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


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


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.


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.


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


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 


*           *           *

It’s time to wear your espadrilles!
Shop Soludos >

1 Comment

Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Design Diary

Just In: Madewell Fall 2014

As usual, seeing how I live in Boston, I was unable to attend the press preview of the Madewell Fall 2014 collection. However, my darling friend Meredith was up for the schlepp downtown, and snapped these photos for me. I know it’s barely even spring here, but who doesn’t appreciate a sneak peek? Although many of the items were scattered with French phrases,  and had a bit of a French hippie grunge flavor, the official Madewell Fall 2014 theme is actually more along the lines of easy living in urban America.

photo 3-3

photo 2-3






photo 1-1



*          *           *

Shop Madewell for denim. (I do.) >



Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Just In

Swatching: Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Ann Sacks

Last May I met Martyn Lawrence Bullard at the Boston Design Center, where he was promoting his new fabric line for Schumacher (I blogged about it here.) In addition to another fabric collection for Schumacher, he has a new tile collection for Ann Sacks. Swatches from both collections, below.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s new tile collection for Ann Sacks

Ann Sacks Tiles By Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Martyn Lawrence Bullard For Ann Sacks Tiles

Martyn Lawrence Bullard For Ann Sacks Tiles

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 8.59.26 PM - Version 2

“Mousharabia” inspired by carved wood latticework screens of Morocco

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 8.59.29 PM

“Eastern Promise” concrete tiles

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 8.59.26 PM

“Hermitage” mirrored glass tiles  


-   –   –   –   –   –  -

Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s latest collection 
for F. Schumacher & Co.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.03.57 AM


Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.03.51 AM


Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.04.00 AM - Version 2


Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.04.00 AM


Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.04.06 AM - Version 2


Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.04.06 AM


*             *            *

Shop Burke Decor for classic modern furniture & accessories >



1 Comment

Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Swatching

Montage: 16 Rooms with Rope Lights

Earlier this month I started blogging for a Southern retail site with Etsy like suppliers called Bourbon & Boots. My first post was “Nine Unfinished Wood Looks That Are Anything But Raw,” inspired by a great Oak Block Lamp from Tungsten Customs that I found there (and might need to buy). I’ll be posting every two weeks. The next post, which should go live today, is inspired by another light from the site, a Rope Pendant Socket Light with an Edison bulb, made by Wildwood Design Company.

Of course, it reminded me of the very popular rope light by Toronto-based studio Atelier 688, which I also mentioned a couple of years ago when I wrote about West Bridge, the trendy Kendall Square, Cambridge restaurant. I’ve included that image here, along with 15 other spaces with rope lights.






Photo by Laurie Black  •  BHG


Lisa Kreiling of LTK Interiors  •  Urban Show House


Jennifer Hagler of A Merry Mishap


Hampton Designer Showhouse 2009
Photo by John Bessler &  Squire Fox   •  Traditional Home


Photo by Alec Hemer for Country Living


West Bridge  by Crème Design  •  Photo by designskool


Kay Douglass Interiors


Stylist Raina Kattelson  •  Photo by Emily Anderson •  Rue Magazine


Pursley Dixon Architecture
Photo by Stacey Van Berkel for Garden & Gun


Christopher Grubb of Arch Interiors  •  HGTV


CCS Architecture  •  Photo by Kris Tamburello


Photo by Elizabeth Watsky for Remodelista


Ace Hotel Palm Springs


Atelier 688

*             *           *

Shop home furnishings & lighting at Furbish Studio >


Leave a Comment

Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Montage

ARTmonday: Jenny Prinn

I noticed last week that Jenny Prinn, who describes herself as “mommy, artist, and stylist,” started following StyleCarrot on Instagram. (I’ve been trying to beef up my account, so I hope you’ll give me a follow too.)  When I clicked through to Jenny Prinn’s Instagram, I was thrilled to discover that she’s a Maine artist whose work I’d admired on Serena & Lily

Jenny Prinn’s abstracts are colorful and uplifting. Some are truly abstract; others are abstracted landscapes. Her statement says she is “intrigued by the fleeting moments and feelings in life that are often overlooked or forgotten.” She creates “the small pulsing, transient moments and sensations that strike deep within our core for just a moment and then are gone.” She works in acrylic and mixed media on canvas.

The artwork is beautiful, and the prices accessible. Most of these are still (at the moment) available for purchase. (I may need one for the Delray Beach condo.)




 Ebb 2


 Sunday Morning 3


Bayview 1


Dusk 5




Confections 1


Winter’s Mix




Jenny Prinn Venetian Beads

Venetian Beads


Morning Commute


Little Footsteps 2


I’d love to visit Jenny Prinn’s studio.

*            *           *

Find still life, landscape, and abstract art at Serena & Lily >

Shop Serena & Lily Art Collection

1 Comment

Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Art Monday

Sunday Bouquet: Zinnias & Books


Zinnias in clear glass vases,
made even more colorful placed in front of bookshelves.

Photographer unknown. If you know the source, please send a note.

*             *            *

Shop classic (and colorful) home decor at Serena & Lily >


1 Comment

Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Sunday Bouquet

Saturday Say It: A Hot Mess


“He said, ‘Your hair is so wonderfully disheveled.’
I thought, ‘You should see the inside of me.’”
From photographer Cig Harvey’s visual autobiography,
You Like At Me Like An Emergency

*             *           *

Shop home furnishings at Furbish Studio >


Leave a Comment

Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Saturday Say It

Style Right Now: 32 Coats Worn As Capes

For a few years now, bloggers have been writing about how fashion editors don’t exactly wear their coats; rather, these slaves to fashion drape said coat over their shoulders. This may well be the influence of Jenna Lyons (see last Friday’s post: “Jenna Lyons’ Signature Over the Shoulders Look“). I wonder if these ladies find it annoying (though at least not painful like heels). Can one make decent progress on a city street wearing a coat as a cape? Or is the coat constantly sliding off? I may just try it out, but not until (if) the weather gets warmer. I’m thinking a full-length Patagonia puffer isn’t exactly the look we’re trying to achieve.














Elina Halimi at Alberta Ferretti


















*            *            *

Shop classic looks at Need Supply Co. >

1 Comment

Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Style Right Now

Site Spotlight: Hunter’s Alley

In late January, the team behind One Kings Lane launched a new venture, Hunters Alley. Hunter’s Alley is  an online resale marketplace that features one of a kind antique and vintage, handmade and crafted, and contemporary pre-owned items.

Individuals and professional vendors sell finds and designs which are lightly vetted. A specific seller and  his or her finds are highlighted daily up front, and users can follow sellers they like best. One can also “love” an item, causing the gray outline of a heart to fill in red, which is very satisfying. ”Top 10 Most-Loved” items are featured on the home page, pulled from the pieces with the highest number of “loves.”

Hunter’s Alley curators also pull together themed sales. Recent collections have included: “Space-Changing Art,” “Romantic Safari,” and “Handmade for Entertaining.” Prices start at $25, and new items are added every day at 10am ET. Each seller has a profile, with a bit about themselves, and the aggregate of their offerings.

The design is crisp and clean, much like OKL. The products are mostly silhouetted on a white background (though not all of them), and some tend to get a bit blurry when enlarged on the product page, but still, the good news is that it displays large enough to get a good sense of the item. There’s not a ton of items on there yet, but it’s still new, and there’s enough to make it worth a browse (and if you get lucky, a buy).

Hunter’s Alley has more personality than Dering Hall (though I love that site too), which skews somewhat closer to 1st Dibs (big fan, been browsing since its inception, though high prices means I’ve never bought). Given Hunter’s Alley more accessible price points and products, fun tone, and of course, the success of parent company One King’s Lane, it’s a definite hit.

Here are my current top picks on Hunter’s Alley:

Vintage Furnishings Decor Hunters Alley


1. Vintage Moroccan Rug/Wall Hanging, $850

2. Møller Danish Teak Side Chair Model 78, $499

3. Danish Modern Side Chair, $199

4. French Green Sunburst Double Espresso Cup, $36

5. Handmade Stoneware Salt Spoons, $20 

6. Bliss Framed Art Print by Kristi Kohut, $64

7. Handpainted Antler, $98

8. Modernist Tripod Candlesticks, $45

9. Kaj Franck White Mushroom Bowl, $89

10. Mid-Century Blue Liquor Decanter, $85

*             *             *

Shop Burke Decor for classic modern furniture & accessories >



1 Comment

Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Site Spotlight

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.


 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.


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.

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 4.24.20 PM

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.


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.


Photo by James R. Salomon

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


Photo by James R. Salomon

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


Photo by StyleCarrot

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


Photo by James R. Salomon

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


Photo by James R. Salomon

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

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 4.24.27 PM

Photo by James R. Salomon

The railing is industrial steel and wire.

view-James R. Salomon-maine

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.

 *            *            *

Shop Tuckernuck for coastal style decor >


Leave a Comment

Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Design Diary