This season our semiannual Design Salon Series has taken us from Belmont to Brockton to downtown Boston in pursuit of inspiration and a bead on the latest trends and products in home design. We discovered techno advances in outdoor audio-video and lighting options, ways to go green in style, and how to go boldly into color and pattern. But there is still more to learn at our final salon of the series, “Now and Future Classics: Creating designs that will stand the test of time,” on Wednesday May 8 at Shafer O’Neil Interior Design in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
What better place to discuss outdoor living than the Fuller Craft Museum, which is set on a pretty little pond in the woods in Brockton, Massachusetts. Titled “Beyond the Patio,” the salon explored amazing designs and products for yard, garden, terrace, and patio. Landscape architect Dan K. Gordon of Dan K. Gordon Associates Inc. in Wellesley, presented sumptuous projects that showed how indoors and outdoor can become one, while Eric Becker and Craig Lemberger of The Garden Concierge Inc. in Sudbury, Massachusetts, discussed what happens once the garden plan is executed and the plantings need to be tended.
Thanks to technological advances, we can truly take the living room outdoors. Brian Gibson of Elite Media Solutions, also in Wellesley, took us on an audio-video fast-track with a jaw-dropping array of outdoor televisions for every season (with snow-laden photos to prove it) and speakers that direct sound only where you want it, while they disappear into the garden. And what is an outdoor party without some grilling going on? Larry Smith of Brown Jordan Collection of Outdoor Kitchens in Wallingford, Connecticut, presented beautiful, durable, and practical en plein air kitchens built around the grill but completed with refrigeration, sinks, and storage.
Jan Gleysteen of Jan Gleysteen Architects Inc. in Wellesley, might be a self-professed traditional “beige” architect, but at Circle Furniture’s Boston store he embraced our topic, “Bye-Bye Beige,” with a discussion of the architect’s use of texture and materials to create visual interest. Then through an array of slides of his own projects he showed that traditional architecture can be the framework for a fresh contemporary look in the hands of a capable interior designer. He also proved that our May/June 2013 Selections on mixing bold patterns together is on trend.
Peter Fallon of Fallon Custom Homes and Renovations Inc. in Needham, Massachusetts, and landscape architect Peter White of Zen Associates Inc. of Woburn, Massachusetts, offered their own methods of elevating a project with hues and texture. Fallon often injects color one element at a time, whether it be a door, cabinets, or stained moulding. For White, it’s not beige that he begins with, but green — to which he adds color, texture, and patterns in blooms and foliage.
And color isn’t fading into the background anytime soon as Sean Donovan, Circle’s Director of Visual Marketing, can attest. He was fresh from the semiannual High Point Market in North Carolina, the largest furnishings trade show in the world, where, he says, intense color and pattern was everywhere. We’ll be expecting the Circle showroom, already a kaleidoscope (and a very well-edited one) of color, to be adding to the spectrum.
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.