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Every project has its own small details that make it unique and personal. Working with clients who care about these details as much as I do makes every day fun. Here are a few stories to show what I mean:



When I first met one client one of the first things she asked me was could we put fabric on the walls in her Music Room. It turns out that other projects got priority along our journey together, but now the Music Room has our attention. The fabric we selected with a small modern check print works beautifully with the warm cherry wood wainscoting and the modern artwork. The fabric installation now works like acoustical panels. You can notice the difference in the sound quality even with your own voice the minute you enter the room. Her stunning harp, a very special Christmas present, has become the focal point of the room.

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A client of mine has triplet girls! I should be so lucky! For her living room she found mirrored frames that she wanted to use with black and white photographs of her girls. She bought a zillion frames in all different sizes and shapes. She was very excited about her idea but she didn’t know which sizes to use and how to arrange.

It was hard to photograph the finished product because of the reflection off the sides and fronts of the mirrored frames from the lighting nearby, but the picture will show the solution to the dilemma. The trick to a successful collage is to unify the spaces between frames.

Voila!

“I couldn’t resist letting you know how many times I walked into the front room tonight to see your work! (6 or 7) Thank you again!”




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I recently had the pleasure to work with a client who had just finished renovating a two-family residence in Cambridge. For her master bedroom she wanted an Art Deco decor and did a very thorough job pulling together period-specific details, but she had trouble finishing the room so she gave Embellishments a call.

The fabric for the draperies had to work with all the Deco patterns in the room. I created Roman shades using a Larsen fabric that I thought was just right to complement the room details. When they are closed, the shades appear as artwork on the walls.

“We love them” was her response.



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For a client whose bathroom I did, I suggested hanging a lighting fixture over the toilet. This toilet area was small as most are and relatively uneventful since the highlights of the bathroom were on the other side of a wall portioned off from the toilet area. Quite expectedly her reaction was of disbelief. I showed her the picture of the fixture I wanted to use and she was still not convinced. I sent her to see the fixture in person. When she did she was still skeptical but trusted my judgement.

Once the bathroom was complete she told me, “I just go in there to stare at the fixture. It is one of my favorite parts of the whole renovation.” S.D. Lexington



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In the office of an oral surgeon I wanted to distract patients’ focus away from the fact that they were about to have surgery that might cause them discomfort. So in the lobby of the office I used bright, happy artwork to catch people’s attention. In the corridor walking to the surgical rooms I placed a large painting that I found in a Canadian art gallery. The painting depicted an adorable dog entranced by the quixotic flight of a paper airplane. At first the doctor was skeptical but when the clients kept complimenting him on it, he said, “It stays!”



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One of my clients was born on the small, but beautiful island of Malta just south of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. After visiting the island they returned with lovely bright painted glass pieces. Finding the proper location in their house to display them was tricky because of their large size. After a few tours around the house I suggested the second floor hallway might work the best although I knew it had a few shortcomings. The hallway lacked proper lighting for artwork and to make matters worse it had one sconce which was not centered. Adding the proper picture lighting was easy but because of the spacing issue the two pieces looked odd since one had more space around it than the other.

I did some research and found a beautiful old picture of Malta harbor. In addition I found an authentic antique map of Malta hand done by the cartographer that did all the maps for King Louis the XVI. I framed them both in matching burl wood frames and placed them one above the other to the right of one of the glass pieces. Now the wall is more symmetrical, interesting and appropriate.

“Just wanted to let you know how beautiful the house looks!!!...And the Malta pictures. We stood in front of the wall and gazed at them. We can hardly wait to have Dad see “the wall”. Love those frames!” F.O. Lexington




A client needed a re-do to her cluttered third floor family space, which is primarily used for reading or watching TV. Replacing several small pieces with a sofa was the solution to the clutter. The difficulty was that most sofas would not fit through a very narrow doorway and staircase. The area had a lovely curved wall that provided an opportunity to make it cozy and welcoming. I designed a custom fit sofa that flowed with the curve. The legs were made so they could be removed to allow the sofa to fit through the door.

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Honestly, sometimes things go wrong…..and it’s your humility and ability to keep cool that can make all the difference. Of course, having good relations with lots of vendors helps a lot as well. I know the client was glad they had someone else to go to bat for them to ensure that everything got remedied.

This is a bathroom where the main area and the toilet area are divided by a pocket door. So when one of the two matching light fixtures arrived miss-aligned, it had to be replaced. The grout in the shower did not dry properly at first even though there were no dampness issues; the tile company had to be brought back to ensure the grout set properly. The countertop for the vanity in the toilet area arrived with a rough patch on the surface that needed to be smoothed. The custom mirror in the main area was hung only to find that when you looked into the bathroom from the entrance door the top of the mirror distorted the reflection. There was nothing that could be done about it, and the manufacturer had to be brought in to replace the mirror. It seemed like so many things had some kind of issue. All of this in the face of time constraints on finishing the project.

Inevitably there will be the occasional product defect. It takes a level head, and maybe a nip or two at night to recover from these setbacks, but in the end a beautiful bathroom is the result.




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Sometimes clients have problems visualizing what I suggest. I have one client who has a unique way of handling this. In order to understand scale he sets up the room in a cardboard version in his garage. So my consultations take place in his garage. No problem. We are working on his Master Bath so we use cardboard shower heads and niches. Sinks and tubs are very easily moved when they are made of cardboard!



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A client of mine wanted to surprise her pre-adolescent daughter with a renovation of her bathroom. The intent was to add some glamour. The bathroom was a Jack and Jill bathroom which meant it had access from two different rooms, in this case the daughter’s room and the occasional guest room. Now in order to make this a surprise we closed both entry doors and used lots of tape and nasty things to make it look like a hazardous area, “No Entry Allowed”. The daughter was told dangerous electrical work had to be done. She didn’t question it.

Work proceeded when she went to school each day. We finished on time even with a few obstacles one must expect to find when you open walls….. The room was done with lots of glam and delicious accessories including a pop of chartreuse (yellow/green) in a sweet little Prada bag as the striking accent in the room or to be used as an accessory on the arm!





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I was called upon to design a studio space for a client who had a home business called Holes. She made all kinds of knitted garments with holes. She needed a variety of different machines, as the garments would go through many processes on their way to becoming interesting and desirable clothing for young and old. Along with her multiple surface space requirements she needed room to store the garments in all phases as well as prior to shipping, shipping materials, containers for embellishments, a wool “tree”, etc., and it all had to be in proximity to laundry machines as they too were part of the process.

The studio turned out to be just what she wanted so she submitted it to a national magazine and lo and behold, it became one of the “25 most inspiring studios.”