It is high summer in Newport and a well-heeled crowd packed the Gala Preview
Party for the Newport Antiques Show last evening, on the campus of St. George’s School in Middletown. Design New England, a media sponsor of the event, strolled the aisles with three delightful Newport design professionals to see what caught their eye and hear their suggestions for incorporating antiques into home and garden designs.
In Selections of the current issue of Design New England, we asked designers Kim Deetjen, Phoebe Lovejoy Russell, and Valerie Jorgensen to use quintessential summer scenes as inspiration for furnishing dreamy getaway rooms — and the results radiated with summery goodness. It all got me to thinking what my picks for a sweet summer hideaway would be. Here are 10 that exude the season’s charm, but I am still counting.FULL ENTRY
If you haven’t been to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum near Boston’s Back Bay Fens since the new $114 million wing designed by architect Renzo Piano opened in January, now is the time to go. Not only is the famous indoor courtyard alive with lush plantings, but the new wing allows for an outdoor landscape that the old Gardner never had. On a recent guided tour with the musuem’s marketing director Matt Montgomery, we discovered there is no better place to experience the glorious new gardens at the Gardner than from inside the simple 50-foot glass connector (refered to by Piano as “the umbilical cord”) that leads from the new building to the original 1901 Fenway Court. The wing, which doubles the museum’s footprint, is comprised of twin glass cubes. One houses Calderwood Hall, an extraordinary concert space with a central area for performers surrounded by three single row balconies for 360 degree listening. The other holds the expansive Special Exhibition Gallery, which boasts a movable ceiling used to control height and natural light depending on the exhibit. (The current show, Magic Moments: The Screen and the Eye – 9 Artists 9 Projections, is up through August 20.)FULL ENTRY
Staggering around the Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show in the mid-day sun last week, I was sure the flashes of color that swam before my eyes meant the beginnings of heat stroke. Upon closer inspection, and after a friendly chat with the dealer, I discovered that, a) I was still conscious and, b) the color I spotted was a searing shade called “sulfur yellow,” which gets its name from the chemical element most recognizable in its yellow crystal form. Now, I am seeing it everywhere — and I am hooked. And I realized that it is a tone I often turn to first when deciding on a color for the logo on Design New England's covers — 100 percent yellow with just a touch of cyan. Though it rarely makes it to press, its electric quality sparks my creative juices. (I also have a tendency to express my devotion to a color by painting my toenails in the favorite hue of the moment, though I have yet to bare any sulfur-shaded piggies this summer!)
The south coast of Maine has an infinite number of scenic spots along its varied coast. But it takes the locals to know where the secret gems are hiding. Such is the location of the Museums of Old York’s 23d Annual Decorator Show House.
Harmon House is at the core of a most charming picture postcard lane off Route 1A near York Harbor. Shaded by tall trees, the little colony of summer houses nestle into the tranquil site, their shingled walls wrapped with wide porches and their lawns yawning between games of croquet.
The goal: Create a kitchen at the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton, Massachusetts, where patients and staff could work and eat together in a homelike setting. The facilitator: Donna Venegas of Venegas and Company in the Boston Design Center, who lead the charge to replace the cramped and outdated commercial kitchen in the Community Based Acute Treatment (CBAT) Program Unit with one that is invitingly colorful, easy-to-use, and homey.FULL ENTRY
In the blink of an eye, May turns to July and the Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show again takes over the town of Brimfield, Massachusetts, giving the Design New England editorial team another great reason to get out of the office. On a perfect summer day, we scoured the fields and chatted up dealers looking for the au courante, the tried-and-true, and the next big thing in the world of antiques.FULL ENTRY
Photographs by Diane Hammer
To a background of soft pastel, velvety red, and snow white roses, guests brought a tropical swirl of pink, orange, and lime finery to the annual Rose Garden Party to benefit ParkARTS, the city’s free summer art, music, and performance programs held at public parks throughout the city.FULL ENTRY
Maybe it’s the 4th of July holiday that has us thinking cookouts and alfresco dinner parties. Summer isn’t summer without them. While some of today’s outdoor spaces, such as the one above, are equipped with a full kitchen set up, all you need for successful dining en plein air is seating, good food, and a summer breeze. From roof decks to terraces, a look through Design New England archives provides picturesque variations of these appetizing spaces.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.
Danielle Ossher expands our market watch, scoping out trends, products, and all things new and exciting from NYC and beyond.
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.