Friday Favorites 12/14/2012

December 14, 2012

Lisa E. Harrison, Associate Editor
Sure, the holidays bring lots of stress. The most common blood-boilers? Gift-giving, entertaining and good ole family dynamics. My greatest stress stems from the latter, but it has nothing to do with whether people make merry or not, but rather the tricky dynamics of seating all of said family. The joys of the holidays meet the joys of small-space living.

Which brings me to my search for a sectional. Not just any sectional–the perfect sectional: modern, sleek, yet still plenty comfortable. It’s taken me months, but I finally found it at Twelve Chairs in Boston. The Lois, by designer Kristin Drohan, has contemporary appeal (note the tapered legs and curved arms) but a handsome, timeless silhouette. It fits in snug spaces and, appropriately enough, it was designed with family in mind: not only can it stand up to wear and tear, but it was named after the designer’s 101-year-old grandmother. Perfect, indeed.

Photo courtesy of Twelve Chairs

Stacy Kunstel, Homes Editor
Handcrafted furniture is a New England tradition and design staple. From Early American to today’s industrial, our region has always enjoyed the labored creations of fine woodworkers. Call me cliché, but when I saw the line at Good on Charles Street in Boston I automatically conjured a wizened, gray-haired man as the personality behind the sleek highboys and sideboards there. As I tugged at the dovetailed drawers with their custom jewel-like pulls, Good owner Paul Niski explained to me that the collection is actually the work of two Brookline-based women, Brooke Richard and Laura Watson. The beauty of their pieces also expresses a sense of whimsy practicality–the top drawers on their highboy are so far from the floor that you might need one of their stools to reach the top, but the drawers also stand on their own as beautiful boxes you can place underneath or in another part of the room, leaving the top shelf open for books or objects. I’m sorry, but only someone of my gender would come up with that.

Photo by Stacy Kunstel

Top drawers pull out to allow this highboy dresser to become part-bookshelf.

Maria LaPiana, Contributing Writer
The backstory behind AKiS is a good one: Two girlhood friends from Istanbul move to the U.S. to attend college. They stay in touch. Each pursues a career in design (Eugenie Perret co-owns a furniture gallery in Philadelphia and Defne Veral is an interior designer in New Haven, Conn.). They decide to go in together on a line of home and fashion accessories handmade by artisans from their native Turkey … and the crowd goes wild. Well, I did, anyway–and I think it’s just a matter of time. What I love best about this little grassroots company is how homey (yet sophisticated) its handmade home goods are. The women offer lovely sandals, shawls, scarves and jewelry, but it’s the natural fiber textiles for the home–made by the men and women of tiny Turkish towns, using methods that are centuries old–that won my heart. My favorites: brightly colored hand towels, striped pillows, blankets and throws. AKis products are available in two New England boutiques: Lily Juliet, 14 Wall St., in Madison, Conn. (203) 779-53430; and Tamworth Lyceum, 85 Main St. in Tamworth, NH (603) 323-5120.

The Arinna tea towel. Photos courtesy of AKiS

The Estan pillow in Aqua