paper and paint

Now we’re back in the UK, for a few weeks at least, we’ve started thinking about our new place, which I introduced a while back. Step one involves choosing some paint colors.

Colour representation isn’t great; the top three are distinctly different shades of grey,  bottom left is chocolate, middle is mid-brown, right is olive green.

The whole place is currently white, just as we like it, so we’re only talking feature walls here and there. We’ve also gathered a shortlist of wallpaper samples to consider.

We’ll use a couple of these – I’ll let you guess which ones – plus the very retro wallpaper we had in our last place. Mmm, this is the fun bit!

This weekend we ordered some of the wallpaper, painted one wall, fitted blinds and lighting and got a quote for replacing our stair carpet. Phew! I’ll be sharing more soon.

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boston city hall

Despite Boston’s impressive haul of historic architecture, dating back longer than you’d probably think, one of its most striking buildings is this Brutalist offering from the 1960s.

Loved and loathed in far from equal measure, Boston City Hall just can’t be ignored. It displaced one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods so wasn’t welcomed by most people.

Now though, this beast of a building is part of Boston’s landscape. At worst, it’s a great example of its type. Some even think it should be a National Historic Landmark.

Well, the other day we visited, to discuss possible warehouse premises. Inside it’s much the same. Lots of concrete. Only took one pic and it’s a bit blurry but you get the idea…

I have to say, I’m glad that buildings like this aren’t still being created but I like it. It helps document an ‘interesting’ architectural period. What do you think; love it or hate it?

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canada retail update

Further to my update a while ago, we’ve added a few more Canadian stores, who’ll all be stocking Olli & Lime. Thought I’d quickly update you on the new places to find our stuff…

West Coast Kids/e-children, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary…

Flo Urbain, Lemoyne, Quebec…

The Baby Boutique, Kitchener, Ontario…

And Cadeaux Kelly Green Gifts, Montreal…

This is great news for us, and our Canadian friends! For a full list of retailers now selling our products in Canada, and the rest of the world, please see our website.

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apartment therapy

Just a quick post to say we’ve arrived in Boston, for the second half of our East Coast trip. We’re staying in our favourite neighbourhood, South End, in an apartment we’ve rented…

The apartment is just about perfect. At ‘parlor level’ with jaw-dropping proportions, period features and tasteful, minimal decor. I think we’re gonna find it very difficult to leave.

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olli and lime and peyton

Another customer photo. This one featuring a particularly happy looking seven-month-old boy named Peyton, pictured relaxing on our (now discontinued) Egg Pumpkin bedding…

Mum Janelle kindly emailed from Minneapolis. This threw me, as I assumed that Peyton was named after a certain Colts quarterback. Apologies to non-American readers, who are probably thinking ‘what is he on about?!’ Janelle explains why she chose the name…

“Although I do love football that is not why I picked the name. I have liked it forever, was going to use it for a girl but got worried I would not get another girl so I chose to use it for my son. I have a daughter and two sons; the other called Brady which really makes people think I am obsessed with football LOL!” (ref here in case you were wondering).

She goes on to say what attracted her to Olli & Lime, “I love the colors and designs that you have used in your products. They are exactly what I love (no puppy dogs and butterflies for me). I fell in love with your egg pattern all three colors.” Thanks to Janelle for the kind words and for sharing this great pic of your gorgeous little boy.

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hudson hotel

If you follow our tweets, you may have noticed I mentioned we stayed at the Hudson Hotel. We couldn’t have picked much better, both for practicality and design indulgence.

We like to walk pretty much everywhere, so location is extremely important. The Hudson is very central, near(ish) to the show we attended, and handy for everything else we did.

Design-wise, it’s stunning. Unassuming from the street, just subtly stylish, it gets grander on the inside. Dual lime escalators provide a sleek funnel, opening into a lavish expanse.

Once you’re in, there’s an abundance of facilities, with multiple bars, restaurants, nightclub and a gorgeously green Sky Terrace, providing a welcome haven from the bustle below.

Impressive city views can be seen day and night, as you peer through the foliage and sip moderately priced (for NYC) drinks from outdoor seating with varying comfort scores.

We visited when last in town and said we’d come back. I’m glad we stayed. The rooms are rather compact but overall this Starck-designed boutique hotel is great value.

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manhattan kids

Everyone’s heard of Giggle, right? They’re a big deal, with more shops than you can shake a stick at. They’ve got three on Manhattan alone, including this one in SOHO…

giggle-soho-store

…and the one below on the upper-east. They’ve also got an upper-west shop so they have it covered. All well thought out, including their ethos; the ‘giggle criteria’. We like.

giggle-upper-east

We took time out to visit this beautiful Bobby Berk Home store in SOHO. They don’t sell kids products here but do online, including our stuff. Plus you can order in the shop.

bobby-berk

Babesta also sell our products, from their shop in Tribeca. They also have a threads outlet across the street. They’re a cool kids brand who do things in their own way.

babesta

A name we didn’t know before this trip is Yoya, they run this cool West Village store, along with Yoyamart, just around the corner, technically in the Meatpacking District.

yoya

I have to admit, we didn’t go into this next store. I just had to share because I love the name, Pumpkin, a cute little children’s clothing store we spied on Bleecker Street.

pumpkin

Clearly Manhattan has masses of kids stores. This is just a smattering of some we know, or that took our fancy. If you’ve discovered any others you’d like to share, do feel free.

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nyigf

No, not some tech-speak acronym to decipher. It stands for the New York International Gift Fair; the main reason we came to NYC this time. It’s held here. And it’s pretty big.

It’s not focused purely on kids, clearly, but there was a big children’s brand presence, including many of our competitors plus some reps, distributors and obviously buyers.

One slight issue with the event, as we’d heard from contacts prior, is the layout can be confusing. If we exhibited, as we might next year, we could be in one of three areas.

Very useful to attend though. We got a good feel for the event and what people are up to. It’s also given us some reassurance ahead of our first appearance at ABC later this year.

Oh, special mention for Randi Mohr, who gave us both free passes to walk the show. Mine didn’t even say ‘Olli & Lime’, making me less worried about spying on our competitors!

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olli and lime and oliver and max

A customer post now, featuring the rooms of two brothers called…you guessed it; Oliver and Max. Mother Debbie sent in lots of great photos a couple of weeks back and finally I’ve got around to posting them. First, gotta love this pic of the two boys…

Debbie says, “We were looking to decorate both bedrooms but felt they were too old for ‘typical’ older boys design and wanted something more funky and retro. When I showed the website, they both asked if their rooms could be decorated with the George and Billie ranges.”

Proving that our designs can span older age ranges, Debbie used our George design for Oliver’s room and Billie for Max’s. Hmmm, too many names; this could get confusing. The family are based in Upholland, Lancashire, a place I knew nothing about until just now.

As well as sending in lots of photos, Debbie also supplied masses of information on the thought process behind each room, why she went for what, and how she’s accessorized and personalised each space. Rather than paraphrase, I’ll let her explain…

“Oliver’s a popular, placid, sensitive 12-year-old, who has a unique style and doesn’t follow fashion; he sets his own! We used the brown wallpaper and green fabric for his room, with a ceiling light from Asda and bedside light from Ikea; a perfect match for O&L Green.”

“I bought Oliver a stool to go under his desk from Ikea and took the left over George fabric to a local upholsterer to get the stool covered. The very next day I went to TK Maxx and found the green cubed box, costing £39.99, the lid comes off and he keeps chargers for all his electrical bits in it.”

“Now, we just love the vibe in Max’s room. He is 9 and a cheeky little chappy with a huge personality. We feel that his room complements his personality. It’s bright, funky and fresh. Again his ceiling light is Asda, his lamp Ikea. Max has now inherited the stool originally purchased for Oliver, currently covered with the spare Billie fabric.”

“I wanted to personalise both boys rooms, so went on a mad mission to find a funky retro font, cut out their letters of their names, and then passed them to my sister who got one of her creative guys at work to spray mount and cut them out.” What a great idea, particularly if you have any left over wallpaper.

Thanks so much to Debbie, Oliver and Max for giving us a peek inside these rooms. Incidentally, as if determined to demonstrate the versatility of our designs, Debbie about to decorate her own bedroom using our Charlie range…hopefully photos to follow.

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hello nyc

What’s not to love about New York City? Such a great place to visit. Last time here was in December 2007, for our honeymoon no less. Looks and feels very different this time.

We’re (just about) based on the upper-west side but we gravitate towards SOHO etc. And West Village. Now there’s somewhere we could live. Shame about the price tag.

I’m not gonna flood the blog with holiday snaps (so much) this trip. Main purpose here is business. We’re off to the International Gift Fair today so a post on that to come.

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