There is nothing quite as magical and charming as rural New England, and Zoe Zilian, founder of Farmhouse Pottery, can help to bring a little bit of that authentic rustic feel to your home with her stoneware pottery and garden-inspired apothecary collection.
Originally from Camden, Maine, Zilian has an appreciation of the region’s vast network of farmers and artisans. She brings a fusion of these New England characteristics to her work, recently available at good boutique in Boston’s Beacon Hill.FULL ENTRY
Gorgeous sideboards and cabinets, classic comb-back Windsor chairs, a contemporary wooden music stand, and handmade jewelry, all the work of students and alumni of North Bennet St. School in Boston’s North End, are on display through May 24 in the lobby at Two International Place in downtown Boston. We previewed the exhibit at the annual evening of traditional craft, a gala event packed with guests and sponsors of the 125-year-old school dedicated to offering hands-on training in traditional trades and fine craftsmanship.FULL ENTRY
At the Architectural Digest Home Show in New York a few months ago, I was charmed by California designer and artist Tina Frey’s booth. Her pieces, which are also carried by interior designer Liz Caan’s Design Studio & Retail Store in Newton, Massachusetts, and at the gift shop at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, range from bowls and vessels to serving ware and jewelry. All are all made of lightweight resin, which gives the surface an alluring frosty look. Though she often works in bright colors, I covet Frey’s milky white champagne bucket accented with leather handles and know just what bubbly I’d pair it with for a stylish impromptu evening soiree.FULL ENTRY
Michael J. Lee
From the start, the client who hired Dee Elms and Andrew Terrat of Terrat Elms Interior Design in Boston to help turn a downtown penthouse into a comfortable home for Design New England's May/June 2013 interiors story “In Sync” had his priorities in order. “The views, the art collection, the furnishings are all important, but livability is what really matters,” he says. “Because of its warmth and coziness, this place looks good to me all the time, even with toys strewn about.”
Soon there will be even more toys as he, his fiancée and their 2-year-old daughter are expecting their second child.FULL ENTRY
The region’s rich inventory of architecture and craftsmanship was front and center at our recent Spring Design Salon, “New England Treasures: Innovating with regional materials, heritage, and home design” at Pompanoosuc Mills in downtown Boston. Designer Milford Cushman of Cushman Design Group in Stowe, Vermont, hit on three of the most romantic and quintessential New England building forms: The farmhouse, the barn, and the summer camp.FULL ENTRY
Now and Future Classics
The first definition of classic is “of the first or highest quality, class, or rank.” The last definition is “of or adhering to an established set of artistic or scientific standards or methods.” We think both apply to the examples we saw at our recent Spring Design Salon, where asked our presenters to discuss “Now and Future Classics: Creating designs that will stand the test of time.”FULL ENTRY
We always look forward to the annual MassArt Spring Sale, which features original artwork from the college’s students and alumni. This year’s event, in the lobby of the Tower building at 621 Huntington Avenue, Boston, through Saturday May 11, didn’t disappoint. There’s lots to see — and buy at very reasonable prices. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the show.
Spotting the sweet little planters shaped like baby heads by Lucy White, a senior in the ceramics program, I immediately began to imagine all the things I could grow in them. I chose a pair of glazed white pots with green interiors to add to my kitchen windowsill collection of white objects.FULL ENTRY
This season our semiannual Design Salon Series has taken us from Belmont to Brockton to downtown Boston in pursuit of inspiration and a bead on the latest trends and products in home design. We discovered techno advances in outdoor audio-video and lighting options, ways to go green in style, and how to go boldly into color and pattern. But there is still more to learn at our final salon of the series, “Now and Future Classics: Creating designs that will stand the test of time,” on Wednesday May 8 at Shafer O’Neil Interior Design in Wellesley, Massachusetts.FULL ENTRY
Photograph by Joel Benjamin
It is a design move that may seem reserved only for the brave, but mixing bold patterns and prints has leaped from the elite fashion runway to the home. The trend is showing up in every room, in exterior facades, and even in landscape design, as we demonstrate in our Selections feature in our May/June issue of Design New England.
To inspire us, we turned to Boston fashion designer Luke Aaron, who brought his talent, and luxurious clothing from his Spring/Summer 2013 collection, to the Boston Design Center where we spent the day with photographer Joel Benjamin trying to create the perfect visual to open our fashion-forward Selections. Yes, it took all day to come up with the final shot. In the process, we got plenty of photographs that are way too gorgeous to leave on the cutting room floor.FULL ENTRY
If you’re in Boston this weekend, take a walk along the Fort Point Channel and you’ll notice 20 public benches installed along it. They’re the work of students and design firms who entered their urban seating ideas in an international design competition held by Design Museum Boston, which, with more than 170 submissions, had a panel of judges choose the 20 semi-finalists that received funding for construction. The museum will offer tours of the benches and announce a $5,000 grand prize-winner, a $2,000 runner’s up, a $2,00 people’s choice winner at its free opening celebration Saturday April 27, starting at 1 p.m. The people’s choice will be chosen by the festivity's attendees, and we will post the winners next week.FULL ENTRY
What a lovely way to spend a spring afternoon. After we worked tirelessly on wrapping up our May/June issue, the editorial team at Design New England ventured out to the Boston Design Center’s spring forecast luncheon, which offered details about the BDC’s newest endeavors, both inside its showrooms, and on top of its roof.FULL ENTRY
A contemporary farmhouse compound in rural Vermont and how it satisfies the differing design wishes of a husband and wife is the cover story of our May/June issue (in homes and online next week). In this picture, photographer Jim Westphalen captured the architectural geometry of three structures — main house, garage, and design studio — coming together to form a courtyard. Contributing writer Nancy Humphrey Case reveals the complexity of creating a house that reads like a simple farmstead, but offers modern efficiency and style. Also in this issue, admirers of Andy Warhol will be fascinated by a Rhode Island home inspired by the famous 20th-century Pop artist’s island getaway in Montauk, New York. Then, we explore a lush Connecticut garden that evolved with the expansion of the one-time A-frame house it surrounds and we visit a city penthouse where family and breath-taking views are center stage.
The Design New England Spring Design Salons got off to a great start this week with a capacity crowd at Artefact Home|Garden in Belmont, Massachusetts. The topic was “Fifty Shades of Green,” and the presenters were a wealth of information on the latest in sustainable practices and technology.FULL ENTRY
We’re on a winning streak! After receiving the news last week of our two Silver Achievement Awards from the Garden Writers Association for photography, our confidence that our garden writing is equally deserving of accolade was confirmed. Contributing writer Carol Stocker won the GWA’s Silver Achievement award in the magazine category for her fascinating story Fantasy & Folly, which ran in Design New England’s September/October 2012 issue. The piece is about Rhode Island garden designer Louis Raymond and his bold landscape work, which involved a berry folly and glass sculptures glowing with gasses, for a couple’s vacation cottage in Connecticut. Stocker begins the article with “Call it a win win win.” Turns out, GWA agrees.
Time to celebrate! Design New England’s March/April 2012 cover and corresponding story Almost Heaven were awarded Silver Awards of Achievement for photography from the Garden Writers Association. Our contributing photographer Lynn Karlin (who also won for cover photography in 2011), did the exceptional work. Her images of design maven Bunny Williams and her Connecticut garden won over the judges this year in both the magazine category and the cover categories.
It’s no secret, we love this show. As we said in this issue’s Take Note column, AD20/21 Art & Design of the 20th & 21st Century it is a modern achievement.
So we were delighted to moderate a panel of experts at incorporating Modern and contemporary art into homes large and small. Our A-list of areas designers included Kate McCusker of Theodore & Co., the Beacon Hill design firm featured in our show house section of the March/April magazine.FULL ENTRY
We were so fascinated with the exotic quilling techniques used by Maine artist Lauren Fensterstock that we featured her work in our March/April issue (Black Magic). So no wonder we were stopped in our tracks at the recent Boston Gift Show at the Boston Convention & Exposition Center by delicate quilling found on these sweet greeting cards. Quilling Card, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, was founded by Huong Nguyen Wolf, who moved from Vietnam to her husband’s native Bay State, but each card’s curled paper decoration is crafted by Wolf’s own artistic family in Vietnam. (A video on her website shows how they work!)FULL ENTRY
Carol Stocker, garden writer for Design New England and The Boston Globe, is presenting a special lecture, “A Rogue’s Gallery of Invasive Weeds: How to Recognize Them and Send Them Packing,” at the Boston Flower & Garden Show Thursday March 14 at 3:30 p.m.
The threat of snow is never too far here in New England, but an early spring is guaranteed at the 2013 Boston Flower & Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, through Sunday March 17. The show's unofficial mascot has to be the jaunty topiary Chinese dragon festooned with white chrysanthemums perched atop a traditional round moon gate. This Asian inspired display was designed by Jim Donahue, horticulturist for the Preservation Society of Newport County and created by the Preservation Society’s staff. The display promotes the Society's 18th annual Newport Flower Show held at the magnificent Rosecliff mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, June 21 to 23.FULL ENTRY
Photographs by Rob Cardillo
A beautiful garden is a balance of labor and love. Yes, you have to dig, prune, plant, clip, nurture, pull weeds — all in all get dirty — but you also have to wait, simply watch, and let go, allowing time and nature run their course. In One Man’s Treasure in Design New England’s March/April issue, writer Tovah Martin brilliantly tells the story of landscape designer and antiques dealer Michael Trapp and how his love for all things timeworn infiltrate his West Cornwall, Connecticut, home, shop, and garden, which is both gracefully romantic and curiously mysterious. Photographer Rob Cardillo’s stunning photographs capture the garden’s moody earthiness and there are plenty to share.
We hope this virtual journey through a magical garden will whet your appetite for the Boston Flower & Garden Show, which opens March 13 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, and runs through Sunday March 17. The theme of this year’s show is “Seeds of Change” and we certainly are ready for that.
Photograph by Bruce Irving
Historic Boston Incorporated has done it again. We featured the nonprofit, whose mission it is to rescue the city’s most endangered properties, in our March/April issue for the outstanding work they did on the 1859 Eustis Street Fire House in Roxbury. Now, we’d also like to give HBI a shout-out for another significant project it recently spearheaded and completed, the renovation of the Hayden Building in Chinatown.FULL ENTRY
An insider's look at must-have products, fresh trends, and inspired spaces from the team at Design New England magazine.
Gail Ravgiala is editor of Design New England and a fan of both the region's historic architecture and its growing inventory of modern houses and public buildings.
Courtney Kasianowicz is associate editor of Design New England who scouts the area for new design, charming products, and local artisans both innovative and daring.
Jill Connors, Design New England's editor-at-large, is an antiques maven and design scout and will post about trends and discoveries in the field.
Bruce Irving, Design New England's contributing editor for architecture & building, is a renovation specialist who will share his insights on design and construction.
Estelle Bond Guralnick, Design New England's style & interiors editor, will post about interior design and interior designers and her favorite finds.