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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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taste at work, part 1

busy in the studio, busy in the field

 

 

 

Team taste designers are at it again, fulfilling projects in all phases of the design/construction process as we enter into a busy late fall & winter season.  We’re so appreciative of New England’s seasonality and the added focus that comes this time of year in our coastal, summer community.  As we say goodbye to snowbird clients until next Spring, our heads are down in the studio and our boots are on in the field — preparing homes for the next summer season and for many, the next chapter of their lives with their families.

As always, we aren’t alone in our commitment to creating well-considered, well-crafted homes for our clients.  We are side by side with accomplished architects, builders and craftspeople all working together, with the same ethos.  When the days get dim and the temperatures dip, its these relationships that brighten our work and deliver a laugh – together.

Snapshots follow below from the studio and the field.  Check back next week for a peek at a few more projects underway and all benefiting from our hunkered-down focus this fall.

Only the best,

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Kevin    Kevin’s leading the renovation of a classic Jamestown cottage, bringing together historic design details with energy efficient, advanced building practices.  Our designs started with perspective views of the interior and exterior prepared in Sketch-up, coupled with detailed drawings produced in CAD.  The trades are on-site now, roughing in plumbing and electrical in preparation for insulation in a few weeks.  Walls will be plastered in another month, providing a warm environment for interior finishes this winter and completion in the Spring.

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Candy    There are deadlines and then there are yacht design deadlines.  Candy’s working alongside The Fontaine Group on a refit of a classic yacht in time to set sail in early December.  (A yacht is a bit different from a residence – when it sets sail, its gone.  There’s no returning to the house in a few weeks to add a piece or two that’s been delayed!).  Furnishings are in production, the pewter bar top is being crafted, joinery is in the finishing stages and the art has arrived.  We will make the deadline, beautifully.

 

 

 

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Wendi    Wendi’s recently back from a well-deserved vacation in France with her husband, Peter.  (They are the most high energy, spirited empty-nesters you’ll ever meet!).  After trekking through the streets of Nice and Paris on bikes and mopeds, Wendi returned inspired and ready to infuse her projects with European quality and timelessness.  Coincidentally, we’ve started working with a client to renovate their new/old French-inspired home, providing the perfect opportunity for a palette of limestone, weathered wood, brick, iron and aged brass.

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julia-staff-photo-smallJulia  If you’ve bumped into Julia recently, you’ll know she’s expecting baby #2 in February — although you wouldn’t know that from her energy level.  More than ever, she’s bringing her high-spirited, love of design to her client projects, including a new construction home Patrick Ahearn home in Weekapaug, Rhode Island.  We love our client’s self-described affinity for ‘spritely’ fabrics and colors.  Julia’s sense of style and ability to artfully compose a scheme is delivering just the right amount of spirited sprite to this coastal home.

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Patti    As for me, I’m re-energized by recent design industry events that have given me a renewed focus on improving our design deliverables and ultimately, the client experience.  Let’s face it, a renovation or new build project is an intense experience for our clients.  They don’t do it everyday as we do.  More than ever, I’m dedicated to bringing the best talent, tools and project management to our clients so that they may find joy in the process of creating their home.  And, leave the worries to us.

Most importantly, I’m practicing this recommitment everyday while I lead projects ranging from the completion new construction coastal homes, to the renovation of a Normandy-inspired family home to the rework of a Kitchen for fellow designers I admire.  It doesn’t get much better than this.

 

Coastal Home in the Final Finish…

 

 

 

 

Family Home in Concept Design…

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Historic Home Ready for Construction Start…

Radesca Residence Proposed Family Room

Radesca Residence Sitting Room

Radesca Residence Stairs

Kitchen Renovation for Special People…

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Block Island Family Compound, In the Making…

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thanks-giving 2016

On this Thanksgiving, as in years past, I pause to send sincere appreciation to our clients who have entrusted us with their homes, their hopes and their dreams this past year.  The clients who immerse themselves in the sometimes exhaustive thinking process with us to ensure that every detail of their homes meet their needs.  The clients who commission us to create custom furnishings that will passed on to their children.  The clients who stand back, give us freedom and a budget, then let us do what we do best.

The clients who called and emailed this week just to express their thanks.  You know who you are.

This weekend as I gather with my family at my parents’ home to reunite aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, sisters and friends, I’ll be thinking of you doing the same.  And I remain grateful for the opportunity to help create the homes that shelter you and yours this season, and always.

Only the best,

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from the designer desk of candace langan…

Taste designer Candace Langan has been working her yacht interior magic once again…  For the past few months she’s been on a sprint to help our California-based client and new owner of a classic super yacht reinvigorate the vessel and personalize for his chapter of ownership.

Our client acquired the then ‘Timoneer’ this summer and in addition to renaming her ‘Catalina’ he brought his western aesthetic to the 147′ yacht originally designed by Dubois Naval Architects with interiors by John Munford.  How did we successfully blend our client’s request for a California-clean palette and polite insistence for “no blue, please” with a classic cherry yacht interior?

Candace relied on a textured and neutralized palette with accents in tomato red and crisp browns to complement the rich wood tones.  Blue and white carpet came out and was replaced with a subtly patterned geometric rug.  Florals were replaced with a collection of small scale prints and textured fabrics.  Tufting was removed and replaced with tight backs on sofas and headboards.

Now, Catalina boasts a clean and textured canvas – ready for our client to personal with art and collections from his travels at sea.  All aboard!

Only the best,

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Yacht management firm Jon Barrett and Associates oversaw the refresh of Catalina and the hull painting in a warm Benjamin Moore gray.  Our client was so pleased with the new hull color we used it as a launching point for the interior color palette.

 

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The teak flooring was refinished and a new gray grout was installed to complement the  stainless steel accents around the flush floor lights, railings and diamond inlays found in the upper salon.

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Candace developed a neutral upholstery palette with accents in tomato red and crisp brown tones to complement the cherry interior.

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The Upper Salon allows guests a near 360 degree view of the horizon, whether at anchor, surrounded by gorgeous Bahama-blue oceans and islands, or sailing to the next destination.

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Polished perfection from bow to stern…thanks to the new Catalina crew.

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Below deck, auburn throw pillows give the Main Salon warmth amidst the softer hues in the chevron gray and cream fabric selected for the curved sofa. Custom-made window treatments in a subtle monochromatic pattern echoes the eggshell-striped shades specially made to fit the brass light fixtures.  The palette extends and evolves in the cabins, with warm red and leafy green accents.

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Cream and olive custom upholstered head and side boards makes for a serene atmosphere where guests can unwind in the evenings. The embroidered bedding from Sferra gives a luxurious feel to the stately guest cabins.

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from the designer desk of julia reinalda…

Taste designer Julia Reinalda has been hard at work doing what she loves most, and what has become her specialty the past few years: the design of custom furnishings and fixtures.  This time, it’s a tiered chandelier adorned with blown glass orbs lit from within that will hang in our client’s new dining room.

Designing pieces like this take time and perseverance and of course, great artisan collaborators.  Julia called upon one of her longtime favorites to help out with the framework for this piece, Avrett, and our friends local glass artisans Clancy Designs to blow the orbs and assemble the fixture.  From initial sketches to samples of glass to production ready drawings, Julia’s been orchestrating the piece from day one, and won’t stop hovering until its hung next Spring.  Check out the design and pre-production process below and watch for photos of the finished product in 2017.

Only the best,

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Designer Julia Reinalda was able to translate our clients’ needs and personal taste into an elegant, yet playful, sketch that would soon become the focus of a beautiful dining room.

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With colors selected, Julia was able to talk with local glassblowers David and Jennifer Clancy and together, design three different sized orbs to hang from the chandelier, ranging in several different shades of aqua. Avrett will make the multi-level custom frame  that supports the lights the orbs from within.

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Multiple colors from rich turquoise to a subdued winter sky blue will be used in the design.

 

From here, taste designer Ashley DelVecchio drew a rendering with intended orbs on Julia’s preliminary sketch. Ashley was then able to fabricate a 3D image that allowed her to select different sized balls for the chandelier. There will be 142 hand-blown glass orbs ranging from two to four inches – orbital bliss!

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how design works: post-project stories

A post project check-in

 

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of presenting alongside Jeff Soderbergh, Creator of Custom, Sustainable Furnishings, at the Newport Art Museum during Design Week.

DESIGNxRI’s Design Week is an eleven-day event that celebrates innovative design and architecture throughout Rhode Island. The fantastic team at DESIGNxRI offers talks, tours, luncheons and events such as the Drinks With Designers, where I discussed How Design Works and shared projects with unique challenges/solutions.

To prepare for the talk, I found before photos of three client projects that have been completed for a year or more now, then shared the before photos with my clients to jog their memory of the spaces pre-renovation.  Then, I asked them for insight on how the spaces were working for them now, compared to before, and posed these questions:

— How have the rooms changed your views/relationship to adjacent interior rooms? And to the exterior?
— How has the lighting/layout/finishing changed the way you use the space?
— What happens in these spaces now, when family and friends gather, that didn’t happen before?
— What work gets done in these spaces now, that didn’t flow as well before? Why?
— Any unexpected life moments with your children that have resulted from these improved spaces? With friends?
— Any aspect of the design that you were unsure of that you’re glad you incorporate?

The stories I received in response were generous, heartwarming and incredibly fulfilling as a designer.  Here’s one of those projects – a master suite in a whole house renovation that is living up to the promise of sanctuary for my clients.  And, creating sweet memories.

These client stories are a reminder that thoughtful design can transform our lives.  Sometimes the change is sweeping, sometimes it happens in small, incremental ways that add up to easier, meaningful living. Either way, design remains a powerful tool for better living.  How can it be harnessed in your home?

Only the best,

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from the designer’s desk…team taste at work

A snapshot of current works-in-progress from the desks of team taste designers.

We are enjoying an incredibly busy Fall/Winter design season with several challenging and inspirational client projects in the works, and many more in construction. Every week team taste designers are delivering exceptional work that makes me oh-so-proud, all while super pleasing our clients and deepening relationships with our collaborators.

We’ve stepped up our game and added 3D design to our design deliverables of late, helping our clients understand the potential for their spaces and communicating accurate expectations (and excitement!) for the finished interior. And, we rely on tried and true hand sketches that preserve the art of our craft.

Here’s a look at recent designs we’ve delivered and continue to refine. Enjoy, be inspired and call on us when you’re ready to team up on your next project.

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From the desk of Kevin Baker…

Kevin’s talent for millwork design shines in these 3D renderings developed for a whole house renovation of a historic home. We used Sketch-up during the design process to help us visualize the scale of elements, clarify interior views through the space and determine how profiles and trim intersect and speak to each other.

For example, we fine-tuned the size of the island in this Kitchen, bracket details and columns using Sketch-up. Ashley Delvecchio, another team taste designer, is lightening fast at rendering models to bring light, shadow and materials to tell a more complete story.

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A 3D rendering of a historic home kitchen with a view to the front of the house.

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Another view of the rendering that includes the side entry.

 

From the desk of Wendi Dicely Scalora…

One of our modern coastal residences needed a guest room as laid-back and relaxing as the beach down the road. The custom upholstered headboard and sconce-lit floating side tables designed by Wendi bring form, function and comfort to the compact guest quarters.

Wendi’s vision includes a distressed pine frame that surrounds an upholstered headboard.  Wall-mounted sconces brighten the corners of the room and accent the workmanship of the custom woodwork.  A textured linen on the headboard by Classic Cloth will compliment the ocean just outside and the cozy bedding.

 

 WDS---composite-master-bedroom-and-beddingWendi’s hand rendering of the custom headboard design and the materials palette she composed for our client.

 

From the desk of Julia Reinalda…

For our ‘coastal modern’ clients, we’re taking contemporary lines and softening them with curves and organic elements. The Niba “Freshwater” area rug has a fluid, modern design that complements their art collection. We’re pairing it with this sculptural round Dakota Jackson dining table with contrasting walnut and natural ash wood that shows off the craftsmanship of the piece. And to light the beautiful table, we’ve selected the elegant, Venetian glass Tam Tam chandelier from Barovier & Toso.

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In the adjacent living room, we’ve selected a custom cocktail table by Jeff Soderbergh. The live-edge black walnut top underscores the organic elements of the interior and the stainless steel base keeps it modern and polished for a great juxtaposition of materials.

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From the desk of Patti Watson…

Garnering all the talents of my team, we recently developed and presented this interior concept for a corporate client’s lobby. The assignment was to create a design to refresh and update the reception area and common spaces of this professional service firm. We used Sketch-up to communicate upgrade options to our client, enabling their committee to understand the design possibilities, gain consensus and manage their capital investment.

To finish the spaces and illustrate the firm’s commitment to local artists, I included artwork by Wendyll Brown and Michael Rich and designed a custom version of Tracy Glover’s raindrop chandelier to create an illuminated focal point in the Lobby.

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A view from the elevator lobby into the reception area.

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A view of the reception desk and Peter Diepenbrock sculpture. Reconstituted zebra wood provides an exotic wood veneer while remaining environmentally responsible.

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A view to the Tracy Glover chandelier and Michael Rich painting in the Lobby.