Design & Architecture

Sally and I frequently receive calls from home owners who tell us they have purchased a newer home based on location, school system and or look of the home’s exterior, etc., but they don’t like the interior architectural detailing and decor. As one client related, “The interior has no gravitas.” And they ask us, “Can you help us upgrade the design of the interior architectural detailing, hardware, decorative lighting and decor?” We, of course, say yes.

Presently, Sally is working on a project on the North Shore of Boston in which she is helping a client undertake a phased major cosmetic overhaul of a newer Colonial Style home, converting it to the look and feel of a French Country estate. The project has been broken down by phase based on looking at logical architectural breaks and transitions, the client’s travel plans and what they intend to invest on an annual basis in the house.

The first phase was the renovation of a small foyer and powder room. Originally designed around a masculine “hunt club” theme, Sally and our client collaborated to create a gracious welcoming experience for owner and house guests. The very awkward powder room was expanded and reconfigured.

Here we see the existing conditions. Dark wood, dark paint and cramped dysfunctional powder room.

foyer existing conditions

Note the inexpensive door hardware, six panel colonial style doors and hunt scene drapery…

foyer existing conditions

powder room existing conditions

The powder room was expanded by eliminating a closet. New two panel doors and crown molding were selected. The bi-fold doors were replaced with flat panel doors to be covered with wall paper. The entry is on the right. The door on the left leads to the kitchen.

Existing Conditionsproposed floor plan, Wilson Kelsey Design

In order to create the desired French style our client was asking for, Sally worked with our friends from Zoe Design to create a custom chinoiserie wallpaper for the foyer, including covering the bi-fold doors concealing of the washer/dryer. (BTW: Zoe Design’s new website is Inspiring!!!)

Zoe Design chinoiserie wallpaper

In the powder room an antique mirror feature wall, custom hand painted vanity, marble vanity top and mirror were proposed.

proposed French Style powder room elevation, Wilson Kelsey Design

vanity sink base, Wilson Kelsey Design

Door hardware, powder room faucet set, vanity mirror and lighting throughout were thought of as jewelry a woman might wear when she attends a cocktail party – that final touch pulling everything together.

Mudroom style board, Wilson Kelsey Design

door hardware, Wilson Kelsey Design

For the floor, collaborating with Zoe Design, Sally and our client designed a grid with a fleur-de-lis at each intersection.

Floor & Mural by Zoe Design; Design by WIlson Kelsey Design


When the work was completed, the new foyer looked like this! Fresh, welcoming, and inviting. Love the tufted upholstered wall!

Mudroom:Foyer; Wilson Kelsey Design

Mudroom/Foyer; Wilson Kelsey Design

The powder room became a little jewel, fit for a queen!

French Style Powder Room; Wilson Kelsey Design


Sally recently produced a short video describing the renovation of the foyer/power room in more detail, which can be seen here.

Every home has a story. What’s your?

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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Spring is in the air, and for those of us in Boston, we have been long awaiting it! Spring always brings to mind Paris, as that is when the city is at its loveliest. As it so happens, John and I will be celebrating Paris in Spring when we host, tonight, our French Soiree, with our event partner Woodmeister Master Builders. (I know it has been a long time since you’ve heard directly from me, Sally, in these blog posts. But here I am.)

Vaux le Vicomte

Our illustrated talk with be on the classic elements of French design, and how to achieve that essence in your own home. When John and I visited Paris twice last year, we went with the intention of carefully studying all the little details of French architecture and interiors. John came away with thousands of photos that we have studied. We then formulated our theory of what makes a French interior unique.

We know we have a big turnout for tonight’s event, so many of you will be participating in finding out what those unique differences are.

Woodmeister and we have planned this event to be not only instructional, but a fun and sensory experience of French Culture. We’ve assembled a small movie, of period French songs and images of Paris and French gardens and food.


Petite Trianon; photo John Kelsey

Paris food; photo john Kelsey

The catering will be a pairing of French food, from La Voile Restaurant, and French wines from BRIX. The colors will be a celebration of the 3 colors of the French flag – blue, white, red.


à bientôt…


Every home has a story. We’d love to help you tell yours. Please contact us here.

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Inspired by Ocean Home magazine’s recent inclusion of Wilson Kelsey Design in their 2016 Top 50 Interior Designers list, we decided to enter Traditional Home magazine’s New Talent Search. Preparing the entry was much harder than I expected, particularly selecting 10 images that visually tell the story of our firm. It was much like answering the question we ask of ourselves when designing a project for our clients. “What is their story and how do we artfully tell that narrative?” Seeing pictures of a finished room or project doesn’t always relate the full story of transformation. With that in mind I assembled before/after pictures of the ten images we submitted.


French Style Dining Room, After photo by Laura Moss

 Before/After French Style Dining Room ; Wilson Kelsey Design

 French Style Living Room, After photo by Laura Moss

French Style Living Room; Wilson Kelsey Design

French Style Master Bath, After photo by Laura Moss

before/after French Style Master Bath ; Wilson Kelsey Design

French Country Kitchen, After photo by Sam Gray

Before/After French Country Kitchen ; Wilson Kelsey Design

Belgian Influence Kitchen, After photo by Michael Lee

Before/After Belgian Influence Kitchen; Wilson Kelsey Design

Antique Colonial Dining Room; After photo by Michael Lee

Before/After Antique Colonial Dining  Room; Wilson Kelsey Design

Belgian Influence Living Room, After photo by Michael Lee.

Before/After Belgian Influence Living Room; Wilson Kelsey Design

Transitional Living Room, Back Bay Boston; After photo by Eric Roth

Before/After Transitional Living Room ; Wilson Kelsey Design

Casual Beach House Dining Room; After photo by Michael Lee

Before/After Beach House Dining Area; Wilson Kelsey Design

Contemporary Show House Vignette; After photo by Eric Roth

Before/After Contemporary Show House  Vignette; Wilson Kelsey Design

You can see our submission here. There is so much talent out there. We appreciate your consideration.


John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

Every home has a story to tell. We’d love to help you tell yours. Please contact us here.

To visit our website, click here.

To follow us on Facebook, click here.

To follow us on Pinterest, click here.