Contemporary Architecture

Good Morning All!

Sally and I are delighted to be featured in the Summer Issue of Boston Common magazine. (Find us on page 103.) We were asked by it’s editor to review and comment on  a property that is currently for sale at One Charles Street South, in the Back Bay of Boston. They are the only two side by side penthouse units on the market in Boston today. Of course they offer spectacular views of the city, particularly from their private decks and patios.

Sally and I explored the notion of combining the units. Our design concept was to create a grand centrally located foyer/gallery with private family spaces to it’s left and public/gathering/entertainment spaces to it’s right. Each would have it’s own terrace/patio space.

Included in the story was a sketch I did, showing a fanciful notion of how the public space might appear – that being quite modern and open, with one space flowing into the next, with areas defined by ceiling treatments and light fixtures.

We imagined the foyer, the entire penthouse for that matter, in two very distinctly different styles. The first being quote modern, in the manner of Richard Hallberg.


The other, quite surprisingly, more traditional with today’s flair, as in the work of John Saladino.

In either case, the overall space lends itself to a series to wonderfully created enfilades, as in the old classic French style.

The listing is being handled by William Montero, of Warren Residential Group, 617, 312-7232.

Have a wonderful day!


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Munich Inspirations


I’d love to tell you about this apartment John and I are working on in Munich, Germany! It is overlooking the city’s fabulous big park, the Englischer Garten with lots of trees outside their windows. I recently pulled together a story board for all their rooms. Just look at these materials for their living room!

Inspiration Board for Munich Apartment

Today, let’s start by talking just about their living room. We’ve decided to put in a vent free fireplace to add a cozy feeling. There’s room for a chaise style long sofa and two lounge chairs. The building has wonderful floor to ceiling windows that open almost like french doors. We selected a dark brown walnut stain for the oak floors, that run throughout the apartment. It provides a great backdrop to this compact space with its treetop views.

Here’s John’s sketch of what the living/dining room can look like. He’s such a good sketch artist! Love it!

Munich Apt. sketch by John Kelsey

The materials selected for the living room:   Living room fabrics


So what will pull it together and give us a jumping off place? A fabulous contemporary area rug, in wool and silk. Based upon nature, this one is called “Marbleous” and thus imitates the veining in slabs of marble. Luscious, I think, in a soft beige with gold and copper colors in the veins.

The sofa will be in a fabulous texture that brings beige and gold together.

Beige and gold fabric for sofas

Carefree toss pillows in chartreuse green will enliven the space.

Chartreuse velvet fabric for toss pillows


The lounge chairs are in a soft chenille with a soft brown background and beige  dots. Feels great against the skin!

beige chenille fabric

To soften the space and frame the magnificent views, we selected simple pleated drapery panels on small iron rods. The fabric is a soft white with a large repeating tree design woven in. It will be elegant without drawing too much attention to itself.

drapery fabric with nature theme

Paint colors selected for this space are by Benjamin Moore, and are “Royal Flax” on 3 walls, with the one wall behind the sofa accented with “Quietude”, a darker brown.

Paint colors Benjamin Moore Sally Wilson, ASID

We envision this space filled with stimulating conversation at times, along with quiet reflective reading of books as snow falls softly outside on their terrace. Next week I’ll tell you about the intriguing study/home office! Until then ….

Sally Wilson, ASID award winning designer and writer




The images in Robert Stern’s book, Houses, have been a source of inspiration, thought and study this past week as I begin digging in to one of our new projects. The play of light and shadow caught my eye in this photo.


Beautiful tall modern foyer style space. Love the cut outs above the doors on the right – how they are used for display. I especially like how Stern treated the framed opening into the room beyond and the “light box” above.


Here we are 180 degrees the other way looking at one of his traditional/classical foyers. Still very aware of the volume. I feel the chandelier, sconces, horizontal line created by the crown molding and wainscot make this a much friendlier/approachable space. I also like how the black hand rail on the stair reach across to the chairs by the door (and the chandelier).


One of the things I’ve been studying in Stern’s book is how he manages the perceived height of a room. This room is very tall with a vaulted ceiling. I like how the crown molding has been used to create a “ceiling line”. The balcony opening carved out of the ceiling is brilliant!

Have a great week!


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