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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
 
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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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“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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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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DUNN with taste

Collaborator Spotlight

 

I was so pleased when Studio Dunn asked that I be a guest contributor to their blog.  Asher and his team are a go-to source for us – both for well crafted furnishings and exemplary client service.  We’re pleased to be a DUNN collaborator.  Here’s the interview that appeared on their blog earlier this week…

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1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your work. 

I first came to design in part due to my great love of color and the decoration of space. Over the last 15 years I have built a full spectrum interiors practice engaged with far more than décor. We focus on the life changes that motivate clients to remake the most fundamental and expressive space in their lives: a home. Whether clients are facing empty nests as children leave, building a new home by the sea, or updating their living space to reflect new visions, taste brings a wealth of resources and a sophistication of experience to create balanced, future-oriented and respectful interiors. Our best work reflects a process of collaboration, analysis and design at every level from the function and mechanical needs of space to its aesthetic character. Change is what draws us; beauty is what we leave behind.

I rely on classical arrangements of rooms, proportion and scale to right a home. Then, introduce modern details like layered lighting and sink-into sofas. As a result, our interiors exude a timeless quality and deliver equal parts comfort and function.

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2. How do you define coastal design? 

Coastal design is no different from other design styles that draw from nature and in doing so, create comfort and a sense of well-being. Making this connection with the external environment grounds us and reminds us that we are part of the larger, natural world. To achieve this on the coast, we rely on textural materials, references to water and a color palette drawn from the outdoors.

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3. Can you share your favorite design/decor elements from past projects? 

Natural materials, reimagined elements and original art are our trifecta we lean on time and time again when creating interiors for our clients. Natural materials often come in the form of stone such as quartzite and bluestone (we rarely use manmade alternatives) and high character wood species. Dunn’s Kingstown Stool is a favorite not only for its beautiful use of walnut, but its honest joinery and organic form.

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Reimagined elements bring a sense of history to a space and evoke positive memories for its inhabitants. For example, I’ll forever love the use of these porcelain art sink brackets on this Kitchen island.

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Lastly, original art always brings originality and a personal connection to our interiors, like this photo that captures a natural wood floor, a repurposed antique chair and original art by Neal Walsh.

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4. Yachts! Tell us about designing for yachts! 

We love designing the interiors of yachts – our newest design venture. While there are many similarities to residential design, there are a few important distinctions.

First, every element of the interior has a functional purpose on a yacht – some seen and some unseen. A loveseat, for example, can double as a handhold through a salon and a way to safely traverse from the galley to the cockpit while heeling. And the edge of a nightstand or table, referred to as the fiddle, helps to keep elements from rolling off surfaces while at sea. Oh and the open base of the sofa you’re imagining? Be sure it can incorporate the myriad of mechanicals that need to be hidden there.

Second, every inch and every surface matters. Creating a luxury interior in a space constrained, moving interior requires extreme precision and a hyper focus on the highest quality hard and soft materials. While a residential home has endless spaces to exude quality, a yacht has far fewer, so make the most of every opportunity to convey quality luxury.

Lastly, the project timeline on a yacht provides little room for error. When it sets sail and departs the shipyard after a project has been completed, its gone and you don’t have the chance to return to make adjustments or deliver that finishing element that was on backorder. Project management is crucial. (True story: We recently had a superstar window treatment installer agree to install during ‘sea trials’ when the boat was at sail and being tested to be sure it was seaworthy. It was crunch time and every hour mattered. Supreme collaborators like him help make the project timeline happen.)

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5. What is one piece of advice you find yourself telling clients on a regular basis? 

If you’re renovating a home, move out during construction. If you’re building and renting a home while your new home is being built, rent a home with a flexible lease. Despite everyone’s best intentions, project timelines get elongated. There are far too many humans involved in the build process to expect otherwise. Mistakes happen. Shipments are delayed. Products fail. Completion dates slip. Living out of the house during a renovation helps to move a project along. It’s the best piece of advice I give, benefiting taste, our collaborators and our appreciative clients.

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6. What is the most challenging aspect of interior design work? 

On any given day, our designers collaborate with 25-30 different builders, tradespeople and artisans. We need to know enough about each craft to maximize and often stretch its potential while always respecting the limitations. Communication and humility are key.

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7. What makes working in Rhode Island a unique experience? 

Hands down, direct access to exceptional craftspeople, artisans and fellow designers. We are so fortunate to have such talent in this state. My particular joy is discovering when your favorite millworker is working with your favorite wood turner and your favorite furniture finisher to complete a custom piece you’ve designed. There’s an active collaboration current always at work in Rhode Island that I’m proud to be a part of.

8. Who do you admire today in the architecture and/or design fields, and what are they doing that you admire? 

I’m a big admirer of Ilse Crawford’s work and design philosophy. She believes design is a powerful force that is often underestimated, misunderstood and trivialized. “It’s a mistake that [interior design] is considered a luxury to be applied if there is money left at the end, rather than an integral part of making and shaping new realities from the outset.” I couldn’t agree more.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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A lighter and brighter Kitchen.

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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After Photography: Kyle Caldwell

 

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

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final gallery open house, summer 2017

Join us!

Our July Open House was another warm and inspired gathering, with art and conversation enjoyed by all.  As I plan this month’s Open House – our last of the season – I realize it means summer is waning.  Be sure to join us as we wrap up Summer 2017 with a final burst of inspiration and artistic talent, including…

Debby Krim brings her ‘Colors of White’ photography series which has been seen in the Sandra Bullock / Ryan Reynolds movie “The Proposal,” Wendy Wahl’s three-dimensional studies of twisted paper adds new dimension to the walls, North Kingstown artist Vanessa Piche returns with her beautiful land and seascapes paintings of life along New England’s coasts, and Rhode Island artist Tiffany Adams joins us with her ceramic masterpieces.

Stop in on Thursday, August 17th between 5pm – 8pm to view our new selections. Enjoy great conversation with our artists, then grab dinner at one of Jamestown’s finest – FiSH across the street or Simpatico next door to taste.

I hope to see you next week.  In the meantime, meet our artists below and view a quick snapshot of their exceptional work.

Only the best,

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Debby Krim – Photograph

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Debby KrimSplash – Photograph

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Debby Krim –  Charismatic Gyre – Photograph

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Debby Krim – Curl – Photograph

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Debby Krim –  Joie de Vivre – Photograph 

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Debby Krim – Three Petals – Photograph

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Debby Krim – Whorls – Photograph

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Debby Krim –  Floralscape – Photograph

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Vanessa Piche –  Big Sky Over Zeek’s Creek – Oil  24 x 24 inches

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Vanessa Piche – Beach Amigos – Oil

Vanessa Newport Wharf

Vanessa Piche – Newport Wharf – 12 x 24 inches

Vanessa Piche Beach Conversations

Vanessa Piche –  Conversations – Oil – 12 x 16 inches

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Vanessa Piche – Coastal Glow – Oil – 48 x 36 inches

Vanessa Piche Beach Stroll

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Vanessa Piche – Around the Mark – Oil – 20 x 16 inches

Vanessa Piche Beach Boogie Woogie

Vanessa Piche –  Beach Boogie Woogie – Oil

 

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Wendy Wahl –  Arboreal Anatomy 2008 – Installation of Paper and Steel – 35′ x 12′ x 15′

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Wendy Wahl – EB #17; 2008 – Paper – 14 x 18 inches

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Wendy Wahl – EB Mixed Editions; 2009  – Installation of Paper and Stainless Steel – 60 x 16 x 17 inches, 50 x 78 x 17 inches, 60 x 95 x 17 inches

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Wendy Wahl EB #16 – Paper

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Wendy Wahl –  EB #11  – Paper

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Wendy Wahl –  EB #12 – Paper

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Wendy Wahl – Seeds #2; 2014 – Paper – 11 x 14 inches

a home for the next chapter

snapshots from last week’s installation in Narragansett, Rhode Island

We were at it again last week, finishing a custom residence and welcoming clients to their new home by the sea.  This move-in was especially gratifying for us after working for the past two years alongside Horan Building Company on this Alec Tesa designed home.

In addition to designing the interior millwork, cabinetry and hard finishes throughout the home, we selected – and in several rooms – designed custom pieces specifically for our truly special clients.  Be sure to pause on the curved sofas with exposed hardwood frames in the Living Room and the Dining Room chandelier, to mention just a few of the pieces designed by taste and brought to life by local craftspeople and artisans, to whom we’re most grateful.

As gratifying as it was to see the finishing touches on this project come together exactly two years after we started, those moments paled in comparison to our clients’ reaction to their new home.  Their embrace of each other on Friday evening as they watched the final elements installed said it all.  To quote them, its their ‘home for the next chapter of their lives’.  We’re so honored to have been involved in this important, life-shifting project.

As always, finish photos to follow in the coming months.  Enjoy the snapshots in the meantime.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

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beach house envy

snapshots from this week’s installation in charlestown, rhode island

It was delightful to watch the details come together this week as we did our first of two installations this month at our client’s new Charlestown (that’s Quonnie, for you Rhode Islander’s) beach house.  Custom details abound in this house and we were thrilled to work with clients who appreciate creativity and fine craftsmanship.

As a result, we poured it on in this sweet home architected by George Penniman and built by master craftsmen at Gardner Woodwrights.  More snapshots to follow throughout the summer as we add more layers of color, graphics and art that capture our client family’s spirited attitude and endless love of summer.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

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the devilish details

finishing the Summer ’17 Homes by taste

 

I’ve always preferred to believe god was in the details rather than the devil.  It’s a far more positive way of sustaining the focus and the energy needed to get finishing details right.  Especially now, when the pressure is on for our team to finish the finely crafted and designed homes we’ve been working on for nearly two years.

Every space plan, cabinetry design, coffered ceiling, tile detail, fixture, finish, color and wall covering (this is an endless list) takes its place in the overall vision we’ve had for the home.  And when clients, and even our builder friends we’ve worked with side-by-side,  begin to see color go on the walls and light fixtures installed, they breathe a sigh of relief.

They’ve trusted (sometimes skeptically, but that’s ok; we’re used to the raised eyebrows) our ability to see the final finish and lead decisions about the details we knew to be truly important to the overall design.  And that trust is validated when they stand back and see how the wall covering in the dining room works with the pantry color, and kitchen light fixtures complement the stone countertops.  That “I get it moment” for our clients is pure payoff for us.

Of course it doesn’t end there; just as the hardwood, stone, tile and color go in, there’s another layer of detail ready to be installed.  Features such as cabinetry hardware, the restored settee, the custom draperies and the commissioned artwork truly finish the work and makes those rooms sing.

Stay tuned as we finish and share sneak peeks of the Summer ’17 Homes by taste.  Until then, snapshots of finished interior details follow, to inspire you this summer.

Only the best,

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mid-winter blooms

floral excerpts from recent and past photoshoots

 

taste had the great pleasure of participating in Newport Life‘s designer showcase this past week. In eight short days we, along with two other local design firms, designed, hunted, gathered and installed all of the elements of a living room in a historic oceanfront property. (Then, on the ninth day, we photographed, dismantled, and packed it all up!). Look for photos of each designer’s room to be featured in Newport Life’s upcoming Home issue, due out in April.

Truth be told, we get pretty exhilarated around here preparing for a photoshoot. Even more so with only a week to get it picture perfect ready.

Fresh flowers and live plants is one of our tried and true tricks to finishing a taste-tailored room. Once again, we relied on mother nature’s gifts to complete our space this week. Big thanks to David Urban of Jamestown’s Secret Garden for lending his talent and enthusiasm to the project. We’re so fortunate to have him in our community.

Floral excerpts from recent and past photoshoots follow below, for a burst of color to warm up your mid-winter weekend. Kudos go out to the photographers who expertly captured these blooms, and more – Robyn Ivy, Kyle Caldwell, Danielle Lefebvre and Nat Rea.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

Our gift of thanks to Newport Life Editor Annie Sherman was a color-saturated bouquet by Secret Garden.

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