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!

Design Diary: Sharon Kitchens’ Great Cluck Egg Farm

Sorry I missed posting yesterday. Sailing camp started this week and with it a way too early rise and shine time, resulting in more napping than productivity. Thankfully next week high tide is at noon! Of course today it’s raining and I promised the boys I’d pick them up early, so let’s get this going.

This past spring I wrote about my friend Sharon Kitchens‘ foray into rural living in “Homestead Act” for the Boston Globe Magazine garden issue. We met five years ago when I wrote about her factory-turned-loft in Somerville’s Davis Square for Stuff Magazine (I should post those photos one day.)

Although she was already on the cusp of becoming the Earth Mother she is today, having joined a community-supported agriculture farm-share and a local fish-share, and growing vegetables on the roof. we totally hit it off. She had worked in film, as well as for a fashion photographer, so we had plenty in common. : ) 

After a stint in California, in 2011, Sharon bought an 1830s farmhouse with an attached barn and chicken coop on about 2 acres of land 20 miles outside Portland, Maine. Today, she writes two blogs, The Root for the Portland Press Herald, as well as her own, called Delicious Musings, and works her land. She’s enrolled in a master gardening course, keeps bees and chickens, and grows all sorts of vegetables. Check out the Globe article for all the fun details.

Photo by Winky Lewis
Photo by Winky Lewis
Photo by Winky Lewis
Photo by Winky Lewis
Photo by Winky Lewis
Photo by Winky Lewis
Photo by Winky Lewis
Photo by Winky Lewis
Photo by Winky Lewis
Photo by Winky Lewis




Chicks On Farm In Maine





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Shop artisanal style wares at West Elm.
West Elm Striped Fouta Turkish Towels


ARTmonday: Winky Lewis

I have fallen hard for Portland, Maine-based photographer Winky Lewis. The portraits of her children are reminiscent of the photographs of my very first photo crush, Sally Mann. They’re also somewhat similar to photos taken by my friend Kathleen Schwartz of her fairy tale children. They also remind me of a photograph that hangs in my bedroom; the first portrait I ever purchased (you can see it at the end of this post). I love evocative black and white portraits of children and their fairy tale lives. Winky Lewis’ photographs are stunning and insightful.  She also happened to photograph my friend Sharon Kitchens‘ homestead for a Boston Globe story I wrote, but I’ll save that for another time.

Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis



Screen shot 2013-05-11 at 1.07.21 PM

Screen shot 2013-05-11 at 1.08.41 PM

Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis





Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photograph By Winky Lewis



Photograph By Winky Lewis

Photographs By Winky Lewis

Self Portrait By Winky Lewis

 Winky Lewis (with her son) (and her camera) 

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I think this is the first portrait I ever purchased. I bought it in the early ’90s at an auction at Little Red Schoolhouse / Elizabeth Irwin, a progressive school in NYC, whose alumni includes artists and artists’ kids. I remember seeing works by Francisco Clemente there. Those were certainly not in my budget. This photo was taken by one of the women who worked in the office of the school; it pictures her nieces. I still love it. It hangs above my bedside table.


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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