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Hot Town, Summer in the City: The Summer Pop-Up at Karma

summerkarma5.jpgBrendan Dugan's gallery bookstore, Karma, is experiencing its very own staycation. The Downing Street storefront is looking remarkably oceanfront-y thanks to artists Aaron Aujla and Dylan Bailey -- assistants to Nate Lowman and Dan Colen -- who have created a temporary home décor shop fittingly named Summer. Having spent the last six months culling beaches in the Hamptons and Cape Cod and researching retailers like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, Aujla and Bailey's space is a musing (with actual merchandise) on home décor shops. Think a Nancy Meyers Endless Summer. Or a Lands' End catalog where the nautical knits are turned neon.

But Summer is also a keen study of how home goods stores like Pottery Barn market their goods, successfully branding a lifestyle of driftwood benches and decorative doodads. Aujla and Bailey have mimicked certain devices that these stores use like creating visual blockers or screens that pull customers further into the store rather than simply viewing retail from a single vantage point. Potted plants, for instance, are arranged at varying heights. Nothing is merely eye-level. One is encouraged to look up, down, and around. Customers become discoverers, it would seem.

Summer is selling everything from ceramics and enamel buckets, dip-dyed beach towels, barnyard paperweights, turquoise-shaped Shea butter soaps, an oversized rope ball, and a single cedar swing that adds an extra breeziness to the space. On some days you might even catch Aujla and Bailey sitting outside hand painting mini buoy key chains.

The selection varies regularly and weekly events are planned like this Saturday's (the 30th) Fourth of July barbecue. Come check it out. Lemonade, hot dogs, summer in the city.


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