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Design Diary: Boston Design Home’s Net Zero Energy House

Sunday is the last day to see Boston Magazine’s Design Home. This year, Design Home is a net-zero energy house, built, owned, and soon to be lived in, by real people. Homeowners Natalie and Tom Treat, along with Ridgeview Construction and National Grid, collaborated with Design Home to promote awareness of energy efficient design and raise money for Boston Children’s Hospital. (Tickets are $25, all of which goes to Boston Children’s Hospital.)

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The 2,400-square foot, single-family home in Salisbury, Massachusetts is a brand new modular construction designed by BrightBuilt Home. It features energy efficient building techniques and systems, as well as eco-friendly finishes and furnishings, all from local sources, overseen by architectural and interior designer Lisa Sivan Wasserman.

It’s the last weekend to take the tour and see the whole thing in person. Here’s a preview of some of the spaces, along with decor details you won’t find anywhere else. (I wrote all the copy for the Design House again this year, so I’ve got plenty of extra scoop. If you’re more interested in the energy efficiency aspect, let me know, as I’ve got a lot of information on that as well, and can direct you to the experts.)

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In the entry, gray slate tile bridges the exterior and interior and requires minimum maintenance. Sunlight streams through the cut in the family room wall. The elephant mahogany console table on curvilinear steel base, is by Ray Bachand of 60nobscot, and the vintage rug is from Landry & Arcari, which provided the rugs in every room.  The Walsingham Gallery in Newburyport provided the artwork throughout the house, often done by local artists depicting local subjects. This seascape in oil is by Robert Bolster.

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To the right, the reclaimed antique wood bench with sleek acrylic legs is also from 60nobscot. Low VOC paint from Benjamin Moore was used throughout.

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Lynn Dayton of Dayton Home, a home furnishings shop in Wellesley, decorated the family room. Dayton was inspired by natural woods, minerals, grasses and stone. She used natural linen on the windows to reflect the commitment to organic. Plus, they allow for privacy but also light and heat.  (Dayton supplied the fabrics for the window treatments, which were sewn by Adorna, a local to the trade custom workroom.)  Sofa is by Wesley Hall and glass table lamp Arteriors Home.

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The sunroom was an add-on that will make the Treats feel like they’re in the New Hampshire woods, right in their backyard. Low maintenance indoor/outdoor furniture from Yankee Fireplace. I love the unfinished beadboard cathedral ceiling.

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The upstairs palette is much lighter, and the vibe more relaxed. A vegetable-dyed, hand-spun wool rug in seafoam green with a terracotta lotus tree pattern from Landry & Arcari provides soft color on the floor. The reclaimed wood flooring throughout was supplied by Jewett Farms + Co. Upstairs they used wide planks of live sawn old growth white oak. The landscape paintings, Darlou Gams‘ diptych “Morning” and “Breezing Marsh,” reinforce the dreamy feel, and a pair of vintage rattan stools found on eBay add texture.

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The child’s bedroom, designed by Emily Lacouture of NOW Interiors, a design studio and retail shop in Acton, is playful and sophisticated. The patchwork quilt with animal spine pattern is handmade by a RISD-trained artist Meg Callahan. The stump side table is locally made chainsaw art by Vermont craftsman Barre Pinske and the wooly llama foot stool is by Eli Parker. The life size baby giraffe sculpture by Ocean Sole is made out of flip flops retrieved and recycled from the beaches of Kenya.

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On the other side of the room, an abstract cityscape by Boston artist Beatrice Dauge-Kaufman and an on-trend polished copper spotlight sits on a glossy black console.

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LaCouture also decorated the guest room, in which she used a hand-painted 1960s vintage folding screen from France as a headboard. The reclaimed wood bench at the foot of the bed is an nice juxtaposition to the smooth pale wood Fan chair by Tom Dixon, which is a contemporary take on the classic Windsor chair. That chunky, handknit throw is delicious.

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The master bedroom palette is soft and soothing. Kerry Vaughan of Red Bird Trading Company in Newburyport decorated the room, using a statement making, Phillip Jeffries Driftwood grasscloth-covered four-poster bed by Lee Industries as its centerpiece. A diamond quilted linen coverlet and white linens keeps the palette perfectly pared down, while a locally made linen throw with velvet backing, mohair and velvet throw pillows, and lamp shades custom made in Maine from marbleized paper add a touch of texture and color. The nailhead trim bench, covered in cotton velvet is also Lee Industries. The room is grounded by a wool and silk rib rug in a lustrous gray from Landry & Arcari.

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A narrow grasscloth covered console table doubles as a vanity, accessorized with a swirly distressed wood mirror.

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The children’s room and guest room share the spa-like blue and white bathroom that opens off the upstairs hall. The space saving vanity is from Peabody Supply Company; its bottom drawer and storage shelf supplement the narrow linen closet next to the shower. Accessories fromNOW Interiors, such as the rattan mirror and aqua striped Turkish towel reinforce the bath’s coastal vibe. Both this and the master bath feature radiant flooring, an energy saving alternative to baseboard heaters.

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Kerry Vaughan of Red Bird Trading conjured an artist’s atelier as inspiration. The décor, like that elsewhere in the home, draws from natural elements and sticks to the spirit of using locally made and reworked pieces. An extra long sectional by Lee Industries is upholstered in heavily textured, oyster white Belgian linen, and sits on an overdyed Turkish rug. Above is an industrial style raw brass light fixture.

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Under the eaves is a recycled cot from Maine, covered in cowhide.

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Another area features a drafting table.

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Coastal Windows & Exteriors provided the home’s triple pane argon windows, which reduce solar gain from the sun in summer and prevent heat from escaping in winter. The 27 Sunbug Solar panels on the roof will generate at least as much power as the home uses each year. The Treats expect to have saved enough on energy bills to compensate for the cost of their panels within four to five years. An electric circuit monitor by PowerWise will gather data about how much electric the home’s lighting, appliances, etc. consumes, so they can analyze where to cut back and where waste might be occurring.

Michael J. Lee Photography

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S H O P  the P O S T

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Get the Look: 20 Modern Outdoor Planters

We have two bluestone patios right outside our house on the Cape; one in the front, and a smaller one in the back. The back one faces a little rose garden, meant to echo the larger rose garden “up the hill,” as we say, at my in laws house. Theirs was planted in honor of my husband’s grandmother, Florine. Unlike the front garden, in which I only allow white and blue/purple flowers (yes, the guy who plants the flowers and helps weed thinks I’m crazy), the back garden has yellow roses, coral roses, and violet roses. (I had the pink ones replanted at my in laws because the color was annoying me.)

I had always planned to do low, long modern planters on the perimeter of the bluestone patio in the back, which is outside the guest rooms. Instead, that patio is sad and deserted (except for the roses, of course). My brother-in-law is getting married in Provincetown this summer (to a woman, just in case you’re wondering, given the locale), and much of the bride’s family will be staying at the house. This has motivated me to once again start thinking about enhancing the patios with modern planters.

While the funky, colorful ones are fun, they’re not really right. We’ll need minimalist planters with clean lines, planted with architectural forms, I think. No floppy pink pansies in terracotta troughs allowed. I’m thinking succulents and spiky grasses. I already grow some herbs in a vegetable garden (with our lone vegetable—or fruit rather—cherry tomatoes).

As for the front patio, given the lounge chairs and the view, we’re all set. Maybe the entry porch could use a pair of medium-sized planters as a welcome. Maybe brightly colored, planters could work there. Of course I’ll have to order all of this online; local garden shops only carry the usual traditional style planters. Yawn.

Here are 20 modern outdoor planters, most of which will work indoors too.

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S H O P P I N G

Shop modern planters from StyleCarrot partner sites.

1. Greenbo Fiorina Planter Case

2. Arteriors Home Huntley Round Cachepot Planter

3. Barnacle Cube Pot

4. Case Study Cylinder Planter with Stand

5. Boskke Cube Planter

6. Capital Garden Products Geo Cube Planter

7. Raised Teak Trough Planter

8. Bloem Modica Planter

9. Pad Outdoor POD Aluminum Planter Ver 1.0

10. Planterworx Home Element Planter

11. Modernica Case Study 3 Bowl Plant Stand

12. Greenbo XL Designer Rail Planter

13. Wooly Pocket Planter

14. Hip Haven Retro Bullet Planter

15. Round Brushed Stainless Steel Burgdorf Planter

16. Cyan Design Box Woody Planter

17. Sunscape Cedar Square Planter

18. Steel Life Matchstick Planter Stand

19. Planterworx Home Element Rectangular Planter

20. Wallter Wall Planter

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Modern accessories for indoors & out >

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Get the Look: 16 Capiz Shell Pendants & Chandeliers

Following up on yesterdays 18 Rooms with Capiz Shell Pendants & Chandeliers, you might be thinking of buying one for yourself. Did any of the applications change your mind about how you think of the look? Not so kitschy, correct?

Here are 16 different capiz shell pendants & chandeliers to consider hanging in your home, above the dining table, bathtub, or stairwell. I love the gray. And of course, I’d never turn down a piece designed by Verner Panton. Most of these capiz shell lamps are quite affordable, hailing from Horchow, West Elm, and similar stores.

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S H O P P I N G

1. Capiz Shell Chandelier

2. Dolce Capiz Shell Chandelier

3. Arteriors Home Southampton Shell Chandelier

4. Rectangular Bronze Capiz Chandelier

5. Round Grey Capiz Pendant

6. Oly Studio Serena Chandelier

7. Large Rectangular Capiz Pendant

8. Alessandra Capiz Shell Chandelier

9. Handcrafted Capiz Light in Tide Pool

10. Verner Panton Fun 11 Pendant 

11.  Verner Panton Fun 1 Pendant

12. Dripping Capiz Chandelier

13. Capiz Round Pendant

14. Worlds Away Capiz Shell Chandelier

15. Aurora Capiz Shell Chandelier

16. Island Paradise Capiz and Topaz Pendant

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Shop lighting at Switch Modern >

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Get the Look: 48 Pendant Lights Perfect for Hallways

Following up on yesterday’s post Montage: 28 Hallways With Pendants, I’ve rounded up 48 pendant lights that are perfect to use in succession in long (or short) hallways. Good lighting definitely works to improve home ambiance and helps keeps moods lifted, especially in these dark winter months. (As much as I loved Copenhagen, I suppose it’s best I don’t live in Scandinavia.)

I tend to refer to our downstairs as a dungeon (we live on the parlor and lower levels, so to speak), but at least the lower levels house the bedrooms. Thankfully the living room, where my desk (and work sofa!) is has a large bay window that looks onto a lovely urban view of historic buildings, and right now, trees with  lingering red and gold leaves. The ceiling is also rather low, so likely I’ll have to go with flush or semi-flush mount fixtures, but I wanted to provide you with an array of pendants that would enliven more prominent (or humdrum but high) hallways.

Cuing off the styles in yesterday’s post, you can see that pretty much any style of pendant can work. I think I’ve sourced a few of all the examples shown: wicker pendants, copper & brass pendants, schoolhouse pendants, industrial cage pendants, colorful and all black dome pendants, classic lanterns, geo faceted pendants, simple drum pendants, glass pendants (including swirly Murano glass styles), capiz shell pendants, Moroccan style star pendants, globe pendants, and the ever trendy bare bulb fixtures. Inspired yet?

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S H O P P I N G

Shop modern pendant lights from StyleCarrot partners and others. 

1 Udaipur Jute Pendant

2 Cabrillo Wicker Pendant

3 Basket Pendant

4 Beehive Pendant 

5 Axis Collection Mini Pendant 

6 Tiered Lukas Pendant

7 Tamburo Pendant with Stone Copper Foil Glass

8 Baltimore Pendant

9 Rose City Classic Schoolhouse Pendant

10 Buenos Aires Pendant

11 Academy Large Pendant

12 Silver Wire Barrel Pendant

13 Watch Out Pendant

14 Industrial Pendant

15 Work Lamp

16 Unfold Pendant Lamp

17 BB1 Aluminum Pendant

18 Spinning Pendant Lamp

19 MiniSun Curva Dome Ceiling Pendant Light 

20 Tom Dixon Beat Light Pendant

21 BL9M Pendant 

22 Fitzjames Lantern

23 Lucy Collection Pendant

24 Savannah Pendant

25 Knox Frosted Glass Pendant

26 Satori Collection Pendant

27 Tenley Faceted Pendant

28 Penelope Collection Pendant 

29 Fisher Island Merlot Bronze Drum Pendant 

30 Oilo Cylinder Pendant

31 Leone Metallic Glass Pendant

32 Flux Smoke Glass Vintage Pendant

33 Long Lafitte Celadon Seeded Glass Pendant

34 Traditional Shape Glass Pendant Lamp

35 Mulinello Pendant

36 Belle Opal Fusion Jack LED Mini Pendant

37 Meg  Murano Handmade Glass Pendant Lamp

38 Mini-Monty Blue Mini Pendant

39 Capiz Shell Globe Pendant 

40 Fun 1DM Capiz Shell Pendant

41 Star Capiz Shell Pendant

42 Mirrored Star Pendant

43 Battery-Powered Paper Lantern

44 Coral Light

45 C-U C-Me Globe Pendant 

46 NUD Pendant Light Cord

47 Bosonic Ceiling Lamp

48 Plumen Bulbs

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Get the Look: 30 Modern Candlesticks

I don’t actually light candles all that often (though my boys think it’s fun to have a fancy dinner with candlelight at home), but I seem to always be admiring candlesticks. I should at least make more effort to light candles on Shabbat! No reason (I don’t think) that I couldn’t use some fun, modern candlesticks instead of the traditional silver ones. Here are 30 candlesticks that will inspire me (and you) to add ambience into winter evenings.

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S H O P P I N G

1 Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler Elizabeth Wood-Trim Candle Holder 

2 Design by Conran Candlestick Holder

3 Pleated Candleholder

4 Totem Votive Set

5 Michael Graves Design Footed Candleholder

6 Valkand Candlestick

7 Areaware Reality by Harry Allen Candle Holder

8 Ladies & Gentlemen Homestead Candlesticks 

9 Jack Candleholder

10 Nappula Candlestick

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12 Lightbulb Candleholder

13 Blomus Brushed Stainless Steel Candlestick 

14 Jonathan Adler Candle Holder, Squirrel Candlestick

15 Arteriors Home Ainsworth Candle Holder

16 Orrefors Totem Balance Candlestick

17 Kate Spade New York Jules Point Candlestick

18 Orrefors Aviang Oval Candlestick

19 Ilse Crawford Ilse Candleholder, $140 at The Future Perfect. 

20 Georg Jensen Koppel Candlesticks

21 Iittala Alla Candle Holder

22 Nate Berkus Industrial Inspired Metal Candle Holder 

23 RabLabs Agate Candle Holders

24 Gideon Dagan Adam + Eve Candle Holders

25 Marimekko Loistava Candleholder 

26 Y’A Pas Le Feu Au Lac Les Perles Candleholder

27 Areaware Distorition Candlestick by Paul Loebach

28 Skagerak Dania Candlestick

29 Menu Weight Here Candleholder

30 Ferm Living Wine Bottle Candleholder


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