Above: Exterior – White Cedar shingles, Door’s in Nantucket Red. Side deck, Home Goods Garden Stool, Restoration Hardware – Malibu Collection.
Since the 70’s its been a law office, a sometimes summer dwelling, a retreat from other major renovations, a spa, a home to more than a few spiders, and seen its fair share of paint and paper. It waited patiently, frankly with far more patience than I myself possess, for its day in the sun.
I would say all the waiting was worth while. The Manse, finally finished, gained a few inches in height, spread her wings a little to make room for a first floor suite of sorts, and a proper foundation – if you are going to build a nest, you really must have a solid foundation. It’s a miracle the old dame lasted as long as she did, sitting so indignantly on the dirt, but 230 years later, she landed in the pages of the Boston Globe Magazine.
Now owned by my youngest Sister, Jo-Jo put the architecture in the hands of my father, and the interior design in my hands – who else. The results are what I refer to as “cozy coastal”. The article provides details of the space, but just a few photos, so here is a bigger glimpse into the results my biggest project to date.
If you ever cruise through the design center, in whatever city you live – you’re familiar with the racks and racks of hanging fabric. If you don’t keep up with it, you might have to spend weeks looking through it all, and that many choices can make a gal insane. While going insane for “A” fabric is recommended – going insane over fabric options is not.
Arabesque Poppy . Lilac
The way to avoid this catastrophic breakdown is to visit often, and keep your eyes peeled for the telltale “new” signs that tag the panel samples that are hot off the presses. While I was innocently strolling from my morning meeting, which was conveniently located in the Innovation and Design Center (Boston’s Version of To the Trade), I spotted a whole slew of those signs in one of my favorite design salons – Studio 534.
Hourglass . Turquoise
My heart skipped a beat, and I beat it into that studio freeing my hands of any encumbrances and reverently slipping the through the 8′ panels like a beloved book. Among the many new Galbraith & Paul fabrics, and the Sister Parish designs – impressed with both, my eye caught a serene and happy collection by Betsy Textiles. Who is Betsy I asked myself? I had never come across her before, and my adoration was instant. She represents the colors I adore in this new color collection beautifully. Sometimes with elegant subtlety, sometimes with a whimsy that has you imagining a tea party in the English Countryside with Alice in Wonderland.
Jardin . Pink
Let me assure you I fell right down that rabbit hole, and I didn’t even have to wonder how I’d gotten there. I worked all weekend, selling, and bargaining, and doing my very best to resist the temptation to buy anything at the Decorator’s Pop Up sale for which it was my mission to unload – not restock, and opps, I simply could not get that collection out of my mind. I had my sites on a pair of board room chairs that made there way across the pond from London, and I thought – it’s meant to be. When they didn’t sell, I simply could not let such a fine pair of chair return to the damp, dark barn – so I grabbed them – telling myself I was doing those chairs a service, finding them a home.
Poppy . Cream
Well, I think you probably know the story. The samples are being ordered. I’ll select the fabric and Betsy Speert will be an accessory to the transaction. Betsy, I am not accusing you – I am thanking you.
admiring my careful selections with pride, and a knowing nod to myself, just as I imagined it would look. In reality…there are dozens of mistakes I will make, returns, concessions, screamed vulgarities, frustration, some tears followed by elation. If I am making it sound terrible – it’s not. It’s this very part that keeps me going. That has me dreaming of different color combinations, fabrics, and patterns – textures and scale. Like a golfer that swears they will quit, and then hits a perfect shot, I’m in for life.
I’ve already bought, and plan to return a number of items that upon further reflection – will not work. If this were a Chatham Bars Inn buffet – my eyes would be bigger than my stomach – the repercussions are worse than a stomach ache though, because the beds won’t fit in the rooms! Ugh. New plan. While I think I’ve come up with an alternative approach, it’s a disappointment.
Cheeky Monkey . Add a little red felt heart on Harwich and we’re in business.
I want to be sure to get the fabrics right so I am laying out several scenarios and asking for input. Jo-Jo will weigh in here of course. I was turned onto a fourth generation textile design company out of Sheffield, MA called Tillett Textiles & T4 run by Kathleen Tillett and son Patrick McBride. This company is hot! They allow you to choose your pattern and your color way along with about a dozen materials from which you can print it. If you are in love with their designs, and want a coordinating wallcovering you might consider printing on a lightweight fabric and then having it paper backed before hanging it. Helen Baker of Helen Baker Interiors Inc.turned me on to them. She knows the coolest resources!
White and Blue Bedroom: 2nd Floor
Top Left: Carp Allowed It in Navy – Tillett Textiles (Roman Shades) Top Right: Bolero in Indigo – Sister Parish (Window Seat Cushion) Bottom: Beans and Boys in Red – Tillett Textiles (Pillow for Window Seat).
Sister Parish is a textile and wallcovering brand founded in 2000 to honor the style of and spirit of Sister Parish of the influential Parish-Hadley Interiors firm that famed designers Brian McCarthy and Bunny Williams once called their work home. I became familiar with them a few years back when I saw a pattern called Serendipity with it’s happy little stars and polka dots – two things bring a smile to my face. Their patterns are perfect for a coastal haunt.
Left: Mally Skok . Mewar Pink Orange. (Window Seat Pillow piped in kelly green). Right: Sister Parish . Clara B . Simply Pink (Window Seat Cushion.
Above: Similar Wicker Chair – Antique Market Find with Top Left: Tillett Textiles . Puffy Petals in Forest Green. Top Right: Tillett Textiles . Dots of Non in Forest Green piped in pink.
Above Left: Tillett Textiles . Dots of Non in Forest Green – converted to wallcovering for bedroom closet interior. Right: Sister Parish . Clara B – custom upholstered daybed.
Last year, while at the Innovation and Design Center in Boston’s Seaport, I met Mally Skok. I went to the talk because I had seen a room she designed for a show house and I was struck by the organic patterns and playful motifs. She has a fascinating story, and is as lovely as her designs.
Custom Upholstered Day Bed with Trundle by livenUpdesign. Via Etsy.
I love so much of what Serena and Lily produces, but struggled with colorways that would work in this particular application. If I have to be honest, which I do, because what’s the point of writing all this if I am not honestly sharing my preferences, thoughts, and opinions. I’m not perfect – nobody is and NObody likes a property that looks too perfect. It feels inauthentic (probably because nobody lives there) Don’t you forget that.
So S & L is out and I am embracing a mix of designers that you may know, and others who may be new to you. I do hope you approve. Comments are sometimes welcome – just kidding – if I couldn’t accept input and alternative suggestions, where would I be? Please do write.