Statement Sofas

To many people comfort is much more important then design, when shopping for couches typically these people will want something overstuffed and cozy regardless of how it looks or works in their homes. Then there is the other end of the spectrum where design is all that matters, when shopping for couches these people will buy something that may be dreadful to sit on but beautiful to look at. They view this item as an art piece instead of its real purpose as furniture. So is it possible to find that perfect in between, a couch with style?

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Design Spotlight: The London Underground….

While looking through pictures from our lead Designer Kristen’s recent trip to London, we were continually intrigued by the Underground. Interesting art be it mosaics or murals were found around every corner!  It  had us wanting to know more about the design history of this London institution…  With its creation in 1863 the Underground lines and stations were built by various private companies, can you  imagine how crazy it must have been? In the 1930′s the London Passenger Transport Board was created, uniting the Tube lines and other modes of transportation in the city. The CEO at the time of its formation was Frank Pick.  As a patron of the arts he commissioned leading artists, architects and designers of the day to help create a highly recognizable brand for the company. Designers like Enid Marx and Marion Dorn created bold textiles for the new train’s upholstery, and artists like Man Ray made publicity posters. Pick believed that his organization had a responsibility to inspire as well as educate, by making art and design accessible to everyone in the city he achieved that goal. If you wanted to see what was new and exciting in the world of design, all you had to do was step into the Tube!  Sadly, by the 1950′s the designs that Frank Pick worked so hard to create were gone. luckily interest in the Tube as a space for art and design has resurfaced and some new things taking shape on the lines. So far we like what we’re seeing and just hope the trend continues! Click on this site or stop by the London Transport Museum… we promise you wont be disappointed! 

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Green life in the Winter months

Studio Source MV is brought to you by Breese Architects and Interiors Studio Martha’s Vineyard.

As the temperatures starts to drop and the wind picks up here on the East coast, we decided we needed a little green life to carry us through the Winter months. Everyone can use a reminder that days wont always be short and plants will soon enough turn green again.

While brainstorming what sorts of plant life we wanted to bring into the studio; herb gardens came up. Something that many Island family’s grow in the summer could also be turned into a Winter hobby.  While searching through Roost catalog for the perfect vestibule for our mini garden we came across hanging flower vases and were instantly intrigued. Instead of cluttering up a counter top  why not a hanging herb garden? Complete with easily replaceable herbs that could be planted again once spring came. After a week in water the store bought herbs started sprouting roots now they can  either be planted or stay in water.  With rosemary, parsley, chives, and mint floating around the kitchen who could resist making a delicious meal?

With these done and hanging in the window of our store our thoughts turned to the empty terrariums that we had around the studio. There is no better way to add a little green to your life then your own personal miniature forest. Terrariums are so simple to make and add a wonderful outside effect to any room, also a great holiday gift.

Here is a list of things you need to make a simple terrarium:

  • A wide glass container
  • Rocks (small pebbles for lining the bottom)
  • Soil
  • Moss
  • Any sort of succulent plant (these don’t need much water and grow very easily).

Outdoor kitchen

Every project large or small presents interesting challenges.  We recently completed an outdoor kitchen for a vacation home on the Vineyard, the challenge in this case was to build a kitchen into an already existing backyard retreat. Not only did the design have to fit in with the rest of the decor but it also had to look like it had been there since the beginning and wasn’t an afterthought.
When we started thinking about materials we realized that everything we picked had to stand up to all the crazy weather we get on the Vineyard, and for many years.

Granite was the obvious choice for the counter tops what else could look that nice and be that solid? Another thing we decided was we had to put as little wood in it as possible. Solid stone legs got brought into the picture and coexisted well with the design of the already existing pool so it was decided. The next thing we faced was attaching the granite to the stone legs. For this we used metal braces on the underside of the granite. Shelving was the finishing touch and also one place we knew we would need to use wood in.  We decided on weathered fir a strong wood that can withstand high winds and isn’t prone to warping just the combination we needed.

Bringing all these elements together created a look of layered textures which fit perfectly into this backyard oasis.

Figuring it all out..

Studio Source MV is brought to you by Breese Architects and Interiors Studio Martha’s Vineyard

Sometimes, it takes a little while to figure out what works best for you, even if the answer seems to be staring you right in the face. Finding beautiful furniture and accessories then creating a space that speaks to our clients lifestyle is our job but we wondered if there was another outlet in which we could channel this passion? Then it hit us…why not use our showroom space as not only that but also as an interior design store. We have always used the space as a place to bring clients and show them furniture and accessories that we find on our trips, but by restocking and changing it around a bit we could also use it as a way to connect with our community and with people visiting our island. We began looking for partnerships that matched  our aesthetic and design sense. The first choice was obvious,  Mohr & McPherson is a stunning store in Boston filled with eclectic, one of a kind furniture and accessories brought back from owner Kevin McPherson’s trips all over the world. The rich leather chairs and one of a kind rugs were exactly what we wanted to bring to Vineyard design. We discovered luxurious bedding by Suchira Palit and her mother who live on Cape Cod and create beautiful hand blocked linens from India. We also made the decision to feature island artists and their work to help to bring their talents to a larger audience. We  have original works of art by the talented Heidi Funk and Katherine Dilworth. We also feature movement inspired clothing by Gabriella Designs created out of cotton and bamboo that are not only lovely looking but also feel amazing on the skin.

The best part about this shift in how we use our showroom is that prices are kept reasonable so that everyone can enjoy a piece of what the island has to offer. We are always finding new things for the Studio. It has been a great way to bring the things that we find and love to a whole new audience!

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Before and After…

Studio Source MV is brought to you by Breese Architects and Interiors Studio Martha’s Vineyard.

On our first visit to a client’s space, we always look at their existing furniture. What do they want to keep? Is there any piece that we can give new life to and use in the new design? Some furniture has to be worked into a design because of the client’s love for it or because they’re attached to a piece that’s been in the family forever. That doesn’t mean that we can’t freshen it, giving it a makeover with new fabric or paint color.  Nothing is impossible…at least as designer’s that’s what we tell ourselves!

One of our clients had a love seat in his upstairs Guest Bedroom that had great lines and fit really well in the space. But, it had a fabric that we all thought was a bit boring.  He had aquired the love seat when he purchased the property and didn’t have particularly strong feelings about it. We advised him to keep it but let us re-upholster it in a fabric more in keeping with the new design scheme.  We found a wonderful Mark Alexander stripe that gave the piece the bold tailored look we had in mind. Finally, we stained the feet dark walnut, adding to the masculine feel of the overall design.

The end result is a beautiful, sophisticated piece that is now an important part of not only the Guest Room but in the way the whole house looks and feels. And all it took was a few simple updates!

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Railing aganist the ordinary…

Studio Source MV is brought to you by Breese Architects and Interiors Studio Martha’s Vineyard.

As Architects and Designers, we know how restrictions can impact a project. Sometimes these restrictions come in the form of budget limitations, while other times there are those troublesome building codes that have to be met. When faced with these challenges we take an opportunity to be creative and think a little outside the box.

Take railings for example. Staircases, porches and decks all have height requirements. But, this doesn’t mean that your railings have to be ordinary!Think of it as a chance to do something different. Try using a material not normally seen as a railing or add details to make them more visually interesting…here are some examples from our own work to show you what we mean…

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Meeting requirements doesn’t have to mean design has to be dull…… it can be just the opposite. Thinking more creatively can make the difference between a home that looks just like all the others and one that expresses your taste and panache! Embrace constraints, it could just make you look at your design in a whole new light!

Soak it all in…

Bathroom by Breese Architects and ISMV image by Brian Vanden Brink

Studio Source MV is brought to you by Breese Architects and Interiors Studio Martha’s Vineyard.

One of the keys to designing a beautiful space is creating a focal point. For the bathroom, new designs in bathtubs are helping to make choosing a focal point a lot easier! There are so many beautiful designs by companies like Kallista, Lacava and Wateworks that the tub is finally working its way into the spotlight and being used as features in, often accompanying dramatic views.

The bathtub is the one space in the house,  there simply for you to relax.  That is why it should get  the commanding views.  As Architects and Designers we’ve been fortunate to work with clients who really want to take their bathrooms to the next level. Designing the bathroom around the tub we have been able to give clients a feature in their house that allows them to slow down and soak it all in.

Bathroom by Breese Architects, image by Shannon Roddy

Throwing it together….

Studio Source MV is brought to you by Breese Architects and Interiors Studio Martha’s Vineyard.

So you’re  sitting in your living room  thinking it needs a little something….an update or maybe some freshening. Well the easiest and most affordable way to add texture and interest to a room is with throw pillows. We love how throw pillows can tie colors together and  add that extra detail that really makes a space feel complete..but..there is such a thing as too many throw pillows. With all the great designs and beautiful fabrics it’s tempting to buy every one that you like but retrain yourself. If  before cozying up on the couch to watch a movie, you have to spend five minutes taking all the extra pillows off  then you have way too many! The golden rule less is more also applies to finishing touches in a space. You want the details to make a room feel complete not overwhelm it.  Throw pillows are just accents, not a feature. Let them help to bring the overall scheme together and add interest like they were meant to do!

To show you what we’re talking about we took a chair in our studio and did a before and after. The chair was simple and lovely before and we knew that two pillows would have been too many for this chair. So we covered the back cushion with a beautiful knitted eurosham giving it the look of a throw pillow without taking up all of the real estate. Then we added a textured pleated linen throw pillow. It’s the perfect combination of colors, textures and scale.

We are also showing some great examples of other throw pillows done right!

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Take a look at me now…

Studio Source MV is brought to you by Breese Architects and Interiors Studio Martha’s Vineyard.

This year instead of making personal resolutions that fall by the wayside around the middle of the month we’ve decided to make “Design Resolutions” here in our studio. We’re breaking out of our comfort zone by focusing our attention on using new materials and some forgotten favorites.Our first style element to include is leather…ahh leather… just the name conjure up images of sophistication, warmth and character.

Leather does not typically evoke that breezy, beachy aesthetic most of our clients are imagining for their new or remodeled homes. These days there are so many interesting ways to use leather. It’s not just for furniture anymore! With different colors, distress levels and applications there is something out there for every design sensibility. Here are a few we found and fell in love with….

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