Style Watch

One-stop shop

A Newburyport hybrid puts home furnishings and design services together in one creative, inspiring place.

By Molly Jane Quinn
March 13, 2011

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In the vernacular of nightclubs, a mashup is a mix of songs layered to create a new (and it’s hoped highly danceable) tune. To designer Mindi Poston Gay and architect Derek Rubinoff, it’s the perfect word to describe their new venture, MPG Home Design. An interior design studio, upholstery center, architectural firm, and vintage furniture shop in Newburyport, MPG stands for “modern, practical, green” – it uses eco-friendly materials and finishes and recycles whenever possible.

You can visit the 2,000-square-foot storefront to get your dining room chairs recovered or to buy one of MPG’s furniture creations, called Vintage Mashups – aptly describing the way the pieces stylishly pair contemporary fabrics with older furniture profiles. You can also hire Gay and Rubinoff for design and architecture services. So while shoppers may be drawn in by the sign advertising expert in-house upholstery services or by the vintage wares displayed in the windows of the store (formerly a motorcycle repair shop), they can stay to ask for design advice. “People are intimidated to walk into the office of a traditional architecture firm,” says Gay. “Because we’re a store, people immediately feel free to come in.”

MPG’s wares range from mid-century-modern designs to 1980s vintage finds, and the store carries top upholstery lines, including Kravet, Duralee, Robert Allen, Osborne & Little, and Designers Guild. The most unusual reupholstering requests? “A deck chair from the era of the Titanic, and most recently we got an inquiry about reupholstering a double-decker bus for a movie set,” says Gay. Interior design projects have been just as varied, she says. The staff works with clients on jobs as small as drawing up a furniture layout for a living room or as quirky as outfitting the interior of a vintage camper. They also offer design seminars.

“Many of the best ideas in the arts have come from the cross-pollination of different disciplines, and our new space gives us ample room for collaborations and artistic inspiration,” say Rubinoff. It also gives them access to clients who might walk in looking for a chair, but leave with something completely different – and utterly inspired.

  • March 13, 2011 cover
  • March 13 cover
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