Close

demystifying commissioned art

 

Commissioning a piece of art for your home may sound out of reach.  Perhaps even intimidating.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Over the past few years we’ve had the distinct pleasure of introducing artists to clients and helping to finish homes with a commissioned work of art.

The commissioning process nearly always results in a deep, meaningful relationship between artist and patron – supportive and gratifying for everyone involved. It’s a byproduct of the project that no one quite expects at the beginning, but one we know is highly likely when the artist/client match is right, and a bit of nurturing has been provided (sometimes by us, sometimes by a talented gallerist like our friend Candita Clayton).

Intrigued by the idea?  Here’s how to start thinking about commissioning an artist to create a one-of-a-kind piece for you.

  1. Identify artists whose work speaks to you.  You may even own a small piece of his/her work you love, and would like to add to your collection with a larger piece.
  2. Be sure the artist you’re interested in does commissioned work.  Not all do.
  3. Visit and talk with the artist to understand the work he/she is currently pursuing.  What’s on their mind?  What ideas are they working through in their art?  It may be the work you prefer is something done earlier in their career and they’ve moved on to a new style or subject matter.
  4. It’s common (and ok) to ask an artist for sketches that illustrate their direction for a commissioned piece.  Be ready to provide feedback on preliminary sketches and balance your comments with a level of freedom to let the artist’s work evolve.  This isn’t the time to micromanage.
  5. Then, step back and provide ‘artistic license’.  Be patient and allow the artist to do the commission at their pace.  And, be supportive and open to the artist’s evolution of ideas while working on the piece.

Read on to learn about some of our favorite commission projects the past few years.  And, reach out when you’re ready to develop a relationship with an artist, and their work, you’ll treasure for years to come.

Only the best,

prw signature

P.S.  Be sure to scroll down to learn about this summer’s Linger & Learn events at taste. Three evenings provide a unique opportunity to meet artists and learn about how easy + enjoyable commissioned art can be.

 

Evelyn Rhodes

Evelyn created this sea and landscape for longstanding taste clients as we finished the redesign of their Living Room.  Perfectly sized and framed, Evelyn’s work proudly sits over the fireplace in the now highly used room by the whole family.

Evelyn Rhodes - Schott

schott living room

 

Jessica Pisano

Friend and artist Jessica Pisano has created commissioned pieces for our clients the past ten years.  Our most recent project is from her ‘Bird Series’ and graces our clients’ Dining Room.  (I love to capture the moment an artist delivers a commissioned piece and Jess’s pride the day she shared this piece with me was evident in her confident smile.)

jessica pisano

Image-1

taste_man_170118_0032.jpg

 

Sue Freda

Artist Sue Freda recently created this tapestry on a custom branch hanger for clients in Charlestown, Rhode Island.  I love the way it shimmers with glass elements reminiscent of the sea as it casts interesting shadows on the wall.  It finishes the custom bed we designed for our clients perfectly.  (As new friends, Sue and I were delighted to hang it together just a few weeks ago.)

Sue Freda - Berckemeyer

taste_berkemeyer-186

Sue Freda Berckemeyer 2

IMG_9424

 

Clancy Designs

We’re so fortunate to have glass artists Jennifer and David Clancy in our Jamestown community.  Of the projects we’ve done together, our most recent installation of their glass hummingbirds is my favorite.  In our client’s newly renovated home we imagined a swarm of birds in the transom window enroute to the top of the stairs.  Our client already imagines adding more birds to grow her Clancy flock.

portrait wide angle

taste_blount_220618_0207

taste_blount_220618_0213

taste_blount_220618_0196-Edit

David and Jennifer also created this stunning chandelier for clients in Narragansett, Rhode Island.  Glass spheres are clustered around a form that suspends above their dining table, providing a soft glow and special atmosphere – day and night.

 

 

Christian Potter Drury

In that same client home that the Clancy’s birds fly, Christian Potter Drury created a custom barn door in our client’s master bedroom.  Christian’s 7′ x 4′ multimedia piece includes a representation of our client’s children and even her beloved dogs, for a thoughtful inclusion of the people and canines most important to her.

taste_blount_220618_0194
Image 6-1-19 at 9.17 AM

Christian’s work also completes the interior design of the salon and cabins aboard a yacht we completed last year for clients we adore.  Their interactions with Christian and appreciation of her spirited style of painting makes her work aboard their floating getaway that much more special.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

thumbnail_20171229_122527.jpg

 

Vanessa Piche

In addition to creating custom pieces of art for several of our clients during the holiday season, our dear friend Vanessa Piche’s work finishes the home of several taste clients.  Her warmth and joy for the New England’s coastline comes through in every piece she creates.

IMG_7370

MarchComposite1-Edit

taste_man__010318_1002

 

This Summer: Three Opportunities to Meet Artists @ taste

As always, summer brings opportunities to meet artists at taste as we open our doors during three Linger & Learn events.  Join us, Kelly Milukas, Jeff Soderbergh, Lisa Barsumian and Christian Potter Drury during rare and intimate artist talks at taste.  Mark your calendars and join us!  We love to match artists with clients for relationships that celebrate creativity and bring art to the lives and homes in which we work.

Linger & Learn Postcard

linger and learn schedule

before & after: honest + artful bungalow

 

 

 

 

The design assignment to renovate a bungalow and retains its inherent character sounds straightforward and appealing.  The scale is comfortable, architectural details are honest and an open floor plan creates a pleasing flow from room-to-room and from inside-to-out.

Built in 1900, this Jamestown charmer had the potential to promise this simplified lifestyle.  Thankfully, our client could see beyond the years of reincarnations and unfortunate remodels and recognize the opportunity to create a place of rest and respite for her upcoming sabbatical from the academic world.

That opportunity came with abundant challenges for our client and the design/build team, however.

While a few original details remained, time had taken its toll on the bungalow’s bones.  Layers of linoleum and sheetrock revealed notched floor joists, balloon framing and out-of-square walls.

What started as an assignment to rejuvenate a classic house for modern life became a duty to resuscitate the structural integrity and craftsmanship associated with a bungalow.  All while imbuing it with art and elements of modernity for our brilliant client eager to come home to rest and recharge.

Photography for taste: Robyn Ivy

Quote 1

taste_blount_220618_0002.jpgtaste_blount_220618_0065

taste_blount_220618_0101

Dining Room: Before & After

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

taste_blount_220618_0133taste_blount_220618_0054

Quote 2

2nd Floor Hall: Before & After

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

taste_blount_220618_0194

Master Bath: Before & After

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

quote 3

taste_blount_220618_0213

taste_blount_220618_0196-Edit

Only the best,

prw signature

P.S. Special thanks to Rhode Island Monthly magazine for featuring this project in their May Issue, available now! Pick up your copy today.  RI Monthly photos by Elaine Frederick Photography.

RIM_k

ri monthly1

ri monthly 2
ri monthly 3

big impact, small budget…

 

Happy Spring everyone!  If you’re like us and are embarking on a few spring projects at home to freshen up your inside spaces, you’ll find this article from The New York Times “Making a Big Impact on a Small Budget” helpful.

We did, and found it inspired us to share a few of our favorite ‘cheap and cheerful’ design tricks.  Be sure to read the article and scroll below for a tip from each of your favorite team taste designers.

 

Only the best,

prw signature

Megan Landis | Project Manager & Interior Designer

ML quote blockso and g benchOandG bench

 

 

Julia Reinalda | Project Manager & Interior Designer

JR quote blocks

 

taste_blount_220618_0174

taste_blount_220618_0179

 

 

 

Wendi Dicely-Scalora | Senior Designer & Project Manager

WDS quote blocks

lampshade4

lampshade2

 

 

Patti Watson |  Principal 

PRW quote blocksLittle Compton-7

Little Compton-6

 

 

 

take it outside

 

tasteful exterior spaces, just in time for summer…

Current New England temperatures are far from our idyllic coastal summers, but our clients know warmer weather will be here before we know it.  Once here, our summers here are short-lived, for sure.

Those precious twelve weeks of summer means outdoor spaces currently in design and construction need to hit the deadline – with absolutely no delays.  team taste designers Megan Landis and Kevin Baker are currently at work putting the finishing details on summer spaces ready for this summer.

Interested in upgrading your outdoor living spaces?  Take some inspiration from our current projects below and reach out if we can help you make the most of our short-lived but sweet New England summers.

Only the best,

 

 

 

 

A Perfect Pool Pavilion

Megan’s collaborating with a seasoned landscape architect and build team to design the interiors of a pool pavilion.  Her vision to let natural light into the space will become a reality with a circular window and trellis detailing.  After the sun sets, uplighting on the ceiling with exposed beams and sconces where they count, will transform the space for evening gatherings, too.

 

 

InkedMarchand Lattice_LI

 

Quintessential Newport Porches, Pergolas and Cabanas

Kevin, Michaela and I are working with Parker Construction and landscape designer Shiva Kunz to bring architect Jim Golden’s of Patrick Ahearn Architects vision for compact, yet high functioning outdoors spaces at our Newport restoration project.

Our client hosts large gatherings with as many as forty-fifty people, so flexible spaces that expand when needed are a must.  The built-in benches for extra seating at the patio help squeeze as many family and friends together as possible.  And the Cabana doubles as additional guest quarters when the party extends from summer evenings to the summer weekends.

 

 

 

burgess-cabana-scheme.jpg

 

Furnishing Plan F-101

 

Exterior Pergola EXTR-100

welcome Megan Landis

team taste’s talent expands, once again

We’re excited to welcome Megan Landis to taste as an Interior Designer/Project Manager. Megan comes to us with a rich background leading interior projects in educational and consumer product fields.  She went to school at Roger Williams University for Architecture and then Pratt Institute in New York for Interior Design.  Her most recent position as Designer & Project Manager at DBVW Architects in Providence had her busy on projects at RISD, Moses Brown and URI.  Prior to moving to Providence, she worked in NYC with Gensler as a design practice leader on client projects ranging from L’Oréal to Deutsche Bank.

IMG_0078

“Design is about balance and point of view; it tells a story. There is balance to be achieved in big and small, dark and light, color and neutrality, personality and reservation.  I enjoy working with clients to discover who they are and what they want their space to say about themselves, their family and their life.”

-Megan Landis

Megan’s gift of creativity and consensus building was honed working at Gensler with challenging clients such as L’Oréal and Estee Lauder – both synonymous with high expectations for brand representation through impeccable design.  Those client assignments were further challenged by large committees when one client may actually be represented by twenty people.  Listening and combining the personal tastes of many into a cohesive, functional and interesting design solution made Megan instrumental in those client relationships.IMG_8149

At taste, we’re already finding Megan has a quiet strength in her ability to step back and consider the larger vision as well as the small details that work as building blocks to achieve a design.  She brings ideas, large and small, that speak to clients’ goals and provide assurance that we’re attending to their needs.  (During the past three weeks I’ve witnessed the relaxed, warm smiles that fill clients’ faces when Megan shares a thoughtful suggestion that fulfills a wish they may have only mentioned in passing.  Megan’s attention to those small details that bring joy is why she’s a perfect addition to taste.)

Megan and her husband are recent transplants to Rhode Island from Vermont by way of NYC for ten years.  At the end of their time in New York they made the fateful decision to move to ‘vacation’ and start a family.  Two years later they are still enjoying explorations in the ocean state, taking their dog Leo and son Lukas for hikes, hunting out antiques and big waves alike and taking the occasional quick trip to the Green mountains to visit family.

Welcome, Megan.

Only the best,

prw signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

cooking with gas

how a taste-created master plan ignites action in the kitchen

 

 

how a taste-created master plan ignites action in the kitchen

Did you just finish a Thanksgiving cooking marathon in your Kitchen?  Did your Kitchen work for you, or make you work harder?

If it left you frustrated with a lack of flow, limited work space or over crowded gathering areas for friends and family, you may have already started thinking about how to fix it. And if you’re like many of our clients, you have MANY ideas you’re trying to sort through and prioritize. You’ve probably looked through Houzz or Pinterest, stood in a friend’s Kitchen with a similar (but not quite) layout as yours, or even sketched some ideas and taken on a 3D on-line design tool.

That’s all good food for thought.  And now, you’re ready for some additional guidance to a) help you confirm your ideas and b) understand how to apply your budget to the value of your ideas.

That was the case for longstanding clients who reached out earlier this fall.  Over the years we’ve worked our way through their home, designing and renovating key areas at a time.  (She loves to tell the story of my hand-drawn plans for their master suite, long before the days of CAD and Sketch-up.)

Since then, we’ve renovated their bathrooms, the mudroom, the family room, the living room and the three season porch.  I’ve been yearning to take on the Kitchen and this year, they were ready, too.

The conversation started with their rough idea of three layouts, all with varying (yet unknown) budget levels.  They needed help answering key questions, like:

  • Is each layout achievable from a building/structural perspective?
  • Would one layout be any less disruptive to our family life than the other? (They have two sons in their Junior year of high school with heavy workloads and big decisions to prepare for.  Unraveling the family Kitchen this year wasn’t ideal but becoming critical.)
  • What are the cost differences between each plan?
  • How long would the renovation take?
  • What are we missing? We aren’t designers, so tell us what we haven’t considered so we don’t make a mistake with a large investment.

All good questions. And ones we’re used to helping answer. It was time to get to work and develop plans for each concept they brought to the table.  And, as I always experience, another design option presented itself during the creative process.  (I love those moments of discovery.) We brought in a general contractor from our extended team who is a pro at providing ball park estimates. With their help, we presented four plan options, along with a ballpark budget for each.

This combination of taste-provided guidance + plan + budget enabled our clients to select the right option for their family and their investment level.  Once the plan option was selected, we developed a creative concept for the space and finishing details that will help make the Kitchen live up to the rest of their home.

Construction starts just after the holidays. Next holiday season, they won’t be fighting with their Kitchen.  Will you?

If so, reach out to understand how taste can create a master plan that brings clarity and action to your space, too.

Only the best,

prw signature

 

kitchen concept

schott kitchen

 

adjacent dining room

schott dinginr oom

 

living room & entry

schott living room

wisdom and comments shared by our client

 

floor plan options provided to our client, per her wishes (and more!)

OA

OBOC                                                                            (PSSST….this is chosen plan!)

 

OD

before photos

Photo Jul 11, 10 53 20 AMPhoto Jul 11, 10 51 04 AMIMG_4568

 

kitchen materials

schott scheme

 

 

 

 

meet team taste member Ashley LeFebvre

 

 

ashley.jpgWhen designing a home, there are so many opportunities for a client to breathe their own personality into their space. We encourage it and it’s always been one of our guiding service principles.

As a team we work hard to understand our clients’ unique vision and then refine it, synthesize it, and evolve it into a language that speaks directly to them. I get to illustrate that language in drawings that clearly communicate our design ideas. It’s magical to be a part of that team effort, everyday.

— Ashley LeFebvre

If you’ve ever benefited from a taste-generated 3D rendering, chances are you have Ashley LeFebvre to thank.  Ashley has been with taste since 2013 and since joining has steadfastly advanced taste’s drawing practice while simultaneously growing as a designer and contributor.  (We admiringly refer to her as our ‘tech whiz’ and lean on Ashley for far more than just drawing technology.  She has a knack for understanding technology architecture that never ceases to amaze.)
.
After graduating from The University of Hartford with a degree in Architectural Engineering Technology, Ashley worked in retail design, using her space planning and technology skills to create product displays and merchandising designs.  At taste, she’s adept at using a portfolio of applications including CAD, Sketch-up, Photoshop and cutting edge rendering tools like Podium to create perspectives that instantly help clients understand a design.  (Not to mention the builders, craftspeople and artisans we work with.)
.
Never one to sit still, Ashley can also be found in the field, collecting field dimensions and checking on framing and finishing progress throughout a project. Her close working relationship with taste Senior Designer Kevin Baker brings an understanding of construction, cabinetry and finish details that complement Ashley’s technology savvy.  Add to that, she works with taste interior designers to design and illustrate custom furniture pieces, lighting fixtures and intricate tile layouts.
.
During her downtime, Ashley loves to take a break from technology to make art, read or garden. And as one of our newest taste newlyweds, she uses her abundant creativity to plan and host out-of-this-world dinner parties with her chef husband at their Connecticut home. Her wizardy never ends…
Only the best,
patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston
Radesca Residence Stairs
Radesca Residence Sitting Room
IMG_0682
10.24.16.Blount.Kitchen From Mudroom.3D Render
10.24.16.Blount.Kitchen From Living Room.3D Render
IMG_0662
02-06-16-weisbord-from-bathroom-bed
IMG_7E89E31E530E-1
02-06-16-wei-from-bathroom-bed
IMG_0633
04-20-16-weidbord-rug-plan-8-6x10-804-20-16-weidbord-rug-from-entry-8-6x1304-20-16-weidbord-rug-from-bath-8-6x1304-12-16-farrell-dudley-plan-c-renderedfurn-100-dining-room-chandelier

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:

cbf24coral_coastal_pillow_300dpicpc1cwi4_300dpifabric_studio_300dpilcal5lcbu15_300dpilcmo30_300dpilcpc13_300dpinmona3_300dpirpc1_300dpi

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

Branches 1 - angle viewBranches 2Branches detail

 

Serene seascapes and surreal bird oil paintings by Jessica Pisano:

BetweenEarth+Sky_24x24_2800CeruleanSkyI_12x12_650CeruleanSkyII_12x12_650gildedgarden_30x30_3500TheSilentLanguage

scheme starters

taste designers share their favorite interior elements

 

 

 

 

Summer time has us scheming up rooms and homes from Boston’s South Shore (yes, we’ll work in Boston!) to Barrington to Westerly and boats in between.  The studio is brimming with new materials, furnishings and art as we scour, edit and assemble interiors for our client projects.  Often, we’re inspired by a rug, a piece of art or a fixture that becomes a starter scheme for a future project.  These starter schemes are throughout the studio (and in our designers’ imaginations) just waiting for the perfect opportunity to come to life.  Take a peek at the seeds of a room, ready to grow into a fresh space and reach out if one speaks to you!

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston
julia-staff-photo-small

“I love this antique Persian runner. The orange, blue and citron feel so fresh even though it’s 100 years old! The Serena & Lily console table is a piece that could work well in many homes; the grasscloth provides great texture and a coastal feel. The Hwang Bishop (made in Warren, RI) sculptural lamp would pair nicely, with its clean lines and rectilinear shapes.”
— Julia Reinalda

 

julia image.png

Sources:

Antique Runner
 
Hwang Bishop Lamp
 
S&L Console

IMG_8149

“Making a coastal home feel fresh is one of my most favorite client assignments.  Layering graphic patterns with organic materials keeps it upbeat and in-situ at the beach.  And, as a dabbling artist myself, I always try and finish a room with original art, however small, to provide the integrity that only handmade objects bring.”

— Michaela Palmer

michaela image
Sources:
wendi headshot

 

 

“I like working with traditional shapes and patterns but add
an infusion of fresh color and interesting shapes to create happy, joyful spaces.”
— Wendi Dicely-Scalora
wendi image
Sources:
 

announcing taste’s linger & learn summer series

join us!

We hear from many of you that you look forward to our open studio events every summer for connection and inspiration. We’re so glad. Since 2015, we’ve opened our red front door for three Thursday evenings in the summer to welcome friends, neighbors and favorite artists to our gallery.

This summer we’re expanding to include an art & design learning opportunity each evening. I’m bubbling over with excitement and pride about our guest speaker and artist line-up. (I met with artist Susan Freda this week to select her work that we’ll debut at the gallery at taste later this month and I’m over the moon excited. She is an extraordinary artist creating work from the heart that speaks to so many people.)

Our first Linger & Learn event happens Thursday evening, May 31st from 6pm – 8pm at our Jamestown Studio. Join us then for a cocktail and a nibble to absorb art wisdom from friend and gallerist Candita Clayton and take in the work of Susan Freda, Kelly Milukas and Alyn Carlson.

Here’s why you should attend…

At twenty-one years old, Candita started collecting art with $125 she’d scraped together after college to buy a small print that spoke to her. Since then, she’s added to her own collection, edited friends’ and clients’ collections and demystified art buying along the way.  Today, that print still hangs in her living room and symbolizes her buy-what-you-love philosophy to acquiring handmade objects.

Candita will share her approach to buying original art (at any price point – even $125), including:

  • How to start thinking about filling that empty space on your wall(s);
  • When to buy art, and when not to buy art. (Hint: vacation art-buying often doesn’t pan out in the long run);
  • How to engage with an artist to add meaning to the art you acquire;
  • When to support an emerging artist and what to consider;
  • Making a financial investment in art and what kind of return you should expect.

The red front door opens at 6pm and Candita’s talk will start at 6:45 pm-ish. Join us for what I expect to be a lovely, inspirational evening.

(To tempt you even more, work from Susan, Kelly and Alyn follows below.)

Only the best,

 

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

P.S.  Mark your calendars for all the Linger & Learn events this summer…

Thursday, May 31st with gallerist Candita Clayton

Thursday, June 28th with glass artist Tracy Glover

Thursday, August 2nd with textile artist Melinda Cox

 

 

suefreda_kozodress-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Kozo Dress

AC_AquaLinea_1216-LO-RESAlyn Carlson – Aqua Linea 1216

Kelly-Milukas---Spinal-18x10-web-2-LO-RES

Kelly Milukas – Spinal – 18 x 10 inches

suefreda_abacadress-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Abaca Dress

AC_AquaLinea_1316-LO-RES

Alyn Carlson – Aqua Linea 1316

Kelly-Milukas--oxygen-no3--6x6-LO-RES

Kelly Milukas – Oxygen – 6 x 6 inches

suefreda_collagraph2-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Collagraph 2

Kelly-Milukas-DoneatDawnBandwidth-LO-RES

Kelly Milukas – Done at Dawn Bandwidth

suefreda_collagraph5_hires-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Collagraph 5

Kelly-Milukas-DrenchGaia-LO-RES

Kelly Milukas – Drench Gaia

suefreda_filasidus-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Filasidus

Kelly-Milukas-oceanic-10x10-edit-2-for-web-2-LO-RES

Kelly Milukas – Oceanic – 10 x 10 inches

suefreda_hyacinthvitroII-LO-RES

Sue Freda – Hyacinth Vitroll

Kelly-Milukas-the-modern-past-6-x-6-LO-RESKelly Milukas – The Modern Past – 6 x 6 inches