Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Driving the back country roads and rolling hills of Litchfield County, one might pause to question if the view ahead is truly a slice of the Nutmeg State or the backdrop from a picturesque European postcard. Dotted with farms enveloped in fences and colonial homes clad in clapboard, the scene feels serendipitously set in a time-lapse somewhere between The Patriot and The Sound of Music.

Nestled in the tiny hamlet of New Preston, Plain Goods is a destination not only for Connecticut locals, but Manhattanites looking to trade cityscapes for landscapes, and vacationers passing through as they either enter or depart New England from the nearby state border. Originally located in a postage-size storefront on the edge of the village’s rolling waterfall, co-owners Michael DePerno and Andrew Fry had grander plans for their growing retail business, their sight set on a historic landmark a stone’s throw away that came on the market in 2018. Pavilion Hall, constructed in 1897 as a concert hall and celebration space for the Litchfield locals, had fallen into disrepair after sitting vacant for several years. A massive restoration ensued, not only expanding the team’s creative endeavor from a 700 sq.ft. cottage to a 6,000 sq.ft. hallmark for bucolic bliss, but earning the duo a 2019 Award of Merit from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

Immediately upon crossing the threshold, visitors are welcomed into a two-story forum of meticulous merchandising. Delicately curated vignettes set the stage for DePerno and Fry’s vision, to celebrate impeccable craftsmanship, purity of form and nature’s ever changing palette. That vintage brass pillbox you never knew you needed wanted? A hand-sourced assortment to select from. Antique china you thought worthy only of Sunday dinner at your grandmother’s? Suddenly, a desire to eat every meal, maybe even Kellogg’s, from hand-painted porcelain patterns. It’s the kind of storytelling that makes everyday living feel elevated. At times like these, when our homes have become havens from the outside world, who isn’t in need of a little less chaos and lot more cozy?

Since moving into the larger space, the offering has expanded to include a broader assortment of men’s, women’s + children’s apparel and accessories, and even accessories for the furriest of four-legged friends. Looking to stock your pantry? There’s options for your larder too – Plain Goods Provisions, a range of delectables guaranteed to ensure that artisanal loaf is loaded with the loftiest of jams and your brioche french toast is dappled with nothing less than Grade A Vermont Maple.

Brick + Mortar needs us more than ever right now, so while the doors of Pavilion Hall are currently closed, Plain Goods virtual storefront is always open for window shopping, or for those in more dire need during these anxiety ridden times, unabashed retail therapy.

Plain Goods | 17 East Shore Road | New Preston, CT

All images via Plain Goods.

 

PSA: We interrupt your never-ending news feed filled with doom & gloom to bring you something slightly more uplifting – pretty pictures + thoughtful prose, all in the spirit of optimism that brighter times are ahead. It goes without saying, no one will come out of the current global crisis untouched. Individuals, local businesses, large corporations, international organizations – everyone will feel an impact to some degree across the spectrum. Like all of you, we’re doing our best to be healthy, adjust in solitude + process the calamity facing our world; as creatives, staying inspired is our guiding principle, it’s what keeps us grounded and encouraged to continue moving forward. Hence, our intent remains steadfast at Around the Pound, sharing stories of the things we love, people and brands we admire and places we aspire to someday visit – we hope you’ll stick around if you’re in need of something light and beautiful in the coming weeks. As always, (and perhaps more than ever), we’d love to have you.

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the country, but is by no means lacking in creative spirit. Over the years at TGL we’ve shared our unabashed admiration for Ocean State brands and entrepreneurs, from furniture makers to an ice cream purveyor, and yes, the best doughnut in New England. Lotuff Leather joins an expanding list of small businesses designing and producing American-made wares we simply can’t get enough of. At times like the one we face currently, these homegrown companies, built on passion and pursuit of a dream, need our support more than ever.

Founded in 2013 out of a small studio, Lotuff Leather embodies end-to-end the true essence of what it means to be from ‘America’s Creative Capital’. Embracing the approach and technique of European ateliers, the Lotuff team, lead by Creative Director Lindy McDonough, lovingly handcrafts each leather good using the best methods, leathers and materials they know. The team of artisans, many classically trained at RISD, (a two mile stone’s throw across I95), means talent remains hyper local within ‘lil Rhody, hitting the mark on centralized craft + employment opportunity. Under McDonough’s guidance, the brand’s collection is a testament to not only meticulous craftsmanship, but also design leadership, a venture which earned Lindy a well-deserved induction into the esteemed Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

In the words of McDonough, “Creating a piece that will be handed down generation to generation, and become more beautiful as you use it, that was always the ethos for the company.” Having personally worked with some of the most magnificent and respected leather workshops in Europe, we can attest this is an artistry learned over years, not days or weeks, with the same exquisite attention given to each piece by Lindy’s team at Lotuff. Since we know many of you have some extra time on your hands these days, watch Lindy’s behind the scenes view of life at Lotuff and you’ll quickly see for yourself, “Bringing Handmade Back to America” isn’t a marketing slogan, it’s the brand’s bonafide modus operandi.

Consumerism will look different in coming months, likely even years. As you contemplate your next purchase and where to spend your hard-earned discretionary dollars, pause to consider a few things: quality, integrity and community. In case we haven’t sold you, Lotuff’s quality is nothing short of superior (appropriately donned the Porsche of leather bags by stylish critics). Lindy’s business model oozes the time-honored spirit of American Made at its core. And, Lotuff nurtures a local creative community with close ties to one of our nation’s leading and most highly respected art institutions, educating and developing a new generation of artists in the tradition of fine arts and crafts. Currently, the studio is closed in mindfulness to the health and safety of the team, but their online shoppe is chock full of in-stock products. Looking for something slightly more personal? They offer bespoke services too, and inquiries are openly accepted. Here’s a few things on our wishlist to spur a virtual return to the office haul, date nights at our favorite Rhody restaurants and long weekend getaways across New England.

The Working Tote | Like your favorite Boat + Tote, in leather

The Mini Lois Pouch | The cosmetic carryall to ‘Meet you for cocktails’ clutch

The Mini Leather Bucket Bag | You had us at ‘Shearling’

The No. 12 Weekender Bag | Destined for future Gilded Getaways

The American Alligator Tripp | aka The Ultimate Crossbody

Images courtesy of Lotuff Leather.

Five years ago we backed a Kickstarter campaign to launch a new brand, Appointed. An assortment of American-made paper goods were destined to elevate desktops one beautiful bookcloth covered notebook at a time. The brand’s founder, Suann Song, had been designing and producing letterpress wares we’d purchased for years; we knew any creative pursuit she was leading, we definitely wanted to stand behind.

Fast forward from 2015 (when we could barely contain our excitement over the soon-to-début brand) and Appointed is celebrating their 5th anniversary. Under the discerning eye and creative direction of Suann, we’ve watched the boutique brand grow to a curated collection of products, each the embodiment of the brand M.O., “Everyday elevated paper goods to inspire productivity and creativity.” In the five years since purchasing our first notebook, Appointed has become a staple for every project and planner we took a pencil to, and quite honestly, if asked to assign a score, we’d unequivocally hand out a perfect ten. Every layout, typeface and color selection – perfection. For all the paper peeps out there (cue #paperpeoplearethebestpeople), that’s a proclamation not to be taken lightly.

Last week we received a surprise package, wrapped in a signature box with bespoke branding. Inside, 5th Anniversary special edition wares and a handwritten note from Suann, thanking us for our ongoing support for the past five years. We weren’t alone in receipt of such a delightful display of gratitude, similar boxes were posted to fellow backers and loyal supporters – the act a reflection of Suann’s combination of poise, generosity + humbleness that reminds us why we fell head-over-heels for this now iconic brand in the first place. In honor of International Women’s Day, congratulations to Suann and the many other female-led brands + companies we adore, we applaud you for being industry pioneers, champions for creative culture and amazing spirits in the company of fellow females. xx

Images courtesy of Appointed Co.

When prepping for a Gilded Getaway Guide, there’s a substantial amount of legwork that goes into building an itinerary. Infrequently do we simply succumb to the powers that be – there’s recommendations we’ve collected, articles we’ve bookmarked and tear sheets we’ve filed away for that special moment when the flights are booked and the bags are packed. With our recent trip to New Orleans, we had a hearty list of hotspots, mostly eateries (because yes, we love to eat), a scheduled tour, and a mere handful of shoppes that had been on our radar. For our final list, head to our recent post, capturing the best of our time in The Big Easy and what we considered to be the gold standard in this southern city.

Tucked at the bend of Magazine St. in the Lower Garden District, Sunday Shop was worth the walk at the end of a long and hot, (did we mention hot?) day in NOLA. In their own words, “Sunday Shop is a carefully curated lifestyle shop led by a team of approachable and knowledgeable interior designers.” Carefully curated? How ’bout darn near perfect. Katie Logan Leblanc and Jensen Killen, the design duo behind Logan Killen Interiors have mastered the mix in their relatively new retail space, complete with a courtyard and an offering of coffee.

Perhaps it’s the French influence on La Nouvelle-Orléans, but there is definitely a certain je ne sais quoi of interior inspiration unfolding at Sunday Shop. For the owners, they wanted a shoppe that would house all of their favorite things – an extension of their interior design studio, not to mention a perfect vehicle for clients and interior enthusiasts to add the finishing touch to any room. Lucky for us, the result mimics a laundry list of our own highly-desired brands and wares.  Just the right amount of vintage, with a dash of southern sophistication – antique rugs and textiles, furniture and furnishings, apothecary too. Meticulously merchandised like a well-outfitted home, these ladies have a vision that warrants a stiff dose of anti-desire. Cursed by the carryon, we left with only a vintage stoneware bowl, and a wishlist a mile long.

In need of inspiration? Check out their ‘grams, a photo reel not only of wares in shop, but also enviable environments and fun-filled frivolity. Interiors more your fancy? Spend some time at Logan Killen Interiors, whose work must just provide the perfect excuse for your very own Gilded Getaway House in the Garden District.

 

Our Sunday Shop Wishlist:

Antique French Escargot Plates to make the Captain’s favorite dish.

19th c. French Bread Board to raise the bar on cocktail hour charcuterie.

African Kuba Cloth to add to our collection of historical textiles.

Ukrainian Bed Coverlet for keeping warm on chilly New England nights.

Vintage Quilt for summer picnics in the City-by-the-Sea.

 

Sunday Shop | 2025 Magazine St. | New Orleans, LA 70130

All images courtesy of Sunday Shop and Logan Killen Interiors. 

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For some, it’s shoes, others handbags. For us, nothing speaks to our style weakness like the perfect desktop accessory. So when Suann Song, a graphic designer + resident expert in all things paper, recently introduced a Kickstarter Campaign to launch a collection of notebooks under her new venture Appointed Co., we snapped to attention + practically hugged our laptops. The vision behind Appointed Co. speaks for itself, “A beautiful work environment fosters creativity, productivity and overall well-being.” From our vantage point, it sounds like the best capsule of Vitamin C a designer could wish for – inspiration, aesthetics + functionality all rolled into one. A daily dose you say, doctor? Yes, please.

Suann, whose creative firm Simplesong Design has been inspiring us for years, hit the organizational nail on the head in developing not only the perfect notebook, but a full service line of office panache. Think we’re alone in our admiration of ruled lines + spiral-bound beauty? Think again, this kickstarter campaign reached its goal in one week folks, proving that, in the words of Song, “A notebook represents untapped potential and endless possibility“.

Chock full of delectable details, each notebook includes brass coils, rounded corners, bookcloth covers, and oh, did we mention foil-stamped insignias? Hold the presses (well, actually, let ’em roll), Suann offers the potential for a #pinchofglam on every one; now that’s a designer truly after our gilded heart. The soon-to-début collection, all made in America and inclusive of workbooks, To-Do pads, rulers, + more, is essentially the dream team of desktop décor, and like kids in a candy store, we can barely contain our excitement. Fancy yourself a piece or two? Stay tuned, the Appointed Co. web shoppe will be opening its doors in July, 2015, just in time for back-to-school (or shall we say, back-to-cool) office indulgence.

Images courtesy of Appointed Co.

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