Monday, August 30, 2010

Boston Kitchen Renovation

I have working on this kitchen renovation in a Boston brownstone for a couple of months now and it is finally complete! I was brought onto the project by Erin Gates, who is a fellow designer and friend who already had been working with the client for a couple of months on the balance of her condo, so it was an easy project to get familiarized with the clients style, when a lot of the furnishings were already installed and the condo finishes were underway. Her blog post today highlight some of the latest developments, but keep reading here for some additional project information.

I love to do "old school" hand drawn renderings of what the final project will look like, not only for my own assessment of the final plan and elevation details, but mostly for the client to familiarize themselves with what they should expect to see as a final completed project. This is a great way to iron out any details that the client may want to change, which are not always caught by them on the elevation drawings. The style was contemporary and clean in design, with small hints of feminine glamour.

Final kitchen rendering 
"Before" kitchen. Gut rehab required.
The beginning of Erin's work in the living room, showing the wall on the left that would come down as part of the renovation effort.
And the walls comes down. Demolition is complete. The plumbing was a hidden crazy nightmare (luckily the only expensive unknown) and the floors had about about 3" of an angle in them, but it is now hardly noticeable with some crafty design and construction work.
The dropped ceilings go in and the studs are laid in place while the electrical and services are put in place.
The new "bones" of the kitchen can now be seen as all of the walls got a fresh coat of skim plaster.
And the cabinets arrive. Everything was kept pretty light in color (white painted cabinets and Carrera tops) and the appliances were all in stainless steel to keep the fresh contemporary aesthetic working well.
All of the final trim is now in place, marble and faucets are in and the final decorative lighting sparkle has been added to complete the project. You can see the latest shot from a few days ago on Erin's blog, with the addition of her choice of Imperial Trellis wallcovering in the cabinets and on the wall at the refrigerator, which help give the kitchen a lot of depth and relate it back so well to the furnishings.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fort Point Channel Office Renovation

When Proteus, a branding company located in Boston, decided to downsize to their office space from a Cambridge location, the hunt began for a suitable new space that would require very little build out, but would still be interesting enough to showcase what they do and ensure that their culture could thrive. They eventually settled on space in the Fort Point Channel area, which is a hot new area for offices, restaurants and condo's in Boston. Parts of the area are still gritty, but that really gives it its unique feel. The area is really close to Fan Pier, which is also on the rise in terms of development and popularity.

We came up with a color scheme that would inspire and encourage positivity in the workplace. The build out included minor renovation in the kitchen and break area and creating a few new closed spaces for specific program items. We also completed in depth inventories and new furniture layouts to make the transition easier. The lobby, reception, corridors, break area and other open areas like the copy/fax areas received this new palette of colors (white offset with yellow and charcoal accents) which immediately changed the space to a much more happier environment for these designers. Just what Proteus needed in this economic climate. Inspiration.

The photographs were all taken by Jules Ko who is a friend and part time industrial designer at the firm, also pursuing her photography career in full force. These are not staged and styled professional shots, but they give you a  great sense of the color rehab project.

The new paint colors on the project are all Benjamin Moore colors:
White: I-04 Decorators White
Yellow Accent: 363 Lemon Grove
Charcoal Accent: 1603 Graphite


VIew from elevator into lobby. The moody charcoal color is offset with a temporary yellow sign, which sets the mood before entering the reception area
The open break area is combined with an open plan kitchen area. Proteus' last space had a  huge communal kitchen and eat-in kitchen area which can also now be catered for in the newly laid out space.
As in the case of the break area furniture, no new furniture was purchased, which saved the client a huge amount of money and allowed the schedule to be incredibly tight
A small island was added into the kitchen area to help bring in the open communal feel that Proteus was used to
The charcoal lined openings ad depth to the division walls and allow the yellow to pop
View from corridor into open area graphics meeting and collaboration space
The one wall of accent colors in the open office area, keep the space light and fresh and interesting
Touches of the accent colors bring continuity to the ring corridors in the space

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yoga Studio

Featured below is one of my most recently completed projects which is very much a local project in our downtown area of Melrose. Krista Basis owns B Yoga Center and when she moved to the new location, I was excited to be able to help her with the vision and changes that she could make to this space. It turned out really well, considering the tight budget constraints. Krista has a great vision for her company which made me helping her a breeze!




I had compiled two image boards at the onset of the project, one of which became B Yoga Centers favorite and provided a clear direction for us as we moved forward. A very clean, contemporary aesthetic became our mantra for the project.

The entire space has a dark stained bamboo from the reception/waiting area into the studio. The chartreuse color adds a pop of color behind the reception desk here and you will see the repeated color again in the main studio.

The reception area has incredible light from the main street. We had removed a few walls from this area that used to house a small room, which now allows this area to be light filled and also have fantastic visibility to the studio from the street. The studio is doing really well in this location, most likely due to the high visibility, but also the great classes of course.

By keeping the majority of the space white, the space feels quiet and spacious. B Yoga Center's retail neighbor Pepperberry, provided this colorful arrangement which complements the space and her branding colors perfectly!

In the waiting area, good old and faithful Ikea storage cabinets provide an area for students to stash bags and shoes. Keeping all of the cabinets white, the same color as the walls, again helped to reinforce the idea of keeping the space, bright, clean and uncluttered.

An iconic piece of Krista's in the main studio, looking over the class

These lanterns were from B Yoga's previous studio, but really work well with this new space to. They have small candles inside which are lit during classes.


A few students in the new studio. The ceiling and lighting are all existing and if money were of no object we would have addressed the lighting to provide a design more in keeping with the space. With that being said, the existing lighting is all on dimmer controls, which does give the studio a lot of flexibility. The budget was definitely spent in the right manner and I love taking my prenatal yoga classes here on Saturdays, especially knowing that I was part of the process of making this space a reality.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And so we begin


Shortly after the birth of my daughter Ruby, two and a half years ago, I decided that it was way past due for me to open up my own interior design business, Justine Sterling Design after almost 20 years in the field. Almost half of my career has been spent in South Africa and the other half being spent here, in Boston in the United States.

I have been writing a blog for my daughter for the past year and a half and love the idea of keeping people up to date with our lives and feel that I should be doing the same with my design work. Unfortunately not all of my projects get to be photographed professionally, so having this blog as a platform to showcase what is going on in the design part of my world seemed like the natural progression for me. I hope to post projects mainly, and potentially some interior inspiration when I have time. I say that, as baby number two is kicking away, with little hiccups in my tummy and is very much on its way, due in early October, so the blog might get a little light later on in the year!