Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day 2010

It's a gorgeous day here in Duxbury, MA, my little hometown. I did a little drive-by shooting of various flags around town. If you know a veteran, or the family of a fallen hero - don't forget to say thanks for their sacrifice. While we're busy celebrating with barbeque's and laughter, don't forget about the reason for the holiday.

“Have you news of my boy Jack?”
Not this tide.
“When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Has any one else had word of him?”
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?”
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind —
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!
~ Rudyard Kipling, 1915

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

North Shore Design Show - A little recap and congrats

I wanted to congratulate some friends of mine who participated in the recent North Shore Design Show benefiting the Wenham Museum.

This is the lovely Yvonne Blacker of Yvonne Blacker Interiors and the blog Design Vignettes (with her husband John) at the the gala preview party. Yvonne has been a good bloggy friend to me and The Skirted Roundtable. As a matter of fact, she was one of our holiday giveaway winners this past September and she incorporated the silver bread basket that I sent her as a gift in her design for this show!

And here is Yvonne sitting in her lovely room vignette at the show. You can read about her inspiration for her room design here.

And this is Sally Wilson and John Kelsey -husband (architect) and wife (interior designer) owners of Wilson Kelsey Design in Salem, MA.

This is John and Sally's fabulous contemporary sitting room design for their vignette at the show.

Here are John's original renderings for their design:

You can read more about their great space here on their blog.

Congrats to all!

Meanwhile, both Sally and I will be presenting lectures in June as part of the Junior League of Boston's Uncommon Kitchen's tour. You can read more about it here.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guest Blog: Innovative Countertop Designs

The following guest post was written by Marcy Tate, a home improvement blogger at Networx. She writes on many home improvement topics including concrete countertops and other innovative countertop materials.

The popularity of eco-friendly kitchen remodeling has contributed to the success of several new countertops successfully breaking into the mainstream market. Materials such as recycled glass and concrete are being used to make distinctive, one-of-a-kind residential countertops. Here is a rundown on why they are such a success.

Recycled Glass Countertops

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Recycled glass countertops have many advantages. Beside their wide color selection, they are strong, durable and have a long lifespan. Additionally, most recycled glass countertop manufacturers offer a 10-year warranty. Maintenance is simple and is comparable to granite countertops. The countertops are scratch resistant and less porous than concrete or marble countertops.

Recycled glass countertops are a combination of recycled glass and concrete. The glass content is usually 80% or higher, with the rest being concrete. One of the features that is drawing homeowners to recycled glass countertops is that every single panel is unique; no two countertops are the same. Some manufacturers offer an option whereby the countertop can be integrally colored or stained in order to help coordinate better with cabinetry and the wall color. There are also various edge and shape options. For those seeking exclusive style and design, recycled glass countertops are a fantastic option. Recycled glass countertops cost about $55 per square foot.

Check any of the following leaders in recycled glass countertops for more detailed information and to find a local dealer:,,, or

Additional glass countertop images:

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Concrete Countertops

In the past five years, concrete countertops have become more popular as homeowners seek attractive and durable countertops for their kitchens and bathrooms. With granite considered too ordinary for many homeowners, concrete countertops provide a fantastic option for customized countertops that still have a quarried look. Everything about concrete countertops is customizable, from the size and shape to the color, thickness, edging and method of casting. Additionally, they resist all types of damage, including chipping, cracking and scratching.

The design options are infinite. Concrete countertop artisans can add small objects to the countertop, such as glass chips or sparkles. Homeowners can also choose to include an embedded soap dish or an integral sink. Integral sinks can be designed within the countertop. Dyes are added to the concrete to create just about any color combination desired. Concrete countertops are more expensive than recycled glass countertops. They cost $65-$100 per square foot. However, an additional benefit is that concrete countertops can increase the resale value of a home, and they have a lifespan of over 20 years.

Additional concrete countertop images:

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Other Innovative Kitchen Countertop Ideas:

Glass countertops and LED Lighting countertops by

Water texture glass countertops by

Ribbon Glass Countertops by

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Project Sneak Peak

I wanted to share a sneak peak of a project I've been working on with a friend. She owns an antique home on a pond - very idyllic. The house has all the charms, and challenges, of an antique that dates to the late 1600's. Low, beamed ceilings and original floors are certainly charming, but can also make the rooms feel small. In order to play up the cozy factor, my client and friend wanted to spruce up her upholstered furniture and add some simple window treatments - all to create a cozy and warm feeling in her New England waterfront home. Here's a little inspiration board with the fabrics and trims I selected for her pleated valance treatments and newly upholstered club chairs and love seat.(click on image for larger view)

The room is so dark and the day was so bright when I was there that it was impossible to get a decent interior shot. I'll be back, however, as we're talking about glazing her walls a soft peachy pink, possibly in a glaze, to add more warmth and glow to the space.  Here are some inspiration images for the pink walls:

Hopefully at some point I'll be able to do a better job taking photos!

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Skirted Roundtable welcomes designer Mary Douglas Drysdale

Interior design icon Mary Douglas Drysdale joined us this week at The Skirted Roundtable. With over 60 magazine covers to her name, she has a thing or two to share with all of us! Join us!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Miles Redd at the BDC for Oscar de la Renta Home

(photo by Linda Merrill)
Maria Parasugo, VP of Design Sales & Merchandising and 
Miles Redd, Creative Director - Oscar de la Renta Home.

Interior designer Miles Redd charmed a room of New England designers yesterday at Century Furniture showroom at the Boston Design Center. Miles was here to talk about his work with Oscar de la Renta Home and how the furniture collection was created. Of course, most of us are very familiar with some of Miles' iconic spaces - many his own home -  that we've seen in magazines and the blogs:

Miles' black & white kitchen was one of my inspirations to going with dark cabinets in my own kitchen.

Above images courtesy of New York Social Diary.

It's seems odd to be saying the word "iconic" when speaking of someone so relatively young, but there it is. While I was familiar with Miles' work, I had no idea how totally charming and warm he is.  As I said, he had a roomful of New England ladies (and likely a couple of gentleman) who wanted to tuck him in their pocketbooks and take him home. Miles is a wonderful spokeman for Oscar de la Renta home and he told us how, through a personal connection, Mr. de la Renta came to his home for a drink and shortly thereafter was offered the Creative Director job. Miles was asked if he went crazy getting his house ready for Mr. de la Renta's visit and he basically said, no, as his sister says, he's "always camera ready". (hmm... this decorator is looking around her house knowing she has a lot to learn on that score!).

Anyway, we were treated to a slide show highlighting the Oscar de la Renta Home collection at Century Furniture, much of which is based on de la Renta's own personal collection of furnishings.

Shell ottoman in Kublai Khan linen
Maple bookshelf

King bed in Moon Vine linen blend

Tufted skirted sofa

Primavera-veneer dining table

Moroccan-inspired cocktail table

Camille silk blend

Dotted pleat silk (left) and Chevron Ribbon linen blend

Termez Crewel linen-acrylic

Above images via Elle Decor. Furniture at Century Furniture and fabrics at Lee Jofa (available late summer 2010).

Greek Key Drawer Chest with Marble Top Fern Finish

Oh, and stay tuned because Miles is going to be joining us at The Skirted Roundtable soon!

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