If a person were to ask me to offer an off the cuff phrase describing Sally’s and my style, I would say “classic traditional with an enticing European influence”. Having said that, there’s a piece of me that that will sit right up and say, “Whoa!” when I come across the right modern interior – an interior that uses form, surface, light and shadow to define and shape form, function and volume. Add an exterior that offers up not a clue as to what you are walking into, you have a formula that spells magic. Such is this project – a house with a stone exterior built in 1937 and an interior renovated to feel like a modern gallery in New York City.

Wouldn’t you expect a charming rustic interior?


The central fireplace has been reworked as part of an open floor plan.


Tucked around the corner… Antique keys.


Fantastic!!! A 1769  schrank & 18th century church pew play vs. tuxedo style furniture.
What’s a schrank you ask??? The short answer is it’s an antique wardrode.


Love the sweep of the shelves and counterpoint of modern tufting and practical  period furniture.


What a compostition – modern island between antique painted chairs and rustic shelves – brilliant!


 Look at the different thicknesses of the shelves. Real understanding of scale and weight!



Cantalevered shelves again. The antique windsor chair looks so alive! Context!!!


Saarinen Womb Chair, modern quilt, folded tin sand pipers, antique basket having a conversation.

A singular vision throughout. Beautiful!

 Could you live here?

 All images from Architectural Digest, Architecture by French & Crane and Jeanne Scandura. Interior Design by Lauren Sara.


Boston has been without a premiere antiques show for several years. After spending Friday afternoon at the show, I am delighted to report that the problem has been solved with the re-introduction of the Ellis Boston Antiques Show at the Cyclorama! The breadth and depth of exhibitors was fantastic – ranging from 17th/18th Century American and English antiques, to eclectic Mid-Century Modern, to 18th/19th Swedish antiques. It was the perfect way to wind down a busy week. Here’s a representative sample of Sally’s and my favorites.

 A leather chest from Alcocer Anituarios, with shops in Madrid and Boston, with original key and lock.


Andrew Spindler of Andrew Spindler Antiques (Essex, MA) has an eye for the beautiful and unusual.

 I am usually not a fan of strong patterns on the floor, but I loved the rug he used to anchor his display.


 This Deco Period Dutch chair was unbelievably comfortable. (It felt like it was made of spring steel.)


 At the other end of the spectrum was this set of 8 Oriental dining chairs. (Definitely need a glass top dining table!)


 How about this wrought iron “demilune” table and mirror above, or the mid 60’s stacking bureaus?


The other display I could not tear myself away from was Dawn Hill Antiques from New Preston, Ct., a shop specializing in 18th/19th Century Swedish antiques.

Sally and I loved this pair of bergeres and small plant stand.


Everything in her display was exquisite, right down to the accessories.


Check out the detail on the Gustavian dining chairs. (Set of 10)


I loved the bureau!


But the horse was my favorite!


At Fiske and Freeman’s booth (Ipswich, MA) I was once again reminded how art and beauty was incorporated into every day objects of this county’s early settlers.

Circa 1780 English or American Brass and Iron Laddle


Circa 1825 English Fish Strainer


Part 2 – Tomorrow…

Stay tuned…






We’re now beginning to look more closely at the decorative aspects of our 1804 Federal project – to flesh out the look and feel of the home. There is a large blank wall at the head of the new stair where an early American quilt would look absolutely gorgeous.

It’s been fascinating to research quilts and quilt making during the Colonial Period. ( It was also very difficult to find images of these early quilts! And the variety of styles and techniques was staggering!) The most prevalent style and technique of quilting in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s was the medallion quilt and quilt making, having been brought to this country by European immigrants. A medallion quilt has a large central theme with several made up borders built around it. Medallion quilts were not limited to the square shape. During the late 1700’s, wealthy families might display medallion quilts with cut corners on their most beautifully made four poster bed in their most formal bed room.

Medallion quilts were a favored style until the middle of the 19th century. During that time most Americans were starting to make quilts with rows of blocks, a style which we are more familiar with today.

Here are some examples of medallion and other style quilts. Note how the earlier quilts were more muted in color, as bright colorful dyes had not been invented or were very expensive. With the exception of the last image, these quilts can be found at Rocky Mountain Quilts, York, Maine. I’m doing a little road trip this spring…

circa 1780, Block Print Wholecloth Chintz Four Post Quilt

I particularly liked quilts made using a technique called borderie perse, in which chintz was carefully cut out and then very carefully stitched on to the quilt to create scenes and patterns on the quilt. This is a picture of a borderie perse fragment. It was possibly the center of a larger borderie perse center medallion quilt.

circa 1800 Borderie Perse Quilt Fragment

circa 1810 Variable Star Quilt

circa 1830 Four Post Center Mosaic Quilt

Circa 1850 Martha Washington Pattern

Circa 1875 Broken Dishes and Snowball Pattern

This Sioux Bethlehem Star quilt is my favorite!

Bethlehem Star quilt, unknown Sioux maker, late 19th or early 20th century, Architectural Digest, June 2006