Beautiful In Boulder: WONDER

Beautiful In Boulder: WONDER

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There’s no denying it anymore- style has come to Boulder and it’s here to stay. With the rebound of the economy and new retail acquisitions like Cedar & Hyde, Nod & Rose, and Alpine Modern, you can no longer open a competitive retail business with minimal attention paid to the design. Quite the contrary, as downtown’s newest gem, WONDER opens its doors, fires up its juicers, and raises the bar for everyone.

How would you describe/categorize the style of the shop? Minimalist Glamour.

What inspired you in the design process/ What were your main sources of inspiration? We were inspired by mid-century modern, Scandinavian minimal design with a touch of warmth and gold sparkle.  Clean lines, open walls, light and natural warmth.

What is your favorite piece/accessory/detail? While there are so many details we loved creating- exposing the brick wall and working with Fiori Flowers to create beautiful hanging orchids- our favorite addition to the space was the wood chairs. We were planning to go to Ikea for chairs but realized that having a hand made chair in our space was a better fit for our brand and style. We were fortunate that our friend Alessandro Sacerdoti does woodworking as a hobby and offered to make us 20 lovely chairs, 2 weeks before we opened. The chairs tied everything together and added a warmth and natural element.

Did you run into any difficulties and if so, how did you resolve them? Because we were working with a space that was a restaurant prior, one of our biggest struggles was visioning how we could transform the existing bones to fit our brand and identity. Our first project was exposing the brick wall. Once we saw how warm the brick made the space feel, we knew we needed to take the risk to sand down the prefab maple floors and paint the white ceiling slate. For us there was a level of blind faith that we were following. We were lucky to have great bones to work with.

Please name the stores/vendors you sourced from- anything local? Most of our sourcing was local or USA made. Amee Hinkley from Ash & Ore made our pillows, our lighting is all national companies (Cedar and Moss, Allied Maker, Schoolhouse Electric and Neon MFG). Fiori Flowers did our floral arrangements and Alessandro Sacerdoti crafted our chairs. Our beautiful ceramic mugs are from Mazama and can be found at Cedar & Hyde locally.

What was the biggest design obstacle that needed to be overcome and how did you do it? Everything actually felt pretty seamless. Our biggest obstacle was perhaps the little time we had to remodel; We completed the project in 6 weeks.

Any plans for additional/added design elements? We look forward to our shop evolving in small increments in the future.  Alessandro is planning to make beetle kill high-top tables for us and we would also like to have long bookshelves for an eclectic selection of magazines from around the world.

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Images via Alison Vagnini.

Big Picture Decorating

Big Picture Decorating

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I’m currently finishing up a family room re-do (pictured) that has raised the issue of big picture decorating, something that I anticipate with every project. What is big picture decorating? Simply, choosing pieces that work with the style and needs of the entire room, not only a part of it. And what that looks like is making sure the strong statement items are paired with enough neutrality so the room is balanced. Often, neutral items (lamps, pillows, etc.) aren’t the most exciting purchases in the world and aren’t, on their own, game-changing pieces. They are, however, crucial to maintaining the room’s equilibrium. So if you find yourself underwhelmed when choosing them, step back and see how they work with everything.

 

 

 

Be Different, Buy Different

Be Different, Buy Different

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I can remember, vividly, when Marc Jacobs-helmed Louis Vuitton released their collection designed by Japanese contemporary artist, Takashi Murakami. Seeing the staid, iconic Vuitton logo reimagined as a rainbow of youthful, poppy fun made me crazy with bag lust; to this day, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more. But over the next year, the design’s popularity became its downfall: it was everywhere. Fakes on Canal and the streets of Soho increased its proliferation to the tipping point, where fashion familiarity breeds contempt. All these years later, while I still appreciate the design, it serves as an important lesson: I don’t want what everyone else has, and you shouldn’t either.

As a highly identifiable brand, Louis Vuitton precariously straddles the line between exclusive and mass market, so if you buy their bags, chances are very good you’re one of many- many many. Instead, here are two collections that you won’t see on every other woman’s arm, that you’ll have to search a little harder for, possibly pay a little more for, but are, simply, the best.

Stephen Sprouse– By far my favorite collection, the graffiti covered bags and wallets are modern, aggressive, and rare. Ebay is your best bet where many are lightly pre-owned (though no less expensive).

Cindy Sherman– If you want more of the iconic monogram visible, these bags (from the Celebrating Monogram collection) showcase travel inspired patches, a nod to the heritage of Louis Vuitton.

If you’re looking for a wallet, key ring, or other small leather goods, the Illustre collection is my favorite.

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