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NYC gift show an antidote for winter blues

January 31, 2013 04:45 PM


SkLOís wall of decorative glass reflects the opaque color showing up in todayís hottest designs.

We are winter weary no more. This week, we made a visit to the New York International Gift Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and had my spirits lifted with the bright colors and fresh ideas from designers unafraid to create innovative products that are also easy and/or compelling for the eye. Here are a few of our favorites.


Taking bathrooms to the limit

January 28, 2013 03:13 PM


Susan Teare

In a Vermont guesthouse designed by Mitra Samimi-Urich, the bathroom has a soothing palette evocative of the natural surroundings outside.

In the current issue of Design New England, we included a fantastic bathroom in a Vermont guesthouse retreat. The walls are painted a luminous dusty gold, the shower is sheathed with glass, the floor has a pebble inlay, and concrete slabs serve as countertop, storage shelves, and shower bench. Indulging their passion to celebrate the gorgeous rural landscape outside, the owners created a natural space where their guests could relax in comfort and style. It reminded me of other Design New England bathrooms that push the limits of design. Though not necessarily extravagant, these bathrooms from our archives are luxurious and prove if you think outside the box, you can create a spectacular place to wash up.


Have a Seat?

January 25, 2013 04:28 PM


Calling all designers. The February 1 deadline is fast approaching for the Street Seats competition sponsored by Design Museum Boston. The museum, which promotes design and education through public exhibitions at various sites throughout the city, already has more than 230 entrants from around the world registered to compete. The challenge? With a focus on urban improvement and sustainability, and using recycled, reclaimed, and/or renewable materials, design a seat, bench, or any kind of sidewalk furniture to accommodate at least two people that could join standard park benches as seating along Bostonís Fort Point Channel.


Winter white (and icy blue) for the bath

January 22, 2013 05:10 PM


We gave the bathroom its due attention in our January/February Selections, for which Victoria Smith, Jeff Demers and Kathy Jackson, and Judith Whalen furnished imagined vanity spaces around their favorite bathroom sink. In the process, sinks got stuck on our brains. We found one design especially covetable ó the Clip Rondo from Porcelanosa. Here are my picks of accessories for the sleek round beauty.


Chic city garden boutique

January 17, 2013 03:02 PM


Part opulent home, part luscious garden, part fantastic styling from the proprietorís many years of talented floral design, Marc Hall Objekt, which opened last fall in a spacious spot on Albany Street in Bostonís South End, is a city oasis of glamorous home and garden wares. For owner Marc Hall, who moved from creative director at Winston Flowers in 2010 to open Marc Hall Design, a business that ďcreates total concepts for events and small gardens,Ē this is a first venture into retail, and he takes it on with the natural vigor and detailed eye of an expert.


Vote for Bostonís best design

January 11, 2013 02:16 PM


Design New England is again the media sponsor for the Boston Society of Architects 2nd annual awards program, which honors outstanding architecture throughout New England. In addition to the works selected for recognition by a panel of distinguished judges, the BSA and our partners at are encouraging the public to vote in the Peopleís Choice Award competition. This year, judges from varied design backgrounds narrowed the nominations to four Boston-area buildings. Criteria included appearance, sustainability, universality, and integration with the surroundings. Anyone can vote. The winner will be presented with the Harleston Parker Medal at the BSA Design Awards Gala on January 31.

And the nominees are:


What we loved in 2012: Tables

January 8, 2013 06:05 PM

Was it the year of the dining table, or just the year I wished I had a new table? Iíll leave such chicken-and-egg dilemmas to the probing minds looking for the origins of the universe. How these magnificent pieces fell into our pages matters not. They originally were all part of a bigger picture, just a piece of the story, but on review, I contend they are worth a shout out of their own.


Reigning in the New Year

January 7, 2013 04:36 PM

Thereís something in the air this time of year (despite the frigid chill of a New England January!) that warms and revitalizes the soul. Whether with a daring New Yearís resolution, an enticing project, or just the comfort of a familiar routine after the holidays, it motivates us to take on the year ahead with renewed energy and verve. As we at Design New England look forward to all the projects we have lined up for our 2013 issues, we recall the old saw that says you canít know where you are going if you donít know where you have been. Therefore, we have decided to review our favorite things from Design New Englandís 2012 pages. Here are some of my picks.


Silhouettes on the stairs

January 4, 2013 12:13 PM


Matt Kalinowski

John S. Coles in his dining room, where the walls and ceiling were painted with his artistic hand.

With keen eye and deft hand, artist John S. Coles took a back stairway from dowdy to delightful for the 2012 Junior League of Bostonís Show House last fall. That fanciful notion reminded us of Colesís many talents and prompted us to profile the Arlington, Massachusetts, artist in our January/February issue of Design New England, now on newsstands or in your mailboxes.


January/February 2013 cover!

January 3, 2013 02:51 PM


Kitchen designer Claudette Andrew of Westborough Design Center stands in the kitchen she helped architect Derek Bloom of Derek Bloom Architects create in the new house he designed for himself and his family in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Photograph by Trent Bell.

Just as the holiday season winds down and things start getting back to domestic normalcy, our January/February 2012 issue will be landing in your mailbox and hitting the newsstands. In it, you will find a raft of design ideas to inspire your winter home improvement musings. This cover is just the beginning. Our annual Kitchen + Bath issue is full of dazzling spaces that will bring lots of cheer ó and a great big wish list ó to the New Year.

About this blog

An insider's look at must-have products, fresh trends, and inspired spaces from the team at Design New England magazine.

Gail Ravgiala is editor of Design New England and a fan of both the region's historic architecture and its growing inventory of modern houses and public buildings.

Courtney Kasianowicz is associate editor of Design New England who scouts the area for new design, charming products, and local artisans both innovative and daring.

Jill Connors, Design New England's editor-at-large, is an antiques maven and design scout and will post about trends and discoveries in the field.

Bruce Irving, Design New England's contributing editor for architecture & building, is a renovation specialist who will share his insights on design and construction.

Estelle Bond Guralnick, Design New England's style & interiors editor, will post about interior design and interior designers and her favorite finds.

Real Estate

Globe Home of the Week
Single floor living in Brockton

Single floor living in Brockton

Royal Barry Wills designed this home located on a cul-de-sac in Brockton's West Side.