Designer Spotlight: Boston Designers’ Favorite Paint Colors

When the editor of Stuff asked me to come up with a theme for a home design-dedicated issue, I immediately said, “Color.” Unfortunately, the whole theme devoted to interiors idea was ditched, but I was able to salvage some of my work by putting together a page with local designers’ colors of the moment in “New Hues: Boston designers reveal their top color picks for fall“. If you decide to try one, I’d love to see it. Or, perhaps you can reveal specific paint colors you’ve had luck with. I’ll tell mine (tomorrow) if you tell yours. Meanwhile, here are the designers’ picks.

Annsley McAleer, Annsley Interiors, Boston

Her style: Traditional but fresh, using upbeat colors and patterns

Her color pick: Green Blue by Farrow & Ball

“I loved this color so much in my guest bedroom that I used it in my daughter’s bedroom, too. It is an intense color imbued with a sense of calm. It looks great with a strong white trim and other blue accents.”

Andrew Terrat, Terrat Elms Interior Design, Boston

His style: Tailored but not too serious

His color pick: Curry by C2 Paint

“This color is bold and vibrant, but also very warm and cozy, making it the perfect shade for a family room.”

Erin Gates, Element Interiors, Jamaica Plain

Her style: A mix of modern and traditional, new and old, high and low

Her color pick: Manchester Tan by Benjamin Moore Historical Colors

“A good neutral is hard to find. This one is fantastic and works anywhere. It is neither too deep nor too light. It reads cool if paired with cooler colors and warm if paired with warmer colors.”

Eric Roseff, Eric Roseff Designs, Boston

His style: Clean and crisp with a graphic sensibility

His color pick: Mahogany by Farrow & Ball

“I’ve used this in a small powder room in a high gloss. The color is rich and sumptuous. The lacquer finish opens up the small space by allowing for wonderful reflections.”
Julieann Covino, Jace Interiors, Cambridge

Her style: Affordable design that incorporates pieces you already own

Her color pick: Brilliant Sea by Behr

“This is my new favorite color. A little goes a long way. I would use this as a pop of color on the frame of a mirror (that I will hopefully find at Brimfield this week!)”

Rachel Reider, Rachel Reider Interiors, West Roxbury

Her style: Engaging interiors in a transitional style

Her color pick: Bordeaux Red by Benjamin Moore

“Try this eggplant shade in a dining room to infuse a cozy feeling. The warm tone would create the perfect atmosphere for a dinner party.”

Urit Chaimovitz, Urit Chaimovitz Design, Watertown

Her style: Classic but fun, with an eye towards the preppy

Her color pick: Bang! by C2 Paint

“Recently, I did a house in which we were able to hide a playhouse for the children under the basement stairs. I used this color for the door, which has a star cutout. It’s very ‘Nantucket red,’ inspired by the fact that that’s where this family spends their summers.”

Kathie Chrisicos, Chrisicos Interiors, Boston

Her style: A sophisticated mix of scales, colors, and styles

Her color pick: Flint by Benjamin Moore Affinity Colors

“I love this deep, dark, rich charcoal from Benjamin Moore’s new eco-friendly line. I’ve used it on a fireplace feature wall as well as at a kitchen desk alcove.”

Shellie Donovan, Shellie Donovan Interiors, Boston

Her style: Multi-textured with a whimsical punch of red, lime, or blue

Her color pick: Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball

“I love Elephant’s Breath not only for its neutral color, but because I love clients’ reaction to its name. The gray really changes in each application, depending on the light. I’ve used it in powder rooms and back splashes, but would use it anywhere.”

Kristen Rivoli, Kristen Rivoli Interior Design, Winchester

Her style: Light, airy, and livable

Her color pick: Glazed Carrot by California Paints

“This is a very versatile color. It is sophisticated when paired with gray, playful when paired with pink or yellow, and vibrant when paired with white. When I use it on walls, I like to paint the doors and frames with it too, sometimes a shade darker or lighter than the wall color. It’s a trick that makes a small room look larger.”

Design Diary: Andrew Terrat at FP3

This spring, Jessica Danforth of Kortenhaus Communications (love her!) brought me on a whirlwind tour of four different apartments at FP3 in Fort Point Channel, followed by lunch at Barbara Lynch’s Sportello. (Delicious, and really well-designed.) The neighborhood is industrial and artsy, and the building, designed by David Hacin, reflects those influences. The lobby even even includes an exhibition gallery. In addition to three model apartments (I just handed in an article for Stuff on the studio unit designed by John Stefanon, which I’ll blog about once it’s published), Jessica got permission to show me a privately owned two-bedroom designed by Andrew Terrat of Terrat Elms.

FP3 in Fort Point Channel, Boston

fp3 exterior

FP3 Lobby


This condo is owned by a couple who lived in the Boston suburbs, but decided to move into the city when their daughter left for college. They hired Andrew Terrat of Terrat Elms to design the entire interior, and they are beyond thrilled. Who can blame them? Not only is Andrew darling, the space is spectacular.

Here is the unit when first they purchased it.

Condo, Before


The unit isn’t especially large, but it’s well laid out, with a self contained entry with roomy closets, an open kitchen, and a private master bedroom suite.

Floor Plan

floor plan

Andrew relocated the closets in order to incorporate a console. He chose a stainless steel piece that you might find in a lab. He added a textured wall covering and wood panels.



The fixture has an industrial edge, echoing the feel of the neighborhood.

Detail, Entry Light Fixture


Turning the corner, you enter the main living space, with an open kitchen and the living/dining area beyond. It’s done in neutrals, with yellow and chartreuse accents.

Main Living Area


Looking from the living room, back towards the entry. That room is the second bedroom, where their daughter stays when she’s home from school. The kitchen island is wrapped in stone, a hot look right now. I like the effect, but hate to think how much extra money all that stone costs.


Andrew replaced the cabinetry and finishes. I love the the mini subway tile back splash against the white cabinetry, and appreciate how the gray tones accentuate the stainless steel counter top and hardware. (I don’t remember the manufacturers; must email Andrew.)



Pop, pop, pop! Bright and jagged upholstery really defines the space. Love the clear pendant – very industrial goes glam – and of course, the Saarinen tulip table.

Dining Area


Terrat produces an effect with the tile in the bathroom that’s similar to that in the kitchen. The homeowner told me that Andrew even added the blue mouthwash. Like most designers, every time he visits he fusses and moves stuff around.


A comfortable but glamorous retreat.

Master Bedroom


• • •

For a peek at Boston Magazine‘s Concept Home at FP3 see Erin’s post on Elements of Style.