Monthly Archives: January 2019

Styling Accessories: Our Top 15 Go-To’s

We had a few photo shoots recently and have a few more coming up next week so we’re always trying to find the perfect finishing touches to complete the design of a space! Accessories help to add an extra oomph or pop of color, and are a key component in creating an overall finished look. We wanted to share some of our go-to’s and favorites for when it comes to styling a space to perfection!

1. Colored books. Colored antique books that coordinate with the design are an easy way to fill up empty shelf space. They can be arranged in so many ways to add in visual interest to your built-ins.

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2. Glass knots. We think glass knots are so fun! Available in tons of colors and sizes and easy to throw in just about anywhere.

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3. Decorative boxes. We just loveee a good decorative box. Cute and versatile, especially when it’s a set that comes in multiple sizes! (Check out some of our favorite decorative boxes here!)

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4. Succulents, plants & flowers. No better way to freshen up a space than with greenery and plants! We love finding flowers that contrast in color to the space so they really stand out. Ferns, leafy plants, and olive branches are amongst our favorites plants, and we gravitate toward tulips, hydrangeas, and peonies as our go-to flowers for styling.

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5. Coffee table books. A stack of coffee table books adds an element of sophistication to a space and gives your guests (and you!) something fun to look at. There are coffee table books for just about every topic out there so it makes for a fun way to express something that you are passionate about. (And sometimes, we just like them for their cover!)

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6. Fresh fruit/produce. This is go-to for photo shoot styling–we love what a fresh sliced watermelon or bowl of lemons or fresh artichokes adds when styling a kitchen!

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7. Cutting boards. We love to layer a stack of cutting boards when accessorizing a kitchen! There are so many cool cutting boards with different materials to mix and match.

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8. Gold sculptural urchins. These are definitely a staple for us–cute & easy to incorporate into a variety of different design styles.

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9. Sculptural vases & jars. It’s always fun to find a unique-looking sculptural vase that differs from the ‘norm.’ We love this one from Abigail’s!

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10. Glass or wood beads. Something so small and simple can sometimes be the perfect finishing touch! Glass or wood beads are perfect to style in a small bowl on top of a console or on top of a stack of books on a coffee table.

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11. Wooden chain links. We were so excited when we got these wooden chain links in one of our projects to style! They’re beautiful and interesting and definitely outside the norm for typical styling accessories. Love!

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12. Agate & crystals. Bookends, objects, coasters, you name it. We love to incorporate agate and other gorgeous crystals in any spaces that we can. So pretty!

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13. Coral sculptures. We found these beautiful coral sculptures and love them for their intricate hand-crafted detail. (We also LOVE the products from Element Clay Studio and hope to incorporate some of these beauties into our projects soon as well!)

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14. Baskets. Perfect for throwing in spare blankets or pillows, baskets are cute and functional for styling and accessorizing a space.

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baskets

15. Ottoman trays. We love to find a nice ottoman tray to compliment the style of the space, although what actually goes in the tray is another whole styling element in itself!

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Stay tuned to see how we styled some of our most recently photographed projects!

Things are Looking Up!

Look up! We’re talking about wallpapered ceilings–a trend that we’re looking to incorporate into a current project! Wallpaper on ceilings allows for an atypical point of interest in a place that the eye may not be immediately drawn to otherwise. Wallpapering a ceiling is a perfect way to add a layer of dimension in a room without completely overwhelming the space with a busy pattern or bold print, as wallpaper on the walls might. There are SO MANY cool wallpapers out there so whether you want just a hint of color or texture OR a more bold pattern to make a statement, there’s gotta be something that you can incorporate into your own space somewhere!

Wallpapering an entire ceiling in a huge room will definitely make a bold statement (not to mention a huge undertaking for your wallpaper installer!)

We love the appeal of wallpapered ceilings making a big punch in smaller spaces such as laundry rooms, powder rooms and hallways.

We also noticed that wallpapering the ceiling is a huge trend for nurseries and kid’s bedrooms! It gives them something to fun to look at and helps to ground them in their space. What kid wants to look up to a blank white ceiling, anyways?!

Wallpaper on ceilings can be as simple adding a pop of color, or as daring as a bold and colorful pattern.

We also love the way a neutral pattern still livens up a space just enough with an extra element of visual interest.

Wallpaper on the ceiling is a cool way to highlight architectural details and inset features!

We’re super excited to be using this same Phillip Jeffries wallpaper (in the blue colorway) in a lounge space in one of our current projects–absolutely gorgeous!

We love this trend for how it grounds a room while adding a unique point of interest. So, think beyond the walls when you’re thinking wallpaper! Wallpaper on the ceilings will definitely transform your space in ways you may have not even imagined!

#ProjectProgress: Sound Shore Project

We’ve said it before but summer homes really are made in the winter! When the temperatures are this cold, it’s tough to think that lounging around in a beautifully redone beach home is even possible as the bitter winter air stings your face. But, the reality is, in just a few short months the sun will be shining and that winter air is replaced with a warm ocean breeze. (Sounds nice, right?!)

That being said, we’ve been working away on our latest beach home, our #SoundShoreProject in Jamesport, NY. This is an adorable little cottage with private stairs right down to the beach, complete with a full outdoor bathroom and all. After the clients closed on this home this past fall, we got started right away with re-imagining their perfect beach space, set to be complete just in time for when those warmer months start to come back around.

Juxtaposed with an ultra-modern guest house actually set on the front half of the property, a long yard separates the two and it’s really interesting that they’re both part of the same property. Here’s some before photos and existing conditions of the original site. (Seriously, you can’t beat those views!)

We knew right away that we wanted to get a fresh coat of bright white paint all over the interior of this home asap–here’s some of our initial inspiration!

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(How cute is this concept for an outdoor beach bathroom?!)

Once the initial inspiration was approved by our clients, we started building out the model, sourcing furniture and materials, and pulling everything together. We’re so excited with how everything has been coming along! Here’s a few shots from our model mapping out how each space is going to look. Once spring and summer roll around, of course.

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Guest/Kids bedroom 1

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Living/Dining Room

loft space guest bedroom

Guest/kids bedroom 2 (loft space!)

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Master bedroom

We’ve recently checked in to see how everything is going here. Updates are all coming along and we’re almost ready to start getting some furniture in! We’re so happy to see how much the new paint freshens and brightens up the space, creating the perfect backdrop for the bright and beachy vibes that we’re going for.

Speaking of the furniture, summer homes being made in the winter definitely poses a few (minor) issues for furniture delivery. We always try to streamline the process for our clients and get everything sent to an R&D company until all of the furniture is ready to be delivered. In this particular case, it has to be carried all the way across that lawn–whether it’s snowy, muddy, or perfectly dry grass (ha, yeah right.)

We can’t wait to see this home continue to come together over the next few months! Stay tuned for more progress and updates and the final reveal!

Friday Inspiration: Get Cozy!

I heard we’re getting a biiig snow storm this weekend. To be honest, I’m kind of excited. I might regret saying that by Sunday evening, but it’s mid January and we haven’t seen a single snow storm yet here in the North Shore! If you’re anything like me, your plan for the weekend is to lock yourself away in the warmth of your home with a good book, a few good movies, and maybe some red wine or spiked hot chocolate 🙂 Props to anyone who has plans other than exactly that, honestly. I couldn’t help but to find inspiration in some seriously cozy spaces that would be ideal for watching the snow fly this weekend. Fluffy blankets, comfy couches, loads of pillows, and roaring fireplaces are on our minds as we enter this wintery weekend–here are a few of our favorites!

Yep, definitely would be staying in any of these beds for the next 72 hours straight. Imagine laying in these and just letting the snow pile up outside the window?! Yes please.

And for when you need a change of scenery from your bedroom to the living room, these should do the trick as well. Bundle up and stay warm this weekend!

This or That: Our Most Common Design Dilemmas

With every design decision we have to think about what will make the most sense, be the most practical, and look the best in any given space. A lot of thought and consideration has to go into each item, material, or piece that we spec and oftentimes we’re torn on what the best direction to go is! We wanted to share a few of our most common decisions that we have to choose between, our thought processes behind each scenario, and the instances that work best in each case. That being said, there are definitely instances when both work for different reasons in which case it comes down to the client’s personal choice. We typically go through a lot of back and forth when these design decisions come up, as  everyone has their own personal preferences! We’d love to know – which do you prefer in each of these instances?!

Layering rugs vs. one rug 

The idea of layering multiple rugs helps to ground a space with an additional point of interest with added pattern, color, or texture. It also helps to define an area more if furniture seems a little awkward or floating!

We love this idea but there are also cases where just one rug is enough because you don’t want to make the space feel too busy, and additional pattern and color just isn’t necessary.

Neutral vs. color 

The never-ending debate for a lot of designers! This applies to wall color, upholstery, window treatments, bedding, rugs–truly anything. What is the client’s personality or story? Does the location call for color? Or does it call for more subtlety? Our South End Reno project was a fun Boston condo that we couldn’t imagine without color…

…But several of our beach home projects call for far more subtlety and muted tones with only pops of color here and there!

We generally go by a rule of thumb to use neutrals as grounds, large upholstery pieces, and paint colors and bring the color in with pillows, rugs, and accessories–but again there’s an exception to everything!

Painted vs. wood vs. white cabinets 

Paint grade? Wood finish? White? How do you decide when it comes to selecting the perfect cabinet finish?! It truly depends on the mood of the space. A bright and beachy kitchen typically calls for fresh white cabinetry…

..but a fun pop of blue or another bold color can be just as beautiful! Or, you can even mix and match–We LOVE the contrasting statement of blue on only the island at our #ShelterIslandHomeProject where the rest of the kitchen has all white cabinets!

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And sometimes, the kitchen calls for cabinetry in a wood tone, all depending on what else is going on in the space. It may not be necessary to go bold with a color or bright with a white.

Artwork vs. a mirror 

Finding that perfect piece for above the credenza in your living room or above the console in your foyer is no easy feat! Both mirrors and artwork can definitely make a statement in their own way. Do you need more light reflected into your space? Do you need to do a final check before you head our the door? Then mirror is the way to go! Another point of consideration is what will the mirror be reflecting where it is hung? Ideally, you want a mirror to reflect a pleasing view or reflect light into the space.

If what the mirror reflects isn’t beautiful or if you need a pop of color or visual interest, then artwork is the way to go! Artwork is also a great way to bring a room together by providing a cohesive color palette to pull from for other items in the space.

Marble vs. manufactured materials

This decision generally comes down to practicality, household needs, & what type of space it is being used in. While marble and other natural stone is beautiful and stunning, it is more difficult to clean and can stain easier when used as kitchen counter tops or a bathroom floor tile. If the client is willing to take care with the upkeep of marble and natural stone, we’re all for it!

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But in a space with kids or pets that may take more of a beating, there are plenty of options that look equally as beautiful with a lesser risk of staining.

White upholstery, yes or no? 

Another debate that we always have a tough time with! People are often afraid of white upholstery obviously for its “impracticality.” We love a crisp white sofa or chair for the way it brightens up a space–it’s simple and beautiful and serves as a blank canvas to design the rest of the room around. If you’re worried about kids or pets or your own red wine spilling on the couch, there are plenty of ways to have certain fabrics treated to avoid staining. There are also tons of great fabric options that are inherently stain resistant!

But, we totally get that you don’t want to take the risk either. And as beautiful as white upholstery can be, sometimes the room doesn’t call for a bright white sofa. Neutral and darker sofas will hide your stains much easier and is definitely more forgiving than the stark white.

Contrasting grout vs. matching or white grout

Do you want your grout to disappear? Or do you want it to make a statement with the tile? We love the way that a white subway tile looks with a contrasting black grout. A darker or contrasting grout will definitely alter the look of the tile pattern & the design of the room overall!

But this is a very specific look and it’s not for everyone/everywhere. Generally, a white or neutral matching grout is the way to go if you don’t want to make your space look too busy. Especially when a tile has some color in it, keeping it clean and simple with white is the way to go.

Typically, after weighing the many options, these decisions come down to personal preference and how it works (visually and functionally) within a space for each client! There is no perfect answer as to what is right or wrong, and everyone has their own opinions on what will work best for them!

 

Friday Inspiration: Fluff & Fold!

It’s the weekend again which means it’s the perfect time to start looking into that laundry room you’ve been wanting to upgrade! (Or, the perfect time to do some of the laundry you’ve let pile up all week, whichever…) Either way, we wanted to share some of the cutest laundry room ideas that we’re most inspired by this week. We’re working on laundry rooms in a few different homes right now and can’t wait to use some of this inspiration on our own! A laundry room is the perfect space to add something fun or different that you may not typically choose for elsewhere in your home, like a cute patterned wallpaper, a cool cement tile, or a bold pop of color. I can’t think of anyone who loooves doing laundry, so you might as well make the space you have to do it in enjoyable and functional!

Year in Review: 2018 Highlights

As we embark on the new year (and our 8th year in business!) we wanted to look back and reflect on some of the highlights from 2018. At the beginning of each year we discuss goals for our company and things we hope to accomplish in the year ahead. It’s always rewarding to look back on those goals and see what we achieved! 2018 was a busy and exciting year for us with lots going on; here are some of the goals that we accomplished along with some other exciting happenings!

1. New office! 

After a year and a half in our 350-square foot Beverly office, we relocated to an office 3 times the size in Marblehead last summer! We love our new office and now have so much more space for storage and work surfaces.

2. Photographing new projects. 

We were so excited to have a 3-day, 4-project photo shoot in the North Fork over the summer to be able to share some of our newest projects! (Photo credit to Kyle Caldwell Photography!)

3. New website. 

We put a lot of hard work into the reworking of our new website. This is something we do on our own, so it was a great feeling to finally publish the website with new content and a new layout!

4. Getting a logo & branding. 

We finally had a logo made for our company & are thrilled to have consistency across client presentations, branding, and even have tags made for any custom designed furniture we incorporate into our projects!

5. High Point Market. 

The three of us all took our first trip to Market this past fall as a team! It was such a great learning experience for us and we expanded our network of resources quite a bit. While there, we also got to take an in-depth tour of the factory where a lot of our custom furniture is made. It was so cool to learn the ins and outs of this process, and to be able to finally meet the people we’ve worked with exclusively online for the past few years!

6. Repeat clients 

It’s always a rewarding feeling to have clients come back for our help with another home or a different phase of their home. Last year we started working again with one of our very first clients, as well as with another repeat client who moved and wanted to work with us again!

7. Designing for local boutique commercial businesses. 

We were thrilled to help design two local businesses- North Fork Brewing Company and “The Hive.” (The Hive is not quite complete yet, almost there!) It’s always fun to step outside of our residential design routines to work on more hospitality-based projects!

North Fork Brewing Company (Photos & our original design)

The Hive (Not entirely complete yet but here’s a few progress shots as well as our original renderings and design board!)

8. Several publications. 

We were so grateful to be featured in a variety of publications over the past year, including Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Voyager, WWD, Elliman Insider, Downtown NYC, Zagat, North Fork Real Estate Showcase, and Urbandaddy.

9. Social media consistency. 

One of our goals for 2018 was to be more consistent with our social media posting. We hope to continue to expand our social following and have been so excited to get to a point of posting content on social media almost daily, as well as a new blog post once or twice a week! It’s important to us to keep our followers engaged and in the loop with what we’re up to.

10. Winning a local Best of the Best.

Dan’s Papers is a longstanding weekly lifestyle publication for the eastern end of Long Island. Each year readers vote to select their favorite businesses in a multitude of categories, and we were very excited to place gold for best interior design!

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We’re looking forward to the new year and can’t wait to work toward our new goals and see what’s in store for us!

 

Friday Inspiration: Our Favorite Local Restaurant Interiors!

If your New Year’s resolution was to eat out less, we’re sorry to tempt you. But if it wasn’t, we wanted to share some of our favorite local (Boston & Long Island) restaurant interiors to inspire you to go and check them out for yourself! A dining-out experience to us is much more than just the quality of the food and how the service was. The atmosphere that is created by the interior also has a major impact on our likeliness to go back again–whether it’s for a cocktail, a cup of coffee, or a full sit-down dinner with friends. These restaurants have it all–good food, good service and an awesome interior. (We’re always gathering inspiration for ideas for our next restaurant design!)

Ledger, Salem MA.

This old-bank-turned-restaurant used its roots to create the unique atmosphere of the interior.

Bancroft, Burlington MA.

Tartine, Beverly MA.

We were lucky enough to have this cute European-style cafe attached to our office before we moved! Tartine recently expanded their space to double the size and we can’t wait to go back and check in on the renovations!

Saltie Girl, Boston MA.

Turquoise fish-scale tile on the barfront, need we say more?!

Southern Proper, Boston MA.

American Beech, Greenport NY.

The perfect place for a summer cocktail!

Blackbird Doughnuts, Boston MA.

Because is there anything better than a doughnut shop with an adorable interior? We think not!

Honeycomb, Hamilton MA.

An eclectic farmhouse kitchen with delicious pastries, coffee, and sandwiches.

Reel House, Boston MA.

A cool nautical-themed interior inspired by classic luxury yachts!

Yvonne’s, Boston MA.

Yvonne’s inhabits the former location of the third oldest restaurant in Boston, Locke-Ober. Dark and moody Victorian vibes with killer cocktails. Be sure to order the large-format cocktails in a crystal chalice, to share or not to share 🙂

Bastille, Boston MA.

Steel & Rye, Milton MA.

 

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019

With the New Year officially underway, we wanted to share some of our thoughts on Pantone’s recently-announced color of the year for 2019: Living Coral. This energizing and bright coral color “symbolizes our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits” as well as “embodies our desire for playful expression” according to Pantone. It’s certainly bright and colorful and while it doesn’t quite fit in with our typical design wheelhouse, we still found some fun ways that we think it could be incorporated into your own home if you aren’t exactly ready to cover your entire living room wall with this lively hue.

Colorful Pop on your Front Door. Front doors are a fun and easy way to give your entrance a face lift because it’s simple enough to swap out if you change your mind, so you might as well try something bold! Living Coral is definitely adorable on these front doors!

Bold Trim Color. Give your built-in shelves or trim a bold pop of Living Coral to liven and energize a space.

Patterned Upholstery. Living Coral as a patterned upholstery adds a fun element of contrast on a chair or sofa.

Art, Accessories, and Accents. If you like Living Coral but want to incorporate it only in small doses, artwork, pillows, and accessories are a great way to do so–here are some of our favorites!

Wallpaper. We’re obsessed with this Cole & Sons “Fornasetti” wallpaper (and really wanting to use it!) and love how the coral painted door complements the subtlety of the coral fish–so fun!

And, if you’re feeling like you do want to cover your walls with this years’ color trend, here’s a few more spaces that we love that have embraced Living Coral for all of it’s bright and energizing glory.