Boston-based interior designer Marc Langlois created this Christmas scheme for a family in Wellesley, which was published in the Boston Globe Magazine last month.
Photo by Michael J. Lee
Langlois runs fresh greenery throughout the house, and even coordinates the wrapping paper with the overall design scheme. The theme, starry night, is done in a tone-on-tone palette of gold, silver, and white. Langlois collects ornaments at craft fairs throughout the year, and uses twinkling white lights. The tree, a fancy fake one from Frontgate, is actually pre-strung with the lights.
The last time we looked at the genius of Boston interior designer Alina Wolhardt, principal of Wolf In Sheep Design, it was to spotlight Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery in Harvard Square.
Last year in the Boston Globe column “Room to Love,” I wrote about this moody den that Wolhardt designed for Li Ward, the Boston pet and wedding photographer behind Fat Orange Cat Studio, and her husband Dan, photographed by Joyelle West.
Ward first met Wolhardt when she photographed Wolhardt’s rescue dog for the book Rescue Pets of Boston. Then, she photographed Wolhardt’s other dog at her house, where she had created a cozy man cave in a windowless room. Ward hired Wolhardt to do the same for her—a dark little sanctuary where she and her husband could hang out for cocktails and an afternoon read. They dubbed it the opium den.
Wolhardt says, “It took a year to complete this small room but we didn’t want to just force pieces purchased online from various mass-merchandise stores. I really wanted each piece was curated very carefully and that most pieces had history. When trying to create an Old World feel, you can’t force it.”
The dark wall paint color is Benjamin Moore Gray 2121-10. Wolhardt says, “We designed their bedroom to be very light and airy so we wanted to create a ying yang type of thing where one side of this floor is white and the other side to be the opposite.”
Wolhardt went monochrome on the ceiling too, but in a wallpaper, ROMO Rocks in Metallic Eggplant, which has some sparkle to it. “It’s dark gray with some gold undertone sheen, so when the surface light is on, it creates a nice glow,” Wolhardt says.
That fabulous light is the Soleil pendant by Suzanne Kasler forCirca lighting in antique brass, chosen to create a night sky-like feeling. The gold plays off the ornate gilt frames around the space.
“The idea for this room was to create an Old World, almost Victorian feeling with mixed styles, like the room had been curated over years,” Wolhardt says. The blue velvet settee is a Hollywood Regency style, sourced from an Etsy shop. Wolhardt directed the shop owner to refinish the frame in high gloss black. The cat’s name is Bingley.
The coffee table is made from the top of Ward’s childhood desk, trimmed with church railings salvaged by local Boston-based woodworker Nick Doriss of Doriss Design Workshoppe. Doriss also helped them hang a massive live-edge wood headboard that was originally a dining tabletop from Mohr McPherson. They repurposed that table base for the coffee table base here.
The heavy, carved dresser, from Ward’s parents, had been in their bedroom, but when Wolhardt spotted it she immediately asked to move it into the cave. She says, “We didn’t need to do anything to it. Even the mirror on this piece had an antiqued finish to it, which was perfect.”
The artwork is a mix of pieces Ward already owned (antiquing is a hobby), coupled with pieces they found together at Brimfield. Wolhardt says, “We wanted to arrange the pieces like a gallery wall so that she can continue to add artwork as she finds more pieces down the road.”
The floor lamp base is a vintage piece with a new lacey lampshade made by Vintage Shades.
They found the marble top of the side table at Brimfield and purchased the legs from another antique store. “Each piece has a nice little history to it,” Wolhardt says.
To make the room feel nice and cozy brought in many layers and textures. The jewel tone velvets on the upholstered pieces make it feel luxurious. The Cisco chair is custom upholstered in emerald green velvet, a nice contrast to the dark gray walls. Wolhardt says, ”
Wolhardt says, “Our mood board had jewel images as well as mussels. Mussels have dark gray shells in nice blue/green shades. I am always inspired by nature, and try to incorporate that into my designs.”
Layering the rugs adds to the overall womb-like effect. The rug on the bottom is a gold, distressed dyed antique rug and the top is a red and blue antique rug.
The black and white photograph is from homeowner Li Ward’s “Ghost Bride” series. “She did a whole series of this woman in a wedding gown, photographed in a cemetery. When I saw the series on her website, I knew it would be perfect for this room.”
I first learned about the photography magazine Fractionlast year, when a local photographer alerted me she was participating in the Fraction Holiday Print Sale. I purchased two prints that I just recently had framed at StyleCarrot partner Framebridge (I love this framing service for simple black, white, and pale wood frames; it’s so quick and simple).
This year’s Fraction Holiday Print Sale features over 125 affordable photographs ranging in price from $30 to $600. I would say most cost $100. Each print ships directly from the artist, within five days of purchase, and he or she gets paid within 48 hours. It’s a great way to support the arts, give a gift, or add another visual layer to your own home.
The Montserrat College of ArtSmall Works Sale was this weekend. A friend and I drove up to Beverly to check it out yesterday, and I loved what I saw. I went home with a few pieces, which is no surprise given my inability to resist small artworks.
The money helps fund this small local college, where many of the students receive financial assistance. I was also happy to support Paul Kotakis, who used to run the SMFA Art Sale, and is now Director of Development at Montserrat College of Art. The works were really appealing, and given everything was under $500, it was fun to shop too.
Here’s a sampling of small works from the Montserrat Art Sale 2017. The sale is over, but if you see something you’re interested in, I’m happy to inquire about availability for you.
The SMFA at Tufts Art Sale is this Thu., Nov. 16 to Sun., Nov. 19; to School of the Museum of Fine Arts, 230 Fenway in Boston, on the side street right next to the MFA and its parking lot.
The SMFA Art Sale is my favorite art event of the year. There are nearly 4,000 works from established, emerging, and student artists, from top names including Jim Dine and James Turrell to student and faculty pieces. Prices vary too, with much of it reasonably affordable. There are the occasional pieces for tens of thousands of dollars, many in the thousand or several thousand range, and tons under $1,000 and some even under $100. (Once I found a piece for $8!)
Much of the artwork in our home is from the SMFA Art Sale. (I currently spot seven in my living room.) We have photographs, paintings, and mixed media works we have purchased at the Sale throughout the years, and I still think about a couple of video art pieces I wish we had snapped up.
I hope you check it out, it is well worth it. New artworks are constantly displayed as pieces are sold, and there are tons of shrinkwrapped pieces in bins that are fun to browse. I stopped by the SFMA yesterday morning to get a jump start, and I’ll head back there tomorrow for Medici Night. (To become a Medici supporter click here.)
If you’d like help choosing art for your home or office, let me know. I’ll be scouting the sale for clients and interior designers as well as myself. Here are 20 works that caught my eye so far.