Design New England

‘Tis the Season for Creativity

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A close-up photo of the grapevines and glass balls used for the opening photo for Selections on Page 39.

We love making our Selections feature come to life issue after issue. It is our chance to let loose, challenge designers, and be invigorated and inspired by the creative ideas generated in the process. For November/December’s “’Tis the Season,” we asked three designers to use the classic elements of glass, nature, or silver to inspire holiday decoration that is fresh and chic (no garish red and green allowed). What we photographed were a variation on the standard Christmas tree (with a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot), a table setup, and sparkling seasonal decorations for an entryway. We hope these candid shots from our day of photographing their final works of art will get you in the decorating mood.


To take glass to new heights, Eric Haydel of Eric M. Haydel Design Inc. of Boston had Peabody Glass Company Inc. of Peabody, Massachusetts, cut rounds of clear glass in varying diameters. Haydel then carefully placed them on top of rectangular glass vases. A Louis Ghost Chair offers a place to sit, if desired, presumably while opening gifts found beneath the “tree.” Against our white backdrop, the contours of the glass and the chair almost disappear — we are talking about things that are translucent after all. Empty wine bottles used a candleholders add an element of color, which Haydel augments with his sparkly but subtle winter green foliage. More on how this all came together can be found on our video of Haydel setting up and explaining the process from concept to completion.

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Event designer Lo McShay of LoLo Event Design of Boston creates beautiful table settings all the time in her line of work. For us, she designed one that looks like it came straight out of a woodland fairytale. In it, she emphasizes the power of being both creative and resourceful, using natural items found in our own backyards to decorate. And, she notes, it is fun to get the kids involved — send them out to scavenge for sprigs, plants, and moss while the adults put the finishing touches on the meal . . . or enjoy another glass of eggnog.

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When we thought of silver for seasonal decorating, framing silver bread and butter plates and hanging them in a grid was the furthest thing from our minds, though that’s just what interior stylist Kelly McGuill of Walpole, Massachusetts, did. Her design is a simple, highly graphic way to embellish a foyer, hallway, or corner of a room with a hint of the holiday season. McGuill played with the range of appearances silver can have — from dull to shiny, dark to light, and old to new. She used boxes with decorative tags, bulbs, and a floppy sprig of greenery in a silver urn.

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And with all the greenery and holiday cheer in the studio, we were delighted to find our very own lucky ladybug!

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Great design is always at your fingertips — read the November/December 2013 issue online!

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