Room 68 Jamaica Plain and Provincetown, MassachusettsText by Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz
A few blocks past the Soldier’s Monument in Jamaica Plain, at the point where Centre Street becomes South Street, stands Room 68. Part retail shop, part art gallery, the space is home to local artists and designers as well as emerging talents. It’s a favorite stop for anyone eager to uncover the latest trends.
The good bones of the place, once a TV repair shop, were covered with dust, peeling paint, and a dropped ceiling when Brent Refsland, Eric Portnoy, and their then-partner Nick Siemaska found it. In an act of artful adaptive reuse, they stripped away the layers to reveal an open, airy space complete with beautiful green tin ceiling, a perfect foil for their eclectic assortment of goods.
On a recent visit, Nervous System’s Subdivision Cuff bracelet—inspired by the complex forms of radiolarians(!) —shared shelf space with the Stola table lamp, a flexible light sculpture with a recycled felt shade. Debra Folz’s Spiro Mirror, embroidered with rubber cord, hung above sculptor Jacob Kulin’s chic Serving Blocks, fashioned from slices of hardwood logs. There were geometric woolen blankets, handwoven leather chairs, acrylic accent tables, and wristwatches inspired by folded paper fans.
Come mid-May, Refsland and Portnoy will bring their carefully curated wares to Provincetown, opening a second store in the East End’s bustling shopping district. Like its older sibling, the new spot is sure to be a hit. 68 South Street, Jamaica Plain, Mass., (617) 942-7425, and 377 Commercial Street, Provincetown, Mass., room68online.com.
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