Have you heard the word “Hygge” around the design world lately? This Danish word refers to a feeling of coziness and wellness – imagine sitting snuggled in front of a fire in the middle a wild snowstorm, wrapped in a hand knit blanket, sipping hot cocoa, with a favorite novel. Scandanavian winters, filled with ice and darkness, are legend. Boston winters are not quite so bad, but we all love that feeling of home. As our first snowstorm has arrived and the holidays are coming up, we assembled a few of our favorite things to help you get your Hygge on this winter!
Every few weeks, I come in at the crack of dawn and re-do every display, cleaning, moving inventory, adding new goodies! It’s a good 6 to 8 hours of work but absolutely one of my favorite things to do….Here are a few pics of our latest re-do…
I’m realizing that my home design aesthetic runs the gamut from wildly colorful patterns to serene neutrals. Wandering through my home, I see that some rooms are painted in earth tones with soft pale furniture and a small pop of color, while others are straight up boho style with beautiful colorful ceramics and sparkly woven fabrics that I have collected from trips to Laos, Morocco and India.
When buying for Shake’s ceramic section, my tastes have spanned the patterned to neutral as well..Here are a few fall favorites…
A huge part of owning a small shop is keeping the displays fresh and exciting! Merchandising is probably my favorite thing to do, and a full store re-do easily takes 6-8 hours!
When I am at design trade shows, I try to imagine future display areas, picking themes, based on color, season, and motifs. I place orders from different vendors to curate how the displays will come together. Then, months later, when the inventory finally arrives, the actual setting up begins. Every few weeks, we move every single item to its perfect spot, often times changing mid-way if the look isn’t right.
Back in college, I took lots of classes at the Museum School, mostly drawing, and for years before I had the shop, I missed the flow of visual creativity in my work and home life. Doing the displays feels like a moving in-the-moment creative meditation where each piece falls into its rightful place. I’m so grateful that doing this counts as “work” because it honestly just feels like “play!”
January is always a time for goal setting and new beginnings. For the last two years I have imagined re-doing the shop displays but was hesitant to take the leap. After our super busy holiday season, I decided to just go for it and we installed new display tables and constructed a wonderful pipe and flange wall system that gives us so much more organized space! Stop by and check it out!
I’m obsessed with always having fresh flowers in the house – on the kitchen table, on the windowsills or as a centerpiece on the dining room table when we have gatherings with friends. I especially love small vases and most often cut the long stem flowers down to size somthey fit into the little arrangements that I create. I often re-purpose small creamers or tealight votive holders!
I am a huge fan of fresh flowers in small vases! Whenever I get a giant bunch of gorgeous long stem flowers, I find my trusty garden scissors and cut them down so they can fit them in small containers! I love the look of assorted vases in a line down the center of a dinner table! Featured here is the Serpentine Vase from Roost and a few ceramic and milky glass jars from Creative Co-op.
One of my favorite things to do in my shop is come in super early (yes, before the sun even rises) and set up all of the displays! I love the creative burst of energy that actually starts months before at various designer trade shows, open studios, and local handmade craft markets, where I begin the process of imagining next season’s displays. In this business, I am always a season or two ahead,( so, as of this moment in October, I am planning Spring!)
As I shop for beautiful clothes, candles, tabletop, cookbooks, etc..I plan out themes, often based on color, holidays, seasons or specific feelings/images like “comfy, home,” “winter cabin” “rosegold and white,” “paris flower markets” or “moroccan bazaar.” I love visualizing months in advance how it will al come together and flow. So, on these crazy early mornings, double espresso in hand, I move every single item in the shop to its perfect home! I did a massive store turn around about two weeks ago, will do it again next week and then mid November, you can find me at 6 am up to my ears in tinsel, glitter, ornaments and pine scented candles setting up new displays with all things Christmas!
These slate boards by Brooklyn Slate Company are our newest obsession! Sean Tice and Kristy Hadeka crafted this line using slate from Kristy’s family quarry in upstate New York! Each board comes with a soapstone marker!
Former Shake the Tree staffer, Mary Potter, created Baba.Tili out of her home workshop in New Hampshire. We love her passion for growing baby succulents and creating artful arrangements using found and vintage containers. Mary has come down to the shop a few times to host planting and custom design workshops.
We love planning out beautiful meals and entertaining our friends. Much of the love is rooted in setting everything up. These new pieces are from Roost and Bloomingville (a Scandinavian design company we recently fell in love with!).