ART in Fact: ARTEFACT offers hidden gems

artefact4Where it not for my dear friend Joanne Difrancesco of JDCommunications, I may never have found this quietly dignified Home and Garden store in Belmont . MA.  ARTEFACT . 1000 Pleasant Street. Belmont . MA,  owned by two sisters, Sue and Maureen Walsh, is an oasis off of a busy suburban street.  It was a lovely surprise…why you ask?  It features furnishings, and art that is one of a kind, or nearly one of a kind.  As a professional shopper(the kind that only spends money, doesn’t get paid to shop for others), I can assure you I run into the same lines again and again.  I nearly ran over the designers assembled, eager to receive their continuing education credits for the presentation that was to follow, in my frantic desire to grab a glass of wine, and get an up close look at those gold guilted mirrors.  Quel beauty.  They were worth the stares I received.

While the mirrors may have been the first thing to catch my eye, they weren’t the last.  The lighting that was displayed is dramatic, and very unusual.  Statement pieces abounded, and as I circled the showroom floor and later chatted with Maureen, I learned that they represent local artisans.  The floating shelves, made by an wood worker out of Beverly are so uber chic.  My love of sixties design has me envisioning them in a sleek bachelor bad, displaying a “floating bar” with the perfect bottle of bourbon, and a glass carafe for stirring up an early evening aperitif.  Admittedly, my eyes might be glued to the 6’2″ male model of a man, making me that cocktail, but for you, I offer this dark, sleek, floating vision of perfection.  Enjoy.

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Floating Shelves:  18″w x 14″d x 4″h $1500.  36″w x 14″d x 4″h $3000.

The event featured Verellen – a Belgian Furniture Maker, and Libeco, the Belgian Linen supplier with whom they partner.  I own a Verellen.  It’s the only sofa I ever owned that I have never wanted to be something other than it is.  It’s deep, comforting, has sexy lines, and is perfectly crafted.  I had no idea that there was a Tom Verellen, son of Ellen, that was responsible for my beautifully crafted piece.


Sue Walsh and Tom Verellen confer before the presentation.

Mine is called the Charlotte, and while I admitted to Tom that it’s beautiful Belgian Slip Cover got tossed last year, it held up well through dinner parties and red wine spills, little sticky hands, and hard to identify stains.  I washed it, and scrubbed it, and loved it.  In the end, it’s pale gray color was ruined by chocolate.  If only I had known Catherine of Libeco, I could have gotten that out of it too.  No worries, I reupholstered it, and love it all over again in its new streamlined form.

Verellen, like true Artisans does not sell to big companies, but rather chooses small business owners with whom to partner, and select just one or two in the city or region.  This means, you simply must visit ARTETACT to see what their chairs, sofas, and chaises are all about.  The pieces, made by real people, on a farm with chickens – I am not making this up, are not inexpensive.  Something made with that much love, shouldn’t be.  Having said that, they are coming out with a new line in just a few weeks that will be at a more affordable price point for those starting out…..Happy Nest.  Please, I don’t think adorning the name anymore is possible.  My Quest for the Nest will be making good use of these happy pieces.  While options are limited, they are super quick ship, and will be made with the same exacting standards for which Verellen is known.


Verellen in Libeco’s Belgian Linen.

I didn’t get out of the store before securing a hold on a pair of French Art Deco, flush mount fixtures.  They are indeed pieces of art.  I spied them across the room.  I found myself catching their eye again and again throughout the evening.  We’ll meet again.  I have just the place for you.



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