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Shopping Westminster Just Got Easier

Westminster Street is chock full of cool and interesting shops, but it’s the dreadful parking situation that often keeps people –– including myself –– away. Until now. Shop Downcity is now offering free two-hour parking for anyone who shops at member stores. Parking is at the Grant’s Block lot (corner of Westminster and Clemence streets). Just hand your keys over…

Play House

Fashion designer Carina Schott and her husband, figurative painter Karim Hamid, transformed their mid-century Matunuck compound with a deft edit, keeping it fresh and fun.

After 9/11, Manhattan seemed a foreboding place for their son. So Carina Schott, who heads the Wakefield children’s boutique Nonchalant Mom (below, in her studio/shop), and husband, Karim Hamid, bought a car on eBay and headed for the hills. Off they zoomed to upstate New York and Vermont, then down Long Island and finally to Rhode Island where they discovered…

Looking for License Plates

It’s a fact of life that when Rhode Islanders travel, whether it’s to New Hampshire, or New Guinea, they inevitably run into…other Rhode Islanders. In my case, I’m not finding other Rhode Islanders while I’m on vaca; I’m encountering their license plates. Turns out many of them have fetched up in the Florida Keys as a different kind of colorful…

Farm Aid

One of my favorite things about May is it’s when the spring/summer farmers’ markets start opening. And, based on some impressive data from the recently released Census on Agriculture, it sounds as though a lot of other Rhode Islanders are as psyched as I am. Some highlights from the report: – Since 2002, farmers’ market and farm stand sales have nearly doubled.  – Rhode Island…

Ranch Dressing

Long gone are the days when this house never turned a head. An artful husband and wife team have given the outdated ranch a brand-new perspective: light, space and plenty of twenty-first-century personality.

Years ago, an old high buddy enlisted these owners in a summer rental. Taken with South County, the New York couple, children in tow, returned almost every season. Then the eighties rolled around and they craved their own getaway, a low-key place to foster family-time. Eschewing anything too pretentious, they nabbed a humble house — that they fondly labeled “ranch-burger”…

Weekend Recommender: RISD Spring Art Sale

About 170 Rhode Island School of Design alumni are expected to set up shop on Benefit Street (between Waterman and Hopkins) tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They’ll be hawking everything from ceramics and paintings to greeting cards and jewelry. We checked in with sale spokesperson Danielle Mancuso for more details. Here’s her report:   – Alumni from all over the country…

Net Results

Relax on the porch? Not if bugs are buzzing in your ears and nibbling at your ankles. Today’s smartest homeowners are revisiting the screen porch as a savvy solution that increases living space and maximizes nature’s sweetest season.

Captain’s Quarters Right away, visitors sense this inviting Little Compton porch (architect: Mark Mascheroni, New York) is as beautifully crafted as a fine yacht. Indeed, its teak floor, ceiling and window frames (the owners swap the screens for glass in cooler months) evoke thoughts of the sea, although its locale, near a verdant golf course, is more pastoral than salty….

New Store Alert!

We’re always thrilled when a new store is about to fling open its doors. But lately we’ve had such a retail drought that this news makes us literally giddy with anticipation. The source of our excitement? Sue Casa on State Street in Bristol, a fabulous new home décor and furnishings shop run by the owners of Striper Moon. Slated to…

Shifting Gears

A rundown garage undergoes a traffic-stopping transformation. In its new life it’s a chic cottage characterized by an enviable open floor plan and modern aesthetic.

Heaven knows lesser mortals would have run from the dilapidated garage/carriage house. But Providence interior architect Kirby Goff was hunting for just such a design. “I’ve always been fascinated by a long rectangle,” she explains. “I wanted to recreate that Malibu house feel: a minimal, unpretentious facade. Then, you walk in and discover a great space.” And as luck would…

Why I Buy $6 Tulips

Tulips have been on sale for the past two weeks at Whole Foods, two bunches for $12. We’ve written before about the great cut flowers there; tulips are my favorite, and I buy them every week while they’re in season. 1. They’re cheerful and low-key, not like roses, which always seem to warrant an explanation. (“It was my birthday.” “They’re…