We're a bit obsessed this month with intriguing stairways. The photo above shows a small set of staggered steps we found at the Institute of Contemporary Art at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Walking up these steps (we tried it) was fun - and great exercise. We also admired traditionally-designed tansu "step drawers" from Alan Graves Design (see below). Tansu furniture was practical in small Japanese homes, combining storage and stairway solutions. Try putting a tansu piece, new or antique, in a converted attic bedroom where the slope of the piece matches the roofline.
2. Elizabeth Gilbert and the New Two Buttons
You may be one of the handful of people who haven't heard of best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert (above and at right) or read her hit book Eat Pray Love or her new memoir Committed. But this coming August you'll be able to see the Eat Pray Love movie (see trailer below) and see Liz played by Julia Roberts and her husband Jose portrayed by Javier Bardem.
In the meantime, lovers of beautiful things for your home (plus jewelry and personal accessories), run - don't walk - to Liz and Jose's new emporium of the exotic, Two Buttons in Frenchtown, NJ. The new location (since March 2010) is spacious and filled with treasures, it's still half-way between New York City and Philadelphia near the banks of the Delaware River, and the freshly popped popcorn and red wine greet all shoppers. Now there is also the Lovin' Oven cafe, bakery, take away, and catering in the same building, offering natural food goodness to make this home goods warehouse a true destination for shoppers. Check the Two Buttons website for store hours, directions, and background.
Coming in June: Two Buttons online store sales!
And also coming soon: designer Irwin Weiner shows you some of the beautiful things he found at Two Buttons - a special Design2Share photo essay.
3. zinc home + garden
Lambertville, NJ is arguably the antiques capital of the state, and one of the liveliest home goods spots on the planet. We visited the town on a hot spring Saturday, and the joint was jumping with crowds of tourists enjoying the annual Shad Festival (shad roe is quite the treat).
If you're in this lovely town on the Delaware River, a convenient half-way stop between Philadelphia and New York City, be sure to visit Rod (in photo at right) and Tracey Berkowitz's new store, zinc home + garden. The couple are veterans of home design - styling for Anthropologie and Renovation Hardware; and home good retail five years ago in Lambertville with their Grass Roots store, voted a Philly Best by Philadelphia magazine in 2003. They opened zinc in December 2009 and haven't looked back since.
Join Design2Share as our interior design expert, Irwin Weiner ASID, scopes out his favorite things from the store, an exciting combination of gifts, crafts, home goods, and one-of-a-kind antiques and found treasures. Try to guess which item he purchased. (Hint: it's got 3 legs.) Click here to take our photo tour of the store and its treasures.
zinc home + garden: 74 Bridge Street, Lambertville, NJ - (609) 397-5800 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (609) 397-5800 end_of_the_skype_highlighting (note: the store does not currently have its own website)
4. American Art Open House in NYC
5. American Hand-Made Luxury: Niedermaier