Design Diary: Jewelry Designer Nicole Rueda-Watts’ Live/Work Loft

Back in 2009 I profiled jewelry designer Nicole Rueda-Watts and her loft for Stuff Magazine. Almost three years later, Nicole has since moved to a new studio space (written about this past fall by the ever excellent Tina Sutton for Boston Globe Magazine), but I think you’ll still enjoy the original photos I shot when I visited.

Nicole designs under the label Nyx Studio. Nicole, along with her mom Pamela Watts, run Reside, one of the best mid-century modern furniture shops in the area, with outposts in Boston and Cambridge.

The view upon entering. The red-curtained area on the left is the walk-in closet/boudoir. When she first moved in she says, “There was debris everywhere, and weird makeshift tables bolted to the walls. But. . . this place was such a canvas.”

Vanity in the closet.

Bags above a daybed in the closet.

Plenty to wear.

Mosquito netting keeps the bed area cozy in the wide open space. She found the bedside tables and lamps at Marshalls.

Display cabinet was a find in the garbage in Cambridge.

A kimono from her mom hangs above the cabinet. The tree branches came from a walk in the woods in Ipswich, Mass.

Antlers (with fur still attached!) on a shelf inside.

An overview of the living area. The pair of chairs are Barcelona lounges without the cushions. She got them from two guys who rescued them from a couple who left them behind when they moved to California. Lamps next to the sofa were $3 each at Goodwill.

A closeup of the sheepskin draped Barcelona lounges. (Sheepskins from her mom, who got them at Costco.) The coffee table are just pieces of timber she found in an empty unit in the building.

More finds left behind by building tenants.

The horns above the mirror were left in the basement of her mother’s house. Nicole sanded them down before hanging since they were yellowed.

The glass dining table was here when she moved in, left behind by the photographer who occupied it before her, who came from a wealthy family. She says, “I have this vision that her elegant, totally ’70s parents with blue eye shadow and shag carpeting gave her this, but she never really liked it. It takes someone looking at it from a totally different angle to appreciate it.” The chairs are Plycraft, from her mom. The pendant is wicker from IKEA.

The studio is just beyond the living room, and can be closed off with an old burlap curtain she hung. This is the work table at which she makes all her jewelry.

A suede corset cuff with silver-work and cabachon stone, from Nyx Studio.

When she moved in , there was no shower or tub. Nicole and her brother found this tub in another unit in the building, dragged it over, and hooked it up.

A sculpture she fashioned. The centerpiece is a piece of coral with branches growing out of it that she found and carried back from Mexico.

“Growing up our house was artsy. We had hammock on our porch, so I knew I needed a hammock. It’s funny that where my mom sits when she visits.”

Nicole uses the little room off to the side as a sewing room. The chandelier is from a yard sale on the Vineyard.

Nicole’s jewelry. She apprenticed with a silversmith in Mexico.

Author: StyleCarrot

Marni Elyse Katz is a design writer and editor who lives in Boston and Cape Cod with her husband, two sons, and a cat. She blogs about design at

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