Well, we’ve survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the gift shopping season is just beginning in earnest. Here is our list of 10 favorite gift ideas:Read More
Vanity stools, Counter stools, bar stools…which one do I need?
Stools are a great small way to change and upgrade the look of your room. These seats can go a long ways toward furthering the design details of the room – they are an opportunity for a splash of color in a monochromatic sea of cabinetry, or a place to add some softness and texture with a fabric and upholstery details. There are many choices – fabric, leather or wicker, wood or metal, swivel or not, legs or pedestal, casters or not, backs or not and if so how tall…but by far the most important thing to get right for functionality is the seat height. Too low and your chin will be resting on the counter and too high and your legs will be wedged uncomfortably beneath it!Read More
On a recent visit to the Boston Design Center looking for fabrics for a couple of current projects, we came across these fabulous finds! I am a total sucker for anything embroidered...embroidered linen or silk makes me swoon. The textures we spied included embroidery, appliqué, and some unusual embellishments.Read More
No outdoor room is complete without some planters! As a right of spring (and an indication that the snow has left the vicinity for at least the next few months...), I look forward to planting the pots on my deck each year with flowers and ivy and herbs. A recent visit to my favoriteRead More
Area rugs. They are the foundation for almost any room design. We recently went in search of the perfect area rug to complete a sophisticated, warm, neutral living room design. One of our favorite haunts for area rugs isRead More
Recently, we have been investigating living room tables...that backbone of creating a functional living space...a place to put your drink, or book, or remote control, or table lamp, or whatever makes the room work for you!
We have come across an interesting variety of cocktail, end, wine, and console tables. Many have a mix of finishes that make them not only interesting pieces, but a nice opportunity to tie in other elements in the room for a more cohesive feel without the boredom of 'matched to death' suites of furniture.Read More
For many of our design projects, we need to specify new lighting. Recently, we have been on the hunt for chandeliers and lanterns and wanted to share some of our finds!
Trying to avoid another fussy crystal or ubiquitous barrel stave chandelier we found these classic alternatives to be a refreshing change.Read More
Wandering about the seaside town of Swampscott on the North Shore on a beautiful summer afternoon recently, we happened upon the charming Maison de Mer shop a stones throw from the ocean!
Vintage and new tableware, furnishings and accent pieces are interspersed with imported French lotions, creams, and soaps. Alongside a few Swampscott stamped tote bags and pillows are a smattering of miscellaneous other treats from French-themed books, to paper goods and baby bibs .
Several rooms reveal treasures around every corner...Read More
It's almost summer, which seems like the right time of year to show a little leg...
In the world of design, I am in favor of a mix of leggy and skirted pieces in any room. Legs give pieces a lighter, less bulky feel. That said, the choice of styles available is vast! So, without further ado, here is a round up of some of the options spotted recently at the Boston Design Center.Read More
FINALLY! After years of poring over the Ballard Designs catalog and absorbing the pretty vignettes, the catalog has come to life right here in New England! A new Ballard Designs retail store has opened at the Natick Mall. It is a breath of fresh design air after years of proliferating Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware stores. While the quality level and prices are all similar, the ingredients are a bit more classical than Pottery Barn and a bit more varied than Restoration Hardware.Read More
I love going to Brimfield, and the fried dough is not the only reason! The HUGE Massachusetts outdoor antique and flea market takes place three times each year and September is usually my favorite one. This year, we managed to go on a 90-plus degree day with humidity somewhere in the stratosphere so it was less crowded than usual.
As always, it was a mix of new, antique, reclaimed, vintage, and unique finds - some of which defied description! Luckily, we snapped some photo's so here are some of the highlights from our visit...
This vendor had a terrific assortment of marine salvage with a LOT of light fixtures. We thought some of these pendants would be fabulous over a kitchen island!
If you are in the market for unusual tables, there were a fair number of options to be had.
Turned leg farmhouse, reclaimed wood on metal sawhorse brackets, and REALLY long in case you have a very large family...
And then there was this really unique metal table made from a vintage metal door - it even still has the keyhole!
Or this very funky dinette set...it would certainly make a statement, although I'm not entirely sure what that statement is...
This table with the top covered entirely in vintage hotel matchbook covers would be an interesting conversation piece in a game room
Or add a statement piece to the library with this elaborately carved walnut claw foot table
Being a complete sucker for things with lots of drawers or cubbies, I loved these vintage storage chests
This one has 124 drawers!
And we saw two of these hexagonal beauties that spin and sport triangular drawers, and a crank-rotating hardware display piece full of cubbies
Vintage signs, architectural salvage - some of which was upcycled into other things like mirrors, and painted furniture abounded...you could even buy the paint - both Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Milk Paint displays were seen.
And there were beds...from iron beds and metal beds....
to this pair of beautiful French carved and book-matched burlwood beds
If you have just the place for it...maybe a fun pool cabana house...this vintage ice cream fountain out of an old store in southern Massachusetts would be SO fun!
There were the usual suspects...tin letters (still?), metal embellishments for the Pinterest project crowd, or these fun paper flower accessories made from maps or music and buttons for those who want their craft projects already done
And this vendor with vintage dishes...he always has a fabulous assortment
And then there was this dealer who had some gorgeous hand painted Hungarian porcelain by Anna Weatherly...but alas, even at half the retail price it was still out of reach
Not old, and not particularly a bargain, but still a great look - these lamps with architectural bases and these unusual rustic cage pendants were a nice find
And finally, a couple of seats in the category of "WHY?" ...or maybe "WOW." I guess there really IS something for everyone!
Brimfield. Always entertaining, one way or another!
The 2017 show dates are: May 9-14, July 11-16, and September 5-10
I can't get enough of the continuing trend toward embellished textured fabrics! A recent visit to the Boston Design Center turned up some beautiful, quirky, and creative choices...seeing them in person is ideal, but pictures are the next best thing ...
The unique fabric above features squares of appliqued velvet scattered like shimmering confetti, while the ones shown below show some embroidered geometric patterns.
And here are some colorful embroidered florals ...
This gorgeous grey toned embroidered Jacobean floral quietly embodies elegance.
Embroidery on black linen is rich and dramatic.
Fun thematic embroidered fabrics like these feathers or sea fans can enliven a whole room.
This pretty embroidered branch pattern comes in several colorways.
Soutache trim creates a stunning geometric pattern and a dramatic texture.
This soutache applique has a whimsical feel.
And this embroidered 'damask' pattern on a herringbone base cloth is an elegant contemporary take on a traditional pattern motif.
So many choices!
Textured fabrics add so much personality and elegance to a room in any style of decorating. Need help choosing exactly the right combination for your space? We would be happy to assist!
Is wallpaper making a comeback? I would argue a resounding yes.
I know, I know, I can HEAR you rolling your eyes … I too have spent agonizing days with a steamer and a scraper removing old ‘cute’ floral stripes from endless bedroom walls with no wish to repeat this torturous exercise. Ever.
Until fairly recently, there has been a definite push toward paint for walls. Oh, the occasional special paint finish appeared…some finishes exquisite, like a beautiful combed strie, or a Venetian plaster, and some, not so much … we’re looking at you, sponge painting … which the do-it-yourself crowd embraced, often with the enthusiasm and skill of a 4 year old. And let’s not forget stenciling - okay yes, maybe we should try to forget that. But even decorative paint finishes gave way to clean smooth painted walls in the recent decade.
But are plain walls and simple lines starting to look ubiquitous? Are we beginning to long for ways to inject a little more PERSONALity into our spaces?
Now, new technology, and a new era have arrived on our doorstep and with it – new wallpaper options. Re-invented archived historic patterns, faux finishes, murals, textures, metallic accents, trompe l’oeil and more.
Even if you think you hate wallpaper, the new choices may just surprise you. They offer pattern, elegance, warmth, and a variety of textures.
Ready to dip a toe into the wallpaper pool? Here are some places you might consider using wallpaper without feeling overwhelmed by it:
1. Powder room
a low commitment space since it is small and used only in short intervals.
2. Dining room
often there are chair rails or wainscoting, so only a portion of the wall gets papered – and this is a great application for murals or soft patterns
again, a low commitment space, since it is a relatively small pass- through room, but wallpaper can give it a big impact and set the tome for the whole house
4. Accent wall
this is especially effective with more modern styles like mid century modern or industrial chic, or with trompe l’oeil papers.
5. Back of a bookcase or china cabinet
this can add texture and color to a room without committing to a huge amount of it, and it can provide a beautiful backdrop for the objects displayed on the shelves
In addition to real wallpaper, there are now temporary wallpapers that just peel off without leaving any mark…a perfect solution for rental property…or really swank dorm rooms...or just for the terminally indecisive!
Ready to take the plunge? We would love to help you choose a paper that is just right for you! Contact us at JRLInteriors.
A recent quick stop at the Boston Design Center yielded some interesting finds - some furniture with hidden surprises inside - kind of like the joy of a box of Cracker Jacks (only for grown ups and much less sticky!)
At Antiques on 5, we saw the gorgeous curved antique burl wood cabinet shown above. While this would be a beautiful accent piece in any room, it is also eminently practical with a stunning mirrored bar inside.
Furniture that pulls double duty can be a terrific asset anywhere, but it is especially helpful with the current trend toward downsizing into smaller spaces. The shelves in these bookcase cabinets at the Grange Furniture showroom slide to the sides to reveal a media center. What a fabulous way to have a large television without having a huge black rectangle glowering at you when it is not in use - there when you want it, gone when you don't!
And for the ultimate in couch potato living, these coffee tables have both storage and sections that lift up to dining/desk height to become a convenient place to eat or work ... a great solution where space for a separate dining room or home office is limited.
These are just a few of the great options available to maximize comfort and function in the most beautiful way. We are loving this furniture with a 'surprise inside'!
Tis the season ... to plant flowers!
I am decidedly NOT a gardener, much to my mother's dismay. She has beautiful gardens and likes nothing better than turning over earth and planting all manner of wild varieties of plants. I, on the other hand, do not dig in dirt unless it is sanitized potting soil in a contained environment like a planter or windowbox where I am sure there will not be anything creeping or crawling or slithering. Nonetheless, the minute the weather turns warm, I can't wait to set up my pots of herbs and flowers on the deck just outside my kitchen door. I love having fresh herbs growing just steps from my stove, and I am delighted to be able to sip my morning mug of tea surrounded by flowers and birdsong and the antics of our many resident chipmunks.
Finally, it is mild enough here in New England to fill our outdoor plant pots and windowboxes with flowers and herbs. Join me for a trip through our favorite local wholesale greenhouse ...
There is nothing like seeing acres of flowers in one place! Even ordinary annuals like petunias and impatiens, and geraniums look enticing in such masses.
Love these bougainvillea trained into topiary 'trees'.
Speaking of tropical plants, no summer patio seems complete without constant bright color from climbing mandevilla vines or the very similar but bushier dipladenia plants. And, of course, palm trees like the ones shown below always add an air of luxury (think Tea at The Palm Court at the Plaza ... ) or at least the fleeting impression that you are somewhere more tropical and exotic than New England!
And then there are all these interesting varieties of succulents. I am possibly the only person who has successfully murdered a jade plant ... I managed to overwater it in my zeal to try to keep it alive, which is the one thing that apparently you cannot do to it. More manslaughter (or plantslaughter) than murder, I guess. Hmmm. Anyway, for MOST people, succulents are great because they don't mind a bit of neglect. They are supposed to dry out between waterings.
Succulents mixed into a planter or windowbox add great texture and variety.
Foliage plants in unusual colors like this Persian Shield in shimmery purple add variety to the garden.
My car filled with things I *might* be able to keep alive for the summer!
Including these "Endless Summer" hydrangeas underplanted with some white impatiens that may or may not survive and ivy that will eventually cascade over the edges of the urns. These hydrangeas are supposed to bloom all spring and summer long so they seemed perfect for my entryway urns - once the season is over I can plant them in the garden and hope they reappear next spring ... we'll see!
And one of my herb pots with chives that reappear every year (YAY), thyme, and a couple of varieties of sage so far. I am still on the lookout for ever elusive tarragon plants, and I think I will add some mint as well since it enhances so many nice summer beverages.
And the other contains huge quantities of basil and a fair amount of rosemary, with these adorable yellow and white striped miniature petunias mixed in for some fun color.
Another sprint through the Boston Design Center revealed some interesting trends in side and cocktail tables ...
Sleek and sexy side tables in a mix of metals ...
There were a lot of nice options in metal and glass ...
and in metal and stone.
There was this fabulous pair of cantilevered nesting drink tables,
There is a definite trend toward acrylic tables in a variety of styles that would fit seamlessly in almost any room while maintaining a light and open look.
There is a current trend toward pairs of square cocktail tables as a more flexible alternative to a single rectangular one. Here are some interesting ones in zinc with gilded iron bases and some glamor-meets-campaign ones with mirrored tops on classic x-frame wood bases.
There are still plenty of more classic style cocktail tables, but in newer material mixes such as this round cocktail table with a great antiqued, beveled mirrored top on a distressed, turned-leg base.
We hope you have enjoyed this quick shopping trip through the latest table options...
So many great choices!
A recent visit to some of our favorite showrooms had us drooling and dreaming .... Now that we've caught up on that hour we lost this past weekend (seriously, isn't it time to give up this whole 'daylight savings time' thing??) we are reveling in the warmer weather that promises springtime is around the corner. The gardens are starting to wake up and we are beginning to daydream about al fresco dining. What better place to dine than on a patio outfitted with this beautiful, classic, iron and stone set?
Or for indoor dining, how about these unusual sleek leather skirted parsons chairs with this great stitch detailing at the side and back pleats? As we've mentioned before, we LOVE detail on the back of a dining chair!
Speaking of dreaming, a few beds caught our eye ...
This cushy tufted headboard from Century Furniture begs for a good book,and we love the button detail on these pillows and duvet.
And these sheets! OH MY! I've never felt or seen anything like this GORGEOUS embroidered bedding from Muse Bespoke - Italian cotton sateen, completely custom and luxurious - hey, you spend a third of your life in bed, right? Shouldn't the bedding be wonderful?
Here is a closeup of the one embroidery option ...
And this, from the same line but with a more contemporary vibe.
Happy Almost Spring! Keep dreaming ....
Here are some of the highlights from a recent visit to the Boston Design Center. Blue is finally back in vogue in all shades from cadet to periwinkle to midnight .. .but these embroidered fabrics seen at the Lee Jofa showroom are also full of luscious texture that make the blues better than ever!
And speaking of embroidered fabrics ... I just can't get enough of them! The embroidery and detail is what makes these neutrals anything but bland.
Love, love, love the addition of little wooden buttons in the embroidery on this one from Kravet!
And these gray embroidered linens ... could make me forget that gray is so ubiquitous right now and fall in love anyway.
Toss pillows have reached new heights of creativity too - with contrasting cutouts and unique fabric application, texture and ties, or oversize fabric loop trim, these from FDO can take a sofa or bed from ordinary to extraordinary.
And who says end tables should be boring just because they are functional? This round up from a few showrooms shows some of the variety available for the oh so hard-working end table.
Like this all wood "draped" side table at Lee Jofa
Or this more contemporary tiny 'spring' one at Brunschwig and Fils
This elegantly structured glass and metal one ...
Or the subtle texture of two tiers of hammered copper
and then there is this - one of a pair of charming rustic wood petite tables seen in the Market Stalls
Speaking of furniture - we loved the covered button detail dressing the back of this dining chair from Kravet - after all you see the BACK of a dining chair far more often than the front!
and the metal trim detail on the footrest of this barstool
The toile applied to the front of this chest complements the beautiful hardware perfectly
This slipcovered sofa at Kravet is beautifully tailored - distinctly different from the slouchy slipcover of yore that came with the popularity of 'shabby chic' a decade ago
And, of course, nailhead trim still abounds ... here on a rich navy velvet upholstered bed. A classic furniture detail that has been elevated to more creative uses than just embellishment for a leather sofa!
We love the asymmetrical seams and butter soft leather on these ottomans at Webster and Co.
Beautiful lighting ...
this classic regal chandelier at Webster and Co
or this one with an interesting mix of rock crystals and flint colored cut crystals
Or this great rendition of the currently popular bottle chandelier ... there's that color again!
And finally, a couple of wall treatments that made an impression.
This wallpaper that looks like a woven sisal - you have to touch it to believe it is just an image and not the real thing
or, finally, this wall texture created by the application of individual puzzle pieces - a striking effect worth mentioning for its uniqueness alone!
Hope you enjoyed the armchair sprint through a couple of floors of the Design Center! Check back for more as "Seen Around Town" becomes a regular feature here at Nestfeathers by JRL.
A recent trip to the design center yielded some interesting finds ...
A perfect carpet at Steven King to go with the fabrics for a dining room we are working on
Some luscious new fabrics at Lee Jofa
And some interesting tables and stools in the Market Stalls section of vendors ... a pair of faux bamboo stools and a coffee table base made of a large piece of scrolled metal
A pretty coffee table with a metallic finish and a curved loveseat with tailored lines at Ailanthus
Writing this post has reminded me to TAKE MORE PICTURES...so until next time,
A sort of Anthropologie meets IKEA with a little Pier One and Crate and Barrel thrown in ... along with some Williams Sonoma gourmet food and a remarkable assortment of beer and wine ... there is something here for just about everyone! The store is brand new so there are stretches of empty shelves still waiting to be filled with product, but so far, it has an impressive variety of well designed stuff at reasonable and often bargain prices. Let me take you on an iphone tour of the store as seen last weekend ...
Dining chairs and stools with great lines in a variety of colors and styles for less than $200 each
and a rainbow of chair pads
Adorable bird-adorned teacups
A sampling of the large variety of serving pieces and dishware
A fantastic array of sizeable serving trays
Assorted flatware and another bird-decorated piece ...
this time a cookbook holder
And MORE birds ... on ring dishes, bath trays, and bath canisters
Some of the unusual beverages for sale as well as all kinds of gourmet sweets and snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine ... great gift basket fodder
Office and shelf decor
A wall of throw pillows as well as some coverlets and, not shown, shower curtains and window panels and rods, and area rugs
Glass containers, vases, cloches and candles in every color and flavor
A variety of inexpensive furnishings that have interesting lines, if not quality construction ... but great style for the price
Soaps and lotions with beautiful packaging
The obligatory seasonal items - some really charming, some appalling (no pictures of those)
Interesting paper goods, gift packaging, and cards
A series of clever stocking stuffers
A large display of decorative knobs, handles and hooks with great style and great pricing
All in all, very excited to have a new home store kid on the block! The experience is marred only by the unfortunate fluorescent lighting and warehouse-box proportions of the building itself ... but the merchandise is most definitely worth a visit!
World Market, Shoppers World, Framingham, MA