Archive for the ‘New England’ Category

SUMMERSET SERIES | NO. 4

August 7, 2020

 

‘The value of time’, cliche yes, and yet, so undeniably true. The past several months, respectfully void of gilded getaways, world travel and general day-to-day distractions given the state of international affairs, have afforded us the luxury of time. Time to slow down, time to focus on the things that feed us creatively and and time to enjoy the bounty granted to us by a life near the sea (our hydrangea cup runneth 10x over this season).

With demolition scheduled to commence imminently at Summerset, it’s been pencil-to-paper in an all out effort to define/refine the necessary details for our upcoming renovation. While we worked with Cordtsen Design Architecture on all structural elements of the project, the interiors were a scope of work I felt confident to navigate. Full transparency folks – I am not an interior designer by trade, but know my way around a drafting table, have 15+ years experience in the field of design, and can manage a project from concept to execution well enough to know I wasn’t biting off more than I could chew. (Not to mention, we have an amazing GC who ‘gets me’ and my penchant for perfection.)  That said, I also know things almost never go according to plan, schedules run delayed and running a tight ship when it comes to balancing budget and beauty is nonnegotiable for a successful outcome.

In celebration of breaking ground (i.e. dumpster delivery + excavation), follow along at #tglsummersetseries and dive into the ‘avant’ highlights in our insta-stories for a sneak peek at the ‘before’. I promise, not a one-eye open sort of scary.

 

Many people and cultures believe ‘7’ to be a lucky number, and while most would contest these beliefs to be purely matter of opinion, in the context of today’s note, I’ll roll the dice and happily join forces with Camp Seven. 2020 is our seventh ‘season’ in Newport (note: loose use of the word season because we spend considerably greater time here than between the bookends of Memorial and Labor Day). Our first Summerset Series post was just about seven years ago and today welcomes the month of July, the seventh month and the peak of prime time to be enjoying the City-by-the-Sea.

Looking back on that first post in 2014, a glow sweeps across my face remembering the feeling when we took ownership of the property, fell in love with her original floors every time we crossed the threshold (which based on this photo, many of you would back us up on that one) and embarked on the journey of turning a quaint little cottage into a coastal abode. In the years since, we’ve lovingly dressed her in all our favorite shades of blue, filled her with precious treasures and most importantly, welcomed countless friends + family into every cozy corner her 1,040 square feet would allow.

Later this month, we’re scheduled to break ground on some significant renovations at the Gilded Getaway House. In 2018 we worked closely with a local Newport architect to reimagine the 1940’s house and breath new life into the space we plan to love for many more ‘seasons’ to come. After months of zoning board meetings, negotiations with neighbors and honestly, a much-needed break glass of wine to recoup from the exhaustion of it all, the time has arrived to transition from plans-on-paper to something tangible we can physically see + touch. I know many of you reading have a keen interest in design – join me as I make a brave attempt at sharing snippets of the delectable details through the process. Follow along with #tglsummersetseries for pint-sized servings, or, if like me you’re hungry for more, stick around here at Around the Pound for larger portions. Regardless where you choose to follow along, I promise the content will be occasionally golden, always deliciously creative.

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.

With a fresh blanket of snow covering New England, there couldn’t be a better time to dream about everyone’s favorite warm weather treat, ice cream. Or, from the perspective of Victoria Young, as told to Edible Rhody, “Only in New England could you sell ice cream in the winter.” One might say Young, part of a rapidly growing movement of culinary purveyors taking the Rhode Island capital by storm, knows her way around a commercial kitchen. With a heavy-hitting resume, including time spent in the company of some of the world’s most renowned chefs (Redzepi, Boulud, need we say more?), Young has her sight set on elevating the profile of the creamy indulgence, one unique flavor at a time.

Scooping since Summer 2018, Fountain & Co., (Providence’s first craft ice cream maker), fully embraces the bounty of the Ocean State. A Johnson & Wales pastry alum, Young is drawn to the local RI community of growers and makers, using only the freshest ingredients in designing her flavors. And because ice cream is always more fun when there’s a party, Young has partnered with fellow Providence purveyors for a hitlist of brand collaborations (‘mashups’ for those of a more youthful generation). Need a little pep in your summer step? Cue Bourbon Butterscotch Coffee Stout, a flavor intense with Nitro Cart’s amazing brew. Ice cream sandwiches more your thing? Insert a PVDonut hugging your creamy scoop. Sundaes? Young’s got those too. Burgundian Liège Waffles are the perfect host for any combo of ice cream and toppings.

Craving a scoop to call your own? Young is currently popping up all over Providence, most frequently filling cups and cones out of a small window in partnership with Stock Culinary Goods. If the winter weather has you down, Young’s Pint of the Month is a no-brainer. Limited edition flavors in pint-sized containers, for all you late-night sneaky spooners.

Images courtesy of Fountain & Co. 

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