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July/August 2011


Decor * Events * Travel * Trends * Ideas

Issue #7


Guide to Decorative Living


Behind the Cover

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“Life's short. Live Gorgeously.”

BG Galleries is a lively, 6500 square foot showroom located at the Hingham, MA Shipyard, featuring a curated collection of fine 20th century design with an emphasis on mid-century modern Italian, French and American designed furniture and lighting from the 1940s, 1950s 1960s and 1970s. The "BG" in BG Galleries stands for Beyond Gorgeosity. Gorgeosity, as defined by owner Peter Levis, is the state of being gorgeous. Being Beyond makes it superlatively so. BG Galleries caters to interior designers, decorators, architects and their clients, as well as collectors and design enthusiasts. Filmmakers, production companies, photographers and advertising agencies regularly look to BG Galleries for that perfect near one-of-a-kind piece. For more traditional tastes, BG Galleries always has an assortment of beautiful 18th and 19th century items as well.

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Photographer Michael J. Lee shoots the scene while Bonsai, Peter Levis’ pride and joy, keeps tabs on the goings-on.

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"Four Aces" Nesting Tables attributed to Mathieu Mategot France Early 1950s Four nesting tables "Carré d'as" ("Aces Square") representing the four aces - Club, Spade, Heart and Diamond - in the deck of playing cards.

Spinnaker Lounge Chair & Ottoman Norway Contemporary The Spinnaker chair is a modern and luxurious chair created in collaboration with Hødnebø, Norwegian furniture manufacturing company and Norwegian designers Linda Steen and Lena Axelsson. The spring-loaded chair allows you to settle into the most comfortable angle possible. With its sail-like shape, the Spinnaker chair simulates the feeling of floating on a cloud and conveniently supports the arch of your reclined back, with three levels of lockable tilt possible. And you can customize it to fit your decor by choosing colors for the leather cushions and canvas backing — we will even use your old sails for added saltiness.You can also include your initials or a design, such as a compass symbol "and the sail number on your favorite sailing yacht.” Hødnebø has been creating furniture since 1904, including the new Spinnaker chair. The Spinnaker chair is a unique and modern chair that can fit into any style of home décor. Designed with its luxurious fabric, and specific sail design.

COVER SHOT: photography by: MICHAEL J. LEE • styling by: LINDA MERRILL • showroom: BG Galleries 2

::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living

July/August 2011

Greetings! I’m afraid this issue of ::Surroundings:: is a little late this month as I’ve been happily up to my ears with design work! There seems to be a positive upswing in the design industry here in New England and I hope that it is the same across the country. Across the region, my industry peers are walking with a swing in their step we haven’t seen in a while. Of course, it’s summer and we’re also spending time outdoors and taking advantage of all the season has to offer. Whether you’re stealing a few moments on a hot day [see our cover] or planning a more formal fresh air retreat, you’ll be sure to find inspiration among our pages.

IN THIS ISSUE Behind the Cover Photo shoot with BG Galleries

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Outdoor dining tables designers love

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En Plein Air

9 Ways To Get Your Outdoors On

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The Skirted Roundtable on outdoor living

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Product roundup

Guide: Caring for Rattan Ten tips for outdoor furniture

I hope you are enjoying your summer. I thought I’d leave you with a few quotes from writers who have captured the feeling of the season better than I ever could!


Summer Reading List Editor’s share their summer reads

A summer beach house gets a makeover

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ke a ht is lilace Stevens g i n r e l

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Credits and Contacts Who, What, Where & When

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::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living

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On My Drawing Table

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Design Podcasts





En Plein Aire Summertime, and the living is easy! Even when not on vacation, we always feel a little freer in the summer to relax over long meals outdoors. If you’re in the market for an outdoor dining table set, there is likely one that matches your style and budget. Julieanne Covino, owner of Jace Interiors in Leslie Fine, President of Massachusetts based Leslie Massachusetts, is particularly fond of the Galante from Fine Interiors, Inc. is charmed by the whimsy of Janus et Ballard Designs Cie’s Agatha Children’s Heart Dining Table. The as “it exudes kid’s table isn’t just for Thanksgiving anymore! tropical relaxation all in one outdoor dining set! It is unique and chic while being weather resistant! BIG Galante 7-Piece dining table & chairs Ballard Designs score!”

“Agatha” Child Dining Table - Janus et CIe

I am a big lover of old-world style and the following sets have really caught my eye: Restoration Hardware Hampshire Collection features a romantic, weathered looking all-weather wicker over

Cape Cod Outdoor Collection - Restoration Hardware

For the local New England feel most clients with Cape houses tend toward the classic blue and white. The Cape Cod Collection from Restoration Hardware easily fits the relaxed style.

Hampshire Collection - Restoration Hardware

rust-proof aluminum framing. Can’t you just imagine spending long evenings over dinner, watching fireflies?


::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living

For a budget option, the Cassetta Collection at Target features an aged looking wicker chair that has old world appeal and style.

If your style is modern and you love a rich quality wood, the Rise Rise Dining Table & Chairs - Edwin Blue Dining Table and chairs from Edwin Blue will certainly be to your liking. These tables come in seating for 2-8 people which make them the perfect fit for any space.

Casetta Collection - Target

For a modern twist on classic wicker, Janus et Cie’s Amaya Dining table paired with their Dimple chair is sculptural as well as functional. These pieces would work as well indoors as they do outdoors, offering great flexibility.

The Applaro Collection at Ikea features classic wooden slat furniture at a very economical price. Made from solid acacia wood, the furniture is very durable for outdoor use.

Amaya Dining Table - Janus et Cie

Surry Bistro Dining Set from Pottery Barn packs a stylish punch in a small package. Perfectly sized for a small patio or city balcony, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you dine al fresco.

Surry Bistro Dining set - Pottery Barn

This article was written by Linda Merrill for and is reprinted with permission.

::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living


9 Ways to Get Your Outdoors On

Flamenco Umbrella by Santa Barbara Designs

Ball of Fire fire pit from Landmann Abigail Oyster outdoor fabric by Nomi.

Gracie Modern Arbor by TerraTrellis

Surf canopy by Royal Botania Cracked Ice Garden chair by McGuire

Outdoor Swingasan chair from Pier 1 Imports


Bella Dura Outdoor Fabric Collection from B. Berger

::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living

Barbara Barry’s new outdoor collection: Bowmont for McGuire

Guide: Caring for rattan Cane and rattan have • Use the brush attachment on a vacuum on woven long been popular panels and furniture crevices. A dry brush with a materials in furniture medium bristle can also be used. making. In the United States, rattan and • To avoid splitting the fibers, don’t drag furniture cane furniture became around. popular during the 19th century as a • Natural fibers can fade in strong sunlight. This is a Domino by Joe Ruggiero for Woodard lighter and less natural process and not necessarily bad. However, if expensive option to the heavy furnishings being possible, rotate furniture throughout the space on a produced. It is regularly used indoors and outdoors. regular basis so as to evenly distribute the fading. Native to Indonesia and its environs, rattan is a vineYou might also consider installing blinds or awnings like plant that lives among other plants and can grow to reduce extreme sun exposure. to extreme lengths. The outer shell of the vine • Keep furniture away from may be removed to be areas of extreme heat as this woven into rattan can warp or overly dry out the furniture and is durable furniture. Natural plant fibers and flexible. The inner require a certain level of core, or cane, is denser humidity so as not to dry out which makes it suitable and split. If you’re in a for chair seats and other particularly dry area, add weight baring moisture to the air with a furnishings. These humidifier. natural materials are very durable and will last • If splitting has occurred due Image courtesy of Walter’s Wickers for years with a very basic to excessive dryness, the best level of care. thing to do is to make sure no further damage occurs by treating the rattan or cane with tung or boiled linseed oil and raising the humidity level of the • Dust the furniture regularly with a soft cloth. Furniture polish is not necessary, but can be used space. sparingly. Never use paint thinners or abrasive creams to clean wicker or cane. • Cane seats are very strong and yet flexible enough to provide a comfortable “sit”, but they can sag over time. Most cane seats are made to be used with a • A damp cloth with a mild furniture cleaner may be used, but take care not to soak the furniture. If it cushion that not only makes the seating more does become over saturated, dry outdoors in the comfortable, but also serves to spread the sitter’s weigh sunlight, if possible. The natural plant material will more evenly across the surface. generally return to its original shape, so take care not to bend it while wet. • If mildew or mold begins to form use a strong bleach in soapy water to clean the affected areas. The furniture must then be immediately dried out of doors.

This article was written by Linda Merrill for Networx. com and is reprinted with permission.

::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living

Image courtesy of Walter’s Wickers


Talking Outdoor Living

Joe Ruggiero talks about his fabulous line of outdoor fabrics and furniture collection.

Design podcasts

Photo credit: Carla Coulson

In 2009, I partnered up with Megan Arquette of the blog Beach Bungalow 8 and Joni Webb of Cote de Texas and created a “radio” podcast chat series that we called “The Skirted Roundtable” (with a little nod towards The Algonquin Roundtable). We fashioned ourselves after “The View” (only nicer) with conversation about design and blogging. Sometimes it’s just the three of us; at other times, we invite other interesting people to join us. Since we began, we’ve been lucky to have hosted some of the biggest names in the design field today. These episodes have become something akin to a “masterclass” in interior design.



Join me

You can also subscribe via iTunes!



Vicki Archer shares her adventures in farmhouse in Provence



::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living

Su Re mme ad r s

Who are the Editors reading? I asked two of my favorite magazine editors what they are reading this summer. Unsurprisingly, it’s an eclectic mix! Guilty Pleasure...

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Clinton S m i t h Editorial Director of A t l a n t a Homes & Lifestyles

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Repeat read...

Repeat read...

Editor-in-Chief of New England Home magazine.

Business read...

Kyle Hoepner

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<a href="http:// w w w. a m a zo n . c o m / g p / p ro d u c t / 0440423201/ ref=as_li_tf_tl? ie=UTF8&tag=chame leoninte-20&linkCode =as2&camp=217145& creative=399373&crea tiveASIN=044042320 1">Outlander (20th Anniversary Edition):

Linda Merrill

Looking for inspiration <a href="http:// product/0316056863/ ref=as_li_tf_tl? ie=UTF8&tag=chameleo ninte-20&linkCode=as2& camp=217145&creative= 399377&creativeASIN=0 316056863">Bossypants </a><img src="http:// e / i r ? t=chameleoninte-20&l=a

Editor of ::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living ::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living



The project: A family beachhouse The program:

Re-do of the first floor of a

casual beach house, including new kitchen, bathroom, dining room and living room.

The design: A casual beach house filled with an eclectic mix of pieces in a neutral color palette of sandy beiges and watery blue green. Comfort and efficiency are top priorities.

Visit Linda’s website for more information.


::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living

Gui de t o orat ive L iving




Linda received her design education at the acclaimed Boston Architectural College after a long career in public television marketing and product branding. She has decorated homes throughout Greater Boston, the South Shore & Cape Cod and across the globe via her virtual design services. Her love of interiors is but one of her artistic pursuits, and her studies in music and the fine arts continues to influence her design aesthetic. In addition to her blog ::Surroundings::, she has written a regular newsletter to a mailing list of nearly 1,000 (and growing) loyal readers for nearly 8 years, and is a regular writer for She is the founder and moderator of radio/podcast series called “The Skirted Roundtable”, available on iTunes.

Michael received his design training at the Wentworth Institute of Technology and, prior to becoming a professional photographer, worked as a interior designer for award winning designers Richard FitzGerald and Celeste Cooper. His design training has given him a unique perspective as he approaches a photography assignment. He understands a space and knows how to make it shine. His work regularly appears in all the regions’ major publications.

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

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


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

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

:: Perspective - digital magazine :: :: Divine Caroline :: Huffington Post :: Philadelphia Inquirer :: Chicago Tribune

CREDITS :: Written and edited by Linda Merrill :: Cover photography by Michael J. Lee

MEDIA KIT :: View Media Kit Here

PAST ISSUES Past Issues - Click Here

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

::Surroundings:: Guide to Decorative Living | ©Linda Merrill | 781-585-0275 |


::The End::

Š2011 Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings

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