Design Diary: Davis Square Loft With Roof Garden

Five years ago (wow), I met Sharon Kitchens, she who now lives on the Great Cluck Egg Farm (blogged about here) and writes two blogs, The Root for the Portland Press Herald, and her own, called Delicious Musings, when I wrote about her Davis Square loft for Stuff Magazine. Going back through my archives, I see I never blogged about it. Crazy, because I totally, totally loved it. The photos aren’t perfect, but I hope you can see the loft’s general amazingness.

Kitchens, who had been on hiatus from Hollywood up in Maine (and yes, she’s back there again now), fell in love on the spot with this 850-square-foot, top-floor unit at the Davis Square Lofts in Somerville, Mass. It used to be the Comfort Pillow factory, and is adjacent to a renovated tin toy factory. The developer retained the industrial vibe, mixing in just the right amount of modern day luxe. There are bridge like walkways, garage doors accessing outdoor spaces, open floor plans, concrete floors, and interesting fixtures. Let’s go in.


The entry door and her sweet, old dog.


 The living room, which is what you face when you walk in. The piano artwork on the right is by the son of Portland, Maine gallery owner June Fitzpatrick.


The front deck, accessed by a garage door. Kitchens got her start planting vegetables here.


Looking back, the study is on the right, and the kitchen on the left. Keep looking back through the kitchen and you’ll spot the garage door in the bedroom, on the other end of the loft.


Heading into the galley kitchen.


Sharon just finished baking granola. No surprise she ended up owning a farm in Maine! Truth is, growing up, she spent summers on her grandparents’ farm in Arkansas. Love the red knobs on the petit gas range.


Open shelving and a butcher block countertop.


Sharon tucks a black & white photograph, by Sabrina Krisky, behind the kitchen sink.


Industrial sink in the bathroom.


And the metal shelf above, with indoor/outdoor industrial sconces, raw wood beams, and more art.


The airy bedroom. The fun chair is from the Rockland Antiques Marketplace in Rockland, Maine.


Vintage dressers and rugs in the bedroom.


Sharon shows off a family heirloom: her grandmother’s vintage ’70s patchwork skirt. Very Todd Oldham!


Outside, you can see the plank walkways with chicken wire-like fencing.



Sharon pursued her interest in gardening ou on the deck.


She and her neighbors also shared a CSA and would cook dinner together on Sundays.


Looking back toward her unit.


And back on the ground. Bye!

ARTmonday: John Goodman

I first learned about photographer John Goodman from Sharon Kitchens of Delicious Musings, who owns one of his pieces. He has a show, along with two other photographers in Boston this month (see details on previous post), so I finally perused his works. I love them. Very evocative, a bit gritty, and beautiful. These are my favorites among the images from the Howard Yezerski Gallery website.

Curlers Boston
1977 c print

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Breakfast Apri
1987 c print, 16 x 20″

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2004, Silver Gelatin Print

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2004, Silver Gelatin Print

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Larissa Ponomarenko
2004, Silver Gelatin Print

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Raw Dance
2004, Silver Gelatin Print

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Sleeping Beauty
2004, Silver Gelatin Print

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Headless and Bag
1993, Silver Gelatin Print

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Robert’s, Nashville
2006, Silver Gelatin Print

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2000, Silver Gelatin Print

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Yael/ Blue 2
2002, Silver Gelatin Print

John Goodman’s photographs are in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Public Library, The Fogg Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and SF/MoMA. He is on the faculty at the Art Institute of Boston.

Beauty Break: Rheal Day Spa

When I hear Maine, I think L.L. Bean, clambakes and moose. Foliage if it’s fall, with some outlet shopping thrown in. Or preppy seaside retreats with crisp nautical motifs. Day spas? Not so much. Until I saw photos of Rheal Day Spa in Rockland, Maine, owned by esthetician Rhonda Nordstrom.

I first learned about Rhonda’s Rheal product line, the sunscreen specifically, from Sharon Kitchens at Delicious Musings. (Sharon, a conflicted fashionista dedicated to living the green life, had met Rhonda when she was living up in Maine.) I’m going to be writing an article about Rhonda’s amazing new eco-friendly home later this year. But in the meantime, I wanted to show you pictures of her new spa. Designed by architects Carrie Shores and Josh Larson from the architecture firm Larson + Shores, it’s fresh, clean, airy, and eco-conscious.

Rheal Nail Rm

This is the nail room. Carrie handpainted the design on the wall, after tracing it using a projected image. Rhonda calls the design a sea flower; it’s the spa’s logo. Notice the curtain on the left? It’s an almost perfect match, and from IKEA. The floors are rubber and the textiles from recycled fibers.

RhealexteriorRheal is on Main Street in Rockland, in an old factory building. Rhonda calls Rockland “a pretty urban, hip little town.” (I’ll get back to you on that; I’m visiting next month.) Nevertheless, Rhonda says, “When people walk in, they say it’s like walking into a whole other world. Which is good,” she adds, “since it’s a spa.” Recently, she had a client from Manhattan who said Rheal was like any other spa she would go to. It certainly looks the part. I’m guessing the treatments are heavenly too. After all, Rhonda learned her trade at Grettacole, back in the early days. She says, “Gretta taught me how to shape eyebrows; I will be grateful to her forever.

Rheal front_room

They used a lot of eco-friendly materials. The floor in the reception area (above) and the other rooms without water, are cork.

Rheal ocker_entryThis is the locker room, with the meditation room beyond. The chair is Japanese and rocks gently. Carrie found it in San Francisco. I’ll have to ask her where. The fabrics are made from recycled soda bottles. The sconce shades incorporate grass reeds.

pediDetail of the nail room.

treatment rm1This is one of the very peaceful treatment rooms. You can see her private line of skincare products, which Rhonda describes as “clean, healing, authentic.” The line started as an anti-acne line, but now includes “graceful aging” products. She touts the Lip & Face Serum in particular. The spa also use Dr. Haushka products, which Rhonda loves.

Rheal showerSink and shower in the locker room. The countertops are made from recycled paper, by a company called Paperstone. They’re beautiful and don’t absorb any water.

Rheal dressing roomDetail of sink in locker room.

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