Time to Press the Reset Button at Home
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Spring cleaning and a fresh coat of paint will only take you so far. There’s nothing like new furnishings to freshen up indoor and outdoor spaces and elevate moods.
For contemporary and exotic home comforts, look no further than << Sarza >>, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary at 83 Purchase Street. Owner Sarah Briginshaw supports small South African manufacturers with handmade merchandise, so shoppers will be hard-pressed to find her beautiful and functional wares anywhere else.
The Verandha Collection boasts richly textured outdoor lounges and ottomans that can revitalize any space. Their rugs are all hand-crocheted with high-tech yarn that is washable and 100% U.V.-resistant.
Jazz up your seating with Clinton Friedman throw pillows. Their striking botanical prints, says Briginshaw, add a really nice spring and summer feeling. Incorporate color around the pool with distinctive Mungo beach towels, which are available in a variety of prints and individually woven on repurposed looms at a working weaving museum in South Africa. Check out the funky Pedersen and Lennard bucket stools that double as ice buckets.
Sarza’s stunning Robin Sprong wallpaper, all the way from Cape Town, was just featured at the Jacob Javits 30th annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair, and it’s not just for walls.
At <<The Open House>> (8 Purdy Avenue), shoppers will discover fashion-forward and well-edited pieces. Co-owners Barbara Sperling, operations manager, and Michele Green, interior designer, who opened their business seven years ago, have a good eye.
“Today, people like clean lines and neutral colors,” says Green. “Accessories can make everything pop and can change a whole look.”
“Shades of blue are very popular these days,” adds Sperling.
Indeed, blues permeate their elegant enamel serving platters and sleek Lucite trays with watercolor backdrops. Blue and green ornamental glass jelly fish are graceful and fun embellishments.
Much of their merchandise is custom-ordered, including furniture, lighting, and pillows. However, shoppers can pick up artwork, as well as stylish accessories and furnishings that are both functional and decorative.
Their hurricane lamps with white roping can be used for candles or filled with soaps or whatever takes your fancy.
At <<Nest Inspired Home>> (20 Purchase Street), owners Aly Drew and Bets Miller have been winningly combining classic and contemporary furnishings for seven years. They offer full design services and a vast custom fabric selection.
“For spring,” says sales associate Ellen Tuttle, “it’s bright, cheerful colors, whether on pillows or lamps. Even our candle collections add decorative value.”
Nothing feathers one’s nest like the shop’s artful pillow collection, which includes a variety of soft custom fabrics. Any sofa or chair will look brand new with velvet, linen-like, or luxurious Mongolian lamb pillows.
As for the shop’s bounty of lamps, their imperial Foo Dog lamps offer the option of matching the shades to any Benjamin Moore paint color.
Another simple design element that can transform coffee tables, dressers, bar carts, and ottomans are trays, and the store has them in spades. They’re available in leather, vegan (faux leather), cobalt blue, and calf hair.
Original local artwork — paintings, photographs, shadow boxes — fills many a wall. Nest Inspired Home offers customization and even puts shoppers in touch with the artists.
<<Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams>> has long been known for combining classic with modern design. A prime destination for sofas, chairs, and tables, the store on Putnam Avenue in Greenwich also offers an abundant selection of items that pop, such as abstract, handcrafted metal wall sculptures. One-of-a-kind natural teak root tables, cut from already fallen trees in Indonesia, bring warmth and organic shapes to an otherwise stark modern room. Their Eastwood table collection is a modern mix of dark walnut burl veneers with polished steel frames.
A Shimmer hand-loomed summer rug makes a great textural addition to any room. It’s available in various colors, quartz, mineral, blue, mink, and parchment. Another striking accent is their Moran Gray marble table lamp, which juxtaposes marble with an acrylic base.
The shop also carries splendid accessories, such as leather-trimmed, white ceramic vases and bowls, as well as an assortment of hand-blown glass vases in a variety of colors.
Make waves with original artwork by Allyson Monson and Foo Dog lamps.
Mongolian lamb and indigo pillows complement a tie-dyed ottoman.
Richly textured rug from the Verandha Collection o
Flat weave summer towels by Mungo
Hurricane lamps at The Open House
Enamel serving platters
Versatile leather trays
Ornamental jelly fish enclosed in glass