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in review (times three)

in good taste throwback

 

Our blog posts have touched on many aspects of design—before & afters, inspirations, the driving forces (our designers), top-notch collaboration efforts and our gallery of talented artists. In reviewing this past year’s blog posts, we noticed a trend…your favorite posts were some of our favorite posts!

Your top three favorites were all “before & after” treatments to three very different residences—a turn of the century residence near Brown University, a nearly one hundred and twenty year old Jamestown home and a Little Compton summerhouse a stone’s throw from the water. All assembled here for your viewing pleasure.

Enjoy the posts, all over again.

Only the best,

Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB

before & after: a chic treatment for a providence classic

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before & after – a welcome home, at last

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before & after: modern beach cottage

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how design works: post-project stories

A post project check-in

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only the best,

Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB

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locally grown

how an abundance of local talent was tapped for this custom cottage

Everyday we are reminded of the deep pools of design and artisan talent that reside in our tiny state.  (Earlier this week, I ran into three local artisans ready to excitedly share news of their newest projects/work during a 10-minute run into the coffee shop for a mid morning tea.  No August vacation time for these busy artisans!).
Many of the artists and craftspeople we work with went to RISD and are (thankfully!) staying in Rhode Island to launch their careers.  Others are coming from New York, realizing that there are contemporaries here with whom to collaborate, while enjoying the lower cost of living and seaside benefits of the Ocean State.   Like any state, we have our issues.  But access to world-class designers and artisans isn’t one of them.
With commitment, I’ve actively developed my working relationships with local artisans and craftspeople for the past 12 years of my business.  And now my fellow taste-designers are doing the same.  It’s become a guiding principal of our practice.
So nothing gives us more pleasure than these words from a client: “I really want to work with as many local craftspeople as possible on this project”.  Amen.  And so we did.
Here’s a pictorial review of this Little Compton, Rhode Island project and a shout out to the local artisans and craftspeople who helped make this interior happen.
Only the best,
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before & after kitchen interior design renovation
Studio Dunn walnut counter stools are pitch perfect in this simple and honest Kitchen.
Big thanks to Stephen Plaud for lending their craftsmanship to the Kitchen cabinetry.
And that’s a Dora Atwater Millikin painting peeking into view on the wall to the right of the Kitchen.
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Our friend David Ellison at Lorimer Workshop contributed his talent and unerring eye to the dining table, living room console and coffee table in the open Living/Dining Room.
We worked, once again, with O&G Studios and arrayed their chairs around the dining table, providing a no-worries approach to summer dining, just in from the beach.
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Lorimer Workshop‘s coffee table nearing completion at their shop.
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The coffee table at home in the Living Room.
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Lorimer Workshop built the console and the grasscloth covered parsons table, to perfection.
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The console at home in the Living Room.
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The restrained and edited O&G Studio‘s Atlantic Lowback chair is perfect in the lower level of the home.
O&G Studio‘s luggage rack is a welcoming and functional accent in the guest room.
Dunes and Duchess designs and creates their line of home accessories in nearby Connecticut.  Our client loves their Lakeside chair in this custom color and poppy upholstery.
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Whetstone Workshop created this newel post cap for us, to punctuate the walnut and stainless steel balustrade.
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Michael Boulay crafted this headboard and nightstand designed by our own Wendi Dicely Scalora.

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.

taste team members Wendi Dicely-Scalora, Kevin Baker and Ashley Delvecchio

Gibson Building Company, General Contractor

Stephen Plaud, Kitchen Cabinetry

Rustigian Rugs, Living Room Area Rug

Allied Floors, Countertops

Brassworks, Woodstove

Michael Boulay Woodworking, Bedroom Headboard and Nightstands, Sink Vanity (not shown)

Kyle Caldwell, Photography

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

Artist Spotlight: Meet Vanessa Piche

Oil Paintings for the Coastal Home

 

As daylight continues to extend into the evening hours, my thoughts have turned toward last summer’s monthly open houses and the cheerful conversations and laughter shared by all who visited. Not only did we enjoy hosting pleasant company and showing off our new space, local artists featured on our gallery walls joined in on the festivities.

With a lovely time had by all, I’ve decided to continue with Open Gallery/Studio nights this summer. Look for upcoming dates, beginning Thursday evening, May 26th, just before Memorial Day Weekend.

Our July Open Gallery/Studio night will feature the talented Vanessa Piche of North Kingstown. Her coastal landscapes provide a calming essence and a warm quality to our gallery vignettes and would be the perfect addition to private collections. Below, find a sampling of Vanessa’s pieces the gallery at taste will be showcasing.

In other exciting news, we’ve added a gallery of artists and their work to our website! Click or stop by to view our artists’ pieces on-line or in person at 17 Narragansett Ave.

Only the best,

Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB

Vanessa Piche

 

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“Each painting is a conscious creation that feeds my soul. Paint on the brush and strokes on a canvas are just as important to me as air in my lungs and water to drink. The creation process is like planting a seed…something beautiufl grows out of your initial inspiration that makes people stop, look and connect with the world around them.”

 

Vanessa is a passionate Plein Air artist who captures her emotional response to the world around her. Citing “nature as her temple” and painting as a “self reflective practice,” she sees each painting as a conscious creation that feeds her soul. Vanessa competes in nationally recognized Plein Air competitions around the United States and her paintings are in private collections around the world. In 2015 she won the Making Waves Volvo Ocean Race Art Competition and was the 2015 U.S. Artist for Volvo Ocean Race. She spends most of her time painting in New England, Maryland, and Indiana. Vanessa resides in North Kingstown RI with her husband and daughter.

 

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Vanessa Piche – Before Sunset – Oil on Panel – 11 x 14 inches

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Vanessa Piche – Morning Autumn Ranch – Oil on Canvas – 24 x 12 inches

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Vanessa Piche – Quiet Marsh – Oil on Panel – 8 x 10 inches

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Vanessa Piche – Galillee Wharf – Oil on Panel – 8 x 10 inches

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in the home stretch

three projects nearly ready for the summer season

Spring is in the air and that means we’re busy finishing summer homes for the now in-sight season. I admit, I love this next six week period leading up to Memorial Day.  A deadline junkie, I thrive in the final days of finish construction.  We’re up to our necks in finishing details, questions, problem solving and client pleasing.  And the builders, artisans and craftspeople we rely on are right there with us.  These are the days that test productive collaborations.  Inevitably what binds us during trying moments is our shared unending commitment to quality – even in the face of a looming deadline.

Here’s a sneak peek at three projects entering the final finish phase – each is a hive of activity right now.  Many thanks to Dave Brown, Steve Demetrick and Bob van Cleef for leading the crews at each of these homes.  It may look like there’s still lots left to do, but that’s all part of the exhilaration in the coming few weeks…

Stay tuned for finished photos later this summer after our clients return from their winter roosts and settle in for the summer in their new spaces.

Only the best,

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#1.  A restored cottage by the sea for oh-so fabulous clients and their daughters.

picture-window-with-view-bedroom-east-sideA view to the sea.

library-2A view to the Dining Room.

brick-accentAn orderly laundry area takes shape.

shower-tile-placement-master-bathThe master shower nearly complete.

 

#2. A chic pool house for long-standing and long-appreciated clients.

pool-house-main-room-counter-sink-and-pendantWalnut trimmed cabinetry in the Kitchenette.

pool-house-bathroom-tile-vanityTerrazzo countertops in the Bathroom.

pool-house-main-room-crystal-knob-hardwareFinishing touches in glass.

pool-house-main-room-tile-floorA glass mosaic floor resembles the pool itself.

#3.  A historic home designed for a fun loving family who loves to throw a party.

brick-layoutBricks are carefully laid out and prepared for installation on the mudroom floor.

built-insBookcases are completed and nearly ready for our client’s collection.

kitchenNext to go in: everything, including the Kitchen sink.

Exterior Comforts

Outdoor fabrics and furnishings that don’t compromise comfort.

It’s hard to believe April is just around the corner.  With temperatures climbing toward the 60s, many of us are thinking about dusting off our stored patio furniture and readying to move outdoors. While we still have a few more weeks of chilly nights, now is the time to think about how you’d like to update your exterior dining and entertainment areas, secluded meditation spots and the deck of your sea-going vessels.

Preparing your furnishings for coastal elements–constant fog, rain and harsh sun rays–should be at the top of your check list with priority given to fabric selections. Gone are the days of drab khaki on everything. With technological advances and the creation of mildew-resistant, fast-drying fibers, the possibilities are endless. Adding bright dots, bold pinstripes, playful chevrons or tactilely-impressive weaves to outdoor spaces has become easier because of the multitude of textiles now available, both under hand on slip-covers, decorative pillows, seat cushions and dining linens or under foot with rugs, large and small.

Below you’ll find inspirational images sampling some of the go-to sources we use to beat the wear-and-tear of coastal elements — whether entertaining inland or relaxing sea-bound.

Enjoy!

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The outdoor Soleil line from Kravet is both appealing and comfortable.

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Just a few of the blue, beige and cream fabrics available from Lee Jofa’s Solarium line.

 

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Eden fabrics by Rosemary Hallgarten lend classic appeal to outdoor dining and relaxation as seen in the photos above.

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Solids make a bold punch in this pleasant palette of ocean blues and driftwood, adding aesthetic pleasure to these comfortable Chatham woven furnishings from Kingsley-Bate.

Thibaut outdoor fabric selections lend endless possibilities to dressing up any exterior space.

The Kos Rug by Rosemary Hallgarten brings earthy hues underfoot making it a versatile foundation for exterior dining spaces as well as conversational seating areas.

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Aqua-infused outdoor fabrics from Robert Allen bring sea-inspired hues inland.

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Recycled sails also make a statement and are naturally conducive to the elements. Re-Sails  provides many unique options to dress up your outdoor play space.

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Don’t forget the family pet! Dash & Albert designed their versatile outdoor Wouf so everyone in your family can enjoy relaxing outside in comfort and style.

 

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meet taste team member Julia Reinalda

Get to know our design team and their contributions.

 

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“There’s an easy understated beauty in what we do. We don’t ask for attention but instead work with our clients to create something simple and elegant that people live in and love.”

Julia Reinalda – Interior Designer

 

Following her arrival at taste in 2011, Julia gained broad experience as a Design Assistant and later stepped into the role of Production Coordinator. In this position, she oversaw the custom production process following the design phase, working closely with vendors to customize and fabricate every element of a client’s interior renovation, a level of detail unique to taste.
While she continues to work with vendors on custom projects, she is now assuming greater responsibilities in the interior and installation stages for multiple residences, working closely with taste founder Patti Watson and Senior Designer Kevin Baker from the concept to completion of rooms and entire homes.  Julia’s greatest strength lies in her ability to visualize and oversee the fabrication of custom furnishings ranging from lighting fixtures to custom iron beds.  Her limitless imagination and tenacity to see through the myriad of details during the design process delivers delighted clients time and time again.
Julia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Dickinson College in 2008 and is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Interior Design Program. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband, an Alaskan hunting guide, their two dogs and their baby girl.

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Julia discussing design possibilities with Wendi and Kevin.
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A recent colors and materials palette by Julia.
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Julie’s design of this lacquered coffee table with lucite base came to life through models and collaboration efforts with Rhode Island company Jutras Woodworking and California Acrylic Design.

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Installation day for this beautiful braided jute rug.
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The beautiful slate in the foyer of this classic shingle style home mimics the ocean palette just outside.
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Julia partnered with Skipper Steve Morris from Nautical Chart Wallpaper to customize the Jamestown wall coverings for this Three Sisters bathroom. The coastal design is complete with porthole mirrors in both the shower and above the vanity and the ocean blue penny rounds tiling the floor.
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The windows overlooking the Narragansett Bay wouldn’t be complete without the customized roman shades designed by Julia.

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Cabinetry adds a masculine texture to this cozy office/study designed by Julia and Patti.
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This grown-up room is ready to be enjoyed…

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

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

 

 

 

 

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″

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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″

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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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