In New England, there’s generally on time of year when we’re used to buying tickets to enter a strange, elaborately decorated home. Here are a few hints. It’s when the leaves are falling, not sprouting; when the days are growing shorter, not longer; and when Styrofoam tombstones, cardboard coffins, strobe lights, and fog effects are the typical accoutrements, not high-end home decor. We’re a long way from Halloween, so it’s an Urban Showhouse.
“A house may have great bones, and the addition of color, in fabrics, artworks and objects certainly makes a room come alive. But the quickest way to change the very character of a space is paint and wallcovering. A city home, finished well, can be sedate to awe-inspiring. Where you let your rooms go is entirely up to your imaginations, as the combinations are quite literally endless.
We asked one design team, Andrew Terrat and Dee Elms of Elms Interior Design to give us a few of their newfound favorites. They like the texture of the new offerings from Phillip Jeffries and Maya Romanoff as well some of the naturals available through Schumacher. With a decidedly modern bent, they are also finding use for bold geometrics like those of the design studio known as twenty2.
Esplanade explores the beauty of efficient, simple living.
“We found a great example of this new way of living in an apartment designed by Andrew Terrat, of Elms Interior Design, for just such a couple at FP3 in Fort Point Channel. The designer worked like a yacht builder, reconfiguring an 1154 square foot space into a clean and simple 2-bedroom apartment where hidden closets, flexible space, and discrete lighting are engineered to the inch. The design team then mixed this ingenuity with natural woods and sensuous textures to create a luxurious retreat in a complex born of re-purposed 19th-century manufacturing buildings.
Dee and Andrew discuss the art and science of a perfect powder room.
The family hired Boston-based interior designers Andrew Terrat and Dee Elms to refresh the living room, giving it “some stylish, up-to-date glamour,” says Kathy.
With a few small architectural changes and swanky new furnishing, the designers transformed the space. They added beefy crown moldings and baseboards, long windows, French doors opening to the garden, and a 10-foot window seat that serves as a sofa, but they kept the wooden floors, built-in bookcases, and small pass-through window from the kitchen.
“When designer Dee Elms spotted a beat-up 1950s wrought-iron ottomon tucked away at Reside, a Cambridge shop that deals in classic mid century modern furniture, she saw a beauty in it that others might have missed. ‘The top is soft, bubbly and organic,” she says, “then there are two strong horizontal lines, then the bottom of the base is kind of soft also. There’s a real balance to the piece.’
Elms tapped reside employee Karen Sedat to refurbish the ottoman for a total material cost of $248.71. The fabric Elms chose, Schumacher’s Usak Weave in Caravan, is based on classic Suzani embroidery from Uzbekistan and makes a strong graphic statement. The fabric inspired the base’s teal paint.”
“First, there was a simple two-story Cape, built in the 1960s at the end of the causeway that leads across Deveraux Beach to Marblehead Neck. The house itself was unassuming, but the Atlantic Ocean lapped against 425 feet of private beach frontage in the backyard, and the views looked toward the Boston skyline. Then, in the 1980s, the addition of a two-story great room nearly doubled the size of the house. The next addition, placed beside the great room, consisted of a new kitchen and an upstairs master bedroom suite. Living space above the garage, last in the string of additions, brought the house to its present size, nearly 5,600 square feet.
Though spacious, the house was an awkward assemblage of rooms. “None of the added pieces related to what was already there,” says Dee Elms of Elms Interior Design of Boston, who with her partner Andrew Terrat worked to make the house more coherent. ‘It was hard to get from the parking area to the front door. We took four different additions and made them go together.'”
“It’s curious how a development acquires a new name in its transformation from a manufactory to a residential address. For the handsome block-long building between Wareham and Malden streets on Albany Street, Cresset Development has focused on a time when the South End was emerging, just as it is seeing a rejuvenation today by new residential and commercial development, further enhanced by a vibrant arts community.
By the mid-19th century, land in the South End had been reclaimed east of Harrison Avenue from the tidewaters, and railroads crisscrossed the city. Row houses and factories began dotting the new streets. And so the building’s name is the 1850, described in its marketing material as “history with an attitude.”
The five-story brick building had housed the Allied Bolt & Screw Company for more than 40 years until it relocated to Canton six years ago, and from the late 1880s to 1926, the Everett Piano Company produced fine musical instruments on this site. John Phillips Souza was among its clients. In between, it was a warehouse.”
New England Design celebrates their first anniversary by highlighting 9 rising stars whose work will shape the region in years to come.
“To the discerning visitor, Brian Kelly’s glamorous apartment in the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton Towers is intentionally and deliciously autobiographical. The clues are everywhere: a classy vintage motorcycle
positioned as sculpture; a grand piano juxtaposed harmoniously opposite a window seat that overlooks one of Boston’s all-time best views. It all adds up to a man about town whose zest and enthusiasm for both work and play are in complete balance.
…Even before his first consultation with Andrew Terrat and Dee Elms, Boston interior designers who worked with him on his Ritz condo, he knew he wanted the living room to be a combination of aqua, silver, and chocolate and done in a clean and contemporary – but not hygienic – style. Terrat recalls that, from the start, they had the same vision of what the place could be.”