Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review of The Bouqs Flowers

A few weeks ago I was approached with an offer from online florist company The Bouqs to check out their flowers and services. The Bouqs flowers are grown on farms in either Equador or in California and they cut them to order and ship immediately. This means that the flowers arrive within a few days of cutting versus the one to two weeks of standard online services.  The flowers come in flat fee pricing generally starting at $40, which includes shipping. You can order the flowers in arrangements or as cut stems.  Here's their kind of cheeky company video:

I ordered the "Peace" flowers which were shipped from Equador and were to consist of twelve white roses with small purple accent flowers (their marketing photo is just below).

This offer didn't include immediate delivery so I can't attest to how fast you will receive them on a regular order. Their box and packaging is well-designed, attractive and sturdy.

A little note that accompanied the flowers. 

The flowers were well wrapped and practically bolted to the box to keep them from rattling around while in shipping. 

They were wrapped in corrugated paper, then plastic, then brown paper. There cut stems were not wrapped in any kind of special wet packaging but I imagine the plastic wrap helps hold in the moisture.

And the roses themselves are finally revealed! Some outside petals did need to be removed, but not a problem. 

I did a simple Christmas arrangement in a vintage sterling silver tea pot with holly. The roses opened up very quickly - in an hour or two - which had me worried that they would fade very quickly. 

The flowers arrived on December 2nd as seen above. I took the photo of the arrangement below on December 4th. 

And this photo was taken on December 7th.

I finally threw them out on the 12th. They lasted about 10 days in great condition. I never recut the stems or replaced the water, so had I taken better care of them they likely would have lasted a little longer.  I was definitely impressed with the flowers. 

So, check out The Bouqs if you're looking to send beautiful fresh flowers for the holidays! 

As stated above, I was sent a free arrangement of flowers to check them out and additionally, this post contains an affiliate link to The Bouqs which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links. All opinions and photos, unless otherwise stated, are my own. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Must See: Holiday House Tour in Newburyport

One of my favorite annual house tours, in my favorite city, is happening tomorrow in Newburyport, MA. The Holiday House Tour benefits the Custom House Maritime Museum and features some wonderful old and new homes in the historic city of Newburyport and surrounding towns.  I've been going since I lived there several years ago, though unfortunately I'm unable to make it this year with all the holiday business.  However, I just realized that I apparently never did a blog post after last year's tour so I wanted to share some of the highlights here so you can see the quality of spaces you will see if you go tomorrow.

I loved this cute little detail of the little dog on the side table. 

This house was the highlight of the tour. A recently renovated Italianate Victorian. 

The open concept kitchen and family room is spectacular.

The whole color palette of whites and grays lended itself to a cool, icy holiday decorating scheme. 

A gorgeous downstairs lav that pays homage to the Victorian architecture of the house. 

Beautiful stairs and I love the greens on the newel post. 

Very romantic mantel decorations in front of an antique mirror.

All the details were beautiful. 

I want a transom window just so I can do this... 

 Another standout house was this Federal style with an ornate entrance. 

Beautiful Adams style fireplaces abound in this house.

A cute "Grinch" themed holiday table. 

This house wasn't on the tour, but I love the packages they wrap their portico columns with each year. 

 This traditional Colonial house sits on a corner lot and has a large additional on the back and a spectacular back yard area, which I didn't get good photos of, unfortunately.

The newer addition which housed a wonderful in-law suite. A big snowstorm was just getting going when I got to this house, so it was a pretty quick tour.

A beautiful two-story family room with gorgeous millwork and a library on the second floor.

The house had some amazing mural wallpapers which are showcased beautifully by the decor and the holiday decorations. 

I loved this display of colorful glassware - so pretty!

A little corner detail. 

As you can see - lots of beautiful ideas abound. I think I only made it to four of the 8 or so houses last year - it's a really wonderful big tour. If you want to see my posts (three posts!) from two years ago, click here.

More info on this year's tour is here. Have fun!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Inspired Interiors benefits Room to Dream

This is the last week to take in the spectacular room designs by some Boston area designers benefiting the Room to Dream Foundation - a wonderful organization that provides room makeovers for children dealing with health issues.

Van Millwork in Needham, MA is the location for the Inspired Interiors Designer Showhouse. Their gala opening event last week raised thousands of dollars and the displays are still available for viewing through December 12th

Inspired Interiors is open to the general public..  Visitors can stroll through the showroom and gather holiday inspiration.  A $5.00 donation to Room to Dream is all it takes. 
Here's a taste of what you'll see. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Pillows by Artemisia

Artemisia Inc. is a new Brooklyn-based company specializing in textiles, pillows and home accessories.  The company was founded by Rosemarie Padovano, a sculptor and video artist and Marcello Marvelli, a contemporary art dealer and art historian.  Together they share a mutual love and a deep knowledge of art and design that gives them a unique perspective on home decor.
Their pillows employ a carefully curated selection of some of the best textiles available, with a focus on animal prints.  Though a very specific focus, they believe that animal prints are the one common denominator throughout the centuries of interior design - whether it be traditional, modern, minimalist, or eclectic.  As patterns, they are truly versatile and can add a stylish and glamorous flair to any room.

Their pillows come in fabrics from venerable design houses such as Clarence House linens, Scalamandre silk velvets, Brunschwig and Fils “les Touches”, Dessin Fournier, and more, which are all crafted in Europe and the USA.  All of their pillows are made in their Brooklyn studio. A furniture line in planned for the future, also to be made in Brooklyn.

Before I would post about their work, I asked for a sample to evaluate the quality of their craftsmanship and I can happily say that it's first rate. They sent me their Clarence House gray zebra pillow

Which really is flexible enough to fit into any decor.

Check out Artemisia's website if you're looking for high-end, well constructed pillows. They will also work with customers on custom orders as well.

(Please note: The pillow I sampled is a loaner and I have not been paid or compensated in any way for this post or my opinions.)

Monday, December 01, 2014

Suitcase Dollhouse

I've always been fascinated with dollhouses and have sometimes thought about taking them up as a hobby. But I haven't really committed. While doing some research today on potential holiday themed posts for December, I came across an amazing shop on Etsy called Suitcase Dollhouse and I'm in love with what they are creating - out of everything from suitcases to matchboxes.

Based in Queanbeyan, NSW Australia, this clever couple, Marisa and David, create magical miniatures using recycled materials, many of which celebrate the architecture and style of their region.

Visit their Etsy shop here and their website here.