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August 03, 2007

New store alert!

Umbra_2 Love Umbra? If you live in Western NY or Southern Ontario you're now even closer to their great home decor goods -- and great price.

Their new outlet is located in the Fashion Outlets of Niagara in Niagara Falls, NY -- and is a welcome addition! Can't make it to our neck of the woods? Shop online.

Happy shopping -- allie

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August 02, 2007

Beach House Decorating, a Lesson in Compromise

My mother-in-law bought a fabulously empty beach house, a blank slate that I've been helping her decorate.  But while I've had visions of minimalist wooden pieces and great art, she's picturing a place full of nostalgic photos, antique rockers and overstuffed chairs. It is her place, and her money, so I just gently forced my opinions on her.

I argued that the beach house should be relaxing and low maintenance - undeniable benefits of a minimalist look. It should have unisex appeal, which means laying off the Victorian flourishes. It should feature multi-functional designs that can be easily moved around.  She agreed, in theory mostly, but in the end, we were able to create a comfortable place the whole family could accept.  B_zigzag (Look at architecture: How often does design by committee yield great design?) It's a bit of a watered-down version of everyone's taste -- on a budget.

I guess compromising is what family is about. But had things gone my way, and had we had a more generous budget, some items I'd be surrounded by when I come up from the beach would be these gems...

A canvas rug by Patricia Baun of Maude Decor. They're perfect for the beach--durable, cool underfoot and easy to clean. I love her Zig Zag pattern especially, but if it came down to it, I'd have a hard time choosing - especially since she offers custom designs too.

1989__dp__e300x250The Modern Bamboo Becca Stool in natural by Anthony Marschak. It's a stool, shelf, side table. Anything with that many uses is automatically perfect, especially for small spaces where functionality is key.  But it's the shape of the thing that gets me. So light and sculptural and downright organic, the Becca Stool is one of those rare designs whose good looks will span decades. $490 as shown.  

300_photo_1_202953I couldn't forget the all time classic Marcel Breuer f41 lounge on wheels. Made only by Tecta, this durable icon of relaxation works indoors or out and could have been mine for $2,165 through Hive Modern.

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