Archive for September, 2011

Eastern Barn Vernacular

As I drove through Maine this past weekend, I was struck by the unique character of the old weathered barns I passed. Barns are the reduced essence of the vernacular style of a region. Architect Gil Schafer captures this essence and turns it into something new and completely unexpected.

So simple and unassuming.

While on the other side… WOW!!!

A seemelss blend of French, Belgian and American style… Classic!

I love the wood lintels over the doors! A hint of Spanish influence, too?

Such discreet reading lamps. Quilting on the bed echoes 17th/18th Century Colonial period.

Oh to soak in this tub after a long  day on the water!

All images from Architectural Digest.

Architect: Gil Schafer (His work is amazing!!!)

Interior Designer: John Cottrell (Found other examples of his work, but not his website.)


Have a great Friday and Weekend!


Back in the Saddle

After my long weekend break, I find myself reluctantly jumping back in to my daily work routine. I’ve waded through emails, phone messages, blog, Facebook – even visited our 1804 house jobsite to check on the progress of the stair and wall papering. One foot is clearly still back in northern Maine and it won’t be until tomorrow that I‘m fully engaged with work. The weather was perfect and the fishing exceeded my wildest expectations. In my previous post, I said that if I caught a native Brook Trout that I’d share a picture  with you. I was able to fool several, including this male in full spawning color. Mother Nature sure knows how to use a paint brush, doesn’t she? The range of tints and hues is staggering!

Fall foliage was just starting to come in to its own. I took these two shoots on the West Branch of the Penobscot River.

Mt. Katahdin in the background.

The swamp maples were in their glory!

At breakfast and at the end of the day, we’d watch pontoon planes transport guides and their sports to remote wilderness lakes.

Our rustic cabin…  Life is good!

The weather cooperated on Monday and Sally was able to get the photo shoot of the little summer cottage done. We’re waiting on pins and needles for the proofs! I was especially pleased to hear that she used several custom tote bags from her Olivia Kent business as accessories in the shoot. She put that effort on hold when we shifted gears to focus on residential design. I keep telling her she needs to find a way to resurrect it.

One of Sally’s custom tote bags in my favorite chair.

When I visited the 1804 house jobsite this morning I was thrilled to see that wall paper is hung, light fixtures are all installed, and the stair, with its cherry treads, balustrades and handrail, is beginning to look like a stair. We should have a final cherry finish sample for the stair tonight and staining of stair parts can begin post haste!

Osborne & Little wallpaper detail in the dining room.

A light blue Cowtan & Tout stria in the parlor. The delft tile looks perfect!

And a black Brunschwig & Fils toile paper for the powder room.

The foyer chandelier hangs from the 2nd floor ceiling.

The stair begins to take shape!

I invite you to come see the finished kitchen and 6 other beautiful kitchens in the greater Hamilton/Wenham/Manchester, MA area. The tour is on Saturday, October 15, from 11 – 4. Tickets can be bought online here. Complimentary tickets to the following weekend’s Ellis Boston Antique Show will be available at our kitchen during tour hours.


An evening with Flexjet and Rolls Royce and getting ready for a photo shoot

This past Wednesday, Sally and I attended Flexjet’s introduction of their latest Learjet upgrades to their fleet of planes. Andrew Mearns, Flexjet Sales Director,  couldn’t have done a better job putting together a delightful evening. With informal and very friendly tours of the planes hosted by the plane captains, we were made to feel immediately at home. Over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, we caught up with Jeff Monahan, web/graphic/ brand designer extrordinaire (Monahan & Rhee), Janice Amour (It’s Your Move, Inc.) and Jerry Acari ( Landri and Arcai), our Oriental rug guru, and his charming wife, Daisy.

Rolls Royce was on hand as well, offering rides in their new Phantom and Ghost. Yes, you got to drive… Did you know that while sitting in the back seat, you can see the Rolls Royce hood ornament, even with front seats occupied? This is a criterion in every Rolls Royce that is designed. That’s attention to detail and to the experience! Sally thoroughly enjoyed her time behind the wheel…

All too soon, we headed home with the ride quality of our Mercedes feeling rather lacking… Thursday was another day and we had to begin getting a small beach cottage Sally did this summer styled for a Friday or Monday photo shoot. (Please pray for sunshine one of these two days for us! We’ve been rained out once already!) The project was done on a tight budget. It’s all about very thouhgtful use of color and texture. Here’s a scouting shot of the dining area taken by our photographer Michael Lee several weeks ago as we walked the cottage.

Michael is terrific. As he took the various scouting shots, he talked us through the  opportunites he saw in each one and why he thought one particular angle would show the project better than another. He had several great suggestions for styling that will help the composition and effect of several of the shots we’ve decided to do.

I’ve put together 4 shadow boxes of salt water fishing plugs that I carve and paint with an airbrush to go on the wall behind the dining table.

We’ve considered using the flies I tie as accents… Not sure about them yet. Friends tell me that I should be designing/making/selling custom hair extensions and ear rings ???


And we found some very cool fish for the wall behind the sofa. Here they are laid out on the floor.

Sunshine or no, I will be missing all the excitement. Tomorrow morning I am off to the Moosehead Lake area in northern Maine to fish for native brook trout and landlocked salmon. If I am fortunate enough to bring a native brookie to the net, I will be sure to take and share a picture with you. Usually no more than 6 – 8 inches long, the colors Mother Nature has endowed this little fish with are breathe taking. Worst case, I will come home with a memory card full of fall foliage pictures. I’m told it is at its peak where we are going.

 Sally has had her “Color Engine” running on all cylinders lately. I will see if I can persuade her to post a few color/material schemes she ahs been working on while I am of and about.


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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