Close

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Interior Details, During Construction :

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

IMG_1653IMG_1642

 

Our Interiors Concept:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

New Meets Old:

 

In Progress:

IMG_1553IMG_1557

IMG_1571IMG_1575IMG_1584IMG_1586IMG_1588IMG_1595IMG_1597IMG_1609

 

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:

cbf24coral_coastal_pillow_300dpicpc1cwi4_300dpifabric_studio_300dpilcal5lcbu15_300dpilcmo30_300dpilcpc13_300dpinmona3_300dpirpc1_300dpi

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

Branches 1 - angle viewBranches 2Branches detail

 

Serene seascapes and surreal bird oil paintings by Jessica Pisano:

BetweenEarth+Sky_24x24_2800CeruleanSkyI_12x12_650CeruleanSkyII_12x12_650gildedgarden_30x30_3500TheSilentLanguage

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
julia-staff-photo-small

“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

 

julia image.png

Sources:

Antique Runner
 
Hwang Bishop Lamp
 
S&L Console

IMG_8149

“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

michaela image
Sources:
wendi headshot

 

 

“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
wendi image
Sources:
 

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.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

efflorescence2.katewilsonfineart.nwm.webefflorescence3.katewilsonfineart.nwm.webefflorescence8.katewilsonfineart.nwm.webefflorescence4.katewilsonfineart.nwm.webgrace.katewilsonfineart

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.

Tracy Glover 1TracyGlover-CairnPendant-YZDA_previewTracyGlover-Lantern-Barrel-Tourmaline1_previewTracy Glover 2TracyGlover-TeardropBudvase-CeladonLilac_previewTracyGlover-Apothecary-SteelBlue-Grouping_preview

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

Boat ShackJamestown Harbor View

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

 

 

IMG_8852

 

 

IMG_8801

 

 

 

 

IMG_8789

IMG_8790

 

 

IMG_8802

 

 

 

 

IMG_8849

 

 

IMG_8857

 

 

IMG_8868

 

 

IMG_8872IMG_8879

IMG_8812IMG_8825IMG_8832

IMG_8838

 

 

 

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

 

 

suefreda_kozodress-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Kozo Dress

AC_AquaLinea_1216-LO-RESAlyn Carlson – Aqua Linea 1216

Kelly-Milukas---Spinal-18x10-web-2-LO-RES

Kelly Milukas – Spinal – 18 x 10 inches

suefreda_abacadress-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Abaca Dress

AC_AquaLinea_1316-LO-RES

Alyn Carlson – Aqua Linea 1316

Kelly-Milukas--oxygen-no3--6x6-LO-RES

Kelly Milukas – Oxygen – 6 x 6 inches

suefreda_collagraph2-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Collagraph 2

Kelly-Milukas-DoneatDawnBandwidth-LO-RES

Kelly Milukas – Done at Dawn Bandwidth

suefreda_collagraph5_hires-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Collagraph 5

Kelly-Milukas-DrenchGaia-LO-RES

Kelly Milukas – Drench Gaia

suefreda_filasidus-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Filasidus

Kelly-Milukas-oceanic-10x10-edit-2-for-web-2-LO-RES

Kelly Milukas – Oceanic – 10 x 10 inches

suefreda_hyacinthvitroII-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Hyacinth Vitroll

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

 

before & after…

a welcoming kitchen, and baths for all

 

 

 

 

before & after:

a welcoming kitchen, and baths for all

 

Even masterfully architected homes need a facelift eventually.  Last year, we helped our clients see the potential in their circa 1980 Jim Estes designed home and transformed their spaces for more comfortable gathering and weekend entertaining.

The galley Kitchen, Powder Room and Pantry were reappointed while honoring the original architecture and strong lines of the space.  And, we reworked the lower level space plan to increase the baths from one to three — so no more sharing bathrooms with weekend guests.  (And if you’ve ever reworked a lower level space plan, you know its a challenge to work around structural and mechanical requirements to reimagine a space.)

While challenges were plentiful, the plan worked and the waiting list for summer weekend visits is already growing.  An Estes home, proudly enhanced by taste.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

A coffee and beverage bar welcomes guests into the Kitchen, day or night.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Terracotta tile was replaced with the warmth and character of hickory floors – set at a diagonal to complement the architectural character of the home – offering visual contrast to the honed Calacatta marble countertops and white cabinetry.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

A lighter and brighter Kitchen.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The teeniest of Powder Rooms gains visual space with a cantilevered sink base in walnut.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The hosts are equally as comfortable as their guests in their Master Bath, complete with large shower and private water closet.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The once laundry was moved to create a guest bath, and an efficient laundry space created from an unused walk-in closet.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Heflin1st-Floor-Before-After

 

 

After Photography: Kyle Caldwell

 

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,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

kevin-1.jpg

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.

Blount Residence Taste Massing 1Blount Residence Taste Massing 2Blount Residence Taste Massing 3Blount Residence Taste Massing 4IMG_4499IMG_4500IMG_4501IMG_4506IMG_4507

candace-headshot-white-shirt-LOW-RES

 

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.

 

 

 

IMG_4488IMG_4491IMG_4494

taste design inc interior design wendi dicely scalora

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.

ww4IMG_4515ww2

IMG_4517ww3IMG_4522

wwIMG_4524
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.

IMG_4526IMG_4527IMG_4529IMG_4533IMG_4536

 

patti_watson_taste_design_inc_interior_designer_newengland

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…

123

 

Historic Home Ready for Construction Start…

Radesca Residence Proposed Family Room

Radesca Residence Sitting Room

Radesca Residence Stairs

Kitchen Renovation for Special People…

k4

k3

Block Island Family Compound, In the Making…

IMG_1982

helping out in houston

team taste lends a hand

houston-with-photo

 

We’re all too aware of the devastation that Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have caused the past several weeks.  After endless images and news stories, we’re all feeling heartache for the families impacted and the urge to do something meaningful to help if we can.

Like so many, we have friends, family and associates in the Houston area and throughout Florida.  In the days during Harvey, I reached out to collaborator and cabinetmaker Jonathon Dahl, whose home is in the Houston area. He shared with me images of the flood waters as it creeped closer and closer to his house – home to him, his wife and children.

IMG_3810

Luckily, the water began to recede, leaving the Dahl family home untouched. Jonathon’s workshop (and therefore, livelihood) sustained flood damage, but with positivity and hard work, he was up and running again in a few days.  Then his phone began to ring…

At least 10 of Jonathon’s customers lost everything in the flood. And the last several days have been filled with Jonathon and his crew helping to clean out houses he reports as heart wrenching work.

To lend a hand to the families Jonathon is helping to recover, taste will be donating 100 design hours in the coming weeks to design cabinetry, select flooring and fixtures and create color palettes for new interiors.  Our collaboration with Jonathon Dahl is something I hope will alleviate a fraction of the stress the families will face as they rebuild their homes and their lives.  And, provide a bit of joy.

Let us know if you’d like to help out with a donation of funds to help the families Jonathon is serving in the Houston area.  We can all lend a hand.

In gratitude,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

Team taste is ready to help. This photo was taken in a Rhode Island home finished with Jonathon this summer.

group pic at client house

 

escape to the bath

find respite in your luxury bath

 

We hear it every year around this time, believe it or not.  Moms and Dads sending their children back to school or college and finding joy in the idea of reimagining their baths.  “I’d like a bath tub with a deck wide enough for my glass of wine”…  “I’d like a steam shower for two we can enjoy while the kids are away (!)”…  “I want a make-up vanity in my bath just for me”.

Here’s to finding relaxation and the payoff for hard work and parenting dedication in your private bath.  Throw back photos follow below – timely inspiration as we start several new bath renovation projects this Fall. Enjoy!

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

bath-2-2Bathroom - Vanity Mirror Sconce Brass Wallpaper.CAR.Ivy.LOWBW12 master bathroom full vanity1.ivyfish-bathroom-1Master Bathroom - Vanity Tile Glass Walkin shower Vanity.CAR.Nat.LOWPowder-Room-Lights-OFF-LO-RES-2taste_benik_109taste_benik_202taste_caruso060413_0474 copywestwind_062509_0177Kirby Bath H-01 HI RES. Rea2013Kirby Bath V-01 HI RES. Rea2013master-showermaster-tub-2Master-tubman-powderroomtaste_orth_130413_0284taste_orth_130413_0312taste_orth_130413_0318taste_orth_130413_0328taste_orth_130413_0330