I am often asked why I started a fabric line.
Well, it was actually a reaction to a few things happening. Mostly… it morphed from one thing into another.
In 2013, I had a series of very difficult projects and really needed a way to express some fun creativity. At the same time, I had a project that I was spending hours and hours looking for just the right fabric but everything on the market was boring and basically the same. Then, I traveled to Paris. And it was here that the idea was born.
I started sketching while in Paris simple shapes that I found on the bridges in ironwork or details on the buildings. I found a supplier in South Carolina that would print short runs of fabric and this allowed me to play with color, scale and repeat as well as the texture of the fabrics.
The designs are inspired by both nature and architecture and most are hand drawn. The result is a genuine expression of creativity for your home. You won’t be able to find these designs anywhere but the shop or on our e-commerce. We are staying true to our brand. Trust me, your neighbor will not have the exact same fabric as you.
Because we are primarily running an architectural and interior design services firm as well as running a shop at our Kittery location, the fabric design often takes the back seat to deadlines.
As I’m traveling a great deal this year, I’m looking forward to the exploration of expanding the line and bringing you a fresh new look.
Do you love the ocean?
I do! I love it all year long. Yes, most certainly to cool off and play in the summer but also to appreciate the resounding power and beauty all year long. I find the ocean to have a rhythm of nature that calms my soul to its core. It is in this space that I find a place to design.
When looking at the waves, I have designed them both literally a in this lampshade fabric as well as graphically in the “Songo” line featured in this article. CLICK HERE to read my blog post on Songo
While the waves form a biomorphic shape that is organic and moving, the large, solid rocks typical of Maine beaches form a more graphic design element for me. I love the navy blue with the blue-grey beach rocks. Imagine your walls in the grey hues and the table linens in the navy with white. So beautiful!
Beyond the fabric design is the application. I have found that these fabrics in varying shades of blues and greens look beautiful in a window seat or as accents around the house. I have a very talented team that I work with to create such beautiful and functional spaces for your home. CLICK HERE to read my blog post on How to Create the Best Banquette!
While I find it inspiring and fun to design fabric, I also love designing how these fabrics can functionally work in your home. Let’s get together and chat about bringing the ocean into your space.
What is special about Jaipur Blue Pottery?
When I was in India, I couldn’t resist visiting one of the famous Jaipur Blue Pottery manufacturing plants and store. And… I brought home some very specil finds just for you!
Jaipur Blue Pottery is created from mixing quartz stone powder, powdered glass, Multani Mitti (Fuller’s Earth), borax, gum and water. Glazed and fired at very low temperatures leaves the pottery fragile and best used as wall tile as well as decorative bowls and artwork. They are glazed with beautiful images of Indian designs, typically in a specific blue.
I was able to create a working relationship with these two gentlemen in which custom
ordering tile for my projects will only take about 4 weeks. These tiles are unique, original and handmade by artisans. Perfect for backsplash and bathroom walls, come in the shop and let me help you select the most perfect tile for you.
Small gifts of plates, bowls and pitchers have also arrived for your holiday home and gift-giving. Here is a link to the company that I have connections with, let me know if you want anything custom-ordered.
CLICK HERE for their website!
Most items in the shop are on sale as we prepare our homes for the holidays and buy gifts for loved ones and friends. Even these new items will be on sale so come in and feast your eyes on the beauty that I brought you from India.
Windows in a bathroom are really important! Why?
- They create light, feel and fresh air.
- They must be balanced with privacy.
Because I live in downtown Portsmouth, I can sit at my kitchen island and see in 3 different bathroom windows. Honestly, it’s not good. My neighbors all laugh about it but it makes me very aware of the issue when designing.
CLICK HERE to read my blog post about downtown living and privacy
For the house featured in this image, it is located more in the country but still on a busy road and neighboring a UNH research farm. The better views are out the back of the house so the bathrooms ended up in the front of the house on the roadside. This is fine but we needed to be strategic about how to place the bathroom windows.
One hard and fast rule that I follow in design is the front window layout and how the windows relate to the overall Front Elevation. On the back of the house, I often depart from such strict rules and design more for function and interior layout. In this home, you can see that the small windows are over the secondary garage door and also in the stepped back addition. These are all aligned vertically as well as horizontally. In this blog the first floor front left two windows are both in the bathroom showing you again how important design layout is to the project.
CLICK HERE to read my blog post on this home!
From the interior, two windows ended up in the large shower that is 9’ x 4’ and hung at a height that assures privacy. The other window is over the toilet. Since this home has a new truss roof system, we were able to have a 13’-0” ceiling height. This allowed for windows to be installed above the sink mirrors. Not pictured here are three transom windows that align over the two vanities and a storage cabinet.
CLICK HERE for another creative way to consider a window with a sink
CLICK HERE for more information about Selecting the Right Window
Obviously, windows are an important design element but they are also very, very expensive and not something to make a mistake on.
If you need help with your windows, let me know!
I recently returned from a trip to India and wanted to share some insight into the building techniques in an absolutely amazingly resourceful country
To my surprise, the nicest homes and hotels I have ever been in were in India, counterbalanced by small shacks with tin & rocks for roofs. My brain tried to make sense of this until I realized that it was probably impossible. This is a country that is complex and perhaps truly understanding was not going to be in the cards – it was more about experiencing and observing.
When I asked a very wise Indian woman why she loved India so much, she said, “Because there are no answers”. With that, it feels more respectful to the country and people to simply share my observations from the perspective of an American designer humbly visiting this fabulous country for two weeks.
India faces a challenge of extreme weather – from 115°F to 30°F and monsoon season between those extremes. This makes building a constant challenge. Primarily brick and concrete are used with a painted finish over the concrete. Intricate paintings and details are designed into the concrete walls for beautiful decoration.
ROOFLINES – pictured below left
Most of the roofs are flat so this photo was taken from
the concrete roof of my hotel – a remodeled palace which is typical for the area. From here we could see the “village” where our tuk-tuk drivers lived sandwiched between two taller more structures. Here you can see the drainage issues caused by these tall structures, the tin roofs with rocks on top to hold them down, a myriad of electrical lines and beautiful bougainvillea trees.
SCAFFOLDING – pictured above right
In the US, we don’t even think about scaffolding except for the fact that I don’t like walking underneath it. In India, it’s bamboo! No lie. Sold on the side of the road, you too can simply buy some bamboo sticks, put it on the back of your bike and start climbing up the side of a very tall structure.
WALLS – pictured below left
India is an ancient, pre-historic country. This means that many of the streets are narrow and the walls are old! Land is very expensive in the cities and building is relatively cheap so often structures are torn down and something new is built. But in the OLD part of towns it is crowded and new construction is difficult so repairs are more common. There can be hundreds of years of layers of walls. It is fascinating and intricate.
HOME DEPOT INDIAN STYLE – pictured above right
If you were wondering where one buys supplies, this is just one of many blocks of building supplies. Three glass suppliers are right next to each other and the shrewd businessmen negotiate prices with skill. You should have seen my tuk-tuk driver’s face when I tried to explain to him what a Home Depot is – actually, I don’t think he could imagine it – why could he?
EFFICIENT BUILDING TECHNIQUES
Yes, it was hot in October – very hot. But the buildings were often constructed in a way that kept the space cool and efficient. This old Step Well is a classic design of efficiency and one that would be difficult to replicate today. For better explanation of efficient building techniques, check out the article linked below.
CLICK HERE for the Efficient building techniques
I marveled at the resourcefulness and resilience of the people. There was construction all around us and yes, it was indeed slow and completely done by hand but there was literally no waste! Just because it is different, doesn’t mean that it is wrong.