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meet taste team member Michaela Palmer

 

 

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Designing a space is more than just the big reveal at the end. It’s about understanding how the space can evolve to fit the needs of the people or family living there. There are so many layers that make a house a home.  Embrace the process and enjoy the journey.

Michaela Palmer, Interior Designer

Many of you may know Michaela as our ever-calm and always reliable production manager who joined taste in 2014. As taste’s Production Manager, Michaela estimated, ordered, followed and received all the elements of a home—from custom furniture to tile to lighting.  She learned the many facets involved in the design process and how every dimension, finish and material selection counts toward the final outcome. This experience developed her deep appreciation for attention to detail and a firm belief that organization and precision, from conception to realization, ensures a high quality design experience.

You may not know that Michaela has a fine arts background, with a BA degree from Towson University and a degree in Interior Design. Her classical arts training and study of concept and color composition is revealed in her work everyday, as our newest interior designer. (Not to mention her incredible talent for hand-lettering; even her everyday note taking is elegantly crafted.)

In addition to her creativity and end-to-end understanding of the design process, Michaela brings a love of family and home-making to her client work. She and husband, Greg, live in Warwick with their sweet puppy Murphy. Weekends are often spent with her family and frequent trips to Boston to visit her sisters, nieces and nephew.

Whether starting with an empty room or a well-loved family home needing an upgrade, Michaela brings a balance of creativity and practicality when helping her clients realize their own home-making dreams. And for her, the reward comes when watching clients’ reactions as personalized furnishings she’s created are unveiled and made ready for their time with family. Well done, Michaela.

Only the best,

 patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston
Michaela at work on a soothing master suite.
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The big reveal…  Michaela commissioned these paintings by Dora Atwater Millikin for a favorite client.
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Michaela’s warm smile is ever present, especially during our annual holiday open house when we welcome children of all ages to create ornaments in our studio.
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Never shy to take on an assignment big or small, Michaela can often be found at a photo shoot lending a hand.  This time, it was art-spotting.
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Fine details are exciting!  Michaela brings the joy of discovery and detail to her client work.  Not to mention a ton of fun.

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artist spotlight: ben anderson

 

I’m so pleased to have the work of Ben Anderson gracing our gallery, ready to share with fellow art appreciators.  Thanks to a friend and loyal collector of Ben’s work who needed to downsize her art collection, we’ve acquired a vast and varied number of ceramic reliefs and plates.

Among my favorites are Ben’s molds of a freshly caught fish, not unlike the Japanese fish printing process where a fish is rolled onto a soft paper. The glazing on his fish is luminous and perfectly slippery.  I’m also lucky to have one of his crab and lobster plates too, inspired by the traditional Portuguese dish from Friends Market in Providence.

Learn more about Ben and his series of highly charged compositions that remind us of the simple beauty found in living things.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

The following video features Ben Anderson at his studio. He gives a great explanation of his influences and process as an artist.

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Visit taste to view the following available pieces in person, or view the collection in our web-based gallery at www.tastedesigninc.com.

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Ben Anderson – Flounder – Ceramic Plate – 13 x 16 inches

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Ben Anderson – Garlic and Mussels – Ceramic Plate – 6.5 x 4 inches

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Ben Anderson – Fish in Forest Stream – Ceramic Plate – 10 x 10 inches

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Ben Anderson – Blue Fish in Forest Stream – Ceramic Plate – 16.5 x 14 inches

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Ben Anderson – Fiddleheads on Forest Floor – Ceramic Plate – 14 x 18 inches

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Ben Anderson – Two Fish – Ceramic Plate – 13 x 13 inches

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Ben Anderson – Three Trout – Ceramic Plate – 14 x 14 inches

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Ben Anderson – Fish Swimming in Green Pool – Ceramic Plate – 16.5 x 19.5 inches

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Ben Anderson – Shells – Ceramic Plate – 16.5 x 19.5 inches

 

 

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Ben Anderson – Mushroom, Okra and Bay Leaves – Ceramic Plate – 6.5 x 4.5 inches

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Ben Anderson – Blue Crab – Ceramic Plate – 17 x 17 inches

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Ben Anderson – Three Cloves – Ceramic Plate – 6.5 x 4 inches

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Ben Anderson – Mussels on Green Plate – Ceramic Plate – 9 x 6 inches

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Ben Anderson – Shells on Forest Floor – Ceramic Plate – 14 x 17 inches

 

Our gallery furnishings and art are available for our in-home “try it before you buy it” program.

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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

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

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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pride of place

client collaborations that instill pride, for all


One of my most favorite moments as a designer happened again this past week. It’s that instance near or at the end of a project when our clients realize that together, we’ve created pride of place.

In my mind, pride of place is a home that’s deeply personal to my clients. A home with custom-crafted elements by local artisans they’ve come to know. A home that inspires their children to dream large and pursue great things in the safety of its walls. A home with clever ideas that make my clients beam with pride when they share a design detail with family and friends. A home or even a retail building in a small village (as witnessed recently) restored and renovated “to last another 100 years”.

I’ve come to watch for these moments. And carefully provide my clients with a change in conversation or shift in focus in the event they are so overwhelmed, they need a minute to collect themselves. It happens.

Most often, these moments are revealed when a detail so personal to my clients emerges from concept to completion. The model sailboat he built in their first apartment together has a place of honor in the new beach house. The art that’s hung above the antique buffet restored and brought back to life by an artisan who’s become a friend in the process. The children so comfortable and secure they fall asleep at the now expanded kitchen with wrap around banquette in the bay window. The replication of the rosette that so carefully received their attention, now appearing as if it was always there.

You know who you are. Thanks for letting my team and me help create these moments and instill pride in your places.

the original front door saved by our clients and replicated mouldings honor the past while functioning for the future

the original front door saved by our clients and replicated mouldings honor the past while functioning for the future

our client's Mackenzie Childs china collection takes pride of place in the kitchen

our client’s Mackenzie Childs china collection takes pride of place in the kitchen

a classically inspired custom newel post and balusters provide a timeless element to this country home, all designed in collaboration with our client

a classically inspired custom newel post and balusters provide a timeless element to this country home, all designed in collaboration with our client

the addition of a bay window creates comfort and function in the family's kitchen

the addition of a bay window creates comfort and function in the family’s kitchen

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personally selected artwork creates a personal dining room

girl grit

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

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

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

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