Thursday, May 26, 2011

Working with professional photographers

Photographers Michael J. Lee and Eric Roth
working side by side at the North Shore Design Show
held May 14th – 22nd at the Wenham Museum.

Well the North Shore Design Show at the Wenham Museum has come and gone. *SIGH.* I went in on Monday to pack up my space, and say my thank-yous and goodbyes. A lot of the designers were there, and we were all feeling a bit sad to dismantle our very personal works of art.

On the upside, last Friday I was fortunate enough to have my space shot by professional photographer, Michael J. Lee. So even though many of the pieces have been returned, put away or put back in use (my foyer was looking decidedly barren without its skirted round table and one set of drapes) at least the design moment that was created for the show has been captured with some really great photos. I was actually quite spoiled this year because at the gala preview party, Eric Roth also took photos of my vignette (along with some great people shots) which he shared with me on Friday.

I am saving the professional images for the next issue of New England Finery Magazine, but I have plenty of snapshots of my own to share with you here on the blog.

I require all of my photographer friends to put down
cameras and have their own picture taken : )

Michael shot a few spaces that day, and it was really fun to watch him rearrange the vignettes to get their best angle. Eric was doing the same, and there was a lot of back and forth between the designers and the photographers in order to represent the spaces in a way that would use color, light and scale to visually engage a viewer. When we design our vignettes for the show, it is for a slightly different interaction with an audience who is able to walk around the spaces and then look at the pieces up close. On “film, depth and contrast is trickier to achieve, but these guys really know how to make the rooms come alive.

Michael has recently had his work featured in New England Home Magazine (May/June 2011 p. 58-60), Boston Common Magazine (May/June 2011 p. 80-83) and Boston Globe Magazine (5/22/11) and has shot most of the covers of
Surroundings Magazine for South Shore designer, Linda Merrill. Check out Michael’s blog to see what else he has been up to (he is very busy!)

I actually heard a lot about Michael’s design process by listening to him on one of the Skirted Roundtable podcasts which feature fabulous interviews with members of the design field (Linda Merrill is one of the three moderators). During his interview, Michael offered a lot of great tips for those of us who are trying to take better photos of our own, along with sharing a bit about how he went from working in the interior design field to photographing it for others. Click here to learn more about Michael J. Lee and photographing architectural spaces.

I was happy to lend some of our more colorful props to Eric who was shooting for Marshall Whitman Design. I came with all kinds of additional items for my space (per Michael’s professional recommendation) including oranges, strawberries, cherries, croissants, more plates and serving pieces. I figured whatever we didn’t use we would at least have it to eat after the shoot, but Eric sent his lovely assistant/daughter Maddie out to get us some lunch in the middle of the day, so we were well taken care of. I had the best carrot ginger soup from Grassy Roots Gourmet which is right around the corner from the Wenham Museum. I highly recommend it! Yum!!

John Kelsey of Wilson Kelsey Design also brought a “prop” for his scheduled photo shoot with Eric. This cute little guy was one of the guests at the table that John and wife Sally set for the show.

His very elegant home away from home.

Packed up and ready to head home!

Our day of taking pictures was one of the highlights of my week at the show. While the process of figuring out and executing a design is satisfying in itself, being able to collaborate with other design professionals to record our combined visual thoughts requires action and engagement in order to produce the very best still life. Thank you, Michael and Eric, for sharing your creative talents with me! Be sure to subscribe to New England Finery Magazine (it’s free) and you will know right away when the professional images from the show are online.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Special: Last Day at the Show

Inspired by our photo shoot, I took this picture of the leftovers.

Today is the last day to view the North Shore Design Show. On Friday, I met photographer Michael J. Lee there and we were able to capture some great shots of my space and some others that I will share with you in the next issue of New England Finery Magazine. We incorporated some food onto my table and worked side by side with photographer Eric Roth. I promise to give you more of the behind-the-scenes details of our photo shoot later this week. It was so much fun!

Remember, if you see anything at the show that you would love to have for yourself, a lot of it is available for purchase. Several items from my space have already been claimed, however, the less inventory I have to pack up and take home on Monday the happier I will be : )

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Designfest 2011

Seen in New England Home Magazine May/June 2011:
With Linda Smith and Rosanne Palazola at
First Oriental Rugs Spring Floral Splash
photo credit: John LeJeune

So today I went back to the Wenham Museum to meet friends who were coming to visit. Can I just tell you how nice it was to entertain knowing that my space was going to look exactly the way it did when I left it? Besides watering the topiary rose trees, I did not have to pick up or straighten out or hide the stuff of life which is typically what happens before guests arrive in my house! While I was there, I did pick up a copy of New England Home Magazine in the entry way of the museum. NE Home is the media sponsor of the North Shore Design Show, so each visitor gets a free copy with admission. I had heard rumors that the New England Fine Living girls were somewhere in the party pictures, and I found us on page 124. Fine carpets make the best photographic backdrops, don’t you agree?

The Roman Folly Garden designed by Gallery Della Piana

Happy to see: Dorothy, Marianne, Christine, Shirley and Susan

I had lots of great visitors today! It was so fun to walk through the show with them and share a little background on each of the participating designers. Afterward we went for a hearty lunch at the Wenham Tea House. You would think portions at a tea house would be dainty, but bring your appetite if you go! I brought home half of my meal of chicken kabob over orzo with feta and grilled veggies. Next time, however, I will be going straight for the dessert ... the warm bread pudding was served in a big bowl and was piled high with fresh whipped cream! Yum!

Spending the day with my good friends took away a bit of the sting of not being able to attend Blogfest 2011 in New York. Back in January I had signed up for this design-and-lifestyle blogger behind-the-scenes tour of the New York design world. Even though my usual travel companions weren’t able to attend the event, I still put my name on the list and was able to secure a spot just before admission to the event was closed. At the time, I had not received confirmation of participation in the design show at Wenham, so I figured I would sign up and see what happened. Then when my submission was accepted at Wenham I figured maybe I could still squeeze in a few days in New York during the middle of the show.

A room for an aspiring drama queen by Timeless Interiors

But the truth is, I love every minute of the Wenham show and couldn’t leave it even for the incredible opportunity of meeting some of the best magazine editors in the industry (Veranda, House Beautiful, Town & Country, Architectural Digest) and many incredible design professionals and bloggers who I follow online.

Afternoon Tea: Mary O’Neill Interior Design

So this year I will be enjoying Blogfest vicariously through the posts and tweets of my online friends who are there right now, while I am entertaining IRL friends back home : ) I hope whoever got my relinquished (and coveted) spot is having the best possible time being inspired (and going to some really great industry parties) in New York!

Camille Garro Interiors & Couture
Pretty in Poppy Studio Suite

Maybe when my Boston friends return home from this whirlwind trip, we can sit down and brainstorm some type of Boston Blogfest? There is a lot of great design happening right in our area (especially on the North Shore this week only : )

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Preview Party Snapshots

The Gala Preview Party for the North Shore Design Show at the Wenham Museum took place last Friday night. It was hosted by New England Cable News personality Jenny Johnson (pictured above). We chatted about our mutual friend, Stacy Kunstel, who designed the eye-catching orange Dunes & Duchess candelabra that really stole the show. It was the last piece I added to my vignette and when I walked in with it, everyone “oohed and ahhed over its dramatic scale and exquisite paint finish. Below is a better view of it ...

Not to be overlooked, the Turkish carpet in my space also received a lot of “I love it” compliments.
Mary Donovan, pictured above, immediately dubbed it “zesty” when I met with her at First Oriental Rugs in April to choose my floor covering. See a close up of it in this post.

John and I enjoyed the signature cocktail which was a type of Mexican Sunset with fresh squeezed lime that I thought went rather nice with the Cinco de Mayo roses that decorate my space (which I found at Northeast Nursery which also has a designer vignette in the show). These terra-cotta red roses are deeply fragrant, and when fully opened they unfurl like the ruffles on a flamenco dancer’s dress.

Mary with her husband (also named John)

Designer Patricia Finn of Finn-Martens Design popped over to visit. Her vignette features a to-die-for luxury spa which she created in what used to be the museum coat closet. You have to come see it to believe it!

Lindsay Diehl, the Executive Director of the Wenham Museum, is super supportive and always appreciative of the participating designers (seen here with Sally Wilson of Wilson Kelsey Design).

I have really enjoyed getting to know Sally who I first met at last year’s show. She and her husband (another John!) were recently seen in New England Finery Magazine (see page 15 of issue 2).

Leon Marten, John Kelsey, Kathy Marshall and friend (sorry --
I should write names down and not try to rely on my memory!)

Above is just a glimpse into the lovely space that this husband-and-wife design team cooked up based on the movie “Julie & Julia.” Read their posts about the process behind their design here and here. I love to see a space being enjoyed like this!

Gracyn Whitman and Kathy Marshall with significant others

Behind these beautiful people is a stunning room which includes a sparkling pantry and a colorful seaside lounge presented in the signature reclaimed barn structure of Marshall Whitman Design. There is a lot of gorgeous in this space including custom laquered aqua Shoji panels by Back Bay Shutter Company and some amazing large scale sepia tone photography.

Wenham Museum Trustee – and the graphic designer behind the NSDS – Willa Worsfold (on the right) chose to wear a piece from one of my favorite local designers to the party. Harper Della Piana of Seams Couture created this gray silk cocktail dress for Willa. It is from the Wrapture collection which was the cover story for issue one of New England Finery. Someday I will have one of these gorgeous dresses hanging in my closet (or you will see me wearing it out on the town!)

I have to say, the men were dressed to impress as well, especially Brian Hogan of the Myopia Hunt Club who was a special guest in The Gentleman’s Quarters designed by Marlene Pippins for Landry & Acari.

I couldn’t resist including a snapshot of this cute wooly little fellow from the Landry & Acari space! My vignette also includes a little lamb in honor of the 18 sheep that used to live on the small farm that is now the Blacker backyard (just 20 minutes from Wenham). If you make it to the Wenham Museum, you are likely to pass a lot of elegantly rural open spaces on your travels. It is such a beautiful town, and is still home to many horses and farm properties.

Wenham resident Elisabeth Carpenter was on hand to answer questions about the made-to-order modern pieces designed by her husband Sebastian of Sebastian Carpenter Design. SCD is also showing at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair this week, so if you are in New York for the show stop by booth 2076 to see more. SCD was also seen in New England Finery Magazine (are you starting to see a trend here ; )

The lovely Honey Collins entertaining in her warm and inviting space.
Custom wall panels are by Zoe Design.

By the end of the night, we were finally able to kick off our shoes and relax. It takes a lot of planning and teamwork to put together a design show, but it is always well worth the effort. Along with supporting the mission of the Wenham Museum which provides educational exhibitions and enrichment programs to over 35,000 visitors a year, being a part of the show is a great way to connect with North Shore creatives. There are over a dozen vignettes at this year’s show to see and enjoy up close that feature the combined talents of many local creative businesses.

Whether you are looking to hire a designer or find a talented artisan for a special project, stop in this week to see for yourself what the North Shore has to offer. The show runs through Saturday, May 22nd and tickets are available at the door. For more information, click here. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Who is joining me ...

A sneak peek of the foundation of my designed space:
Turkish carpet of Mahal design from First Rugs, Danvers
handspun wool, vegetal dyes, 6' 7" x 8' 11" $5,900

This week I have been at the Wenham Museum setting up my space for the North Shore Design Show. On Monday, my darling husband, John, took time off to help me transport my items from home to the museum. He helped with all the heavy lifting and even the drapery installation. He is the best (even if he doesn’t feel the same way about design as I do : )

Fall Rose & Gardenia Bouquet 15" tall $530

One of the fabulous items on display – and for sale – is this beautiful centerpiece created by Diane James Home which is based in Connecticut. Since the show will run for over a week, I chose this permanent arrangement to grace my “town and country” setting. I would highly recommend these realistic designs to anyone decorating a second home or to those who are less inclined to water the real thing!

“Diane James Home is a luxury resource for limited-edition decorative floral arrangements and orchids, and botanically-inspired gifts. In 1997, the company launched its first collection at Bergdorf Goodman. Diane James’ designs are now sold at rine retailers and have graced many interiors, from country homes and modern lofts to chic hotels and fashion retailers. Made of the finest materials, with an artist’s attention to color and form, each seasonal collection encompasses a garden of possibilities.

Also sharing my space will be a stunning piece from the “romance inspired” collection from Dunes & Duchess. Read all about the New England-based designers Stacy Kunstel and Michael Partenio in this month’s Lonny Magazine p. 40. I have had the opportunity to get to know Stacy through many of the design-related events that I have attended recently. She is a doll! She was just interviewed on The Hidden List blog recently. Check it out to discover some favorite things of Boston’s very own “Duchess.”

Being surrounded by such good company is one of my favorite parts of any design show. The Gala Event on Friday night will be a great time to meet the talents behind the designs while enjoying a lot of pretty spaces, delicious food and festive drinks. I hope to see you there or sometime during the week. Click here for advance ticket information : )

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mark your calendars!

Click here for a video preview featuring
photos from last year’s gala event.

It is that time of year again for the North Shore Design Show: Favorite Spaces exhibit at the Wenham Musuem. This week I am finishing up some of the designed items that I will be displaying in my vignette, which I will set up early next week. There is a great list of designers participating including a few that were seen in the last two issues of New England Finery MagazineWilson Kelsey Design (they designed the contemporary sitting room seen in the photo above), Sebastian Carpenter Design, Gallery Della Piana – plus many other local favorites will be featured.

Design Show Dates:
Saturday, May 14 thru Sunday, May 22
Daily admission to show: in advance $10, at the door $15

Gala Preview Party:
Friday, May 13, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
$75 per ticket; includes week-long admission

Jenny Johnson

The Gala Preview Party, which is always a full house, will be kicked off this year by Honorary Chair Jenny Johnson who hosts NECN’s New England Dream House and the media sponsor for the event is New England Home Magazine. Tickets are available online or by calling the museum at 978-468-2377.

To get a glimpse of what the spaces will look like this year, visit the Wenham Museums facebook page where they will be posting introductions to this year’s designers. The colors of my space are based on the above vintage hope chest that I inherited from my grandparents. I love this mix of orange, turquoise and gold, and have found some special items in these colors that tell the story of living a “farmhouse chic life. That is all I am sharing for now ; )

So get your tickets and set a date to come visit the North Shore Design Show! And while you are in Wenham, there is a lovely tea house across the street which offers a perfect ending after touring the museum. I was just there yesterday enjoying quiche and scones with my friend, Liz Wertz, and her darling little ones, Maeve and Viola. We went to the museum to see the Dollhouse Exhibit and the Pretty in Pink vintage fashions, something my boys would have had no interest in! I do love a “girl’s day out” and the Wenham Museum is a great spot to have one : )

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tweet up at 12 Chairs

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a Boston design industry tweet-up hosted at 12 Chairs on A Street in Boston. This Fort Point based interior design studio and home furnishings shop, run by Roisin Giese and Miggy Mason, offers a well-edited selection of sustainable design goodies, gift items and furniture. They also display local artists ... I loved this painting of a city alley (above photo, right-hand corner) which reminded me of a recent New England Finery photo shoot in the North End (see page 40 of the April/May issue).

From left: Roisin, Miggy, Jennifer and Julieann

The event was put together by social media wonder Julieann Covino of Jace Interiors along with Jennifer Driscoll, editor of Perspective Magazine, another digital design publication which features architectural design in New England. The event took place just a day after the launch of New England Finery issue 2, so Jen and I had a lot to talk about! Perspectives Magazine already has 7 issues published, and Jen was more than generous in sharing her tips in running a successful design magazine online.

Sharing ideas and resources along with celebrating Boston-based design was the objective of this get together. As Julieann mentioned, Boston has a strong design community, and while it is great to connect on twitter and facebook (which is how many of us communicate), seeing each other “in real life
at these types of gatherings is a great way to really get to know the many talented people in our business.

I went to the event with my friend Rosanne, and we enjoyed some delicious munchies, wine and Prosecco (my favorite ; ) while chatting with new and old friends. While I didn’t take a lot of people pictures (we were too busy talking) here are some quick mentions of who was in attendance ...

Linda Merrill of Surroundings (another designer with a great digital design magazine) who I have mentioned numerous times on this blog!

Photographer Michael J. Lee, who actually shoots all the covers for Surroundings Magazine and whose work has been seen in a wealth of other shelter publications (he even made it in
New England Finery, see page 32-33 of issue 2).

Designer Leslie Fine, who wrote an article for New England Finery issue 2 (see pages 28 – 31). While we were talking that night, she mentioned an upcoming project to design a 20 x 30 foot display area for the Residential Design and Construction Show for New England Home Magazine (who we have both guest blogged for recently). Take a look at how it came out by visiting her design blog. Fabulous!

I also got to meet Katie Rosenfeld a designer from Weston who I had only “spoken with on twitter previously. We had discovered online that we both attended Boston College around the same time. We have probably crossed paths many times without realizing it!

I met others including lifestyle blogger Erika Johnson of Radiant Republic, designer Rachel Reider who just won this award, artist Marilyn MacLeod, photographer Sarah Winchester, remodeling expert David West, and Christina Tassie Miller of the PR firm J.D. Communications.

Lots of design-related professionals were there, so if you are in the area and would like to meet a bunch of creatives at the next event, contact Julieann at Jace Interiors and she will make sure you get an invitation.

And did I mention there were prizes? I actually won this gorgeous silk/cotton ikat pillow from Fabricadabra. It is going to a special someone who has just this color on one of the walls in her home. If you are reading this, Mom, pretend that you are surprised when you get it ; )

Thanks to Julieann, Jennifer, Miggy and Roisin for hosting this fun event. I look forward to seeing you and everyone else at the next one!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Paisley prints

Paisley is back in fashion! Whether you choose to wear it, or dress your interiors in it, there are a few tips that will help “make it work! Click here to view my Alluminare guest post where I share my secrets to designing with paisley.