Simplemente Blanco – “simply white” en español – is the Boston, Massachusetts boutique of Argentinian Fernanda Bourlot. The interior designer and creator of multiple product lines favours bright whites and neutral creams – with the occasional natural wood or leather finish thrown in for good measure.
Bourlot’s South End shop is a breath of fresh air and a visit here feels like a short escape to some Caribbean isle. What could be a clinical, austere space is actually warm and welcoming – with plenty of natural light and little to no clutter. The designer rarely waivers from a clean palette – the lavender I glimpsed on one table was a real pop of colour on an otherwise stark stage. “I like places that afford calmness and peace and don’t oversaturate the senses,” she says.
The shop is loosely divided into sections – vignettes really – that sweep through decor, epicurean delights, bathing, seasonal offerings and an area “just for men” that features cedar fragrances, as well as throws and pillows in tweedy, ever so slightly darker hues. An array of pillows – some trimmed with suede cord ($65), others accented with delicate wooden bars ($50) – decorate sculptural sofas and Danish modern chairs, while ethereal cloud lamps ($350) and a Marania hanging fixture ($300) cast a warm glow. All textiles are designed by Bourlot herself and manufactured by hand. Alfresco place mats for summer entertaining ($22 each) sit next to rough-hewn wooden trays ($12), simple ceramics (from $28) and stacks of elegant tea towels ($25 each).
The shop is a gardener’s idyll with exquisitely packaged planting gift boxes ($22), pruning sets ($20) and even a neutrally coloured knee-pad with chocolate trim ($21), smartly fitting into the overarching stylistic theme. Men’s grooming products are also custom-blended by Bourlot, while frankincense-scented soaps ($6), glass cylinders filled with bath salts ($12) and fragrant shoe trees ($14) make great gifts, as do a seemingly endless array of candles, laundry accessories and hand-embroidered bath towels.
“Everything here works well together – the colours, materials, textures,” says Bourlot. “And because our products are one of a kind, they are often slightly irregular. This is not necessarily liked by everyone, but that’s fine because I am not targeting everyone, either.”