Tag Archives: Boston Globe Magazine

Design Diary: An Airy Kennebunkport Beach Retreat

I wrote about this airy Kennebunkport summer home on Goose Rocks Beach for the Boston Globe Magazine‘s Summer Living issue, published Sunday, June 18, 2017. Rob Whitten of Portland, Maine-based Whitten Architects designed the house and Nicki Bongiorno of Spaces Kennebunkport did the interiors. Photos by Trent Bell. (Some affiliate links included to help you source pieces you might love.)

Modern Beach House In Kennebunkport Maine

The interior is beachy and fresh with clean lines, done in a palette of sand, sea foam, and blues. The pearlized glass backsplash adds a touch of color, without stealing the spotlight from the view. “We tried to keep things blended, so nothing would stand out,” Bongiorno says.

View Of Atlantic Ocean From Maine Beach House

The starting point was to maximize views of the Atlantic Ocean. The hand block printed throw pillow covers are Kyoto by Serena & Lily.

Mudroom WIth Grey Tile And A View In Kennebunkport

Textured tiles by Walter Zanger runs from the front entry  back to the mudroom, in an effort to keep water and sand from straying onto the wood floors in the main living spaces. Shiplap painted in Benjamin Moore White Dove runs throughout.

Modern But Comfortable New England Beach House Living Room

Low-slung RH Modern sectionals are upholstered in Perennials indoor/outdoor fabrics, as are  the cushions on the built-in benches. The fireplace surround is bluestone.

Beach House Dining Room With Oak Table And Turquoise Chandelier

The oak dining table is RH Modern and the chairs are Janus et Cie indoor/outdoor, a perfect blend of modern lines, family friendly function, and comfort. The pair of Mini Diva glass disc pendants by Regina Andrews are the wife’s favorite part of the decor.

Bunk Room In Beach House Kennebunkport Maine

A nautical-style bedroom has two sets of built-in bunk beds trimmed with edge-grain fir with a clear finish.

Game Room With Ping Pong Table

Under the eaves of the table tennis cum, Whitten added built-in trundle beds. Those drawers aren’t for socks, they hold mattresses! The glossy white West Elm console tables with blue acrylic adjustable swivel stools are great for arts & crafts projects on rainy days.

Serene Bedroom WIth Ocean View In Maine

The master bedroom is an oasis that’s all about the ocean. I love the Seema Krish “Mahalaxmi” pillows, block-printed and embroidered by hand in India. (You can read about my visit to Krish’s former Boston studio here.) The soft blue Pine Cone Hill chambray duvet is cozy and doesn’t distract from the view. The raffia dresser is by Serena & Lily.

Neutral Clean Line Bathroom In Maine

The neutral master bath echoes look of the sandy beach. The custom floating oak vanity is topped with an Athens silver cream marble slab. The polished stainless steel Dorenbracht faucets have simple curves, as do the  RH polished chrome sconces. The taupey wall tile is also marble.

Modern Girls Bedroom In Turquoise With Swing

The couple’s seven-year-old daughter wanted a bedroom inspired by seaglass. The turquoise bed and turquoise-fronted nightstand are from Room & Board. It’s a queen size, with a twin-size trundle underneath so adult guests can sleep there. Yes, that’s the Melati hanging chair from Anthropologie, which happens to be on sale right now.

Beach House Boys Room With Ocean View And Lobster Theme

The nine-year-old boy’s requested a lobsters and buoys inspired bedroom. Those are real buoys hung above the bed.

Green & Blue Beach House Guest Bedroom

The guest room bed and nightstand are from Room & Board. An aqua Serena & Lily Pickstitch Matelassé quilt covers the bed.

Seaglass Inspired Beachy Bahroom

The round tiles in the guest bath shower—Glazzio Tile Moonstone Mosaic—were the first thing the homeowners decided on for the house. ir first decision were those round tiles. Seaglass knobs add a beachy touch to the vanity.

Modern House On Goose Rocks Beach In Maine

Whitten insisted on an expansive porch, which he considers the essence of coastal living. The exterior blends classic New England materials (cedar shingles) with contemporary ones (standing-seam metal roof). The homeowners love a contemporary aesthetic, but didn’t want to the house to stand out.

Landscape architect Emma Kelly collaborated with Whitten, adding ample storage under the porch. Lush plantings and a fire pit finish the property perfectly.

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Design Diary: Teen Blogger Gets a Makeover

I profiled the bedroom makeover of local teen influencer Alexa Curtis in the January 29th issue of the Boston Globe Magazine.

Curtis, who’s 19 and writes the affordable-lifestyle blog A Life in the Fashion Lane, came to her 500-square-foot North End one-bedroom apartment basically empty-handed, save for clothing and photos. Luckily she met designer Jenna-Lyn Croteau at the South End Open Market, who agreed to take on the project for a budget of less than $1,000.

Croteau, who’s 22, is a student at Boston Architectural College and the founder of the furniture restoration and design firm, Recycle Refinish Reuse. (She also assists the fabulously talented Alina Wolhardt of Wolf In Sheep Design, who just designed the new Flour Bakery.)

Jenna created Alexa’s white and gold look with a little money, lots of DIY finesse, and a handful of freebies Alexa was able to score in exchange for exposure on her blog.

Teen Blogger Alexa Curtis' Apartment Makeover - Bedroom

Photo by Samara Vise for the Boston Globe

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Alexa loves to display photos of her friends. Jenna clipped Polaroids of Alexa’s travels around Europe, including the Cannes Film Festival, to three rows of linen string above the campaign style nightstand. There are more snapshots tucked into a holder on the other wall, next to four enlarged photos in frames bought on clearance from HomeGoods that Jenna painted white. The Soho cityscape above the bed is from Minted, by Austin-based photographer Kaitlin Rebesco.

Jenna transformed aa 50-cent vase from the Salvation Army with gold spray paint. Croteau made a wall-hung headboard from plywood, foam, and quilted fabric. She even made the covered buttons. She has her own table saw, jigsaw, sander, and drill in her home workshop.

Ethan Allen supplied the bedding and throw pillows. (White bedding was a must since Alexa use the bed as a background for photographing outfits.) The diamond-pattern throw is from Walmart, and the Moroccan-style rug from Wayfair.

The tufted leatherette chair with nailhead trim was a splurge that Jenna found on Craigslist for $100; definitely their biggest purchase. Room & Board provided the black sheepskin pillow. The curtains are from Ikea; the rods were already there when Alexa moved in.

Teen Blogger Alexa Curtis' Apartment Makeover - Work Space

Photo by Samara Vise for the Boston Globe

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Jenna set up Alexa’s workspace on the other side of the bedroom. Responding to one of Alexa’s inspiration photos, Jenna made the desk by placing the top of an old trunk on the legs from two stools. A piece of found glass lets Curtis display snapshots underneath.

The Herman Miller fiberglass desk chair was a roadside find that was orange and very scratched up until Alexa primed and spray painted the seat white and the legs gold.

Jenna spotted the sparkly gold @ symbol at T.J.Maxx, which became the starting point for the art wall, which includes a print from Alexa’s dad and a pineapple print from Minted.

Alexa purchased the tall, mirrored chest from Overstock. Jenna revamped the dark metal honeycomb frame of an $8 mirror from the Salvation Army with white paint.

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Foodie Friday: 17 Naked Wedding Cakes

Boston Globe Magazine Wedding Cakes

Marni Elyse Katz/StyleCarrot

The Boston Globe Magazine    January 15, 2016

I put together a page of naked wedding cakes for the Boston Globe Magazine Weddings issue last month that I think turned out beautifully. So many local vendors sent me images of their gorgeous cakes, so I wanted to share the overflow here. I love the look of these restrained confections, though I admit, to me, the frosting is the best part when it comes to eating.

Naked Wedding Cake By Flour(ish) Bakery Boston

Amy Spirito Photography

Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and dusted with confectioner’s sugar by Flour(ish) Bake Shoppe, Beverly, Mass. Decorated with fresh apricots, blackberries, raspberries and greenery.

Naked Wedding Cake By Mayflour Confections Boston

Henry + Mac

Coconut cake with strawberries and rhubarb by Mayflour Confections, Rockport, Mass. Flowers from Marc Hall Design.

Naked Wedding Cake Delicious Desserts Cape Cod

KML Photography

Torted apple spice cake and caramel cream filling by Delicious Desserts, East Falmouth, Mass.  Decorated with fresh succulents by Courtney’s Floral Creations and placed on a custom made rustic wood box. Decor and planning by Pink Polka Dot Events; wedding at Bourne Farm.

Naked Wedding Cake By Mayflour Confections Boston

Dylan M. Howell Photography

Funfetti cake by Mayflour Confections, Rockport, Mass. Flowers by Boston Pollen; party design by Lauren S. Wells.

Naked Wedding Cake By Mayflour Confections Boston

Kelly Dillon Photography

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting by Mayflour Confections, Rockport, Mass. Decorated with herbs and greens by Petal Floral. Wedding design by MStarr Design.

Naked Wedding Cake Boston

Katie Noble Photo

Cake by Greggory’s Pastry Shop, Hadley, Mass.

Naked Wedding Cake By Sweet Indulgences Boston

Cake by Sweet Indulgences, Cranston Rhode Island. 

Naked Wedding Cake Mayflour Confections Boston

Deborah Zoe Photography

Lemon yellow pound cake with blackberry puree and lavender buttercream filling and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream frosting by Jenny’s Wedding Cakes. Decorated with fresh blueberries, spray roses, ivy, sweet pea, spirea, and ranunculus by Les Fleurs.

Naked Wedding Cake Peppers Catering Boston

Kelly Dillon Photography

Cake by Peppers Artful Events, Northborough, Mass. Decorated with flowers by Becca Olcott.

Naked Wedding Cake Katie Made Bakery Portland Maine

Melissa Robotti Photography

Chocolate cake with white buttercream frosting and caramel drizzle by Katie Made Bakery, Portland, Maine. Decorated with French macaroons and fresh flowers by Emily Carter Floral Designs. Event design and planning by L.Brook Events.

Naked Drizzle Cake By Oh Miss Kate

Kate Arabatzis/Oh Miss Kate

Vanilla cake with the cardamom whipped cream filling, cream cheese frosting, and chocolate ganache drizzle by Oh Miss Kate. 

Naked Wedding Cake By Cakes To Remember In Boston

Sour cream pound cake filled with fresh raspberries, tart lemon mousse with lemon buttercream frosting by Cakes to Remember. Decorated with fresh strawberries, raspberries, flowers, succulents, and sugar leaves.

Naked Wedding Cake With Figs By Mayflour Confections Boston

Hello Love Photography

Marble cake with mocha buttercream by Mayflour Confections, Rockport, Mass. Decorated with fresh flowers and figs.

Naked Wedding Cake Morin Catering Boston

Lens CAP Productions

Funfetti cake with buttercream frosting by Russell Morin Catering & Events, Attleboro, Mass.

Naked Wedding Cake Party Favors Boston

Sabrina Baloun Photography

Gold cake with chocolate mouse and fresh raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream icing by Party Favors, Brookline, Mass. Decorated with fresh flowers and topper by Alexis Mattox Design from Party Favors.

Naked Wedding Cake By Flour(ish) Bakery Boston

Amy Spirito Photography

Vanilla almond cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting and decorated with fresh wildflowers by Flour(ish) Bake Shoppe, Beverly, Mass. 

Naked Wedding Cake The French Sisters New Hampshire

Sarah Jayne Photography

Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting by The French Sisters Bakery, Littleton, New Hampshire. Decorated with a fresh garden roses and ranunculus by Apotheca Flower Shoppe. Planning by All the Fuss Events.

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Montage: 24 Bathrooms With Trough Sinks

For one of last summer’s Boston Globe Magazine home issues, I wrote about a family friendly house in Scraggy Neck on the Cape with all sorts of fun, beachy features, including a bunk room and a kids bathroom with an oversize trough sink. In addition to its extra large size (I think there are five kids, plus plenty of cousins) and cobalt color, the mom loved that the trough sink hasn’t any counters to muss up.

Trough sinks have an industrial feel often associated with schools or art studios. They’re heavy duty, normally mounted to the wall, though some have legs. I think they’re historically made of cast iron, but I’m sure modern models are also fabricated in other materials. Trough sinks are deep and can be extra-long, accommodating two or even three faucet sets, which make them especially good for kids bathrooms. Of course trough sinks make great utility sinks in a laundry room or mud room too.

Here are 24 bathrooms with trough sinks in all a variety of colors (a red trough sink, a chartreuse trough sink, trough sinks in various shades of blue) as well as  an abundance of black trough sinks. Some are indeed in kids’ bathrooms, others are in bathrooms with old time-y, industrial chic, Brooklyn-y vibe.

trough-sink-godrich-interiors

Godrich Interiors

trough-sink- Elizabeth Roberts-brooklyn-remodelista

Interior designer Elizabeth Roberts own Brooklyn brownstone  •  Remodelista

trough-sink-and-green-leafy-wallpaper

Hannotte Interiors

trough-sink-Aaron-Hojman's-Casa-Zinc

Aaron Hojman  •  Casa Zinc

trough-sink-black-with-yellow-BHG

Better Homes & Gardens

trough-sink-boston-globe

Boston Globe Magazine

trough-sink-schoolhouse-sink-hgtv-hand-me-down-house

HGTV Magazine

trough-sink-black-kimberly-renner

Kimberly Renner

trough-sink-triple-by-rafterhouse

Rafterhouse

trough-sink-blue

unidentified

trough-sink-nautical-style-house-beautiful

House Beautiful

trough-sink-ouse in Floreat by Craig Sheiles Homes and Mick Rule

Floreat by Craig Sheiles Homes and Mick Rule OR Esplanade Residence by Emilie Bédard and Maria Rosa Di Ioia

trough-sink-Melbourne home of Simone Haag, via thedesignfiles.net. Photos by Sean Fennessy.

Melbourne home of  interior stylist Simone Haag
The Design Files  •  Photo by Sean Fennessy

trough-blue-kids-carla-lane-interiors

Carla Lane Interiors

trough-sink-turquoise-bathroom

unidentified

trough-grey-scavullo-design

Scavullo Design

trough-sink-chartreuse

Upscale Construction

trough-sink-doodle-wallpaper

unidentified

trough-powder-room-kohler

Kohler

trough-sink-grey-industrial

unidentified

trough-sink-country-living

Country Living

trough-sink-terracotta

Terracotta Design Build

trough-sink-hecker-guthrie

Hecker Guthrie

trough-sink-mini

unidentified

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Design Diary: Karen Swanson Masters Small House Living

New England Design Works kitchen and bath designer Karen Swanson is a master at small house living. She owns this perfect little house in Manchester, Massachusetts which I wrote about for Boston Globe Sunday Magazine “Small Spaces” home issue on June 7, 2015 in an article called “Party of Three,” photographed by James R. Salomon.

Swanson lives in this cedar shingled, 1,200-square-foot home (exactly 600-square feet on the top and 600-square feet on the bottom) with her daughter and son after downsizing from a 3,300-square foot place across town last spring. Swanson bought the house from an older gentleman, and it was kind of a disaster, with racoons under the floor, which was lumpy, but Jim O’Neill of O’Neill Fine Building squared her away.

As a kitchen and bath designer, she is adept at efficiently fitting everything one needs into the available space, which came in pretty handy. Small house living is a snap for Swanson. She says, “There were absolutely no compromises.”

karen-swanson-DR-LR-wall-mural

That’s not to say there weren’t challenges to laying out the small house. The front door wouldn’t have closed if the sofa was even an inch longer. She chose the Bantam sofa from DWR not just for its length, but because it isn’t too deep, but it’s still comfortable. The Martini side table in antique brass from West Elm can be moved easily where needed. One of the great things about a smaller home, she says, is that she sees her kids a lot more.

karen-swanson-dining-room-mural

The wall with the mural is the first thing one sees upon entering, so Swanson knew she wanted to make a statement on it. She originally imagined concocting a backlit forest scene based on the one in the restaurant at MoMA, but it proved too tricky. When she spotted this Kenneth James wallpaper mural at local design shop Watters & Brown, and realized the five strips that comprise the mural was the same size as her wall, she decided it was fate. Plus, at $350 she figured she could change it if and when she tired of it.

The oak table is Ethnicraft from Boston design store Lekker and the red chairs are the Sabrina chairs by Casprini purchased from Room & Board.”Red’s my favorite color,” Swanson says, “so they were perfect.” Plus, since they’re so light (they’re actually indoor/outdoor plastic chairs), they’re not difficult to wrangle when she has extra folks for dinner and it’s necessary to move furniture around to accommodate everyone.

The ceramic work artwork is by Next Step Studio, which Swanson discovered at the AD Home Show. Wall mirror from West Elm.

karen-swanson-kitchen-pantry

The galley kitchen is only 75-square feet but Swanson has all the storage she needs, and it looks beautiful. Despite the kitchen’s small size, it was  wide enough to make the cabinets on one side 30-inches deep (vs. the standard 24-inches deep). This made all the difference, especially for bulky items such as pots and pans, which all fit in one drawer. (Scroll down for the kitchen layout.) The floor-to-ceiling pantry also houses the toaster and microwave. She opted for a full size Wolf oven knowing she’d regret it if she went with a smaller model.

karen-swanson-kitchen-fridge

This is the kitchen wall one sees upon entering, and it’s visible from the living room, so it was important that it look good. The lift-up cabinets, which are 18-inches deep, store the food processor, stock pot, slow cooker, and such.The fridge is a 27-inch wide SubZero with two freezer drawers, which she adores. The cabinetry is painted maple and the pulls are from local hardware showroom Raybern.

karen-swanson-kitchen-backsplash-trough

The first design element Swanson chose for the house were the Walter Zanger glass tiles from Tile Showcase for the backsplash. The countertop is white Silestone. An inset stainless steel troughs holds wine, oil, cutting boards, and sometimes plants.

karen-swanson-kitchen-backsplash-2

In order to ensure she’d have ample counter space in her small kitchen, Swanson decided on a two-burner induction cooktop. The stainless steel shelf holds all the everyday dishes and mugs, plus some food storage containers. Both the shelf and trough were fabricated at Weiss Sheet Metal, the same place that fabricated Julia Child’s kitchen now installed at the Smithsonian.

karen-swanson-kitchen-oven-sink

Swanson used a sink with an integrated drain board so that it could be centered on the window ,even though the sink base is not. This allowed her to squeeze an 18-inch dishwasher to the right of the sink.

karen-swanson-kitchen-shelf

White pendant light from Rejuvenation. Shelf from West Elm. Artwork from the local Montserrat College sidewalk sale. Polka dot Roman shade made from Scion fabric purchased at The Martin Group in the Boston Design Center.

karen-swanson-orla-kiely-wallpaper

Orla Kiely wallpaper (also from The Martin Group)  covers the master bathroom, which also functions as the first floor powder room. She designed the vanity for optimum storage, taking into consideration the variety of sizes of bathroom items, like soap, deodorant, and Band-Aid boxes. She placed the sink off center in order to maximize counter space.

karen-swanson-bathroom-vanity

The right side houses three drawers, each a different depth and the left side is a cabinet made to look like drawers in order to match the other side for a neat, symmetrical appearance.

karen-swanson-master-bedroom

The master bedroom is on the first floor; sliders open to the deck and backyard.Playing off the citrus hue of recently reupholstered 1940s chairs from local consignment shop Stock Exchange, Swanson used inexpensive yellow polka dot fabric from Calico Corners for the draperies. The Tripod table from West Elm, was previously used in her daughter’s room as a desk. She sometimes works here if the kids are watching television in the living room.

karen-swanson-bathroom-with-laundry

The kids bath on the second floor doubles as the laundry room. A fiberglass shower unit was originally wedged under the sloped ceiling. Swanson swapped it for a washer and dryer cleverly concealed by sliding barn-style doors. The oil painting, from local consignment shop Stock Exchange, pictures a pink house on the road to Plum Island in Newburyport, Mass.

karen-swanson-exterior-red-door

The oil-rubbed bronze finish of the new Anderson windows works nicely with the exterior trim, painted Benjamin Moore Gropius Grey, without being an exact match. The landscaping and back deck were already in place, along with creeping hydrangea on the rock ledge. The gravel yard means no lawn to mow. The persimmon front door hints at what’s to come. Swanson says, “I love that the house is subtle on the outside but inside there’s an explosion of color.”

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