by Marisa Marcantonio

I covered another round of Gift Show aisles today, where I uncovered an abundance of cheery new finds. Since summer is on the wane, I thought I would show a bit of beachy fashion and home accessories to help extend the joys of summer. Try to take full advantage of the casual living and entertaining till Labor Day.  You will find Three Islands clothing and Iomoi for Matouk additions fit right in with your few remaining lazy days.

 Photo courtesy of Tina Barney

 Looking for easy breezy clothing you want to wear every day of the week, all summer long? Look no further, Three Islands has you covered. A friend of mine, interior designer Amanda Essex, shared the collection with me awhile back.  I kept seeing the purple and white Julie Dress (pictured above)  this summer, and I always wondered where it was from.  With its little cap sleeve and a-line silhouette, it was just perfect to wear to lunch and over a bathing suit.  Not knowing it was Three Islands, I was excited to come across their booth at the show, and discover they made the elusive dress!  Rhode Island-based cousins Phil Barney  and Justin Goff took their love of the shore, casual lifestyle and Balinese prints and created the fresh clothing line. Their cotton graphic, block - printed batik patterns change seasonally, and beautifully capture the essence of chillaxing, at a price where you can feasibly pick up a few pieces. You have some time left to enjoy the summer in these resort basics, and they are sure to be the first things you pack for your next island getaway.

 The Julie Dress in coral

The Julie Dress in purple and white honeycomb

 Guys get to look casual cool too in long sleeve shirts that look great with a navy blazer or Nantucket Reds.

A tiny pink sunflower print on navy just shows real men do wear pink.

This cotton is the softest woven cotton, perfect for golf outings or BBQ's. Or grilling fish.

 Little ladies can also rock the look, with a mini shift dress in an alligator print. I mean, come on! So cute.

Iomoi for Matouk debuted their second collection at the show. The small scale prints compliment the original collection perfectly. Mix and match to get the complete Iomoi effect.

 From bar towels to pillows, you can go blue/green, pink/orange, and pink/red and blue.

 All the pretty bar towels in Pom and Mr. Casual patterns all in a row...

 ... and the row goes on

 Mr. Casual gallivants around on his seahorse alone or with coral sprigs in blue and green. A gift set includes 4 in one of each pattern.

He also comes in pink and orange.

Photo courtesy of Tara Wilson

 Remember the Lucite photo cube your parents used to put pictures of you in? It's back! Tara Wilson Designs has brought back the classic 1970's icon, and you can relive the good ol' days with your kids pics.


by Marisa Marcantonio

I am hearing everyone in the industry say, "we are cautiously optimistic." Interior designers say new clients are active, albeit slowly and cautiously. I hope the optimism continues. I sped around the gift show over the past few days and discovered some great new companies that took a leap and brought their designs to market. Trends included unexpected shades of colors like persimmon, plum, mustard, and muted orange. I wish them all great success.
Here are some of the things I am loving now.

Sea grass frames and trays in serene coral, yellow and purple were showstoppers.

New York - based Robyn Brooks had a beautiful booth. She painted the walls in a pale blue hue to offset her bright skin, cork and sea grass designs. She learned all about high quality skins working with jewelry and bag designer Kara Ross, and then set out to do her own stylish thing. I am so glad she was at the show with her frames, mirrors, lamps, trays and bracelets-- something new to get excited about, when there was not a ton of newness out there....
Fortuny- covered chairs sit around an Eero Saarinen inspired table from Ikea for taking orders. She even brought a potted palm!

Here is Robyn standing next to a chic oversized cork lamp.

Her skin trays and frames are really nicely made and finished.

Love this! I don't usually go crazy for skins in wild colors, but her colors are stunning.

Fun geometric patterned poufs from John Robshaw are the new beanbag.

Joel Fitzpatrick just launched this great new eco towel line with cotton trim that comes in orange or green. As a designer, he saw there was a lack in attractive eco towels.

The Kelly green is fresh and crisp, great for a tropical home.

They are seeing what the response is to the geo's, I say, it's a go. Don't you?

Caskata, always taking their lead from natural beauty, had a beautiful new blue peony pattern that came on plates, trays and bowls.

Waylande Gregory introduced his small ceramic painted bowls in new, graphic designs. The elephant is a fave, and the glazes are in cool, unexpected off colors.

My favorite glass designer Joe Cariati did it again with these cloche designs in smoke, red and turquoise glass with a pretty ball finial on top. It would be great as a cheese plate, for cakes, and anything that needs some pomp and circumstance.

I had to include this Stray Dog Designs paper mache plant in turquoise. Low maintenance plants are a good way to go!

See Design is a new joyful printed collection out of New Canaan CT that captures the fun carefree spirit of bold color and pattern on bags, pillows, caftans and scarves.

The gals in their Accent on Design booth. Donna Gorman, left, is a textile designer that spent 20 years with Marimekko, can you tell?!

I loved this cheery tote with circles and dots in a perfect shade of lavender.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Celestina, doyenne of the shell clutch and chic jewels often seen on Vivre, has launched a home collection. If you love rare and glamorous materials such as shell, shagreen, and semi precious stones you will clamor for this collection. Gutsy and bold, her line of tables, frames and boxes with French 40's touches brings fashion home.


Chic shagreen

Shagreen and metal are mixed in this diminutive side table

Inlay and shagreen on a cube end table



Poppy pink shagreen combined with green turbo shells

Stone inlaid boxes with brass trim. Brass is back in a big way.

Photos Courtesy of Celestina Home
A realistic looking leaf tray in sterling silver


by Marisa Marcantonio

Add some Oomph to your home with brand new furniture company, Oomph. Started by three talented gals from New Canaan, Connecticut, it has style by the mile. Amy Rice, Patty Hoppel, and architect Louise Brooks started the company with the notion that buying three simple elements, for $3000, you could change the look of a room. Pillows, furniture and slipper chairs, voila, a color makeover that coordinates! Their products can bring color, happiness and graphic shapes to a staid all white living room. The tables are named after CT towns and summer areas, one of them I happened to grow up in. Maybe that is why I feel such an affinity for this new endeavor! The bright colors, shiny finishes and fresh shapes are fantastic. I was so excited to discover the line today. In these shaky and uncertain times, new and exciting design is fundamental to keep things moving forward. I am just so thrilled to share this energized collection.

'Tini Tables, as in, perfect for placing a martini

A quatrefoil makes a nice table top

This Tini can hold a book, drink and TV remote

A Tini with raffia inlay

A tini pow wow

Stylish Quadrille inlays are a great way to bring pattern into a piece

The Essex Coffee Table in a zippy mango color

The Stonington Coffee Table

The Newport Cocktail Table

The Southport Side Table (woo hoo!)

The Oomph Slipper Chair, a la Billy Baldwin

The Fairfield Cocktail Table

Shown with raffia inlay

The Rowayton Tray Table

The color range is on cheery and on trend.

Jazzy Chippendale with Ikat Lumbar Pillows

Jazzy Zig Zag with Fireworks Flange

Love it!