Artistic Integrity: artwork that works with any other art

Bathing Beauty . 30.5″ x 38.5″ $510.

Honestly. If you love art, you might find a point in time, when you’ve bought yet another piece that spoke to you even though you had no place to place it. You know what I’m talking about – that overwhelming desire that washes over you – blocking out all reason, fogging your mind with a fever, which compels you to nearly knock an old lady over as you yank the painting off the wall. Come on, I can’t be the only one that’s done it….can I?

Well, even if you were far more composed than I, when you purchased your collection, you may find putting together disparate styles, colors, and genres, a real challenge. It can be, but I think I found some art that may be the answer. Hable Construction has an original art series by Soicher Marin that is monochromatic – Digital Art, already framed, in collages, watercolors, and pen + ink drawings. The collages appeal, in particular because they work with so many different of art. I simply adore them and think you will too.

Blue Swatch . $620.

When being invisible gets you seen

All that glitters is gold.

I can’t help but think of that stinkin’ cute little girl Ava Ryan doing her imitation of Anna Wintour preparing for fashion week — “Chanel – Courtney, get me my racks. Silver is the new gold. With this on, you’ll never be invisible at a party. Girls, demonstrate … visible …. invisible.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN7WkLq6Ex8 If you haven’t seen it, it’s a fall fashion fundamental. It lends a little levity to what is most definitely a wildly outrageous industry – and I mean that in all of the good and bad ways you might imagine.

Today however, we are going to be discussing a different kind of accessory. These electrical switch plates, dimmers, rockers, and toggles will make your peepers pop out of your head. The are dazzling. All this time I’ve been covering my up with pretty paper, or worse trying to blur and obscure them from view with a vase of flowers or stack of books, only to discover Forbes & Lomax has created an acrylic plate that you can see right through. Visible … invisible. It’s brilliant, and sexy and oh so high fashion.

Founded in 1987 in response to a longing for the old world glamour of toggle switch lights, with all the functionality of the 21st century, and of course, the high-end interior design community’s insatiable appetite for “a la mode” – that’s not ice cream plopped atop a delectable, decadent chocolate cake my friends – it’s in fashion. Keep up, isn’t that how we started this post, with fashion? Why should the electrical accessory market get the short end of the stick? Forbes and Lomax wouldn’t hear of it, and I am so glad they didn’t.

In addition to that which isn’t visible, they have created a striking black plate, and a petinated copper which will serve the traditional and transitional markets well. Not ready to say goodbye to gold? They’ve got you covered. Don’t be shy about mixing and matching – all the most fashionable people artfully bring together unexpected combinations for the most awe inspiring results. Isn’t fall simply the best of fashion seasons?

Sweet Dreams: II

Oly Studio . Diego $6700.

Look number two represents a neutral palette in consideration of the violet painted walls – Benjamin Moore’s Lavender Ice is a soft, feminine hue that is both happy and calming, the perfect combination for a peaceful nights sleep.

Serena and Lily . Blake Raffia Wide Dresser . $3998.

Now if you are a germ-a-phobe, which I am not, you might want to consider a bed frame in hard wood or metal. Mites, and lord forbid, mice, love to snuggle into the fabric and fluff of an upholstered bed. Here is one of my very favorite options which satisfy my desire for the royal treatment. A modern take on a canopy in gold. The price tag matches the dream, but what a delicious dream it is.

OKL . Mike Seratt of the Prized Pig . $399.

Paired with a couple of Made Goods nightstands in raffia, and coordinated with Serena and Lily’s Blake Raffia Wide Dresser and you’ve got the makings of a beautiful bedroom.

Happy Sunday my little fairy dust friends. I hope you enjoy this last day of summer.

Serena and Lily Launches . Boston

Mary Maguire is a RISD trained artist. Based in Lyme, CT she sells her originals to a number of shops. http://www.marymaguireart.com/

or Chestnut Hill as the case may be. True to its name, and despite the bustling sales associates, and dozens of eager shoppers, the color palette of blues and grays, caramels and creams, and even a forest green, made the store serene. You know the kind of place that makes you realize you’d been holding your breath? When your foot falls on the bleached hardwood floor and you knock eyes with a wall adorned in Mary Maguire nautical watercolors, you know you’ve arrived at someplace special.

Original art abounds throughout the store.

Between Newport and Nantucket, Serena and Lily is likely to fulfill its annual projections for sales, the rich and famous flocking to this formerly catalog only company, to adorn their second, third or fourth homes.

Despite the outrageous decadence of a $60. pillow case, the simple beauty of their offerings draws one in. Some things simply have no look alike, or the look alike can’t really hold a candle to the original. In these instances I think it’s important to save ones pennies, and purchase pieces that are going to bring the most bang for the buck. Believe it or not – a pillow case does bring bang. All of the other sheets can be hidden away, but that pillow case is perched right there on top, in full view, and with all the world to admire. Pair it with a Home Goods sheet set and you’re in the money as the saying goes.

My other picks from the store have to do with my recent obsession with chairs – dining, club, slipper, lounge, diminutive or delightfully large, they have my attention. While it’s true that if you are in the hunt for high-low comparisons in the chair world, you can make a pretty good go of locating a low-priced lookalike that will work brilliantly. I would argue that even someone as obsessed with the details, as I am, could be made reasonably happy with one of these close approximations, BUT when you’ve found a particular hue that makes you beyond happy, that, you may not be able to replicate. The Tucker chair in Fog is my pick, and at just $198. it’s one of the more reasonably priced picks.

Raffia Console Table – on sale now! $848.

If I am selecting for my imaginary coastal home, the Belgian Club in Performance Pinstripe in French Blue is my pick for a living room chair, and the Blake Raffia Console – which btw is on sale for $848. from $1300. The indigo is so nautical and lovely, I can really see my room shaping up, but alas, its Sunday and errands await, bringing me back to reality. If you’re in the mood for a wonderful daydream, drop by – 200 Boylston Street . Chestnut Hill.

When Inspiration Won’t Strike

Sometimes no matter what you do, you can’t come up with something that seems worth sharing. Today is one of those days. So I turn to a series of photos that I love, sometimes for obvious reasons – obvious to me anyway, and others, I can’t put my finger on it, but they have an appeal nonetheless. I hope they will provide you with a little design inspo.

Get Hooked: seaside bric a brac

My little home town has certainly stepped up its game these last few years. Shops are popping up left and right in the port, we even have a 10 seat sushi restaurant and it feels like more live music per square mile than Boston. If there is an alley, they’ll find a way to turn it into a beer garden, and carve out a little spot for a singer guitarist to perform. We’ve always had the three ports, the only Cape town that can that lofty designation, so sailors know it, even if they choose to call Chatham home.

It’s less stuffy than Chatham, and more economical, which I imagine is attractive to a younger generation, looking for their first second home, or their first home in a place they spend the second biggest amount of time. With real estate prices in the city what they are, it’s not at all surprising to me.

Too scary for words or good luck?

This year I discovered a little gem of a place tucked behind an art gallery that has drawn me in, and had me coming back with my wallet in hand, again and again. J.M. Byron House is a treasure trove of Cape Cod kitsch. Aside from the brilliant curation, at the hands of a Boston Merger’s and Acquisitions Lawyer, it is beautifully staged. My appreciation for thoughtfully placed objects, from the ombre effect of the fine art hung on the walls like a brush stroke that starts out bold and beautiful, and then fades into a whisper of a hue, is the backdrop to the carefully placed objects. Fine Art – originals and prints – period pieces of nostalgic value – Turkish Oushak Rugs, pieces that jive and vibe with the ’60’s seaside aesthetic.

Look at those stinkin cute Cape Cod Salt and Pepper Shakers, the replica of the Nantucket Boat, the Whale Faucet – I want it all.

I just might buy a tiny bit of a property here just for the sheer pleasure of outfitting it with the J.M.’s offerings. You simply must visit it again and again, not only because new offerings are arriving all the time, but because the richness of the environment demands you study and absorb it. I’m always discovering new things, and considering pieces like those Foo Dogs ( a Chinese symbol of good luck) that speak to me – even though they look a little mean – a little serious, still they are the accent color that I am using in No. 5, so, we’ll see.

If that staging isn’t perfection, I don’t know what is. I almost bought that dog, and I don’t even have a dog!

If you can’t visit in person – get connected via Instagram (@thejmbyronhouse) , if you are super friendly and complimentary, Matt just might agree to mail you an item or two.

Al Fresco in the Fall?

I feel it in the air today, though I know in my heart of New England hearts, there will be many more warm days before the snow arrives, the crisp weather of this next season is sure to come. Why then am I recommending you assess your outdoor furniture and consider buying now, right before you’ll be up to your eyeballs in holiday decorations, and gift lists as long as your arm? If you have ever attempted to buy outdoor furniture in March, April, May or gasp – June…you know you’ve already missed the boat. Sure, you’ll be allowed to purchase it. Buy now, and prepare to hold your breath until November. That’s right – November. If Thanksgiving is warm enough, which sometimes it is here in Boston, you could entertain family and friends under your pergola with your new dining table and chairs, and then haul them downstairs for a long winter’s sleep.

If you purchase now, you’ll have the benefit of some pretty amazing sale prices. When an outdoor sofa, which in this region you use for maybe three months if you are lucky, costs about a third more than your indoor sofa, which you use all year long, getting some kind of a break on pricing is a non-negotiable for me.

Options may be a little more limited, but 60% off is 60% off, and after a winter that seemed like it would never end, you really want to be able to pull those furnishings out of storage the very first springlike day that comes along, and get to taking advantage of it.

Above Left: Ballard Design . Color Block Above Right: Ballard Designs . Fringed

These are my picks – buy now or forever hold your peace next spring.