How to Incorporate the Work of Artists and Artisans into your Home

November 16, 2022

A suburban home acts as the backdrop for thirteen New England artisans.

Text by Lynda Simonton    Photography by Sarah Winchester    Produced by Karin Lidbeck Brent

New Englanders have long had an affinity for adding personality and context to their homes with handcrafted objects. From furniture carved in Rhode Island to silver poured in Boston, our appreciation for fine craftsmanship can be traced back to colonial times. Today, artisans continue the tradition with the help of a supporting cast of regional institutions including the North Bennet Street School and the Rhode Island School of Design.

We challenged New England Home stylist and contributing editor Karin Lidbeck Brent to incorporate the work of some of New England’s most exciting makers into the decor of a family home,  demonstrating how to successfully include artisan pieces in your own space.

“Sometimes a unique piece is a jumping-off point for a room design or can be added as the finishing flourish,” says Lidbeck Brent. “Either way, these works of art elevate a home, adding layers of personality and charm that’s elusive with mass-produced items. Without original art and handcrafted works, a home feels like a show house, not a reflection of the homeowner’s unique style.”

A suburban Boston home designed by Kate Coughlin provides a fitting backdrop. Coughlin mixes custom wallcoverings and rare antiques with the homeowners’ extensive art collection. The well-considered residence happily adapts to additional styling and artistic elements.

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