Tag Archives: West Elm

Design Diary: Moody South End Condo by Evolve Residential

Almost two years ago Tom Egan of Evolve Residential introduced himself to me with photos of his business partner Josh Linder’s 609-square foot, parlor-level condominium in a 19th century Victorian townhouse in the South End. Since then I’ve gotten to know these guys (who are soooo nice and incredibly talented) and feature more of their work.

We included this project,photographed by Joe Keller, in the Makeover issue of Boston Globe Magazine, The similarly moody 900-square-foot two bedroom condo in the South End belongs to Linder’s friend. He steered him towards buying it, knowing it could be fab. Of course, now it is. Adding period trim, dark paint on the walls, and a mix of contemporary and traditional furnishings, Linder transformed the nondescript space into the perfect refined bachelor pad.

Linder describes it as “elegant but very masculine” saying, “We wanted to make sure when you walked in that it was obvious that a man lived here.”

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Linder treated the whole space to Evolve Residential’s signature grey walls. The medium grey walls in the living room are done in Benjamin Moore Pale Smoke. The  ventless ethanol fireplace is entirely new. Linder chose a period mantle and painted it a glossy black—Benjamin Moore Twilight Zone.

The 13-and-a-half-foot ceilings easily accommodated the Flos 2097 chandelier, about which his friend was entirely skeptical until he saw it installed. But friends don’t doubt friends, and so he kept his mouth shut until the end, when he confessed. “He gets it now,” Linder says.

Linder and the homeowner poured through his collection of photography books to come up with a fun combination of images to use on the seat backs of the French bergere chairs. These portraits, which made them smile, are both by Richard Avedon. Linder says, “We like to have one piece in every living room that is conversational.”

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Graced with tall windows, and even taller ceilings, the space is airy and the layout needed only minimal tweaking. Plus, there’s a fantastic view of the Hancock from the living room. The quilted black leather sofa on the left is a reproduction Joseph Hoffman Kubus sofa. The crushed gray velvet settee is by O. Henry House, the rug is grey sisal, and the grey lacquer coffee table is a custom piece.

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The existing cherry kitchen cabinetry needed replacing, but they kept the black granite countertops. The new black cabinets, which run all the way up to the ceiling were constructed by Kidder Blaisdell Woodworks and painted in Benjamin Moore Twilight Zone. The Moroccan inspired tile on the backsplash is from Tile Showcase and Calcutta marble tops the counter on either side of the range.

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The grey walls in the entry are painted in Benjamin Moore Hearthstone. The Empire chest is from Autrefois Antiques in Brookline and the pair of glass lamps are by Barbara Cosgrove. Hanging above is a charcoal drawing by New England artist Martha Lloyd.

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The homeowner grew up in a house with a cozy, dark wood room that he really liked, plus he has tons of books, so they transformed the second bedroom into a library with black walls. It’s Benjamin Moore Twilight Zone, the same color as the trim in the living room. Kidder Blaisdell Woodworks also did the library bookshelves.

 They used the smallest sleeper sofa they could find in a queen. It’s a stock piece from local store Circle Furniture, but they had it reupholstered in heathered Ultrasuede.  The homeowner says, “My guests say the memory foam mattress is more comfortable than their bed at home.”

The abstract is another Martha Lloyd painting. Linder says, “We endearingly call it ‘the coffee stain.'”

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There are real candles in the Rococo style gold sconces.

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The natural grass rug is from West Elm and the sleek glass desk was an online purchase.

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Linder describes the bathroom as “horrifying,” so they gutted it. They used a simple white mosaic tile on the floor with a beautiful Afghani war rug from Yayla Tribal Rugs in Cambridge, which is much more intimate and refined than bathmat.

Linder used gold sconces here too, and also added a gold leaf frame to the recessed medicine cabinet in order to bring the elegant French feel into the bathroom.

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When they demo’d  the bathroom they discovered an extra 10-inches of space behind the tub which they took advantage of to create a large walk-in shower with a frameless glass enclosure. The large-format, horizontal shower tile from Tile Showcase looks like rustic wood and the bench and shower curb are honed black granite.

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The master bedroom is a tailored and masculine cocoon done in lush fabrics, bold lighting, and elegant, unfussy furniture. The grey walls are Benjamin Moore Timber Wolf. The all metal Global Views Turned Pendant Chandelier replaced an ugly ceiling fan.

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The custom upholstered headboard has nailhead detailing. The gray bedding is Thomas Brien for Target but the throw pillows are custom. Linder says, “One pillow cost the same as the entire bedding set, but as a mix it works beautifully.” Linder found the black marble topped vintage chests at the Cambridge Antiques Market and repainted them an inky blue.

The homeowner requested total darkness for sleep so Linder mounted three thick, blackout-lined, floor-to-ceiling custom panels from Holly Hunt to the underside of the soffit. He loves it, saying, “It could be a brilliantly sunny day, and I’d never know it.”

Photos by Joe Keller

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Swatching: Master Bedroom In Florida Condo

I haven’t posted many photos of our little Delray Beach condo, mainly because until this summer it had white wall-to-wall carpeting, tan walls with navy blue and hunter green trim, a plethora of pink tiles, and dingy blinds. This summer, we had the whole place done with cork flooring and all the walls painted bright white. Yesterday I spiffied up the master bedroom and took some photographs. Given the limited accessories at my disposal (not to mention the small budget) and my ineptitude with a camera, they’re hardly print ready, but you can get a sense of how it’s coming along. Here’s our beach bedroom makeover, unveiled.

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BeddingStyle.com sent me a beautiful bright white Puckered Diamond Matelasse Coverlet and Shams by Vera Wang for the bed.  I layered the coverlet with our existing grey fleece blanket for a mix of cozy and crisp. I love the result. (The simple white bed frame from West Elm we got when we first moved in.)

 The artwork is an original painting by Lulu de Kwiatkowski. I’ve interviewed Lulu a couple of times for my work with Matouk (she designs a line of bedding for Matouk, and I co-write the Matouk blog). She is tons of fun, so I was psyched to buy a painting I love on the LuluDK website she launched last year with her products, prints, and original artwork.

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The rug is new too. I ordered it from Wayfair thinking it might work in the boys’ room, but it seemed too earthy. Luckily it looks perfect in the master bedroom; the watery color imbues a calmness. It’s a rough wool dhurrie, so I have to use a yoga mat when I stretch out before bed (itchy!), but it covers a lot of the room without being overpowering.

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Thanks to the folks at Rug Pad USA, the rug feels quite cushy, as it sits atop  3/8-inch thick felt pad. A co-founder offered to send me a rug pad when he saw my recent post on rugs. Rug Pad USA, which launched a couple of years ago, manufactures higher end, eco-friendly rug pads that are made in the USA.  I went with the Eco-Fiber Felt Pad. It’s made from 100 percent recycled felt materials and is resistant to mold, moisture, and mildew. It’s thick and doesn’t shed or smell, and the rug stays put. (The cheap rug pad I bought somewhere else had to be banished outdoors until the toxic odor was gone.) I’m thinking eco-fiber rug pads are the way to go. Now I need one for Flokati rug I just purchased for the living room.

I think that’s about everything. The rug and the matelasse bedding from BeddingStyle.com are the centerpieces., but let me know if you have any questions (or suggestions for that matter, as it’s still a work in progress). Yes, we travel with the cat. He sits in his carrier under the seat in front of me. No, he doesn’t meow.

S W A T C H I N G

Master Bedroom With Cork Floor And Green Rug

S H O P P I N G 

1 Blue-Green Sea Painting by Lulu DK.

2 Samtid Floor Reading Lamp, $39.99 at Ikea

3 Simple White King Bed Frame, $399 at West Elm.

4 Jaipur Maroc Geometric Area Rug $951.50 at Wayfair.

5 Vera Wang Matelasse Coverlet & Shams, $249.99 & $79.99 at BeddingStyle.

6 Slice Wall Mounted Storage Shelf, $149 at CB2

7 Lack Side Table, $9.99 at Ikea.

 

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Gift Guide: 25 Last Minute Gifts You Can Get At the Mall

It’s two days before Christmas. Are you panicking over last minute holiday gifts? We celebrate Chanukah in our home, so not only am I finished buying, we’re just about through with our eight nights of giving. If you do the whole Christmas celebration thing, you’re probably required to come up with a whole slew of presents for friends and family. It’s now officially too late to order online unless you’re willing to pay exorbitant overnight shipping costs, and even then, it’s risky. So, off to the mall it is. Here are 25 last minute holiday gifts you can pick up at the mall and/or the free-standing chain stores in town.

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S H O P P I N G
1 Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker, $129.99 at Target.
2 Brass Love Object Paperweight, $29 at West Elm.
3 Back-Zip Pullover Sweater, $69.50 at Madewell.
4 Pagoda Salt & Pepper Shakers, $34.99 at Jonathan Adler.
5 Downing Embossed Leather Clutch, $88 at J.Crew.
6 Nate Berkus Faux Fur Stripe Pillow, $29.99 at Target.
7 Magical Thinking T-Bar Jewelry Stand, $34 at Urban Outfitters.
8 Gilded-Edge Agate Coasters,$98/set at Anthropologie.
9 Buttery Leather Satchel Crossbody Bag, $100. at Gap.
10 Oh Joy! Acacia Serving Board, $19.99 at Target.
11 Pascale Monvoisin Georgia Ring, $125 at Club Monaco.
12 Pop Art Dry Erase Calendar, $19.99 each at The Container Store.
13 Tom Dixon Eclectic Mini Candle Gift Set, $120 at Anthropologie.
14 Ribbed Cashmere Hat, $78 at J.Crew.
15 Fuse Sweatshirt, $71.99 at Athleta.
16 Space Age Floral Crystal Studs, $58 at Kate Spade. 
17 Printed Tablet Case, $33.99 at Gap.
18 Glass Bud Vases, $14 each at West Elm.
19 Marc Jacobs Beauty Lust For Lacquer Lip Vinyl , $28 at Sephora.
20 Fujifilm INSTAX Instant Smartphone Printer, $199 at Urban Outfitters.
21 Ray-Ban Sunglasses, $104.95 at Sunglass Hut.
22 Selvedge Japanese Chambray Utility Shirt, $98 at J.Crew.
23 Chemex Classic Drip Coffee Maker, $34.95 at Sur La Table.
24 Dipped Leather Bill Holder, $128 at Jack Spade.
25 Mauviel Copper Butter Warmer, $90 at Williams-Sonoma

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Get the Look: 20 Modern Doormats

In true New England fashion, the Boston is not quite sure whether it’s winter yet or now. There were a few really cold days, including a recent Sunday when my 12-year-old went to a Patriots game in the rain and snow. I don’t mind the chilliness (I’m a tights and boots girl for sure) as long as there’s sun. That day did incite me to unearth the ice scraper and transfer it to the car. Not looking forward to using it.

Since we live in an apartment, most of the slush (and there’s plenty of it), gets left in the lobby. But still, we have a good doormat outside our door, and a more decorative one inside. Come snowy times, additional rugs get spread across the foyer, so as not to completely destroy my Jill Rosenwald gray area rug.

I know this is all kind of mundane, but I live in Boston, in the city. That means messy weather and no mud room. Even if you have a house with a white picket fence in a tropical clime, you still need a doormat, right? I’ve rounded up some door mats today, mainly coir and natural coconut fiber doormats; mostly modern doormats, many colorful doormats, plus neutrals, some in adorable silhouettes.

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S H O P P I N G 

1 Roam Sweet Roam Mountain Range Doormat, $34.99 at ModCloth.

2 Chilewich Stripe Shag Floor Mat in Mineral $50 at Burke Décor.

3 Multicolor Leaves Coconut Fiber Doormat, $19.99 at Amazon.

4 Cape Cod Polypropylene Doormat, $69.99 at Hayneedle.

5 Hedgehog Doormat, $39.95 at Crate & Barrel

6 Multicolor Flip-Flop Doormat, $16. 99 at World Market

7 It’s Cold Doormat, $24.45 at Wayfair.

8 Haute Habitat Coir Bear Doormat, $34.99 at ModCloth.

9 Computer Keyboard Coir Doormat, $26.97 at Amazon

10 Harvest Striped Doormat, $24.95 at Pier1 Imports

11 Green Chevron Coconut Fiber Doormat, $39.99 at Hayneedle.

12 Nautical Anchor Floor Mat, $28.95 at West Elm.

13 Chilewich Bold Stripe Shag Outdoor Floor Mat, $50 at Horne.

14 Camouflage Deer Doormat, $17.99 at Wayfair.

15 Oval Knot Woven Coco Doormat, $16.99 at Amazon

16 Dahlias Handwoven Coconut Fiber Doormat, $32.30 at Wayfair.

17 MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check Door Mat, $160 at Horchow.

18 Natural Chevron Coir Doormat, $29 at Pottery Barn.

19 Nautical Rope Doormat, $49 at L.L. Bean.

20 Herb Garden Doormat, $68 at Terrain. 

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Design Diary: Contemporary Kitchen With Folding Glass Wall

This fall I wrote about a condo in a classic 1920s brick Georgian in Brookline for the kitchen & bath issue of  Boston Globe Magazine. The story “A kitchen, deck combo lets the fun expand” features a sleek contemporary design by architect Michael Kim, who re-thought the client’s entire home. Initially a jumble of rooms and hallways indicative of life in the old days, Kim pretty much wiped the slate clean and designed a contemporary and highly single-floor family home that melds the indoors with the out. (David Cohen of Newton-based Hampden Design & Construction was the builder.)

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Splitting the home in half lengthwise, Kim positioned the three bedrooms behind the expansive living space. The new linear kitchen, designed by kitchen designer Charlotte Bogardus of Kitchens by Coco, features custom ash millwork handcrafted by Fall River-based East Bay Cabinetry, a local and more cost-effective solution than the high-end Italian kitchen cabinets they initially considered.  The layout is perfectly symmetrical, with pullout pantries anchoring each end, one flanked by an oven and microwave and one by a camouflaged 30-inch refrigerator. In the center of that wall, pocket doors hide a niche for smaller appliances and auxiliary counter space, under which are two sets of fridge and freezer drawers.

Design and color consultant Shelley Reed, who had worked with the couple on their previous home, guided them in choosing finishes and furnishings. The floor is high-grade walnut stained a rich brown, a color that simultaneously grounds the space, sets off the pale ash cabinetry. Reed purposefully combined contrasting tones of wood, all of which pop against the walls, painted Benjamin Moore White Dove. The Italian leather and chrome bar stools were $10 Craigslist finds and the weathered teak outdoor picnic table from Restoration Hardware. They flirted with the idea of splurging on Bocci lighting, but ultimately went with a more budget-friendly multi-globe chandelier from West Elm

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The 16-foot, stainless steel topped island, which the client loves even more now that it’s “beat up,” has a stainless double sink that they welded to the countertop for a seamless effect, a quick-to-cool induction cooktop, over which hovers a pared-down hood by Zepher that reads like a piece of contemporary sculpture.

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A built in desk is home to the family computer, and further down the wall there’s a built-in bar.

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The living room is outfitted with a modular sofa from Roche Bobois and a pair of chartreuse chairs from Ligne Roset. The shag rug is also from Ligne Roset and the concrete coffee table from West Elm. A floating shelf, which doubles as a bench, hugs the jagged wall.

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The kitchen island aligns perfectly with the contemporary accordion doors that open to deck, which was designed by Boston-based landscape designer Ed MacLean of Potted Up. The mahogany deck features a gas grill, a built-in wooden banquette off to one side (not pictured), and semi-circular loungers by Tropitone (the homeowners saw a similar style in Florida and had to have them) around a fire pit that can also be topped to form a table). MacLean also designed gardens around the perimeter of the house. 

Photos by Shelly Harrison

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