Room to Dream Foundation

>> Friday, July 25, 2014

A month or so ago I had the wonderful opportunity to design a couple of rooms for the Room to Dream Foundation. The way it all came about was kind of interesting (to me, anyway). Linds and I were at a cocktail party last fall in Newport and met Gail Ravgiala with Design New England. Gail is one of those people who really talks to you when she talks to you, like not looking over your should to see what other important people are there. I always appreciate that at big, mingly-type events. During this conversation I went off on some monologue about how sometimes our profession feels kind of shallow. Which was one of those moments, after it came out of my mouth, I was internally like "seriously, Stephanie, wrong crowd". But Gail then suggested I look in to the Room to Dream Foundation, an organization that designs rooms for children suffering with various types of illness. That very next day my friend and very talented designer Rachel Reider posted photos on instagram of a room she was installing that weekend for the organization. I commented that I really wanted to get involved, she passed my name along to the founder, Stefan and a couple of months later I met Gavin. You can read more about Gavin's project specifics HERE.

Here are some before images of both spaces (3 boys, two rooms)

 And then big brother's room


 And the after photos by Michael J. Lee



 And big brother's room

 We had so many wonderful volunteers which you can also check out HERE at the bottom of the page. I highly recommend them all and work with most of them on all of my other projects.

It was a great experience and I am so thankful for the opportunity!

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A Tour :: Fenway Victory Gardens

>> Tuesday, July 22, 2014

For the past three years I have wanted to document our little city garden and garden neighbors in Fenway, but most days hauling my tools and babies down there seemed like enough work in itself. A couple of weeks ago Remi grabbed his scooter, rendering me one less child to push, so I grabbed my camera.
This is my favorite garden. This guy started gardening here 20 years ago, I believe, and now he does it professionally. People are always staring into his garden like a bunch of creeps. Uh em

This guy has dozens of pots in his garden, I love it. Collections always add charm don't they? It reminds me of the backyard in the tv show Parenthood, which is exactly what we want our one day backyard to look like.
We compost. 
Some people have legit farms.
There is also a community plot that is handicap accessible. Ours plot is right across the path and it's a really neat thing to see this space get used. Pushing a stroller through the city gives you a little insight on accessibility or lack thereof. When I have to do things like ask a stranger to help me carry my double stroller down a flight of stairs because the T elevator is out of order, it really frustrates me for people that that are not just inconvenienced, but stranded. If you live in Boston and notice something like this, the city has a twitter handle under @notifyboston. It's a productive way to complain! I use it often and they are fairly responsive. 

A couple of years ago a huge tree fell down along the main path, right into our plot. The lady that had our plot was older and did not want to garden in the full sun. So she moved plots and we became city gardeners. Sometimes Berkeley students play music on the stump, which is always cool. 
And here is our space. I am doing good on everything this year, EXCEPT grass. I let my oldest garden helper assist me with the weed and feed dispenser. He went a little heavy in some areas (i.e. full handfuls on the ground) so the grass burned and the weeds blossomed. 
And this guy lives here along with 4,000 of his relatives. He's no Smokey from Florida. All of the gardners are terrorized by these little bunnies who eat everything, including a little boxwood I planted next to the playhouse last year. I only had enough energy to fortress my vegetable box while other gardeners have protected their entire plot.
We come here mostly to play and escape the concrete. It's no show garden. My neighbor told me those vine-ish weeds are called Cape Cod Ivy and I love Cape Cod, so I decided to quit pulling them:)
The boys get dirty like little boys should.
 And I am constantly reminded that I need to stick to hearty plants.
Only three blocks away from our building, it's such a nice escape. 
Want to hear something hilarious...that new building on the right? A Target in the base! A TARGET!!? I am moving in less than two months and they are hanging drywall in a TARGET across the street from where I live. Oh, the irony.

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Boston Globe Magazine

>> Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Last month I had the huge honor of having one my my projects photographed by my friend Michael for the Boston Globe Magazine's "Family Friendly" issue. And thanks to his crazy good camera skills, we made the cover! Lynn, one of my favorite clients ever, worked in the magazine industry prior to motherhood so she had a good idea how things were going to work. And then my sweet, sweet friend Lindsay helped with styling, schlepping, and all the other glorious stuff no one reading those glossy pages ever sees. It was hands down the most fun shoot I've been a part of. The cherry on top was total cooperation by the star of the show, Miss Anna. Here are some pics that were included in the article and some that were did not. You can read the article, written by my talented friend Marni Katz, here.

 Thanks, Boston Globe Magazine!!

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