Archive for February, 2011

Our 1804 Federal Home: An Interior Design Update

Today construction is starting  on our 1804 Federal Period home up in Manchester, MA. We had targeted a construction start of April 1, so we’re about 5 weeks ahead of schedule! Sweet!!! Sally is busy working with our client on the interior decor, buttoning up selections on tile, floor stain colors, paint colors, granite, etc.

With our client’s permission, here’s a peak at some of the areas of the house we’ve tackled during the interior  space planning and design process. One area was the kitchen design. Part of a larger reconfiguration, which included reconfiguring a stair to the second floor and relocating the existing powder room, the kitchen came to life one evening on the back of a napkin as Sally and I were sitting at our kitchen counter having ‘snackies’ and a glass of wine before dinner. The idea was to create a gracious open room that functioned as a kitchen and foyer to the home. The stair reinforces the foyer notion as it lands facing the kitchen and portico door.

Here’s the napkin sketch…

The Kitchen Design Napkin Sketch by John Kelsey

An almost final sketch…

Entry/Kitchen/Stair/Powdwer Room Sketch by John Kelsey

The kitchen portico entry needed some immediate attention, too. Here’s an initial study sketch done on top of a photo of the existing entry.

Overlay Sketch by John Kelsey

A quick study introducing a fan above the door. The frieze board is too thin.

Portico with Fan Above Door by John Kelsey

The frieze… The crown probably needs to project a bit more, like is the overlay sketch. The devil is in the details isn’t it?

Portico with Heavier Frieze by John Kelsey

Additional peaks will be forthcoming in the near future…

Stay tuned…

The AD 20/21: Art & Design of the 20th and 21st Centuries


With it’s first show in 2008,The AD 20/21: Art & Design of the 20th & 21st Centuries is the only art and design show of its kind in New England that features 20th & 21st century works in fine art, ceramics, decorative arts, photography, glass, furniture and more.  At AD 20/21 you will find major movements represented including Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Mid-Century Modern and Contemporary.

AD 20/21 works to bridge the gap between historical styles and contemporary works as well as deepen the collector’s appreciation for both. Now in its fourth year, the show will be honoring Massimo & Lella Vignelli with the AD 20/21 Lifetime Achievement Award, on Thursday, April 7th at the Sponsor’s Reception beginning at 7:00 pm  at the Gala Preview.  To find out more information on The AD 20/21: Art & Design of the 20th & 21st Centuries, visit

The show takes place Thursday, April 7 -Sunday, April 10, with all proceeds benefiting Boston Architectural College (BAC), an independent, professional college located in Boston’s Back Bay, offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and design studies.

Charleston, Part 2: The Charleston International Antiques Show

Coinciding with the Festival of Homes and Gardens is The Charleston International Antiques Show. Charleston hosts this spectacular antiques fair every year in mid March. This year, the 8th Annual Charleston International Antiques Show will take place on March 18th-20th.  The show was inspired by the rich historical, architectural and cultural heritage of Charleston and has become a destination for both antique collectors and admirers.

In the18th and 19th century, along with Salem and Newport, Charleston was one of the most active and finest seaports along the east coast. There was a great deal of commerce between these three ports as well. Today, you can still see those Continental, European and Asian influences in its captivating architecture and decorative arts. Sally and I found Charleston’s unique heritage to be the perfect stage for exhibitors to showcase an extensive variety of antiques ranging from furnishings and fine art of the late 17th century to architectural elements and garden furniture.

Photo credit

Photo credit Clyde Shokes Jr.

Photo credit Clyde Shokes Jr.

The antiques show also offered several educational and special events that catered to both the serious collector and the browsing homeowner. For more information on the Charleston International Antiques Show, visit

If you decide to go and want to be pampered for a few days, we highly recommend the Planters Inn. You won’t be disappointed. For an incredible dining experience, we have fallen in love with Magnolia’s.


John Kelsey and Sally Wilson

Wilson Kelsey Design is an award-winning luxury architectural interior design firm serving discerning clients in Greater Boston and beyond.

With over 50 years’ combined experience, husband-and-wife team John Kelsey and Sally Wilson expertly manage the details while collaborating with you on every aspect of your design project, to create a beautiful home that reflects who you are and how you live. Our warm and approachable sensibility makes the design process an enjoyable and memorable experience, from initial design discussions through project completion.

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