Design Destination Artefact Home|Garden

June 18, 2014

Text by Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz

Belmont, Massachusetts

A couple of years ago, our friend Nora suggested that we might like to visit a home store that had recently opened a few miles from where she lived. Although Belmont is a stone’s throw west of Boston and boasts two tony private schools, the Audubon Society’s nature center, and a vibrant town center, it’s not the most likely spot for hot retail. (Especially when you factor in that this particular shop sits in a former Dodge dealership wedged between automotive stores and a bus parking lot.) But visit we did and found Artefact, a boutique owned by sisters Sue and Maureen Walsh.

The pair, new to retailing, had come from the world of international business development (Sue) and technology (Maureen). That they were retail novices didn’t matter; it took only a few minutes to realize that they possessed a keen eye for product, business savvy, and a respect for the customer.

Time passes quickly, but when we returned recently, we found Artefact as charming as when we had first visited. The shop’s point of view, honed since its inception, is clear, strong, and confident. The palette remains serene and neutral, with a deep reverence for nature. Earthy garden accessories, weathered glass-front cabinets, delicate ceramic wall pieces by Elizabeth Cohen (whose work can be seen at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts), and Jason Wein’s chunky glass pieces lend the shop a rich, warm, tactile feel.

Before leaving, we made a pact with Sue and Maureen: we wouldn’t wait two years between visits ever again.

Editor’s Note:

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