Shopping Trip: Diseno

There are a few really wonderful home decor boutiques here in Boston, many in the artsy SoWa district of the South End. Diseño is one of my favorites. Frank Campanale was inspired to open the boutique  after an extended trip to South America back in 2001, during which he stayed for a week each in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile. Moved by the contrast of daily life in Third World countries and the richness of the culture, he travels there often to source treasures for the shop.

His most recent expedition was to Guatemala just two weeks ago. Intrigued by my recent spurt of Instagram photos (glad to know somebody out there loves them!), he invited me over, curious to see how his products, which range from delicious blankets to earthy pots to cowhide rugs in cutting edge colors, would translate with the app. Here are the results. I like them; he did too. What do you think?



Covet: Cold Mountain Vases at Michelle Willey

I went back to Michelle Willey today to buy one of the striped summer scarves I posted about earlier this week. There were only five left, well four now. And I’m  still admiring these Cold Mountain porcelain vases. They have a wonderful matte finish, smooth, with textural ridges. The design was inspired by the reclusive Tang Dynasty poet Han Shan, who was known for his eccentric simplicity and love of nature.

Cold Mountain Vases  ($40, $72, $100)

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Shopping Trip: South End Formaggio

I took a little field trip over to the South End two weeks ago to meet up with Ricardo Rodriguez about the Urban Showhouse he’s organizing (more on that later). I stopped into Hudson, tried to figure out what movie they were filming in front of The Buttery, and grabbed a sandwich at Formaggio. It’s neighborhood shops like this that make the South End a tempting place to live. (Not that I could give up the orderliness of Back Bay and proximity to the Esplanade, but still.) It’s a wonderful gourmet gem – so picturesque – and chock full of inspirational ingredients. Plus, my ham and butter pressé was de-licious.

Shop Alert: Leokadia Is Closing in Boston

Leokadia, the South End shoe store owned by the beautiful and bubbly Jessica Lynn and named for her mom, is closing, sadly. The last day is Sunday. The furniture is for sale as well as the shoes. Bye Jess, we’ll miss your taste in shoes!