Category Archives: Design Diary

Design Diary: Hutker Architects Goes Graphic on Martha’s Vineyard

Hutker Architects coined a term for the style of home they’ve been busily building on Martha’s Vineyard for the past 25 years: “new regional vernacular.” Peter Cappuccino, lead architect on this project explains it as using traditional forms and familiar materials but applying them in new ways, while designing to suit a modern lifestyle.

Anne and Peter’s Vineyard home is a perfect example. I wrote about it in an article called “Vineyard Dreams” for the Cape & Islands issue of The Boston Globe Magazine on Sunday, July 20. I hope you will click through to read the story, as well as scroll down here for additional photos and notes.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

There are both water and wooded views from the steeply sloping site. Here, the deck, which connects the public spaces of the living room, kitchen, and screened porch, looks north. Here, the master bedroom deck has an amazing view towards Nantucket Sound. From the corner, one can see the steamship ferry come and go from Wood’s Hole.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

All the rooms enjoy what Cappuccino called “single width volumes,” meaning every room has at least three exposures. One ascends the stairs, enters through a single story space with a standing seam metal roof. To the right a two story space houses the kids rooms downstairs and guest suite, with a private stair. The two-story volume in the middle towards the back holds the master suite upstairs, also with private stair, and kitchen below. There’s also a family room behind that. The long room jutting into the foreground on the left is a double living room and dining room with cathedral ceiling. Decks and a screened porch run along the other side.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

Courtney Fadness, who recently moved on from Hutker, designed the home’s interiors using a high/low approach, using fun graphic pieces. The Standishes, who have three college aged kids, wanted the home to feel cozy, but with plenty of pattern and splashes of color. Fadness says, “Since it’s nestled in the trees, rather than on the beach, we could play with a more saturated palette than if we had been tied to ocean hues.”

A custom diamond pattern sisal by Merida is the base layer that runs the length of the huge room. A Moroccan-inspired dhurrie by Madeline Weinrib defines the seating area above. The sofa is a custom piece by Vioski, upholstered in a linen blend by Romo. It has a notch cut out on the back for a console table, so when you approach from dining room, you see shelves on that side. Fadnes says, “It feels more inviting, and its sculptural silhouette looks beautiful from all angles.”

Martini side tables in red by West Elm provide pops of color and the  Madison & Grow “Elizabeth” wallpaper in “Peacock on Shimmer” adds an additional graphic element and a subtle touch of teal. The Danish modern chairs with blue velvet upholstery are from 1st Dibs. The colorful glass lamp is by Tracy Glover.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The dining room, which precedes the double living room space, is dominated by a live edge wood table with a steel insert and base that the couple found on 1st Dibs, along with a statement chandelier. The wood slat and metal chairs are outdoor pieces from Terrain, and the upholstered chairs add heft and height.

The Currey & Company “Bayside” chandelier is wrought iron hand-wrapped in abaca rope; a nod to the beach. She says, “The not too serious interpretation of a traditional form adds feminine curves; it’s a nice juxtaposition to the more modern and masculine table. It also helps fill the volume of the space, without feeling heavy or obstructing views.”

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The wall on either side of the fireplace is painted teal, a color pulled from the Madison & Grow wallpaper across the room. The chairs have a nice back, so can be oriented towards the first or the second seating areas. Metallic gold dot pillow from Anthropologie.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

Deeper into the space, pushing out towards the view, is the living room’s second seating area. The sofa and armchairs are Baker Furniture, upholstered in linen by Romo and a nubby brown fabric. and The assortment of reclaimed wood coffee tables are from Anthropologie, and the arc lamp from CB2.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The screened porch has sturdy teak sofas with indoor/outdoor cushions.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The kitchen is on smaller side, with a focus on the more practical aspects, The countertop is Caesarstone and the  the backsplash of stove is a river rock –painted cabinetry, tom Dixon pendants, the backsplash over the stove is a river rock, bringing outside elements in. The cabinetry have painted frames with frosted resin insets and the light pendants are Tom Dixon. The palette reflects the monochromatic contrast of white on dark found in several other places in the house.  The flooring in the entry and kitchen is budget- and user-friendly cork.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

“Ribbed” by Ferm Living wallpaper in the powder room again shows the play of light and dark, and also brings in organic shapes. The sink looks like hammered metal but is actually porcelain. The homeowners found the mirror. A limestone counter sits atop a bamboo vanity that’s the same color as the bamboo floor. The Kohler single handle faucet is brushed nickel.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The kids hang in the casual family room, located behind the kitchen, to watch television.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

Anne likens the experience of her airy master bedroom to sleeping in a treehouse. All the walls, as well as the cathedral ceiling, are painted pale blue, as it were a continuation of the horizon. Graphic rug by Dwell Studio.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The reclaimed wood bed and the reclaimed pine plank nightstands are from the Sundance Catalog. The large table lamps from Horchow boast striations that resemble layers of sand.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The upper deck outside the master bedroom is perched above the screened porch.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The guest room is outfitted with a wood-tiled West Elm nightstand and Thomas Paul botanical pillows.

Martha's Vineyard Home By Hutker Architects

The girls bedroom has bedding by John Robshaw.

Photography by Ken Richardson

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Design Diary: Branch Art at Hidden Pond

This is my little mantlepiece installation of found branches. The large stick (a beach find) has been propped up there for a while now. I recently added the other three specimens, plucked from my handy plate of natural objets. What do you think? I was inspired by the many examples of branch art incorporated into the decor and outdoor living environments at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine. (Yes, I am a bit obsessed with Hidden Pond.)

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The mantle in our house on Cape Cod.

Trees, branches, twigs, bark, logs, and natural wood slabs are used all over the grounds of Hidden Pond, in many different ways, both decorative and functional, from decorative applications, to partitions to furniture.  I’ve included some decorative applications here.

Krista Stokes, Kennebunkport Resort Company’s interior designer (the company owns Hidden Pond a handful of other equally charming properties in town), commissioned the work in 2011. She and artist Tim Coppinger gathered most of the pieces that are scattered throughout Hidden Pond from the surrounding woods. For the outdoor showers and exterior accents, they spent two weeks collecting and strategizing and another two weeks playing with all of their foraged materials in the cabins and bungalows.

When Stokes met Coppinger, he was living in a yurt in the woods not that far away from there. She says, “He’s an amazing creative thinker and he has been making sculpture from found objects for years. He’s the real deal” Coppinger also installed an oyster shell wall and built the slate and rock headboard in the “Lazy Days” bungalow at Hidden Pond.

 Some branch art at Hidden Pond:

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At the tree spa—a birch log on the top of the railing and a swoop of branches on the building.

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At the gym—a bark sculpture that resembles a skull.

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At Earth restaurant—a real branch chandelier and log installation.

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A branch as decoration on the exterior of a building, above a birch rail.

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The  shower outside the room I stayed in—a a plaque of short sticks on the far wall, a tree trunk in the corner, and a branch attached to the top of the near wall.

All photos by Marni Elyse Katz for StyleCarrot

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Design Diary: Leather District Loft by Michael Ferzoco

Michael Ferzoco of Eleven Interiors has made a bit of a specialty sprucing up living spaces for single men. That’s not to say he doesn’t deal in couple, families, and women—he does—but recently I’ve written about a couple of so-called bachelor pads” that he’s designed.

This one, which appeared as “All That Glitters” in Boston Home (photography by Michael J. Lee) is owned by a doctor who moved to Boston from Richmond, Virginia, where he lived in a four-level Italianate row house. When he relocated, he decided to seriously downsize, purchasing a 994-square-foot loft in Boston’s Leather District for him and his two large dogs. He now lives there with one mix breed beagle named Daisy.

After living there 13 years, he consulted interior designer Michael Ferzoco about upgrading his furnishings and re-imagining his kitchen. While he still loved the “gritty” feel of the neighborhood, he wanted a more luxurious living experience once he stepped inside. He says, “I wanted a place that felt like a very comfortable—but chic—hotel suite.” Ferzoco infused grandeur into the small space.

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Ferzoco left the four large windows bare, so the space is bright all day. He helped the homeowner “vigilantly edit” his belongings. They kept the pair of mid-century modern leather-and-wood armchairs that the homeowner purchased at a yard sale in Texas. They also kept the large mirrored Scandinavian armoire from the 1800s, which the homeowner had purchased from close friends. Ferzoco steered him to replace his sofa with two new Minoti “Hamilton” sofas from The Morson Collection in Boston, which the homeowner had been admiring for a while.

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The mirrored console from Horchow pre-dates Ferzoco. The homeowner purchased years ago in what he calls “a two martini moment,” on the advice of a friend. He couldn’t believe how large it was when it showed up. It definitely adds a spot of glam.

Suspended track lighting by Bruch highlights artwork by local artist Sand T. Kalloch. Ferzoco says, “I’m not into recessed lighting; it makes the ceiling look like Swiss cheese.”

The homeowner says, “I  lean toward clean lines, but I also have an affinity for older things with classicism,” so they kept the clawfoot Baker dining table and chairs, which he purchased after finishing his residency. The chairs are upholstered in gray gabardine.

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The emerald green and gold Bisazza mosaic tile backsplash goes all the way up to the ceiling. Chilmark Architectural Millwork made the glossy white lacquer cabinetry. The countertops are Caesarstone in Arctic White. The LEM Piston stools are from DWR.

The homeowner found the mid-century Austrian J.T. Kalmar chandelier, made from thick panels of textural crystal, in a consignment shop in Germany on a side trip from Russia.

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The homeowner already had the chartreuse Emma Gardner rug. The marble-topped Minotti cocktail table was purchased along with the Minotti sofas from The Morson Collection when they went on sale. The mobile-like  “Crescendo Chandelier” by Tech Lighting suffuses light across the room.

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The glass brick wall behind the sofa is pre-existing, dividing the entry from the living space. Contemporary artwork makes for a fun backdrop for the bottles.

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The homeowner purchased the cowhide when he lived in Texas. He bought the “L’Instant Tattinger” print on eBay. The wavy maple screen is by Knoll.

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The framed red silk tapestry from the early 1900s is a family heirloom.

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Master bathroom.

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The homeowner had the leather tiles in oxblood from Ann Sacks installed shortly after purchasing the loft, to give the place some character. He says, “I figured the room has no light anyway, so why not embrace the dark richness?”

Photography by Michael J. Lee

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ARTmonday: Stephen Sheffield’s Fort Point Studio

Our friend, photographer Stephen Sheffield, held an open studio at his loft in Fort Point on Saturday.

We love spending time with Stephen and Alison, whether we’re grabbing a drink at The Hawthorne, which Alison and Stephen designed together, hanging at our house, or, in the old days, at the playground. They’re even a pleasure to follow on Facebook, thanks to plenty of lunches accompanied by oversize glasses of wine, disgruntled kid anecdotes (the boys make appearances around town on Stephen’s Instagram too), and a family trip to Disney in a Winnebago.

We’re longtime fans of Stephen’s work (click back to ARTmonday: Stephen Sheffield), but we’d never been down to his studio. So glad we made the trip. It’s in a Fort Point loft building called Mondo Condo, with a funky old elevator , exposed brick walls, wood beam ceilings, and worn wood floors.

Stephen shoots most of his photographs (he uses actual film) on location, including a fair amount on a lake in northern Maine, where they spend summers. His studio has lots of little work spaces where he makes stuff (he creates mixed media pieces too), and his darkroom is just down the hall.

The studio is filled with his work, plenty of cameras, props like his bowler hats, other interesting odds and ends, a swing he rigged for the kids, and a chandelier he concocted from mannequin limbs.

Stephen grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts, attended Cornell University, earned his MFA at California College of the Arts, and teaches at New England School of Photography. Stephen Sheffield is represented in Boston by Panopticon Gallery.

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Design Diary: A Condo Built for Wine

For last year’s Boston Globe Magazine Kitchens & Baths issue, I profiled one of the more interesting projects I’ve researched—a condo for which the starting point was the homeowners’ wine collection. Designed by Thomas White of  ACTWO Architects and built by Merz Construction, this 2,100-square-foot three bedroom in a high-rise overlooking Boston Common obviously did not come with a wine cellar. Here’s a detailed look, photographed by Greg Premru.

Entry Boston Condo South End

The entry area is defined by the same tile used in the kitchen, a ceramic tile by Tau that resembles Corten steel. To the right, interior designer Manuel de Santaren, whom the couple had worked with on prior projects, suggested cutting a five-inch deep niche for their Fornasetti screen, which was purchased by the husband’s mother in the 1950s. To the left is the hallway with the wine. Straight ahead is the dining area, partially concealed by a fixed metal screen.

The “Athos” dining table by B&B Italia are from Montage in Boston. The “Lirica” chairs by Domitalia are from Italian Interiors in Watertown. The Light blue wool rug with gold silk pattern is from Landry & Arcari in Boston. The light fixture is the Artemide Triple Linear Logico Classical.

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Wanting a textured, transparent material other than glass, White devised a curtain of stainless steel rings that’s normally used in commercial applications, like cladding on airport facades. He brought in Jonathan Merz of Merz Construction early in the process, and they collaborated on the installation, using stainless parts they had had specially fabricated. 

The photograph at the end of the hallway, by Victor Schragar, pictures books in varying stages of focus, wrapped in paper to resemble color fields. The couple purchased it from the Bernard Toale Gallery in the South End. They refinished the existing oak floor in medium brown. 

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The homeowner wanted to be sure that displaying the didn’t come off as ostentatious, or look like a bar at a trendy restaurant. White offered this wine storage solution: an illuminated wall of wine with floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors that could accommodate almost 30 cases of wine. It became the starting point for the overall design of the home, and its focal point.

After experimenting with costly custom ideas for what would hold the wine bottles, they chose an off-the-shelf metal rack that the homeowner found online.

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White says, “We realized that illuminating the bottles could be artistic, and decided to make a whole wall glow.”  When the doors are rolled shut, it’s not obvious what’s behind there. The homeowner says that it takes a while before people realize it’s wine. As for the mesh screen, he says, ‘“At night, light skims down the screen, transforming it into a sparkly wall.”

Lighting is at the top, behind a white pre-finished aluminum panel. There’s also a small exhaust fan that ventilates the heat that builds up from the lights. They took great pains to hide the ventilation, ducts, lighting, etc. and to be sure there were no unsightly shadows. Handles are stainless steel inset in the glass.

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Standing in the kitchen, looking towards the entry. Waterfall countertop is a buttermilk shade of Caesarstone.

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Since it’s visible from the entire home, they wanted to create a sleek kitchen that didn’t necessarily look like a kitchen. They chose white laminate glass for the backsplash, adding LED lighting behind it, so at night it would glow like the wine cabinet. Merz handled the tricky technical end of all that. The homeowners got the idea for floating shelves above the counter from the SieMatic showroom, where they purchased the cabinetry.

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View of the wine cabinet, and the pantry beyond. The pantry houses an extra oven, microwave, and extra storage for dishware.

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ACTWO designed built-ins for the living room, finished in rosewood and white gloss laminate. The homeowners collect colorful glass pieces displayed on the floating shelves.

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The condo has a great city view, overlooking the Boston Common.

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Since the homeowners are empty nesters, the two other bedrooms are his and hers offices, which also function as guest rooms.

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More great built ins; note the vertically-oriented cubbies for the books.

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The homeowners on the cover of the 2013 Globe Magazine Kitchens & Baths issue.
Read more about them and the project in my article “Beauty and the Bottle.

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Design Diary: A Boston Patio Inspired by Majorelle Gardens

Another oldie but goodie from the Boston Globe Magazine archives. In October 2009, I wrote “Kind of Blue,” about a Beacon Hill patio redesigned for outdoor entertaining, inspired by the homeowner’s trip to Morocco; Majorelle Gardens to be exact. This well-traveled 50-something hired Brian Feehan to transform her 10-by-17-foot outdoor space when she returned from her trip. He wondered how he would cram a 20-foot reflecting pool in there, but with a flair for the dramatic (Feehan is actually a director and choreographer), he managed to eke out a bit of paradise in the historic neighborhood.

I N S P I R A T I O N 
Jardin Majorelle   •   Marrakech

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Majorelle Garden was designed by the painter Jacques Majorelle in 1924 and revived by fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his partner, Pierre Berge, in 1980. Feehan took cues from the distinctive cobalt blue accent color, Moorish latticework, lush greenery, and fountain.

B E A C O N  H I L L  P A T I O
Designed by Brian Feehan

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Feehan replaced the existed rotted wood deck with a mahogany-stained ipe deck and painted the existing lattice matte black. He added a trio of of 6-inch-wide horizontal wood strips in cobalt blue around the perimeter. The slats add color, and the homeowner can hang votives and flowerpots from them.

For additional interest and color, Feehan hung a pair of antique Chinese doors found at SoWa showroom Mohr & McPherson. The scale and shape mimic the French doors on the opposite wall, and provide a focal point when one steps onto the patio from the house.

The blue mosaic tile you see in the background is a fountain. More about that below. Look closely, there are mirrors on either side of it, which extend the feel of the space.

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Feehan created a mosaic glass tile wall fountain that’s eight-feet high.  Water runs down the surface, which is covered with tiles in different sizes and thicknesses. It’s uplit, creating a glistening, otherworldly effect in the evening, and sounds lovely too. The water collects at the bottom in a cobalt-colored trough that runs the length of the brick wall.

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Moroccan style tiles are affixed to the gate, adding more flavor.

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The patio is accessed from the condo by French doors.
Don’t you wish she’d invite you to a cocktail party?

B E F O R E 

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Design Diary: Rockledge House by Larson Shores Architects

I have many Design Diary posts for you—looks at homes I’ve written about for Boston print publications, but have yet to feature on StyleCarrot. This home, designed by Carrie Shores of Larson Shores Architects is an eco-friendly project we featured (on the cover) of the Boston Globe Magazine in December 2009.  The article, called  “Living A Vision” was photographed by James R. Salomon.

I flew up to Rockland, Maine to see the house, interview homeowner Rhonda Nordstrom, and isit her spa, which I blogged about here: Beauty Break: Rheal Day Spa. But before you click over, scroll through to see Rhonda Nordstrom’s green home in coastal Maine.

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 Photo by James R. Salomon

The two-story house, which replaced a small cottage that had no heat or running water in winter, is 1,400-square-feet, and sited on two-tenths of an acre with a very New England view. They didn’t cut down any trees, but had to do a lot of excavation and grading. The house is sited so passersby can enjoy the view of the harbor.

The exterior is shingled, to blend with the Maine vernacular, though the trim is painted black. The arrangement of windows and the overhang of the back porch lend a modern feel. They left the metal chimney pipe exposed, to echo the sensibility of the working waterfront.

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Photo by James R. Salomon

Eco-friendly finishes are mixed with a contemporary and Scandinavian aesthetic. (Rhonda’s husband’s parents are from Sweden.) The kitchen cabinetry is Ikea, which fit the look and budget.

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Photo by James R. Salomon

There’s no basement, just a concrete slab. Instead of covering over it, Shores incorporated it into the design. The first floor is stained, polished concrete, with radiant heat. The countertop is Corian. Beyond the eating area, sliders open into the grassy yard, which leads to the water.

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Photo by StyleCarrot

Take a close look—under the artwork, there’s a niche for the dog crate.
Table and chairs from Ikea.

Contemporary Stainless Steel Wood Burning Fireplace

Photo by James R. Salomon

The raised fireplace is easy to access. Rhonda insisted on window seats.

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Photo by James R. Salomon

The stairs and second floor are done in bamboo, also with radiant heat.

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Photo by James R. Salomon

Built-ins make the most of the space. Rhonda got a window seat here too.

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Photo by StyleCarrot

A fan keeps the air moving. Notice the cathedral ceilings.

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Photo by James R. Salomon

The bathroom floor is lined with ipe leftover from the deck.
The tiles are recycled glass mosaics.

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Photo by James R. Salomon

The bedroom opens onto the back porch.
You can see the boats out the window.

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Photo by James R. Salomon

The railing is industrial steel and wire.

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Photo by James R. Salomon

The harbor, which you can see from every room in the house,
is one of the largest lobster shipping ports in the country.

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Design Diary: Kids Room Spruce Up

It’s spring break again (I get three), so I’m in Florida. I’ve had little luck finding a contractor (we want to swap the wall-to-wall carpet for a plywood floor, paint everything white, and a few other fixes), so yesterday I decided to do some freshening up to tide us over, at least in the boys’ room. Between the blah walls and carpet, it was getting a tad depressing.

Spending a lot of money wasn’t an option, so I ran into Marshalls and T.J. Maxx (luckily they both happen to be in the same complex). I found great on-trend, brightly, patterned bedding. The aqua and turquoise cotton quilt looks like John Robshaw, with its Indienne pattern. Plus, its really soft. Considering the very reasonable price, I was thrilled with the high quality.  The charcoal grey and white trellis pattern sheets are amazing smooth; they’re all cotton but really satin-y. The “smile” pillow is done in an almost nautical canvas, very cheerful and preppy.

I also found a durable little area rug with a Moroccan-inspired pattern. For a toy storage solution, I got a cute charcoal gray nylon fiber basket that’s large enough for the balls, books, and other random toys that seem to magically materialize. (I may steal it to hold towels in the entry though.)  Lastly, I got him a glass water bottle with a silicone cap and grip to leave by the bedside.

Plucking from other parts of the condo, I finally framed and hung the artwork. All three are prints by Cathy McMurray that I had purchased last year. I also moved in a better lamp and a stalk of bamboo. HUGE improvement, I think.

I might not keep the bed dressed like this ultimately, (I’m thinking it would also be perfect out on the Cape), but I love the look right now. What do you think? Scroll down for the “before” photos too.

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B E F O R E 

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Thanks to Marshalls & T.J. Maxx for the $150 gift card!

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Design Diary: Davis Square Loft With Roof Garden

Five years ago (wow), I met Sharon Kitchens, she who now lives on the Great Cluck Egg Farm (blogged about here) and writes two blogs, The Root for the Portland Press Herald, and her own, called Delicious Musings, when I wrote about her Davis Square loft for Stuff Magazine. Going back through my archives, I see I never blogged about it. Crazy, because I totally, totally loved it. The photos aren’t perfect, but I hope you can see the loft’s general amazingness.

Kitchens, who had been on hiatus from Hollywood up in Maine (and yes, she’s back there again now), fell in love on the spot with this 850-square-foot, top-floor unit at the Davis Square Lofts in Somerville, Mass. It used to be the Comfort Pillow factory, and is adjacent to a renovated tin toy factory. The developer retained the industrial vibe, mixing in just the right amount of modern day luxe. There are bridge like walkways, garage doors accessing outdoor spaces, open floor plans, concrete floors, and interesting fixtures. Let’s go in.

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The entry door and her sweet, old dog.

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 The living room, which is what you face when you walk in. The piano artwork on the right is by the son of Portland, Maine gallery owner June Fitzpatrick.

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The front deck, accessed by a garage door. Kitchens got her start planting vegetables here.

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Looking back, the study is on the right, and the kitchen on the left. Keep looking back through the kitchen and you’ll spot the garage door in the bedroom, on the other end of the loft.

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Heading into the galley kitchen.

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Sharon just finished baking granola. No surprise she ended up owning a farm in Maine! Truth is, growing up, she spent summers on her grandparents’ farm in Arkansas. Love the red knobs on the petit gas range.

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Open shelving and a butcher block countertop.

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Sharon tucks a black & white photograph, by Sabrina Krisky, behind the kitchen sink.

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Industrial sink in the bathroom.

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And the metal shelf above, with indoor/outdoor industrial sconces, raw wood beams, and more art.

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The airy bedroom. The fun chair is from the Rockland Antiques Marketplace in Rockland, Maine.

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Vintage dressers and rugs in the bedroom.

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Sharon shows off a family heirloom: her grandmother’s vintage ’70s patchwork skirt. Very Todd Oldham!

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Outside, you can see the plank walkways with chicken wire-like fencing.

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Sharon pursued her interest in gardening ou on the deck.

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She and her neighbors also shared a CSA and would cook dinner together on Sundays.

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Looking back toward her unit.

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And back on the ground. Bye!

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Art Basel Miami: Charlotte Perriand Beach House

I 1927, Le Corbusier invited French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand, when she was just 24, to join his studio. In 1931, Charlotte Perriand began to exhibit under her own name, designing buildings, interiors, furniture, and lighting. Even if you do not recognize her name, you know her work—among the most successful pieces she designed in collaboration with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, are the the LC4 Chaise Longue and the LC3 Armchair, both produced by Cassina. She also co-designed the Prouvé Potence Lamp, a style that is incredibly popular right now.

I went to Art Basel Miami for the first time yesterday, with my friend Deb, who is an architect with a minimalist, modernist aesthetic. Unsurprisingly,  Charlotte Perriand’s beach house topped her list. Designed in 1934 as a competition entry for the French magazine Architecture Today, the modernist house was intended as a prefabricated, budget-conscious vacation home suitable for mass production. Perriand won second prize; the homes were never put into production.

Fashion design house Louis Vuitton worked with Perriand’s daughter, Pernette Perriand-Barsac, to construct a prototype according to the original plans, complete with furnishings. It is erected behind The Raleigh Hotel (a quintessential Miami Deco boutique hotel), so we made our way through the lobby, out past the pool, and through a little opening in the back hedge, where a media garden party was in progress. (And yes, we helped ourselves to grilled lobster.) The little structure was just beyond that, almost on the edge of the beach. 

The design is so minimal, yet thoroughly functional. The wood is so satisfying to the touch and to the eye, very smooth. We glided around in awe. Here are my photos. The first one is an official image, courtesy of Louis Vuitton, which provides a good overall perspective.

Louis Vuitton Beach House Art Basel Miami

Looking at the house straight on. We entered from the back. The center is an open air, courtyard-like type of space, with a canvas awning overhead.

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We entered up this ramp, barefoot.

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A wood feature wall with simple shelves holds natural objects from the sea.

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When you first walk in, the kitchen is to the left, then the dining area and a sitting area. This is the view from the kitchen.

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A closer up shot of the built in table and banquette.

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The divider between the banquette and the sitting area.

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And a space to lounge, with a cowhide rug. And the coolest lighting. I also love the way the square window opens.

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 There’s sliding doors the lounge area side of the divider, for storage.

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Standing in the sitting area, looking back towards the kitchen.

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 The back wall of the structure.

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 The sink and counter are stainless steel. That taller divider is topped with slate. Love the plywood walls!

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 Open shelving for dishware; just enough for a weekend.

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Stepping back into the courtyard.

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There’s a low, Japanese-style table in the middle of the courtyard space. The stools are made from tree stumps.

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Towards the front of the courtyard, under the awning portion, are two low lounge chairs, overlooking a glass railing.

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 Looking onto the little party, towards the hotel.

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 This is the front room along the right side of the house. A little bedroom with a desk.

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Another little room, with storage and green pocket door, leads to the bathroom. The toilet is behind the red pocket door.

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The open wood slat floors in the bathroom gives it a very beachy feel.

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Clad completely in stainless steel. Mod red medicine chest.

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 All the greenery out the windows is great.

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Learn more! Buy the books.

Charlotte Perriand

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Charlotte Perriand : Objects and Furniture Design

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I’m headed back to Miami now. More on Monday!

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