Falling for Texture

September 18, 2014 -- Sandy

Just as in fashion, luxe layers add style, warmth and drama to home interiors.

Fendi

Fendi; photograph courtesy of the designer 

Susanne Csongor Interior

Interior Design by Susanne Csongor, SLC Interiors, Inc.; photograph by Durston Saylor

Every autumn, lovers of fashion look forward to donning natty tweeds, supple leathers, cozy knits, striking silks, luxurious furs and skins—and to pairing and layering them on. Material always matters in the fall collections of premier fashion houses, but this season designers are having even more fun with magnificently tactile textiles.

Gucci Ensemble

Gucci; photograph courtesy of the designer

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams fall 2014 collection, including Kira cocktail ottoman in Tibetan wool; photograph courtesy Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

Interior designers and elite home furnishings stores are following suit and incorporating plush velvets, silks, leathers and wovens into their design palettes. The effect is rich and interesting, and as pleasing to the eye as it is comfortable. The interplay of various textures—shimmering silks, deeply piled rugs, velvety upholstery, animal hides and leather—can take on looks that vary considerably depending on the treatment. 

Chanel

Chanel; photograph courtesy of the designer

In couture, Chanel has long epitomized the modern classic. This comely tweed suit is emblematic of the impeccable tailoring and texture for which the house of style is known. And, just as with home design, the contrast against the shine of the double-breasted satin blouse, shock of the black tie, as well as unexpected leather detailing carry this look to the next level. You might say that Carter & Company’s cream and chocolate study in modern neoclassicism achieves a similar effect, thanks to the firm’s thoughtful selection of materials and form. The upright studded leather desk chair is a brilliant answer to the reclining twin chaises, while the drapes and chandelier in its fabric sheath soften any hard lines and symmetry. 

Carter & Company

Carter & Company; photograph by Eric Roth

Michael Cebula of Cebula Design maintains that texture affords “visual interest” as well as “a sense of luxury and opulence” in interior design. Case in point? For a living room project in Florida, Cebula selected complementary silk curtains and velvet upholstery on the sofa to create a traditional, genteel space in keeping with the sunny clime.

Cebula Design

Interior by Cebula Design; photograph by Leo McKillop

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren; photograph courtesy of the designer

Luxury needn’t be relegated to the living room or public spaces of the home, however. As versatile as it is glam, cashmere graced the catwalks of virtually every upscale designer this season, appearing in sweaters, coats and capes and in skirts, dresses and trousers, as well. Michael Carter, principal of Carter & Company, would contend that cashmere is just as stunning in the home, and not just as a throw. Carter is partial to using the extravagant textile for bedrooms, in broader, bolder ways like for curtains or even wall upholstery. Contends Carter, cashmere “is the ultimate in luxury, because it’s deliciously soft and it drapes beautifully. Loro Piana’s cashmere textiles are especially exquisite.”

Loro Piana

Loro Piana cashmere; photograph courtesy of Loro Piana

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein; photograph courtesy of the designer

One need only look at the fall line of Calvin Klein to know that knits can be decidedly here-and-now and on trend. This den (below), created by LDa Architecture & Interiors, boasts an edgy vibe and not solely because frontman Sting is a focal point. LDa Senior Associate Jayme Kennerknecht offers that a sofa upholstered in mohair or velvet will quickly become a favorite spot in the home (“try it in a jewel tone for drama!”) and that it looks great paired with other textures like silk pillows and a nubby blanket.

LDa

LDa Architecture & Interiors; photograph by Michael Lee

Susanne Csongor of SLC Interiors, Inc. agrees that playing with texture can conjure an of-the-moment sensibility. For the clean-lined New York City apartment pictured here, Csongor was after a modern, “fashion-forward feeling,“ which was achieved by mixing “a fine silk carpet with a bold faux crocodile tabletop and a chunky cable-knit throw.”

Susanne Csongor

Interior Design by Susanne Csongor, SLC Interiors, Inc.; photograph by Durston Saylor

Gucci

Gucci; photograph courtesy of the designer

In fashion, leather is always de rigueur, and it looks especially appealing when featured with an ultra feminine silk mousseline or crepe or with cozy wovens like cashmere, mohair or alpaca blends. And so it is in the home. In this tranquil seaside space designed by Surroundings Home, the ultra soft leather of gorgeous suede couches takes center stage when contrasted with a wooly, herringbone rug, a cozy throw and ample pillows.

Surroundings Home

Interior design by Surroundings Home  

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton; photograph courtesy of the designer

Homeowners should also consider mixing leather and fabric on single pieces says LDa’s Jayme Kennerknecht. As with the textural interplay of this Louis Vuitton knit and leather dress, the effect is eye-catching and, says Kennerknecht, “luxurious and thoughtful.” She suggests “upholstering a piece with a contrasting leather welt” to best highlight the fabrics. Roche Bobois’ Italique sectional illustrates her point beautifully with its split leather frame and washed velvet, ruby-red seat cushions. 

Roche Bobois

Roche Bobois Italique sectional, Collection Nouveaux Classiques; photograph courtesy of Roche Bobois

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren; photograph courtesy of the designer

For more casual surroundings, like lakeside vacation homes, or for simply adding a taste of fall to your lair, plaids, shearling and knits are a vibrant alternative. Ralph Lauren masters bohemian chic with his looks of many layers and you can too. Linda Newall of Surroundings in Marblehead likes Lauren’s “warm, jeweled-toned plaids” fashioned as pillows for a leather sofa, while Barbara Bahr Sheehan’s great room design (pictured) features an unusual riff on the coffee table, as the center of the seating arrangement is also cloaked in fabric. Layer a shearling rug or hide atop an existing rug or wall-to-wall carpet and you’ve created a space that’s as inviting as crackling leaves underfoot and a roaring fire.

Barbara Bahr Sheehan

Interior design by Barbara Bahr Sheehan Interior Design, Inc.

 

 

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New England's Only Medieval Castle

September 17, 2014 -- stefanie

Chrismark Castle

This Woodstock, Connecticut castle looks like something straight out of Game of Thrones or Harry Potter.

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Study guide to the perfect home office or workspace

September 17, 2014 -- Sandy

Singular home offices and genius workspaces make the grade—and then some.

Virtuoso Office by California Closet Company, Inc.

Virtuoso Office by California Closet Company, Inc.

After all of those years of schooling, we’re convinced that as adults we’re hardwired to get a little more frivolous come June and a little more serious come September. Whether you have a designated office or are carving out a study hall in an existing room, creating a pleasing workspace can help focus, motivate and inspire you.

In any office space the desk is central. If you have the luxury of a spacious home office, the desk can be as deluxe as it is functional. Michael Humphries Woodworking can design and create desks tailor-made to your needs and style. His custom millwork graces upscale Boston hotels and dream homes and ranges from sleek to traditional with mixed wood species and elaborate hand carvings. And to think you were jazzed by that new box of sharp, yellow pencils as a kid….

Michael Humphries

Michael Humphries Woodworking

Michael Humphries Woodworking

Michael Humphries Woodworking

Furniture by Dovetail also offers signature desks and credenzas that score an A+ in our book. The premier furniture maker has outfitted executive offices and customized libraries and study halls for prestigious universities, so naturally there isn’t a learning curve for residential needs. Enlist Dovetail to build the piece you have in mind, or put the Vienna and Post & Panel Bowfront Table desks shown here to work for you. Both are standouts for their craftsmanship and sophistication.

Vienna Desk, Furniture by Dovetail

Vienna Desk, Furniture by Dovetail

Post & Panel Bowfront Table Desk, Furniture by Dovetail

Post & Panel Bowfront Table Desk, Furniture by Dovetail

Standing desks are making a comeback, and since they worked brilliantly for the likes of da Vinci, Churchill, Dickens and Hemingway, we’re singling out contemporary home store Il Décor’s mod Sit-Stand Desk by Jesper. Studies have shown that standing while you work can benefit your health (to paraphrase “Papa” Hemingway, writing should broaden the mind, not one’s posterior), and this adjustable model allows you to do just that and still have downtime when you want it. Plus, you can switch up its location thanks to its mobile pedestal.

Sit-Stand Desk with Mobile Pedestal, Il Décor

Sit-Stand Desk with Mobile Pedestal, Il Décor

Troy Cabinetmakers gets top honors for those looking to build or renovate a study from top to bottom. Troy works with the client, designer, architect and builder to create bespoke studies in the richest hardwoods and finishes. In business for over 40 years, Troy Cabinetmakers uses old-world mastery and cutting-edge technology to fashion bureaus worthy of the highest office, as well as coordinated built-ins, bookcases and more.

 Troy Cabinetmakers, Millwork and Cabinetry Specialists

Troy Cabinetmakers, Millwork and Cabinetry Specialists

It’s been said that a cluttered desk is a sign of genius, but we think that Roche Bobois’ impossibly clean-lined Morphos Desk designed by Daniel Rode couldn’t be smarter. Made of reinforced polyurethane, the minimalist desk demands an uncluttered mind and looks dynamite paired with the Arum chairs and Denia bookcase, which answers the desk’s oval cutout with apertures in four different patterns and 13 colors.

Morphos Desk, Arum Chairs and Denia Bookcase, Roche Bobois; photograph by Michel Gibert

Morphos Desk, Arum Chairs and Denia Bookcase, Roche Bobois; photograph by Michel Gibert

If space is at premium, fret not, because cabinetmakers, millworkers, home storage specialists and product designers have found genius solutions to fashioning a workspace where there isn’t one.

For an existing house renovation, the architects tucked this gem of desk right into the landing of a stairwell. Comprised of the richest mahogany woodwork by Horner Millwork, the workspace fits in seamlessly between floors. It’s as handsome as it is practical and boasts a drawer and apothecary-style shelving for added storage at a height that lets a stool slide comfortably underneath.

Millwork by Horner Millwork, architecture by HMD Architects; photo by Horner Millwork

Millwork by Horner Millwork, architecture by HMD Architects; photo by Horner Millwork

Scandia Kitchens takes a similar approach with a kitchen design that extends its display cabinetry into a dedicated desk area. The distinguished cabinetmaker deserves extra credit for conceiving a clean-lined space for conducting household business in the home’s most highly trafficked area. It’s the perfect place to sign a permission slip or write that note to teacher.

Scandia Kitchens; photography by Richard Mandelkorn

Scandia Kitchens; photography by Richard Mandelkorn

Deans of organization California Closet Company, Inc. solves the quandary that often stumps homeowners who are deciding whether to turn that extra room into an office or guest bedroom. Designer Chloe O’Keeffe of California Closets New England has invented a way to do both with the Day-to-Night Office + Guest Bedroom. This bright idea features workstations for two by day and transitions into a guest bedroom for nighttime use, complete with ambient LED lighting and space for a media center. Mixed materials and finishes including Tesoro Cassini beach imported from Italy and textured “wave walnut” cabinet doors ensure that the space looks as interesting as it is clever. 

Day-to-Night Office + Guest Bedroom, California Closet Company, Inc.; designed by Chloe O’Keeffe of California Closets New England,

Day-to-Night Office + Guest Bedroom, California Closet Company, Inc.; designed by Chloe O’Keeffe of California Closets New England

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Turn-of-the-Century Simplicity with Kochman Reidt + Haigh Cabinetmakers

September 17, 2014 -- stefanie

It can be tricky to renovate a single room in a circa home. Kochman Reidt + Haigh Cabinetmakers proved they were up for the challenge, however, when they designed a custom kitchen for a 1920s Colonial Revival, home to a family of 6 in Winchester, Massachusetts.

KR+H President Paul Reidt said the objective was to design a room that melded nicely with the rest of the 1920s home. In keeping with historical tradition, the homeowners wanted a simple design- kitchens at the turn-of-the-century were used primarily as a space in which to work and cook.

KR+H kept this in mind but didn't sacrifice on style and elegance, and the result is a simple yet sophisticated kitchen that caters to the family's needs. The space is light and open, with white, traditionally-styled cabinets adorned with polished nickel knobs. A spacious Carrara marble island sits in the center of the room, providing the perfect space for cooking, dining, gathering, and conversing. 

The custom hood built above the Wolf stove is made of stainless steel, and is both functional and decorative. The sconces on either side provide soft light and ambiance. The backsplash is made of white subway tile, and is unobtrusive but also functional with a shelf for easy storage. 

Finally, the black and white marble floor was chosen as a deliberate nod to turn-of-the-century homes, which often had such flooring in their grand entrances. In this more modernized home, the kitchen is the main entrance to the house, so using marble here is an interesting and unique spin on an old American tradition. 

To read more about this Kochman Reidt + Haigh Cabinetmakers project, check out the original article in the Boston Globe.

 

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Trending this Fall: Fur

September 16, 2014 -- bdg

Both on and off the runway, fur reigns supreme this season. While real fur dominated the runways this fall, faux fur is more popular for the home. Whether embellishing and updating a classic jacket or adding warmth and comfort to a home, real and faux fur is making a major statement this fall. The key however is to stick to neutral hues--beige, tan, and pastels on the lighter side, and grey, deep brown, and blueish black on the darker side. 

Marc Jacobs

Arhaus Sheepskin Pillow

(Arhaus - tan sheepskin pillow)

With fur this season, less color is more. Neutral tones make fur look luxurious and elegant, while too much color can look tacky and unappealing. Marc Jacobs used light tan, beige, and pastel colors to create an airy, effurvescent Fox Fur Bomber Jacket that evokes a subtle sunset with cotton candy clouds. Following suit was Arhaus, with their tan sheepskin pillow. The light color makes the accent piece neutral enough to fit in nearly any room, adding a stylish touch. 

Rag and Bone

Arhaus Faux Fur Lamb Throw

(Arhaus Faux Fox Fur throw and pillow)

Sheepskin made an appearance on the runway in Rag and Bone's ivory-toned zip-up vest. Arhaus imitates the look of sheepskin with their faux fur curly lamb throw and pillow. The result is a cozy and inviting blanket, perfect for the cold autumn nights ahead.

Ralph Lauren

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

(Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams - Tibetan fur Ansel brass chairs)

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

(Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams - Muffet Tuffet Tibetan fur ottoman)

Ralph Lauren made a statement with their grey Shetland wool jacket. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams craft a similar look with their Tibetan fur Ansel brass chairs and Muffet Tuffet Tibetan fur ottoman. The whimsical, eclectic look of the Shetland wool and Tibetan fur is balanced by neutral tones of grey and white. 

BCBG

Arhaus Faux Fur Tan Fox Throw

(Arhaus Faux Fox Fur throw and pillow)

Il Decor

(IL Decor Orba Wenge Bedroom set)

Deep brown hues are always a classic for fall. BCBG's patchwork fur jacket is full of rich black, brown, and beige tones. These rich autumn tones are also seen in the Arhaus Faux Fox Fur throw and pillow, and throughout the IL Decor Orba Wenge Bedroom set. Dark colors are another way to enhance a neutral pallette with warmth and drama. 

J Mendel

Arhaus Faux Fur Grey Mink

(Arhaus Faux Mink fur throw and pillow)

Finally, J Mendel's fluffy fur jacket takes a new approach to traditional grey by infusing it with blue and black tones. The result is a unique hue that is mimicked slightly by the Arhaus Faux Mink fur throw and pillow. By combining black, grey, and dark blue-ish tones, a rich and unique color is achieved that is more interesting than plain neutrals, but not as statement-making as a bright color.

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Dover Rug & Home Now Open in Boston

September 15, 2014 -- stefanie

Dover- Boston

New England's largest home design showroom opens new Boston store location.

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Brookline welcomes Tom and Gisele

September 15, 2014 -- stefanie

Fresh off the sale of their LA home, New England Patriots Tom Brady and his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen are ditching the west coast in favor of Brookline, one of Boston's finest suburbs. The new home, which is scheduled to be completed within the next two months, is an expansive 14,317 square feet. 

Brady Bundchen Bookline Estate

The stone traditional home has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a master suite, a nursery, staff quarters, a wine storage room, a yoga studio, and a library with a balcony. The home was designed by Richard Landry. 

Tom and Gisele are said to be moving in soon, so keep your eyes out for this Massachusetts power couple in and around Boston!

(Source: ElleDecor.com)

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Branching Out: Trees as Art at the Peabody Essex Museum

September 11, 2014 -- stefanie

Waltzers

The Peabody Essex Museum hosts a new nature-inspired exhibition starting September 27.

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Fall Finds: Outdoor Fireplaces

September 10, 2014 -- stefanie

Though the weather is starting to chill, that's no reason to retreat indoors. Fall in New England is one of the most spectacular times of the year, and as the foliage begins to change, you'll want to be outside to witness the red, yellow, and golden hues. Keep warm while admiring the transition into fall with these stunning outdoor fireplaces. 

Techo-Bloc creates beautiful fireplaces and patios, allowing you to bring the comforts of home outdoors to enjoy the autumn season. 

Techo Bloc

Techo-Bloc gas-lit fireplace

Techo Bloc

Techo-Bloc wood-burning fireplace

Gregory Lombardi Design work with an existing landscape to bring out its best features and enhance its surroundings. Adding a fire element increases any patio's warmth, and extends an outdoor space's usability well into the fall months.

Gregory Lombardi

Gregory Lombardi Design fire pit

Dan K. Gordon Landscape Architect enhances the landscape by adding a fire pit, creating a perfect place for friends and family to gather outside and enjoy the season.

Dan K. Gordon

Dan K. Gordon Landscape Architect 

Don't let the beauty of autumn pass you by. Cozy up to your outdoor fireplace and enjoy!

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