Friends of KMID

Friends of KMID :: Highland Hotblock

Hi everyone! My name is Elizabeth and I’m a Junior Design Assistant here at KMID. While Kate is away this week, I thought I would pop over and try my hand at writing a post for you all. While we’ve already started updating you on our office (here), I realized we haven’t shared anything about our fabulous neighbors….

 We’re really settling into our new office space and it’s so great to be a part of this wonderful Somerville community. Today it’s so warm we’ve thrown open the doors to let the spring breeze meander in. I can’t wait for warmer weather when this can be a regular occurrence {plus enjoying a glass rosé on the back deck after work!}

For those of you who don’t already know, our little line of shops here on Highland Avenue is more formally referred to as the “Highland Hotblock”. It’s chalk full of amazing and creative people that we love having as neighbors. It’s great to be surrounded by people who are inspiring and share an appreciation for aesthetic- no matter what their field. As we slowly reveal our space, I figured it’d be fun to introduce to those who are around us, because they’re all pretty special…

7ate9 Bakery


7ate9 is our go-to spot for coffee and afternoon pick me ups. They have loads of delicious beverage options, locally made snacks, and their specialty, cheesecake. They make these mini “individual” cheesecakes that result in a daily struggle of self-restraint {for our waistbands sake}!

E. Scott Originals


E. Scott Originals, and her adorable pup, Mable, occupy the shop two doors down from KMID. The owner, Emily, designs and creates some seriously gorgeous jewelry. It’s always a fun spot to stop by and window shop, or slyly suggest to your loved one around Valentine’s day {wink}.

Work Shop Salon


Work Shop Salon is a boutique hair salon that prides itself on it’s experienced stylists and individuality. Although we haven’t gone there for hair styling yet, we’ve heard they’re quite a talented bunch. Also, they carry Living Proof products which all the girls in the office swear by!

M.F. Dulock


M.F. Dulock is an artisanal butcher, and also happens to live right next door to us. We love that they source entirely from local farms and only carry the absolute highest quality. It’s the perfect place if you’re cooking for a dinner party and want to get something special.

Arts at the Armory


The Armory is a stone’s throw away from us and serves as a real Somerville landmark. It functions as a community arts center for the city; including artists studios, gallery spaces, and a great performance hall that often hosts live music. They also have a little cafe that is great for a quick cup of coffee, sandwich, or soup.

Highland Kitchen


We have a real soft spot for Highland Kitchen. We’ve all had countless meals/drinks here whether together as a team outing, or with friends and family. The bartenders are some of our favorites and the food is absolutely delicious. The black bean burger is the best veggie burger I’ve had and the buffalo brussel sprouts are always a crowd pleaser. Also if you’re okay with a wait, the Sunday brunch is one of the best in Boston.

3 Little Figs


3 Little Figs is sort of our special occasion lunch spot. It’s a little bit further down the road which requires a little bit more effort, but it provides such a cozy and welcoming atmosphere that sometimes it’s just what you need. The sandwiches and salads are delicious and they always have an array of tasty pastries that pair perfectly with a latte.

If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend you stop into any of the above. We’re very friendly over here on Highland Avenue and it’s a great place to explore!

Design is everywhere. Be Inspired.

{Images: Boston Magazine, Boston Globe, Boston Eater, Boston Magazine, Salon Today, The Second Lunch Blog, Ruby Shoes Photography}

Friends of KMID :: Office Kitchen & Spinneybeck


If you’ve been reading along, you may already know that KMID moved offices in November. Our previous office in Central Square was KMID’s home for over 10 years so it was certainly bitter sweet to say goodbye, spread our wings and move on to a new space.

I had been casually looking at larger office spaces for months, but nothing had felt quite right. Luckily I was in no real rush but when I entered the Highland office, I knew it was it. My eyes ignored the beat up/unfinished floors, unpainted walls and tiny bathroom, and just saw an empty shell with light flooding through the windows.

I plan on revealing a full before and after once everything is finished, but will be showing you bits and pieces of our renovation over the next few months. Today’s order of business: the kitchen!

The mere thought of having a designated kitchen space, after years of washing dishes in the bathroom, was such an upgrade! I wanted to keep things clean, modern and sharp here. Ikea’s look and feel {and price point} were a perfect fit throughout this office. We installed Ikea built-ins for the cabinets in a sleek, shiny grey finish. For easy maintenance, we ended up going with a classic calacatta Caesarstone countertop. It mimics carrera marble in its coloring and tones, but without the special care. It’s been holding up beautifully and I’m so happy with the results.

One of the elements that we wanted to have a little fun with were the cabinet pulls in the kitchen. For these, we used one of our favorite trusty sources: Spinneybeck.

Spinneybeck specializes in high end leather products- including wall coverings, rugs, and drawer pulls. Take a peak at some of their work…





I’ve used their leather pulls in multiple projects now and they’re fabulous. They’re sturdy, handsome, and only get better with use. I went with a fun coral to add a pop of color and tie into the other colors throughout our space. Check them out in our space below!


We’re going to be adding a Caesarstone shelf above the sink here for some extra storage. I also love our vintage “Ring the bell win a prize” sign that we picked up from Ramble Market in Waltham. It adds that KMID element and balances out all of the modern elements in the kitchen- I can’t wait to hang it up!



Design is everywhere. Be Inspired.


Thiara is Running the Boston Marathon!

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We are proud to announce that our Senior Designer, Thiara Borges, is training to run the 2016 Boston Marathon!

Thiara is running on team Housing Families to support a cause very dear to her heart. Housing Families, Inc. is a Boston based agency working for close to 30 years to help thousands of families overcome homelessness. Housing Families, Inc. was established in 1986, with a mission to provide safe, temporary shelter and quality affordable housing to homeless and at-risk families. Last year Housing Families served over 400 families, including more than 600 children in the Greater Boston area. Massachusetts has the fastest growing rate for homelessness in the nation, the work being done by Housing Families is extremely important to help combat this epidemic. We are excited to support and help her reach her goal!

Thiara has pledged to raise $7,500 for Team Housing Families. The funds raised will directly sustain HFI’s programs: eviction prevention, tutoring, counseling, emergency and permanent shelter. Please click here to donate!

So it’s safe to say that not only is she fabulous, but she has a heart of gold as well. We interviewed Thiara about her inspiration and the ups and downs of training, and we’re excited to share her insight with you.

{And of course it wouldn’t be in true Thiara fashion without mention of Beyonce ;)…}

What excites you the most about the HFI mission and representing us at the Boston Marathon?

I am happy to be fulfilling a long term goal to run the Marathon while helping HFI. In 2008, I started volunteering with kids at a shelter in Cambridge and got to see first-hand the devastating effects of homelessness in children and their mothers. Housing Families is doing such important work in a sector of our society that is so prominent yet so overlooked. Because the Boston Marathon is such an epic event in our city, this is not only an amazing opportunity to raise funds, but also awareness for this cause. HFI is a vital tool for families, I am so honored to do my part in becoming a small part of the solution.

What have you been doing for training? How has the winter weather impacted your training (if at all)?

I’ve been doing between 3 to 4 runs per week and trying to also fit in 2 days of cross and strength training. I’ve been trying to do my long runs on the course, it’s very motivating to see the other runners out there! Last week, I met two older gentlemen with many Marathons under their belt. They were nice enough to take a picture of me in front of the Johnny Kelley statue, but more importantly, they also gave me some invaluable advice as a first time marathoner (brisk walk up those hills and save your energy!) As far as winter, it hasn’t been too bad this year…. I did long run this past Sunday on the treadmill because it was -30 degrees out…. Many episodes of Lost, lots of water and gu. It was like a Boston Marathon training milestone, which oddly, made me kind of proud.

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What does the Boston Marathon mean to you?

I was 11 years old when I moved to Framingham from Brazil, the Boston Marathon was the first big event I remember attending in America. It was pure magic. Cheering on the runners became tradition for my family, we moved to Mile 3 of the course in Ashland when I was in high school. We make signs for the runners every year! I currently live less than a mile from Heartbreak Hill in Newton, I don’t stray too far from the course, the fact that I have an opportunity to run this year is so exciting, I am so proud, excited/ terrified!

When and why did you start running? What’s your favorite running route.

I started running about 7 years ago as a way to get healthy, it completely changed me. It was cool to realize that, with some work and persistence, I could pack on the miles. Running is more than a sport and has given me a sense of pride and achievement, but it also challenges and humbles me all the time. I love to run around the Charles River, it’s nice and flat :).

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What is on your playlist?

First and foremost, I punctuate every half hour with Beyonce’s “Formation” . Some of my other favorites that I rely on to give me a boost are; Outkast’s “B.O.B”, Jay Z’s “ Can’t Knock the Hustle”, The Roots’ “ Here I come”, Beastie Boys’ “ Body Movin’” and Rage Against the Machine’s “Renegades of Funk”.

We’re so proud of Thiara and all of the hard work she’s putting in to realize her goal. It’s fun to be along for the ride so to speak {without the sore legs} as she trains and prepares for the marathon and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re thrilled to support Thiara, and Housing Families, in their incredible endeavor and we hope you will too!

To support Thiara’s cause and Housing Families Boston click here.

Thiara and the KMID team all thank you for your support and continuous generosity. Marathon Monday here we come!


Chairish “Design Insider Guide” Update!

Chairish_BlogImage Those of you following along on the blog may have seen that our “Design Insider Guide” with Chairish was published yesterday! Also, if you’re signed up for the Chairish newsletter, you may have stumbled upon us in your inbox {wink}. I’m happy to say quite a few of the pieces have already been sold since then so hurry on over and take a peak before they’re gone!

Before our collection was launched, I sat down with Chairish to answer a few questions about what makes KMID tick. While some of my answers made it onto the post, I wanted to share the full interview and give you the inside scoop on some of my inspirations and favorite spots around town. Enjoy!

1. What do you love about designing with vintage decor?
I always express to my clients that my goal is to design a space that speaks to their personal aesthetic. Each piece should feel collected over time rather than a total overhaul from a hired designer. Using vintage décor is key to curating a space that feels authentic.

 2. What are you most inspired by right now? (i.e. color palettes, materials, designers)
I’m feeling a “back to basics” movement happening around me. Clients want spaces that function properly and designs that work with their daily lives. It sounds simple but stripping design down to the basics helps me to take a step back and really design spaces with a purpose that reflects the personality and lifestyle of our clients. This challenge is what gets me up in the morning and ready to create spaces for people to live their lives in comfortably.


3. What is your golden design rule?
There are no rules.

 4. Trend you hope never makes a comeback?
By nature I don’t tend to like trends. I don’t know why but they have always seemed too mainstream for me. By the time they become a “trend”, they have been used too much and there isn’t anything interesting left. Chevron and animal prints are probably the two that stand out to me. I’m just not a fan.

5. What’s your dream project?
I would absolutely love to design a boutique hotel. The idea of designing individual rooms that can all live on their own but be part of a larger collection would be such a fun challenge. Plus the risks you can take on a project like this would really get the creative juices flowing!

 6. Space you can’t get out of your mind?
I just finished designing my oldest daughter’s bedroom and I love it. She was ready for a “big girl room” when her little sister arrived in September. I wanted her room to work for her now but also grow with her. She has an antique Victorian pine bed that works perfectly with the antique dresser I inherited from my great grandparents. We freshened things up with a modern rug, ivory and orange floral curtains and a dusty pink wall color ties it all together. We salvaged the glass and brass antique chandelier from the dining room of our home during renovation and it casts the softest light when we cuddle up for books at bedtime.


7. What is your favorite neighborhood restaurant (and what do you like to order there)?
We’re fortunate enough to live in a place where there are countless options…Highland Kitchen {right near our new office}, Cuchi Cuchi {tapas AND a fabulous interior} or Giulia’s near Harvard Square {for date night} are all favorites. We’re also lucky to have Rudy’s Cafe right down the road for when I need a Mexican fix and their fish tacos and Horny Toad margarita fit the bill every time.

 8. Who is your go-to florist?
Krissy Price of Boston Pollen has the most amazing way of creating magic with her floral arrangements.  I love collaborating with her for my photoshoots because her textural approach is a perfect match for my interiors. Not to mention her flower crowns that are irresistible! I’ve been known to rock one of those when hosting my annual holiday party {wink}.


9. Where is your best local perch for people watching?
I grew up in Holliston so every year for the Boston Marathon my family makes it a point to be home to cheer on the runners. The sheer number of people running always amazes me! Not to mention how many are running for a loved one or a special charity. This year will be particularly special because our senior designer, Thiara Borges, will be running to support Housing Families, Inc. So inspiring!

10. Vice you will never give up?
Brimfield for sure! It’s like a magnet pulling me to Western Massachusetts three times a year. Even if I don’t need a thing I always leave there with something I just have to have. I’m addicted! Antique collecting at this show has become my secret weapon when designing for my clients. It helps me to ensure the “collected” look I long for when putting the finishing touches on a space.

You can check out the full collection here and read more about the pieces in yesterday’s blog post- make sure to let me know what you think!

Design is everywhere. Be Inspired!


“Designer Insider Guide” with Chairish

I’ve always had a soft spot for antique and vintage finds. They seem to have a voice all their own and bring a layer of personality to every space I design. If I need something to feel collected or unique in anyway then my “found object” pieces are the ones that can instantly help me to do this.

  Designing an entire space using new, mainstream, catalogue-found furniture, feels a bit cold to me and lacks a little personality {which is really the fun of it all}. My mission is to curate spaces that feel authentic, layered, and collected over time. The only trick in this equation is that I don’t have years {or hours} to hunt for these special pieces. Luckily I have websites like Chairish to help hone the search for me!

Chairish is an online resource for all things vintage decor and has become a fantastic resource for our team at KMID. All of the pieces they include are curator-approved and trustworthy, taking out some of the guess work that you often encounter while hunting through Craigslist and Ebay listings. Chairish has a great selection of furniture and accessories that’s constantly being updated which means there is always something new so you can check back often.

I was thrilled {and honored} when Chairish asked me to curate a collection and be featured in their “Designer Insider Guide” series. I let them in on some of my favorite local spots, design musings, and hand-picked a collection of some of my favorite items listed in the Boston area. The piece goes live on their site today so I thought it might be fun to give my KMID friends a little inside scoop on the items I picked and why I love them so much! Read about some of my favorite selects below and head over to Chairish to read the full interview {here}.


The lines of this sofa had me at “hello”! The curve of the arms and the base, with the sculpted wood feature and tight tufted back…wow! The beautiful thing is that this upholstery is also in great shape. Rust may not be your thing but you can’t deny the shape here. Nothing a little upholstery job by our friends at Partners In Design can’t handle if need be!


Lucite coffee tables seem to be everywhere these days. This one has a more classic vibe  and feels a bit more “one of a kind” and unique to me. The beautiful brass detail adds just enough visual interest without taking away from the elegant shape.


These chairs are such a sweet and interesting shape. I love the low backs, the line of the arms and the vintage fabric. These would add the perfect touch of 1960s decor to any living room. {They also kind of remind me of two old lady friends sitting on a park bench..haha!}


Lamps are a great way to add another layer of dimension to your space. Finding quirky lamps can really say something and add just the right amount of whimsy, color or texture to your space. These lamps have an almost tribal pattern to them that adds a graphic element that feels strong and grounding …a great quality for a pair of side table or nightstand lamps.


Every entryway needs an awesome tray. This is the perfect spot to toss your keys, sunglasses and a pack of gum on your way through the door. Not only is it functional, but it has gorgeous detailing…form meets function…love it!


This ombre wall hanging is a refreshing use of wall space. It adds texture and dimension in a way that normal art cannot. I could see this looking beautiful and adding a funky element to a living room or a bedroom….or the end of a long hallway.


We used an armchair with a similar channel back detailing in our Newton Colonial project. This piece is so classic while still having a geometric detail that remains current. It’s the perfect piece for bridging the gap between traditional and more contemporary styles.


I love this mid century chandelier. It’s a classic style that brings an industrial edge to a space. We have a massive chandelier with similar lines hanging in our office and it just makes the space sing!


I love this sassy, fashionable gal! I could see her accessorizing a bookshelf, standing on a desk, or perched on a side table. She would inspire me to dress for success on a daily basis!

KMID_Chairish_10 This teak and oak dresser is beautifully constructed and made up of clean, structured lines. I love a low, wide dresser like this because it adds much needed storage for a bedroom while leaving the wall above open for a mirror or piece of personal art.

I hope this little peak into my collection for Chairish convinces you of the value {and fun} of shopping vintage. I had so much fun picking my favorites in the Boston area and collaborating with Chairish on this project. Make sure to check out the whole collection online here and let me know what you think!

Design is everywhere. Be inspired.