For the Boston readers, check out this event. The Room to Dream Foundation is having it’s annual gala on April 1st and you don’t want to miss this fabulous event for a great cause. The foundation does room makeovers for chronically ill children from low income families. I first became involved with Room to Dream when designing a room for Ethan, who has severe cerebal palsy. The experience changed my life and I realized that design can really change people’s lives.
The event will be spectacular as four local designers will be creating rooms to be on display at the event. So, become a kid again for a night by attending this carnival themed event. For more information, check out the Room to Dream site by clicking here.
Boston area thrift store chain, Boomerangs, opened a new boutique concept in Boston’s South End. At Boomerangs Special Edition, a collection of gently used high end items are sold at low prices. The store idea came from the success of a booth this summer at the antiques market in the South End, where employees selected designer pieces to sell. Soon, consigned pieces from local artists will be carried but they are not planning to sell furniture or home accessories at this time. So Boston readers, stop by Boomerangs Special Edition located at 1407 Washington St. For more info, click here to check out their website.
Image from BostonGlobe
Built in the 1900s, the Chandler Inn is one of Boston’s most affordable boutique hotels. Recently local interior designers, Dennis Duffy and Eric Roseff designed the newly renovated Boutique Queen (above) and Boutique Twin (below) rooms. Both room types were a challenge for the designers as there was not a lot of space to work with. These rooms needed to include multifunction areas including the console style desk below the screen rather than an entertainment unit or credenza. The result is a space that is big on style and easy on the budget. Click here to check out the Chandler Inn website for more info.
Images from Chandler Inn
The Ale House Inn, an urban lodging experience in the Market Square district of Portsmouth, New Hampshire opened last Spring. Owner, Doug Palardy wanted to restore the historic 1880s warehouse back to it’s original luster. Victorian decor dominated in the previous incarnation of a B&B. Palardy, the creative mind behind Motley in Boston’s South End, envisioned a hip, lofty boutique inn with updated modern elements. The common areas have vintage charm while the guestrooms are refined blending luxury with the comforts of home. In the design of the inn, he was inspired by the lofts and brick townhouses in Boston. The name pays homage to the building’s history, formally the home of the Portsmouth Brewing Co.
Palardy said, “There were two options before we opened: small country Victorian B&Bs (which are a bit run down), or larger hotels like the Hilton & Sheridan (same as you can get anywhere). We knew there was a void for design savvy folks that are attracted to downtown Portsmouth.” The inn is surrounded by all the shops, restaurants, cafes, and historic sites that make Portsmouth a destination for tourists making it the perfect place to stay for those looking for an urban vacation.
The Ames Hotel, Boston’s newest boutique luxury hotel opened last month. The Romanesque building is the former headquarters of the Ames farm-tool company. The design of the 113-room hotel is the result of the collaboration between designer, David Rockwell and the Morgan Hotel Group. The lobby and reception areas feel quite Phillipe Starck with an eclectic mix of furnishings floating throughout the spaces. The Woodward, the hotel’s restaurant and bar is a modern day tavern. I met a friend there for dinner this week.
My favorite element was probably the subtlest touch, the red ceiling adding considerable warmth in the monochromatic space. Other elements that caught my were preserving and patching the existing mosaic tile floors on the first floor and incorporating reclaimed wood at the bar. There is a nice blend of old and new – shelving with glass display cubes filled with curio becomes a theme that carries throughout both levels of the restaurant. The use of glass and levels of translucency add depth to the experience particularly at the first level bar which is located at a large window exposing an obscured view of the city outside. Simplicity was key in the bathrooms featuring white mosaic clad walls and black stone floors were paired with flush walnut doors at stalls. The elegant mix of white and black mixed with neutrals in the hotel common areas carries into the guestrooms as well.
I was particularly impressed with the plush feel of the one bedroom apartment. The design highlights the historic details of the building’s architecture including the large arched windows. The expansive living room is equipped with an eclectic mix of luxurious furniture and finishes and the bedroom features a stunning polished chrome four-poster bed.
Overall I recommend the Ames!
Images from Ames Hotel
Last summer, designer Dennis Duffy opened D Scale, a furniture store which certainly fits the contemporary style of his design firm, Duffy Design Group. For those living in Massachusetts, I highly recommend stopping in to check out the beautiful showroom located on Harrison Ave in the in SoWa area of Boston’s South End. I happened to click on the site and loved several items. Here are a few things that caught my eye.
Dirk B. Wing Chair
Studio Alto Drawer
Tortunga Dining Table
And there are more great pieces on the D Scale website or stop by the store.
Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, among other actors are being spotted all over Massachusetts filming a new comedy/romantic thriller titled Knight and Day. Yesterday, I saw the filming of a scene with Diaz on Union Park St in Boston’s South End. Chic boutique Looc was transformed into a bridal shop for the day. The above image is of the scene where Cameron runs out of the bridal shot. Where is she? You can sort of see the yellow dress as she is going back into Looc. Well, let’s just say, I will not be becoming a paparazzi anytime soon. But, I must say that I found myself star struck for the first time on set, waiting for a glimpse of the actress. Was it all worth it? Not sure, but Cameron is stunningly gorgeous in person.
What was cool was getting to hear “rolling” and “cut” on set. However, the glamour of the movie was replaced with the reality of an orchestrated recreation of everyday life. A child crying was a reason for “cut” to be yelled. I was absolutely amazed by how fragmented the process was and by the sheer number of people and equipment needed to make one short scene happen. I realized that over the course of that day, less than 5 minutes of the movie was captured. Academics often debate the architecture of film…the director’s desire to be an architect/designer and vice versa. I left thinking, I love that I can create an experience for my clients but they are the ones that make it real.
Boston Magazine hosted the Living in Style event this September at the luxurious penthouse of the FP3 in South Boston. I was intrigued by the concept: local stores style outfits inspired by rooms in the Boston Magazine Concept Home. The event was fabulous, great drinks and an amazing crowd. I was inspired by the interior design and architecture of Boston design firm, Hacin and Associates. I found myself shifting between design and fashion critiques throughout the evening. My favorite outfit is above. The three-piece Nom de Guerre wool suit was styled elegantly with plaid scarf sans tie by Boston boutique Stel’s. Stel’s also dressed the model below in a black sweater dress with feathered skirt. The model in the white dress with red sash was styled by Holiday Boutique in clothing from their line.
The images of the kitchen and dining area above give you more of an idea of the space. I loved the dark wood kitchen cabinetry and the use of a slab of stone by Gerrity Stone as a backslash.
In the master bedroom, a glam bachelorette pad with all the frills, sparkling chandelier, floral area rug, and glossy pink ceiling. South End boutique, Looc picked up on the bold yet feminine decor by dressing their girl in silk scarf, rocker vest and skinny jeans.
Uniform dressed the model in the boy’s bedroom. The design was playful featuring a sleek aluminum trundle bed and lounge chair by Ligne Roset and the colorful custom puzzle rug by Dover. The room was outfitted for a sophisticated kid with cool graphics applied to the windows by Proverb, caged outdoor sconces and 1970s car catalog cut outs from David Hacin’s childhood home. The fun toys and accessories were a nice touch. One thing is for sure, that is one lucky kid…heck, I’d live in that room.
I was digging the installations of wallpaper of New York based graphic designer and artist Aimee Wilder in the boy’s bathroom and the powder room.
One of the most spectacular elements of the FP3 penthouse is the tiered terrace featuring stunning views of downtown Boston. Stil was inspired by the urban backdrop in the styling of their girl. I left the event thinking that these local retailers hit the mark pulled together some inspired ensembles based on the Concept Home’s dynamic spaces. Check out Boston Magazine’s party pics for more pictures from the event.
The Boston City Council has declared the month of October as Black Architecture Month in the city of Boston, in honor of city planner/surveyor and political advocate Benjamin Banneker and other African-American architects throughout history. Click the image above to view the official resolution. The month pays tribute to the many contributions to architecture, city planning, and community development made by Black architects over the years. In addition, the council hopes that this month will help to inspire the young and emerging professionals in architecture and related fields.
Members of Boston’s division of NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) are particularly excited as the NOMA Conference will be in Boston in 2010. And I am sure that Black Architecture month will be discussed at this year’s conference in St. Louis, MO. Stay tuned fore more information on this exciting month including events, exhibitions, and seminars. You will certainly see special features during the month of October on DESIGN FOR MEN on contributions made to Black design professionals.