Eclectic Style

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I last posted. I admit, it has been a very busy time. In addition to the new construction Neoclassical home we’re working on, we have a renovation project in Newton happening as well. It’s far enough along that Sally and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I thought I’d share a few progress shots.

First, a floor plan for context.  We worked within the kitchen foot print, refining and reconfiguring the layout to respond to how they live today. The major change was converting the back entry area into a walk in pantry. We oriented the home office so it looks out over the back yard and swimming pool, while the mud room off the garage received a full makeover with more storage and places to put down “stuff”, hang keys, charge phones, etc.

For inspiration, we looked to the work of Gil Schafer

and my favorite blogger/interior designer from Belgium, Greet LeFevre.


Sally tweaked the Gestalt of these images as only she can. A little more modern/contemporary and styled to the American palette. Our client selected the hexagonal onyx for behind the range top and stainless steel/glass Miele exhaust hood. (which is not drawn in the sketch.) The walnut and glazed rift cut white oak at the bottom left were selected for the island and cabinetry respectively.

Working thru the exact wash/glaze took some time. Much depended on the color of the wood/veneer it was being applied to. None of these were quite right…


So… what does the kitchen look like?

One of the elevation sketches of the fridge/oven wall in the kitchen.

The kitchen island, with it’s integrated glass top table.

I took these two photographs late last week. The counter tops have just been templated and are in production at Cumar Marble and Granite. The glass table top is in storage and will be installed at the very last moment. The folks from King and Company in New Hampshire were a huge help in engineering and fabricating the table base. Cabinetry is by Detail Woodworking. The floor will be sanded, bleached, glazed and then a painted translucent stone pattern will be added  prior to the usual two finish coats of sealer. (Thank you dave Taubenaek and Zoe Design!)



Family room millwork is in the right foreground…

I’ll cover the pantry, home office and mud room in separate posts.

Sally and I have a few openings in our fall schedule for additional projects. We’d be delighted to chat with you!



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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!

To visit our website, click here.

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