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Pops of Color

It is always fun when a new order arrives from the show that instantly makes an impact in a display. Here pops of color from pencils and matching journals spiff up an already colorful vignette. The same is true for all of us at home on our shelves and tabletops. A new colorful object placed in just the right spot can refresh in a flash.



 

 

The Photographing Continues…

I am a pretty hands on guy when it comes to all things Watson Kennedy. OK, make that super hands on. I love details. I love my work. The running of the shops requires a crazy amount of details. Let me correct that, running it well requires a crazy amount of details. There are many moving parts, with many folks wearing lots of hats. The website re-do would be a prime example. The list of details quite long. But it is getting quite exciting as we start to see it take shape. I was pretty adamant that the photos be shot in situ. So many websites shoot things in white boxes and frankly, I find it quite boring. My big job these past months has been photographing goods around the shops. It is meant to feel like you are in one of the spaces feeling cozy with Ella wafting about and you feel transported. The above a few of the shots from last week. Many, many more to be taken over the next month. Hope you like!



 

 

Fresh Windows

The front windows of the First & Spring shop had a beach-y sailing vibe going on for the sunny months. We sold tons out of them and they were starting to look a little worse for the wear, having started out pretty darn spiffy. This time of year is always tough, as it is still Summer and the weather has been glorious so the timing of doing an Autumn theme just does not feel right. By the last of October we will be installing Holiday so it leaves a span that can be tricky. But I love a challenge! Both of the blue walls painted by Heather in June were just too cool to give up, so they stayed, becoming a jolt of color background which I quite like. The above window became a nod to all my favorite things–France, England and all our WK perennial favorites, like Diptyque, Molton Brown and Mariage Freres. The bottom became a collegiate tailgate party with a little football thrown in. I giggle, as I know very little about football and I know lots about throwing a party, and gin! Both windows will give folks who walk and drive by plenty to peruse.



 

 

A Simple App Board

We do whatever we can to keep the stress level down when we have guests over. It is our way to make it easier to see friends & family. Often I think folks pass on entertaining because it can be a ton of work. But it does not have to be! An appetizer board, or app board as I like to call it, can be super quick and easy and in a pinch can be all you need to put out if you are just having friends over for drinks. Also, an easy way to entertain. A full on, sit down meal is not the only item on the menu when it comes to entertaining. OK, these are my thoughts for a quick app board. There are a zillion variations on this but here is an easy guide we often fall back on in a pinch. 2 to 3 cheeses. One soft and spreadable, the other to slice, we almost always add a Brie. Crackers. A baguette that is cut up and ready to put cheese on. A nut of some sort. Either tomatoes or radishes. Cut some and leave some whole. A small dish filled with salt for dipping said tomatoes or radishes. A bunch of grapes. All of this is easily found at most any grocery store. Knifes to cut or spread the cheese. A few leaves or bunch of herbs to add a bit of color. All laid out on a cutting or serving board. Done. Let the entertaining begin!



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 215

A collection can really start with a few things–by displaying them together you get a much bigger visual impact than if the grouping is scattered about.



 

 

Display Case Day

Display is pretty much a constant at the shops, with each day things getting straightened, added to, and refreshed. Others days mean full on re-do of entire areas, or in the case yesterday, changing up display cases entirely. My friend Kathy drive up from Portland with a carload of vintage goods for me from her collections. The above William Yeoward crystal pieces so gorgeous I can hardly stand it. I have long admired both the man and his work and was incredibly sad to hear of his passing a few days ago. This case is an homage to him.

Preppy goods are always near & dear to my heart. This case a nod to my friend Lisa Birnbach and her Official Preppy Handbook. Think tennis racket corkscrews and golf putter bottle openers. The below a gathering of John Derian works honoring his whimsical decoupage pieces. They always look so great massed together telling a visual story. Cases do just that.



 

 

the SHOPKEEPERS, Watson Kennedy

Honored to be chosen for the list of shops from around the globe which are highlighted on the SHOPKEEPERS click here. With a tag line of, Featuring The World’s Best Shops, I of course am over the moon to be added to the list. The site is a fabulous resource when traveling.

“Strolling through a town or a neighborhood, stopping for coffee and visiting shops unique to that destination. How sad would our villages, towns, and cities be without independent shops to add variety and individuality to our travels? I believe that independent shops are an integral part of our lives, whether local or faraway, they add vibrancy and community.



 

 

Anatomy of a Shop Vignette

For me, often a reset of a table display starts with one idea or one grouping of goods. In this case, it was the new ceramic scalloped dishes & platters we just received from Seattle artist Monika Dalkin. I knew I wanted them to be the anchor for this vignette as you first walked into the door of the First & Spring shop. Food safe, I am loving that each piece is a little different and has a slightly earthy organic vibe to it. Then I start layering. The vintage watering cans we found a Brimfield had a coloring I liked with the ceramics. Which led me to the table being about flowers in many forms. Books, soaps, cards, plates, mugs, coasters and jams all became part of the flowery mix. Then the Livia Cetti paper geraniums got placed, pulling the whole floral theme together.



 

 

A Day of Display

Yesterday was a day of display where I took everything off two big shelving units, cleaned it, cleaned & polished some of the goods, then set about re-displaying all the things to make it look fresh. These days are heaven to me. I get into an almost zen like state. Hugely satisfying when all is said and done. My hope is it is always a visual feast for all.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 205

A simple bloom or blooms are always welcome in the bathroom. Lovely to have your eyes land on them in the morning as you get ready for your day. Then again at the end of the day when you are getting yourself ready for bed. The joy of surrounding yourself with beauty during your daily rituals.