Tag Archives: Interior Design

Happy Love Day

So it’s Valentines Day tomorrow, and this post is the first time I’ve really thought about how to acknowledge it.  I’ve always been kind of lukewarm on the whole thing, but I could totally use a day to focus on some love and happy. Another blizzard is approaching…yeah, that.  But we lost a very special person in our family yesterday, and these experiences can throw everything right into perspective.  Makes me want to rush into the arms of all those I love and tell them how much love I have for them.  And that I can’t think of anything else in the entire world that is more important than family, friends.. that love thing. It’s all about our people.  Maybe we need a day that encourages acknowledgement and celebration of those that make our lives special.

It’s a Saturday, and it’s going to be freezing… what to do… here are some simple, quick but heartfelt ideas.  Little gestures that make your loved ones feel special will go a long way.  This is not about adding more stress to your life!  Do not over-complicate.  🙂

Heart-shaped waffles with beetroot and orange juice?  Yes.  See recipe from Almond Corner.

And some fruit?


Coffee cups covered in red paper with cute love messages.


or hot cocoa with heart shaped whip cream seen in lovesome, just freeze the whipped cream on a cookie sheet and cut hearts with knife or cookie cutter.

Spread whipped cream on a cookie sheet and freeze, then cut the frozen whipped cream into shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Drop into some warm cocoa and you have a sweet (and cute) way to cool off your hot chocolate!      Probably could add different extracts to fat free whipped cream and put it in coffee too....

or just add some sprinkles

Pink Hot Chocolate...SO yummy and easy to make!  It's perfect for Valentine's Day breakfast, any Valentine's party, or anytime!!! #simplykierste #hotchocolate #valentinesday

Flowers… all about the quality, and the thought.  Stores picked over?  Just grab a few special pieces and wrap in a pretty paper as shown at Style Me Pretty Living.

but yeah there is nothing wrong with a good old red rose


Handmade cards that actually say how you actually feel.  Real Simple has some great ideas.

DIY Valentine, matchbookimage.png

DIY Valentine, puzzle piecesHomemade Valentine card with fridge magnets

How about a cute little surprise for the kiddos?

Sweetheart cupcakes from Glorious Treats maybe with some homemade strawberry milk?

Or marshmallows from The Sweet Life.


And of course a few little handmade keepsakes to put around your home and make it feel special.. maybe hang some heart cut outs in the kids rooms for when they wake up..


paint chip bookmarks shown by inhabitots


string heart shown here 

DIY string heart - 25+ Valentine's Day Home Decor Ideas - NoBiggie.net

or a message on canvas as shown here 

Button burlap heart - 25+ Valentine's Day Home Decor Ideas - NoBiggie.net

how about a few pillows to spruce up your living room or bedroom?

Valentine's Pillow Covers #westelm | Master bed

we have some at Ivy Lane!


Happy valentines day my friends!    I hope you and your family, friends, loved ones have a fabulous day and take some time to celebrate each other.




Filed under Uncategorized

Design Studio @ Ox Pasture Hill Farm

It was love at first sight in every way, the first time I looked through the windows of our studio at 136 Fenno Drive in Rowley, MA. I’ve always said that a functional and interesting space is the key to a great design. Wow does this place have all of that and more.

In the early 1900’s it was a working farm, when the studio housed manure and cattle. The original posts and beams are left untouched, and the Ox Pasture Hill Farm sign hangs inside now. I love a place with history and character, and this place is full of it. The barn is meant to be shared with and experienced by others. So we are sharing some photos with you.

The original farm.

We moved here in August last year (2011), and immediately put to rest any fears we had living in a place like this. It’s nothing but comfortable, peaceful, and inspiring.

sign was made from old barn wood

The main room is an amazing space filled with natural daylighting, original beams, and many custom details done when the barn was converted to a home.

We created a 6'x12' work table from doors and reclaimed barn beams. A necessity for crafts, cutting fabric, drawings, display, and larger gatherings.

Opposite view at work table.

The original farm sign.

We have trade accounts with many designer fabric lines, but also love to hunt for boutique and vintage options to find the perfect one.

Design Library filled with magazines and books for inspiration.

Our kids craft room is filled with our handcrafted designs so they can explore their creativity too.

See our custom murals.

With every project comes new concepts, new preferences, new conditions, and our desire to provide a unique design. That means we have done a lot of product research and have acquired many many samples over the years. We have an entire room dedicated to displaying samples and catalogs so that you can see how every element in a project can work towards one cohesive design.

Lots of space to get creative. Bring friends, family, colleagues.

We display a large variety of materials including countertops, flooring, paint, tile, veneers, wallpaper, fabrics and so on, including many sustainable options. Since we rep over 20+ designer furnishing lines you will also find a range of lighting, furniture, rugs, hardware, accessories, and window treatments including the full line of Hunter Douglas products.

Lots of samples to play with.

One color or material can inspire an entire project.

Constantly hunting for fabrics...custom window treatments, pillows, cushions, upholstery, bedding, and more.

Emily from Carriagetown Kitchens displays samples from her line of Medallion cabinetry. Local artisans also show their talents. Steven Sackmann is a furniture maker in Amesbury who has his mock-ups, sketches, photos, carvings, and finish samples in display to demonstrate the custom design process.

Hand carvings in process.

Custom furniture designs.

And finally, our sustainable wreaths. Design your own.

All the makings for custom wreaths, pillow embellishments, etc.

wreaths made of burlap & straw

So there you have it, a creative paradise. Need samples? Want to learn about sustainable options? If you are local, come use our studio as your resource. We are open to all design and construction professionals, as well as the general public. We can even mock your space up for you in 3D while you pick out things you love.

Open studio hours are Tuesdays 10-12 and Thursdays 2-4. Always open by appointment. Its a magical place, we hope you will come visit us.

The studio is just beyond the barn structure with it's own driveway for guest parking.


Filed under Our Design Studio

Second Hand Shell

Hello and welcome to Decapod.  Thanks for joining us!

We are anxious to start sharing our research, and hope you will find this blog to be informative, inspiring, and fun.  It’s a great time of year to launch with the upcoming holidays – a time when your home becomes a special place to create lasting memories with friends and family.

As Interior Designers we are introduced to new products and talented artisans all the time.  We want to share our resources and provide a little inspiration in the hopes that the next time you renovate – you won’t just pick any old product from any old big box store.  Your home should reveal you, and more importantly provide a healthy nest for those you love.

Now for a little background before we get started.

Did you know that the level of carbon-based chemicals (VOCs) is generally 2-5 times greater indoors, than outdoors?  And that VOCs can cause a range of acute short-term and chronic long-term health issues for you and your family?  There is no formula to determine how products, levels, and exposure will impact you personally, so the best course of action is to educate yourself about the products that you literally breathe everyday.

To us, sustainable design means selecting products that are closest to their natural state, are non-toxic, independent of non-renewable energy sources, and won’t sit in a landfill forever when they are disposed of.  That’s a lot to ask when we are also looking for durability and low maintenance, but they exist and we are set on finding them.  While every product we post won’t necessarily meet all of our criteria, every little step you take only is a benefit to you, and the rest of us in the long run.

At the bottom of each of our entries, we are including symbols that will help you quickly identify the sustainable aspects of each product.


Low-VOC content            Eco-Friendly Company              Made in the USA


Third Party Certified                   Recycled Content


Biodegradable                            Organic

Artisans also hold a special place in our hearts.  Those who create amazing things using their skills, experiences, and emotions – who provide us with unique keepsakes we can display in our homes and reveal something about who we are.  The items that have a personal and emotional connection are the ones we hang on to rather than send to a yard sale or trash can.  We’ll be talking about those who make cool stuff right here in the USA for a little more inspiration, cause we all have a little artist in us.

Why the name Decapod?  We love the word because it sounds like *decorated pod.*  We also think the hermit crab is great source of inspiration for sustainability and the home… a little creature that seeks out a vacated shell to fulfill his own changing needs.   Sounds like something we’ve done quite a bit!   The concept of moving into a space someone else used to call home is recycling in a big way, and provides an opportunity to get really creative with space and materials to make it your own.  We hope this blog gives you some great inspiration the next time you renovate.

Stay tuned for our first product post!  And we promise the ones to come will be much shorter.

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Filed under Welcome to Decapod