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Decor * Events * Travel * Trends * Ideas

Fall 2010

::Surroundings:: zine : : E : : mag for ving i L ative r o Dec

Faucets & Sinks

Hot designs for cool spaces

Celebrity Baby Nurseries

6 Stylish Wallpaper Ideas Spotlight:

::Surroundings:: Magazine for Decorative Living | ŠLinda Merrill | 781-585-0275 |

Suzanne Tucker Home

Issue #2



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Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, New York



Chateau de Chenonceau - France

Photo Album The Funnies Because who said decorating couldn’t be funny?

The Mother Superior instructs two nuns to paint a new room in the convent. "And don't get a drop of paint on your habits," she sternly admonishes. The two nuns decide that the only way they will keep their habits clean is to take them off, paint the room, then put them back on. So they strip, and begin painting.

The Italian Garden at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s estate, Berkshires, MA

Suddenly there is a knock at the door. "Who is it?" asks one of the nuns. "Blind man," comes the reply. The nuns look at each other and shrug. "No harm letting him in," one says, and opens the door. Capturing the last taste of summer

Antique mirrored sconce

"Hello, Sisters! So, where do you want these blinds?"



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September 2010 IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! And here we are again - kids back to school, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. I was so thrilled with the positive feedback from the premier issue (read here if you haven’t seen it) of my new mag::E::zine that I couldn’t wait to tackle the next issue. I plan on releasing these publications every other month to be sure that each one is filled with great information, my design project updates and product recommendations. In this issue, I’ve included three articles I wrote for, a home improvement community website where I am a regular contributing writer; a design project update and a spotlight on interior designer Suzanne Tucker who has just released a book, “Rooms to Remember”, and launched a new fabric line. I plan to continue to bring you a wide variety of design and decorating features and am always open to suggestions for new content or project ideas. So please keep in touch and feel free to forward the link to anyone you know who might like to join my list!


Photo Album

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Hot Designs for Cool Spaces

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Celebrity Baby Nurseries

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Project Update: A Little Girl’s Fantasy

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Just for fun

Faucets & Sinks:

Six Stylish Wallpaper Ideas It’s not just for walls anymore!

On My Drawing Board: Surroundings. Finds. Style. Spotlight: Suzanne Tucker Home

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Credits and Contacts Who, What, Where & When

ON THE COVER Edith Wharton’s Second floor Gallery at “The Mount” Lenox, MA Photo by: Linda Merrill




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Faucets & Sinks: Hot designs for cool spaces

Kitchen and bath designer Susan Serra, CKD, Susan Serra Associates, Inc., recently attended a multi-day seminar at Brizo , a high-end faucet manufacturer. Not only was she introduced to a fantastic new collection of products, but the designers behind the products were also on hand to discuss their design inspirations. Says Susan “They talked about travel through Europe and other locations to observe just plain old design that was unrelated to faucetry. They studied the color, shape and form of ironwork, architecture and more. They talked about the challenges of going from design sketch to presentation to the engineers charged with implementing the designs. Sometimes, the designs flowed into plan seamlessly and at other times, they were told they were Floriano faucet by Brizo completely nuts!” I asked Susan which faucet was her favorite and she selected the Floriano which is, in fact, my own favorite as well. I asked Judd Lord, Director of Industrial Design for Brizo where the inspiration for this fabulous bathroom faucet came from and he shared that the Floriano was inspired by a dying flower in a vase. While walking the 2002 Highpoint furniture show, Lord noticed all “these cool vases and flowers in them” used to bring life to the furniture displays. After a couple of days, of course, the flowers began to wilt and it’s that wilting shape that went into his sketchbook. Said Lord "You're in there looking at the furniture but it really hits you that the flowers and the organic shapes in them

were really setting off the room. Modern shapes paired with biomorphic forms and shapes really set the room off." Lord had observed that in most kitchens the eye moves along linear paths, drawn horizontally by cabinets and counters, vertically by the lines in the refrigerator, everything flat. “What made a lot of those rooms pop would be the beautiful bowl of fruit on the counter, or this wonderful vase on the counter. It was those types of things you noticed were really making the room. They weren't the immediate stars." Keeping in mind that Brizo sees itself as fashion for the home, Floriano became like an accessory piece to complement an outfit. "It truly was that bracelet or that cool pair of shoes that really set off the ensemble." Functionality was never far from the design, either. "We spent a lot of time working on the head of that wand. Didn't change too terribly much from the original sketch. We worked that wand so that it felt really good in your hand." On the other end of design spectrum is Brizo’s Loki faucet. Winner of the Adex Platinum award for design, the Loki’s stunningly simple form is sure to wow fans of Scandinavian design and minimalism. It’s amazing that the Floriano and the Loki come from the same design house. Loki faucet by Brizo

Join me

I’ve been looking at some of the hottest new sink and faucet designs and there has been a bounty of new designs coming from all corners of the globe this year. From traditional styles to sleek contemporary looks and everything in between, there are some pretty fantastic designers putting out gorgeous sculptural products that are as much art as they are fixture.






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Germany’s Blanco manufaturer of high end sinks and faucets released the Ronis kitchen sink in 2010. The Ronis’ round shape and accessories makes it a cook’s dream. This awardwinning sink includes an accessory tray that floats in the inside rim of the sink, a glass cutting board and two round Ronis sink by Blanco stainless steel bowls. Blanco’s innovative MicroEdge technology gives the sink a flushmount look with without the price. This sink has won the international iF award for design. “The RONIS is the ultimate party companion,” states Blanco’s Tim Maicher. “This is a sink without limits. A real entertaining sink for real people. It has so much more depth and functionality than your average bar sink offers. In a small apartment – it could actually be the kitchen sink for people who have a passion for entertaining. It’s large enough to accommodate everyday use, and the integrated cutting board and bowl bridge saves precious counter space when prepping for a party or just for dinner.”

comes in either polished chrome or stainless steel.

Also from Blanco is L e vo s p u l l - o u t faucet from their group of Steelart© artisans. This faucet features both soft curves and hard lines, which makes it a great choice for any modern or transitional space. The stainless steel body construction

Axor Bouroullec Collection for Hansgrohe

Levos faucet by Blanco

Brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec of France were inspired to create a unique design for their Axor Bouroullec collection of bathroom fixtures for Axor, the designer brand of Hansgrohe International. Their view is that the customer should be free to mix and match the various elementsfaucets, sinks and accessories-into any configuration they wish. Allowing the customer to play a partnership role in creativity and function is a unique notion, one not often seen in the bathroom category. Say the Bouroullec brothers “Our project was to create solutions for a large variety of situations, spaces and habitats. The result is a comprehensive collection of 85 items including different sorts of basins, mixers and solutions for the bathtub and the shower areas that can be arranged freely according to one’s needs.”

Designers like Judd Lord and the Bouroullec brothers take inspiration from many sources, both natural and man made. This holistic approach to design-the marriage of form and function-turns the everyday into fine art.

Text reprinted with permission from



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Celebrity Baby Nurseries Celebrities have long been admired, reviled, copied and always talked about. They are the stock-in-trade of tabloids, magazines and the fashion pages. It’s no wonder that designers and product manufacturers alike curry the favor of a celebrity client or two. What better way to gain publicity than to have an admired, or at least notorious, celebrity wearing or using their product? And, the more intimate, or

Art for Kids

human, the view into a celebrity’s life, the better. There is little more human a time than when a celeb has a baby and welcomes fans and the media into their lives at this happiest of times. Regardless of who the celebrity is it’s truly a life moment that is shared with every other parent on the planet. And just like the rest of us, celebrities want to welcome their new arrivals into a beautiful baby nursery. Of course, the baby itself will never remember the room or its decor, it’s really a space for the parents. But that’s okay. Gail Sedigh, founder and owner of Art for Kids (AFK) produces a line of exquisite furnishings and accessories for babies and children. Celebrity owners of AFK furnishings include Jennifer Lopez, Kimora Lee Simons, Monique Lhullier and Melania Trump among many others. When actress/singer Jennifer Lopez and her husband singer Marc Anthony welcomed their twins, Max and Emme, to their family in 2008, their multiple nurseries featured Art for Kids furnishings. Says Gail Art for Kids

“Jennifer Lopez did one of her nurseries in all AFK and used our casegoods pieces in her New York nursery which received a lot of press and was featured in People Magazine. A lot of people come in and say ‘Oh, didn’t Jennifer Lopez use this?’ It was all very classic and elegant”. Young celebrity mothers often tend towards a more modern aesthetic as typified by Gwyneth Paltrow’s nurseries for her kids which were done with a decidedly modern touch including David Netto cribs. Husband and wife celebrity interior designers Courtney and David Novogratz of Sixx Design not only have a thriving design practice and a recent hit show on Bravo TV, they are also the parents of seven children. Clearly, they know their way around a nursery. Their eclectic designs for both their own children and client projects regularly feature bold colors, modern art and contemporary furnishings such as cribs from eco-friendly Oeuf in New York. The standard pink and blue bunnies and bears of many a typical baby nursery aren’t the only choices out there. Sixx Design

Where baby nurseries are really more for the parents, doesn’t it

make sense that the design style should “of a piece” with the rest of the home? Design author and Today Show correspondent Susanna Salk remarked on kid’s room design “I can make it sophisticated and from “Room for Children” Susannah Salk fabulous, just how I’d want my own room to look”. Susannah’s recent book “Room for Children” is filled with beautiful spaces that span the gamut from classic elegance to slick modern, and everything in-between. As Salk says “Take a risk and do something new. It’s a child’s room; you get to have fun with it. It should be liberating”.


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Design-wise, there is always a question of whether one should stick with a traditional look or go with a modern design and which will stand up to the test of time. Of course, baby nurseries are by their very nature transitional spaces, however, they can be the basis for all stages of the child’s life Lauren Liess Interiors and one needn’t link choose one style over the other. “One thing I’m going to be doing” says Gail Sedigh “which I think will be very well received is taking my classic furniture and showing it in a more modern setting. I think it’s just good design in general-classic with a little bit of a modern twist”. Celebrity parents often have multiple homes to furnish and while this is hardly a burden, it can provide some interesting design issues. For example, does it make sense to create identical rooms for the babies in each home, so as to create a comforting sense of continuity? Or, do the different homes provide canvases for differing design expression and opportunity for the baby to develop a flexible nature. I asked Gail Sedigh if she knew what different celebrities did in these cases. Jennifer Lopez and family have homes in New York and California and did not create identical nurseries, although the design style is similar and there were many Art for Kids pieces used in both. Similarly, Melania Trump used AFK’s “Madison” crib in more than one home for her baby. On the other hand, Christina Onassis famously did created identical baby nurseries in all of her homes for her daughter Athina. Reading list

Room for Children by Susannah Salk

Downtown Chic by Sixx Design




Even movie set decoration can rise to the level of celebrity status. The 1995 movie “Father of the Bride 2” featured a baby nursery Nursery from “Father of the that has surely Bride 2” influenced many a parent and designer. Set decorator Ric McElvin created a fantasy space replete with the perfectly outfitted crib, rocking horse and tea set. Even Gail Sedigh admits that this nursery possibly had a strong sub-conscious influence on her Twins Playroom collection on her website. As Susanna Salk says “It’s a child’s room, you get to have fun with it”.

Art for Kids

Text reprinted with permission from

::Surroundings:: welcomes Donna Elle Seaside Living as a new blog sponsor! Donna, an interior designer based on Nantucket, was inspired to create a collection of beautiful textiles, pillows rugs and more based on her “surroundings”.




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Six Stylish Wallpaper ideas: Not just for walls anymore! There are so many great wallpapers out on the market these days that are bold and graphic, or soft and romantic. Basically, there is something for everyone. And these days, wallpapers aren’t just for walls. Let’s check out some great wallpaper ideas from around the web: 1) This all white space is given a great focal point with a fantastic graphic wallpaper on the desk wall. This is a guest room with office space and the wallpaper creates a separate “zone” from the rest of the room.

4) Here is another great use of small pieces of vintage or new wallpaper. A flea market display case is given new life with a multi-colored and patterned background. An easy DIY project! photo credit: Toodeloo

5) Dress up your dresser or desk drawers with sheets of a great wallpaper. No paste needed!

photo credit: Ivy Style33

2) Here is a fantastic mix of different wallpapers on the wall and the drawers of the small bureau. This is a great example of how you can use small pieces of different papers to dress up and old piece of furniture. And, it’s easier and cleaner than painting! photo credit: Smilerynker

3) This beautiful and whimsical wallpaper serves as a fantastic background to a modern stainless steel bed and side table. The whimsy of the pattern and the blue/ green color soften the hard lines of the graphic bed frame.

photo credit: Knack Studeios

6) Wallpapers aren’t just for the backs of cabinets or insides of drawers either! Battered old bureaus will be chic works of art with just a little planning a roll of your favorite wallpaper.

photo credit:Varnish Design

Wallpaper is super hot right now, but it can be very expensive, not to mention nerve wracking when it comes to covering an entire room! But covering smaller areas-from lampshades to accent walls-will bring in a fantastic graphic element to your space that is both modern and fresh.

photo credit: Miss Phirefly

Text reprinted with permission from Networx



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ON MY DRAWING BOARD Phillipe Victoria

Starck’s Ghost



is being considered

The client:

A young girl

The challenge: Give her a fantasy bedroom that will enchant her now and in the future.

The design: Custom end panels to be fitted in Ikea’s




has been purchased.

the open ends of the bed for comfort and safety. End panels are removable. Draping along the canopy posts and sheer netting will be added to the canopy which can be tied back or untied for a room within a room feel.

The decision: The project is moving along, we’ve decided to use a teal blue fabric for the bed end inserts which will add a nice balance to the bright pink coverlet and drapery.

Visit Linda’s website for information about services and completed projects.



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Tendercrop Farm - Newbury, MA



Jewett Farms Custom Cabinetmakers Newburyport, MA

Surroundings. Finds. Style. ::Spotli


Interior designer Suzanne Tucker launched her first fabric line this past spring. The line is a classic collection of silk sheers, lush brocades and rich damasks. There are 22 patterns in a range of colorways. Here are four of my favorite patterns - pretty on the screen, but beautiful in hand!

Visit Suzanne Tucker Home online

Rooms to Remember: The Classic Interiors of Suzanne Tucker

Suzanne Tucker, President and Principal designer of Tucker & Marks, Inc. based in San Francisco, believes that “good design is not about trends or rules but about creating enduring beauty that enhances one’s daily life. It’s all about balance - color and light, proportion and scale, new and old, and always sustainability to the person and place.”

Pattern: Kiku Colorway: Jade Content: Linen

Pattern: Chloe Colorway: Cloud Content: Silk/Linen/Rayon

Pattern: Pagoda Colorway: Coral Content: Silk

Pattern: Grenade Colorway: Godiva Content: Silk


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:: Portfolio :: Design Services :: Virtual Decorating :: Press :: Bio

:: Jr. League of Boston on Decorating “Secret Splurges” :: Boston Society of Architects RDC show on Social Networking

mag::E::zine Premier Issue - Click here


BLOGS :: Surroundings:: :: Silverscreen Surroundings:: :: Master of your Domain :: The Skirted Roundtable - podcast

:: Perspective - digital magazine :: :: Divine Caroline

CREDITS PRESS :: ShelterPop :: The Boston Globe Style :: The Boston Globe Magazine :: Alluminaire :: The Decorating Diva

:: Newsletter written by Linda Merrill :: All photography, except where noted, by Linda Merrill

CONTACT Linda Merrill Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings PO Box 1206 Duxbury, MA 02331 781-585-0275

Photo by Michael J. Lee ::Surroundings:: Magazine for Decorative Living | ©Linda Merrill | 781-585-0275 |

Š2010 Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings

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