Site Spotlight: Room 68

Nick Siemaska, Eric Portnoy, and Brent Refsland in their shop, Room 68.
Photo: Laura Barisonzi for Boston Magazine

Design shop Room 68 is Boston’s answer to Matter (heaven, on the edge of Soho). Owned by three bespectacled design hipsters in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts (an outlying area of Boston), the gallery-like shop opened this past fall. I cringe to say I haven’t actually been (it may be Boston, but it’s a 25 minute drive from my Back Bay sofa). The guys have garnered plenty of press (no surprise, as we get hot and bothered by new design outlets), including write-ups in Boston Magazine, Boston Globe, and Apartment Therapy.

I am familiar with a number of the Boston-area designers whose work if for sale, including furniture maker Jacob Kulin, who I’ve had the pleasure of working with, accessories designer/architect Susana DeVoe of Make.Good Studio, who I met last year at the SoWa Open Market, Debra Folz, a New England Home 5 Under 40 winner, who I met at the party, and Nervous System, a design team with degrees from MIT and Harvard.

Textile designer Cary Hewitt is a new find . . . her reversible rugs look delicious. I love the wood vases from Seth Rolland, and  Pelrine + Durrell Design’s Lobster Trap Table is an excellent contemporary interpretation of a vernacular monstrosity.Many of the designers are local, but not all. Room 68 recently launched its online shopping site. Below are the above mentioned items, and more, complete with links both to buy and to the designers’ own sites.



Lobster Trap Table by Pelrine + Durrell Design, $1,500 (Boston)
Comfort/Conform Pillows by Make.Good Studio, $150 each (Boston)
Reaction Cups designed by Nervous System, $60
Lotus and Jasmine Wood Vases by Seth Rolland, $115 (Seattle)
Balancing Blocks designed by Fort Standard, $80.
Turned Leg End Table by Pelrine + Durrell Design, $700 (Boston)
Procession Reversible Rug by Cary Hewitt, $750 (Boston)
Concrete Idea by Kaza Designs, $15
X-Stitch Stool by Debra Folz, $1,600 (Boston)
Twist A Twill Blanket by Tina Ratzer, $140 (Copenhagen)
Spool by Jeb Jones, $450 (upstate New York)
Blossoms on Cherry Reversible Rug by Cary Hewitt, $650 (Boston)
Single Leg Coffee Table by Jacob Kulin, $3,500 (Boston)
Beam Bench by Jacob Kulin, $2,000 (Boston)

Room 68 • 68 South Street • Jamaica Plain • Boston

Photo: Apartment Therapy Boston

ARTmonday: Jacob Kulin

I first came across Jacob Kulin through a publicist for D Scale, designer Dennis Duffy’s furnishings showroom in the South End. She had emailed me images of an amazing tree branch, glass, and steel table that I was able to include in an article for the Globe, and in my post Get the Look: Trees (it’s the very first image). When I found out he is local to Boston, I was inspired to pitch a column on contemporary furniture designers in Boston to my editor in Stuff. She liked it, and I’ll probably do the piece in January. Meanwhile, I learned that Kulin also creates fine art sculpture. Hardly a surprise given the sculptural nature of his furniture. Here are some of his artwork that I particularly like.

Picture 4Untitled 2009  –  Powder coating over aluminum, stainless steel.

Picture 8Untitled  –  Lamp-worked glass beads, steel, anodized aluminum.

Picture 3Windjammer 2009  –  Canvas, mahogany, aluminum, waxed cotton cord.

Picture 10Untitled – Ostrich eggs, acrylic, stainless steel, walnut.

Picture 7Untitled 2008  –  Glass, zebra wood.

Picture 6Aspen 2008   –  Aspen wood, steel, silver leaf over aluminum.

Picture 9Untitled – Enamel over copper, steel, cherry.

Get the Look: Trees

First it was silver candlesticks fashioned to look like tree branches. Then it was faux bois white resin furnishings that were all the rage. These days hunks of the real thing are showing up in the most stylish rooms. Logs as side tables are particularly popular, as are glass topped bases of gnarled branches. Have a look at my piece “Branching Out” in the Boston Globe Magazine for the best finds in Boston. Below are amazing pieces you can find online.


Desk Table by Jacob Kulin, $4,900 at D Scale.
Harry Allen Branch Table, on sale $319 at Design Public.
Driftwood Table, $1,295 at Pieces.
Driftwood Coffee Table, c.1950, $900 at Stellar Union on 1st Dibs.
Walnut Trestle Dining Table $4,800 at Spindler Antiques.
Old Vine Round Side Table, $$994 at Napa Style.
Entwined Root Coat Stand, $259 at Viva Terra.
Log Stool by Shimna, $550 at Burke Decor. (Use code “ADORE” for 20% off.)
Natural Tree-Stump Side Table, $229 at West Elm.
Enchanted Forest Modern Tree Trunk Stool, $360 at Nova68.
Gold Leaf Log Stool, $350 at Branca. (See “Fall Into The Season”.)
Driftwood Mirror, $1,942 at Pieces.
Tree Coat Stand by Michael Young, $895 at Nova68
Faux Bois Pillar Candle, $35 at Branca. (See “Fall Into The Season”.)
Stool Taqqiq at Bleu Nature.
Maple Stool, $1,900 at D Scale.
Faux Bois Glass Hurricane, $175 at Branca. (See “Items from $20-$400”.)
Nantucket Driftwood, $200 at Napa Home.
Gold Twig Grid Mirror at Christopher Guy.