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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.

Taste-New-Studio-entry

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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before & after: modern beach cottage

A winning renovation design, complete with then and now photos.

Our young clients from Boston wanted a getaway from their fast paced, high-pressure lives. A place where they could unwind and unplug. A place their daughters could experience simple summer play and exploration. And a place so peaceful it may just bring them back throughout the year.

They found it in Little Compton, Rhode Island. With its unique combination of rural and coastal, Little Compton provided everything they were hoping for, and more. The tiny summerhouse they found last fall provides a sense of community just a stone’s throw from the water.

While the house offered easy-living just in from the beach, it lacked the functionality our clients needed to host extended family and friends. Moreover, the house’s maple floors and golden color palette didn’t provide a sense of place and the coastal home aesthetic they imagined.

Last fall they called upon taste after our work together on their Boston home. Our renovation design enabled a January 2015 construction start and completion by June, in time for summer living and a July 4th gathering.

Here’s a look at this now idyllic cottage, before and after.

 

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A wall between the Kitchen and Living areas was removed to make room for an island, open up the space and take in the water views.  And the door to the master bedroom was removed to provide greater privacy and improve furniture placement in the room.

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Reclaimed white oak floors reminiscent of driftwood were installed through out the first floor and stairwell.  Tired built-ins in the Living Room were removed to visually enlarge the space.  Now, a navy blue console packed with storage space and our client’s sail boat model take center stage and provide a strong focal point across from the front door.

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Our client’s antique bench, made by her grandfather, paired with coastal-inspired furnishings creates a cheery welcome just in from the beach.

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The once small kitchenette was replaced with a bright and open Kitchen.  Windows on either side of the range offer a view of the children’s play space in the backyard.  Stain resistant solid surface countertops that resemble sand, and the distressed floors provide forgiving finishes that keep everyone relaxed at the beach.

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The once dark stairwell was visually enlarged with a stainless steel balustrade and walnut handrail and newel post.  Uninspired sheetrock was replaced with shiplap on the half wall and a white oak cap wraps the space in cool gray texture.

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Our client’s beloved area rug from Turkey and a family arm chair was combined with bright bed linens to bring the comfort of old and the serenity of new to the getaway bedroom.

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Low, matching chaises designed by taste were custom made for the living area to maximize seating and provide his and her lounging spots to take in the water view.  A soapstone wood stove rotates to be enjoyed from any area of the open living space and invites year-round visits to the ‘summer house’.

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Open shelves encourage guests to ‘help themselves’ and simplify setting the table and clean-up.  Walnut counter stools by Rhode Island’s own Asher Dunn punctuate the cool gray palette.  Painted cabinetry designed by taste and fabricated by Stephen Plaud keep the details simple and straightforward.

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Before, the girls’ bunk room lacked warmth and charm.  Today, vintage touches and some of our clients own pieces are collaged together to bring a kids room meant to inspire and transcend the usual catalog-sourced scheme.

Many thanks, as always, to the team we assembled to help transform the house and super-please our special clients.

taste team member Wendi Dicely Scalora, Interior Designer

Cy Gibson of Gibson Building Company, General Contractor

Stephen Plaud, Kitchen Cabinetry

Allied Floor Covering, Countertops

Kyle Caldwell, Photography

 

Visit our full gallery of photos for this space at tastedesigninc.com

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

 

 

 

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

patti-hanging-evelyn-rhodes-crow-in-snow-in-17N-try2

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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a sneak peek: the local artist lineup at taste

plan to attend an Open House event in August to meet the artists

We’re just two weeks away from opening our doors at our new home at 17 Narragansett Ave. and introducing the gallery at taste – where we’ll feature vignettes of custom furnishings and accessories by taste, finished with local art.

Be sure to join us at one of these open house events and meet team taste members and the artists whose work will grace our walls and finish our interior compositions.

Thursday, August 13th, Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Celebration, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Thursday, August 20th, Open House, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Thursday, August 27th, Open House, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Here’s a sneak peek at the artist lineup, with more to follow in the next few weeks:

Evelyn Thistle Rhodes moved to an island in Narragansett Bay in 1976 because it was the most beautiful place she had ever seen. Since then she has been painting the light and shifting colors of the landscape and coast, capturing the rural character and rendering the many moods of nature and the subtle movement of the seasons.

Evelyn’s work has been a longstanding favorite at Jamestown Designs for nearly thirty years. As we take the reins from Debbie Swistak and Carol Andersen, we’re pleased to continue to present Evelyn’s work, yet shift the focus to her abstract works of art juxtaposed with her classic coastal scenes.

Equally as exciting is Evelyn’s agreement to reproduce a giclee of her Crow in Snow oil painting – a favorite of mine discovered during a creative session at Evelyn’s studio. The Crow in Snow giclee is an exclusive print available only at taste and I couldn’t be more pleased to share this special piece with clients and friends.

Evelyn Rhodes Bio PhotoJamestown’s own Evelyn Rhodes

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Susan Strauss paints directly on site as well as from imagination in her barn studio. Layered, musical and original, her colorful work evokes feelings of discovery. Strauss’s abstract oil paintings are inspired by local land and water, gardening and weather.  Her paintings are the perfect finishing touch to a fresh, coastal home.

Susan-Strauss---artist2Susan Strauss, Westport, Massachusetts

Closer Reflection - Susan Strauss 18 x 16Closer Reflection by Susan Strauss; 18″ x 16″

 *****

Kelly Milukas is a professional multi-media and multi-faceted artist. There is a playful side of Kelly’s artistic range inspired by her travels, observations and passions. She creates colorful, expressive art in pastel and encaustic that capture the essence of various cultures, animals and still life with big, bold, brave color, shape and texture. Kelly is pure positive energy and her works in encaustic and pastel exude this quality and her limitless curiosities.

 Kelly-MilukasKelly Milukas, Tiverton, Rhode Island

Water-Field-MilukasWater Study V – by Kelly Milukas; Encaustic, 10″ x 8″

 *****

Barbara Owen is a contemporary painter and mixed media artist. After 12 years in New York she moved to Rhode Island with her family.  She mainly works out of a studio in Pawtucket but maintains her close ties and studio in Brooklyn, NY.

Barbara’s Paper Forms works in cut paper can be thought of as “paintings I have bent or sculptures that depend on the wall”.  I’m so pleased to have her work on our walls.

Barbara Owen - artistBarbara Owen, Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Barbara Owen -Layered Abstraction - Bubble - Acrylic Ink on Paper - 24 x 18Layered Abstraction – Bubble by Barbara Owen; Acrylic Ink on Paper, 24″ x 18″

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Jessica Pisano is Inspired by land & sea. She begins the painting process by documenting what she’s drawn to in nature, either by sketching “en plein air” or using a camera to capture a scenic view. She is interested in the portrayal of time and how atmospheric conditions change the landscape. Jessica strives to create a sense of depth in her work by using the traditional techniques of the Old Masters, applying oil paint in many translucent layers to give the paintings a rich, radiant appearance. As a contrast, she also uses contemporary techniques in which paint is applied in a looser, more experimental and intuitive manner. This combination of art techniques from the past and the present is not just a juxtaposition of style, but also of time.

jessica Pisano in her studioJessica Pisano, Newport, Rhode Island

Jessica Pisano - Afternoon Reflection - oil and gold leaf on panel - 20 x 24 - Retail 2000Afternoon Reflection by Jessica Pisano; Oil & Gold Leaf on Panel, 20” x 24”

But wait, there’s more…  Works of art by New England’s Michael Rich, Peter Roux and Wendyll Brown will also grace our walls. Look for upcoming posts with a sneak peek at their work.

Be sure to join us as we celebrate an abundance of local talent!

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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!

Dora Atwater Millikin at the Jamestown Art Center

 

 

Dora Atwater Millikin :: Familiar Places :: New Oil Paintings

A note to our Rhode Island clients and friends…  Be sure to visit the Jamestown Art Center between June 4th and June 27th to explore coastal New England with Rhode Island’s own Dora Atwater Millikin.  I’ve remained a big admirer of Dora’s work for years now, and take every opportunity to introduce her to clients.  Her paintings grace the walls of taste-designed homes from Newport to Providence.

The opening reception will be Thursday, June 4th between 6 – 8pm. Millikin’s work will be on display in the gallery Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10am – 2pm until June 27th.

Enjoy!

Patti

 

 

Artist Documentary

 

 

About the Artist :: Wyndfield Studio

Dora Atwater Millikin grew up in Little Compton, Rhode Island. She graduated with the “Senior Art Prize” from the Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Greenfield, Massachusetts in 1979. Four years later she graduated from Newcomb College (Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana) with a BFA Degree in Painting, Drawing, and Art History.

In the Fall of 1998, she sought a more structured and academic art program and enrolled as a full time student at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (Old Lyme, Connecticut). She graduated in May of 2002 with a BFA degree in Painting.

Today her subject matter focuses on coastal New England scenery with emphasis on the gritty, industrial aspects of the fishing industry and the increasingly more urban nature of local towns.

Dora is an artist member and painting teacher at the Providence Art Club. She is currently painting with groups at the Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme, Connecticut and is represented by Walker-Cunningham Fine Art in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work is seen in private collections in Europe and the United States.

At the National Arts Club in NYC Dora was the recipient of the Edwin Gould Foundation Award (2002). This award placed her fifth overall for that year. In the Club’s annual student exhibition featuring art schools in NYC and surrounding towns. Upon graduating from the Lyme Academy, she received the John Stobart Fellowship Award encouraging the transition to a professional career in painting. In 2005 she won top honors at the Annual Non- Member’s Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in NYC with the Joseph Hartley Memorial Award for Oil, in 2007 she was juried into the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club as an Artist Member, and in 2009 she became an elected artist member of the Copley Society. In January 2010, Dora won top honors at the Fidelity Investments annual juried competition at the Providence Art Club.

Dora continues to participate in local and National painting competitions and exhibitions (both solo and group). In 2012 she exhibited 30 paintings in a solo exhibition at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts. At present, she serves on the Board of Directors as an Honorary Member for the South Coast Artists Inc, a volunteer, non-profit corporation that promotes artists year round in the south coast region of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and she opens her studio each summer as a participant on the open studio Art Drive Tour.

To read more about Dora and to peruse her gallery of artwork, visit her website at www.wyndfieldstudio.com.

girl grit

taste moves to 17 Narragansett in Jamestown and continues the tradition of girl grit and great design

I’m so pleased to announce taste‘s upcoming move to 17 Narragansett Ave. in Jamestown – a historic building and home to Jamestown Designs for the past thirty-five years. Our move marks the well-deserved retirement of Debbie Swistak and Carol Anderson after leading their successful retail and custom framing business for forty-three years. Throughout their tenure, they’ve shown true girl grit during the ups and downs of running a retail business – all with a smile and grace. They are an inspiration to me as I lead and grow my business. I happily accept the passed torch and will carry on the tenets of their business – good design, exceptional client service and a commitment to our community.

Meanwhile at taste, we’ve got the next generation of girl grit in the making. Our own Julia Reinalda is ready to give birth to her first child. True to form, she’s worked up to the final two weeks of her pregnancy with incredible energy, humor and dedication to our clients. Never one to be tired, she inspected stone slabs, made construction site visits and oversaw installations until the very end. And, she’s made mention of putting the babe in the Bjorn carrier and visiting job sites this summer. I fully expect to see her there, beautiful baby and all.

And, big congratulations to our designer of the past two years, Ashley Delvecchio. She moves on to Alice Black Interiors to be closer to home and family in Connecticut. Ashley’s girl grit got her through a two-hour commute to Rhode Island the past two years, enduring snow storms and summer traffic. Through it all she’s been a champ and an absolute pleasure to have on our team. We’ll miss her dearly and wish her all the best as she makes her mark in our field.