My apologies for not getting this post up sooner. Things have been a little hectic around here with work and getting out several proposals for new work…

Last Thursday’s Home Styling Seminar at the Museum was a huge success, with 70 people in attendance as Jerry Arcari and I took the first vignette apart and set up the second one, while Sally narrated. We had hoped to be able to take a of video the “performance”, but we had to settle for pictures. Lots of fun. (…and Work!) I’d do it again in a heartbeat…

Here I am “making faces” at someone as I talk about what we are about to do….


Sally’s little helpers beginning to tear down the vignette…


Jerry Arcari talking about the Aubusson rug as we remove it form the vignette.


Here we are “delivering “the new rug. Sally is delighted…


New rug in place ready to re-style. Doesn’t the space look empty?


Hanging the new artwork. Note the brown pillows in the chairs on the left.


Installing lamp shades. The humorous egg silver box and pillows are in place.


The re-styled vignette…


The happy presentors and Museum Director, Lindsay Dielh.


Michael Lee’s photo, taken the next morning…

So many people helped us with the effort. We simply could not have done this without their help. Sally and I thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

All the staff of Landry & Arcari

Jerry Mansfield of Muralo Paint and Home Decor Group of Peabody

Hammersmith Studios, who made the coffee table and two floor lamps

Jacqui Becker, Jacqueline Becker Fine Arts, for all the artwork

Joanne Mills, Miles River Sewing, for the slip cover and pillows

Charles Spada Antiques, accessories

Jia Moderne, accessories

The Martin Group, wing chairs and accessories

M-Geough, seating

FDO Group, accessories

Brookline  Village Antiques, accessories

Blanche Field and Lucia Lighting, lamp shades

Osborne & Little, Kravet, Old World Weavers, fabrics

Michael Lee, professional photography


Soooo, how’d we do???


To see our previous vignette, see here.

To visit our website, see here.

To contact us, see here.

A serendipitous conversation with a client recently led me to develop an unexpected color scheme. While we were chatting, I discovered that she had Richard Ginori fine china, as did I. When I found out that her pattern was cobalt blue, I immediately knew that the new scheme we were preparing for her new house had to make that china feel at home. The wrong color scheme could have made her never want to use that gorgeous china! Her entire first floor is interconnected, so I needed to work off of that blue, but not necessarily take blue into every room.

Here is a photo of the blue and white china I pulled from my collections, so that I could work on her colors in my office.

China patterns blue and white

Blue and White Russian China

Notice from the following photo that the fabrics don’t need to be cobalt, or exactly matching the china. They just need to speak the same language. They have tones that live harmoniously together. See the blue satin fabric for the chairs next to the china? Now, when that Richard Ginori blue and white comes out on the table, and the blue satin chairs are pulled up to candlelight, everything will just sing! It will look as though we actually planned it!


Fabric selection

Blue Satin Fabric with Blue China

It also happens that we used a wonderful tomato red wallpaper in another recent dining room, and that client is asking for my advice about which new china pattern to choose.

Osborne and Little wallpaper

Gorgeous red and gold wall paper for dining room

She has found a lovely Lenox tomato red with gold accents. My advice was, “Good find. This will look great there.” See the china she selected:

red and gold china

A beautiful Lenox china pattern

Lenox Service Plate


In cases like these two, where we are starting our rooms from scratch, it definitely makes sense to take the china pattern into account! Here is John’s and my Richard Ginori pattern.

Etruscan style fine china

Still my favorite China pattern!

It looks great in our yellow dining room, but if I were starting from scratch, and I wanted to build the room around this place setting, I would probably unearth a fabulous Etruscan red wallpaper!

Make everything sing! What an orchestra your rooms can be.Sally Wilson, ASID

I’ve never been one for what I call “matchy-matchy”. I let my artistic design eye rule; and, like a painter, I step back, look at my canvas, peruse my palette and let her rip.

For instance, in this kitchen, I found 2 different antique chandeliers in 2 different cities, in 2 different years. One went near the sink, the other over the family kitchen dining area. They add so much panache to the room. You can tell that they weren’t picked from a catalog and ordered. This gives instant history to the room, warmth and individuality.

Wrought Iron Chandelier

Antique iron chandelier, photo: Sam Gray

This French style piece gives great weight to the dining table.

French style iron chandelier

French style iron chandelier. Photo: Sam Gray

The following seaside living room doesn’t have a matching side table or matching lamp, and yet it still looks pulled together.

a mix of styles

Seaside Living Room. Design: Sally Wilson. Photo: Robert Brown

Seaside living, Massachusetts

Sometimes I surprise my clients, who know my non matchy-matchy inclinations, when I opt for symmetry and pairs of things. But it is true – sometimes symmetry is just the right thing. It screams out at me. Look at the rhythm of all these blue and white plates and jars. Don’t they add order to the otherwise wonderfully varied mix of textures and prints in the room?

Blue and White china collection
Blue and White adds symmetry. Photo: Michael Lee

But at other times symmetry can look just too bland and predictable. How do you know the difference? Practice. Practice makes perfect. (I think my mother has been telling me that since I started piano as a child.) By the way, I still practice – piano and other things.