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For cutting edge art and design, head to AD20/21

March 23, 2013 09:18 AM


In the Palm Springs, California, home of Andy Williams, an abstract painting turns a room furnished with traditional American furniture into a space that is lively, inviting, and at once current and timeless.

It’s no secret, we love this show. As we said in this issue’s Take Note column, AD20/21 Art & Design of the 20th & 21st Century it is a modern achievement.

So we were delighted to moderate a panel of experts at incorporating Modern and contemporary art into homes large and small. Our A-list of areas designers included Kate McCusker of Theodore & Co., the Beacon Hill design firm featured in our show house section of the March/April magazine.


Quilling, gourmet salt, and maritime motifs at the Boston Gift Show

March 19, 2013 05:20 PM


We were so fascinated with the exotic quilling techniques used by Maine artist Lauren Fensterstock that we featured her work in our March/April issue (Black Magic). So no wonder we were stopped in our tracks at the recent Boston Gift Show at the Boston Convention & Exposition Center by delicate quilling found on these sweet greeting cards. Quilling Card, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, was founded by Huong Nguyen Wolf, who moved from Vietnam to her husband’s native Bay State, but each card’s curled paper decoration is crafted by Wolf’s own artistic family in Vietnam. (A video on her website shows how they work!)


It’s always spring at the flower show

March 13, 2013 05:22 PM


A round moon gate with chrysanthemum decked dragon and bamboo bridge designed by Jim Donahue, horticulturist for Rhode Island’s Preservation Society of Newport County, is a show stopper at the Boston Flower & Garden Show.

Carol Stocker, garden writer for Design New England and The Boston Globe, is presenting a special lecture, “A Rogue’s Gallery of Invasive Weeds: How to Recognize Them and Send Them Packing,” at the Boston Flower & Garden Show Thursday March 14 at 3:30 p.m.

The threat of snow is never too far here in New England, but an early spring is guaranteed at the 2013 Boston Flower & Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, through Sunday March 17. The show's unofficial mascot has to be the jaunty topiary Chinese dragon festooned with white chrysanthemums perched atop a traditional round moon gate. This Asian inspired display was designed by Jim Donahue, horticulturist for the Preservation Society of Newport County and created by the Preservation Society’s staff. The display promotes the Society's 18th annual Newport Flower Show held at the magnificent Rosecliff mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, June 21 to 23.


A moody garden shines

March 12, 2013 02:08 PM


Photographs by Rob Cardillo

At garden designer Michael Trapp’s Connecticut home, a slender pool is tucked between cracked curbing and finely sculpted shrubs. A poolside grotto, accessed by ducking under flourishing wisteria, is a folly used for entertaining.

A beautiful garden is a balance of labor and love. Yes, you have to dig, prune, plant, clip, nurture, pull weeds — all in all get dirty — but you also have to wait, simply watch, and let go, allowing time and nature run their course. In One Man’s Treasure in Design New England’s March/April issue, writer Tovah Martin brilliantly tells the story of landscape designer and antiques dealer Michael Trapp and how his love for all things timeworn infiltrate his West Cornwall, Connecticut, home, shop, and garden, which is both gracefully romantic and curiously mysterious. Photographer Rob Cardillo’s stunning photographs capture the garden’s moody earthiness and there are plenty to share.

We hope this virtual journey through a magical garden will whet your appetite for the Boston Flower & Garden Show, which opens March 13 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, and runs through Sunday March 17. The theme of this year’s show is “Seeds of Change” and we certainly are ready for that.


Polishing an Architectural Gem

March 7, 2013 03:57 PM

Hayden building[1].jpg

Photograph by Bruce Irving

The rusticated masonry and arched windows on the 1875 Hayden Building in Boston’s Chinatown is typical of the Richardson Romanesque style that put architect Henry Hobson Richardson on the map.

Historic Boston Incorporated has done it again. We featured the nonprofit, whose mission it is to rescue the city’s most endangered properties, in our March/April issue for the outstanding work they did on the 1859 Eustis Street Fire House in Roxbury. Now, we’d also like to give HBI a shout-out for another significant project it recently spearheaded and completed, the renovation of the Hayden Building in Chinatown.


David McCullough settles into Boston’s Back Bay

March 4, 2013 04:40 PM

David McCullough 8 12 portrait 2.jpg

Photographs by Eric Roth

Author and historian David McCullough and his wife, Rosalee, call Boston’s Back Bay home as they settle into an apartment they refurbished and furnished with Boston designer Mike Witt.

Readers beguiled by the tale of David and Rosalee McCullough's new Back Bay apartment in the March/April issue of Design New England might wonder just who is this Boston interior designer Mike Witt who handled the plum assignment so deftly.

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.