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don’t miss our summer culmination event

linger & learn this thursday, 6-8p

 

Imagine thisI’m writing this on the ferry from Jamestown to Newport early Saturday morning on my way to the Newport Folk Festival. The boat is filled with happy people, the sky is blue and the sun is warm already.
It’s Folk Fest time here in Rhode Island – that glorious weekend in July many of us crave all year long. Three days of exceptional music and easy going, friendly attitudes. (Not to mention so many great artists in town throughout next week, too, before Jazz Fest next weekend.)
Of all the honored Folk Festival traditions, my favorite moments are the impromptu mash-ups that happen on stage throughout. Jim James is notorious for this, popping up on the Quad stage to join an up-and-coming artist after his solo performance on the Fort (main) stage. This understood practice of supportive collaboration culminates on Sunday night when scores of artists we’ve swayed and sang to join together for a few final songs of ultimate folk. It’s magical. Each artist is made better by their fellow musicians and we all feel the sheer power and quality of creative collaboration.
We’re doing our version of the Folk Fest Sunday night culmination this Thursday, August 2nd, from 6-8 at our last linger & learn this summer. All the artists we’ve introduced and welcomed back this summer will be represented for a group show that promises to mash-up our best.
Our headliners for the night are Jessica Pisano, Jenn and David Clancy and Melinda Cox of Balanced Design.
Melinda, a textile artist who designs, prints and fabricates her designs locally will give our artist talk beginning at 6:45 pm. She’s a working artist and designer with a deep well of knowledge and passion about sharing her process and work with others. It’s sure to be informational and inspiring treat.
Sneak peeks of work by Jessica, the Clancy’s and Melinda follow below to entice you.
See you Thursday (or later this weekend at Folk Fest!)
Only the best,
patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

Works by textile artist Melinda Cox:

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Enjoy works by Jamestown-resident artists Jenn & David Clancy:

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Serene seascapes and surreal bird oil paintings by Jessica Pisano:

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DUNN with taste

Collaborator Spotlight

 

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

Only the best,

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

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

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

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2. How do you define coastal design? 

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

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

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

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

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

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4. Yachts! Tell us about designing for yachts! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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before & after…

a welcoming kitchen, and baths for all

 

 

 

 

before & after:

a welcoming kitchen, and baths for all

 

Even masterfully architected homes need a facelift eventually.  Last year, we helped our clients see the potential in their circa 1980 Jim Estes designed home and transformed their spaces for more comfortable gathering and weekend entertaining.

The galley Kitchen, Powder Room and Pantry were reappointed while honoring the original architecture and strong lines of the space.  And, we reworked the lower level space plan to increase the baths from one to three — so no more sharing bathrooms with weekend guests.  (And if you’ve ever reworked a lower level space plan, you know its a challenge to work around structural and mechanical requirements to reimagine a space.)

While challenges were plentiful, the plan worked and the waiting list for summer weekend visits is already growing.  An Estes home, proudly enhanced by taste.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

A coffee and beverage bar welcomes guests into the Kitchen, day or night.

 

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Terracotta tile was replaced with the warmth and character of hickory floors – set at a diagonal to complement the architectural character of the home – offering visual contrast to the honed Calacatta marble countertops and white cabinetry.

 

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A lighter and brighter Kitchen.

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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After Photography: Kyle Caldwell

 

taste at work, part 1

busy in the studio, busy in the field

 

 

 

Team taste designers are at it again, fulfilling projects in all phases of the design/construction process as we enter into a busy late fall & winter season.  We’re so appreciative of New England’s seasonality and the added focus that comes this time of year in our coastal, summer community.  As we say goodbye to snowbird clients until next Spring, our heads are down in the studio and our boots are on in the field — preparing homes for the next summer season and for many, the next chapter of their lives with their families.

As always, we aren’t alone in our commitment to creating well-considered, well-crafted homes for our clients.  We are side by side with accomplished architects, builders and craftspeople all working together, with the same ethos.  When the days get dim and the temperatures dip, its these relationships that brighten our work and deliver a laugh – together.

Snapshots follow below from the studio and the field.  Check back next week for a peek at a few more projects underway and all benefiting from our hunkered-down focus this fall.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

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Kevin    Kevin’s leading the renovation of a classic Jamestown cottage, bringing together historic design details with energy efficient, advanced building practices.  Our designs started with perspective views of the interior and exterior prepared in Sketch-up, coupled with detailed drawings produced in CAD.  The trades are on-site now, roughing in plumbing and electrical in preparation for insulation in a few weeks.  Walls will be plastered in another month, providing a warm environment for interior finishes this winter and completion in the Spring.

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Candy    There are deadlines and then there are yacht design deadlines.  Candy’s working alongside The Fontaine Group on a refit of a classic yacht in time to set sail in early December.  (A yacht is a bit different from a residence – when it sets sail, its gone.  There’s no returning to the house in a few weeks to add a piece or two that’s been delayed!).  Furnishings are in production, the pewter bar top is being crafted, joinery is in the finishing stages and the art has arrived.  We will make the deadline, beautifully.

 

 

 

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Wendi    Wendi’s recently back from a well-deserved vacation in France with her husband, Peter.  (They are the most high energy, spirited empty-nesters you’ll ever meet!).  After trekking through the streets of Nice and Paris on bikes and mopeds, Wendi returned inspired and ready to infuse her projects with European quality and timelessness.  Coincidentally, we’ve started working with a client to renovate their new/old French-inspired home, providing the perfect opportunity for a palette of limestone, weathered wood, brick, iron and aged brass.

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julia-staff-photo-smallJulia  If you’ve bumped into Julia recently, you’ll know she’s expecting baby #2 in February — although you wouldn’t know that from her energy level.  More than ever, she’s bringing her high-spirited, love of design to her client projects, including a new construction home Patrick Ahearn home in Weekapaug, Rhode Island.  We love our client’s self-described affinity for ‘spritely’ fabrics and colors.  Julia’s sense of style and ability to artfully compose a scheme is delivering just the right amount of spirited sprite to this coastal home.

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Patti    As for me, I’m re-energized by recent design industry events that have given me a renewed focus on improving our design deliverables and ultimately, the client experience.  Let’s face it, a renovation or new build project is an intense experience for our clients.  They don’t do it everyday as we do.  More than ever, I’m dedicated to bringing the best talent, tools and project management to our clients so that they may find joy in the process of creating their home.  And, leave the worries to us.

Most importantly, I’m practicing this recommitment everyday while I lead projects ranging from the completion new construction coastal homes, to the renovation of a Normandy-inspired family home to the rework of a Kitchen for fellow designers I admire.  It doesn’t get much better than this.

 

Coastal Home in the Final Finish…

 

 

 

 

Family Home in Concept Design…

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Historic Home Ready for Construction Start…

Radesca Residence Proposed Family Room

Radesca Residence Sitting Room

Radesca Residence Stairs

Kitchen Renovation for Special People…

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Block Island Family Compound, In the Making…

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artist spotlight: kelly jo shows

an artist and her many shoes

 

Last summer brought new artists to taste. Among the fresh talent were paintings by the unique portrait artist Kelly Jo Shows represented by Candita Clayton Gallery. Kelly Jo takes an unconventional approach into her creations, focusing on shoes rather than faces to represent her subjects’ personality. The shoes she’s given display wear from all walks of life. Some are hard-worn, speckled with paint, classy, comfortable (like bedroom slippers), dressy, or a multitude of colorful converse sneakers. Each is as individual as their owner, and Kelly Jo Shows captures this through her detailed portraits.

I’m excited as this summer approaches to be working with Kelly Jo on a commissioned family portrait (think shoes instead of head shots) that will perfectly complete the interior of our clients’ summer home. Kelly Jo has just the right amount of modern sophistication and unique style to create this young family’s portrait. I’m looking forward to the process — reviewing the shoe choices, delivering these carefully selected pairs to Kelly Jo, and watching her transform them into two-dimensional perfection.

Enjoy a sampling of Kelly Jo Show’s portraits below. She has more wonderful portraits on Candita’s website, and a great look behind the scenes on her Instagram page at @fearnoart11. Be sure to check both out.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

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A shot inside her studio.

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A completed commissioned piece drying on her easel.

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Portrait of Artist Billy Childish by Kelly Jo Shows

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Portrait of Artist Candy Chang by Kelly Jo Shows

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Portrait of Artist John Casey by Kelly Jo Shows

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Portrait of Artist Mark Ryden by Kelly Jo Shows

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Portrait of Artist Martha Coburn by Kelly Jo Shows

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Portrait of Artist Patrick Finster by Kelly Jo Shows

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Portrait of Artist The Art Guys by Kelly Jo Shows

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Portrait of Artist TMNK by Kelly Jo Shows

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Portrait of artist Alan Neider by Kelly Jo Shows

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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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