Monday, September 2, 2013

Looking Forward to Next Summer

Wow, it seems like summer just started.  Obviously it was a busy season for us at next summer since we haven't written a post since the spring.  We're looking back fondly on how busy we were:

We remodeled and opened the furniture gallery in the Bolton Landing store (above). 

We found a ton of new product and designed some of our own (above).

We also designed and opened a brand new location in Saratoga Springs (early progress pic above). More about that later!

Now that summer is coming to a close we thought we'd share something we just found, Jay Parini's opinion piece, that captures the beauty of looking forward to next summer.  You can read it here.  We hope your summer was as great as ours!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Porch Earns its Stripes

Recently, the weather in NY has been beautiful.  With warmer temperatures approaching a few weeks ago, we were itching to set up our porch.  The problem was that it didn't look so nice.


We had a mix of hand-me-down pieces, yard sale finds, and two new chairs.  Nothing seemed to go together.  The solution - give everything a fresh coat of paint!  It's an inexpensive an easy way to unify miss matched furniture.  We went with a really glossy black for the sofa.  Because it was rattan and had many small crevices, painting it was a labor of love!  The table was much easier because of it's smooth surfaces.  If you're going to try this yourself, we recommend putting a few coats of poly on any porch furniture that's not technically made for the outdoors.  Applying this after you paint it will help protect the paint job in harsher climates.  Moving it inside during the winter is not a bad idea either.


We also had new covers made for the cushions on the sofa and chairs.  We were inspired by the stripes on these porches below.  We love the elegant but bold black and white stripe and the fact that it's easy to mix with other colors and patterns.  We started with an indoor/outdoor pillow and a bright green candlestick.  I'm sure we'll find some more outdoor accessories soon!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Don't matter if it's pink or white!

So, I took this picture and I just had to share it with you. Yes, obviously I'm obsessed with our dog, Izzy, but beyond that, I loved the contrast of her white fur on the pink carpet. It makes a great image. I think if you look closely enough, you'll realize we're surrounded by great design - it just depends on how you frame it. Let us know if you've found any examples of accidental design in your daily life.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Summer Grilling Recipes

Spring is here and as the temperature continues to warm, I'm finding myself 'pinning' recipes for the grill like mad!  We wanted to share with you a few recipes from our Pinterest Page that we're excited to try.  

Grilled Garlic and Herb Shrimp 
from All Recipes (Update: we tried this tonight. OMG, it's DELICIOUS)

Grilled Tomato and Peach Salad 
from She Knows Miso Vegan

Grilled Avocados 
from Better Homes and Gardens

For the full recipes follow our Summer Recipe Board on our Pinterest Page. Hopefully, we'll have better weather soon, meaning we can get to our grills more. If you try any of these recipes, let us know what you think!

P.S. we've started a Summer Drinks Board too!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Welcome to our new home!

So we finally have a new blog post for you. Sorry we've been away for a while, but I think (hope) you'll be happy with the reason why - we've been working on several projects. As we promised, here is an update on some of the work we've done at home. 

We had this atrocious entry hall (sorry whoever was here before us). An entry hall should welcome your guests and give them a hint of what to expect within your home. Our entry hall had this linoleum floor that felt . . . well, cheap. It wasn't welcoming and I HOPE it didn't give anyone a hint of what to expect inside the rest of our home. 

We couldn't take up the linoleum so we had to figure out a way to cover it up.  A simple throw rug wouldn't do it for us, because we didn't want to see even the slightest hint of linoleum peeping out from under it.  Also, see if YOU could find a throw rug that would make this floor look good!  We decided to look at Flor carpet tiles.  It is a high traffic area and we knew if a tile got dirty we could either lift it up to clean it or replace it if it was beyond hope.  We ended up selecting the "Fedora" style in flannel and charcoal. At $8 a square it wasn't bad.  We signed up for their emails and also got free shipping, which saved us a ton of money.

Our original idea was to alternate tiles to create stripes.  However, when the tiles arrived we realized that each square was so big that we would end up with a total of just three stripes across the entry way.  That wasn't going to have the impact we wanted, so we decided to cut the tiles in half.  This was a labor of love!  Matthew found instructions on cutting carpet tile on Apartment Therapy.  You can read the step-by-step instructions here.  We also invested a carpet knife and a t-square, and we highly recommend these tools.  The results were great.  While not overly difficult it wasn't easy either.  It took a lot of measuring and careful cutting to get the tiles to line up correctly.  Matthew's lack of patience the carpet knife also caused a minor injury, so we recommend being very careful with this tool!

Notice those stripes on the wall?  We actually color matched them and aligned them to the strips on the carpet tiles, but we'll tell you all about that in another post.  Now we have an entry that is inviting and accurately reflects our style.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

No-Sew Sink Skirt Revisited

About a year ago we wrote a post about a DIY no-sew sink skirt.  You can read about it here.  It was a big success: it added some much needed color and pattern to a bland bathroom that we didn't want to paint and it held up over time.  Since then we have moved into a new house, and we gained a new bathroom to tackle.

below: sink from last year

There were a few issues here, and we're tackling them one by one.  The deep red color of the bathroom seemed oppressive in such a small space.  We started by lightening it up with a coat of light grey paint.  The previous tenants left us this little side table, which was made to fit in the space.  We painted that too, and it adds some storage but not enough.  Having the toilet brush and bowl cleaner just hanging out in plain sight under the sink did not work for me.


So, I got inspired by last year's project. Unfortunately, the sink in our last bathroom was a completely different size, so I couldn't reuse the skirt with the beautiful Roberta Roller Rabbit print.  I took it as an opportunity to try something new.  I followed the same steps as last time.  You can read those here on Little Green Notebook.  I did everything the same, except I decided to add ribbon on the bottom of the skirt.

I didn't do a print this time because we have another plan for that room that involves a geo pattern.  More to come on that later!  (You might see a hint of what's to come in the reflection in the mirror.)  I also repainted the faux bamboo mirror that I found at a yard sale for $20.  I used Citron paint in gloss from Benjamin Moore after adding two coats of Kilz oil based spray primer.  Not bad for an inexpensive project!

                 Before                                                       After                       

Saturday, March 2, 2013

next summer goes to Washington

No, we're not moving to DC, we're moving into the new Bonacio Building - the Washington at 422 Broadway. It's official, we signed the lease this weekend and we can't wait!

We'll be co-tenants in the building with Northshire Bookstore and Kilwins Chocolate. The building is expected to be completed sometime by July of this year. That's when we'll re-open in Saratoga. Did I mention that we can't wait? We've been working for a while to find a great location in Saratoga - a town we love being part of - but we hadn't had a lot of luck, until we found this building. We're so excited to be part of the Bonacio team too. Being in the center of town and being in a Bonacio building is the perfect recipe for us. 

We hope you'll all come back to next summer . . . this summer, and see our new space. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Feeding on Product

While sitting at dinner in NYC after spending five days searching for new product for the store, I realized the things that make a great restaurant are the same things that make a great store.

A great restaurant should have reliable food with that you can always depend upon, but it should also surprise you with interesting flavors or combinations you've never tried before. In the same way, a great store should always have something to surprise you. It should dependably have things no other place has, and those things should always be reliably well-designed.

A great restaurant should appeal to all members of the family, while a great store should appeal to all ages as well. A great restaurant will versatilely appeal to both the couple on a romantic date and workers trying broker a deal over a meal. A great store will appeal to both the person hunting for that last-minute hostess gift and the wandering shopper hoping for something to grab her attention.

Here are some of the restaurants, and a couple of their offerings, that we enjoyed while on our buying trip. Bond 45, is a restaurant we always visit. It's conveniently located. The food is always good and the setting is . . . unique. Once a men's clothing store, it has been repurposed as a great restaurant with an unrivaled staff. 

Our other favorite is Cafe 1, 2, 3. our first visit to this french bistro was for breakfast. We liked breakfast so much that we've returned many times for dinners. Every time we return we are greeted with, "Welcome Back."This time we had a duck confit crepe and the perfect light and fluffy omelet with fries. Don't miss it. You can't go wrong. 

Finally, our last choice was a newer restaurant which we visited for the first time. It's called Cilantro. I would describe it as a Mexican Bistro. We loved the food and the drinks, but it was the atmosphere that made it perfect for us. It was clearly a neighborhood hangout that got a lot of return traffic. We know we'll be returning the next time we're in the City. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Don't Believe What I Just Saw!

We just returned from a long shopping trip at the NYIGF. It's always one of my favorite times of the year, but it's also easily the most exhausting. It's so stimulating because we get to see all kinds of new trends and exciting new products to bring to our friends at both our shops. It's exhausting because we spend nine hours a day for five straight days walking and debating the warrants of a million different products.

My mother always likes to tell the story of how I make her look at EVERYTHING, because, you never know what you might find. There's one section of the show called, "Accent on Design". It's one of our favorite sections where we tend to find a lot of great new items. Because so much of what we stock is found there, it takes us a long time to get through it. As my mother explains, there is another section she calls, "Accent on [explitive]" that I also make her go through. We rarely find anything there, but you just never know what you might find. 

Now that we've emptied the Saratoga store, we have to find a lot of product to fill a new space. We loved the color and curves of this lamp, but we loved those curves even more when we saw them repeated in this six-foot tall planter. 

This chair showed both design and whimsy in one great package

Finally, one thing you're sure to see a lot of next year is the anchor motif. We saw it in all kinds of forms. These were just a few of our favorites. 

So, sure it says, "no photos", but sometimes we have to break the rules to bring you our favorite things. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tacky Light Tour

Well the holiday season came to an end a while ago, but as you all know, it's been kind of crazy around here at next summer. I'm finally making some time to fill you in on one of the coolest things we did while down in Richmond, Virginia for Christmas. For years now I've been hearing about Richmond's Tacky Light Tour. I've even seen it several times on TV. This year would be my first Christmas in Richmond with Lindsay's family. We were damned sure going on that Tacky Light Tour. 

This is a tour around the city and its suburbs to see all the INCREDIBLE tacky light displays. Let me just tell you this, they do it RIGHT down there. 

Lindsay and I took a break from the tour to get our photo taken in front of one of our "favorite" houses. 

I'm sure the Electric companies LOVE this tour!

Not a square inch is left unlit!

This house is just to the left of the house in the previous photograph. It's hard to tell in this picture, but the signs say, "What's the point?" and "Ditto". The arrow points to the house up above. 

At the end of the tour we stopped to see Santa's Car. Love it!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Strange Things Afoot at the Circle K

I chose the reference to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure in the title to this post because, well, strange things are afoot, but also, because we're headed on an excellent adventure. 

If you hadn't already heard (through facebook or our newsletter), rather than continue to deal with ongoing high drama from our landlord we've decided to take an exciting new step forward!  We've made the decision to temporarily close our brick and mortar store in Saratoga on Monday, January 7th.  While we look for a better space (and we have some interesting choices), we will be operating EXCLUSIVELY ONLINE for a few months while we work out the details of some really cool, exciting projects we've had in development for a while now (here's a hint, it will likely lead to more cool products in our Bolton location - for now).

Nearly six years ago we chose the name “next summer” because it’s optimistic and forward thinking, so forward we think to debuting in a NEW Saratoga location. Stay tuned on Facebook for updates! Of course we'll continue our blogposts and our newsletter. One thing we've truly enjoyed about being in Saratoga is the great relationships we've developed. We hope those can remain in the absence of a physical location. Please feel free to stop by over the next week and say hello.