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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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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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before & after – a welcome home, at last

a historic gem regains its strength and stands ready for another generation

What does it take to purchase then restore a nearly one hundred and twenty year old home and make it conducive to modern life?    P  a  t  i  e  n  c  e.    There’s no other word for it.

Yes, it takes funds and a team of design/build professionals and a cadre of craftspeople and the support of a community (e.g. forgiving neighbors).  All of those components are mission critical, without a doubt.

But for a moment, I’d like to salute the people at the very center of it all.  The people who endured, the people who made endless decisions, the people who trusted and the people who devoted several months (ok, nearly two years) of their life to the project.  The people who invested in a historic home and in doing so, have ensured this part of our town’s history stands strong for another one hundred years.

The people who took several, continuous leaps of faith along the design/construction path: m y   c l i e n t s.

They deserve recognition and a sincere thank you from our community for their investment in one of our historic properties.  It takes an enormous commitment to take on and see through a project like the one you’ll see below.  I know, because I’d like to believe I’m there to help them along the way when faith is tested, tempers are short and renovation surprises seem to be around every corner.  It’s exhausting for them, and sincerely my pleasure to be involved in every aspect of the project.

After a rest from the decision-making, we’ll resume later this fall to furnish and decorate their historic house by the sea, now ready for the next hundred years.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

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An addition to the back of the home created a family room and 2nd floor bedrooms, completed with fireplaces.

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Karl Sauerbrey, architect, envisioned a solarium on the west side of the home while extending the front porch to the back yard.  The enhancement enables our clients to nearly walk around the entire perimeter of the house on the porch.

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The north side of the porch now extends to the side door into the Kitchen, ensuring an easy flow from inside to out.

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A new dutch door at the front provides the same sea breeze into the Living Room the original door did for a hundred years.

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The once remodeled Kitchen was reimagined with custom cabinetry, soapstone countertops and beadboard ceilings.

 

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The beadboard ceiling extends into the Mudroom and a brick floor was chosen to resemble that of an original porch floor, now incorporated into the interior.

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Historic elements like the newel posts, balusters and rails were restored to nearly their original beauty, save a few nicks here and there.

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The bathrooms express my client’s whimsy and love for pattern.

 

Many thanks, as always, to the team of pros made this possible.  With too many to mention, I’ll include just a few.  To all others who contributed, we send our sincere thanks.

Karl Sauerbrey, Architect

taste team members Kevin Baker, Julia Reinalda and Michaela Doehler

Yankee Housewrights, General Contractor

Jutras Woodworking, Kitchen and Mudroom Cabinetry

Zuerner Design, Fireplaces, Master Bedroom and Bathroom Cabinetry

Michael Boulay Woodworking, Library and Music Room Cabinetry

Valen Coble, Front and Side Dutch Doors

Atlantic Landscaping, Land and Hardscaping

Aaron Usher, Kevin Baker and Reagan Baker, Photography

before & after: how to celebrate your (home’s) age, gracefully

a skillful renovation that was just enough to embrace, not undo, the past

When my clients walked into our gallery last Fall to share they had purchased a home in our island town and wanted me to work with them to help update the interior, I could barely contain my excitement. (Anyone remember that scene in Love Actually when Laura Linney’s character had to hide behind the stairs to jump up and down with excitement before returning to her boyfriend to continue their romantic evening?  It was JUST like that.)  This is a couple who have impeccable taste, have renovated/decorated six homes in the past twenty-three years together and are hands down just fantastic people. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Then I saw the house…

And the excitement rose. In addition to being exceptional people, they can spot an exceptional home, even in the rough. This was one of those. On the coast, but nestled into a woodland setting, it has all the advantages of a water view, but the privacy and protection of a country home — complete with mature gardens and a stone outbuilding perfect for the gardening shed. The interior needed more natural light, expanded views to the water, a new kitchen and bathrooms and careful editing. What it didn’t need was a total gut and rebuild project, and my clients knew this and held the line throughout the design and construction process to ensure we kept every bit of character intact while improving the home.

Foster Associates architects reworked the floor plan to fix flow problems, enhance views and add functionality. We finished what Foster started, selecting the right combination of finishes and materials to embrace the original details of the house (be sure to get a good look at the ceilings) and our clients extensive collection of antiques, from near and far.  Chuck Millard’s team of master builders and carpenters executed the renovation to a tee, resisting the urge to fix the eccentricities in the house and embrace the age, just as my clients’ mandated from day one.

And I’m so thankful they did. Take a peek at the before, during and after photos below.  Now, nine months later, I still need to contain my girlish excitement with the project.

Only the best,

Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB

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The breakfast room benefited from built-in cabinetry and chic chinoiserie furnishings.

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Simplified details and natural materials returned this cottage Kitchen to a space that emphasizes casual gatherings.

 

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The ornate was edited out of the original kitchen and replaced with generous proportions and classical finishes.

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The original balustrade and ceilings were lightly restored to retain all of the character, including cracks in the newel post caps that conjure a story about the house and its inhabitants over the past one hundred years.

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The fact that my clients’ furnishings and collections fit so perfectly into the new/old house is a testament to their unwavering curation and commitment to good taste.

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The Powder Room refresh includes a bamboo chest repurposed as a sink vanity and a light-hearted lattice wallpaper.

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The second floor hall boasts a fantastic view to the water, thanks to new windows supported by a built-in for treasures.

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The master bedroom is a serene getaway thanks to trim upholstered furnishings and a peaceful dollop of blue.

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The master bathroom is neat and efficient and a perfect complement to the master bedroom palette.

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Many thanks, as always, to the team assembled to help bring sophistication and style to our clients’ home.

Foster Associates, Architect

taste team members Michaela Doehler and Ashley DelVecchio

Charles Millard Inc., General Contractor

Apex Kitchens, Kitchen Cabinetry

Rustigian Rugs, Area Rugs

Reagan Baker, Photography

 

before & after: a chic treatment for a providence classic

A redressed interior as stylish as our clients.

 

 

There’s never been a better example of taking a cue from your clients’ wardrobe when designing their interior than this project for longstanding Providence East Side clients. Simply stated, he’s dapper and she’s chic. And the interiors of their turn of the century house near Brown University needed to capture their style, intellect and appreciation of art. We started by replacing traditionally patterned wall coverings and area rugs with modernized floral motifs in bold color combinations.  Faded wall colors were swapped out for richly saturated hues that beautifully present the art. And dated fixtures made way for refreshing variations on crystal and brass. The result is a composition as rich as our clients are interesting. And one that resembles the collection of hues, textures and patterns hanging in their own closets – for a perfect fit.

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The metallic accents on the Asian-inspired wall covering in the vestibule beautifully coordinate with the gilded sconces, finished with a black shade.

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A custom runner by Rosemary Hallgarten welcomes guests in the Foyer and sets the pace for the artful interior.

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An updated variation on crystal takes the place of the traditional chandelier in the Foyer.

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The acanthus striped grasscloth continues up to the second floor.  A wool & sisal blend runner updates the stairs while bringing comfort underfoot.

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A classic floral drape in modernized shades of black and gray speaks to the acanthus leaf on the grasscloth.

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A Wendyll Brown painting takes center stage over the fireplace while a Gretchen Dow Simpson piece to the right is accented by the velvet jewel tones in the Living Room.

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A custom designed fluted lacquer vanity, finished with lucite legs, brings sophistication and storage to the Powder Room.

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Wall to wall carpeting in the Library was removed to reveal original hardwood floors. The new area rug and wall color sets the perfect backdrop for a Michael Rich painting opposite the front windows.

 

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A Peter Diepenbrock sculpture stands proud in the bay window of the updated Dining Room.

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Our clients’ Dining Room table – where traditional and modern elements come together to reflect their stylish aesthetic.

Many thanks, as always, to the team we assembled to help bring sophistication and style to our clients’ home.

taste team members Kevin Baker and Meryl Chaum

Stephen Demetrick, General Contractor

Jutras Woodworking, Cabinetry and Millwork

Rustigan Rugs, Rosemary Hallgarten and Landry & Arcari, Area Rugs

Candita Clayton, Artwork

Kyle Caldwell, Photography

Robyn Ivy, Photography

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before & after: the studio and the gallery at taste

Images by Kyle Caldwell

We’re nicely settling into our new space since opening the doors to our upgraded studio and gallery in August.  One of my most favorite moments the past few months has been watching the incredulous expressions when people familiar with 17 Narragansett Ave. BEFORE the renovation walk into our new space AFTER.  Many are speechless.  When they find their words they share that the gallery and studio are welcoming, warm and inspirational.  I couldn’t be happier.  If you aren’t a local Rhode Islander, here’s a look at the before and after photos.  If you are a local, please stop by, say hello and see the AFTER results in person.

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Our new front door, decked out in taste red.

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The gallery at taste during and after the renovation.

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The gallery at taste and our studio during the dust and after the dust settled.

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The walls came down then went up to create new areas for art, furnishing vignettes and a bright library.

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Our conference room was designed to make meetings feel like a conversation at the Kitchen table, complete with comfy chairs for long design work sessions.

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The first floor studio space provides flexible work areas and an easy-access materials library, where we host clients and invite them to participate in the creative process.

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Layers of artwork, samples and materials provide endless inspiration.

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Our second floor studio space provides a sunny, quiet work environment for our designers.  And, a deck for a little fresh air and the occasional Friday evening cocktail.

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Join Us This Thursday!

Open House, 5pm – 8pm

Our grand opening celebration of the gallery at taste and our new location at 17 Narragansett Avenue was fantastic. We kicked it off with a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce (big thanks) and welcomed clients, friends and artists throughout the evening. We had a full house, great food and wine by Grapes & Gourmet, a few speechless guests as they walked through the door and even a few tears by me when I attempted to thank my team for their endless efforts and support. Designers are allowed to be a bit emotional, right?

And…we’re doing it again this Thursday, 8/20 and next Thursday, 8/27 from 5pm – 8pm.  So if you missed last Thursday evening, don’t worry.  There are two more opportunities to celebrate with us and be inspired!

patti-watson-ribbon-cutting-at-taste-design-inc-jamestown-rhode-islandThe official ribbon cutting alongside my dear friend, Debbie Swistak.

front-window-tasteWe love our storefront windows.

patti-watson-debbie-and-mike-swistak-carol-andersonCarol Anderson, Debbie and Mark Swistak, owners of the former Jamestown Designs, along with me in front of our newly restored sign marking the year of 1885 when the now restored 17 Narragansett Avenue was built.

ribbon-cutting-mergeChamber and Town Officials and team taste gather for the official ribbon cutting.

Big grins all around.

evelyn-rhodes-with-art-at-taste-grand-openingThe ever beautiful and talented Evelyn Rhodes with in front of a salon-style collage of her artwork.

patti-watson-at-taste-grand-opening-keith-kenny-and-bobbyKenny Ronchie, Bob Britton and Keith Ronchie with me as we celebrate their achievement as chief renovators and finishers of our new/old building.

The best crew, ever.

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Artist Susan Strauss and her Marin work of art gracing our walls at the gallery at taste.

patti-hanging-art-grand-openingLast minute art hanging, heels and all.

olives-and-dahliasFood and flowers by our local friends at Grapes and Gourmet and Secret Garden.

kelly-milukas-touching-her-art-with-taste-clientArtist Kelly Milukas encouraging our client to touch and feel her encaustic works.  (Charlie had a hard time believing it was ok to touch the art!).

kelly-milukas-at-taste-design-inc-grand-opening  Kelly with her encaustic works Water Study V and Water Field.

client-and-wendi-kelly-milukas-encaustic-art-at-tasteCharlie and our own Wendi Dicely Scalora zoom in for a closer look.

Hope to see you this Thursday or next at taste,

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you’re invited- grand opening events

join us Thursday evenings in August at taste

We’re nearly there! It’s been quite the operation to move us, our gear and what feels like millions of samples to our new home. Next week we’ll open our doors at 17 Narragansett Avenue and welcome friends, clients and neighbors.

Join us and everyone who helped make it happen at grand opening events the next three Thursday evenings in August from 5 – 8 PM.

August 13th – Ribbon Cutting and Open House

August 20th – Open House

August 27th – Open House

Moving-Truck-Move-in-2015two full trucks, two hot days

Wendi-Move-in-2015some items wouldn’t fit on the truck, so Wendi loaded up and took a walk down the street

Kevin-Photo-Move-in-2015kevin hard at work as our former office empties around him

17-N-Finished-Floors-2015-Editedbeautiful hardwood floors before move-in

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a framed giclee of Evelyn Rhodes’s Crow in Snow, an exclusive reproduction to celebrate the opening of the gallery at taste

Team-photo-Move-in-2015team taste still smiling at the end of moving day #1

See you soon!

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taking shape: a renovation update from 17 narragansett ave.

So many supportive clients and friends have asked about our renovation progress, so today I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes view…

Demolition of the 1st floor started a few weeks ago with the goal to open up the three distinct storefront spaces into an open studio and gallery of taste’s work.  As with any building 130 years old, the crew found a few surprises and treasures.  Old bottles, trinkets, toys and even a perfectly preserved possum skeleton (!) awaited discovery under the floor boards.

found items during demo

found items during demo

While retaining our open-work environment, the 1st floor space is delineated by framed openings, pocket doors and trimmed beams.  Natural light is abundant, with windows on both the north and south sides of the building.

new floor joists for our new hardwood floor

new floor joists for our new hardwood floor

natural light for all

natural light for all

work in progress...

work in progress…

The first floor of our new space will feature a gallery of taste’s work, client center, production department and interior design library with workstations bathed in natural light.  Upstairs, interior and architectural designers will work together in an airy studio, complete with a deck for those impromptu ideation sessions that call for the benefit of fresh air.

work in progress...

work in progress…

the gallery taking shape

the gallery and client center taking shape

Stay tuned for more updates as we prepare for our move in July!