Tag Archives: Eric Roth

Fine Print: Erin Gates’ Elements of Style Book

Erin Gates sent me an advance copy of her new, very first design book, Elements of Style: Designing A Home & A Life. I’ve been browsing through it for the last couple of weeks, thoroughly enjoying the photos of the rooms she decorated for herself and clients, studying her style charts, and catching up on her life. The tone is easy, breezy, much like her blog, with plenty of personal tidbits interwoven through her design adventures and accomplishments.

Erin’s come a long way since I first met her, on assignment for Boston Globe Magazine in early 2009 after she sent me scouting shots of  the place she and Andrew rented in J.P. It landed her on the cover, and it’s still one of my favorite stories, not just because Erin and her house looked amazing (thanks Eric Roth for the excellent photos), but because Erin was full of enthusiasm and money saving tips.

Her blog and business have exploded and her design skills honed, while her excellent attitude and work ethic prevail. Congratulations Erin Gates!


Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life by Erin Gates
Available October 7, 2014 (Simon & Schuster) $22.14

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Photo by Michael Parteni

Erin’s used this buffet over and again. She bought it for $75 at an estate sale and painted the inside turquoise (you can see that iteration in Erin’s place in Jamaica Plain, which I wrote about for Boston Globe Magazine, March 2009.) She went orange for the South End. Now it’s lined with malachite wallpaper.

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Photo by Michael J. Lee

This is my favorite room. I’ve long been a sucker for a library dining room with Saarinen table and a fireplace. The sheepskin rugs nesle perfectly into those acrylic chairs from IKEA. The client stuffed the fireplace with little logs, which add some rustic texture; plus the circles are an excellent contrast to the stripes on the rug.

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Photo by Michael Partenio

A sunroom with violet ikat cushions on barley twist chairs and Buddha on custom made brass base.

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Photo by Michael J. Lee

Love this cerulean blue wall behind the banquette upholstered in the ever popular Chiang Mai print by Schumacher. Those Cherner chairs work well with the fabric’s twisting design and earthy colors.

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Erin provides some charts with formulas for achieving different styles.

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Erin’s favorite paint colors. You’ll have to buy the book to get the exact names. Ok, I’ll give you one: Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue.

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Photo by Michael Partenio

I love how despite the graphic black & white rug and bedding, Erin’s guest room is totally feminine. Pale pink walls (Benjamin Moore Blanched Coral), a starburst mirror, and mirrored side tables will do that. Swiss dots + a boho throw + Nordic rug + Hollywood Regency glam. And somehow it all works.

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Photo by Michael J. Lee

This bedroom is interesting too, with its tufted headboard, chocolate brown linens, Asian-themed toile wallpaper and fretwork bookshelves, plus a leopard print bench.



Photo by Sean Litchfield

Nursery with a black accent wall went viral on Pinterest.

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Photo by Michael J. Lee

Oh, this Madeline Weinrib rug again, this time in brown. It seems to work everywhere! (Tip: IKEA makes a black & white version.) I generally don’t like tan stone (only contractors do!) but Erin makes it work in this space where they’re stuck with it.

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 Photo by Sarah Winchester

Erin’s parents Connecticut home. I wrote all about her mom’s garden for Boston Globe Magazine, April 2013.

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Photo by Michael J. Lee

Erin and Andrew Gates with the doggies.

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G E T  the  L O O K

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Montage: Walk in Showers with Frameless Glass Partitions

Door or no door? There’s no question that a walk in shower is the way to go (nobody wants to climb over a tub), but do you do just a simple, frameless glass partition, or do you add a door?

I was just having this conversation with someone (though I don’t remember who), and she pointed out that it’s a lot less expensive if you skip the door, not just in terms of the glass, but the hardware and installation. There’s also the whole hassle of shower door seals.

A shower without a door is good for a smaller space. We used one when we renovated our master bath down in DC, and also in the guest bedroom on the Cape. You also need to consider the shape. We did a door in the master because it’s square. And of course, if you don’t like a breeze on your naked body.

The other option is to do a tile wall or half wall. Not sure how the pricing works out. I guess it’s a decent option for more modest folks, but it definitely closes in the space, whereas glass keeps everything light and open.

Here are 15 walk in showers with frameless glass partitions sans doors.




Silvio Rech + Lesley Carstens Architecture


Lori Pepe-Lunché  •  Design Sponge


Eric Roth Photography


Fabio Galeazzo Design


Minarc Design


John Granen Photography


Home of artist  Rory Dobner  •  Elle Decoration




Canadian House & Home






London loft of Hosh Ibrahim 


Architects Felipe Hess & Renata Pedrosa  •  Fran Parente Photography


Heath Tiles

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Design Diary: Liz Caan’s Dining Room

Last year I was lucky enough to write about a San Francisco home decorated by Palmer Weiss for the TRADHome “New Traditionalists” digital edition. This year the call was for kitchens and dining rooms for Traditional Home’s “Great Kitchens” digital mag. I submitted  the dining room of Newton, MA-based designer Liz Caan, and she won. The issue went live last month; I apologize for the delay. As you’ll see, it was worth the wait. Here are the images, photographed by the ever amazing Eric Roth, but be sure to click through to the digital mag too, for the full story, “An Appetite for Color;” starting on page 58. The  menu and invitation is by IOMOI. I’ll add credits for the gorgeous furnishings and tabletop pieces later today. My son is graduating from elementary school in an hour! Enjoy the photos. Update: Credits and links for Liz’s fabulous wares are now in place.

Liz Caan dining 2

Benjamin Moore “Temptation” paint  –  “Three Ball” lamp by Joe Cariati in Lavender Berry at Swank LightingMadeline Weinrib Greek key rug – Baker Furniture dining table – Hickory Chair “Chelsea” side chairs by Thomas O’Brien – Oly Studio “Sohpie” zebra chair   –  Dwell Studio yellow pillowRobert Allen yellow silk buffalo check drapery fabric – Arteriors Home “Zanadoo”  chandelier at Zinc Door

Liz Caan dining 4

Vintage cobalt blue goblets  –  Marc Blackwell wine goblets with gold trim  from Barney’s New York  –  Janus et Cie votive holder  –  Studio A “Bloom” candle holders

Liz Caan dining 5

Haviland “Laque de Chine “ amethyst charger  – Kate Spade “June Lane”  salad plate  –  Matouk “Mirasol” placemats  –  Sferra hemstitch napkins  –  Succulent pots from Winston Flowers  –  Gold daffodi planter  from Anthropologie

Liz Caan dining 6

Liz Caan dining 7

Liz Caan dining 3

Worlds Away “Wearstler” chest  – Juliska compotes  –  RabLabs “Espera” gold nut bowl  – Lunares tray

Liz Caan dining 8

 Worlds Away lacquer faux bamboo bar cart  –  “Three Ball” lamp by Joe Cariati in Lavender Berry at Swank Lighting – West Elm yellow lacquer box – Martini shaker from Target –  Blue & White Conatonware from Neiman Marcus – L’objet candle holders

Liz Caan dining 9

Liz Caan dining 10

Liz Caan dining 1

Global views silver hurricane lamps  –  Juliska “Harlette” covered urn  –  Carver’s Guild “Tuxedo” mirror


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Deck out your dining room. Shop Zinc Door.

Zinc Door Modern Gray Sofas


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Montage: 28 Modern Pools

Having been down to Delray Beach, Florida three times in the last three months, I’ve become pretty spoiled about having a pool right outside my front door. It may be a pool we share with ever-bobbing seniors, but the water is 90-degrees and it’s right outside our door (Oh, did I mention that already?) Over the weekend, I was enjoying the gorgeous weather in Boston thinking, “I wish I could go for a dip.” So not happening.

Summers for us are devoid of swimming pools too. The Outer Cape is known more for its beaches and kettle ponds than manmade watering holes. But if I could have a pool, I imagine a modern pool, a sleek strip alongside the house. Other pools I’ve enjoyed include the chichi pool at the Delano in South Beach, though I haven’t been since they first opened in the mid-’90s (hung poolside with Calvin and Kelly Klein, Barry Diller, David Geffen, and other A-listers that Thanksgiving weekend), and the very simple pool at a villa I stayed at in the outskirts of Florence. Pure and simple, surrounded by grass, where I enjoyed the best Caprese salad too. Enough reminiscing and onto daydreaming with this collection of mostly modern pools.


Kelly Klein’s Palm Beach getaway – Architectural Digest 


Studio William Hefner


Padraic Cassidy Architecture


“Pretty Beach House” vacation rental in Sydney, Australia


Bates Masi Architects


DVA Arhitekta


Anthony Exter Landscape Design  –  Sunset Magazine

Modern Pool New England Siemasko + Verbridge

Siemasko + Verbridge – Photographer Eric Roth-


Ong & Ong


Mell Lawrence Architects


Bates Masi Architects


Villa Mayavee in Phuket, Thailand  –  Tierra Design


Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

home-of-artists-Peter-and-Helen -Cole-Photo-Sean-Fennessy-styling-Lucy-Feagins-thedesignfiles

Home of artists Peter + Helen Cole  –  The Design Files
Photographer Sean Fennessy  –  Stylist Lucy Feagins


Topos Atelier de Arquitectura


Rui Ventura


BC Arquitectos


Photographer Richard Powers  –  Vogue Living Australia


Home of fashion designer Jenni Kayne  –  Architectural Digest -


Assadi + Pulido


Simljan Radic


Chen + Suchart Studio


Marie Laure Helmkampf


Isay Weinfeld Arquitetura



pool-Kaufmann-House-Palm Springs-Richard-Neutra

Kaufman Desert House, Palm Springs by Richard Neutra




Laplace & Co.

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Montage: 32 Interiors by Boston Designers, in Honor of Marathon Monday

Today’s post is in honor of the horrific explosions that occurred at the Boston Marathon finish line yesterday. (I live just a few blocks from that spot; thankfully my family and friends are safe.). I have pulled together an assortment of rooms designed by Boston interior designers. I’ve had the honor of working with all of them; these images are from stories I wrote over the years for various publications—Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Home, Stuff, and New England Home. And, of course, they were shot by our wonderful assortment of Boston-based photographers, and assigned by esteemed Boston editors, Anne Nelson, Veronica Chao, Rachel Slade, Brooke Foster, Erica Corsano, Paula Bodah, and Kyle Hoepner. Finally the homeowners–friends, neighbors, and others I’ve been privileged to meet, who have opened their gardens and homes to us.

After twelve years, Boston has become my home. It’s certainly my children’s home; they’ve lived here almost their entire lives. It’s been a wonderful time for us, free of tragedy after a very stressful few years in Washington, D.C. There for just a few years, but during both of my pregnancies, we suffered with the nation through 9/11, anthrax, and locally, the Sniper. I am sad that Boston has been marred by this tragedy now, on an iconic day. My thoughts are with the people who were hurt (and worse), and the little boy who lost his life too early. Thank you my friends who have been helping hold down the fort until I can get home, and thank you to my husband and his colleagues for their dedication.


Ana Donohue
New England Home


Lineage Restaurant – Alison Sheffield
Photographer Mike Diskin

annie-hall-s-+-h-kids room

Annie Hall – S+H Construction
Boston Globe Magazine


Brenda Be – Photographer Ben Gebo
Boston Globe Magazine

brad-walker-loft-kara-butterfield-jeff-osborne- Matt- KalinowskiI

Brad Walker, Ruhl Walker Architects
Photographed by Matt Kalinowski for Boston Home
Styled by Kara Butterfield & Jeffrey Osborne


Butz & Klug ArchitectureBoston Globe Magazine


Lisa Kreilling, LTK Interiors
Photographed by Trent Bell for Boston Home


Ritch Holben, Rh Design
Photographed by Keller + Keller for Boston Globe Magazine


Hacin + Associates – Photographer Clint Clemens
Boston Globe Magazine


Jeffrey Osborne, Hark + Osborne
Photographed by Josh Kuchinsky for Boston Globe Magazine


Karen Watson, Acorn Hill Design
Photographed by Diane Anton for Boston Globe Magazine


Joao Stefanon, JFS Design Studio
Boston Globe Magazine


Christine Tuttle – Photographer Eric Roth
New England Home


Robin PelissierBoston Globe Magazine


Erin Gates, Elements of Style
Photographed by Eric Roth for Boston Globe Magazine


Frank Roop – Photographer Eric Roth
Boston Globe Magazine


Duncan Hughes
Photographed by Eric Roth for Boston Home


LDa ArchitectureBoston Globe Magazine


Rachel ReiderBoston Globe Magazine

Andra-Birkerts 2

Avery True, Andra Birkerts Design
Boston Globe Magazine

700 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA; Stephanie Sabbe Interiors

Stephanie Sabbe
Photographed by Bob O’Connor for Boston Home


Shellie Donovan
Photographed by Eric Roth for Boston Globe Magazine


Kelly McGuill
Photographed by Eric Roth for Boston Globe Magazine


Andrew Terrat, Terrat Elms


Tom Murdough, Murdough Design
Photographed by Chuck ChoiBoston Home


Tricia McDonough – Photographer Michael Casey

107 South Street, Boston, MA

Studio Luz Architects
Photographed by Bob O’Connor for Boston Home


Kristen RivoliBoston Globe Magazine


Rachel ReidBoston Globe Magazine


Kristine MullaneyStuff Magazine


Sally Wilson, Wilson Kelsey Interiors
Boston Globe Magazine


Annsley McAleer – Photographer Ben Gebo
New England Home

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Montage: 35 Master Bedroom Sanctuaries

I know I’ve mentioned this on my Facebook page, but not sure I announced it here—I am now the official blogger for Massachusetts-based luxury bedding company Matouk, along with (and because of) my wonderful, dear friend and colleague, Meredith Barnett. We are blogging on the company’s brand new site (now with e-commerce) weekly, as well as working with designer Mindy Matouk to provide Q&As and design tips. I’ve also been tasked with creating and maintaing Matouk’s Pinterest boards, so be sure to follow. One of our first topics is the very Matouk-y theme of bedroom sanctuaries, so I thought I’d share a full-on collection of such rooms with you too. Makes me want to fall into bed and stay a while . . .


Hugh Newell Jacobsen  –  Architectural Digest


Shelton Mindel & Associates  –  Architectural Digest


Amy Lau Design


Angie Hranowsky


Betsy Burnham




Better Homes & Gardens


Vincent Van Duysen Architects


Courtnay Daniels Haden  –  Elle Decor


Gilles & Boissier


Ksenia Nikitina – AD Russia 


Lori Graham Design


Katie Leede of Digs by Katie




Home of Michael Leva in Elle Decor


Gary McBournie  –  House Beautiful


House Beautiful


Jonathan Adler


 Kelly Wearstler


LaPlace & Co.


Aerin Lauder’s Aspen home in Vogue


Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects


Carrier & Company


Tom Scheerer


Lori Graham Design


Fantastic Frank via Emma’s Design Blog


Sara Gilbane


Ruthie Sommers


Interior designer Rose Uniacke’s London home in T Magazine


Photographer Eric Roth


Photographer Lincoln Barbour

hudson, beekman, jayne, estersohn

Jayne Design Studio


Anne Hepfer


 Mary McDonald

Don’t forget to add a feature armchair to your bedroom sanctuary to really make it a space for comfort and relaxation.




Dress your bed in Goose Down Duvets from Elysha Charles for a sumptuous sleeping experience.


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Montage: 32 Rooms with Blue Velvet Sofas

For a while I had been noticing gray sofas galore, but lately its been blue velvet sofas that have been standing out. Elegant but still cozy, they work in a variety of rooms, and seem just the touch of richness needed for this chilly winter week. There are some old favorites in here that I felt like I had to include (Frank Roop, Mary McDonald), but also plenty of new finds. Tomorrow we’ll take a shopping trip on the Interwebs to find blue velvet seating of our own.



Emily Henderson


 Rue Magazine


Monica Penaguião


 Home of interior stylist Jaime Lacasa
Photographed by P. Zuloaga for Elle Decoration Spain


Aman & Carson
Photographed by Pieter Estersohn for Elle Decor


Designer Frank Roop’s own home (also my neighbor in Boston)
Photographed by Eric Roth for Elle Decor

blue velvet sofa-Justin-and-Jeanne-Roebert

Hecker Guthrie
Photographed by Derek Swalwell (via The Design Files)

blue-velvet-sectional-Vancouver-loft-architect Omer Arbel

Architect Omer Arbel • Photographed by Martin Tessler


Victoria Hagan


Architectural Digest Spain (via ECLECchic)


Amanda Nisbet

blue-velvet-sofa-abstract-art-Petra Bindel

Photographed by Petra Bindel

Blue-velvet-sofa-home-of-designer-Ksenia Nikitina

Designer Ksenia Nikitina’s Moscow penthouse
Architectural Digest Russia


Annsley McAleer
(Boston designer and my neighbor)


 Brad Goreski’s home on The Coveteur


 unidentified (via Remodelista)


 unidentified (via MFAMB)


Photographed by Simon Upton for Elle Decor


Photographed by Mark Boston for Heart Home Magazine


unidentified (via The Brick House)


Elena Letteron • New England Home


D. Mesure Studio


D. Mesure Studio


Pauline de Rothschild’s library in House Beautiful


Martyn Lawrence Bullard


 Actress Romy Schneider photographed by Giancarlo Botti


 Mary McDonald


Designer Todd Alexander Romano’s apartment in NYC
 Thomas Loof for Architectural Digest


 Shoot Factory


Emily Henderson


Windsor Smith

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S H O P  the  L O O K 


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Montage: 40 Painted Built-In Bookshelves (Blue, Green, Black, Yellow, Orange, Red, Purple . . .)

I love the richness of the painted woodwork in these rooms. The tones are of course, much deeper than I would dare to go in my own home. Most of the time. A couple of years ago, inspired by such shelving, I actually had my husband paint the built-in bookcases in our family room a deep purple. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great either. We’ve since gone back to white, with taupey greige walls, compliments of the whole family room re-do. But still, it doesn’t stop me from admiring the work of designers accomplished enough to pull it off, particularly Katie Ridder, who does it with great panache, in monochromatic and highly contrasty spaces, and also, Miles Redd. Which colors do you love best?

Thom Filicia

Lindsey Coral Harper

via Pinterest

Designer Eric Gartner  –  Photographer Tim Street-Porter

Collette van den Thillart of Nicky Haslam Design

Architectural Digest

Katie Ridder

Katie Ridder

Photographer Diane Sagnier  –  The Socialite Family

Jan Showers

Jonathan Adler

Miles Redd   –  Photographer Simon Upton

 Miles Redd   –  Photographer Simon Upton

Todd Alexander Romano

Katie Ridder


Country Living

 Katie Ridder

 Miles Redd

Elle Decor Espana


Susan Sargent  -  Photographer Eric Roth

Martha Stewart Living

Techentin Buckingham Architecture

Katie Ridder

Amanda Nisbet

Angie Hranowsky - Domino

Martha Stewart Living

David Kaihoi  - House Beautiful

Charles Spada

Inès de la Fressange’s Paris office – The Selby

Corinne Gilbert, Mc&Co. –  Photographer Miguel Flores-Vianna

Photographer John Bedell

Michael RichmanMetropolitan Home


Hus & Hem

Traditional Home


Raji Radhakrishnan  –  Metropolitan Home

Photographer Guido Barbagelata


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Design Diary: Ladder District Loft by Duncan Hughes

I thought I knew most of the designers in Boston, until I encountered Duncan Hughes. Talented, inventive, and sensitive to clients’ lifestyles and tastes, I met Hughes when I was assigned to write a story about a young couple’s downtown Boston loft, “Unpolished Perfection,” for Boston Home’s Spring 2012 issue. Hughes’ work, as you can see here, is fresh and functional, with a sense of humor, a bit of drama, and more than a touch of the practical. (Unrelated tidbit: Hughes recently re-designed a home for Katherine Heigl in L.A.)

Photography by Eric Roth

A wall of faux boxwood greets visitors when they step off the elevator. It’s a surprise of the after being on the busy city street. The ceiling is painted black to suggest a night sky. The sliding barn-style doors are mahogany doors salvaged from a school in Milton, Mass., painted electric blue. The contractor wasn’t thrilled about painting the beautiful old wood, but Hughes convinced him. Hardware: Barndoorhardware.com; wallpaper: Cole & Sons; stools: Wisteria; coat stand: Abodeon, Cambridge.

The elevator doors are done in chalkboard paint; great for last minute grocery reminders. Hughes helped the couple organize the huge living room space. The homeowner told me, “I never lived anymore where we could fit more than one couch, and it was obvious where it would go. Here, not only is there 20 places to put a couch, you could have more than one!”

Roman shades: Kelly Wearstler ‘Trellis’ for Schumacher; artwork: Yes.Oui.Si, Boston; credenza: Abodeon; gray sofa: Room & Board; brown sofa: The Bright Group, upholstered in leather with mohair seat cushion.

Hughes custom designed the cocktail table, fabricated in Lucite by Altec Plastics in Boston. (Yes, the rug is different in this photo, which I took when I visited for the walk-through and interview.)

Next to the living room is another seating area, inspired by Hughes’ recent African safari. He says, “I was fresh off a safari in Botswana, where we’d gather around a fire with director chairs and a full bar. I wanted that effect here. I didn’t want any matching chairs; I wanted it to feel like people just grabbed what was there and pulled them up to talk.”

The trick to a mix and match chair ensemble? “Getting seat heights about the same height, so nobody feels out of place, and making sure everyone’s feet are on the carpet, even just one foot, so they feel like they’re in the group. “Coffee table and chair on left: vintage 1950s  from Reside, Boston; Womb chair from Addo Novo, Boston; wood chair by Blu Dot; artwork: Yes.Oui.Si, Boston.

The fireplace is gas from Sparks, with no hearth, for maximum simplicity. Hughes says, ” The theme is rustic meets modern with a little industrial sprinkled on top.” The surround is done in salvaged barn wood from Maine. Hughes started out wanting to line it with old railroad ties, for a log cabin feel, but ran into issues with toxicity. He chose each piece of wood very carefully, some with knots, some with old paint, and planned out exactly which sections of each board he would use. Later, the contractor picked them up and promptly sawed them right in half so they’d fit, nearly causing Hughes a heart attack. “I thought he was kidding, but we made it work.”

The sconces on the surround are vintage chrome pieces.

Hughes designed a faux window above the bar. It’s lit with fluorescent strips enhanced with gels purchased at a local performing arts hardware store, to get just the right quality of light that it resembles a window. The vintage chandelier has a bit of a deco feel. The long trestle table was handmade in California by the guy who originally had designed a similar table for Restoration Hardware.

Hughes built in a bar on the back of the entry wall, borrowing space from an oversize coat closet. The couple likes to entertain, so the bar was high on their priority list.

The kitchen was already intact when Hughes was hired, but he did spruce up the old fire doors, and added shelves behind them, creating a shallow space perfect for spice jar storage.

To separate the public and private spaces, Hugh designed the black room divider, fabricated from etched polycarbonate. The cloudy finish allows light through, but obscures the mess of toys and such behind it. The shiny tin panel on the right is a pocket door. The piano sits on an oversize sheepskin rug (six pelts sewn together) from Bowron Sheepskin in New Zealand.

Hughes designed an ingenious reading nook at the foot of the stairs, modeled on the outdoor lawn chairs of his youth. The adjustable back is woven with seat belt fabric. The cushion lifts up for storage. The bookcase is extra deep, and accessible from both sides.

Homeowners Darren and Colette Powell.

Designer Duncan Hughes.

For more about the space, design process, Hughes, and the homeowners, read the full story, “Unpolished Perfection” in Boston Home.

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Montage: 54 Kitchen Banquettes

Our Boston condo is under renovation. One of the features we are adding is a banquette adjacent to the kitchen area. It seems to me that there’s been a proliferation of built-in seating recently. Unlike the booths of the ’70s (I grew up with an orange and white vinyl booth in a kitchen with oversize floral wallpaper that had a gold, brown, and orange plaid border), today’s specimens are sophisticated and sleek.

Ours will be U-shaped (not ideal, but we’re dealing with a tight space), with a pale blue and taupe chevron upholstered seat-back and pale blue faux leather seat cushion. The custom table has a walnut herringbone-pattern top on a restaurant supply style stainless base. I’ll post a photo when it’s complete. (If I’m not dead first.)

In the meantime, here are 54 very fabulous banquettes. In addition, check out my piece “The Haute Seat,” in last Sunday’s Boston Globe Magazine.

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