Stews aren’t my thing, but I love a good autumnal meal. The trick is finding dishes that feel like fall, minus the stringy meat. This summer, in a fit of kale frenzy, I posted 12 Kale Salads. I’ve definitely taken to kale. (It may be the influence of the “Eat More Kale” bumper sticker I see every morning on a car at my son’s school. Cambridge, yup.) My mother-in-law makes a delicious Kale Portuguese Soup (a Provincetown specialty), for which she swaps out the linguica for Hebrew National hot dogs, since we don’t do pork. I’ll have to try to create a batch myself in my new beautiful cast iron cocotte sent to me by Staub, which is displayed like art (a glossy grey sculpture it is) on the range. I have yet to try any of these recipes, but they are tempting. I think my younger son would love the Smashed White Bean & Kale Quesadillas, and I’m feeling like the Quinoa + Kale Patties could be interesting. Let me know if you have a favorite kale dish, from here or your own recipe files.
If you know me, you know my color of choice for clothing (and accessories for that matter) is grey. I dressed baby #1 in grey onesies so we were twinsies, and baby #2 (now a big boy) inherited my preferences, sporting grey heather tees so often I’m afraid the school thinks I don’t do the laundry. (He has like 4 of them. Really.)
What denim brand has everyone been wearing lately? I pretty much have only worn Madewell denim for the past couple of years. I learned yesterday that one of the major players in that arena is now at AYR, a women’s spinoff of the men’s label Bonobos. AYR had a popup at Bonobos yesterday and I stopped by. Rather than stocking everything in every size, the “guideshop” as the retail store is called, has one of everything in every size. You browse, try on, then order. (Ordering in store earns a 20% discount off online prices.) I got a dark wash skinny jean (so comfortable) and a fall jacket, which looked so-so on the hanger but great on. They pieces will be delivered today via UPS. One day turnaround. The line is comprised of basic, minimalist, must-have pieces. I loved what I saw.
This Thursday’s One Look (what did you think of last week’s debut One Look?) is the ultimate black and grey outfit that is at once casual, pulled together, simple, and slightly edge. That leather midi skirt is genius (can you believe its from Reiss?), and the pebbled grey leather fringey bag so FW15. (It’s from Shopbop where everything is 25% off today. For real) And those platform oxfords. (Brings me back to the ”90s when Robert Clergerie was my shoe go to.) As for the sunglasses, while I’m not personally a fan of the animal print, I am officially in love with Illesteva. Wear it well.
S H O P P I N G
1 Leonard II Safari with Mirrored Lenses, $290 at Illesteva.
What is a boucherouite rug you ask? Boucherouite rugs (pronounced boo-shay-REET) have been a thing for a while, infesting design blogs and Pinterest for well over a year. They’re the colorful Moroccan rugs that seem to have replaced the now ubiquitous Moroccan Ben Ourain rugs that are ivory with sparse black diamond-shape markings.
The New York Times published a piece about boucherouite rugs in 2010, though it was an art review of the show “Rags to Richesse: Rugs From Morocco” at the Cavin-Morris Gallery, not a decor story. According to the NYT article, “boucherouite” means torn and reused clothing. Boucherouite rugs, the author points out, are really just a variation on the “humble rag rug” made by semi-nomadic Berbers. (Berbers, by the way, are an indigenous people of North Africa.)
Apparently, the style is relatively new, growing out of the collision of global interest in Berber culture and design and a scarcity of wool, given that Berbers have become increasingly less nomadic, herding fewer sheep, and producing reduced quantities of wool. In a resourceful turn, weavers began adding recycled fabric and less expensive, un-naturally dyed, brightly colored synthetic fibers into the mix. The results are celebratory.
Here are 27 rooms with boucherouite rugs (and boucherouite style rugs), and a little shopping widget at the end, for those who must have one now.
The designer clothing collab fetish might just be over, but I have a feeling that design partnerships between interior designers and big box stores has just begun. Having found success with home furnishings by interior design star Nate Berkus, this fall Target launched an upholstered furniture collection with up-and-coming interiors firm Tilton Fenwick (I blogged about it here last month).
More recently (as I reported in the Boston Globe on Sunday), Target has partnered with longtime Finnish textile company Vallila. Available only online, the Vallila for Target furniture collection features an array of living room and bedroom pieces in distinctive prints, including watercolor florals, a city scheme, hearts, and black & white photo-realistic winter trees. The textile designs have the colorful, breezy quality of Marimekko, the other Finnish powerhouse, though not quite as stylized and bold.
If you’ve been thinking your bedroom is blah or your living room needs a lift, may I suggest one of the Vallila x Target floral sofas or abstract upholstered headboards? Could do wonders.
Fort Point Open Studios in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood is this coming weekend, Saturday & Sunday October 18th & 19th. It is the 35th anniversary of Fort Point Open Studios and more than 150 artists open their studio doors to visitors, thanks to the hard work of artist and organizer Gabrielle Schaffner.
You can spend the day exploring the historic waterfront warehouses (there are artists’ studios in 14 buildings, all within walking distance, though there will be a free shuttle too) that are home to painters, sculptors, ceramicists, jewelers, performance artists, printmakers, book artists, photographers, and others for a behind the scenes look at where Boston artists create their work. There are both established artists and emerging talents.
My friend and longtime Fort Point artist, photographer Stephen Sheffield whose studio I blogged about this spring, will be there, as well as graphic designer Jennifer Hill who I know from Design Salon (and Facebook), and furniture maker Quentin Kelly, whose color-edged stool I included in the Boston Globe recently. Also, textile artist Amy Nguyen who creates Japanese designs; I met her last year at the Apple Store Genius Bar. I was also very psyched to discover, just today, photographer Alicia Savage whose “Morning Light” series I plan to do a follow up post on, and the chunky scarves and mittens by A Third Piece.
Fort Point Open Studios is free, and there is free parking too in the lot at A Street and Binford Streets. (Turn onto Binford Street from A Street towards the Channel, then turn left into the parking.) Head down there next weekend, and look for me.
I love this workspace belonging to Sarah Sherman Samuel of Smitten Studio. There are so many textures, with the sheepskin throw on the sofa, the rattan floor pillow poufs, the indigo dyed frayed edge rug, the wicker baskets on wood shelves, and the collection of wood cutting boards. The industrial style brass chandelier from Schoolhouse Electric echoes the metal brackets of the shelving, and the unexpected contrast of the wood frame around the black & white landscape, which she took herself, pulls together all the natural elements in the space. The tall green plant and a russet kilim pillow provides the finishing touches.
We’re going to the Cape this weekend to close up the house for winter. It can be nice to go out there in the off-season, but mostly it’s just freezing and desolate. It should be perfectly crisp and gorgeous now though (I hope). I’ve pulled together the perfect casual fall outfit today, inspired by October in New England. There’s tortoiseshell, cable-knit, plaid, wood, gold, textured leather, and colorblock suede.
S H O P P I N G 1 Corsica Havana sunglasses by Illesteva, $300 at Net-A-Porter. 2 Aran cable-knit sweater by McQ Alexander McQueen, $441 at Matches. 3 Gold mirrored bone bangle by Maison Martin Margiela, $695 at Ssense. 4 Wood arc cuff, $65 at J.Crew. 5 Plaid fringe cape by Dianora Salviati, $388 at Intermix. 6 Stretch-ponte leggings by DKNY t, $160 at Net-A-Porter. 7 Mayle tote, $595 at Club Monaco. 8 Chelsea booties, $89.95 at Gap.
Husband and wife design duo Bob and Cortney Novogratz are at it again. There latest effort is the 9 by Novogratz bedding and bath collection at Walmart. The line includes bedding, beds, and bath accessories in their signature bright, geometric pops of color. The pieces are great for kids—the couple have seven of their own—and extra vibrant grownups.
Bob and Cortney Novogratz masterfully layer pattern and color, but of course the throw pillows, shams, duvets, towels, and shower curtains work perfectly as accents . The collection also includes furniture—painted metal beds, upholstered beds and headboards in stripes and solids, tufted storage ottomans, solid color sofas, and chevron armchairs.
Erin Gates sent me an advance copy of her new, very first design book, Elements of Style: Designing A Home & A Life. I’ve been browsing through it for the last couple of weeks, thoroughly enjoying the photos of the rooms she decorated for herself and clients, studying her style charts, and catching up on her life. The tone is easy, breezy, much like her blog, with plenty of personal tidbits interwoven through her design adventures and accomplishments.
Erin’s come a long way since I first met her, on assignment for Boston Globe Magazine in early 2009 after she sent me scouting shots of the place she and Andrew rented in J.P. It landed her on the cover, and it’s still one of my favorite stories, not just because Erin and her house looked amazing (thanks Eric Roth for the excellent photos), but because Erin was full of enthusiasm and money saving tips.
Her blog and business have exploded and her design skills honed, while her excellent attitude and work ethic prevail. Congratulations Erin Gates!
Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Lifeby Erin Gates Available October 7, 2014 (Simon & Schuster) $22.14
Erin’s used this buffet over and again. She bought it for $75 at an estate sale and painted the inside turquoise (you can see that iteration in Erin’s place in Jamaica Plain, which I wrote about for Boston Globe Magazine, March 2009.) She went orange for the South End. Now it’s lined with malachite wallpaper.
This is my favorite room. I’ve long been a sucker for a library dining room with Saarinen table and a fireplace. The sheepskin rugs nesle perfectly into those acrylic chairs from IKEA. The client stuffed the fireplace with little logs, which add some rustic texture; plus the circles are an excellent contrast to the stripes on the rug.
I love how despite the graphic black & white rug and bedding, Erin’s guest room is totally feminine. Pale pink walls (Benjamin Moore Blanched Coral), a starburst mirror, and mirrored side tables will do that. Swiss dots + a boho throw + Nordic rug + Hollywood Regency glam. And somehow it all works.
Oh, this Madeline Weinrib rug again, this time in brown. It seems to work everywhere! (Tip: IKEA makes a black & white version.) I generally don’t like tan stone (only contractors do!) but Erin makes it work in this space where they’re stuck with it.