Takeaways from the Boston Design Market

Boston Design Center

Natalie and I had the chance to visit the Boston Design Center last week as part of the the Boston Design Market, and we had such a great time. There is lots to explore at the Design Center, and most is open to the public to peruse, whether you are planning a big renovation or just looking for a new rug. (To visit some trade showrooms, you need to be accompanied by a designer.) I had actually never visited before, and it was so much fun to discover something new in the city!

Natalie went to the lecture from well-known architect Gil Schafer, and so much of what he said resonated with her. Gil spoke about how he always tries to find a personal connection to a client project. Does something about the landscape or home remind him of his childhood or perhaps there is a tie to one of his personal projects? Gil believes that if he can relate to something on an emotional level, the work is so much more meaningful.

As Natalie is planning to revamp her home in the coming months, she found herself nodding to a lot of what Gil had to say, like how important it is to make a house a home. What makes you feel comfortable? Gil believes that you live differently because places effect you differently. I couldn’t agree more, and we are both looking forward to leafing through Gil’s new book for ideas.

I attended a lecture on forecasting trends, a panel which included Christine Liu of America’s Test Kitchen (a new tenant in the building), Suzi Hlavacek of Boston Art, and Jesse Lazarus from Kravet. It was interesting to hear about the different ways the group stays on top of trends, whether that is perusing Pinterest, or attending an art fair or open studios.

Afterwards I really enjoyed chatting with some of the art consultants from Boston Art — what a fascinating job! They had set up a few rooms with some pieces to view, and also have a gallery at the Design Center, since especially with art it can be so important to see the work in person. See some of my favorites from Boston Art below.

I also visited a bit in the Galerie d’Orsay showroom. This gallery has a location on Newbury Street, but has recently opened an outpost in the Design Center as well. Galerie d’Orsay shows both pieces from well-known artists such as Matisse, Chagall, and Miro, as well as pieces from contemporary artists whose work can be viewed in dialogue with those masters. So inspiring!

For the Design Market, several smaller vendors were set up in the ‘Market Stall’ area, among them Shepard’s Run Jewelry. I didn’t purchase anything, but I was pretty tempted by these beautiful earrings!

The adjacent antique stalls were full of inspiration from another time — I love the idea of mixing a tea chest or loves like this with more modern furniture.

As part of the Design Market, there were lots of fun events going on. Farrow & Ball partnered with Five Fork Farm (a favorite of ours) to teach a flower arranging class in honor of their new floral wallpapers. So much fun! The ladies from the Farrow & Ball showroom were so knowledgeable and welcoming, and seeing the huge buckets of blooms from Five Fork Farms was amazing.

I was really happy with my finished arrangement! I wish I could have these materials available to make an arrangement every week.

I finished the day with a tile painting workshop at Ann Sacks, and a coffee!¬†Along the outskirts of the building are some cool shipping containers serving as small boutiques and food vendors, including Triangle Coffee (delicious lattes made with Gracenote Coffee) and Roxy’s Grilled Cheese. The Design Center is such a huge building, and I’m sure there is lots I didn’t see. What a fun place to be inspired!

This post was sponsored by the Boston Design Center, but as always all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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