Massachusetts, USA - Joanne Palmisano, award-winning interior designer and internationally acclaimed author of Salvage Secrets: Transforming Reclaimed Materials Into Design Concepts joined the first annual Boston design week as a speaker at Restoration Resources in Boston on Saturday, March 29.
Restoration Resources is regarded as New England's primary source of antique architectural salvage, unique furnishings, and vintage artifacts, and had the good fortune to host Palmisano at its event venue, Circa, during this exciting week.
Palmisano held two sessions, during which she presented various ways to design and decorate using salvaged items, showing photographs from her new book Salvage Secrets: Design & Décor. Guests received exclusive pre-launch access to her book, as well as autographs (see photo 1).
Palmisano has completed over 150 projects for both DIY Network and HGTV Online as a contributing designer. In addition to running her own blog, Palmisano is also a prop stylist for publications including This Old House and Eating Well. Despite her long list of credentials, she gave a humble disclaimer at the beginning of her presentation.
"I don't pretend to know everything," she said. "But I do consider myself the middle man of salvage," telling her audience that she would be happy to point them to the right people in each expertise of salvage and interior decorating.
The presentations were held in an informal, open manner - Palmisano emphasized that questions and comments from the audience were welcome at any point, which attendees took full advantage of. Photographs of even her own home were displayed, adding not only personalization, but proof that the projects she shared are truly do-able.
One of these personal projects was her kitchen, which made quite an impression on her audience. Showing a photograph of an elegant, large black kitchen sink, she explained that the focal piece was once a laundry sink from the 1800s (see photo 2).
"I consider that sink a piece of artwork," said Palmisano to a wave of nods in the audience. Later on in the presentation, she showed another photograph of her own home - this time her living room. The large room was treated to a salvaged mat, once plain and brown, transformed into a colorful and fun rug, painted by Palmisano herself (see photo 3).
"We were totally thrilled to have Joanne today," said Bill Raymer, owner of Restoration Resources. "I have been in the business for more than 25 years, and after listening to her one hour presentation on creative ways to repurpose architectural salvage, I must admit I am going to start looking at pieces like doors and windows in a whole new way." Raymer added that his retail store, which also serves as an event venue, will now carry Palmisano's books to help inspire its customers (see photo 4).
Another notable member of the audience was Linda Hentschel, founder of i-Design Interiors in Boston. Hentschel felt particularly strong about the attitude Palmisano carries regarding salvaged material. "No matter what your style, I believe in preserving history and blending at least one vintage or salvaged piece if any kind of design scheme," said Hentschel.
In addition to preserving pieces with decades of history attached to them, there seems to be a plethora of additional factors that make salvaged items desirable to such a large population. These include beauty in craftsmanship, authenticity, eco-friendliness, and quality. Even many of the items seen in Restoration Resources fit with the theme of repurposing. Bill Raymer repurposed a former Eastlake mirror frame by resizing it to fit around the flat-screen television showing Palmisano's presentations (see photo 5). Vintage Mason jars and Hood milk jugs were used as vases to hold bouquet centerpieces (see photo 6).
The hour-long presentations left attendees excited and inspired to bring the photographs they had just seen on screen come to real life.
"Joanne was so enlightening and full of fantastic design ideas!" said Jeanne Barbato of Londonderry, NH. "Before I came to the presentation at Restoration Resources, I was planning to go to Home Depot to pick out a back splash. However, now that I have seen her presentation where she uses recycled glass for a backsplash, I am going to use this idea instead."
[PHOTO 7, PC: W.W. Norton]The recycled glass backsplash was not only a favorite of Barbato's but was a big splash with all of the attendees. Palmisano showed two different examples of this type of backsplash, pointing out the vast differences in effect simply due to the different geometric shape of the glass. Palmisano encouraged attendees to mostly focus on the thickness, not width or size, of the salvaged glass to work with. "You can always get someone to cut [the glass] to the shape and size you want," she said (see photo 7).
Despite all of the creative ideas she shared, Palmisano was sure to emphasize one in particular from start to finish. "Anything given a second chance at life is salvage," she said. "Every piece of salvage has a story."
Book: Salvage Secrets Design & Decor
Story Type: News
Date Modified: April 10, 2014, 08:31 AM