Last month I attended Milan Design Week for the first time. I trekked through Salone del Mobile, which is the enormous furniture fair, and scurried from showroom to showroom of established brands in the city. It was important to me to also take in the indie scene. Alcova topped the list.
Alcova 2023 was held in the former Porta Vittoria abattoir on Via Molise. It’s an abandoned, decaying site replete with graffiti. I adored it. I may have taken more photographs of the buildings and grounds than the art and furniture, but it was all truly fabulous.
I was very proud of myself for having found my way via a public bus. (The metro doesn’t really reach that area, which is just east of the city.) I was 40 minutes early and there was a line. I spent the time talking with a two guys, one from Milan involved in the art scene, and his friend, a Belgian from Paris who is a designer. A perk of traveling solo.
Scroll through my favorite photos from Alcova during Milan Design Week 2023.
Nantucket-based artist (and all around lovely person), Lauren Marttila is known for her dreamy photographs of Nantucket. If you don’t follow her Instagram (@laurenmarttilaphotography), you should! Marttila’s ocean waves, beach grass, island sunsets, and dune shacks are a salve in the midst of winter.
Serena & Lily has carried large-scale Lauren Marttila photographs for about three years. This month, the home furnishings shop expanded their offerings with acrylic shelfies. They are perfect to nestle on a bookshelf, with your favorite books and other collectibles. Shelfies make great gifts!
“Serena & Lily wanted their own shelfie line, so we created acrylic shelfies together in multiple shapes and sizes. All designed to fit on a bookshelf, nightstand, mantle etc. I’m thrilled that they are in all stores and online,” Martilla says.
As for how Serena & Lily discovered Lauren Marttila’s beautiful Nantucket photographs, she’s not quite sure. “I think someone who works for Serena & Lily saw my artwork at a Nantucket Boys & Girls Club charity event,” Marttila says. “Doing good = feel good = good for business!”
Marttila also sells shelfies on her website and at Milly & Grace on Nantucket. All her other collections, which include gorgeous landscape and seascape photographs of Nantucket, Bahamas, Costa Rica, the Hamptons, and the Caribbean, are available at LaurenMarttila.com too. She also offers gift certificates if you want to let the giftee pick their own photo vacation.
“I want people to collect my artwork because they love Nantucket, the ocean, and live for that first breath of fresh, salt air. I seek out simplicity and negative spaces in my photography so the viewers can see themselves in my artwork,” the artist says.
As for what’s next for Lauren Marttila? She’s hoping to expand to other locales including Charleston, California, Palm Beach, and beyond.
The best sale of the year is here for a favorite StyleCarrot partner. It’s the Serena & Lily Thank You Event. If you’ve been eyeing Serena & Lily’s new striped grasscloth wallcovering or furnishings in rust, ochre, and historical blue, now is the time.
Everything at Serena Lily is 25% off with code GRATITUDE through Wednesday, November 30, 2022. Discount excludes items in the Sale section of the website, gift certificates, art, and the C7 Bike.
You can explore the sale here, or scroll down to see my picks. I think I might need that beaded sconce—just one for a funky, asymmetrical touch. I’m also really loving the lines of the ochre sofa with that pleated detail at the bottom.
When Ariel Roth’s clients,a young family of five in a suburb of Boston, asked her to dress down their formal dining room, she went right for the wallpaper.
“They wanted the rooms in their early 1900s Colonial to be fun and comfortable,” says Roth, an interior designer with Helios Design Group in the Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. They enthusiastically embraced her suggestion to cover all four walls of the formal dining room with whimsical wallpaper. “We used the word ‘happy’ a lot,” the Boston designer says.
The wallcovering she chose? Flat Vernacular Swallowtail, an organic, stone-like pattern in a mix of sweet and earthy colors. She pulled out the pink with simple drapes, and grounded the room by painting the millwork in Benjamin Moore Old Navy.
Photo by Michael J. Lee
I wrote about this space last year in the Boston Globe Magazine, a year ago. Here, I pulled similar pieces so you can pull the look together on your own. (Or call the designer, I’m sure she’d love to hear from you!)
Coastal style pendant lights made from rattan, wicker, seagrass, and more.
These days, it seems, a room is not complete with a pendant light made from natural fibers. Even if you’re not celebrating coastal decor, somehow, rattan makes its way into a room.
Natural fiber pendant lights made from rattan, wicker, seagrass, jute, hemp, rope, and the like, is certainly an effective way to add texture into a room. And you can supersize your light fixture and go with a dramatic silhouette without being too too, because the earthy material tempers the glam effect.
There is a never ending array of rattan pendant lights and rattan chandeliers on the market. I’ve curated the best ones, from simple wicker globe pendants to distinctive statement chandeliers to artsy, natural fiber pendant lights that almost look like handwoven works of art.
Which would I chose? I like the tailored shape of #2, the playful boutique hotel vibe of #4, the simplicity of #10, and the nostalgia of #38, which looks like the light pendant that hung in my childhood bedroom.