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Sunday, April 27, 2008

You Get What You Pay For

There is one thing you can count on at least 99% of the time. You get what you pay for.

It's true. If you want quality, you usually have to pay more for it. Whether or not it's worth it is up to the end user and their expectations. Regarding materials, design, and construction if you play it cheap you'll most likely regret it in the long run.

With current worries, consumers and designers are starting to rethink old practices. Designers are producing pieces with lasting power, products that will endure the latest trend and stand the test of time. Consumers are taking a closer look at what they purchase, with a discerning eye focused on quality.

So while people are purchasing less, they are purchasing better. Below you will find my tips for making better purchases (take them for what they're worth).

Tip#1: Test Drive.

Jump at every chance to take a closer look at the product, feel it, turn it over in your hands, check out the welds.

Tip #2: Find the best price.
This generally means going online. Online deals are great and a lot of times you find the same product seen in stores, cheaper and with free shipping. Read reviews and always read the return policy.

Tip #3: Say no to knockoffs.
Yes, it may look like the original. Yes, it will be cheaper. But that's just it...it will be cheaper. Wait for that special piece. Save your money and buy quality, versus just buying the look.

No one likes buyer's remorse. And these days, few of us can afford it. Buy smart.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vessel Dot Spot Party - the Furniture Edition

I was just looking over my writeup of the Vessel Dot Spot Party and realized, for a celebration of a new line of furniture, there aren't any photos of the furniture! Well, let's fix that, shall we?

Blu Dot at Vessel

The Buttercup Chair

Oh man, I love this chair! The Buttercup's bent plywood shape owes a bit more than a nod to the Eames LCW, but sits more upright and swivels, giving it a different feel. This particular one was the raffle prize of the night. I talked to Stefan and Dwayne over the weekend, and alas, I didn't win it. There is a rumor floating around that there might be a monthly furniture giveaway at Vessel. If that happens, you heard it here first!

Couchoid Lounge Chair

The Couchoid line, both chair and sofa, have incredible, low lines and possess a laid back, chill attitude. And they're vegan too, covered in "a cow-friendly, flesh-free leather alternative." I have a few friends that would love that!

The Real Good Chair

Modern American design meets IKEA flat-packability. The Real Good chair is made of powder-coated steel. It arrives at your house flat; simply fold it along the laser-cut lines, attach the legs, and voila! a chair. By flat-packing it, the chair is super inexpensive, too - only $99! You can even by this off of the Vessel website.

Stella Chairs

Talk about a sweet lounge chair! Positioned to lean back just so, the chair is perfect for all those cocktail parties I know you throw. And covered in rich leather, it exudes just the touch of luxury that party needs.

Drift Credenza

If there's one fact in decorating your home, it's that you can never have enough storage. Enter the Drift credenza. With its gently curved grips made of bent plywood, the Drift is one smooth credenza - there are no knobs or handles to get in the way. Very cool.

Do you like what you see? Then go visit the gang at Vessel!

125 Kingston St
Boston, MA 02111

Friday, April 18, 2008

Vessel Dot-Spot Party Report - and a new store!

Okay, this is more than a week late. I apologize. Working 70 hours a week is doing no good for the whole consistent blogging thing. Are you looking for an intelligent, social, design addict for your company/firm/store? Yeah? Let me know! Anyway...

Last Thursday, Christopher and I joined some friends for the Dot Spot Party at Vessel, celebrating the addition of Blu Dot to the Vessel lineup.

Blu Dot, from Minneapolis, makes great furniture with a hip look and very clean, modern lines. Everything they make has a fun vibe to it. After meeting Blu Dot's CEO Maurice Blanks (that's him in the middle of the photo, with Christopher and his coworker Emily), it's no wonder why. A smart, affable guy, Maurice had no shyness about how the idea for Blu Dot came up (a backpacking trip across Europe with all that that entails...), and was more than happy to talk furniture, architecture, food.. you name it.

As with any Vessel party, the Dot Spot party was a fun time. Aside from all the great design items for sale, the store was filled with people enjoying the festivities. There was a raffle during the party to win a free Blu Dot Buttercup chair. I haven't gotten a call to say I've won, so I'm thinking I didn't.

Of course, the crew was in on the fun as well. I got a chance to reintroduce myself to Traci, aka the girl in the green dress, and I got the chance to meet Eric and Omar, who has quite the funny TMZ story - this isn't the first time he's held his hand up to block the camera! Go into Vessel and ask him, he'll tell you.

Speaking of the crew, everyone, meet Milisa. She is the first subscriber I have met in person. I know I'm supposed to act like I have thousands of adoring fans following me everywhere I go, but really, this was cool. Say hi, Milisa!

Oh, I can't forget: Vessel has opened a second location! They have taken over the space formerly occupied by Motley Home and whipped it into a Vessel. The next time you're on Tremont Street, check it out.

125 Kingston St.
Boston, MA 02111

652 Tremont
Boston, MA 02118

Friday Love List: Loungechair Edition

Inspired by blogging goddess and good friend Meg Fowler, I've decided to start a Friday Love List series. Sometimes every week, sometimes every now and again, but always on a Friday, I will show you what I love. Which is what a blog is all about, right? So, without further ado...

The lounge chair. So beautiful. So comfortable. So sophisticated. The kind of chair you can read in. Fall asleep in. Comfort the little ones in. The lounge chair is the king of the living room, and for that, I am giving it the honor of my first Friday Love List.

For the sake of fairness, and that EVERYONE has seen it before, I have decided to leave the king of lounge chairs (that would be the king of the kings of the living room, for those keeping score at home) out of the list.

Ready? Let's let the love flow...

K10 Dodo from Cassina
Oh. my. goodness. In general, I'm more of a fan of Scandinavian and MCM American furniture. But how can you deny this sexy Italian beauty? Wrapped in some of the softest leather (must have been some happy cows), this chair demands attention. The headrest and folds back (good for shorter people) and the footrest folds back under the seat. Sexy and functional. This particular chair was spotted at Montage on Arlington St. Bellisima!

MYO from Ligne Roset
"That chair is so chill," is the comment below my photo of MYO on Flickr. And it is. This chair isn't meant for business meetings. Look how far back that reclines. This is a "relax in the splendor that is your home" chair. Proof the French are more easygoing than us Americans. Available at Adesso on Arlington St.

Corona from Poul Volther
Here we go. Origninally released in 1961, Corona is an icon of Scandinavian modern design. The shape is simple: Four ovals held up by chrome steel supports. But wow, what a shape! This chair was spotted at Just Scandinavian on Hudson St in NYC.

What about you? Are there any lounge chairs that you love? If so, let us know! Let me know what you think of the new series, too!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Question: Sleeper Sofas

Another question came in, this time from Chris:

We're new to the Boston area and are having a really hard time finding a nice, modern, good quality - sleeper sofa. Do you have any ideas on furniture stores that we should visit?

We found one we like at Crate & Barrel but we were hoping to look at a few other options. We like the Axis and the queen-size Nuevo at C&B (comfy, modern, both about $2500).

Thanks in advance!

Chris, I know your frustration. There are a ton of great, modern sofas available, but few high quality modern sofa beds. I looked and looked for a suitable modern sofa bed for months, and ended up moving to a larger space before I actually found the right one.

I like the lines of the C&B Axis sofa, but the mattress in the Nuevo sofa is much more comfortable, and is what I would recommend if you're going to be sleeping on it nightly (disclaimer: I worked at C&B on Boylston St for a while).

Does anyone have a recommendation for other quality sofa beds?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Joine says "Design global, produce local"

Dutch designer Maarten Baptist, co-founder of WATdesign, has teamed up with Daniƫl Watze to design what may be the most beautiful new coat rack in years.

Visually, the Joine Sofia coat stand is quite elegant. The smooth, upwardly arching coat hooks reminded a friend of mine of the bowler hat in The Son of Man.

Functionally, it is masterful. Those hooks actually double as coat hangers - no more wrinkly sport coats for you and yours!

As useful and beautiful as it is, the Sofia's true beauty lies in the sustainable approach of the manufacturing and delivery process.

"The downside of globalisation is scarcity. In other words: what is the point of shipping materials all over the globe if you can relocate production just as easily? It is better for the environment and a high standard of quality is guaranteed – and who would know more about processing bamboo than a Japanese craftsman? And, an added bonus for the consumer: the cost price is kept as low as possible."

Instead of building the rack one way, in one place, and shipping it all over the world, Joine has opted to produce three models for three markets, using materials that are eponymous with that area. The European market is getting a stainless steel variety; in Russia, an oak version; Japan gets, of course, bamboo. Every model gets identical hangers.

What? Nothing for America, you say? Patience, my friends. A shining, chrome American version is being considered, as well as a Brazilian tropical hardwood.

Joine will be officially introducing the Sofia coat rack at Zona Tortona in Milan this week. I, unfortunately, will not be attending, but am interested to see what other great pieces come out of the show.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Question: Cool telephone

Another question came in to me today, and I'm hoping you can help:

Have been trying to find a telephone that isn't totally goofy, and want an old fashioned ring.....Brrrrrrrrinnnnnnnnng

This may be out of order to ask, but if you have any idea of where one might be found, would you let me know?


Do you have any good ideas for Margo? If so, leave a comment!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Vessel Dot Spot Party this Thursday

Will I ever post something that is NOT an event? Don't worry, I've got some new ideas spinning that should see the light of day pretty soon. Until then, let's party at the Dot Spot!

Vessel is celebrating the addition of Blu Dot to the lineup of their Kingston St. location. They have created the Dot Spot, "a cohesive representation of Blu Dot pieces; a cool store within an even cooler store."

This Thursday, Vessel will host the Blu Dot founders and their staff, and as many Boston-area design fanatics as possible, to introduce the newest and best Blu Dot designs.

On top of a great event in a beautiful store with fantastic people, you will get 10% off all Blu Dot purchases that night, as well as a chance to win a Blu Dot Buttercup chair (similar to what's shown above).

I'll be there, checking out the new space and hoping to have a lucky night. Check out the new haircut and keep an eye out for me!

RSVP: rsvp@vessel.com

When: Thursday, April 10th, 6-9pm

Where: Vessel
125 Kingston Street
Boston, MA 02111

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Hot Style Cool Price at BoConcept

If you're looking for a new sofa, April may be the perfect time.

For the month of April, BoConcept is offering 20% off all fabric indivi 2 sofas. The indivi 2, like all BoConcept pieces, has clean modern lines that fit a variety of spaces. Its aluminum legs lift the sofa, both physically and visually, making it appear to float above the ground.

The indivi 2 can be had in a multitude of figurations. That, and the choice of over 60 fabrics, means that BoConcept is sure to have just the right indivi 2 for you.

999 Mass. Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

Friday, April 04, 2008

Help Wanted at Kartell

Brooke Griswold, Principal of Kartell Boston, is looking for a full time sales person for the St James Street store.

Kartell, the leading manufacturer of design furnishings, is searching for an enthusiastic and skilled sales person for its beautiful store and showroom in the Back Bay. Qualified candidates will have knowledge and experience relevant to our industry, i.e. design and fashion, retail and sales. This position is responsible for inside and outside sales including targeting, follow-up and trouble-shooting; client building; and participation in display and day-to-day maintenance. This highly visible position offers excellent earnings and growth potential.

Kindly forward resume and cover letter to boston@kartellflag.com


Today is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

AD 20/21

Fusco & Four, producers of the Boston International Fine Arts Show, have put together a n all-new show for us design addicts.

Starting today and running through Sunday, AD 20/21, short for "Art and Design of the 20th and 21st Centuries", brings together "40 select fine art galleries and design exhibitors from the United States and Europe showcasing 108 years of furniture, glass, ceramics, decorative arts, jewelry, paintings, sculpture, prints and photography." The various periods of that length of time - among them Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Mid Century Modern - will be on display.

Tonight from 5:30 to 9:00 there will be a Gala Preview, where you can "enjoy a catered event, festive music, and of course, the first choice of a dazzling array of fine art and design. Tickets for this are $100 to $250, withe proceeds going to benefit the Boston Architectural College.

Tickets for Friday through Sunday are $15, with children under 12 getting in for free. As my work schedule is a bit crazy as of late, I won't be able to attend until Sunday, but I'll be sure to let you know what I think.

AD 20/21
The Cyclorama
At The Boston Center for The Arts
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA