Transitional Style

2014 was a very good year. This was the year Sally and I had been hoping for since the bottom fell out in 2008. Yes, it’s been 6 long years. Sometimes we’re amazed we survived, since 2004 is our residential practices birth year. Projects covered the entire spectrum, from a postage stamp sized contemporary bathroom to finishing large project that Sally began working on 2 years ago – house, pool house and all the out door furniture around the pool. If variety is the spice of life, 2014 served us a spicy helping, as we worked on Contemporary, French, New England traditional/transitional, Arts and Crafts, Continental/Belgian influence projects, to name a few.

Let’s start with a glimpse at several of the projects we worked on this year. Here’s Sally’s large Acton project, taking over two years to complete. The home owners took the long view, making decision slowly and deliberately, even though it meant moving in to the house and living with temporary furnishings, etc for an extended period of time. The results have been worth the wait! The architect was Juan Darias, now with JW Construction. Juan did a terrific job coordinating this large complex project. (I apologize in advance for Sally’s and my photographs.)

Acton shingle style project, interiors by Wilson Kelsey Design,; Photo by John Kelsey

The pool house and pool furniture.

Acton shingle style pool house,; Interior Design by Wilson Kelsey Design; photo by Sally Wilson

View of the family room from the kitchen area – designed for the relaxed lifestyle of a family with 4 children.

Acton shingle style home, family room from kitchen; Wilson Kelsey Design; photo by John Kelsey

Wish I could show more, but I can’t at the moment…

Now let’s let the pendulum swing 180 degrees to look at a tiny contemporary bath Sally designed for a client in Brookline, replete with a custom vanity in hi-gloss paint, Porcelanosa sink and a Hansgrohe Axor Collection faucet. What you don’t see is the totally cool halogen Tech lighting.

Contemporary full bath, designer, Sally Wilson; Photo by Sally Wilson

Brookline bath; Wilson Kelsey Design, photo by Sally Wilson

Then there was the project with our most favorite client of the year! It was a partial renovation in Newton – including their kitchen, family room, creating a walk in pantry, home office and mudroom. Stylish, almost modern in feel – balancing traditional and modern materials and details. We turned to our Belgian interior design style for inspiration and spun it to fit our clients American lifestyle. Check out the bleached/painted floor. Both photographs are scouting shots taken by Michael Lee.

Belgian style influence contemporary-traditional kitchen, Wilson Kelsey Design; Photographer Michael Lee

Lounge area adjacent to the kitchen. Francois & Co. mantel. Town & Country gas fireplace.

kitchen lounge, Wilson Kelsey Design; Photographer, Michael Lee

A glimpse at a walk out basement in a home at the Ipswich Country Club, which we helped the homeowner convert into a bar/entertainment area. Detail of the bar. (Apologies for the photographs…)

Bar detail; Wilson Kelsey Design

Note the painted floor.

Entertainment area, Wilson Kelsey Design

How can I forget our large French Villa Style under construction in Newton? (See previous post here.)

The Foyer.

french villa style foyer stair, Wilson Kelsey Design copy

View toward the living room from the foyer.

Foyer toward living room; Wilson Kelsey Design

Living room toward the foyer.

Frenck style paneling, Wilson Kelsey Design 2

Paneling detail…

paneling detail; WIlson Kelsey Design

Kitchen detail…

kitchen detail; WIlson Kelsey Design

Master bath in progress, sans crown molding, antique mirrors, columns at arch and Sherle Wagner sinks/faucet sets…

master bath progress; Wilson Kelsey Design

In closing, a few design sketches from several current projects.

A contemporary media wall with Arts and Crafts influence cabinetry.

arts and crafts tv wall; Wilson Kelsey Design

French Villa Style powder room.

French villa style powder room; WiLson Kelsey Design

Belgian Style Master Bath

master bath design study

Belgian Style Pantry

pantry elevations - Version 2

Finally – Several fabric/color palettes… (Sally has an amazing color engine!)

fabric pallete, WIlson Kelsey Design

fabric palette, Wilson Kelsey Design

fabric palette; Wilson Kelsey Design

Wilson Kelsey Design girls bedroom fabrics

All in all, a very good year and we’re looking forward to an exciting 2015!


John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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As I began to map out the post it became clear that in order to tell the story properly, it needed to be broken down into parts. It has been a long, interesting, educational and at times painful journey. Having said that – all ended well, but not at all where we started… Today, I am sticking just to the pretty pictures and sources of inspiration, to give you an idea of where we started.

The floor plan below shows locates the stair in the context of

the floor tile layout and several adjoining rooms off the foyer. It is a two story space with the second floor stair landing/hall running from right to left above the family room and kitchen.

In reality the stair and tile layout were conceived simultaneously. The following images are examples of stairs and tile layouts we drew inspiration and ideas from.

Our client loved the tile pattern/border in Brooke Astor’s Holly Hill House. We also drew inspiration from how the stair lands and flairs, which will be more evident in my next post.

SERGE J.F. LEVY/AP Photographer

The sweep of the hand rail form the Nathaniel Russell House… Look closely, the hand rail is composed of many individually carved curved segments.

She fell in love with this older wrought iron stair balustrade.

And this more modern spin on a similar motif.

Sally and I had budgetary concerns and in fact much preferred the character of stairs with simpler wrought iron balusters, as in these examples.

Before our client was willing to consider a simple baluster, we had to go thru the “exercise” of what would the more complex balustrade cost.

And so the adventure began…

Stay tuned…


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


A quick snapshot of a project in Acton Sally completed recently. The client had an architect and builder. Sally’s services were for furniture layouts and selection/specifying furniture, fabrics, color, materials, etc.

The view from the family room toward the kitchen. (My apologies for the under exposed pictures…)

Got to run… Busy day ahead… More another day…


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