Archive for January, 2014







A textile designer with a life-long penchant for all things paper, there are few materials we love more. Imagine them used in combination and the possibilities soar. Cue Karen Barbé and her paper studies – one part textile structure, one part ingenious work of art.

Barbé, a designer based in Chile, specializing in woven and embroidered textiles, creates a world of pattern and color in her work. To a trained textile eye, these simple paper studies capture the foundation of woven color effect, patterns created by the interlacing of ‘yarns’ in a sequence predetermined by the weaver. To admirers from afar, intricate layers of material transparency. Add a palette cool and crisp as the coastal surf, and each is as graphically different as one beach from the next.

Images courtesy of Karen Barbe.


Freshman Year, First Semester, Design I. The professor, himself a seasoned artist with a gentle nature, noticeable limp, and the sharpest eye for design detail we’ve ever encountered, instructed his students to abandon the proverbial sketchbook. In its place, we would meticulously craft a Precious Objects Journal. The weekly mission, to collect that which we found inspiring, beautiful, and worthy of being glued to the pages of our previously unopened sketchbooks. Nothing, he fed our insatiated minds, was off limits.  At first thought, ‘piece of cake’, we’d been snipping and clipping bits ‘n’ bobs for years, long before we crossed the threshold of university. The next twelve weeks proved to be some of the most defining in our climb up the educational ladder as we searched and scavenged for hours through magazines, in upperclass textile studios, and yes, even the occasional trash receptacle.

Years later, we’re still at it. Our aesthetic evolved, our resources deeper, and our fear of imperfection long since dissipated (well, maybe not entirely). Any designer will tell you, the craving for inspiration never ends. And while Pinterest has catapulted our virtual curating to levels we’re quite certain our professor would never have imagined, there is something about the tactile nature of building a precious object vignette layer by layer that will forever reside in our soul.

With the arrival of a new year comes a cleansed palate and an open calendar for planning future endeavors. The Captain and I are on the brink of securing a Gilded Getaway House in one of our favorite coastal destinations, and as the next few days will tell if our real estate stars are aligned, we can’t help but imagine the memories that will roll in with the tide. Just like our mother’s homemade lobster roll, we know creativity and design can be dangerously irresistible, so we’d love for you to join us for a year of inspiration. 2014, we can’t wait to see what you have in store.

Image courtesy of The Gilded Lobster.

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