Designer Snapshot: 30 Days to a Stylish Home

By Paula M. Bodah

Amy Thebault spent the better part of a year on the interior design plan for a client, choosing just the right furnishings and fabrics and patiently waiting for the custom-designed rugs. “The end result was exquisite,†she says, “worth the wait and the time invested in decision making.â€

So when the same client asked if she could outfit a Boston apartment, she was pleased. The catch? It had to be done in a month. It helped that she was familiar with the client’s tastes and preferences, but she wondered, “Could I make this flat look and feel custom–well thought out and comfortable–in such a short time?â€

“The first thing I did,†says Amy, who lives and works in Manchester Center, Vermont, “was outline my plan, compiling a list of all the ingredients necessary to make an instant home. Then I asked all my friends in and around Boston for ‘instant gratification’ sources I could use beyond my usual ‘go-to stops’ like the Boston Design Center, my own shop and the antiques shops on Charles Street.â€

She was delighted and surprised to find success in places she wouldn’t have looked had she not been on such an imposing deadline.

In three weeks and four days, Amy put together an urban flat that suited her client to a tee by mixing fine pieces she was able to buy off the floor at to-the-trade showrooms with stylish items from middle-market retail shops and antiques from her favorite Charles Street shops. Amy, who offered us her inspirations for a welcoming dining room in our November/December issue, shows us how she did it.

Living room before; all photos courtesy of Amy Thebault, Thebault Design

Living room after

“The Restoration Hardware outlet in Wrentham, Massachusetts, was a favorite source,†Amy says. “Friendly, fast and good-looking, although I hear it can be hit or miss. I must have hit it on the right day.†The tufted leather sofa she found there pairs handsomely with a tan sofa from Furniture Guild. That’s where she also picked up the brass lamp, which sits on an end table from the Martin Group‘s Take Me Home Collection, and the brass coffee table, which looks right at home on a rug from Stark. The paintings came via a stop at Brookline Village Antiques.


At one end of the living room, a glass-front cabinet from Trianon Antiques in the Boston Design Center is flanked by tufted chairs from the Restoration Hardware outlet.

“Cardi’s, a veritable furniture superstore, was also fabulous. Items were available off the floor and although it took a bit of careful selection, I found some handsome bedroom pieces–like the dresser and mirror in this picture, that were right at home with the Leonards antique four-poster bed for the master,†Amy says.

A leather chair and brass lamp, both from Restoration Hardware, join a table from The Martin Group’s Take Me Home Collection and an ottoman Amy had in her Manchester Center shop.

The final touches: A trip to Frette on Boylston Street to outfit the beds and a call to Winston Flowers for some plants was the “cherry on top,†Amy says. “To my relief and satisfaction, the client loved it.â€

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