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Spring Cleaning

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You’re ready for spring, I’m ready for spring, the poor, shivering earth is ready for spring. But what about your home? Clearing out the cob webs of winter, especially this winter, may seem overwhelming. Fear not.Choose one task at a time to focus on, and the familiar, joyful, catharsis of spring cleaning will take over. Before you know it your chores will feel more like spiritual cleansing than work. So lets get  it together.Here is what we’re going to do.

 

Outside

1.Repair Walkway
If you have a walkway or driveway leading up to your door, its probably kind of a mess from the ice, snow, and sand. Get to work patching up the cracks or loose bricks. This is also a good reason to go outside for some fresh air and sunshine.

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2.De-Weed
While you’re out there, get out the pruners and  start trimming dead and overgrown branches and shrubs. Pull out weeds, and cover up patchy, weird looking areas with  mulch. If you feel like it, you might as well plant some flowers too.

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3.Spruce up your front door.
If your door is faded, paint or stain it in a vibrant new hue.Polish doorknobs and knockers.Surround your door with hanging or potted plants and buy a new welcome mat.

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Inside

1.Store away Winter Linens. 
You will (fingers crossed) not be needing quilts or heavy blankets much longer. This is an easy first step in the process of getting your home ready for spring. Insects and moths are attracted to body oils, so make sure you wash your winter linens before storing them. Store them in boxes under beds or in vacuum-sealed or zippered bags. You can add sachets of lavender or cedar to keep your linens smelling fresh until you are ready to use them again.

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2.Deep Clean Fibers
Flip or rotate your mattress.Wash curtains and pillows to reduce dust mites and allergins. Shampoo or steam clean carpets and air out rugs on a clothes line.

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3. Buy or unpack Lighter Linens
Now is a good time to change bedding,towels and table cloths, and try out new patterns and colors.You can change the mood, energy and style of a space with textiles alone.

4. Experiment with Color
It can also be fun to fill your space with  colors that remind you of nature, like this green grass carpet, or teak armiore which is perfect for storing all your fresh, spring linens.

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HandKnotted wool carpetWooden Cabinet

Don’t these remind you of a Monet painting?  If you do this right, you should feel inspired to picnic in your living room.

Blue is also found in nature.  Navy and Shibori print are trending this season.Blue and white is a classic combination, seen historically all over the world from China, to Greece.

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Sea Blue Trunk

Speaking of Greece, shades like Greek Blue and Cobalt are also big for 2015.

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Wooden Cabinet, wooden Chair

Another nature inspired route is live edge furniture, like the tables below made from our unique Live Edge collection, found in Thailand by our owner,Kevin McPherson.

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Rosewood Live Edge Dining Table,  Acacia Wood Live Edge Table

 

 

 

 

 

Food and Furniture: Coconut and Mango

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Mango Wood Bookcase, Mid Century Modern

Though there are many reasons for the recent popularity of mango and Palm wood, the most important reason is their sustainability as sources for building material. When it comes to products being “green”, “eco-friendly”, “sustainable”, and made from “responsibly sourced materials”, the lumber trade, and in particular the furniture industry, have been under a microscope. Mango and Coconut trees are a perfect solution to this problem, because they are already grown in high numbers to support the fruit trade, which is not going anywhere.

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Mango trees reach maturity within 15 to 20 years. At this time they stop bearing fruit and are designated to be cut down. In the past, these trees were used as fuel or left to rot. However, these days they are being used for construction, most commonly in the furniture industry.

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Mango wood works well for building framed items that are meant to endure weight, like chairs, because it is a densely grained hardwood with a strong structure. At the same time it is soft compared to other hardwoods, so it is easy to work with and does not require special tools, meaning production is less expensive. Mango wood also does not require much waxing or staining, because it has an unusual , “close knit” grain texture, and a natural pattern. When mango wood is stained or finished, it responds quite well to the processes because the natural patterning is enhanced.

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This wood  varies widely in color, and can range from deep browns, to pinks and even greens. This is due to fungus in the tree, which creates beautiful color patterns but does not harm or compromise the woods structure. However it is common for manufacturers to stain mango wood to resemble oak or teak wood. They can then produce furniture than looks like oak or teak but is less expensive, faster to grow, and sourced responsibly.

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 Above: Mango wood stained in “Vintage Oak” style.

 

Palm trees are one of the most widely used trees on the planet, with each part of the tree used to produce a variety of products. However like mango trees, coconut palm trees are initially intended to produce coconuts, not wood. There comes a point in the tree’s life where it grows too tall for nutrients to reach it’s canopy. Because of this, the tree produces less and less coconuts and it becomes non profitable to keep the tree alive. In addition to producing less, the trunks of the trees become more woody with age, which is bad for coconuts but good for lumber.

 

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In the past, coconut trees that were used for their wood were sold to local businesses that milled them into low-grade lumber. However craftsman and companies in search of sustainable materials (that were also luxurious) discovered that if the Palm wood is milled and finished properly and with more care, the wood is actually fine, with unique grain patterns and a rich, dark, brown color. Once it is cured or dried, palm wood is very hard, more so than many other common woods such as oak. It is commonly used to make flooring and siding.

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Palm wood is being called “ the new bamboo” because it is similar in many ways, but is greener . Palm wood has Forest Stewardship Council approval because it is a by-product of coconut production. Because of this it is harvested on plantations that already exist rather than requiring additional plantations. Unlike bamboo, it is not grown on land where nothing else is grown. Palm wood, palm leaves and coconut shell are also used to create decorative detailing and embellishment on furniture. coconut shell is commonly used for inlay, in place of more traditional materials like glass or bone.

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 Inlay Console TableInlay Cube Stool

 

 

Recipe From Our Kitchen

Mango Coconut Curry Chicken (serves 1-2)

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1. Marinate 2 Chicken breasts  in salt, lemon juice, and olive oil for a minimum of 30 minutes or a max of overnight.

2. Heat up about 1 Tsp. Canola oil in a pan. Keep on Med/High.

3.  Make a “Curry Slurry”. Mix together 4 Tbsp. curry powder and a small amount of water-just enough to make a paste in a bowl.

4. Fry Curry Slurry in the pan you heated up for approximately. 10 minutes.

5. Add 1/2 of a sliced, white onion to the Curry Slurry, and heat for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

6. Add in two thinly sliced chicken breasts.

7. When the chicken has some color but is not cooked all the way, add 1 thumb of finely sliced ginger, 1 diced red pepper, 1 head box choi minced and sliced.

8.Saute for 3 minutes, then turn down heat.

9.Stir in 1 can of coconut milk.

10. Top with diced mango and cilantro and serve over rice.

Trending: Mid Century Modern

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Although Mid Century Modern never quite goes out of style, it has been having an extended moment in home design. The look is sticking around this spring, and there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to keep the look modern and on trend. Pay attention to details to avoid recreating your grandmother’s house, or possibly worse, an outdated, wannabe version of your grandmother’s house circa 2011.

A general concept that is definitely out in 2015 is the “Instant Vintage” trend. This was based on making something new look old, but not in a hand crafted, shabby chic way. It was more about mass produced knock offs of classic vintage styles, which lacked not only character but one of the best things about vintage furniture-quality and craftsmanship. Regardless of the trend, this season is all about authenticity. When it comes to doing mid century modern, if it’s vintage, great. If it’s not vintage that’s great too, but look for pieces that are M.C.M inspired, while still maintaining their integrity. If done right, these pieces will add a chic, contemporary, depth to your overall look,

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Another way to keep this trend fresh in 2015 is to mix it up. The whole space does not need to be head to toe M.C.M; in fact it is more modern to add in multiple ethnic accents. Steering away from traditionally vintage, loud colors such as bright orange, olive green and teal can also help to modernize your Mid Century Modern look. If you do choose a piece or two in those colors, balance it out with neutrals everywhere else, such as grays and natural woods.

These photos from Apartment Therapy show a great example of mixing mid century modern pieces with, ethnic prints, organic textures, and neutral tones to give the space an overall modern and minimalistic bohemian feel.
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If you are purchasing an investment piece such as a sofa and want to go mid century modern, neutrals are a safe bet. Precedent Furniture, which we now carry in our store, has lots of great options, including an entire line called “Vintage made modern”. Featured below are  the Astor Sofa and the Edward Sofa by Precedent Furniture.

 

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If you want to add a bold pop of color, a smaller piece like this chair is a great way to go.

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Or, go with something big and bright and tone it down with neutrals and contemporary pieces.

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George Sofa, by Precedent

Which ever avenue you choose to explore, you have tons of options. Check out some of them in our Mid Century Modern gallery below.

Gallery 

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Large mango wood cubby bookcase with five drawersLarge mango wood cubby bookcase with three drawers,

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Ryder mid century modern chest of 6 drawers, Mango wood, honey finish,  Austin 3 drawer media center in Mango wood,

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Grayson Chest 12 drawers, Easton 2 section 6 drawer Buffet

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Iron and Glass ArmioreEbony/Alberta Taylor Chair

Be Mine: Valentines Day Jewelry

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Its Valentines Day again. Time to make a lady in your life feel special. We have just the thing-Jewelry, of course.

Mohr & McPherson has a wide and varied selection of jewelry, and most is handmade and one of a kind. We have something for every woman, from simple and understated, classic silver and gold, to gems from India, to bold, eccentric pieces. What’s more, much of our collection is currently up to 40% off.

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Precious Gems

BLING earrings

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 Beads

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Copper, Silver and Gold

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Gold Collagegold sun necklace

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Bracelets

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 Earrings

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Trend Alert 2015

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 This year in the design world, it’s all about keeping it real. Whats out? Inauthenticity. That includes chalk board paint, faux fur, and Instant Vintage-something new that’s made to look old. Lucky for us(and you), we have the real deal when it comes to old furniture, rustic, textured surfaces, raw materials, and layers upon layers of ethnic prints and influences. Read on to learn more about what is trending  in 2015.

Top Looks

Eco Friendly-Inspired by Nature
This look is just what it sounds like. It’s clean, soft, neutral, and inspired by all things organic. The focus is on natural imperfection-if its lopsided, uneven or unfinished it works. Relevent materials include Copper, glass, stone, burlap, rope, linen, bone, horn, fur, and raw wood. More often than not this look incorporates raw wood in the form of Live Edge, which is a huge trend in its own right and is being used within many other decor styles as well.

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ScreenDaybedTribeca LoveseatMango Table Lamp,  Banyan Vine Sculpture,

 

Incorporated Trends:
Live edge, Cowhide, Mixed Materials, Painted wood, Textured surfaces, Nature Inspired Neutrals.

 

Ethnic Mix
This look is a large scale representation of the mixed materials trend. It’s all about the fusion and of different and often contrasting cultures, styles and textures. Getting away from the minimalism craze, this look emphasizes that more is more. Layered textiles and patterns is key, and finding complimenting qualities in seemingly contrasting items makes it all come together, often through color.  An easy way to experiment with this look is by adding bold, ethnic accents to your space, instead of starting out with loud basics.


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Chandelier, Blue Cabinet, Laughing Buddha, Folding Screen, Mirrors, Cupboard

Incoporated Trends: Textured Surfaces, Painted Wood/Pop of Color, Kilim Rugs, Mixed Materials, Cow Hide, Wire Accents, Marble.

 Industrial Chic
Once again, the merging of different aesthetics comes into play. The difference between Industrial and Industrial Chic is softness. Lighten up an Industrial decor and add soft, plush blankets and rugs in neutral tones. Incorporate raw materials and nods to nature such as live edge, petrified stumps and  plants. Or, take a soft, neutral space and add in the industrial accents such as leather, wire furniture, Edison lamps, and Industrial themed wall hangings.

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Bird Cage Lamp, Glass Coffee Table, Edith Sofa, Bookshelf

Incorporated Trends:
Mixed Materials,especially metal and wood and Mixed Metals, Wire Accents, Rose Gold.

 

 

Specific Trends

Mixed Materials
This trend is all about the clashing and merging of different cultures, attitudes and qualities, which is an overall theme in the design world this year. Wood and Metal are a common example of this trend, representing the coming together of nature and science.

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(Triple Threat Trend: Mixed Materials, Nature Inspired, Industrial Chic)

 

Rose Gold
This trend started in fashion and has spread to home design. It was once primarily popular in copper light fixtures but is now also commonly found in plumbing fixtures, hardware and flatware.

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Wire Accents
This trend is biggest in the form of lighting and side tables . It is incorporated heavily into both the Industrial Chic and Geometry looks, but can also be spotted hanging out in ethnic mix and nature inspired decors.

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(Triple Threat Trend: Wire Accents, Industrial Chic, Geometry)

 

Marble-Solid and Print
Although Marble surfaces are common in bathrooms and kitchens, marble is making its way into the rest of the home in the form of solid, marble furniture. It is also a popular print for pillows, blankets, and wall pieces.

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Live Edge

Live edge is a style of wood furniture where the natural edge of the wood is used in the design of the piece. Gnarly wood and salvaged wood which could not be used in conventional woodworking are often used in the production of Live edge.Live edge is a mix of “Western” and rustic furniture styles. It was made famous in the middle of the 20th century by George Nakashima, who was the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement.

We can’t really say enough about Live edge. We love it, and so does the design world. It is being incorporated in a variety of decor styles, and is  moving quickly from a trend to a basic.

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(Triple Threat Trend:Live Edge, Textured Surfaces, Nature Inspired)

Cow Hide
Nature inspired for sure, cow hide is a bold and glamorous statement piece while it also remains neutral with its organic colors and feel.

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Textured Surfaces
This trend encompasses many other trends, such as live edge. It works with the Ethnic Mix look and is definitely part of the Nature inspired attitude. Textured surfaces are multi-versitile and easy to work into many different looks, from shabby chic to Industrial.

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Painted Wood-Pop of Color
Painting a wooden piece of furniture is an easy and understated way to add color to a room. Although this specific piece is dipping into the textured surface trend, the painted wood look can also be sleek and smooth, almost glossy.

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(Triple Threat: Textured Surface, Painted wood-pop of color, Cobalt blue)

 

Colors

Marsala
Pantone color of the year- The spring/summer version of this trend is called “the in-harmony trend”. It is a much softer version of Marsala and mixes deep mauve and apricot shades.

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Cobalt Blue-Greek  Blue

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Natural colors
Inspired by natural landscapes like mountains and forests, this palette is all about toned down neutrals like inky blues and beige-grey. These colors Pair well with the raw materials found in the Nature Inspired look.

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 Rugs

Painterly
Rugs that look like paintings are huge right now. Think florals, swoopy designs, and uneven shapes.

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Tile Inspired
Rugs that look like a tile floor or mosaic.

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Kilim
Persian Flatweave

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Self Love-5 Ways to Recover from the Holiday Season

The Holiday Season is all about excess. From Thanksgiving to New Years, celebration can take the form of a whirlwind, sweeping Americans into an exhausting funnel of food, alcohol and spending. Although it can be a joyous time, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Between trying to find and afford the perfect gifts, fighting through crowds of shoppers, and socializing at numerous holiday parties, finding time for your health and peace of mind are often last on the list. Unfortunately, stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet are some of the top enemies of the immune system. To stay centered, it is so important to take a little time for yourself. If you are finding yourself depleted, exhausted, or just a little off in the wake of celebration, read on. Here are some easy ways to boost your immune system, relax your mind and body, detox from too many treats, and find some of that “peace on earth”.

 

1.Yoga

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Though historians are unsure exactly when Yoga originated, they know that it started in India, at least 5,000 years ago. It is now considered a form of alternative medicine and consists of stretching, meditation, balanced poses, and breathing excersizes. The goal of Yoga is to bring peace to your mind and body, helping to manage  stress and anxiety. The practice is all about the link between mind and body, and how the state of one affects the other. The key is balance. Yoga varies in style and intensity. Certain Yoga practices facilitate extreme flexibility and physical strength. Beginners will likely benefit from Hatha Yoga, which is one of the most common forms. This form has a slower pace and gentler movements.

A study published in Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback found yoga helped relieve chronic insomnia
“A number of studies have shown that yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.” From the Mayo Clinic.

Benefits
-Reduces depression
-Increases emotional positivity and enhances mood
-Increases ability to handle stress and unexpected problems
-Promotes mindfulness

 

 

2.Meditation-

meditating novice or trainee Buddhist monk by MattRavel on Flickr

There is a vast amount of research on the benefits of meditation when it comes to mental health. It is a common misinterpretation that meditation is simply relaxation. While mediation does involve ceasing to exert unnecessary effort, it is also about mindfulness.  The goal is to empty the mind, and by doing so, you let go of stress and become more aware of reality, truth, and your own existence.

“Mindfulness helps the stress-sufferer to recognize unhelpful patterns of thought that give rise to the stress response, and also involves the active cultivation of positive mental states such as kindness, compassion, patience, and energy.  “Wild Mind Buddhist Mediation

Benefits
-Reduces depression
-Reduces Insomnia
-Increases emotional positivity and enhances mood
-Increases ability to handle stress and unexpected problems
-Promotes mindfulness

 

 

3.Sleep

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Studies have shown that lack of sleep will affect your immune system. People are more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus when they don’t get enough sleep. Recovering from sickness also takes longer.  Lack of sleep spikes your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisone, which can lead to weight gain. Another study found that moderate sleep deprivation impairs your cognitive performance to the same level as being intoxicated.

“During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. ”  Mayo Clinic

 

 

4.Tea

Black and Green teas both contain L-theanine, an amino acid which strengthens gamma delta T cells and increases those cells ability to fight infection. L-theanine also promotes relaxation and well-being by increasing the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Tea also helps fight free radicals because it is high in ORAC ( oxygen absorbance capacity). Damage from free radicals can result in cancer, heart disease and neurological degeneration.

White Sage, Red Raspberry, Mugwort, Echinacea are all known for their healing properties and have been used for centuries to fight illness.

Here is an excellent recipe for an immune boosting tea you can make at home.  This drink is also great for alkalizing the body with lemon, and boosting metabolism with turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne.

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Benefits
-Tea can boost exercise endurance. antioxidants in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel.
-Fights free radicals and reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, parkinson’s disease
-Hydrates the body
-Strengthens the immune system

 

5.Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies are trendy, but their positive impact on health and easy, D.I.Y. nature have caused them to spread from the world of “hippie stuff” and into the focus of mainstream health, where they have stayed for well over a decade. Smoothies are a quick way to get in all your fruits and veggie servings at once, and they pack a powerful punch of nutrition. Regular consumption of green smoothies will make your body and mind feel better in no time.

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Benefits
-Clean, glowing skin
-Decreased inflammation (which can be  helpful in alleviating joint pain and stiffness
-Improved energy and mood
-A healthy immune system that will keep you from getting sick
-Increased Focus and mental clarity

 

Recipe:

  • 3 T Hemp Seeds
  • 2 cups mixed Greens (I’m using Swiss Chard and Green Leafy Kale)
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh peppermint
  • 1 apple
  • 1 kiwi
  • water – amount varies. Start with enough to go about halfway up your ingredients. Try blending it. Add more if it’s not smooth enough.

 

 

Helpful Hint

Immune Boosting Foods

Garlic
Yogurt
Fish
Oregano Oil
Japanese Mushrooms
Cruciferous vegetables-kale, broccoli, lettuce and cabbage
Avocado
Ginger
Oatmeal
Black Currents
pomegranate Juice
Pumpkin Seeds
Sage
Graviola
Larch Supplement

 

All About Khotan Carpets

History

Khotan was a town in what is historically known as East Turkestan now the Chinese province, of Xingjian. This remote region is larger than all of Western Europe, and is located in the center of Asia. It is one of the most Isolated places in the world, but it holds a carpet weaving tradition that is at least 1000 years old.

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East Turkestan is difficult to access. The heartland known as the Tarim Basin-is surrounded on three sides by mountains, which serve as walls against Tibet, Central Asia and Pakistan. The fourth side is cut off by vast desert. Maybe this is one reason why East Turkistan became a destination hot spot for settlers, coming from all directions. The Tarim Basin was also a significant stop on the Silk Roads. The routes south to India, north to Central Asia, west to Persia, Anatolia and Europe, all branched out from here. The melting pot of cultures in this place is represented in the “Khotan” rugs that came from here, which is what makes them so beautiful and interesting. In just one rug you can often see signs of Islamic, Chinese and Indian design/culture.

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Portrait of a king of Khotan, Dunhuang Mogao Caves, 10th century

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It is believed by historians that between 1,500 and 1,000 BC is when the first (Indo European) settlers began coming to this region, which was then inhabited by Turkic nomads. These settlers lived in Khotan and other oasis towns, and were influenced by India, becoming Buddhists. The Turkic nomads continued to stay in the mountains.

It was not until the 9th and 10th centuries the Turkic tribes adopted Islam, and forced the conversion of the Buddhist Oasis, the adoption of their language and changed the culture of the place, creating Eastern Turkestan as it is today. However, Buddhist and other cultural influences never disappeared from the carpets.

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Rug Expert Hans Bidder wrote in his book “Carpets from Eastern Turkestan (1964)

iconoclastic Islam which spread into the oases from middle of the 10th century was indeed able to subdue the religious art of Buddhism, but the new faith proved incapable of gaining any hold upon individual arts and crafts which had their roots in the traditional customs and economic existence of the oases.”

Characteristics 

These unique works of art are characterized by stylized geometric patterns, and long, narrow designs. They are meticulously detailed. Arrangements of Persian motifs that also incorporate elements of Chinese designs are common, and the central Composition is usually Chinese in style. Colors range from rich to pale pastels. Typical hues include red, yellow, brown, gold and green. The pomegranate is often celebrated in Khotan rugs, shown as a shrub with symmetric branches, or as a fruit. This was an iconic regional symbol. Local symbols like this one are combined with Buddhist and Islamic symbols, influenced by the varying residents of Khotan.

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Khotans are well suited for modern contemporary decor due to their geometric and strongly abstract nature. In the last decade, these rugs have been frequently featured in high-end design publications and are coveted by top designers.

Here are some more of the Khotan rugs we have in our rug gallery. These are examples of some more contemporary versions, with a darker color palette than the traditional

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Check back in soon to learn more about the exciting Silk Roads and the adventures had by their explorers.

Sowa-Neighborhood News

 Whats New? 

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With all the hustle and bustle that Sowa Sundays cause around here, it can be easy to forget about the piles of other fun stuff to do in the sowa neighborhood. Although Sowa Sundays have ended for the season, the Sowa Vintage Market is open every Sunday, all year round. Located at 356 Albany Street, the Vintage Market offers 3 rooms of vintage Fashion, Jewelry and home furnishings. This place is seriously awesome. Another year-round event is Sowa’s Monthly First Friday’s, when you get to check out all the new area gallery exhibits and see what local artists are working on in their open studios. What could make these two events even better? Joining Forces of course. Starting in November, Sowa Vintage Market has opened during every First Friday from 6-9 pm. There will be treats provided by vendors, and special installations by South End designer Randy Kaufman.

 

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Husband and wife Stephanie Pernice and John Warren are the founders and co-creators of the Vintage market. They are excited for this season’s holiday theme of “rustic luxe mod”, and all the talented vendors filling the market.

Third Thursdays are a new version of First Fridays, started by the artists at 46 Waltham Street. On the third Thursday of each month, the artists will be opening their studios to the public. This mid month treat is a great way to get out on a weeknight, sip wine, and view some art

  

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Last month Lanoue Gallery of Newbury Street made the move to Harrison ave, and we are thrilled they have joined the neighborhood. Lanoue’s new gallery is four times the size of their Newbury St. space, and filled with exciting new exhibits. Lanoue is currently exhibiting works by Laura Schiff Bean until December 6th.

 

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You may have noticed something new outside of 500 Harrison Avenue. This looming, 13 feet tall sculpture is officially entitled “The monument to the First Female President of the USA” and also referred to as “The Mighty Lioness”.

This monument is dedicated to the artists dream that every little girl can one day become president of the United States. It is also an homage to the great American Sculptor Daniel Chester French, who created the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Appropriately, in May 2015 the Lioness will be transported to Chester wood, the historic home of Daniel Chester French in Stockbridge, Ma. So make sure to check out this lady before she leaves us.

The artist of this piece is Donna Dodson. She is a member of the Boston Sculptors Gallery, located at 486 Harrison Ave. Donna has been carving images from wood for nearly 20 years. Her work deals with the relation of animals to the human spirit and explores feminine beauty with a style based in playfulness and also power and grace.

 

The artist of this piece is Donna Dodson. She is a member of the Boston Sculptors Gallery, located at 486 Harrison Ave. Donna has been carving images from wood for nearly 20 years. Her work deals with the relation of animals to the human spirit and explores feminine beauty with a style based in playfulness and also power and grace.

 

 Review

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Illuminus, was the name of Boston’s first “Nuit Blanche” or “White Night”, an arts festival that began in Europe around 30 years ago. Illuminus happened on October 25th this year, spreading along Harrison Avenue, mainly in and around the brick barn usually used for parking. It was a celebration of digital, video, performance and public art, focusing on large scale light installations.

A highlight event was “Your Big Face” by New American Public Art. The piece was interactive and allowed viewers faces to be picked up by a camera and projected onto an eighteen foot screen, which hung ten feet off the ground on the side of a building.

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“Digital art offers unprecedented opportunities to push the possible in the name of delight.” Franklin Einspruch.

Illuminus was absolutely a success, and an exciting event for the Sowa neighborhood, as well as Boston at large.

Click For more images from Illuminus click here

 

 

Whats Coming?

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Since the end of Sowa Sunday’s, we are hurting for a good craft fair. This one comes right in time for your holiday shopping, and what a great excuse to spend some time in the city with friends and family.
“This year’s Holiday Market will feature the very best of New England’s independent designers, artists and crafters. From the fashionably chic to the hip and cutting edge, shoppers are sure to find an original gift for everyone on their list. Expect to find an exceptional array of indie goods, including: handbags, jewelry, pottery, letterpress stationery, silk-screened t-shirts, baby clothes, re-purposed wool accessories and more! This handmade holiday spectacular will be held in the spacious and historic main building of the Benjamin Franklin Institute, located in the heart of Boston’s South End. Within walking distance to Boston’s best galleries, boutiques and international cuisine, the SoWa Holiday Market is at the center of Boston’s most diverse and exciting neighborhoods!”

Newenglandopenmarkets.com

Dates: Saturday and Sunday, December 13 and 14, 2014
Hours: Saturday 11AM-6PM, Sunday 11AM-5PM
Address: 41 Berkeley Street, Boston MA
Admission: $5, children under 12 free

 

 

 

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Building on History Ink Block” is the name of the project being developed on Harrison Avenue. Ink Block is expected to be a new hub of energy in the SOWA neighborhood, drawing street traffic with its shops and restaurants, including a flagship Whole Foods Market. Ink Block will also reinvent residential housing in this area of the south end, which was largely eliminated in 1959 to build the Boston Herald Traveler building.

Located above the street level retail and restaurant spaces will be 475 luxury residential units, spread across four buildings. The housing will be split into three sections: Ink 1, Ink 2 and Ink 3. Each section features a different point of view regarding style, layout, and amenities. The Project features private parking, a fitness center, multiple rooftop lounging areas, and a swimming pool.

For those of us already living or working in the neighborhood, the most exciting aspect of Ink Block is definitely the Whole foods. This whole Foods will be 50,000 square feet and will offer a larger than typical variety of prepared foods. The market will also undoubtedly draw shoppers who may not otherwise frequent the neighborhood. It is a welcome addition to the community and is expected to be opened before the opening of the living spaces, in early 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Ready-Tables, Chairs and Accents for your Holiday Hosting

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Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? Family, friends, food and football. Thanksgiving is a time to relax, and appreciate the blessings in our lives, forgetting the stress of the daily grind. If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner in your home however, this day of peace and gratitude can become very stressful! The last thing you want to worry about amidst the chaos of kitchen timers and relatives is table space. Every guest needs a seat, and each dish needs a place at the table to be displayed. Luckily, at Mohr & McPherson we are running out of space for all of our tables. Here are some of our favorite dining tables, coffee tables, buffets, centerpieces, and extra accents to help you entertain the people you are so grateful to have.

 

Dining Tables

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Industrial reclaimed wood dining table with cast iron base. This table top will add texture and color to your dinner conversation. There is something about eating at a rustic table that  enhances the appetite.

Style Idea:

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Add this matching Industrial reclaimed wood bench with cast iron to your Table for a perfect fit

 

 

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Acacia dining table with cast iron base and built in seating that swings in and out.This style seats eight, ask about availability of four-seater.
This table is ingeniously convenient. Not only do you not have to provide chairs, the seats fold back in! Now you have extra space around the table for standing and talking with guests before and after dinner, perhaps for a dessert buffet.

 

 

 

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Crank Table-Round iron dining table with industrial crank mechanism. Height adjusts from 28″ to 40″ high. 39.5″ diameter.
Evelyn Dining Table-Mango wood with splayed legs in Natural finish. 48w 48d 30h.

These round tables are great for a smaller party in a tight space. Sleek and sophisticated, nice and easy.

 

Style Idea:

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Painted iron six candle stand. Add this to any table as a centerpiece, or a side table for some detail and mood lighting.

 

Chairs

 

 

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From Top Left:

Classic style dining chair, iron with blue painted finish
Alberta Wishbone Chairs. Classic Mid Century Modern with Alberta Fabric.
Beautiful wooden dining chair. Also great in a room setting.
Iron & leather dining chair with arms.

 

Sideboards

 

 

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Easton 2 section, 6 drawer buffet with an open hutch, multi colored mango wood drawers. Hutch is 12 deep and secured to buffet.This is a beautiful statement piece, which also serves as practical. Great for storing anything you may need to grab or stash somewhere quickly, as well as displaying photos, candles, ceramics, books, or anything you want to show off to your guests.

 

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Parker buffet with three drawers, two doors and bottom shelf. Brass ball handles. Mango wood, honey finish. AL:so available in a natural finish. Classic, simple and neutral, this buffet is great for storage, or a record player, while also supplying extra surface space for whatever you need to display.

39116__95208.1407924459.1280.1280Narrow mango wood console table with tapered legs, Natural finish.

 

 Extras

 

 

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From Top Left:

Iron rack with wood handle, holds ten wine bottles!
Square tray, made from steel with nickel plating.
Shesham coffee table with bright blue painted finish.
Painted iron coat rack with flourishes.

A Look Back at Mohr & McPherson’s History

Kevin-McPherson-Portrait-by-Jessica-WeiserKevin McPherson, owner of Mohr and McPherson, recalls his journey to building the store we know today. He also shares insights on design, eastern culture, and his passion for travel and discovery.

When did you first make the decision to start the company? What brought you to that decision?

In the early 80’s, I operated a small furniture retail business selling factory produced contemporary furnishings. In 1990, I was doing small renovations and general contracting with my business partner, John Mohr. I had the idea of returning to something related to home furnishings. 

This time around, I wanted to sell things that were hand crafted with some real provenance… something genuine & authentic. I felt that I had a calling in that realm and we decided to open a small shop in Cambridge. After each borrowing $5,000 on personal credit cards, John and I opened Mohr & McPherson’s doors on a shoestring budget in March 1991.

 

 

 

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Photos from our original Cambridge location in 1991.

 

Did you start traveling in search of exotic furniture before you opened or after?

The original inventory was crafted by American artisans, and we acted as their agents. Most of our sales were custom items based on the samples we had in our shop.  After 2 years in that business, I bought out my partner and started traveling to the west coast. There, I purchased furniture from China, Indonesia, Japan and Morocco and had these items trucked to Cambridge. My interest in rugs from the rug producing countries also took shape after meeting two Afghan brothers in San Fransisco, who helped me establish a rug business. In 1995, we were doing enough business for me to make my first trip to Asia to buy a 40 ft sea container of goods to ship directly to the store.


Where were the previous store/s located?

The original store was on Concord Avenue in Cambridge. We also rented another location across the street that acted as our warehouse annex. We’ve lived a nomadic experience in the past 22 years, with locations in Charlestown, Alewife & Moulton St in Cambridge, and Arlington St, Boylston St & Dry Dock Ave in Boston, before consolidating at our current location at 460 Harrison Avenue in Boston.

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460 Harrison Ave in Boston’s South End

 

What do you love about Eastern Design?

I was in love with the aeshetic From the moment I can first remember seeing asian design. It has always called out to me. The simple Japanese zen wabi sabi approach was the most interesting to me, but the over-the-top, highly ornate approach from India and China also caught my eye. I was also intrigued by the idea that these uncommon things came from the other side of the world.

What are your favorite materials used in Eastern Design?

Asian textiles are fascinating to me. I also love the wood carvings from Java, India and China. Ceramics from Japan, China and Vietnam are amazing. Rattan, bamboo and other materials from Thailand, Phillipines, Burma and China are great examples of the efficient use of simple local materials to produce durable lightweight furniture, baskets, etc.

What can a piece of furniture from the east add to a western home décor? 

A home decorated with only modern, machine-made goods lacks a human touch and can feel a little like an office environment. A hand-crafted rug, antique cabinet or tribal carving brings humanity back into the environment. 

Also, Asian color sense, especially in textiles, is different than the current western movement towards black, white and gray. It adds color where it is sorely needed.

If someone could add one Eastern item or piece of furniture to their home, what would it be? What about attitude/philosophy? Are there any cultural outlooks on homelife you have witnessed in your travels you think westerners should adopt?

Many modern home interiors look a little like a museum or a hospital. There is something calming about the lack of clutter and sense of order in the modernist aesthetic. What it lacks is any reference to the passing of time. It is frozen in the moment and does not allow for the patina that is a part of the natural process.  Modern homes and furnishing were not designed to show age well. 

The zen term wabi sabi (literally translated means humility and rust) is the zen acknowledgment that nothing is permanent, that all things age and deteriorate and that we must accept or even grow comfortable with this fact.  I believe that the eary modernists were inspired by the spare aesthetic of the Japanese zen aesthetic, but left out the important reference to the passing of time.

Mohr & McPherson Timeline:

    1991: Opened Mohr & McPherson in Cambridge

    1993: Started selling Asian pieces

    1994: Opened annex

    1995: Rented warehouse in Charlestown, Started traveling to Asia to buy

    1997: Opened on Arlington St, Boston, Moved warehouse to Seaport 

    1999: Opened 20,000 sq ft Moulton St warehouse in Cambridge

    2001: Opened Alewife location

    2004: Opened Boylson St location

    2008: Moved to 460 Harrison Ave

    2011: Opened warehouse at 460c Harrison Ave