Design New England

Out and About

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Now in a new location, Twelve Chairs has kept its effortless style of comforting home accessories.

We are (happily) getting out of the office a lot lately. Our September/October issue is out, but we are not yet chained to our desks compiling, coordinating, editing, and designing our November/December issue, so it is the perfect time to do some sleuthing as we look for those have-to-have (or write about) design finds.


We made our way to the New England Made Giftware & Specialty Food Shows in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. After the rush of the Brimfield Antique and Collectibles fall show vacates the neighboring town, Sturbridge takes on that quintessential New England quiet. But the shows, held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, was bustling with exciting discoveries in both in food such as Lucy’s Granola (below) and gifts. (That’s all we’ll say right now — don’t want to spoil any future stories!)

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Lucy Benjamin of Lucy’s Granola offered me a taste of the extra-seedy granola, which is made in a “granola room” in her 1840s farmhouse overlooking the mountains in East Blue Hill, Maine.

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Bill Noonan of Caldwell Country Chili Spice in Cumberland Foreside, Maine, was serving up cups of his Texas-style chili. He’s won the International Chili Society World Championship six times.

On the way back to Boston, we stepped into Seed to Stem in Worcester, Massachusetts. Operated by friends Virginia Orlando and Candace Atchue, the small boutique offers tiny curiosities and vignettes of air plants, succulents, and orchids. But it’s not all rainbows – there are also fossils, skulls, and crystals, which are beautiful in their own way (though I prefer pretty blooms). Orlando and Atchue offer their edgy botanical services for weddings and custom container designs, and also hold workshops.

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Mini terrariums in glass at Seed to Stem.

The Boston Design Center welcomed Traditional Home’s Senior Style Editor Krissa Rossbund to talk about what it means to be “Traditional Now.” (Also in attendance was our own Design New England Style & Interiors Editor, Estelle Bond Guralnick, with who is also Traditional Home’s Boston Editor and works closely with Rossbund). What’s traditional now, says Rossbund, should “celebrate the best of many eras, not just one.”

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Boston Design Center

Traditional Home’s Senior Style Editor Krissa Rossbund spoke at the Boston Design Center in its seminar series about what is traditional now.

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Then came an invitation to visit the new location of Twelve Chairs. Roisin Giese and Miggy Mason moved their design studio and boutique, which carries vintage pieces, stationary, pillows, upholstery, and gift items, from a spacious building on A Street in South Boston to the hustle and bustle of the South End’s Tremont Street. Choosing the second-floor space that’s much smaller, Giese and Mason plan to concentrate on the design component of their business. They have set aside a spot by the large front windows, affording a view of the street life below that is sure to entertain and inspire.

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Vignettes at Twelve Chairs combines the store’s range of products, including stationary, candles, books, and vintage finds.

Then, a quick visit to Hudson on Union Park Street left us wondering how owner Jill Goldberg has the energy and motivation to update the entire store every few months! It’s been newly refurbished for the fall with a playful “Town & Country” theme.

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Have a happy weekend!
Great design is always at your fingertips — read the September/October 2013 issue online!

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