Resources - with various subcategories beneath those.

Also new is the "Design Leader" video series. So far, eight prominent archtects and designers have been featured in the videos, including Christopher Deam, Andrea Cochran, and Michelle Kaufmann (whose video can be watched in the player above). I like how each video, in just a few minutes, reveals a little of the featured designer's personality, as well as their work.

I like how, even though there is the everpresent "Subscribe" button, it doesn't feel like a website's magazine. Good job, Dwell.

Goodbye Figs and Ginger

Figs and Ginger, the husband and wife team of Elijah and Rhonda Wyman, are leaving the city behind. After being part of Boston's indie design scene for several years, they are taking off as of Christmas Eve for the hills of Asheville, NC. Luckily, the the Internet reaches even Appalachia, so you'll still be able to browse their online catalog for great handmade jewelry.

I have an uncle that grew up just outside of Asheville, and I think it's probably the best place anyone that makes "metal smithing inspired by forests".

Good luck, Eli and Ra!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Relax...it's fashion.

Or in this case, it's furniture.

You've heard it many times, "only Starck could be so bold". Well now it seems that the well-established fashion brand Dolce and Gabbana is upping the ante with their unique reinterpretations of Philippe Starck's 2004 design. The Mademoiselle Chair shown here as interpreted by Dolce and Gabbana is now being offered by Kartell as a limited production run and special edition piece, $918 USD.

Starck's design, which plays on the perception of space and shape has now been dressed in this season's hottest fabrics. These limited edition pieces are bound to make a statement and are already in hot demand by design conscious fashionistas.

For more information visit kartell.com for your nearest showroom. If you're in the Boston area, be sure to swing by the Kartell showroom located at 10 Saint James Avenue, 617.728.4442 for a look at what's hot on the runway this season.

Paper Cloud Sale

Ariana from Paper Cloud emailed me to say that at the end of the year, their online store will be closing. "Until then we're having a big sale, offering 25% off all Paper Cloud products-- hand crafted cards, journals, pillows, and lighting."

But don't worry: You can still go to their site and find retailers around the country (like Magpie in Davis Sq) that carry Paper Cloud.

Design Nearby at pinkcomma gallery

The pinkcomma gallery is hosting a one-night-only show-and-sale exhibition this Friday, December 7th from 5:00 to 10:00 pm.

Design Nearby will feature local print designers working in and on a variety of media (paper, canvas, wood, t-shirts, etc.). etcetera media, who I recently wrote about, will be there.

Curated by Kelly Smith and Ann Karash (who held the successful Wares and Wears market last year), Design Nearby is intended to be the first in a series of Design Nearby events.

It's a great way to get a unique gift for the holidays, and a great excuse to share some holiday cheer.

pinkcomma gallery
81B Wareham Street
Boston, MA 02118

Authenticity Matters

Adam Leveille, who I wrote about in May, is currently working at DWR Cambridge. He recently let me know about an event their having tonight, "Authenticity Matters".

Not only a discussion of why the authentics in their design collection are worth their sometimes lofty price, but a discussion of authenticity in general.

"Authenticity matters – in place, design, product, architecture, and in experience. Please join us at Design Within Reach, Cambridge, for a playful talk about the pitfalls of counterfeits. Peruse some of the 'best-of-the-worst' knock-offs we've found, and enjoy a slideshow of 'counterfeit experiences' – from the great Pyramid of Vegas, to Colonial Williamsburg."

RSVP to cambridge@dwr.com.

DWR Cambridge
1030 Mass. Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Scott Hanning

I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Hanning a few weeks ago. Scott is a local photographer whose work currently hangs in the CW Quinn showroom. Scott says, "My work fits somewhere between photography and other art forms. I blur the photos, de-emphasizing the subject matter, which achieves a painterly effect."

Scott's photography is part of a group showing (along with other local artists) tonight for this month's Jamaica Plain First Thursday event. The event will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 along Centre and South Streets.

Contemporary Design Forum at Arclinea

A group of "Boston's building and design innovators share architectural challenges and dynamic solutions" tonight at Arclinea Boston. In conjunction with the Boston Society of Architects Residential Design Committee, the event is dubbed "The Contemporary Design Forum"

Presenting will be Katy Flammia of THEREdesign (which I wrote about previously); Jim Sandell of Carr, Lynch, and Sandell, Inc.; and Frank Shirley of Frank Shirley Architects. The event is from 6:00 - 8:00.

RSVP to rsvp@arclineaboston.com.

I hope to see you there!

Arclinea Boston
10 St. James Avenue
Boston, MA 02116