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take it outside

 

tasteful exterior spaces, just in time for summer…

Current New England temperatures are far from our idyllic coastal summers, but our clients know warmer weather will be here before we know it.  Once here, our summers here are short-lived, for sure.

Those precious twelve weeks of summer means outdoor spaces currently in design and construction need to hit the deadline – with absolutely no delays.  team taste designers Megan Landis and Kevin Baker are currently at work putting the finishing details on summer spaces ready for this summer.

Interested in upgrading your outdoor living spaces?  Take some inspiration from our current projects below and reach out if we can help you make the most of our short-lived but sweet New England summers.

Only the best,

 

 

 

 

A Perfect Pool Pavilion

Megan’s collaborating with a seasoned landscape architect and build team to design the interiors of a pool pavilion.  Her vision to let natural light into the space will become a reality with a circular window and trellis detailing.  After the sun sets, uplighting on the ceiling with exposed beams and sconces where they count, will transform the space for evening gatherings, too.

 

 

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Quintessential Newport Porches, Pergolas and Cabanas

Kevin, Michaela and I are working with Parker Construction and landscape designer Shiva Kunz to bring architect Jim Golden’s of Patrick Ahearn Architects vision for compact, yet high functioning outdoors spaces at our Newport restoration project.

Our client hosts large gatherings with as many as forty-fifty people, so flexible spaces that expand when needed are a must.  The built-in benches for extra seating at the patio help squeeze as many family and friends together as possible.  And the Cabana doubles as additional guest quarters when the party extends from summer evenings to the summer weekends.

 

 

 

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welcome Megan Landis

team taste’s talent expands, once again

We’re excited to welcome Megan Landis to taste as an Interior Designer/Project Manager. Megan comes to us with a rich background leading interior projects in educational and consumer product fields.  She went to school at Roger Williams University for Architecture and then Pratt Institute in New York for Interior Design.  Her most recent position as Designer & Project Manager at DBVW Architects in Providence had her busy on projects at RISD, Moses Brown and URI.  Prior to moving to Providence, she worked in NYC with Gensler as a design practice leader on client projects ranging from L’Oréal to Deutsche Bank.

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“Design is about balance and point of view; it tells a story. There is balance to be achieved in big and small, dark and light, color and neutrality, personality and reservation.  I enjoy working with clients to discover who they are and what they want their space to say about themselves, their family and their life.”

-Megan Landis

Megan’s gift of creativity and consensus building was honed working at Gensler with challenging clients such as L’Oréal and Estee Lauder – both synonymous with high expectations for brand representation through impeccable design.  Those client assignments were further challenged by large committees when one client may actually be represented by twenty people.  Listening and combining the personal tastes of many into a cohesive, functional and interesting design solution made Megan instrumental in those client relationships.IMG_8149

At taste, we’re already finding Megan has a quiet strength in her ability to step back and consider the larger vision as well as the small details that work as building blocks to achieve a design.  She brings ideas, large and small, that speak to clients’ goals and provide assurance that we’re attending to their needs.  (During the past three weeks I’ve witnessed the relaxed, warm smiles that fill clients’ faces when Megan shares a thoughtful suggestion that fulfills a wish they may have only mentioned in passing.  Megan’s attention to those small details that bring joy is why she’s a perfect addition to taste.)

Megan and her husband are recent transplants to Rhode Island from Vermont by way of NYC for ten years.  At the end of their time in New York they made the fateful decision to move to ‘vacation’ and start a family.  Two years later they are still enjoying explorations in the ocean state, taking their dog Leo and son Lukas for hikes, hunting out antiques and big waves alike and taking the occasional quick trip to the Green mountains to visit family.

Welcome, Megan.

Only the best,

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cooking with gas

how a taste-created master plan ignites action in the kitchen

 

 

how a taste-created master plan ignites action in the kitchen

Did you just finish a Thanksgiving cooking marathon in your Kitchen?  Did your Kitchen work for you, or make you work harder?

If it left you frustrated with a lack of flow, limited work space or over crowded gathering areas for friends and family, you may have already started thinking about how to fix it. And if you’re like many of our clients, you have MANY ideas you’re trying to sort through and prioritize. You’ve probably looked through Houzz or Pinterest, stood in a friend’s Kitchen with a similar (but not quite) layout as yours, or even sketched some ideas and taken on a 3D on-line design tool.

That’s all good food for thought.  And now, you’re ready for some additional guidance to a) help you confirm your ideas and b) understand how to apply your budget to the value of your ideas.

That was the case for longstanding clients who reached out earlier this fall.  Over the years we’ve worked our way through their home, designing and renovating key areas at a time.  (She loves to tell the story of my hand-drawn plans for their master suite, long before the days of CAD and Sketch-up.)

Since then, we’ve renovated their bathrooms, the mudroom, the family room, the living room and the three season porch.  I’ve been yearning to take on the Kitchen and this year, they were ready, too.

The conversation started with their rough idea of three layouts, all with varying (yet unknown) budget levels.  They needed help answering key questions, like:

  • Is each layout achievable from a building/structural perspective?
  • Would one layout be any less disruptive to our family life than the other? (They have two sons in their Junior year of high school with heavy workloads and big decisions to prepare for.  Unraveling the family Kitchen this year wasn’t ideal but becoming critical.)
  • What are the cost differences between each plan?
  • How long would the renovation take?
  • What are we missing? We aren’t designers, so tell us what we haven’t considered so we don’t make a mistake with a large investment.

All good questions. And ones we’re used to helping answer. It was time to get to work and develop plans for each concept they brought to the table.  And, as I always experience, another design option presented itself during the creative process.  (I love those moments of discovery.) We brought in a general contractor from our extended team who is a pro at providing ball park estimates. With their help, we presented four plan options, along with a ballpark budget for each.

This combination of taste-provided guidance + plan + budget enabled our clients to select the right option for their family and their investment level.  Once the plan option was selected, we developed a creative concept for the space and finishing details that will help make the Kitchen live up to the rest of their home.

Construction starts just after the holidays. Next holiday season, they won’t be fighting with their Kitchen.  Will you?

If so, reach out to understand how taste can create a master plan that brings clarity and action to your space, too.

Only the best,

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kitchen concept

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adjacent dining room

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living room & entry

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wisdom and comments shared by our client

 

floor plan options provided to our client, per her wishes (and more!)

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OBOC                                                                            (PSSST….this is chosen plan!)

 

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before photos

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kitchen materials

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concept, restoration & replication

behind the scenes in historic newport

Bringing a significant Newport Historic District residence into the modern day with upgraded systems while retaining its architectural integrity is an exciting assignment.  And a challenging one.  There are countless moments in the project when we—the architect and the builder—are faced with the now familiar question: how much do we invest in restoring an original element vs. creating a replica that carries the same story and delivers a more stable element able to endure the next 100 years?

The truth is, you have to pick and choose.  Carefully.

Too much replacement, however exact the replica may be, risks looking too new and inauthentic.  Too much rehabilitation to original elements can begin to spiral the project out of cost control.  The answer lies in carefully selecting those elements to restore, that provide high-touch/high-value to the project.  Restoring original details like the hardwood floor, windows and millwork features such as fireplaces, ensures the home retains its position as a historic home.

But what about interior doors, for example?  Should they be saved?  (I should mention – they are 1 3/4″ thick with a unique raised panel/chamfer detail and mortised hardware.  Every element is done right.) The truth is, we tried and found that so much modification to the doors the past 100 years left them patched, shaved at the bottom and so unique in sizing that they no longer fit our new plumb and true rough openings. The answer was to create exact replicas of the doors and refinish and reuse the original hardware.

These decisions require supreme collaboration amongst all project partners and we’re fortunate to be working with the A team on this one – Parker Construction Company and Patrick Ahearn Architect.  Not to mention fantastic, respectful clients who trust we’ve got their mission to balance restoration with modernization top of mind, every step of the way.

And as we make our way through stripping back and rebuilding this historic gem, we have the privilege of seeing these original details up close and personal and replicating to a tee.  A nice assignment, indeed.

Scroll through images below for a peek at our conceptual design and progress shots during construction.  We’ll share photos throughout our progress this winter/next spring as we deliver this home back to its family next summer, ready for the next 100 years of Newport life.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

Exterior Details, During Construction:

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Interior Details, During Construction :

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Our Interiors Concept:

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New Meets Old:

 

In Progress:

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meet team taste member Ashley LeFebvre

 

ashley.jpgWhen designing a home, there are so many opportunities for a client to breathe their own personality into their space. We encourage it and it’s always been one of our guiding service principles.

As a team we work hard to understand our clients’ unique vision and then refine it, synthesize it, and evolve it into a language that speaks directly to them. I get to illustrate that language in drawings that clearly communicate our design ideas. It’s magical to be a part of that team effort, everyday.

— Ashley LeFebvre

If you’ve ever benefited from a taste-generated 3D rendering, chances are you have Ashley LeFebvre to thank.  Ashley has been with taste since 2013 and since joining has steadfastly advanced taste’s drawing practice while simultaneously growing as a designer and contributor.  (We admiringly refer to her as our ‘tech whiz’ and lean on Ashley for far more than just drawing technology.  She has a knack for understanding technology architecture that never ceases to amaze.)
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After graduating from The University of Hartford with a degree in Architectural Engineering Technology, Ashley worked in retail design, using her space planning and technology skills to create product displays and merchandising designs.  At taste, she’s adept at using a portfolio of applications including CAD, Sketch-up, Photoshop and cutting edge rendering tools like Podium to create perspectives that instantly help clients understand a design.  (Not to mention the builders, craftspeople and artisans we work with.)
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Never one to sit still, Ashley can also be found in the field, collecting field dimensions and checking on framing and finishing progress throughout a project. Her close working relationship with taste Senior Designer Kevin Baker brings an understanding of construction, cabinetry and finish details that complement Ashley’s technology savvy.  Add to that, she works with taste interior designers to design and illustrate custom furniture pieces, lighting fixtures and intricate tile layouts.
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During her downtime, Ashley loves to take a break from technology to make art, read or garden. And as one of our newest taste newlyweds, she uses her abundant creativity to plan and host out-of-this-world dinner parties with her chef husband at their Connecticut home. Her wizardy never ends…
Only the best,
patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston
Radesca Residence Stairs
Radesca Residence Sitting Room
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don’t miss our summer culmination event

linger & learn this thursday, 6-8p

 

Imagine thisI’m writing this on the ferry from Jamestown to Newport early Saturday morning on my way to the Newport Folk Festival. The boat is filled with happy people, the sky is blue and the sun is warm already.
It’s Folk Fest time here in Rhode Island – that glorious weekend in July many of us crave all year long. Three days of exceptional music and easy going, friendly attitudes. (Not to mention so many great artists in town throughout next week, too, before Jazz Fest next weekend.)
Of all the honored Folk Festival traditions, my favorite moments are the impromptu mash-ups that happen on stage throughout. Jim James is notorious for this, popping up on the Quad stage to join an up-and-coming artist after his solo performance on the Fort (main) stage. This understood practice of supportive collaboration culminates on Sunday night when scores of artists we’ve swayed and sang to join together for a few final songs of ultimate folk. It’s magical. Each artist is made better by their fellow musicians and we all feel the sheer power and quality of creative collaboration.
We’re doing our version of the Folk Fest Sunday night culmination this Thursday, August 2nd, from 6-8 at our last linger & learn this summer. All the artists we’ve introduced and welcomed back this summer will be represented for a group show that promises to mash-up our best.
Our headliners for the night are Jessica Pisano, Jenn and David Clancy and Melinda Cox of Balanced Design.
Melinda, a textile artist who designs, prints and fabricates her designs locally will give our artist talk beginning at 6:45 pm. She’s a working artist and designer with a deep well of knowledge and passion about sharing her process and work with others. It’s sure to be informational and inspiring treat.
Sneak peeks of work by Jessica, the Clancy’s and Melinda follow below to entice you.
See you Thursday (or later this weekend at Folk Fest!)
Only the best,
patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

Works by textile artist Melinda Cox:

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Enjoy works by Jamestown-resident artists Jenn & David Clancy:

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Serene seascapes and surreal bird oil paintings by Jessica Pisano:

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scheme starters

taste designers share their favorite interior elements

 

 

 

 

Summer time has us scheming up rooms and homes from Boston’s South Shore (yes, we’ll work in Boston!) to Barrington to Westerly and boats in between.  The studio is brimming with new materials, furnishings and art as we scour, edit and assemble interiors for our client projects.  Often, we’re inspired by a rug, a piece of art or a fixture that becomes a starter scheme for a future project.  These starter schemes are throughout the studio (and in our designers’ imaginations) just waiting for the perfect opportunity to come to life.  Take a peek at the seeds of a room, ready to grow into a fresh space and reach out if one speaks to you!

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston
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“I love this antique Persian runner. The orange, blue and citron feel so fresh even though it’s 100 years old! The Serena & Lily console table is a piece that could work well in many homes; the grasscloth provides great texture and a coastal feel. The Hwang Bishop (made in Warren, RI) sculptural lamp would pair nicely, with its clean lines and rectilinear shapes.”
— Julia Reinalda

 

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Sources:

Antique Runner
 
Hwang Bishop Lamp
 
S&L Console

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“Making a coastal home feel fresh is one of my most favorite client assignments.  Layering graphic patterns with organic materials keeps it upbeat and in-situ at the beach.  And, as a dabbling artist myself, I always try and finish a room with original art, however small, to provide the integrity that only handmade objects bring.”

— Michaela Palmer

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Sources:
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“I like working with traditional shapes and patterns but add
an infusion of fresh color and interesting shapes to create happy, joyful spaces.”
— Wendi Dicely-Scalora
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join us at linger & learn — this thursday!

featuring art talk with Tracy Glover & special guest Alyn Carlson

 

Be sure to attend our 2nd of three linger & learn events this Thursday, 6/28 from 6pm – 8pm.  Last month’s event was a warm gathering marked with gallerist Candita Clayton sharing her insights on the benefits of collecting handmade objects.  Candita’s encouragement to engage and collaborate with an artist, instead of just buying from afar, is the topic of our July and August linger & learn events.

On Thursday evening, artist Tracy Glover will share how she engages with designers and homeowners to select from her artisan lighting fixtures and objects to complement a home.  (Her talk will begin at 6:45 pm, so be sure to time your arrival.  You won’t want to miss it.)

Tracy regularly welcomes clients and designers into her Pawtucket studio to understand her process, see work in progress and be inspired by the possibilities of her glass lighting and objects.  We’ll recreate a small version of Tracy’s studio at taste, enabling her to share with our guests an experience similar to visiting her in Pawtucket.  She’ll provide examples of her work and taste designers will chime in with case studies of interiors we’ve designed that incorporate Tracy’s work.

As a special bonus, artist Alyn Carlson will also contribute to the dialog and share how she and Tracy are collaborating on a special project.  Alyn’s work is in the gallery at taste this summer and her relationship with fellow artist Tracy is a wonderful view into the way artists work together in our small state of abundant talent.

And if that’s not enough to tempt you to join us, we’ll welcome back Vanessa Piche to the gallery at taste with new work and introduce artist Kate Wilson’s brilliant works in photography as well.

The red front door opens at 6pm and Tracy’s talk will start at 6:45 pm.  Join us for what I expect to be a lovely, inspirational evening.

(To tempt you even more, work from Tracy, Vanessa and Kate follows below.)

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

Scenes from last month’s linger & learn event featuring gallerist Candita Clayton with work by Kelly Milukas, Susan Freda and Alyn Carlson.

 

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Kate Wilson joins us with her joy-filled works that are “lovingly dye-sublimated onto aluminum”.  We’re thrilled to have the energy and positivity of her work in our midst.

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Tracy Glover’s pendants, light fixtures and glass objects are works of art we regularly incorporate into our client homes because of their timeless qualities.  Never overly trendy or kitschy, Tracy’s work brings the quality of craft to an interior for years of come.

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Dear friend and coastal artist Vanessa Piche can be seen on the beach and in the marsh capturing the color, light and scenes of our seaside towns.  Ever working and always vibrant, we love having Vanessa around us and with us each summer.Vanessa Piche 20180430-17Vanessa Piche Hiking with Friends HR

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highlights from linger & learn

the first of three evenings in our 2018 summer series

 

 

The first event in our 2018 summer series was a lovely gathering, filled with friends and rich learning opportunities.  The gallery at taste is brimming with art by Kelly Milukas, Susan Freda and Alyn Carlson.  Be sure to stop by this month to see their exquisite work.

Candita Clayton was in the house to kick-off the linger & learn series, with insights on how to demystify selecting art and how to best engage with an artist to deepen the experience of acquiring art.  And, equally imporatant – curbing those tendencies to fill your walls with anything less than a handmade piece of art.

A good time was had by all.  Be sure to attend a linger & learn event later this summer – Thursday evenings, June 28th and August 2nd.

Enjoy the snapshots and videos of Candita’s talk below.  Remember, our doors are open all summer long for doses of artful inspiration…

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

 

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announcing taste’s linger & learn summer series

join us!

We hear from many of you that you look forward to our open studio events every summer for connection and inspiration. We’re so glad. Since 2015, we’ve opened our red front door for three Thursday evenings in the summer to welcome friends, neighbors and favorite artists to our gallery.

This summer we’re expanding to include an art & design learning opportunity each evening. I’m bubbling over with excitement and pride about our guest speaker and artist line-up. (I met with artist Susan Freda this week to select her work that we’ll debut at the gallery at taste later this month and I’m over the moon excited. She is an extraordinary artist creating work from the heart that speaks to so many people.)

Our first Linger & Learn event happens Thursday evening, May 31st from 6pm – 8pm at our Jamestown Studio. Join us then for a cocktail and a nibble to absorb art wisdom from friend and gallerist Candita Clayton and take in the work of Susan Freda, Kelly Milukas and Alyn Carlson.

Here’s why you should attend…

At twenty-one years old, Candita started collecting art with $125 she’d scraped together after college to buy a small print that spoke to her. Since then, she’s added to her own collection, edited friends’ and clients’ collections and demystified art buying along the way.  Today, that print still hangs in her living room and symbolizes her buy-what-you-love philosophy to acquiring handmade objects.

Candita will share her approach to buying original art (at any price point – even $125), including:

  • How to start thinking about filling that empty space on your wall(s);
  • When to buy art, and when not to buy art. (Hint: vacation art-buying often doesn’t pan out in the long run);
  • How to engage with an artist to add meaning to the art you acquire;
  • When to support an emerging artist and what to consider;
  • Making a financial investment in art and what kind of return you should expect.

The red front door opens at 6pm and Candita’s talk will start at 6:45 pm-ish. Join us for what I expect to be a lovely, inspirational evening.

(To tempt you even more, work from Susan, Kelly and Alyn follows below.)

Only the best,

 

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

P.S.  Mark your calendars for all the Linger & Learn events this summer…

Thursday, May 31st with gallerist Candita Clayton

Thursday, June 28th with glass artist Tracy Glover

Thursday, August 2nd with textile artist Melinda Cox

 

 

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Sue Freda – Kozo Dress

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Kelly Milukas – Spinal – 18 x 10 inches

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Sue Freda – Abaca Dress

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Alyn Carlson – Aqua Linea 1316

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Kelly Milukas – Oxygen – 6 x 6 inches

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Sue Freda – Collagraph 2

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Kelly Milukas – Done at Dawn Bandwidth

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Sue Freda – Collagraph 5

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Kelly Milukas – Drench Gaia

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Sue Freda – Filasidus

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Kelly Milukas – Oceanic – 10 x 10 inches

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Sue Freda – Hyacinth Vitroll

Kelly-Milukas-the-modern-past-6-x-6-LO-RESKelly Milukas – The Modern Past – 6 x 6 inches