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Le Shoppe Modern is an Antique Store for Modern Times

  • October 24, 2023

For several weeks this past summer, visitors to Le Shoppe Modern in Keego Harbor were greeted by a monumental painting by renowned pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.

The colorful, showstopping piece — hung over classic 20th-century furniture arranged in eye-catching vignettes — is just one of countless special objects sold by Le Shoppe over the years. And it’s a fitting introduction to the 25,000-square-foot showroom, which feels closer to a lovingly curated museum than your average antiques store.

Until earlier this year, Le Shoppe Modern was known as Le Shoppe Too — so named for the two businesses (consignment and estate sales) operating under its one roof. But as the company’s list of services grew, co-owners Julie Sundberg and Deborah Slobin decided it was time for a rebrand. The new name reflects the shop’s focus on rare, iconic objects from the Midcentury Modern era to the present.

What is now metro Detroit’s largest upscale home goods consignment store started in 2013 in a 3,000-square-foot storefront in Walled Lake, close to Sundberg’s home. Before opening the shop, neither Slobin nor Sundberg had much retail experience, but Sundberg had always loved fixing up and reselling antique furniture, and she knew Slobin to be a great resale shopper in their circles.

“When I saw that the space was available, I called Deborah up and asked, ‘Hey, you maybe want to open a store?’” Sundberg says. “Neither one of us had a lot of extra money, but the beauty of consignment is that people bring things to you, so you don’t have to purchase a lot of inventory. We just got started and busted our butts.”

Le Shoppe Modern’s 25,000-square-foot showroom feels closer to a lovingly curated museum than your average antiques store. // Photograph by Sophie Dwoskin

“We had a passion and were going

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Rare Woodpecker Spotted At S’pore Botanic Gardens, Birdwatchers Chiong To Catch A Glimpse

  • April 19, 2023

Rare Slaty Woodpecker Spotted At Botanic Gardens on 12 Mar

It’s not unusual to see birdwatchers pointing their camera lenses toward the canopies at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

But things were seemingly different on Sunday (12 Mar) as there were more birdwatchers than usual, and excitement was palpable in the air.

It turns out an elusive woodpecker had decided to grace the venue, drawing hordes of bird lovers who wanted to catch a glimpse of the rare bird.

Source: Instagram

One of the birdwatchers was, in fact, a groom who was holding his wedding solemnisation nearby — he left the ceremony briefly to catch shots of the woodpecker.

Rare woodpecker likely came from Johor

On Sunday (12 Mar), a slaty woodpecker was spotted at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Source: Facebook

With its bald head, large beak, and grey feathers, the rare woodpecker certainly bore a resemblance to the pterodactyl from the Jurassic period and also Aerodectyl from Pokémon.

Source: Facebook

BirdLife International classified the slaty woodpecker as “Vulnerable”, attributing the population decline to “loss of primary forest cover”.

Speaking to The Straits Times (ST), a committee member of the Nature Society’s (Singapore) Bird Group shared that the slaty woodpecker was one of eight species that vanished from Singapore’s forest since the 1950s.

The chairman of the same group speculated that the bird came to Singapore due to habitat loss in Johor, and served as a reminder of the importance of preserving nature here:

Its visit reminds us of the importance of our forests for biodiversity.

According to Singapore Birds Project, a slaty woodpecker was last seen in Singapore in May 2018 at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Before that, the feathered creature was spotted over 100 years ago in 1904 and 1899, respectively.

Groom rushed

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Why bushfire safety rooms could be next home renovation trend

  • April 14, 2023


As Australians look to climate-proof their properties with solar panels and water tanks, perhaps bushfire-safe rooms could be next on the home improvements list.

Researchers have tested a bushfire-safe room that could protect people and valuables in an emergency.

“In theory, people could survive in this shelter for up to two hours, but we need to test other conditions like air quality before recommending human survivability too,” lead researcher Anthony Ariyanayagam said.

It’s the first time a bushfire-proof room has been built and tested using realistic bushfire exposure conditions.

The Queensland University of Technology team tested the room for more than an hour to simulate fire approaching, immersion by fire and residual heat.

The insulated room was made with steel-framed walls and fire-resistant concrete on the roof. It maintained an interior temperature of 29 degrees Celsius despite testing temperatures of nearly 1000 degrees outside.

Unlike safety bunkers, which are built as stand-alone shelters, the design has the potential to form part of an everyday house, or for its principles to be expanded to the whole house.

More than two million Australians live in areas that have a high or extreme risk of bushfire.

Australia’s only Pritzker Prize-winning architect Glen Murcutt has designed sleek, deceptively simple houses that respond to the nuances of their environment, including bushfires, since the 1980s.

Water features, sprinkler systems, heat-reflecting ceramic tiles and gutters that reduced leaf clutter are some of the design elements he’s used to make his houses more bushfire-resilient.

Yet despite this, a high level of bushfire resilience is not a compulsory part of Australia’s building standards.

That’s because the standards are designed to help protect human lives, not buildings, said Ian Weir, one of Australia’s only specialists in bushfire architecture.

Dr Weir, who used to work with the

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The Face of Home Design-Build and Remodeling: Gregory Harth

  • April 11, 2023

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Gregory Harth spent countless hours during his adolescence building Legos on his family’s living room carpet, designing endless creations. After receiving a degree in civil engineering from the University of Delaware, he moved out West to Colorado where he joined Peter Kiewit Sons to work on a number of high-level, construction-focused engineering projects, including the development of a successful $1.2 billion proposal. While working with Kiewit, he helped pioneer the design-build model as a possible procurement option on large-scale, complicated projects.

In 2003, Greg returned home to join Harth Builders as a partner alongside his father, Allyn Harth, who founded the company in 1996. He officially took over ownership of the company in 2008. Over the course of 20 years, Greg increased Harth’s company and revenue from 700k and two employees to more than $20 million with 80 employees—all while maintaining net profitability and a culture of autonomy and accountability. He introduced the design-build processes and model to residential remodeling and custom homes.

From architectural design and remodeling to additions and meticulous finishing work, Harth has an award-winning reputation, expertise and acute attention to detail, allowing him to carefully interpret every customer’s unique vision and bring their ideal home renovation to life.
Under Greg’s leadership, Harth Builders has won more than 50 local, regional and national Contractor of the Year awards four National Chrysalis awards, the Philadelphia Business Journal’s prestigious “50 on Fire” and “Soaring 76” awards, and more. Harth Builders’ mission is to make your home your favorite place.

For more information: Harth Builders, 812 North Bethlehem Pike, Spring House, PA | 215-654-0364 |[email protected]

To learn about the faces of Philadelphia’s local busineses, click here.

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Hidden Gem Botanical Gardens in New Jersey

  • March 26, 2023

If you love nature in a beautiful setting within a historic New Jersey site, you will love New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands in Ringwood, Passaic County.

It’s a bit of a ride from Central or South Jersey, but worth the trip.

The 1920s Skylands Manor house was designed to look centuries old with stone quarried on the grounds. That’s just the beginning of the stunning sites you’ll see on this 96-acre former estate.

Wildflower Garden (Photo:

Wildflower Garden (Photo:

You can check out the beauty of the lilac garden, the azalea garden, the bog pond at the wildflower garden, and crab apple alley with amazing blossoms in late April and early May. There’s so much nature to see, and so much to explore there.

Perennial Garden (Photo:

Perennial Garden (Photo:

The Garden is open year-round, and you can purchase tickets for guided tours or self-guided exploration. Guided tours are offered from April through October and give visitors an in-depth look at the Garden’s history, plants, and wildlife. During the warmer months, visitors can also enjoy a variety of special events such as concerts, festivals, and workshops.

More detailed information here from our friends at NJ MOM. The next couple of weeks will be the perfect time to check out this Jersey hidden gem.

Lilac Gardens (Photo:

Lilac Gardens (Photo:

There is a calendar of upcoming events for April, and throughout the rest of the year. You’ll have to take Route 287, but once you’re all the way up that way, you jump off at Skyline Drive; and you won’t believe you’re still in New Jersey. You’re welcome!

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

You can now listen to Dennis

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Crate and Barrel Releases Beautiful Outdoor Furniture Collection :

  • October 20, 2022

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, XX September, 2022: Just in time for the cooler months,  Crate and Barrel – owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the UAE – has introduced its latest outdoor furniture collection. Brand-new lines have joined the brand’s core range to help customers furnish their exterior spaces with comfort and versatility and turn their home into a serene oasis.

Indoor-outdoor living spaces are becoming increasingly popular, with research showing that being outside and in nature can encourage wellbeing. As a result, Crate and Barrel has expanded its outdoor category, offering everything from lounge furniture to dining sets, umbrellas, and accessories. 

Customers can discover new lines to suit every home and design style – whether emulating the coast through Grotta, Seascape and Ashore; embracing the warmth with Abaco, Zuma and Cerca; or preferring the modern styles of Dune and Railay. The stunning collection is intended to create a sense of continuity from the inside out, blurring the distinction between interior and exterior furniture. 

Included in Crate and Barrel’s current product assortment are breezy linen sofas, all-weather resin wicker frames and stunning bar carts to carry style throughout every space. Luxury outdoor garden furniture creates the perfect mood, with long tables and benches for those large family gatherings or smaller bistro-style round tables that can be moved easily.

From removable, washable slip covers to powder coated aluminium for weather-resistant durability, each piece is made to last in a way that can serve a variety of needs. Every detail has been carefully thought out with convenience in mind through use of modern materials and contemporary design.

To elevate outdoor entertaining and encourage borderless living, Crate and Barrel also offers a range of fun and unique accessories. Beautiful

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Furniture products created and manufactured in Romania

  • October 14, 2022

The Made in Romania collection from the portfolio of Mobexpert, the largest Romanian manufacturer and retailer of furniture and decorations, and an innovative brand with a tradition on the market, is at the top of customer preferences. About 60% of the company’s customers buy pieces of furniture and decorations made on the local market.


Willing to innovate, but also in the context of constantly changing conditions of the supply chain, Mobexpert has focused in the last year on the development of the furniture collection made in local factories in Târgu Mureș, Dej, Suceava, Bucharest and has invested in the design and production of over 15 new ranges of furniture and over 100 new models of sofas, armchairs, mattresses, and office chairs. Currently, 65% of all products in the Mobexpert portfolio are manufactured in Romania. One of the new furniture ranges is Wave, whose design is signed by the Mobexpert architect, Diana Marinescu.

“The products made in Romania have a great importance for Mobexpert, as they are created by our designers and made in our factories. We are constantly innovating because we want to be as close as possible to our customers and offer them quality products at fair prices. In addition, production in local factories helps us to constantly offer new, trending products with reasonable delivery times”, said Adelina Badea, Mobexpert CEO.

If in 1995, at the beginning of the production activity in our country, the company could deliver a maximum of 200 chairs and 20 sofas in a month, today Mobexpert can achieve this performance in about an hour.

About 700 employees work in the 8 Romanian factories of Mobexpert, which represent 30% of the total employers of the Mobexpert group. Experience, professionalism, and modern technologies allow the constant increase in the number of products manufactured by the

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This $5.5 million Toronto home is a stellar 60s time capsule

  • July 29, 2022

It’s funny: If you wait long enough, everything comes back in style – like low-rise jeans.

It’s the cyclical nature of fashion and interior design. 

But unlike low-rise jeans, this original 1968 home is actually cool. 

2 Royal Oak Drive Toronto

The stairs leading up to the family room. 

“It’s the original 1968 home built by the builder for his own family,” realtor Michele Rosen, Harvey Kalles Real Estate, told blogTO.  2 Royal Oak Drive Toronto

The foyer. 

The home, which has remained in the same family for the last 54 years, boasts three bedrooms, five bathrooms and tons of retro, mid-century charm. 

2 Royal Oak Drive Toronto

The retro family room. 

Throughout the home you’ll notice beautiful teak wood accents, clean simple lines and lots of natural light. 

2 Royal Oak Drive Toronto

The kitchen with some of the original appliances. 

Probably the most unique room in the house is the truly-vintage kitchen, complete with mod, custom cabinetry that has arched wood features. 

2 Royal Oak Drive Toronto

The wood detalling on the walls and cabinets are a funky bespoke look. 

“At the time it was built this was very uniquely elegant and beautiful decor,” noted Rosen.

2 Royal Oak Drive Toronto

An aerial shot of the surrounding neighbourhood. 

But even if you’re not into late-60s homes, this home is situated in the prestigious and iconic Bridle Path. Yes, before you ask, the same neighbourhood Drake lives in. 

2 Royal Oak Drive Toronto

The backyard. 

And as it’s a corner lot with a 130-by-135 footprint, you can easily add on to the home without sacrificing lawn space. 

2 Royal Oak Drive Toronto

The living room with floor-to-ceiling windows. 

“Today’s buyer will of course want to redesign and remodel the existing home or start fresh and build their own dream home,” added Rosen.

2 Royal Oak Drive Toronto

The dining room off the kitchen. 

“Either way, this coveted beautiful lot lends itself to anything the buyer can imagine in this perfect location.”

2 Royal Oak Drive Toronto

An aerial view of the property. 

And if you’re looking

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This New Scent Profile is Trending Up Thanks to New Home Decorating Styles

  • July 5, 2022

Since the dawn of the COVID-19 outbreak, all consumers, gift-industry reporters, buyers, manufacturers and trend forecasters could talk about was “bringing the outdoors in.” For the last couple of years, nature-inspired décor and wooden home accents have been all the rage, and now a new scent profile in candles and bath-and-body is hitting the trend right on the nose. Though nature-inspired scents — and even incorporating the smell of sandalwood or evergreens into fragrant gifts — isn’t entirely new,  there were a surprising number of products sporting a wood-inspired scent at this June’s Total Home & Gift Market in Dallas. Of course, makers are putting their own twist on the scent profile, and that’s what makes these candles and bath-and-body items some of our favorite finds from Dallas Market Center. Check out some of the captivating scents and decorative candles in the gallery below.

10 Wood-Inspired Scents That Complement ‘Grounded Décor’

No longer does sandalwood reign supreme in scent profiles. Now, manufacturers have incorporated notes of oak, white birch and bamboo, as well as more general scent profiles like “forest floor,” “amber woods,” and “sunlit forest” into the mix. The trending fragrance taps into consumers’ continuing need to connect to nature and feel more grounded. The scent also taps into the trend of more gender-neutral gifts and fragrances.

The idea of a cozy fire, too, has increased in popularity. Alongside the rising demand for fall outdoor décor, fire-pit gathering necessities and camping-themed items, candles now incorporate notes of burning embers and smoke mixed with other complementary profiles like leather or spices.

See Also From GDA:

Lenise Willis is the editor in chief of Gifts & Decorative Accessories, which has been covering the gift, stationery and home industry since 1917. For

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