Eclectic Style

Several months ago Sally was contacted by a past client with a request to help her design a family room in her walk out basement overlooking the links at Ipswich Country Club. She wanted it to be stylish, masculine and done with flair. Here are two of Sally’s proposals for the large blank wall immediately to the right of the bar. Both were to done by decorative artists. One was rather formal – tromp l’oeil wainscot, columns, crown molding, etc. There was a lengthy discussion as to whether the dogs would be statues or part to the painting.

The second was much more stylish and whimsical. Again, tromp l’oeil, with drapery hung in front of the “open door”. What fun! Sadly, neither of these happened. Instead we’re considering a custom wallpaper.

She’s an interesting client, who likes to take on certain aspects of the project herself, meaning that aspects of Sally’s work is conceptual. It makes for an interesting collaborative process. The project is about 75% complete and yesterday Sally got a call asking for help resolving the profile of the countertop at the bar. So, armed with measuring tape, pencils and erasers, we headed to the job site today to see what could be done. I actually enjoy these little problems. You have to think on your feet and be decisive. Otherwise, the job slows down – or on occasion grind to a halt… Fortunately, this one was easy. In about 15 minutes a solution was sketched out on a piece of plywood set on top of the bar. This was one of several modifications we made.


While we were there, I took several detail snapshots of the job site. First the overview of the bar area, where most of the action is occurring at the moment.

Peaking out from under the floor protection you can see the  handiwork of our talented decorative painters, Zoe Design. (Note the books in the cabinet Sally was testing for appropriateness.)


A detail shot of the floor and the sink.


The Porcelanosa tile back bar backsplash and custom wall paper designed and produced by Zoe Design.

Yes, those are guinea fowl feathers… Incredible texture, yes?

I’ll save the powder room until another day. We all know what spackle looks like…



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We’re making good progress on our Celebrity Series of Boston piano. As I mentioned in our last  post, we needed to rethink portions of our design. Late last week, we met with Lena and Doug of Zoe Design and finalized the runner that will cover the main body of the piano.

At the bottom right of the above photo, you can see the the various test strips Doug prepared for us to evaluate and the combination we finally selected just in front of the chair.

Here’s a detail shot… Look very closely at the bottom right corner of the larger “feather” sample where we did a test of the clad lacquer finish coat. It really pops and brightens things up!

Over the weekend, Dave of Fantastic Finishes (978-578-4160) very carefully partially dismantled the piano. After masking off the piano’s inner workings, he primed and painted. The masked areas are where the runner will go (less the keyboard, etc.).

Some of the bits and pieces primed to receive the paper runner.

Tomorrow, Doug will being applying the paper. Can’t wait to see it!!! Then the final step will be several clear coats of lacquer to make it all Pop!!!

While Sally was at the Design Center last week, she dropped in on the Studio to see how the other pianos were coming along. Everyone was having fun painting/creating their pianos and great progress was being made!

The excitement and energy is building! We’re so looking forward to seeing all the finished pianos in one room early next week, before they are disbursed throughout the city!

Next post will be on my friends from Woodmeister Master Builders’ making and contributing 45 piano benches to the cause! BRAVO and THANK YOU!!!

Have a wonderful week!

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If you would like our assistance on your design project, contact us here.



Sally and I, along with our design partners, are busy pulling together a design scheme for a piano that will be featured in an exciting event associated with Celebrity Series of Boston this Fall. It is called “Play Me, I’m Yours”, The Street Pianos Boston Festival. 75 pianos decorated, painted, etc. by local Boston artist will be sprinkled about the city in public places inviting people to play them between September 27 and October 14. Ours will be in the galleria of 10 St. James Ave., where Landry & Arcari is located. We’re hard at work finalizing our design and finishing the piano with our artists from Zoe Design and Fantastic Finishes, 978- 578-4160.

We first saw our piano a few weeks ago in Boston. A beautiful satin black Yamaha upright. (Almost like Sally’s first piano.) Formerly a practice piano at a local music school, she is quietly hoping to be adopted by a loving family.


We’ve heard rumors that this piano is to be auctioned off at the Celebrity Series Opening Gala on October 5th. (Trying to confirm…) What’s that – 4 weeks away? (At the time…) Piece of cake! We had a glimmer of a concept… Sally and I knew we wanted to treat the piano as a form, expressing its inherent shape and quality. The more we talked, the more we honed in on a “stair runner” concept that would flow over the entire piano like water – and we liked the idea of animal prints.


We began sketching and talking with our team… Maybe a little zebra/tiger stripe? Not quite the right scale… Not classy enough…


So – how about a littel chinoiserie? Love it, but far to complex to do in the amount of time we have. This would take months to do by hand. Save the idea for another day…

We began to realize that given the time constraints, we were going to have to be clever with how we created and did the piano. Fortunately, Zoe Design has been putting many of their hand painted mural patterns into their computer creating custom wall paper. Perfect!!! Create a pattern and repeat – viola!!!!

Below is the preliminary idea we settled on – using feathers! (Zoe Design’s custom wallpaper is worthy of it’s own blog post…)


While this was going on the piano had been delivered to Fantastic Finishes. We met there in the evening last week to finalize where all the finishes/patterns would stop and start.

OMG! It’s real!!!


Figuring out the pattern repeat…


…and realizing, “What??? We need to tweak the design further??? It’s not quite right yet??? YIKES!!!”


Sally tickled the ivories to help calm frayed nerves…

And so we retired, agreeing to meet at Zoe Design’s studio to refine and finalize the design. Stay tuned to see what we created!



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If you would like our assistance on your design project, contact us here.