Gifts, Gadgets & Garb

If you are still looking for that perfect holiday gift that has personality, style and flair, look no further.  Nelson Bridge has a wonderful selection of thoughtfully designed and locally manufactured products to please even the most discerning of gift recipients.  Their excellent selection of household products, decorative accessories and fashionable clothing will make your annual holiday shopping simple, rewarding and all orders over $100 ship free!

Oliver Hat

Much of Nelson Bridge’s merchandise is made in the USA, artisan-designed and crafted out of recycled materials.  Denise and Jonathan Nelson, the owners of Nelson Bridge, believe in finding pieces that bring beauty and style into the home – whether it’s a fabulous art piece, attractive lamp or chic placemat.  Their array of gifts, gadgets and garb is completely unique and will not be found in malls.  All the products they choose to carry are manufactured with care and thought and completely lack the mass-produced aura that pervades larger chain stores this time of year.

Alessi Firenze Clock

To make your holiday shopping experience even easier, all of Nelson Bridge’s products are available through their online store, can be shipped anywhere and are available to be gift-wrapped free of charge.

So, if you are still in search of that perfect holiday present, visit or stop by their store at 29 Race Street, Frenchtown, NJ.

LePage Candlestick Holders

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Custom Fit, Vintage Appeal

The thing that really sets UpCycle Vintage apart from other vintage shops is their in-house workroom. Oftentimes, the biggest setbacks with vintage fashions are poor fit, stained linings and dowdy style, but UpCycle Vintage’s alterations department is equipped to easily remedy these downfalls.

They can fully restore damaged or fragile pieces with similar fabrics or can modify pieces – changing the neckline, altering sleeves, shortening the hem – in order to make the article best suit the needs of the customer. Vintage fashions are often one-of-a-kind, and it may be difficult to locate the perfect look in your size, but UpCycle can easily resize fashions to accommodate all shapes and sizes.

Vintage clothes are timeless and unique. You know that once your piece is custom fitted to meet your needs, you will never arrive at a party wearing the same dress as someone else. These enduring styles are better quality in every way, and UpCycle stocks pieces in a range of sizes and prices to please vintage-lovers across the board.

This week UpCycle Vintage is holding a giveaway on Express-O Blog! Click here to enter for a chance to win a beautiful vintage French silk scarf and two French lavender sachets crafted out of recycled material.

To see more UpCycle Vintage fashions, check out their etsy shop or visit their store front at 29 Race Street, Frenchtown, NJ.

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What does an Architect do, anyway?

“Every great architect is – necessarily – a great poet.  He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.”  -Frank Lloyd Wright

Have you ever noticed how things just “work” in some houses?  There’s a flow; a rhythm.  An indefinable quality that just feels right.  That feeling – that ceremony of experience – is the result of the architect’s hand.

An architect not only has to consider the functionality of the structure, he (and here’s where he departs from the builder) has to consider one’s experience of the space.  An architect strives to develop a design that not only meets standard building codes and serves a practical purpose, but also inspires their clients, while solving their lifestyle and program needs.

“All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.”  – Philip Johnson

On a daily basis, it’s not always easy to experience great architecture.  With strip malls, McMansions and builders’ spec projects around every corner, it seems we’re forgetting and forgoing what used to come standard; the architect’s touch.  Every great era has made a statement in architecture – some impressive and foreboding others delicate and whimsical.  So the question is: what statement are we making?  Instead of working with architects to craft a home that suits our individual needs, we instead turn to builders who give us cookie-cutter construction with few options and little customization.

Unfortunately, in these standard structures, very little thought is given to the experience of the space – that feeling that washes over you when you enter and that you’ll remember long after you leave.  The decline in thoughtfully planned homes means we are exposed less and less frequently to eloquently designed spaces.  We think “bigger is better” and that we really want a development home with brick façade and large window (highlighting a chandelier) over the front door.  But the truth is, we don’t recognize what we’re missing.  We do have the option and deserve well-designed homes.

In truth and tradition, homes are meant to reflect the lifestyle of their inhabitants.  Any good architect knows that a house is so much more than the sum of its parts.  It’s not just about creating a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath dwelling, it’s about creating a home; a matchless structure that embodies both the needs and ideals of its inhabitants.

“A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.”  – Louis Kahn

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Demystifying Modern

We at Nelson Bridge, pride ourselves on being a “bridge to modern design”.  We strive to demystify modern and make it a more approachable option for today’s home, even when your home may not be in “The Modern Style”.  So, what is “modern” anyway, and where did it come from?

Modernism came out of the industrial revolution.  It glorified the object for what it was and what it did and tended to eliminate ornate detail from objects of old.  “Form follows function” is a term usually attributed to Modern, as is the famous statement by the French architect, Le Corbusier, about houses being “machines for living”.  Some look at Modernism with disdain; for them, it is too utilitarian, pure of form and lacking personality.  But Modernism has come a long way from its beginnings.  Current modern designers continue to respect the importance of form as it relates to an object’s function but have explored whimsical interpretations and more open attitudes.  It is out of this realm of “modern” that Nelson Bridge grew.

While modern objects and furniture continue to stand out for their purity of form and the accent they put on texture and materials, the personality of the new modern is able to intermingle with both old and new spaces.  Our modern objects talk about how we live today and therefore they can coexist with the objects from our earlier lives and earlier times.  Modern designers have recognized that fact, as is evident throughout our store.  Today’s modern designed objects have their own personality that allows them to be easily incorporated as another cherished element, no matter the style of your home.

In order to bring modern sensibilities into your environment, there are few key principles to consider:

* Balance – Modern design is all about the balance of open spaces and functional, furniture and accessories.  Unlike traditional design that favors a more cluttered, layered look, the modern interior is more about the positive and negative spatial balance.

* Solid Colors– Strong color statements are often an important element of modern design.  Wall color provides the backdrop for the design and accent colors provide the personality.  Since the modern interior is pared down, color can infuse that extra bit of style and character that one would typically communicate through the use of accessories and stylistic detail.

* Geometric Patterns – Patterns are generally kept to a minimum in the modern interior, however, when pattern is used, it is often in a bold geometric way.  The geometric patterns serve as a counterpoint to the streamlined functionality of the furniture and architecture.

* Materials – Modern design relies heavily on sleek materials such as stainless steel, glass, leather and durable plastics.  The intrinsic character of the material is more important than its finish.  Instead of disguising the functional materials with fabrics, patterns and paint, modern interiors highlight the beauty of functional materials in the architecture, fixtures, furniture and accessories.

People can often feel intimidated by modern design’s sleekness; however, once you begin to understand the principles behind the choices, the true beauty of modern style shines through.

Picture Credits
Modern Bedroom –
Modern Living Room -
Modern Stairs –

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Alessi – Functional Art

“A true work of design must be able to move people, to convey feelings, to trigger memories, to surprise, to go against the grain… We work on expressive languages and on the expressive potential of the items.” -Alberto Alessi

Alessi, the Italian manufacturing company, capitalizes on expressive product design to craft goods that have continued to grow in popularity since the company’s inception in the early 20th century.  Alessi’s products, though produced with the aid of modern machines, continue to be rooted in handicraft culture, as they have been since 1921.

Unlike other manufacturing companies, Alessi relies heavily on freelance designers, some internationally known, to design their product lines.  Alessi encourages uninhibited creativity and feels that independent designers, without corporate influence, produce the most innovative products.  Thus, the Alessi brand represents over 500 designers from all around the globe.  Alberto Alessi, owner, encourages people to think of his company as an “industrial research laboratory” – emphasizing the importance of both creativity and innovation in the Alessi manufacturing process.

Not only are Alessi’s household products artful and engaging, they are also environmentally sensitive.  Alessi promises to design, manufacture and distribute products that have a significantly reduced environmental impact.  So, you not only get a superior product in both design and use, but you can rest assured that the company is also part of the global environmental solution.

Alessi gets it.  Not only are Alessi products respectful of the environment, but they add to the personality of your environment.

Check out the 50+ Alessi products that we carry at Nelson Bridge:

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Apple & the Resurgence of Design Awareness

When Apple released its iMac G3 in August of 1998, they did more than give the world yet another personal computer.  They rekindled design awareness in America. For years, especially when it came to tech items, function trumped form.  Companies gave little thought to what products looked like.  But Apple changed all that with the G3.  They made people care about both – function and form.  They gave people options; options that allowed individuals to express their unique style and personality.  The iMac G3, with its translucent casing and streamlined curves, was a statement piece – not just a computer.

Apple’s actions brought about a resurgence of design enthusiasm.  People no longer wanted things that just worked well – they wanted things that looked cool.  To that end, Apple also was able to convince people that it is worth spending a bit more to get a better designed item.  To this day, Apple continues to be at the forefront of innovation in both design and technology.

This concept of customization, personalization and quality is starting to carry into other areas of our lives – our homes, our cars, our clothes – and it gives businesses, like Nelson Bridge, new reason for being.  People are beginning to recognize and take to heart the idea that buying a well-made, beautifully designed product is truly worth it – they last longer, are better made and have more personality than generically, mass-produced items.  We can all give a nod of gratitude to Apple for this renewed interest in design.  It will surely benefit both boutique companies like Nelson Bridge and more importantly the public at large who didn’t realize they deserved good design.

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UpCycle Vintage: the most stylish way to recycle

“Vintage [clothing] is not only glorious and stylish, it’s also the way forward in terms of recycling. Whenever I go into great vintage stores, I wonder why we ever buy new things.”

—British actress, Thandie Newton

UpCycle Vintage carries classic fashion primarily from the 1950s and 1960s.  The large majority of their pieces are in pristine condition – some are even museum quality, having come straight from famous closets.  Primarily, UpCycle carries evening wear, and their clothes range in price depending upon provenance.  UpCycle does little work on the pieces upfront, allowing customers to specify what and how they want the piece reworked for their specifics needs and wants or clothes can be purchased straight off the rack.

At times people are hesitant to purchase vintage pieces, fearing out-dated designs, damage and stains or a poor fit.  But, UpCycle Vintage has a solution.  UpCycle has a workroom in-house with a professional seamstress on staff who can tailor pieces to custom fit the purchaser.  If you fall in love with a piece, UpCycle can make it yours (and yours alone).  That said, UpCycle not only reworks their pieces to best fit their customers, they can also tailor fashions you currently own to update their look or achieve a better fit.

UpCycle’s exceptional selection of mid 20th century vintage epitomizes the feminine ideal envisioned in the glamour of mid-century.  With a keen eye for quality, UpCycle chooses fashions that combine the best of the old with the new.  They seek well-made, form-flattering styles in luxurious fabrics that offer a one-of-a-kind appeal.  There is truly no more beautiful way to recycle!

Visit UpCycle Vintage’s etsy shop at or stop by their store front at 29 Race Street, Frenchtown, NJ, open Friday through Sunday 12 to 5 or by appointment.

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Old World Designs get a Modern Twist

The Images d’Orient line of place mats, coasters, trivets and other table wear is inspired by traditional Mediterranean tile designs. The striking patterns which are the trademark of their line harken back to time-honored tilework, yet all are fabricated in durable PVC to give their products a contemporary edge. These table top necessities are not only decorative, they are also convenient and functional. Though their patterns are traditional, all Images d’Orient’s items are fabricated with today’s modern household in mind, and all pieces are heat proof, shatter proof and washable with soap and water. Their beautifully innovative design has not gone unnoticed, and Images d’Orient’s pieces have become highly sought after and have even been featured in ELLE Décor magazine.


Images d’Orient, though modern in construction, pays homage to the legacy of ancient artistic customs. Their line shows that modern is merely a resonance of that which came before. Revisiting those time-honored designs is something that sets this line apart and serves as the greatest inspiration for the founders and lead designers. Their line of fashionable objects will give your table a matchless appeal, both classic and innovative.


Nelson Bridge is proud to offer a distinctive variety of Image d’Orient products, including patterns from their most recent release. Images d’Orient’s modern design aesthetic is completely in keeping with our personal design philosophy. We recognize the beauty of their pieces lies in the balance between old and new. Their line is not only fashionable, it’s affordable and can provide that perfectly modern touch to your interior or can make a sensational hostess, wedding or holiday gift.  View our full line of Images d’Orient pieces at:


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Comfortable Couture

Looking for glamorous, comfortable, affordable fashion? Look no further. Nelson Bridge is now carrying Elana Knitwear. In case you’re unfamiliar, Elana Knitwear has similar fabrication to St. John’s Knits for a fraction of the price. All their fashions are custom knit and available in any size; crafted to your unique measurements. In addition, you can choose from over 25 colors – giving you endless possibilities and combinations. And, there is only a three week turnaround once you choose your style, size and colors.elana-black-dress


Elana’s designs are classic and completely stunning. Not only that, but knitwear hangs flawlessly – masking a multitude of sins (no spanx required!) The craftsmanship is impeccable, and their creations are both current yet timeless. Their collection offers styles that are appropriate for day, evening or office.


Elana’s elegant, versatile knits are perfect for a special occasion or to spruce up your daily wardrobe. All production is handled at their Bucks County workroom and factory where they generate their tailor-made merchandise. With heirloom-quality pieces, Elana Knitwear is sure to satisfy your need for custom, handcrafted fashion that will last for years.



So, if you’re interested in viewing some of Elana’s collection in person and perhaps purchasing custom knitwear designed just for you, stop by Upcycle Vintage in the Nelson Bridge building at 29 Race Street, Frenchtown, NJ.  We’re open Friday through Sunday, noon-5pm or by appointment.

For more information and images, you can visit

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Draperies: a look inside the Nelson Bridge workroom

4-the-lodge-dining-rdCustom draperies are the icing on the cake; the jewelry of the home. With the right draperies a room can go from ordinary to utterly breathtaking. The ultimate perk of “going custom” is that you get exactly what you want, and you know that no one else has anything quite like it in their home. In addition to the purely decorative benefits of luxurious custom drapes, they can provide functional benefits as well. Our work room at Nelson Bridge can create blackout drapes suitable for media rooms, bedrooms or any space that needs complete light blockage. Also, we’re outfitted to design and install power blinds that descend and ascend2-green-rm-window-lt with the press of a button. Lastly, our custom drapes also provide cost-effective insulating benefits.  Nelson Bridge is a one-stop-shop for all your custom drapery needs. We can guarantee your satisfaction because we handle everything ourselves, from the initial concept to the final installation.

Nelson Bridge is committed to providing our clients with the absolute best customer service possible.  In addition to draperies, our workroom is also equipped to craft custom bedding, quilts, table runners and decorative pillows. We work in all styles, fabrics and designs – our sole objective is to generate a quality product that reflects our clients’ design preferences and 3-gold-bedding-rdpersonal aesthetic – not ours. That said, we not only can design and fabricate new, original draperies; we can also reuse and rework existing drapes or even repurpose them. We recently used a client’s drapery fabric to reupholster a chair, or we can modify your current draperies by adding fabric or new elements to keep with the evolving style of your interior. Whatever you envision, we can make happen



Our workroom is located right next to our design studio, and we handle all work in-house. Because of this, we are able to provide the utmost quality control, as we personally handle and oversee all projects. No job is too small or too large for our shop, and we’re pleased to work with individual residential clients, corporate clients or with the trade.

So, stop by and see us at 29 Race Street in Frenchtown, NJ. We’d love to hear about your design project and discuss how we may be of assistance to you.


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