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Observatory in Cambridge Mixes Handmade Jewelry with Flowers

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Observatory Hill in West Cambridge may not be a neighborhood familiar to those living across the Charles, but with the ease of a Zipcar or a hop on the bus, it should be added to every shopping repertoire. A burgeoning retail community is anchored by stores like mainstay Reside for home goods, Marimekko for those delectable Finnish prints, and Magic Beans for the young'ns. Jewelry designer Nicole Rueda-Watts of NYX Studio is no stranger to the budding area, so she teamed up with friend and floral designer Laura Jean Pecci to open the appropriately named boutique Observatory just last month.

The 270 Concord Avenue storefront remains unmarked but planters and mannequin-adorned windows are a clear sign you've arrived at the greenery-meets-jewelry shop. Entering the long and narrow space, visitors are greeted by a slew of found objects (particularly vintage glassware), small terrariums, a centerpiece flower display, and jewelry spread among various antique furniture pieces from Reside next door (all available for sale). Ebonized wood floors, a deep hued ceiling, and crisp white walls are quite the contrast, with large paper lanterns—hand painted with gold by Rueda-Watts herself—lighting the space.

A noteworthy decor element is an enormous wood and metal bookshelf, custom made by Rueda-Watts's brother, and filled with necklaces, beaded bracelets, and feathered leather accessories—all made downstairs in the basement studio. As the space is developed further, Pecci will occupy a back corner of the store to consult on custom arrangements, while a rear patio will serve to merchandise garden items. Like the vegetation within the boutique, Observatory is a living, breathing entity with everything for sale and guaranteed to change every visit.
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