Friday Favorites 09/27/2013

Cheryl Katz, Contributing Editor

I’m not sure what excites me more, the thrill of the hunt or the actual spoils.

If the pursuit is exciting – the items interesting, unique, or otherwise unforgettable, I’m perfectly content to merely root around, to pick up and put down, to dive in, around, and under. If the search yields results – the perfect accessory, the right chair, a divine piece of fabric – that’s pretty terrific, too.

And so it was when I stumbled into The Barn at 17 in Somerville recently. I should have listened to friends months ago when they told me the place was right up my alley – 10,000 sq. feet of antique furniture and accessories and an on premise fine furniture restorer to boot.

Photo courtesy of the Barn at 17

Now when I’m in the mood to scavenge or in the market for something special, the Barn at 17 is one of my first stops. Visit them at 17 Murdock St., Somerville, Mass.

Paula M. Bodah, Senior Editor

Bill Sofield may be best known for his sleek, contemporary furniture designs in the Modernist mold, but his latest collection for McGuire Furniture has a surprising sensuality. The new pieces have their share of steel and glass, but they also incorporate rattan, leather, Danish cord and beautiful woods. They’re as clean and sophisticated as you’d expect a Sofield piece to be, but have a curvaceous, almost feminine appeal.

The Arc Lounge Chair; Photos courtesy of McGuire Furniture

The Knot Chair

The Knot Coffee Table

Kyle Hoepner, Editor-in-Chief
Officially beginning today: Boston’s turn to host Play Me, I’m Yours, an interactive community art project by Luke Jerram that has been touring the world since 2008.

From September 27 through October 14, 2013, some seventy-five pianos decorated by local artists, design firms, and community organizations will be located in public places scattered around Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline, Mass. Anyone passing by is welcome to sit and play for a while. The intent, according to Jerram, is for the pianos to foster interaction in those incidental communities of people brought together regularly by their lives in the city—at a laundromat, say—by “acting as a catalyst for conversation and changing the dynamics of a space.”

Piano at 1 Kendall Square in Cambridge, decorated by Walter Sickert, hosted by Belly Wine Bar, and donated by Louis Gentile. Photo from streetpianos.com

As you might expect, our residential design community wouldn’t be likely to pass up an opportunity like this…and, indeed, Sally Wilson of Wilson Kelsey Design was quick to take up the challenge. She enlisted her husband and business partner, John Kelsey, along with colleagues from Fantastic Finishes and Zoë Design, to create a faux-finished beauty now in residence at the Mary Baker Eddy Library.

Piano decorated by Sally Wilson, hosted by Mary Baker Eddy Library and donated by Boston Conservatory, with its Gentle Giant moving crew. Photo from streetpianos.com

The piano’s proud creators (left to right): Doug Garrabrants, Dave Taubeneck, Lena Fransioli, Sally Wilson, and John Kelsey. Photo courtesy of Wilson Kelsey Design

On discovering that many of the pianos lacked benches on which prospective players could sit, John Kelsey contacted Woodmeister Master Builders, who promptly stepped in to address the problem by fabricating and donating some forty-five primed benches to the event.

The piano sited at the Everett Theater in Hyde Park, decorated by Joo Lee Kang and donated by Ken Cormier, sports one of Woodmeister’s benches. Photo from streetpianos.com

The Celebrity Series of Boston has scheduled several solo and ensemble performances while the pianos are in place; see http://www.celebrityseries.org/CS_performers_2013_14/streetpianos.htm for more. For more about the program in general, a complete listing of piano locations, and the opportunity to upload pictures of yourself or your friends playing, check out streetpianos.com/boston2013/.

And since Sally Wilson herself is no mean pianist, perhaps if we ask nicely she’ll arrange a recital before the pianos disappear next month…

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