What, When, Where: The Marketplace of Ideas

January 21, 2013

By Kaitlin Madden

As a design enthusiast without formal design training, I rely on the eyes of experts, or at least those whose style I admire, to point me in the right direction when it comes to choosing things for my own home. While Pinterest, design blogs and, of course, the pages of New England Home all serve as excellent inspiration, I’ve always been the kind of person who grasps things better when I see them in person. So I go shopping not for items but for ideas (basically window shopping with a purpose). Because the living rooms, reading nooks and bedrooms staged by shopkeepers, studio owners and merchandisers in their stores and showrooms help me to see close-up how mixing color and texture, combining pattern and scale, and blending this with that can start to create an original, cohesive and beautiful space. Here, a few presentations that struck me while out on recent shopping trips in Boston.

I love the use of this large, modern tapestry as a backdrop for a simple sofa at Addo Novo.

A living room setup at Addo Novo. Photos by Kaitlin Madden

An austere bench, plush pillows and a glamourous antique mirror make for a creative and pretty combination.

At Maison Decor.

It’s the details, like placing a lamp on top of a stack of books, that take a space from average to interesting.

A lamp on display at Baker Furniture in the Boston Design Center.

Mixing unexpected prints in a way that works is the mark of a good design eye.

An eclectic sitting area setup at Mohr + McPherson.

This tabletop vignette at Mohr + McPherson reminded me of the blog post Luke Kelly wrote for us a few months back, called “Collections of Peculiar Singularity.”

At Mohr + McPherson.

An idea I’ll eventually steal: Using a collection of smaller end tables in place of a larger coffee table.

A creative table combination at Casa Design.