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from the designer desk of candace langan…

Taste designer Candace Langan has been working her yacht interior magic once again…  For the past few months she’s been on a sprint to help our California-based client and new owner of a classic super yacht reinvigorate the vessel and personalize for his chapter of ownership.

Our client acquired the then ‘Timoneer’ this summer and in addition to renaming her ‘Catalina’ he brought his western aesthetic to the 147′ yacht originally designed by Dubois Naval Architects with interiors by John Munford.  How did we successfully blend our client’s request for a California-clean palette and polite insistence for “no blue, please” with a classic cherry yacht interior?

Candace relied on a textured and neutralized palette with accents in tomato red and crisp browns to complement the rich wood tones.  Blue and white carpet came out and was replaced with a subtly patterned geometric rug.  Florals were replaced with a collection of small scale prints and textured fabrics.  Tufting was removed and replaced with tight backs on sofas and headboards.

Now, Catalina boasts a clean and textured canvas – ready for our client to personal with art and collections from his travels at sea.  All aboard!

Only the best,

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Yacht management firm Jon Barrett and Associates oversaw the refresh of Catalina and the hull painting in a warm Benjamin Moore gray.  Our client was so pleased with the new hull color we used it as a launching point for the interior color palette.

 

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The teak flooring was refinished and a new gray grout was installed to complement the  stainless steel accents around the flush floor lights, railings and diamond inlays found in the upper salon.

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Candace developed a neutral upholstery palette with accents in tomato red and crisp brown tones to complement the cherry interior.

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The Upper Salon allows guests a near 360 degree view of the horizon, whether at anchor, surrounded by gorgeous Bahama-blue oceans and islands, or sailing to the next destination.

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Polished perfection from bow to stern…thanks to the new Catalina crew.

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Below deck, auburn throw pillows give the Main Salon warmth amidst the softer hues in the chevron gray and cream fabric selected for the curved sofa. Custom-made window treatments in a subtle monochromatic pattern echoes the eggshell-striped shades specially made to fit the brass light fixtures.  The palette extends and evolves in the cabins, with warm red and leafy green accents.

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Cream and olive custom upholstered head and side boards makes for a serene atmosphere where guests can unwind in the evenings. The embroidered bedding from Sferra gives a luxurious feel to the stately guest cabins.

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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,

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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

Inspired: Grasscloth & Raffia

timeless texture for walls and beyond

 

It’s always a relief when a design element we love stands the test of time and elevates from trend to timeless.  This high regard for a material gives us permission to continue to use an element we rely on to add character and texture to a room.

Thankfully, grasscloth has safely settled into this category.  I’ve been using grasscloth on walls for years now.  (If you’re a client, you may be nodding in agreement…yes, Patti did encourage me to incorporate grasscloth when we did the Powder Room/Dining Room/Foyer years ago…).

Today, we’re happily awash in textural choices ranging from chic grasscloth to nubby and natural raffia.  The options are endless, especially if you add a second dynamic such as a custom-painted pattern or interspersed metallics. The range in color offers another variation, from natural earth tones to dyed saturated palettes.

And, we continue to explore the surfaces we can apply this fantastic texture.  Lately, we’ve lined bookshelves and cabinets and covered furniture ranging from simple tables to more challenging bureaus.  It’s rare that an interior we’re designing doesn’t include at least one element of grasscloth or raffia, and there’s no end in sight.

We’ll keep exploring the possibilities and continue to joyfully incorporate this newly minted timeless element into our interiors.  Inspiration follows…

Only the best,

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Using textural naturals is a great way to create an interesting neutral background that lets bolder furnishings and accessories shine in the foreground .grasscloth---neutrals-fanned

Textures vary from smooth to nubby and everything in between.grasscloth---smooth-to-nubby-texture

Creative use of color can accent bookshelves, furniture and walls. Neutrals as a backdrop create a rich contrast against dark furnishings. Bold expressions of color allow for a grand statement.grasscloth---trio-samples

Classic blue grasscloth finishes a modern console in this coastal home.01B-before-&-after-living-room-gold-award-taste-interior-design-coastal-seaside-home

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These custom nesting tables used neutral shades and complemented the client’s existing navy sofa, lightening the ambience in the room. grasscloth-nesting-tables

A grasscloth covered coffee table, complete with a mitered design on the top and ten coats of hardworking varnish, sits proud in the gallery at taste.

(And, has beautifully stood the test of time after several taste cocktail parties.)grasscloth---gallery-thibaut-table

One of my favorite Dining Rooms, with shimmery grasscloth above the chair rail.  There’s no wall too big or too small for these versatile wall coverings.A taste-interior-designer-dining-room-artwork-photography - Copy

 

For something a little more powerful, consider hand-painted wall coverings.grasscloth---patterns

Patterns and play with contrasting colors can make a statement to small rooms or even grand foyers like this entry hall and two-story stairwell.foyer-after2

The gentle colors in this floral-patterned grasscloth contributes to the elegance in this powder room.grasscloth---patterned-bathroom

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,

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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,

Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB

#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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in good company, a shout-out to Brassworks

A public note of thanks to a Rhode Island company that consistently delivers exceptional quality and personal service.

I have a fantastic client who is a human resources executive at IBM.  While working on her home, our design sessions would inevitably spill over into lively conversations about family, travel and occasionally provide a glimpse into the successful practices IBM uses to nuture its assets – the people who’ve made that company great for the past 100 years.  One of IBM’s practices is to make a shout-out to an employee or group who stands apart from the rest.  While careful to thank everyone for their contributions, I admire this practice of calling attention to an exceptional individual or group.

(I’ve since made shout-outs on my team when someone has gone above and beyond.)

Today I’d like to do the same for Brassworks in Providence, RI.  If you’re a Rhode Islander and have embarked upon a residential construction or renovation project, you’re likely to already know Brassworks.  They are the go-to resource for fireplaces, door hardware, cabinetry hardware and solving tricky problems of just about any kind that have to do with metal fixtures.  And, like an increasingly rarified retailer, they maintain a showroom (!) where you can actually see and touch these parts and pieces that make the finishing difference in a home.

As designers, we appreciate Jeff Nelson and his team for their patience, accuracy, dedication to get it right and all the early morning and late evening emails to help make the details happen.  They are consistently generous with their knowledge and talents and a true pleasure to do business with.  Thanks Jeff, Rhonda, David, Mark, Joe and everyone at Brassworks for your unending collaborative spirit.  At times, our projects would undoubtedly grind to a halt without you.

A sampling of just a few of the many residences we’ve done together follow below.

If you don’t know Brassworks, be sure to visit the showroom where you’ll be warmly greeted and pleasantly surprised with the quality that harkens back to days gone by.

Only the best,

Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB

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This Town and Country fireplace insert by Brassworks was the starting point for the design of this fireplace, surround and mantel.

 

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I adore the Chesney fireplace baskets available at Brassworks.  Here, we used the Baird Basket in this historic home.  Brassworks also restored an original, 100 year old fireplace basket found in this home, and retrofitted it to accept gas logs.  We lovingly returned it to the Library fireplace where it originally lived, now supporting gas logs instead of the original wood.

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Leather wrapped drawer and appliance pulls finish this media room Kitchenette perfectly.

 

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And, we continued the theme in the adjacent Powder Room, complete with leather strap towel holder and hooks.

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This Rocky Mountain Hardware sourced from Brassworks finished this outdoor shower we designed perfectly.  Lockable from the inside, the hammered brass with matte finish will weather nicely during coastal summers and stand up against icy winters.

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These oil-rubbed bronze pulls ranged from five inches on cabinet drawers to twelve inches on the cabinetry-front appliances. This provided unity throughout this client’s kitchen and paired nicely with these complimentary knobs.

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Brassworks installed this cylindrical soapstone stove in our client’s coastal home. The stove rotates 180 degrees allowing a great fire view from the Dining area, the Kitchen or the living space. Its soapstone body provides radiant warmth for all to enjoy, in all seasons.

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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