Browsing Tag

boston

DESIGN and style LIVING

Vintage Bikes, Food+Flower+Style and Hotel Chocolat

front door of hotel chocolat on newbury street in boston

delivery bike of food+flower+style

It seems that not only city cyclers fall in love with vintage bikes. Vintage bikes unite my story of two retailers. Plus, both brands rely on their unique creations to do business.

Food+Flower+Style

event design by food+flower+style

Food+Flower+Style is the retail place of two sisters with a background in food and floral arrangements. I like what they do. They specialize in event and floral design. One particularly is that they often flowers with their vintage style bicycle. They serve San Francisco and New York. They deliver by bike chocolate, flowers and home decor accessories (style).

days of the week dishtowels

The nostalgic feeling of their Days of the week dishtowels is cute and comforting. They are flexible on the tasks you can print on the dishtowels.

Hotel Chocolat

front door of hotel chocolat on newbury street in boston

Seeing the British old-fashioned bike in front of Hotel Chocolat invited me to enter their chocolate shop. This British chocolatier transformed me into a customer with their Less Sugar, More Cacao recipes.

hotel chocolat newbury street location

This British chocolate maker opens two stores so far in The United States. Both are in Boston. I took pictures at the Newbury Street location. If you wish to become more savvy with your cacao, Hotel Chocolat offers Tasting classes that cost $50 per person. This can be a fun event among friends.

inside view of hotel chocolat newbury street location

It was hard to decide what I wanted from their vast selection. Sadly, the US Web site only shows a few products. A cool thing is that they produce a seasonal chocolate collection where the fillings reflect the seasonal produces. I bought several bars and boxes that pleased my taste buds. I will definitely go back on my next trip to Boston.

SOURCING:
+ Days of the week dishtowels $35 USD
+ Food+Flower+Style – via Design Mom
+ Hotel Chocolat in the United States
+ The British site of Hotel Chocolat that sells online

LIVING URBAN Living

Delightful Mondays | Sunflowers at the Farmers Market

sunflowers at the farmers market

sunflowers at the farmers market

Last Friday, I had lunch at the Copley Square Farmers Market in Boston. It’s a great place for an impromptu picnic. Gorgeous sunflowers were everywhere.

sunflowers

It was fun to see the diversity of the species. I wish that I carried with me my good camera to make better pictures.

sunflowers

At home, you can display them in tall glass flower vase. Neatly gather them with a Silver Aluminum Florist Wire to bring a modern flair to your simple arrangements.

sunflowers in tall glass vases

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Thomas Paul Sea Life Melamine Tableware

Thomas Paul melamine :: sea-life dinner plates and side plates

Thomas Paul melamine :: sea-life dinner plates and side plates

I could not resist the Thomas Paul Sea-Life Melamine dinner plates and side plates when I stopped by Lekker Home last Thursday. It says a lot about how appealing they were nicely displayed on the table since I typically do not buy melamine for eating outside. The only melamine plates I own are the ones on my picnic sets.

new summer dinnerware

I knew that I would stop by Crate & Barrel to buy the contemporary rice bowls and square dishes after Lekker Home. That has something to do with my decision. The Thomas Paul Melamine collections do not include bowls. Look at how the two collections complement each others. It is one of these instances where you fashion a calculated eclectic look.

More Mix-and-Match

Thomas Paul melamine :: whale server plate

I opted for the whale server plate (called the Scrimshaw Tray) instead of the turtle tray because an oval tray is more handy to serve a wide variety of dishes. This way, my table would not be too matching. Scrimshaw was an art practiced by sailors on whaling ships out at sea. With his Scrimshaw melamine collection, Thomas Paul recaptured, in his own way, the feeling of this art form.

SOURCING:
+ Thomas Paul Sea Life dinner plates $40 USD for 4 assorted plates at Lekker Home
+ Thomas Paul Sea Life side plates $30 for 4 assorted
+ Thomas Paul Scrimshaw Tray $30

LIVING TRAVEL

Clever Interior Design Ideas at Fairmont Battery Wharf

standard room at fairmont battery wharf, boston

We stayed to the newly opened Fairmont hotel when we went to Boston at the beginning of August. We stayed there for almost a week. I now prefer the Fairmont Battery Wharf to the historic Copley Plaza hotel. The Battery Wharf won for its location and its modern design.

Little Italy

If you have ever been to Boston, you know that at night, it becomes a quiet city. I am always amazed to see how early everything close, even on week-ends. During our previous visit to Boston, we were going to Cambridge at night.

The Battery Wharf is located along the Waterfront, and is next to North End, which is Boston’s Little Italy neighborhood. North End is lively and you have accessed to many delightful restaurants at walking distance. What else can you ask for as a tourist?

desk and reading areas in a room at fairmont battery wharf

Modern Design

We stayed in a standard King size bed room. The marble bathroom is spacious. I had no problem putting my makeup while I share the bathroom with my husband. I cannot stay that of many hotel bathroom.

The most clever design idea is definitely the closet. It has doors that open from both sides: from the bathroom and from the bedroom. This is an idea that you must remember if you are renovating your master bedroom with its ensuite bathroom.

Another detail that is worth mentioning is that the designer thought that we need to recharge our cell phones, digital cameras and much more. On the side of each night table, they placed electric outlets. Finally, the flexible arm lamp on the bed frame adds to our comfort of we wish to read in bed. These are small details that enhance your stay.

MORE:
+ Fairmont Battery Wharf in Boston

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Lesson in Styling your Front Door from Beacon Hill

styling a front door

This afternoon I visited Beacon Hill, an old British style, upscale neighborhood in Boston. This is one of the are where the houses are the most expensive in Boston. One think I noticed as we walked around is how, even though the houses have no landing, many front doors felt inviting and elegant.

styling a front door :: house in Beacon Hill, Boston

I paid attention to find their secret. It is simple. They all display flower pots, have a stunning door knocker, hardware and street numbers. They are illuminated by a beautiful light. And more importantly, the homeowners have painted the door a contrasting color. Looking at the lack of space of these houses, it is clear that having little space is no excuse to make a statement.

FOOD + DRINK RESTAURANTS

Restaurants are Embracing Twitter to Reach their Customers

Boston restaurants on twitter

I told you on my other blog that Twitter can be an efficient marketing vehicle for businesses. One type of business that benefits well from the free marketing platform that Twitter provides are local restaurants.

What I like is that I decide which local stores and restaurants I want to follow on Twitter. This way, I can learn in advance what is on today’s menu and when they host special events.

Cheap and On the Spot Survey

The benefits for small businesses do not stop there. Twitter is great to survey the opinions of customers. You can directly ask questions. Or you can set up a Twitter poll in less than a minute. I recommend twtpoll.

Myers + Chang‘s chef and co-owner Joanne Chang used this method to validate a request from a customer. She tweeted: “Should cilantro be listed on menu item when it’s an ingredient?” Four hours later, she received enough answers to be convinced that plenty of customers would like to know which dish has cilantro in it. She went further and decided to give the option to have the dishes without cilantro.

Twitter allows businesses to quickly find information, features and services valued by their customers and to react accordingly. In a competitive market, it is an opportunity that small businesses cannot afford to miss.It costs almost nothing to tweet a few times a day. You can tweet with any smart phone. It does not require a computer or any technical knowledge. Your account can be up and running in less than a minute. Unlike a blog, it could take only a few minutes a day to maintain.

I now follow a few Boston restaurants and restaurant reviews accounts on Twitter. I will be in the know when I will go there next August. You could also explore the Alfresco dining options in Boston for some clues on where to eat.

MORE:
+ Restaurants using Twitter for cheap, effective marketing by Devra J. First for The Boston Globe
+ Pictures: L’espalier on Twitter and Myers + Chang on Twitter

LIVING TRAVEL

My 2008 Posts in Review: February

I traveled a lot last February. I went to Toronto for the IDS show, Boston, Vancouver, New York and San Francisco.

how to select a centerpiece

+ I am proud of the good tips I gave on How to select your centerpieces

uncluttering your home :: meeting bea of La Tartine Gourmande :: Gold Floor at Copley Plaza

+ Last February, I wrote that I secretly dream of a clutter free home. Last fall, my husband and I removed the stuff we did not want or need anymore. It feels so great being in the house now.

+ I had the chance to have brunch with Béa of La Tartine Gourmande at Upstairs on the Square in Cambridge. You can watch a performance by a singing chorale from Harvard. If you did not read the good news, Béa gave birth to a cute little girl December 25.

+ I had the pleasure to stay at the Gold Floor of the Copley Plaza while we were in Boston. Fairmont Gold Supervisor Nicholas Apostolides gave us in the tour. Watch the videos to discover the well-stocked kitchen and the library room.

FOOD + DRINK RESTAURANTS

Martini at the Oak Bar in Boston

strawberry martini at the oak room boston

Since it is Saturday night, I will share a few of my travel pictures. I told before that I enjoy staying at the Gold Floor of The Fairmont Copley Plaza when I visit Boston. I love boutique hotels but I also enjoy the pleasures and attention to details from the old luxury hotels.

Even if I am a modernist, I love history and value the treasures of classical architecture. The Oak Bar décor is reminiscent of a British Officer’s Club in the Orient.

A Treat for Martini Lovers

The Oak Bar at The Copley hotel is a must for martini lovers. They cater Boston’s largest martini menus. One martini order counts for two drinks.

I enjoy the way they serve their drinks. If you order a martini, your order comes in a mini pitcher served on your own ice bucket. This is what I called entertaining in style.

Casual Chic Clothing

There is an evening dress code. I suggest observing the dress code all day. When you travel, your best bet is to wear casual chic clothing all the times. This way, you can act on impulse and be presentable for any time of bars and restaurants.

Next to the Oak Bar, you get the Oak Room, their formal dining room. The overall look of your outfit should look dressy than jeans at the Oak Room. It is good to know that you can eat anything on the Oak Room menu in the Oak Bar.

The Oak Bar
p 617.267.5301 – 138 Saint James Ave, Boston, MA, United States, 02116

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Nicolette Brunklaus’ City of Life 2008 collection

city of life and house of anne collection by nicolette brunklaus

From her Amsterdam design studio, Nicolette Brunklaus created an even more amazing 2008 collection than her previous ones. Her products are conversation pieces.

Nicolette Brunklaus played with a housewares theme this time. The House of Anne photos, shown in the middle, bring a homey feeling.

The City of Life line is diverse as you can see. The old world pewter jars and mugs are available in 6 colors.

Where to Buy?

The line is available across Scandinavia. Mekavi has already confirmed that it carries many items from the City of Life collection.

I have no words if the Boston retailer Lekker will carry the new collection by Nicolette Brunklaus. They are still carrying the Shady Tree Collection.

MORE READING:
+ Nicolette Brunklaus
+ Bring natural harmony to your home
Via Bloesem and Copenhagen Collage

GIFT IDEAS HOSTESS gifts HOUSEWARMING gifts

Cool Gift Ideas from Simplemente Blanco

oval wooden tray ::  Gardeners Knee Pad :: flower carrier by simplementeblanco_kitchen

I felt in love with the work of Fernanda Bourlot, an artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina who now lived in Boston, Massachusetts. She likes simple things that feel luxurious. As suggested by the name, everything at Simplemente Blanco is from the white palette.

The Design Philosophy

Her collection carries a modern rustic charm. Simplemente Blanco believes in balance, symmetry, calmness and pureness. Fernanda Boulot design brings us peace via the simplicity of the forms and the serenity of the spaces. Simplemente Blanco loves fresh interiors and I would add: comfort.

I compiled two lists of outstanding gift ideas. You bring on any of them as a housewarming gift or as a hostess gift that you are staying over for a few days.

For the Kitchen

The Oval Wooden Tray is perfect for the upcoming summer cottage season. From the Eating section, check out the Special China section and the dandelion table linens.

Gardeners Knee Pad is a must for anyone who enjoys gardening. It can be practical and decorative. You may question the wisdom of a white textile if you wish to use the object. But if you can wash in the machine, this knee pad will stay clean. Unfortunately, the Web site contains no product details.

The flower carrier is wonderful. You can also use it as a shopping bag when you buy bunches of flowers at the flower market. A message to my friends and family: this flower carrier is on my wish list for my upcoming birthday.

For the Bathroom

soap box :: golf ball soap :: simplemento blanco bathroom Fernanda Bourlot thinks that a home must contains just what they need and nothing else. You do not need to forgo style and beauty to live by this philosophy. Her bathroom collection is a proof of that.

You can decorate your bathroom with pleasing bathroom products. The irresistible Assorted Soap Boxes certainly qualify.

The Golf Ball Soap is a set that any hostess can provide to her stay over guests. Mark the Golf Ball Soap Bag on your Father’s Day gift ideas. The linen farmer bag is a wonderful packaging. I think it looks more precious this way.

Where to shop

These were my favorites but there are more to see of their Web site. The showroom is a by-appointment only. Consumers can visit Simplemente Blanco retail place called On the Side located at 40 Waltham Street in South End, Boston. On my next trip to Boston, I will schedule a visit for sure.

Sourcing:
Learn more: Simplemente Blanco
Via: What To Do… Fernanda Bourlot on decor8

LIVING TRAVEL

Happy President Day!

happypresidentday

The most stylish first lady is still Jackie Kennedy. My husband told these pictures of me with the President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie when we visited Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas.

My advice if you planned to visit one of the world Madame Tussauds’ museum is to dress up nicely. This way, your pictures mingling with the waxed celebrities will look more realistic. We just came back from our helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon, so I did not. I regretted it.

Formal Entertaining Tips

Until April 3rd, 2008, you can take a close look at Jacqueline Kennedy’s distinctive and innovative approach to entertaining in the White House. It is an intrusion on the art of formal entertaining; an art that is getting lost unfortunately.

Jacqueline Kennedy Entertains: The Art of the White House Dinner is taking place at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

Jackie Kennedy wore this evening skirt and shell top in chartreuse silk faille embroidered with crystal beads and sequins in November 1961. This beaded silk gown was designed by Oleg Cassini.

Sourcing:
Learn more: Madame Tussauds
Learn more: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum