Close

helping out in houston

team taste lends a hand

houston-with-photo

 

We’re all too aware of the devastation that Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have caused the past several weeks.  After endless images and news stories, we’re all feeling heartache for the families impacted and the urge to do something meaningful to help if we can.

Like so many, we have friends, family and associates in the Houston area and throughout Florida.  In the days during Harvey, I reached out to collaborator and cabinetmaker Jonathon Dahl, whose home is in the Houston area. He shared with me images of the flood waters as it creeped closer and closer to his house – home to him, his wife and children.

IMG_3810

Luckily, the water began to recede, leaving the Dahl family home untouched. Jonathon’s workshop (and therefore, livelihood) sustained flood damage, but with positivity and hard work, he was up and running again in a few days.  Then his phone began to ring…

At least 10 of Jonathon’s customers lost everything in the flood. And the last several days have been filled with Jonathon and his crew helping to clean out houses he reports as heart wrenching work.

To lend a hand to the families Jonathon is helping to recover, taste will be donating 100 design hours in the coming weeks to design cabinetry, select flooring and fixtures and create color palettes for new interiors.  Our collaboration with Jonathon Dahl is something I hope will alleviate a fraction of the stress the families will face as they rebuild their homes and their lives.  And, provide a bit of joy.

Let us know if you’d like to help out with a donation of funds to help the families Jonathon is serving in the Houston area.  We can all lend a hand.

In gratitude,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

 

Team taste is ready to help. This photo was taken in a Rhode Island home finished with Jonathon this summer.

group pic at client house

 

time to refresh

spring styling, inside

It’s official! Spring has arrived.  With warmer temperatures upon us, we’re lightening things up at taste.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking our cue from nature and transforming our gallery with a fresh coat of paint, outdoor furnishings and bright pillow accents that complement our newest selection of paintings from Dora Atwater Millikin, Susan Strauss and Christian Potter Drury.

For a little inspiration, take a look at this fresh living room we designed and installed in seven short days at Middletown’s Bancroft on the Bluffs for Newport Life Magazine earlier this Spring. Be sure to check out the two slideshows that illustrate the process of layering furnishings, art and accessories and bring Spring inside in your own home.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

Choosing a new piece of art can reenergize a room. Modern art by Diana Bunting (above the mantel) and Theresa Girard (over the sofa), are from Jessica Hagan Art + Design and bring in blues, mimicking the ocean view, and add a fresh perspective. Another way to lighten a wintery-warm atmosphere, is to add natural fiber pieces like these Maguire woven chairs, rattan side tables, raffia lamp shades (Newport Lamp & Shade) and a fun-patterned rug like this coral-infused Rustigian Rugs flat weave. The antique Biedermeier chair (lower right) mimics the natural fiber running throughout the room and adds a touch of elegance.

untitled-0013-2-HDR-Edit-2-Edit

Adding greenery like the bright orange vase of tulips (Secret Garden) on the Thibaut grasscloth coffee table is a great reminder of spring.

Untitled-1

 

Sometimes an unused corner lends itself well as a bar or writing desk (or both like the Hickory Chair game table we used below). Tuck freshly upholstered stools beneath a narrow desk or table, add a lamp (Hwang Bishop), a gilded tray, fresh fruit and a couple of refreshments and you have a great space to make drinks next time you have guests over. Don’t forget a focal point such as the “Green’s Pier” painting in this vignette.

Untitled-2

 

Here are a few more detailed glimpses of this fresh living room overlooking Second Beach. We enjoyed selecting classic pieces to ground the large space and provide a sense of permanence and were able to juxtapose history with textural elements but keep the overall appeal current by adding a parsons table and acrylic plant stand, mixing the old with the new.

Untitled-3

We repeated the use of blues and chartreuse by adding solid pillows to these lovely watercolor pillows on a neutral Hickory Chair sofa.

Untitled-4

 

untitled-0057-HDR-2-Edit

Screen-Shot-2017-05-12-at-10.18.08-AM

taste furniture in the making

Wendi attends Hickory Chair University

 

North Carolina is home to numerous furniture fabricators, including one of our top choices for fine furnishings, Hickory Chair. This week, taste team member Wendi Dicely-Scalora had the pleasure of attending a unique program for designers. She and designers from across the country spent the week at the Hickory Chair factory to learn about the behind-the-scenes creative process and the craftsmanship put into each piece.

On the experience, Wendi shared, “The opportunity to see up close, the hands-on production of Hickory Chair furniture, reaffirms my belief in the product. Every piece of wood used is carefully selected then crafted by hand, not machine, making each build a highly customizable and unique piece. Hickory Chair compliments taste’s desire to incorporate American-made, hand-crafted and artisan-quality products. They take pride in offering a customizable product to solve almost any need for the client and designer.”

Hickory Chair University allowed Wendi to view the process from prefab (the blueprints of the design) to leg creation, detail specifications, upholstery, base framing, shipping prep and, alas, the beautiful finished piece. She even had the pleasure of seeing the bare bones of one of our clients’ dining chairs before being sent for staining and upholstery.

Enjoy this selection of photos taken during one of Wendi’s facility tours. So much handmade care and detail goes into each piece and I am both pleased and assured that Hickory Chair continues to be a great source for taste and our selections in fine furnishings that will last for generations.

Only the best,

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston

01-chair---three-comparisonchair---blueprintjoinery-legs-waiting-for-usechair-legs-hangingchair---pieceschair-back-detailchairs---seats-and-back-assembledchair---legschair---taste-man-chairschair----ready-for-stainingchair---seat-strungchair---seat-strung-2sofa---pre-stringing-coilssofa---stringing-coilsupholstery-on-rollsfabric-waiting-to-be-usedbrad-sortingchair-braddingfinish-decorative-elementfinished-dressers-ready-for-shippingchair-packaging

wendi-diploma

how design works: post-project stories

A post project check-in

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only the best,

Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB

slide16slide17slide18slide19slide20slide21slide22

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,
Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB
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.
02B-before-&-after-dining-room-gold-award-taste-interior-design-coastal-seaside-home
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.
newth-coffee-table-in-fabrication
Lorimer Workshop‘s coffee table nearing completion at their shop.
before and after living room renovation taste design interior design decorating coastal
The coffee table at home in the Living Room.
Living-room-1-coastal-interior-design---SQUARE-Lo-Res-1040
Lorimer Workshop built the console and the grasscloth covered parsons table, to perfection.
newth-chest-in-blue
The console at home in the Living Room.
Newth-Chair-downstairs-2
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.
Newel-Post-Stairwell-Design-taste-interior-design-deocrator-coastal-school-house-lighting-3
Newel-Post-Stairwell-Design-taste-interior-design-deocrator-coastal-school-house-lighting-2
Whetstone Workshop created this newel post cap for us, to punctuate the walnut and stainless steel balustrade.
newth-headboard1
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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

An addition to the back of the home created a family room and 2nd floor bedrooms, completed with fireplaces.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The north side of the porch now extends to the side door into the Kitchen, ensuring an easy flow from inside to out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A new dutch door at the front provides the same sea breeze into the Living Room the original door did for a hundred years.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The once remodeled Kitchen was reimagined with custom cabinetry, soapstone countertops and beadboard ceilings.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Historic elements like the newel posts, balusters and rails were restored to nearly their original beauty, save a few nicks here and there.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The bathrooms express my client’s whimsy and love for pattern.

 

Many thanks, as always, to the team of pros made this possible.  With too many to mention, I’ll include just a few.  To all others who contributed, we send our sincere thanks.

Karl Sauerbrey, Architect

taste team members Kevin Baker, Julia Reinalda and Michaela Doehler

Yankee Housewrights, General Contractor

Jutras Woodworking, Kitchen and Mudroom Cabinetry

Zuerner Design, Fireplaces, Master Bedroom and Bathroom Cabinetry

Michael Boulay Woodworking, Library and Music Room Cabinetry

Valen Coble, Front and Side Dutch Doors

Atlantic Landscaping, Land and Hardscaping

Aaron Usher, Kevin Baker and Reagan Baker, Photography

Artist Spotlight: Meet Vanessa Piche

Oil Paintings for the Coastal Home

 

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

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

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

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

Only the best,

Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB

Vanessa Piche

 

vanessa-piche-headshot-website

“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.

 

Vanessa-Piche---Before-Sunset---Oil-on-Panel---11-x-14---650

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

Vanessa-Piche---Morning-Autumn-Ranch---Oil-on-Canvas---24-x-12---1100

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

Vanessa-Piche---Quiet-Marsh---Oil---8-x-10-inches---395---lo-res

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

Vanessa-Piche---Galillee-Wharf---Oil-on-Panel---8-x-10-inches---395

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

vanessa-piche-painting-in-progress

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!

kravet-soleil-fabrics

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

lee-jofa-groundworks-solarium

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

 

outdoor fabric furniture halgarten

outdoor-fabrics-halgarten-chair

outdoor-fabric_header halgarten

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

kingsley-bate-outdoor-furniture1

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.

robert-allen-outdoor-fabrics

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

resails-in-newport

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.

dashandalbert-wouf-outdoor-dog-bed

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.

 

Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB

custom details: mad about metals

Our love of hand crafted metal has become a growing material of choice in our custom designs for clients.  Hand-forged iron, bronze, stainless steel and even pewter have been incorporated into interiors of late.  Here’s a peek at a few of our favorites…

rolled-iron-Bed

This rolled-steel bed finished with a zinc patina is a custom design of ours, in collaboration with Whetstone Workshop.  Currently in production, we expect to install in our client’s newly renovated master suite the Spring.

pewter-counter-tops

These pewter countertops are new to our library of materials.  We’re eager to incorporate them into a bar – inside or outdoors.  The pewter naturally patinas, providing even more character over time.

Newel-post-taste-interior-designer-rhode-island-new-england-Isaac-Lorimer-Workshop

The installation of this newel cap at a taste-designed beach house in Little Compton, RI, crafted by Isaac Juodvalkis of Whetstone Workshop, is the perfect punctuation in a  modern coastal home for a young family.

Beam-Bracket-taste-interior-designer-rhode-island-new-england

This textured taste-designed beam bracket partners well with the farmhouse beam running along our clients’ ceiling.

flood-edge-of-coffee-table2

The simple-lined frame of this glass table accents the inlaid medallion in the floor beneath.

newth-coffee-table-in-fabrication

Isaac of Whetstone Workshop fabricated this steel base for the scrubbed ash top and bottom shelf provided by Lorimer Workshop.

stair-railing-taste-interior-designer-rhode-island-new-england-jay-christman-forged1

Jay Christman, our go-to blacksmith fabricated this taste-designed hand rail and baluster in iron.

isaac-metal-samples

These textured samples offer an assortment of choices for customization.

Stair-railing-taste-interior-design-rhode-island-new-england-jay-christman-forged-2

Jay Christman masterfully designed this iron handrail transition and curve that’s a pleasure to use, while offering strong support up and down the stairs.  The delicate iron balusters bring a lightness to this small back stairway that may have been visually crowded with a wood handrail and balustrade.

family kitchen banquette

This table’s concave base in brushed stainless steel is a perfect fit in this bay window breakfast nook.  We paired the base with a locally crafted dining table top by Lorimer Workshop.

taste-interior-design-kitchen-shelves-modern-subway-tile-white

Stainless steel shelving lends a modern edge to this traditional all-white kitchen, one of our all time favorite kitchens and a frequently saved image on Houzz – 43,000 saves to idea books and counting…

How could you bring the character of metal into your home?  Be inspired!

Patti-Signature-Top-Bottom-Margin-WEB