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!

Swatching: Hand Crafted Textiles by Seema Krish

A few months ago I interviewed Boston-based textile designer Seema Krish for “Designing Women” in Stuff Magazine. Seema has worked in the textile industry for 15 years in various roles, from swatch cutter to design director. She recently launched Seema Krish Collection. All the photos shown here are examples from her current collection.


[ WORLI a multi-textural graphic pattnern that combes block print, embroidery and silk appliqué. CHOWPATTY a modern herringbone pattern that combines block print and embroidery. ]

Seema grew up in Bombay, and studied textiles at F.I.T., before taking a job with a mill designing commercial grade fabrics. After seeing a textile exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum, she was inspired to take a position as a swatch cutter for NUNO, a high end Japanese textile firm with offices at the D&D Building. The firm’s clients included Bill Gates and Yoko Ono, as well as fashion houses Issey Miyake and Comme des Garçons.

BOMBAY BLISS 3 [ MAHALAXMI a geometric flower pattern that combines block print, embroidery and mirrors. MALABAR HILL a simple flowing pattern that combines block print and embroidery. ] WORLI

After five years there, Krish returned to India, this time to Bangalore, where she founded a design and weave studio called Azure. She worked with local craftspeople, creating fabrics for a roster of well-known companies, including Calvin Klein Home and Donghia. After meeting her husband,they moved to Boston where she was design director for Robert Allen, and learned a lot about the business side of things. Seema says, “I got to know mills in Turkey, China, Italy, and France. It was a more realistic approach to textile making.”



Seena’s since had a child and done some consulting, but as she approaches 40, she’s become interested in doing something new, and something creative again. Launching her own line seemed the logical next step. Seema’s motivation came from a desire to revive the textile arts found in villages in India, where such crafts are becoming extinct in favor of more lucrative jobs in technology-driven fields. Her first collection of fabrics, all of which are handmade using natural fibers and low-impact dyes, combines hand-blocked prints with embroidery. The designs are inspired by childhood memories of Bombay. She says, “They reflect the energetic potpourri of cultures in Bombay and are named after streets there.”

BREACH CANDY[ BREACH CANDY a contemporary interpretation of suzanis that combines
block print and embroidery
. ]

Seema uses a specific craft as starting point, in this case hand-blocking and embroidery, and then dreams up patterns that can be created with those methods. Future collections will build on another technique, perhaps incorporating a different type of weaving or embroidery that hails from another region of India. As for how she will market them, by the yard to the design trade or as a line of products for retail sale, that’s still a work in progress. Though she has created an array of gorgeous pillows.


For more on Seema and her world of textiles,

check out her blog, Textile Swatches.

Pattern Mahalakshmi- hathi gray-ranigreenbig

Design Diary: Kristine Mullaney Goes Glam

This week’s Stuff Magazine features Heather Hazelton’s condo designed by Boston-based interior designer Kristine Mullaney. Heather is a fun and gorgeous girl who’s the local ad manager at CW56. That means she gets to meet “Gossip Girl” cast cuties. But that’s not what the story is about. “Beantown Boudoir: TV Exec Heather Hazelton Gets Her Glam On At Home” looks at Heather’s Back Bay home, made newly fabulous by Kristine Mullaney.

Heather had the usual mélange of IKEA, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel pieces; you know, the particleboard wardrobe and the mammoth brown sectional complete with olive paint. That is, until she hired Kristine, who transformed her place into a glam and girly haven. Heather told me, “I travel a lot. I’m never here, so I don’t focus on decorating. My place definitely didn’t match my personality or my wardrobe.”

Kristine started by asking Heather to pull her favorite dresses from her closet. Out came the Diane von Furstenberg, Theory, Chanel, Gucci, and Herve Leger. (That may well be what I’d buy if I were a single, childless exec with an amazing body.) The bold patterns and colors were Kristine’s inspiration. She says, “I try to pick colors that my clients wear, that they look good in. From opening up her closet, it was clear that Heather wasn’t afraid of color or bold statements.”

While a DVF print influenced the overall tone, it was a coral Leger from which Kristine took color cues. For the entry, Kristine says, “We took that Leger dress and kicked it up about five notches.”

250 HallwayEntry

The checkerboard marble floor was already in place. They painted the walls Birds of Paradise by Benjamin Moore. Kristine found the chandelier at an estate sale in Beacon Hill at auction. It was dusty and gross but she knew it would shine when it was all cleaned up.

250 Bedroom ShotBedroom

The bedroom is glam, but softly romantic too. Kristine wanted to evoke the feel of old time Hollywood starlets. The wallpaper is Schumacher Kyoto Flower in silver and the silk charmeuse drapes are from Osborne & Little. Kristine says, “I wanted it to look like a silk charmeuse evening gown.” The Stark Leopard Rose rug adds to the Hollywood vibe. Heather bought the Donna Karan bedding on sale at Bloomingdale’s, and she found the light fixture at Domain, pre-Kristine. “It was the one thing I did that was good,” she jokes. The raspberry and pink pillows are made from Jane Churchill fabrics.

250 Draper Closet DoorsBedroom Closet

The closets are completely new, and the perfect use of the room’s extra space. A large closet was crucial for Heather. Kristine based the design of Heather’s new closet on Dorothy Draper’s style contrasting black and white. Heather says, “All I wanted was a closet. Kristine was talking about the molding; I didn’t’ know what she was talking about, but when she finally showed me a picture, I said, ‘I want that!’ And then I went to L.A. for a week and when I came back, it was done!”

250 shoe closetAccessory Closet

This was the original closet. Kristine turned it into a shoe and accessory closet. It’s based on a picture of Kim Cattrall’s closet, which she saw in a magazine.



The bathroom is painted in another bold shade of pink – Benjamin Moore Vibrant Blush. The original black tiles tie in with the black and white closets.
pink chair

The best seat in the living room.

The living room isn’t complete yet, but here’s the statement piece – the Jeannie chair from Mitchell Gold. And Heather found it all on her own. It came in hot pink, all ready to go, but Kristine suggested this rosey raspberry cotton velvet from Duralee instead. The contrast leather piping is the perfect finishing touch. The ivory carpet is from Stark, and they’ve ordered a mirrored console from Ballard Designs to use as a media cabinet. Heather loves mirrors, so much so that her friends teaser her about it. There’s a mirrored piece in the bedroom too.

Of the overall look Heather says, “I wanted my place to be feminine and sexy and comfortable. When I finally come home its shut down time. The high heels are off and pajamas go on. I make dinner and hop in my chair.”

Stuff Magazine: Hot 100

Today the Stuff Magazine “Hot 100” issue hit the newstands, or rather, the news boxes on the street. I contributed six “hot” trends in décor. Those of you who read my blog regularly won’t be surprised by the choices.



Related Style Carrot posts:

Get the Look: Wallpaper in Ocean Hues

Get the Look: More Grey & Green Wallpaper

Get the Look: Grey + Green = Serene

Montage: Under Cover

bird pillow


Related Style Carrot posts:

Get the Look: Bird Cage Accessories

Get the Look: Bird Cages

Montage: Bird Cages

ARTmondays: Anne Beresford

single wall

HOT ART: Wall Sculptures

Related Style Carrot posts:

Get the Look: Wall Sculptures

Montage: Wall Sculptures

nest-4HOT ON THE TRAIL: Sticks and Stones

Related Style Carrot posts:

Weekend Pick: Eggs

Designer Spotlight: Kara Butterfield

ARTmonday: Lucy Mitchell and Phil Lichtenhan

Snapshot: I Heart . . .

Trend Watch: A Walk on the Beach

ARTmonday: Debbie Krim’s Fusion Foto Blocs

Trend Watch: Rock Candy



Style Carrot post coming soon.

chairHOT AND GREEN: Eco-conscious design

Related Style Carrot post maybe someday.

Get the Look: Wall Sculptures

So, have you decided you should get a wall sculpture? Can be cheaper than a painting (or not) and certainly are textural. I still haven’t taken one of mine out of the box – you might just want to make an offer on it. There are lots of sources for wall sculptures, both vintage and new . . .







Shopping Guide

Vintage Starburst Wall Sculpture at SoHo Treasures.

Vintage Torched Brass Wall Sculpture, $950 at PCH Modern.

Mending Fences Wall Sculpture, $69.95 at Wall Decor and Home Accents.

Bonju Wall Sculpture, regularly $360, now $300 at InMod.

Nickel Lightning Flash Wall Sculpture
at Talisman, London, 1st Dibs.

Vintage Starburst Metal Wall Sculpture at Talisman, London, 1st Dibs.

Sheer Indulgence Metal Wall Art, regularly $96, now, $14.50 at Bellacor.

Undersea Irienscence Metal Wall Sculpture, $119.95 at Wall Decor & Home Accents.

Autumnal Bliss Oak Branch Wall Sculpture, $499 at Touch of Class.

Bronze Nails & Amber Glass Wall Sculpture, $5,800 at Michael Contessa, 1st Dibs.

Curtis Jere Maple Leaf Wall Sculpture, $1,800 at Antiques Du Monde, 1st Dibs.

Vintage Color Theory Wall Sculpture, $3,500, Pierre Anthony Galleries, 1st Dibs.

Starburst Mirror, regularly $128, now $59.99 at Urban Outfitters.

Sunburst Stainless Steel & Mirror Wall Sculpture, $45 at West Elm.

Cherry Blossom Wall Sculpture, $28 at Urban Outfitters.

Curtis Jere Raindrop Wall Sculpture, $2,800 at Gustavo Olivieri Antiques, 1st Dibs.

Gingko Leaf Wall Sculpture by Roost, $330 at Velocity Art & Design.

Abstract Steel Wall Sculpture by David Larson on Ebay.

Waffle Wall Art, $199 at InMod.

Vintage Brutalist Brass Wall Sculpture, $145 at Abodeon.

Vintage Starburst Wall Hanging
, $225 at Abodeon.