by Marisa Marcantonio

After blogging every day for over 6 years, I love to share what I have learned along the way. Being able to convey my experiences in order to help interior designers and companies make the leap into the blogosphere, I am teaching the Blogging Basics CEU with The New York School of Interior Design at the D and D Building. Join us this coming Tuesday June 18th from 9:30-10:30am, to learn how to launch your blog, find your design voice and increase your visibility. Whether you have a passion to share or you would like to highlight your design expertise, sharing your insights can help others connect with what you have to say. I hope you will join us for the interactive class, it is my third year teaching and it is always a lot of fun. 
See you Tuesday at the D and D Building at 979 3rd Avenue at 59th Street on the 14th Floor in the library at Astra Cafe.


by Marisa Marcantonio

When the California-based internet and catalog lifestyle brand Serena and Lily considered their first retail store, Winscott, Long Island was a location they felt best embodied the sunny, print-cenric bedding/furniture/entertaining (and soon, fashion) brand.  What began as a children's bedding line has grown into a full-fledged lifestyle vision, sold through a website filled with beautiful, evocative photographs containing their upholstery, pillows, entertaining essentials, embroidered and printed bedding, art finds and more.

Their new seaside venture brings their easy breezy Sausalito, CA aesthetic to the artist haven that is Wainscott. And it isn't a pop-up, the store will remain there for S and L enthusiasts on a yearly basis. The Hampton have long been a place for artsy types-- from painters Jackson Pollock to Erik Fischl to writers and sculptors. By embracing everything their new Montauk Highway location has to offer, their Beach Shop is filled with specially sourced items, over 200 to be exact, that push their colorful creative concept forward. They have beaded jewelery from France, realist paintings from their favorite artists of the moment that will be changed out from time to time, and dinner party thank you arrangements created by the Brooklyn-based floral denizen, Emily Thompson. Serena has made her love of the surf real with custom surf boards, and specially printed sarongs featuring summer scenes. Interior designers out East will find in their on-premises design services particularly useful, where clients can sit and scheme upholstery and bedding to create rooms with comfort and their special brand of coziness. If you are an interior designer, you can join their Designer's Circle Program, and receive 20% off retail.

Their light-filled brick and mortar venture is much more than a shop, it serves as a home base for the brand to play with their favorite crisp and clean things and innovate in an incubator-like setting that channels their creative spirit. Sun and summer are a great time to relax, and enjoy the home Serena and Lily have built to share their California dreaming vibe.

The minimalist facade with black and white striped awning and garage door entrance.

 Serena, the creative force and Lily, the brains behind the biz.

 An all white interior is the perfect backdrop to show color and festive pattern against.

Realist paintings are hung salon-style behind the register.

Clean streamlined white tables hold tons of entertaining essentials like placemats, candles, trays and bowls.

 A wall of blue and white pillows, picnic baskets and Fouta towels.

French Bistro Chairs paired with blue and white accessories.

 Their blue and white geo pillows all in a row.

 The other wall with a bookcase filled with patterned pillows, ice buckets and towels.

 Cool custom surf boards call to Montauk wave catchers.

 White woven plastic storage bins under the table are great for keeping kids rooms organized.

A teak sling chair and blue and white beach towels will have you ready to hit the sand.

Don't even get me started on the artwork. Abstract and realist pieces with colorful canvases take up the entire wall behind the register. I was crazy for the tiny palm tree you see on the left.

The rest of the art gallery wall-- yes, I covet it all.

 Tiny Tina Frey resin dogs all in a row. I mean, how adorable.

Need a sun hat? Yeah, they've got that.

Peek into the refinished antique display vitrine for summery jewels sourced from up and coming designers.

Serena's graphic prints made up into plastic and wood trays and napkins.

This giant red lacquer footed tray is dynamite in person.

This light-filled room is where interior design projects will take place.

A large work table in the center of the room serves as the fabric-scheming hub for creative concepts to take shape.

A lush floral arrangement by Emily Thompson.

A nautical blue and white bedding ensemble with cherry printed shams peeking out. A charming two seater bench sits at the foot of the bed.

 Whimsical wicker mirrors by a crisp cotton bed made up in fresh summer prints.

Back-to-back twin beds take on a creative look worth a closer look. 

French Bistro chairs surround a rattan two-tiered table filled with shams.

 Brightly bordered shams are the best way to take an all-white bed into summer mode.

The brand new embroidered Links pattern in Royal Purple is sharp.

 Delish shams await. I am enamored with the new purple sham they have recently added.

A green themed scheme, with a stool, sun hat, clutch and cozy herringbone throw.

 Buoys painted in Serena and Lily signature colors show their red/pink/purple family. Choose from over 40 original paint colors to transform your home through paint.

 The green and beige family.

And if you enter through the door, you will be welcomed with sarongs and beach bags...

More totes, printed pouches and sarongs.

Encased by a two walls of windows, this light-filled room stole Serena and Lily's hearts. The "living room" is a chill seating area with cozy sink-in seating and graphic artwork.

 Like a living room should be: well-lit, comfortable and conducive to entertaining.

A  tufted ottoman holds a wood tray and tomes.

Natural light woods and wovens make the far wall of the living room interesting.

Their rattan bar  cart can be ready to serve in a snap.

A rattan swing that seats two is ready for you.

In the back you get to see their entertaining prowess.

 The long teak table is ready for group dinners and fun-filled summer evenings.

Pretty white Hydrangeas complement the table runner.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Best Made, the last word in cool functional objects is opening a store in Tribeca, their first NYC retail setting.  Rejoice, urban weekend warriors! Their signature metal and wood axe, designed with impeccable style and verve in 2009, introduced legions of loyalists to their clean designs that pair aesthetics with a nostalgic bent. They have  a cult following for their solid, well-made heritage products with an old-school vibe. I cannot wait to take a field trip down to 36 White Street, where they are offering classes in things like Ax Restoration and Field Medicine.  I am already channelling my rustic side to hit this shop for summer.

The well-stocked interior of the new Tribeca Made Goods HQ

The Axe, surrounded by other design basics stuff

The Fulton Street-made Annin American Flag

Designer printmaker Nick Zdon's Everything Here is Wonderful printed on a silk-screened US Map inspires road trips.

The Camp Chair fold flat for an insta-seat in the great outdoors

An enamel plate with a cheeky compass detail

Get games going in red, white and blue style with the best made darts I have ever seen. So sleek and chic.

I've shown their famous red wool blanket before, and love the old-school vibe of the Lumberland Camp Blanket with stripes and a solid ground.  Made from wool with a bit of cotton by Pendleton, it comes with a handy leather carrying sling for easy transport for everything from star watching to baseball games.