Design Diary: Cozy Sitting Room With Shearling Lounge Chairs By Holly Gagne

Interior designer Holly Gagne is one of the loveliest designers I know, her style is fresh, natural but still sophisticated, and her taste is impeccable.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Holly a few times now, from our Covid Zoom with tips and tricks to bring harmony into your home (it’s recorded, you should check it out), to a kitchen with a supersized island in Boston Globe Magazine, to this Gloucester home with zellige tiles, a sliding glass bar door, and Scandi style wood stove; the story just dropped in the Winter issue of Boston Home magazine.

Sitting Room With Shearling Lounge Chairs And BookshelvesPhoto by Jared Kuzia

Holly channeled hygge -meets-tailored in this sitting room just off the open living room. While there’s no wall between the two spaces, it feels private. The owners use it to read, drink morning coffee, and entertain with cocktails.

Faux shearling and iron lounge chairs nestle around a rattan coffee table that speaks to the coastal locale. Holly lined to backs of the custom built-ins with grasscloth for additional texture. “It’s all about being cozy,” Gagne says. The abstract painting is by local artist Nicole Sayour Botto.

Get the look of this cozy winter chic library designed by Holly Gagne with similarly styled furnishings,  plus the faux shearling and iron lounge chairsSitting Room Decor Shearling Lounge Chairs Bookshelves

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Get the Look: 48 Modern Desks For Your Home Office

I meant to follow up on my last post – Stylish Home Office by Realm Interiors – earlier, but once everyone got back to work after the holidays it was nonstop assignments and deadlines. A recent article relevant to this post is in the current issue of Northshore Home magazine. It’s about creating a home office with advice and examples from Boston area designers; you you can read it here.

Although I don’t work at a desk (I’m currently favoring the Flight recliner), I’m guessing most of you do. I know designers have been  inundated with calls from frantic clients since the pandemic began about finding places to tuck in desks, console tables, and such to create discrete home offices so everyone in the family can have a dedicated workspace. Pieces that can do double duty are great for those tight on space.

If you haven’t invested the time to create an efficient work-from-home area for yourself yet, here are suggestions for 48 modern desks for a home office, which can easily be a corner in your living room. I’m starting off with the sculptural beauty in my last post.

Affordable Home Office Style Desks

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Work From Home Desks Modern Home Office

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Stylish Home Office Modern Desks

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Stylish Home Office Modern Desks25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 31 / 32

Affordable Home Office Style Desks

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Work From Home Desks Modern Home Office

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Wanna decorate? Kelly Wearstler can up your design game >

Design Diary: Stylish Home Office by Realm Interiors

A separate home office space is probably the most coveted space of 2020. I wrote about this office in the Boston Globe Magazine in the fall. Realm Interiors designed the office for a mom when they re-thought the open layout on the first floor of the family’s Winchester, Massachusetts. home. With three kids and a puppy, she really cherishes this chic space.

Office For a Woman With Writing DeskPhoto by Joyelle West  / Styling by Kaylei McGaw

The small room off the entry had been an eyesore of a playroom before Liza Kugeler and Laura Ogden of Realm Interiors made it over as  a stylish office with dark, saturated walls painted Farrow & Ball Studio Green.

A sculptural, wire-brushed, bleached oak desk from CB2 sits center stage atop a graphic black and white rug, and Serena & Lily’s capiz honeycomb chandelier hangs above. The Serena & Lily woven rattan armchair adds an element of breezy while  tongue-in-cheek Kate Moss poster, “Life Is a Joke” by photographer Craig McDean reflects the homeowner’s interest in fashion. She loves that it feels so much like her.

Get the look of this stylish office by Realm Interiors:
Stylish Home Office For Women

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Fancy yourself a decorator? Kelly Wearstler can up your game >

Saturday Shelfie: Pale Pink Candleholders

Hawkins New York Blush Candleholder

Photo by Marni Elyse Katz/StyleCarrot

I’ve been piling on the pink to lighten the dark days.

Abstract painting by artist Sarah Lutz from Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Blush candleholders by Hawkins New York from Salt in Wellfleet, Massachusetts (sold out, but also available at here).  Tapered candlesticks from Danica Design Candles in Rockport, Maine. Ridged porcelain vase available here and pink glass vase available here. The Issey Miyake book is a recent gift and available here.

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Design Diary: Bookshelf Styling Tips from Designer Valerie Darden

Designer Valerie Darden of Brexton Cole Interiors solved two issues in her Northern Virginia home with one bank of bookshelves. She and her husband  loved every feature in their new home, save for a diagonal wall near the entry, just around the corner from the stairs. Not only was it dead space, the wall had an ugly air vent, a thermostat, and outlet, and light switches. (Scroll down for the before photo.) An investment in custom cabinetry and masterful shelf styling hid the jumble and created a functional and beautiful feature wall. 

How To Style Bookshelves

Darden balanced old and new to create an chic mix of art and objects among her collection of design books. “As much as I enjoy new and shiny items, I love to venture to Loudoun County to search for vintage art, books, and decorative objects,” she says. One of her favorite sources is Lucketts Market and Antique Center. 

 As for new books, Darden tends toward  fashion, travel, photography, history, and architecture titles by Assouline. For contrast she adds older books from her thrifting adventures. Here’s a fun pairing: “I’ll place a Chanel book next to a 1950s book about ladies etiquette,” she says.

Here’s a pulled back view for context:

And a before photo from the same perspective:

Careful configuration allowed them to hide the ugly grate behind a cabinet door.

Cabinets That Hide An Air Vent

Then the fun part: Styling the bookshelves.

How to Style Bookshelves

Valerie Darden’s Tips for Perfectly Styled Bookshelves

• For a not-trying-too-hard-to-be-perfect vibe, arrange some books vertically and others horizontally. Also, place larger books with smaller ones.  

• Incorporate your favorite candle. Dardens’s favorite candle is Diptyque BAIES. “I love to burn the candle wax to the end, then use the glass as a vase for roses,” she says.

•  Pair high and low.  Along with that pricey Diptych candle, Darden’s shelves hold a H&M vase and a  gold-framed vintage painting scored at a local yard sale for $10.

• Pay attention to scale. A small sculpture in front of a large book draws the eye in. And use mostly odd numbers  of things.

• Metallics are a must. “When I began decorating my shelves, they looked bland,” Darden says. “Then I placed a  decorative brass paper weight on top of three books and it immediately came  to life! “

• Plants too. “Small succulents have done wonders by adding color and a peaceful feeling,” Darden says.

Photos by Valerie Darden

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