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Artist Spotlight: Meet Vanessa Piche

Oil Paintings for the Coastal Home

 

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

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

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

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

Only the best,

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Vanessa Piche

 

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“Each painting is a conscious creation that feeds my soul. Paint on the brush and strokes on a canvas are just as important to me as air in my lungs and water to drink. The creation process is like planting a seed…something beautiufl grows out of your initial inspiration that makes people stop, look and connect with the world around them.”

 

Vanessa is a passionate Plein Air artist who captures her emotional response to the world around her. Citing “nature as her temple” and painting as a “self reflective practice,” she sees each painting as a conscious creation that feeds her soul. Vanessa competes in nationally recognized Plein Air competitions around the United States and her paintings are in private collections around the world. In 2015 she won the Making Waves Volvo Ocean Race Art Competition and was the 2015 U.S. Artist for Volvo Ocean Race. She spends most of her time painting in New England, Maryland, and Indiana. Vanessa resides in North Kingstown RI with her husband and daughter.

 

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

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

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

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

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in the home stretch

three projects nearly ready for the summer season

Spring is in the air and that means we’re busy finishing summer homes for the now in-sight season. I admit, I love this next six week period leading up to Memorial Day.  A deadline junkie, I thrive in the final days of finish construction.  We’re up to our necks in finishing details, questions, problem solving and client pleasing.  And the builders, artisans and craftspeople we rely on are right there with us.  These are the days that test productive collaborations.  Inevitably what binds us during trying moments is our shared unending commitment to quality – even in the face of a looming deadline.

Here’s a sneak peek at three projects entering the final finish phase – each is a hive of activity right now.  Many thanks to Dave Brown, Steve Demetrick and Bob van Cleef for leading the crews at each of these homes.  It may look like there’s still lots left to do, but that’s all part of the exhilaration in the coming few weeks…

Stay tuned for finished photos later this summer after our clients return from their winter roosts and settle in for the summer in their new spaces.

Only the best,

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#1.  A restored cottage by the sea for oh-so fabulous clients and their daughters.

picture-window-with-view-bedroom-east-sideA view to the sea.

library-2A view to the Dining Room.

brick-accentAn orderly laundry area takes shape.

shower-tile-placement-master-bathThe master shower nearly complete.

 

#2. A chic pool house for long-standing and long-appreciated clients.

pool-house-main-room-counter-sink-and-pendantWalnut trimmed cabinetry in the Kitchenette.

pool-house-bathroom-tile-vanityTerrazzo countertops in the Bathroom.

pool-house-main-room-crystal-knob-hardwareFinishing touches in glass.

pool-house-main-room-tile-floorA glass mosaic floor resembles the pool itself.

#3.  A historic home designed for a fun loving family who loves to throw a party.

brick-layoutBricks are carefully laid out and prepared for installation on the mudroom floor.

built-insBookcases are completed and nearly ready for our client’s collection.

kitchenNext to go in: everything, including the Kitchen sink.

Exterior Comforts

Outdoor fabrics and furnishings that don’t compromise comfort.

It’s hard to believe April is just around the corner.  With temperatures climbing toward the 60s, many of us are thinking about dusting off our stored patio furniture and readying to move outdoors. While we still have a few more weeks of chilly nights, now is the time to think about how you’d like to update your exterior dining and entertainment areas, secluded meditation spots and the deck of your sea-going vessels.

Preparing your furnishings for coastal elements–constant fog, rain and harsh sun rays–should be at the top of your check list with priority given to fabric selections. Gone are the days of drab khaki on everything. With technological advances and the creation of mildew-resistant, fast-drying fibers, the possibilities are endless. Adding bright dots, bold pinstripes, playful chevrons or tactilely-impressive weaves to outdoor spaces has become easier because of the multitude of textiles now available, both under hand on slip-covers, decorative pillows, seat cushions and dining linens or under foot with rugs, large and small.

Below you’ll find inspirational images sampling some of the go-to sources we use to beat the wear-and-tear of coastal elements — whether entertaining inland or relaxing sea-bound.

Enjoy!

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

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

 

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

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Solids make a bold punch in this pleasant palette of ocean blues and driftwood, adding aesthetic pleasure to these comfortable Chatham woven furnishings from Kingsley-Bate.

Thibaut outdoor fabric selections lend endless possibilities to dressing up any exterior space.

The Kos Rug by Rosemary Hallgarten brings earthy hues underfoot making it a versatile foundation for exterior dining spaces as well as conversational seating areas.

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

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Recycled sails also make a statement and are naturally conducive to the elements. Re-Sails  provides many unique options to dress up your outdoor play space.

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Don’t forget the family pet! Dash & Albert designed their versatile outdoor Wouf so everyone in your family can enjoy relaxing outside in comfort and style.

 

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in good company, a shout-out to Brassworks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only the best,

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Why Take On the Task of Custom Design?

Elle Decor’s View on the Patience and Payoff of Custom Made

As much as I love pouring through my shelter magazines every month and dissecting nearly every design detail of every room shown, my most favorite page is consistently the Editor’s Page. When Margaret Russell, Ann Maine, Clinton Smith or Michael Boodro share their opening remarks, its as though I’m meeting with a good friend for tea and we instantly pick up where our last conversation left off. We get excited about the same topics, giggle at the same jokes and get exasperated at similar daily hassles and joys.

This couldn’t have been more true than when I read this month’s Elle Decor’s note from always on-point Editor in Chief, Michael Boodro. He goes right to my heart and talks of the highs and lows of embarking on a custom home. “…custom made connotes luxury and yields pleasure.  But it also demands patience.  It costs more.  And more often than not, it is a pain in the ass.”

Exactly!  I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I’m sharing his editorial page with all of you.

Rest assured, there is payoff to the (sometimes) pain.  As evidence, I’m so fortunate to have dear clients share with me all the reasons why they are pleased they committed to the custom design process — after they’ve taken residence in their newly built or renovated homes. I even have a client who witnesses a joyful moment every day with an interior moulding detail, the scale of a room, the profile of a handrail or an overhang on her windows and then shares these with me. (You know who you are and I adore you.) These moments are the payoff for committing to and sometimes enduring the trials of custom design.

But make no mistake, it is a commitment. Custom made requires patience and dedication to creating something uniquely yours that expresses you, fits you and even grows with you in time. (A good design can do that.) It requires collaborating with your architect and designer probably far beyond what you even imagined, to get it right for you.

It also requires working with people who share your dedication and speak your language. And get excited when they read an editorial like this one and say out loud as I did, “Yes – that’s so true!”

Enjoy Michael’s comments and a few examples of our custom designs – created for and with some of our most favorite clients who enjoy all the benefits of custom made, now that the hard work is done.

All the best,

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This traditional kitchen defines “custom”. Details stand out in the island cabinetry and its artful brackets, the glass china display with its sliding doors and diamond fretwork, the coffered ceiling with customized mouldings and the built in wine fridges flanked by a matching paneled freezer and refrigerator.

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Close up of the custom moulding in the previously mentioned photograph.

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This Newport library boasts mahogany paneling, built-in bookshelves complete with a library ladder and a handsome burl wood fireplace surround all crafted by Joe Yoffa. taste designed the fireplace screen with our favorite blacksmith Jay Christman, lending a customized and complementary design element in this cozy space.

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This unique and custom-designed glass shower enclosure frames beautiful marble tilework in this Providence home. Elegant moulding follows the simple curves of the glass wall and soaking tub, making this master bath a spa retreat for the owners.

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These custom built-in cabinets built by Stephen Demetrick, double as a bookshelf and media storage system. When not in use, the toe-kick drawers and cabinet doors can be closed to seamlessly blend with the paneling running the perimeter of this stately study.

Photo Credit: Robyn Ivy Photography,  LeFebvre Photo

 

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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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These textured samples offer an assortment of choices for customization.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

before & after: a chic treatment for a providence classic

A redressed interior as stylish as our clients.

 

 

There’s never been a better example of taking a cue from your clients’ wardrobe when designing their interior than this project for longstanding Providence East Side clients. Simply stated, he’s dapper and she’s chic. And the interiors of their turn of the century house near Brown University needed to capture their style, intellect and appreciation of art. We started by replacing traditionally patterned wall coverings and area rugs with modernized floral motifs in bold color combinations.  Faded wall colors were swapped out for richly saturated hues that beautifully present the art. And dated fixtures made way for refreshing variations on crystal and brass. The result is a composition as rich as our clients are interesting. And one that resembles the collection of hues, textures and patterns hanging in their own closets – for a perfect fit.

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The metallic accents on the Asian-inspired wall covering in the vestibule beautifully coordinate with the gilded sconces, finished with a black shade.

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A custom runner by Rosemary Hallgarten welcomes guests in the Foyer and sets the pace for the artful interior.

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An updated variation on crystal takes the place of the traditional chandelier in the Foyer.

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The acanthus striped grasscloth continues up to the second floor.  A wool & sisal blend runner updates the stairs while bringing comfort underfoot.

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A classic floral drape in modernized shades of black and gray speaks to the acanthus leaf on the grasscloth.

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A Wendyll Brown painting takes center stage over the fireplace while a Gretchen Dow Simpson piece to the right is accented by the velvet jewel tones in the Living Room.

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A custom designed fluted lacquer vanity, finished with lucite legs, brings sophistication and storage to the Powder Room.

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Wall to wall carpeting in the Library was removed to reveal original hardwood floors. The new area rug and wall color sets the perfect backdrop for a Michael Rich painting opposite the front windows.

 

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A Peter Diepenbrock sculpture stands proud in the bay window of the updated Dining Room.

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Our clients’ Dining Room table – where traditional and modern elements come together to reflect their stylish aesthetic.

Many thanks, as always, to the team we assembled to help bring sophistication and style to our clients’ home.

taste team members Kevin Baker and Meryl Chaum

Stephen Demetrick, General Contractor

Jutras Woodworking, Cabinetry and Millwork

Rustigan Rugs, Rosemary Hallgarten and Landry & Arcari, Area Rugs

Candita Clayton, Artwork

Kyle Caldwell, Photography

Robyn Ivy, Photography

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before & after: the studio and the gallery at taste

Images by Kyle Caldwell

We’re nicely settling into our new space since opening the doors to our upgraded studio and gallery in August.  One of my most favorite moments the past few months has been watching the incredulous expressions when people familiar with 17 Narragansett Ave. BEFORE the renovation walk into our new space AFTER.  Many are speechless.  When they find their words they share that the gallery and studio are welcoming, warm and inspirational.  I couldn’t be happier.  If you aren’t a local Rhode Islander, here’s a look at the before and after photos.  If you are a local, please stop by, say hello and see the AFTER results in person.

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Our new front door, decked out in taste red.

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The gallery at taste during and after the renovation.

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The gallery at taste and our studio during the dust and after the dust settled.

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The walls came down then went up to create new areas for art, furnishing vignettes and a bright library.

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Our conference room was designed to make meetings feel like a conversation at the Kitchen table, complete with comfy chairs for long design work sessions.

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The first floor studio space provides flexible work areas and an easy-access materials library, where we host clients and invite them to participate in the creative process.

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Layers of artwork, samples and materials provide endless inspiration.

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Our second floor studio space provides a sunny, quiet work environment for our designers.  And, a deck for a little fresh air and the occasional Friday evening cocktail.

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before & after: modern beach cottage

A winning renovation design, complete with then and now photos.

Our young clients from Boston wanted a getaway from their fast paced, high-pressure lives. A place where they could unwind and unplug. A place their daughters could experience simple summer play and exploration. And a place so peaceful it may just bring them back throughout the year.

They found it in Little Compton, Rhode Island. With its unique combination of rural and coastal, Little Compton provided everything they were hoping for, and more. The tiny summerhouse they found last fall provides a sense of community just a stone’s throw from the water.

While the house offered easy-living just in from the beach, it lacked the functionality our clients needed to host extended family and friends. Moreover, the house’s maple floors and golden color palette didn’t provide a sense of place and the coastal home aesthetic they imagined.

Last fall they called upon taste after our work together on their Boston home. Our renovation design enabled a January 2015 construction start and completion by June, in time for summer living and a July 4th gathering.

Here’s a look at this now idyllic cottage, before and after.

 

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A wall between the Kitchen and Living areas was removed to make room for an island, open up the space and take in the water views.  And the door to the master bedroom was removed to provide greater privacy and improve furniture placement in the room.

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Reclaimed white oak floors reminiscent of driftwood were installed through out the first floor and stairwell.  Tired built-ins in the Living Room were removed to visually enlarge the space.  Now, a navy blue console packed with storage space and our client’s sail boat model take center stage and provide a strong focal point across from the front door.

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Our client’s antique bench, made by her grandfather, paired with coastal-inspired furnishings creates a cheery welcome just in from the beach.

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The once small kitchenette was replaced with a bright and open Kitchen.  Windows on either side of the range offer a view of the children’s play space in the backyard.  Stain resistant solid surface countertops that resemble sand, and the distressed floors provide forgiving finishes that keep everyone relaxed at the beach.

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The once dark stairwell was visually enlarged with a stainless steel balustrade and walnut handrail and newel post.  Uninspired sheetrock was replaced with shiplap on the half wall and a white oak cap wraps the space in cool gray texture.

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Our client’s beloved area rug from Turkey and a family arm chair was combined with bright bed linens to bring the comfort of old and the serenity of new to the getaway bedroom.

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Low, matching chaises designed by taste were custom made for the living area to maximize seating and provide his and her lounging spots to take in the water view.  A soapstone wood stove rotates to be enjoyed from any area of the open living space and invites year-round visits to the ‘summer house’.

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Open shelves encourage guests to ‘help themselves’ and simplify setting the table and clean-up.  Walnut counter stools by Rhode Island’s own Asher Dunn punctuate the cool gray palette.  Painted cabinetry designed by taste and fabricated by Stephen Plaud keep the details simple and straightforward.

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Before, the girls’ bunk room lacked warmth and charm.  Today, vintage touches and some of our clients own pieces are collaged together to bring a kids room meant to inspire and transcend the usual catalog-sourced scheme.

Many thanks, as always, to the team we assembled to help transform the house and super-please our special clients.

taste team member Wendi Dicely Scalora, Interior Designer

Cy Gibson of Gibson Building Company, General Contractor

Stephen Plaud, Kitchen Cabinetry

Allied Floor Covering, Countertops

Kyle Caldwell, Photography

 

Visit our full gallery of photos for this space at tastedesigninc.com

patti watson interior designer taste interior design decorator rhode island boston