Tag Archives: Boston Globe Magazine

Design Diary: Scandinavian Style Kitchen Renovation by Helios Design Group

I write a lot of one page design columns for Boston Globe Magazine. This one, published last fall with photos by Jared Kuzia, is one of my favorites. A restaurant industry couple hired Ariel Roth of Boston-based architecture and interior design firm, Helios Design Group, to renovate their kitchen in Jamaica Plain in a simple Scandinavian style, with an eye on the budget.

Roth started by moving the exterior door to the patio (and swapping it out for a full glass version that lets in light) in order to fit cabinetry and a new Wolf range with red knobs on a previously blank wall. Speckled penny tiles from Discover Tile are a fun touch that add a bit of color and interest. Love the inky blue walls? It’s Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue. The color allows the cabinets to stand out.

Speaking of kitchen cabinetry, Roth collaborated with local eco-friendly business Boston Building Resources on the cabinetry design, and donated the old cabinets to them for repurposing. The surface of the cabinets are done in simple white laminate, moments of exposed plywood edges, as well as the modern cut-outs in place of hardware, make them interesting. Roth says, “The plywood accents developed as we went along. The homeowners were into it, so at one point had exposed all the edges. Ultimately we pulled back and use plywood edge accents.”

Scandinavian Style Kitchen Renovation Helios Boston

Photo by Jared Kuzia

The homeowners initially fell in love with a $2,000 light fixture, but it just didn’t fit into the budget, so they decided on this acrylic orb. It’s the Bel Occhio 16 pendant lamp by Pablo Designs.

The Compass dining table from CB2 designed by Ceci Thompson  has an engineered wood high-gloss lacquered top and a glossy powder-coated, radial-shaped steel base. The red molded plastic chairs with wood legs are less expensive versions of the Eames fiberglass shell chair by Herman Miller.

While you’re down there, check out the floors. Roth used Avenue 12-by-12 cork tiles from APC Cork. This makes a lot of sense since it’s low maintenance and easy on the feet (they spend a lot of time in here). It also brings in an element of warmth.

Scandinavian Style Kitchen Renovation Helios Boston

Photo by Jared Kuzia

The above photo shows the rest of the sink wall. Roth enlarged the window to let in lots more light. You’ll notice that some of the kitchen cabinets are door-less, specifically in spots that are harder to access. These cubby-style cabinets are lined in charcoal Formica. The countertop is a quartz composite. “It’s a plane of solid grey that looks pretty with the cabinets,” Roth says.

Scandinavian Style Kitchen Renovation Helios Boston

Photo by Jared Kuzia

The photo above shows the other side of the range, and the adjacent wall. The bookcase makes use of a shallow space—an existing chimney is right behind it. They reused their fridge, which is right next to the bookshelf, in case you’re wondering.

Scandinavian Style Kitchen Renovation Helios Boston

Photo by Jared Kuzia

The shallow shelf is perfect for cookbooks, and a makeshift bar.

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Design Diary: Living Room by Meredith Rodday

Boston area interior designer Meredith Rodday, who you may know from her blog View From My Heels, transformed this formal living room into a light and airy space. I wrote about it here, in a recent issue of Boston Globe Magazine. I’ve included more about Rodday’s design and sources below. Photo by Jessica Delaney.

White Living Room With Colorful Art By Boston Designer Meredith Rodday

Jessica Delaney Photography

“I’m not known for formal rooms,” Rodday told me. As such her signature style of light colors with a coastal touch, was just what the homeowners were looking for.

They started by painting the room Benjamin Moore “Navajo White” to tie it together with the home’s family room. Using the warm, creamy white as a base, Rodday added soft white upholstered and warm wood pieces, a dark grounding coffee table, and pretty artwork for a pop of color.

All the fireplaces in the home had awful green marble, which Rodday replaced with classic Cararra marble. The blue/grey veining is reflecting in the gray striations of the Restoration Hardware Nahla rug , which adds a touch of interest but keeps things neutral.

The Lee Industries sofa is upholstered in Serena & Lily washed linen in sand. The McGee & Co. Blaine armchairs have a wood frames with a driftwood finish that adds a bit of earthiness. The baluster profile and finish tie into the Arteriors Everett table. Its oxidized iron-clad surface and base connects with the dark color of the large cocktail table, custom covered in navy Phillip Jeffries Juicy Jute grasscloth.

“The room is very large,” Rodday says, “We needed an anchor on the fireplace, which is off-center, and this worked well.” The Visual Comfort Morris chandelier with polished nickel finish further establishes the center of the seating area, without blocking the artwork.

The colorful artwork cements the focal point for the seating area and is the jumping off point for the accessories which bring color into the room. The piece is “Sapling Grove” by Peter Batchelder, an oil on canvas from Powers Gallery in Acton, Mass.

The indigo leafy vine pattern of the Belgian linen drapery, Novella by Massachusetts textile designer Ellisha Alexina, stands up to the painting without overwhelming it.

Rodday used the fabric for a throw pillow too. Other throw pillows include, from left to right, Susan Connor New York in Madu, Zak + Fox in Postage, Peter Dunham in Kashmir, and a cognac leather McGee & Co. pillow. The brushstroke lamp is by Jana Bek.

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Design Diary: Christmas Scheme by Marc Langlois

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.

Neutral Christmas Tree Decor Marc Langlois

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.

Mac Langlois Living Room

Photo by Michael J. Lee

M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S

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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

 

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

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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