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New England

finery M AGA Z IN E

Autumn 2011


In this issue ... ELIZABETH WERTZ PHOTOGRAPHY

All of a sudden it is autumn and time seems to be speeding up. Gone are the slow-paced days of summer, yet we in New England are determined to enjoy what is left of our warm and sunny days.

Yvonne Blacker editor/creative director of New England Finery www.yvonneblacker.com www.designvignettes.blogspot.com

In this fourth issue of New England Finery, there are a couple of special photo shoots that captured some unique properties during summer vacation. One belongs to the family of a local homeowner who did-it-herself with magazine-worthy results. The other, is a collection of spaces from an annual summer treat, the Old York Decorator Show House. A visit to the MET in New York, a trip to the Boston Design Center, an author’s lunch with a group of New England bloggers ... these are just a few of the ways we spent our summer. Look for the full stories inside this issue. But there is a slight twist. Our features will be presented in a novel new way ... in chapters. When you open a digital magazine do you feel compelled to absorb the entire issue in one sitting? We want you to take your time and fit it into your schedule at a leisurely pace. No need to rush. Flip the pages, enjoy the brilliant photos (special thanks goes to Michael J. Lee) and click through to get more in-depth information on the stories and businesses that interest you. The issue will unfold over the course of a few days. Read a little each day or if you prefer, save it all till the end. We hope you enjoy it either way! Up first: discover my editor’s picks that highlight the role of color and design in improving lives. Plus get a sneak peek of the summer design show in York, Maine. Stay tuned or subscribe for more to come!

Yvonne finery 2


The Write Expression CUSTOM DESIGNED INVITATIONS AT NEW ENGLAND FINE LIVING 10 6 S O U T H M A I N S T R E E T MIDDLETON, MASSACHUSETTS PHONE 978.777.8535 W W W. T H E W R I T E - E X P R E S S I O N . C O M


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Autumn 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTS

10

2 In this Issue: Editor’s Letter

68 – 73 McQueen at the MET by Pamela N. Simoneau

5 Contributors

76 – 77 Girl’s Night Out: Swap Soire´e with hosts Susan Kanoff and Monique Johnson

8 –12 Editor’s Picks: The power of color + design

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14 – 33 Design Point: The 22nd Annual Old York Decorator Show House

34 – 40 Design Notes at the BDC: Phoebe Lovejoy together with Gerald Pomeroy

78 – 81 Open House: Professional staging tips by Sandra Biondo

83 – 84 The Dog Listener: Kathy Corneau of Balanced and Behaved

86 – 87 New Engand Fine Living: What ’s New for Fall

42 – 44 New England Bookshelf: from iconic to ironic 36 45 Blogger-praise for Holly Becker’s Decorate

46 – 65 OMG Decorating: You can do it!

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On our cover ... Old York Decorator Show House “Woodbridge Library” designed by F. D. Hodge Interiors, Boston, MA photographed by Michael J. Lee


C O N T R I B U T O R PA G E

Michael J. Lee Photography cover photo; 6, 7,10, 11,13 – 40, 46 – 64

As a former interior designer – having participated in show houses at Kips Bay, Takashimaya and Osterville over the years – I’ve grown to respect and admire designers willing to reveal their true selves when creating a show house space. Without a client to filter their ideas, show houses can be pure design at its best. Behind the lens, photographing the York Show House for New England Finery Magazine, I spent quite some time trying to understand each designer’s intent. With typically only one shot required, the decision behind a particular angle takes on added precedence. Shooting the York show at Emerson House, which used to be an old tavern, was very exciting but challenging at the same time with its low ceilings. Upon learning the beautifully detailed space of Frank Hodge would be the cover for this issue, well I was ecstatic. I have long been an admirer of Frank’s work. The idea to pair a designer with years of experience with a newer designer arose from my observations over the years of how giving the New England community of designers can be. Gerald Pomeroy and Phoebe Lovejoy had never met before. Having the opportunity to introduce them and watching the two interact, laughing and enjoying each other while I photographed them, was a true testament to the wonderful ethic of our New England designers, whose knowledge and diversity is what makes photographing in New England such a treat for me. Warm Regards, Michael J. Lee

Sandra Biondo pages 78 – 81

Pamela N. Simoneau pages 68 – 73

Susan Kanoff pages 76 – 77

Greg Premru Photography page 42

Photography by Corinna Spinale pages 83 – 85, 88


Editor’ s Picks

THE POWER OF COLOR!

Our treatments are based on Chinese philosophy, ancient secrets that nurture the mind, the body and the spirit. They are not luxuries. They are practices that are an intricate part of taking care of you and creating balance in your life.

– Dawn Tardif,

More than just a pretty face. It’s difficult to explain exactly how applying colors to your skin can affect your mood and energy level, but they do. By using colored essential oils, colored clays and state-of-the-art LED technology, the personal care professionals at BodiScience Holistic Day Spa in Beverly treat much more than the epidermis. After one of their chroma therapeutic facials, rest assured you will leave with both a dewey face and an inner glow. Bodiscience Holistic Day Spa Cummings Center, Beverly, Massachusetts www.bodiscience.com

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photos courtesy BodiScience

owner BodiScience


Imagine a sensory experience that harmoniously blends 5 therapies. The sounds take you away. You breathe in tiny droplets of essential oils, savoring the aromas while warmth, light, and color make your experience even more transformative.

photo courtesy BainUltra

Play

Chromatherapy A N D

B E Y O N D

RED stimulating and exciting

ORANGE soothing and pain relieving

Sit back and relax. The goal of BainUltra’s Insperience Bathroom collection is to help you create a private sanctuary in your home — a space devoted to your overall wellness, a room where time and outside pressure do not exist. It’s about a human being creating a space, not a space created by a human being. If you want to experience daily restorative relaxation in the privacy of your home, then the Vedana Personal Care unit is for you. The Vedana Personal Care Unit Perfect for a shower or relaxation space. Available at Designer Bath in Beverly, Massachusetts www.designerbath.com

YELLOW digestive and creative

GREEN calming and stabilizing

BLUE relaxing and soothing

VIOLET immunizing and calm


Michael J. Lee Photography


Editor’ s Picks

DESIGN HEALS ...

Michael J. Lee Photography

Room to Dream Foundation gives back. At first glance, this well-organized bedroom appears to be that of any young boy who loves to play with big trucks and brightly colored blocks. But this fresh and cheerful space is actually designed to assist a family with the day-to-day care of their young child who has extensive medical needs. Through the combined efforts – and donated time – of designers, architects, builders, and qualified design students, the rooms of children who are coping with long-term illnesses are transformed into imaginative areas that allow them to receive the care they need in a cozy environment that encourages them to thrive. Room makeovers are donated to families in need and recipients are chosen from a list submitted by approved hospitals in the Greater-Boston area. Fund raising events are held throughout the year to support the on-going efforts of this charitable foundation. The Room to Dream Foundation has made it their mission to ensure that children coping with health challenges have the highest quality of life and can recover – and grow – in a space dedicated to promoting strength, imagination and self-worth. > Read more about “Jonathan’s Project” here. > Click here to support Room to Dream.

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Editor’ s Picks D E S I G N S O LV E S P R O B L E M S . . . Artcoustic, now at D SCALE There has long been a desire to camouflage speakers but the solutions were often times more about the disguise than the sound quality. Artcoustic, a Danish speaker company, has created great sounding speakers that are in the form of a truly tasteful picture frame. Within this frame you can put just about anything – custom fabrics, photos, or any number of iconic images from the exclusive Getty images collection. The solutions are amazing, and you will feel like you are looking at a piece of fine art. They have been successfully used in both residential and commercial applications. D SCALE 520 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA www.dscalemodern.com

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photo credit: John Legelis


MICHAEL J. LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

Ana Donohue Interiors interior design. space planning. 617.331.2663

www.anadonohueinteriors.com


Photography by Michael J. Lee Text by Yvonne Blacker


Focal Point Fine art and styled spaces from the 2011 York Decorator Show House


Sea Worthy Living room focal points Marcye Philbrook, Marcye Philbrook Design Studio, Kittery, Maine marcyephilbrook.com Oil painting: Wendy Turner Favorite moments: • smooth finishes and fluid seaweed-like shapes • punctuated with random bits of organic textures • beach-inspired with soft sky blues, seafoam greens, frothy whites and golden tans Design take away: go bold with oversized art and accessories


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Black and Tan Study in the Tavern fireplace Michaele Boehm & Kacey Graham, Bedford NH kacey.graham@comcast.net Favorite moments: • • • •

black and tan with rich gold finishes like a tall glass of ale menswear-inspired tufted ottoman with scallop nailhead trim gathered birch branches in tall black wicker baskets super white ceiling with high-gloss white beams

Design take away: fill your fireplace with a cauldron size basket topped with verdant green moss for visual drama

Relaxed French Flair Next page: Kitchen mantel Meredith Bohn Interior Design, Hollis, NH mlbinteriordesign.com Original acrylic and watercolor painting “Tea Cup and Saucer” by Olivia Grace Favorite moments: • black and white provincial toile wall covering by Thibault • smart black stripes add another layer of architectural detail • chairs by the fireplace invite cozy conversation Design take away: add relaxed charm with casual vignettes

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Sweet Asymmetry The dining room fireplace Diane Hughes, Diane Hughes Interiors, Rye, NH dianehughesinteriors@gmail.com Embossed architecture speaks for itself in this serene dining area enveloped top to bottom in a soft-buttercream white. Curvy, dark wood furnishings provide visual contrast while mimicking the fluid lines of the architectural relief. Favorite moments: • repetition of cubed vases with delicate orchid blooms • willowy candlesticks paired with vapor thin tapers • diminutive sized peephole-like landscape print

Design take away: repeat a series of small items to create one big moment

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< Large dog portrait: Dutch Touch Art

“Fetch my slippers and I promise to scratch behind your ears.”


Best Friends Boy’s Bedroom Jane Derby, J. Covington Interior Design, N. Hampton, NH jcovington.com A collected space with English influences and Hermes orange accents, this young boy’s retreat makes four-legged friends – and those who love them – feel right at home. Favorite moments: • • • •

pheasant feathers arranged in large silver trophy leopard print slipper chairs with black trimmed skirt no-fuss window treatments and floor coverings flannel bedding paired with needlepoint pillows

Design take away: surround yourself with what you love

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Summer Guests Guest bedroom fireplace Georgie McGowan, Georgie’s Home & Garden, York, ME georgieshomeandgarden.com

Favorite moments: • • • •

sandpipers, stones, and beach grass filled fireplace sunny, yellow striated walls trimmed in crisp white small sitting char recovered with Robert Allen fabric dune-colored painted wooden floors

Design take away: repurpose a non-working fireplace as a mini stage for story telling


Luxurious Repose Woodbridge library fireplace Frank Hodge, F.D. Hodge Interiors, Boston, MA fdhodgeinteriors.com Fireplace wall and bookshelves by Shore-Built Woodworking shore-built.com Sleek and smooth white cabinetry stand juxtaposed with charming antiques in this graciously appointed reading room. Favorite moments: • fragile ostrich eggs collected in an antique fire basket • brilliant blue accessories, gold accents and rich textiles • chocolate brown Venetian plaster walls

Design take away: combine modern with vintage for a high-functioning, fresh looking space with lots of character

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Final tip ...

choose artwork with the same proportions as the architecture below, accessorize with similar colors Above: Living room fireplace Anne Cowenhoven, Accent & Design, Inc. accentdesignmaine.com artwork: George Marshall Store Gallery, York, ME Opposite page: Master bedroom focal point Barbara Vaughn and Marianne Mooers, American Traditions, Inc. americantraditionsinc.com


Designers Phoebe Lovejoy and Gerald Pomeroy at Studio 534 in the Boston Design Center Studio 534 furnishings from Link Outdoor: Sand Dollar Sofa, Armless Lounge Chair, Coffee Table, and Round Side Table

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Design notes at the Boston Design Center Two talented Boston-area designers, Phoebe Lovejoy and Gerald Pomeroy, share their thoughts on how to “make it work” in the business of interior design. Photography by Michael J. Lee • Interview by Yvonne Blacker

What made you decide to be an interior designer? Phoebe: I have always had a strong emotional reaction to beautifully done spaces, objects, and textures. I cannot help but want to share these with others. I truly believe that a sophisticated, well-planned and beautiful interior can affect people. It is not always easy to put your finger on what it is about a space that may take your breath away, but you know it because you want to stick around and enjoy it a little longer. Rooms like this have a point of view; I love creating spaces for clients that represent their own point of view. Gerald: From a very early age I had a need to express myself creatively. I was always fascinated with the relationship between spaces and objects, and of course balance, proportion and scale.

How would you define your personal design aesthetic? Phoebe: Classic, clean, balanced design rooted in tradition blended with today’s current trends.

MICHAEL J. LEE

Gerald: That’s a tough one, for I feel that I’m always reassessing, reviewing and inspired by what I see on pretty much a daily basis, and as such, my design aesthetic is always, I hope, evolving. However, if I had to classify myself, I would have to say transitional with classic leanings.


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Incorporating pieces history inevitably raise given design theme.â&#x20AC;?

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with age and es the bar on any ” – GERALD POMEROY

geraldpomeroydesigngroup.com


www.lovejoydesigns.net

Tell us about a favorite project that you are currently working on ... Phoebe: I am currently designing a home for a childhood friend. We spent every summer together sailing, playing tennis and running around barefoot in a small seaside village near Gloucester, MA. I wanted to create a point of view for her that was based on colors and textures I remember from both our homes. The colors are coral, turquoise and the blues of the ocean. The textures are sea grass, grass cloth and linen mixed with big floral prints. We used these elements in modern, livable ways. Gerald: These past two years weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had a wonderful adventure designing a very contemporary space in Florida for Boston clients who purchased a second home there. The location was so inspiring â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 25 ft. glass frontage overlooking the Intercoastal and the open ocean with a 1,000 sq. ft. balcony to boot. We did a combination of vintage and modern pieces that felt so right for the area. My clients are so happy, and yet the space is so different from the classically inspired project we designed for these clients three years ago in Boston. All in all, very satisfying.

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What types of modern technological advancements / gadgets / social media platforms do you rely on to run your business? What traditional ways of doing business/ presenting to clients are still an important part of your daily routine? Phoebe: I recently purchased an iPad. I use this device to showcase presentations to clients. I download all my presentations onto iBooks now. The color and picture quality represent objects and schemes really well, which makes it a great selling tool when we are looking at items. We can zoom in on a chair leg detail for example to get a better look. I could never get as good a quality representation on a print-out from my 6-year-old inkjet. I am currently updating my website which is a huge platform for reaching out. It is a place where people can see a portfolio of work done as well as get to know me. Interior design is a relationship-based profession. Creating a family’s home is a very personal experience. I use the website as a way people can get to know Lovejoy Designs aesthetic and beliefs. I also have a blog called “Design Lab” that I update twice monthly. I use the blog to create original projects that people can try at home. I write it in hopes that people will get inspired about design and understand why it is important to our daily lives. My most vital traditional form of running the business is relying on local talent. I couldn’t design without them. From painters to the furniture makers to the Boston Design Center’s numerous showrooms, they each help in the creation of the beautiful and the functional, which makes my rooms complete. I am indebted to them, and forever thankful to have these resources that help us create our visions. Gerald: We rely on the internet; to be able to have at your finger tips unlimited resources and options has become a way of life as a tool on each of my projects. The face to face interaction with a client is always – and will always be – the most important traditional element. To hear what they say – and sometimes what they don’t say – is always the first step to my forming the design concept.

What are your thoughts on incorporating antiques or vintage objects into your designs? Phoebe: I am a huge fan. I like rooms that evoke a feeling of being collected over time. Rooms that have layers of texture and color are the best. And often times the quality of older objects is very well crafted and thoughtful. I love places like Brimfield Antique Fair or old antique markets. What may look like a large pile of junk is usually where you can find some real jewels. Gerald: This has always been a signature element of almost every project since I started my business in 1995. Incorporating pieces with age and history inevitably raises the bar on any given design theme. More recently I have been incorporating more modern or contemporary pieces with vintage or antique ones. The result is elegant, sophisticated and speaks volumes about my design approach at this time of my career.


What advice would you give to young designers looking to start out in the design business? Phoebe: Project management is a must! When I was in design school at New York School of Interior Design, Bunny Williams came to speak to our class. I remember her saying, she spent only 20% of her time creating and designing! The rest of the time was spent in project management. If you think interior design is all about matching colors and picking out beautiful furniture, you may be surprised. It is that, but also very strong in the business side of things. We owe it to our clients to create beautiful spaces that are done on time and on budget. Management of the process is fundamental in interior design.

PHOTO CREDITS THIS PAGE: YVONNE BLACKER

Studio 534 is a multi-line showroom offering a selection of traditional and contemporary product never before seen in the Boston Design Center.

Gerald: I can’t state enough how invaluable it is to work for an established designer when starting your career. The day to day activities are something that can only be learned by experiencing it.

Anything else you’d like to share? Phoebe: I am very excited to be participating on the Interior Design Committee for Young Collectors Night at the New York 58th Annual Winter Antiques Show. The antique show will run from January 20 -29, 2012 at the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side in New York City. Jacky Garretson, a textile and product designer, and I are working on a line of textiles for fashion and the home. Stay tuned to the Lovejoy Designs blog “The Design Lab” for further details on Boston Thread! Gerald: I consider myself so fortunate to be able to express myself creatively on a daily basis in this manner, in the field of interior design. Every project is different – every client is different – and as a result, it keeps me on my toes and evolving. The excitement is constant. m


New England Bookshelf Autumn is a great time to curl up indoors with a new design book. Here’s our “get cozy” list, written by some New England authors ...

GREG PREMRU PHOTOGRAPHY

New England Icons is a collection of essays that bring life to the sights that make New England unlike any other place on earth. Alongside the 23 short essays are beautiful, full-color photographs by noted architectural photographer Greg Premru. New England Icons engages readers with fascinating stories guaranteed to blow the dust off such familiar New England features as stone walls, lobster boats, sugarhouses, roof walks, saltbox houses, skating ponds, armories, and many others. Hartwell Tavern, Minute Man National Historic Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts

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If you appreciate homes with a past ... New England Icons Shaker Villages, Saltboxes, Stone Walls and Steeples Written by Bruce Irving Photography by Greg Premru With a Foreword by Norm Abram Published by The Countryman Press

If you love hunting for vintage treasures ... Killer Stuff and Tons of Money Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America Written by Maureen Stanton Published by The Penguin Press Through one dealerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s journey from the populist mayhem of flea markets to the rarefied realm of auctions, Stanton unveils the rich, often outrageous subculture of antiques and collectibles. > Author Maureen Stanton will be signing copies of her book at the Boston Antiques & Design Show & Sale on October 15 -16th. Click here for details.


If you don’t want to make decorating mistakes ... 101 Things I Hate About Your House A Premier Designer Takes You on a Room-by-Room Tour to Transform Your Home from Faux Pas to Fabulous Written by James Swan with Carol Beggy Illustrations by Stanley A. Meyer Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.

> Want to hear about the book directly from the author? Click here to listen to his online interview with The Skirted Roundtable.

If you want to learn do-it-yourself style ... Decorate 1,000 professional design ideas for every room in your home Written by Holly Becker with Joanna Copestick Photographs by Debi Treloar Decorate is a different kind of decorating book. Rather than concentrating on one trademark look or particular design aesthetic, it focuses on ideas – more than 1,000 of them – for new ways to transform your home.


Decorate is an inspiring decorating book on its own, made even more inspiring to me personally because decor8 was the very first blog I started reading daily, more than six years ago! That is what I find so meaningful about this book – the way in which as decor8 readers we can truly feel that we played a small part in bringing this book to life, if only by following along on Holly’s journey each step of the way. – Lolalina PHOTO CREDIT: YVONNE BLACKER

N E W E N G L A N D D E S I G N B L O G G E R S A R E TA L K I N G A B O U T . . .

Meeting Holly Becker, author of Decorate I had taken her blog class when I first started DomestiKated Life, so she was a big influence in my early days of blogging. And my admiration for Holly has only grown after reading this book – it is packed with gorgeous interiors and great design advice. – DomestiKated Life She was so personal and funny during her presentation and talked about how every room should have that one piece which is “wrong"”or doesn’t quite fit in. I could not agree more, it’s usually the one piece guests are drawn to in the space! – CreateGirl

As Holly took time to write a beautiful book (in just 8 months), she kept her blog going daily, she moved to another country, and has taught classes. Admittedly, she points out, she often works 100+ hours per week, but she has kept all the balls in the air and I found inspiration in that. – Studio G

Holly is super-talented, very creative and incredibly nice! Her blog is a huge inspiration for loads and loads of people. The “Decorate” book is beautiful, chock-full of ideas and absolutely inspiring. So a must-have for anyone interested in any kind of design. Even though the book is about interiors, the color palettes and textures and photography can inspire anyone! – Gorgeous and Fun Things

When I took Holly’s “Blogging Your Way” class, I learned a great deal about blogging, and also about how generous people can be. – Journey Chic

> Read Holly’s blog decor8blog.com > Click here for photos from our blogger’s luncheon with Holly

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Michael J. Lee Photography


Yes, you can D O - I T- YO U R S E L F Written by Yvonne Blacker • Photographed by Michael J. Lee

After a friend told me she had just been to an amazing house that was so perfectly decorated that it belonged in a design magazine, a light bulb went off. Another friend confirmed it, “Yes, you have to see this home! They have a wrapping paper room, a movie theatre, an indoor skating practice room, a home gym, a sauna room ...” the list went on and on. No one thought it was over the top, they simply appreciated the fact that this home had it all. When I heard “bedroom-size second floor laundry room with table devoted to folding clothes” I knew I had to see it for myself. A couple weeks later I arranged a visit. The homeowner, Suzanne Iovanna, was more than happy to give me a tour – she and her husband, Michael, had the home built based on plans they chose for themselves and their two children, Alexandra and Michael. From the very beginning, they thoughtfully determined how to use each space. It took a few years to get it finished top to bottom – there are four floors – but it was just that, completely “finished.” In fact, it looked like a stylist for a magazine had just been there to place those zhushy items that make a room look fab on film. “Did you use a decorator?” I inquired. “No, I chose everything myself.” I was impressed. And I knew I had to come back with a professional photographer.

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I looked through magazines, first, to g found the ones I was going to use, th Corners. I love colors and patterns, so

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get ideas about window treatments, hen had them custom-made at Calico o it was easy for me to pick out materials.


The kids lo own

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ove the play room because it gives them their n space to be with their friends and hang out.

Michael J. Lee Photography


The g Japa moth


guest room was designed in a anese motif in honor of my late her-in-law who loved to travel.

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The thought has crossed my mind about becoming a designer. I have helped many of my friends finish their homes.


Get magazine-ready checklist: stylist tips to try in your home M plenty of accent pillows M clear acrylic or lucite pieces M ceramic garden stools M animal prints (in moderation) M fresh flowers and organic objects M texture, symmetr y, pops of color M stage the room for use

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People are amazed when they see the wrapping room, and always say they want to put one in their own home.


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The pool house is great for entertaining in the summer.


I think all people have the ability to decorate, but some get overwhelmed. They need to take one room at a time. –

S U Z A N N E

I O V A N N A

Favorite sources: Children’s portraits in pool house: Mirasolo Photography, Wakefield, MA Window treatments and fabric: Calico Corners, Beverly, MA Flower arrangements: Gregory’s, Wakefield, MA Furnishings and accessories: Redbird Trading Company and Wishbasket, Newburyport, MA Magazines: Traditional Home, Veranda

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BECAUSE I T AL L GOES BY SO FAS T.


A L E X A N D E R M C Q U E E N : S AVA G E B E A U T Y MET retrospective presented the essence of opposites.


I popped into Zabar’s on Manhattan’s Upper West Side to grab some delectable dinner-to-go for my train ride home to Boston. While checking out, a woman noticed my MET shopping bag and asked “How was the museum?” “Fabulous,” I replied, as I rifled through my purse.“Let me guess ...” she sighed,“Alexander McQueen.”

Text by Pamela N. Simoneau Photography provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Everyone is buzzing about Alexander McQueen; thanks to the extraordinary show “Savage Beauty” that was on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York this past summer. A record-breaking 660,000 people visited the late artist’s retrospective, sponsored by the MET’s Costume Institute, making it the museum’s most visited fashion exhibition to date. finery 69


What is it that drew people to the McQueen spectacle? Conceivably it was his unconventional and provocative assertion that opposites not only attract, they coexist.“There is beauty in the grotesque,” McQueen believed. His unique collections delivered eye-catching, often politically-loaded, ensembles. Born Lee Alexander McQueen, most friends described him as a shy, sensitive, self-conscious man.“I never aspired to mass production,” stated McQueen at one time, regarding his unusual fashions. Yet today, masses of people continue to admire his craftsmanship and creativity. After leaving his London area school at age 16, McQueen took an apprenticeship with Saville Row tailors where he became known for his finery 70


precision tailoring. Later in his career, he served as chief designer for Givenchy from 1996 to 2001. There he mastered the softer art of draping. This combination of skills served him well in his collections that linked fashion with politics, religion, emotions and even death. As a designer, McQueen was an artist whose canvas was the female form. During his short career, people accused McQueen of disliking women. On the contrary. McQueen wanted women to look and feel powerful. For McQueen, the very pairing of opposites underscored inherent power. This power is visible in the rawness of the natural world laid bare against the polish of man-made materials. To demonstrate, the artist used elemental materials like horse hair, human hair, feathers or wood alongside satin, beads, glass or paint. Behold the blood red gown with a bodice of medical slides descending into a bell-shaped skirt of ostrich feathers.


Power is no more evident than in the battle between life and death. McQueen created an extraordinary gown of natural and silk flowers. The model stood shrouded – shoulder to toe – in mauve roses and hydrangea, accented by pale peonies and greens. But it was not the sheer beauty of nature’s best work that intrigued the artist. It was the idea that this gown of living blooms would eventually wither and die. Similarly, the age-old juxtaposition of good vs. evil reduces to a power struggle. McQueen dedicated an entire line of clothing to the “Highland Rape,” a political statement about the mistreatment of his Scottish ancestors by the British. This was the first of his collections to feature torn lace which would become one of his signature effects. McQueen’s runway shows featured performance art, with a message. At the conclusion of one such show, the audience witnessed the collapse of the walls of a giant box to reveal a heavy set, nude female lounging on a chaise, with butterflies dotting her skin or hovering around her. She sat frozen in a haunting light, exposing what many would consider an uncommon sentiment for fashion designers: that beauty comes from within. One of the most mesmerizing images from the Costume Institute’s collection was the presentation of a hologram, which was used to conclude McQueen’s 1996 show. In it, McQueen’s friend Kate Moss evolved from a tiny white amoeba in a sea of blackness into a life size, otherworldly yet divinely feminine creature wrapped in a flowing gown of gauzy white. At the time, McQueen considered many major designers hypocritical as they were dropping the model due to a cocaine scandal plastered throughout the tabloids. Much of McQueen’s work is described as romantic, yet qualified by another word such as haunting, melancholic or dark. McQueen committed suicide in February of 2010, shortly after his mother passed away. While always tragic, suicide seems to haunt artists of provocative and influential art. Van Gogh comes to mind. It may be painfully isolating to see the world as no one else does. Following the staggering success of the Costume Institute’s widely publicized show at the MET, the McQueen camp is considering bringing the artist’s posthumous show to London. If you missed the collection in New York this past summer, look for news of its resurrection: London 2013. n

McQueen Savage Beauty (2011) Metropolitan Museum, New York > www.met.org

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342 Great Road Route 2A Acton, MA 01720 978.263.0100

301 Newbury Street Route 1N Danvers, MA 01923 866.784.7178

www.FirstRugs.com


Photography by Linda

Imagine, droves of fashionfrenzied women all coming together to exchange clothes and accessories! That was the scene at last year’s Swap Soirée, which has become the talk of the Merrimack Valley. Swap Soirée founders Wardrobe Stylist Susan Kanoff and Event Planner Monique Johnson were thrilled at the event’s success and plan to hold another swap this November 3, 2011 at Chester’s at Belltower Square, 60 Island Street, Lawrence, MA.

The Swap Soirée G I R L’ S N I G H T O U T F O R A C A U S E

Event organizers Monique Johnson and Susan Kanoff at last year’s swap.

“Loved it!! I was shocked at all the designer names that were there as well as new pieces with the tags hanging! I absolutely can’t wait to do it again!” – Kathy Spencer, Boxford, MA

“I got some of my favorite tops at the Swap Soirée, the selection was fantastic!” – Heather Rogers, North Andover, MA

Eco-friendly, charitable and fun, the Swap is the perfect event for the times. Kanoff and Johnson started The Swap Soirée to bring women together for a night of swapping, socializing and fundraising.“As a wardrobe stylist, I encourage my clients to get rid of the pieces that they’re no longer wearing, so I thought that a large-scale swap would be an economical and fun way to move out the old clothes and bring in new! After all, one woman’s discard is another woman’s treasure!” says Kanoff. “Creating unique events is a specialty of mine, so my goal is to make The Swap Soirée the ‘it’ clothing event where women are having fun, finding great pieces to enhance their wardrobe while building support for other women,” says Johnson. Organizers Kanoff and Johnson knew that they wanted to tie the event in with a local charity that focuses on empowering women, thus the YWCA of Greater Lawrence seemed like a natural fit. Last year’s Swap raised over $1,000 for the organization and this year’s goal is to increase that number. Susan McNeff, YWCA Director of Development


> Click here to order your tickets to this year’s Swap Soirée

is delighted that the YWCA will again benefit from the event.“It’s really gratifying to hear the enthusiasm and excitement shared by Susan and Monique to help women served by the YW through their Swap Soirée. Once they learned about how many services are offered by the YW to help community women – in particular for battered women and their children – they seem even more committed to the success of their event. Kanoff and Johnson were both honored by the YWCA last May and received the agency’s prestigious Tribute to Women Award for their efforts.

Unswapped clothing will be donated to Second Chances in Somerville, MA

For more information please contact Susan Kanoff (978) 807-0577 or Monique Johnson ( 978 ) 771-1061 The mission of the YWCA of Lawrence: www.ywcalawrence.org

This year’s Swap Soirée is expected to draw well over 200 women from the Merrimack Valley and beyond. Last year, women came from as far away as Maine and western Massachusetts for the event. If you’d like to attend The Swap Soirée, tickets can be purchased online at http://swapsoiree.eventbrite.com for $30.00. Swap details are also listed on the site. m

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“Today’s buyers are demanding given the state of the real estate market. One needs to use every resource available.” – Sandra Biondo, professional home stager

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Setting the Stage for Resale Text and photos: Sandra M. Biondo

Why is it important to “stage” a property before you sell it? This question gives rise to many answers but the number one reason is that your home will sell much faster if you do. Statistics have shown this to be true over and over. What is “staging a property for sale?” Simply put it is enhancing the physical look of the home. Taking the best from the existing space and making each room appealing to a larger audience. Currently my focus is on helping homeowners understand the importance of staging their homes prior to putting the home on the market. I believe it is vital to stage before the realtor lists the home and before the pictures of the home are shown on the Internet. Today’s buyers are demanding given the state of the real estate market. One needs to use every resource available. The following is a list of some important things that need to be done if a homeowner wants to reap the maximum profit from the sale of the home. Most important is to “depersonalize” the home. This is perhaps the most difficult part for homeowners. Stagers ask owners to take many of their personal items out of the home. This is often painful for the owner. Owners need to understand that although their items are reflective of the lives they live it is often distracting for a potential buyer to see how “their” lifestyle would fit into the home. So making the home more generic will often draw a more varied group of buyers.


Staging tips ... 1. It is often necessary to paint the rooms of the home with a soft neutral color. This will expand the space and make the rooms more appealing. 2. Minimize clutter. This is also very important. A good floor plan is essential and attractive. 3. A good cleaning either by the owners or by a professional cleaning service is well worth the effort. 4. Often the stager will be able to use some of the owners furnishings if they are in good condition. However many stagers have their own inventory and will bring in newer furnishings for a fresher look. 5. Accessories such as artwork, floral arrangements, area rugs, linens, decorative pillows, etc. are used to create a finished look. 6. Pricing out a staging job covers a wide spectrum depending on what the needs are of the homeowner and their budget. 7. Find a stager who has experience and is professional. Ask to see their portfolio and ask for references. 8. Keep in mind that the initial investment an owner makes in having their property staged properly will almost always be the one factor that truly â&#x20AC;&#x153;closes the deal.â&#x20AC;?


Sandra M. Biondo Accredited Staging Professional Sandra Biondo Interiors sbiondo@comcast.net 978.304.0852 In the interior design industry for over 22 years, Sandra has worked on many projects including residential homes and commercial properties. She has completed work on five show houses for the Old York Historical Society in York, Maine along with chairing â&#x20AC;&#x153;Reflecting on Danvers History Through Interior Designâ&#x20AC;? for the Danvers Historical Society at Tapley Hall in Danvers, Massachusetts in 2010.

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The Dog Listener Dogs have always been a passion of mine. I have always been the one others call upon to watch their dog when they are out of town, and I natually find myself taking walks with friends and family dogs for the fun of it. I adopted a dog from the pound some years ago and he was deaf and had quite a strong nature about him. I learned to sign and to communicate with him without using words.

Photography: Corinna Spinale Text: Yvonne Blacker

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; KATHY CORNEAU, BALANCED AND BEHAVED DOG TRAINING

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Kathy Corneau, owner of Balanced and Behaved Dog Training located on the North Shore in Massachusetts, is one of a handful of qualified Dog Listeners in the United States. Using positive reinforcement techniques based on significant instruction from both Jan Fennell, the original Dog Listener of the UK, and Abe Mashall a K-9 Marine/Master Trainer, Kathy has learned how to train owners to correct a dog’s behavior by understanding the pack mentality and a dog’s need for leadership. By transferring “Alpha status” from dog to owner, a pet can actually relax knowing that their owner will take care of their needs. “Do you ever feel like your dog is the one in control? Does your dog charge through doorways, pull on walks, protect his toys or food, sleep in your bed, potty in the house and/or bark, bite, or growl excessively? Balanced and Behaved focuses on how to change a household from being dog-dominant to human-dominant.” By creating trusting relationships that fulfill a dog’s physical, emotional and psychological needs, Kathy is able to establish a stress-free environment that eliminates inappropriate behavior and socialization problems and brings out the best in any breed. “This is not a quick fix method it is a way of life.” 1-2-1 consultation sessions include a discussion of the owner’s observations and concerns paired with an introduction to Amichien® Bonding, or looking through a dog’s eyes instead of your own. Kathy guarantees that with an increased understanding of why dogs behave the way they do, owners can establish new patterns of communication that rely on respect and recognition, thus creating a happy – and well-behaved – dog in a home that provides its pet with comfort, safety and joy. www.balancedandbehaved.com

“A well trained and properly socialized dog can be a great fortune in someone’s life or family. When a dog is trained and socialized correctly it can positively change the whole atmosphere of a family or home.” – Abe Mashal, K-9 Marine/Master Trainer

“By seeing that almost all problems arise from a misunderstanding, once we appreciate that the dog is looking for a leader who cares for them, is kind to them and will step up to the role of leader when they experience concern or fear, we are able to bring magic to this relationship.” – Jan Fennell, The Dog Listener of the UK

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Photography By Corinna

© 2011

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In our next issue ... • Patterns with punch • Holiday decorating • Gift guide and more! Thank you to our contributors and sponsors for being a part of New England Finery, Issue Four!


New England Finery Autumn 2011