With a new line of furniture brewing and a 1st dibs storefront on the way, Kristin Paton is quietly lighting up the Boston design scene with her highly sophisticated sense of style and sublime collection of antiques, accessories, and art. I sat down with Kristin Paton of Kristin Paton Home and Interiors, and Peter Griglik, her VP of retail and product development, to learn more about the people behind this classically chic brand.
What inspired you to open the retail store in Harvard Square aptly named Kristin Paton Home?
KP ~ It was really from living in London and NY…in both those places you can walk down the street and decorate a house in a flash…and you have constant new sources…I felt like we could use another outlet to the (Boston) Design Center and something more here…if you go on 1st dibs, most of the places are in NY, or Connecticut or LA, and why not Boston…Boston has loads of sophisticated people here that are looking for things on their own…whether it’s for the designers looking for product or design people looking for good products.
PG ~ Kristin’s desire to open the store was to show pieces missing from the Boston area and to teach people about design…how you can mix things and why things can mix…the only way to teach this is to show this…if you show some of these pieces separately, people may think they don’t go together…the store shows how well these pieces can and do work together.
KP ~ And it’s quiet, it’s quiet layering, it’s quiet sophistication…it’s meant to be a layered effect, it’s meant to be the flannel sofa with a touch of leather…that sofa says so much, it’s very quiet but yet it’s very well thought out…the grey flannel fabric withstands kids and dogs…and it looks chic…and the piping is leather so you get another layer, and that’s sort of our philosophy, the layering ~ quiet and sophisticated.
Detail of an Antique Daybed ~ French Louis XVI style elegantly carved and painted daybed, newly upholstered in chocolate brown velvet fabric with button cushion and newly made bolsters with faux crocodile sides.
Petrified Wood Accent Table ~ Sliced Petrified Wood Accent Table on Custom Metal Base
Who are some of your design icons?
KP ~ I love London’s Anouska Hempel for fashion and design, London based landscape architect Luciano Giubbilei’s sculptural gardens, Italian architect Michele Bonan, NYC based architect and artist Thierry Despont and Dutch architect Piet Boon…for fashion, I love Armani’s clean lines and simplicity…also, there’s an Italian clothing line called Marlowe that just opened a shop in the US (Chicago)…very fine materials, it’s not a big collection but it’s sculptural and I love all that sculpture…and Emma Hope shoes, they’re one of my favorites…just because it’s glamorous and crazy, you know I love a little bit of that glamour!
PG ~ New York based designer Muriel Brandolini, I’m fascinated by her eye and her approach and what she does..and for fashion, Gucci, Tom Ford, John Varvatos, Billy Reid…something classic with a twist.
KP ~ Tom Ford is great at everything…I love to listen to his Ted talks…he’s just very charismatic and a superstar in his own right…everything he does seems to touch magic.
KPH candle ~ KRISTIN PATON HOME candle with fresh scent reminiscent of Shalimar
I love the wax seal and roman numerals on your website/candles, can you describe this branding inspiration?
KP ~ The Roman numerals come from my love of classical architecture and the wax seal speaks to yet another level of classicism…and that classicism is a major adjective in our brand…we’re classical, we’re clean, we’re masculine, but yet with a touch of something modern…modern/classicism.
Blown Glass Palmer Bottles atop a Vintage French two tiered brass coffee table with clear glass shelves.
French Louis XVI Style Fauteuil chair with elaborately carved frames. Newly upholstered in Clarence House wool plaid detailed with contrast tape.
What are some of your “go to” resources for antiques, accessories and art?
KP ~ Clignancourt in Paris, Pimlico Road in London, Spencer Swaffer Antiques in London along with some local resources such as the Brimfield Antique Show.
Flange Ikat Pillow In Warm Charcoal and Grey
Detail of “Noah’s Ark” ~ Hand watercolored “Noah’s Ark” scene on paper framed in modern plexiglass
Custom Upholstered Sofa in the Jean Michel Frank style, in Charcoal Wool fabric with Chocolate Brown leather piping. Tight upholstered back.
The grey flannel sofas are your own design, do you have any new designs in the works?
KP ~ Yes, we are working on our own line of furniture for Kristin Paton Home…being interior designers we know what’s in the market and what’s not, so we are trying to grow good quality things…I believe there is a need for something between the super high end and the mail order.
Gold Butterfly Table ~ Tommy Mitchell has created these Beautiful Side Tables. Gold Butterflies encased in a Plexiglass top.
Brighton Lamp ~ White pagoda shaped resin lamp with white paper shade
foreground, White Ceramic Pagodas ~ Square Ceramic Pagodas finished in a Crisp White Glaze
above mantel, Cacophany ~ Musical notes floating on paper framed in clear plexiglass
What’s your favorite place to visit?
KP ~ I like to go anywhere new! Paris, for it’s natural sophistication, the people watching, the food, the culture…it’s so inspiring there…different from anyplace else.
PG ~ My favorite place would be Provincetown…it’s just spectacular…I go there and I’m a completely different person.
KP ~ India
PG ~ Barcelona
Thunderball Black & White limited Edition framed photograph ~ A scene from the James Bond film Thunderball with Sean Connery, Claudine Auger and Adolfo Celi.
Twisted Ribbon Pillow ~ Navy Linen Pillow with “Twisted Ribbon” White Stripes
Velvet Striped Linen Pillow ~ Linen Pillow in Bone with Dark Indigo Velvet Stripes
Brighton Lamp atop a Directoire Table ~ Brass base with black granite top
Equilibrium table lamp in a chrome finish by Ralph Lauren Home
French Louis XVI Bureau Plat ~ mahogany desk with leather top and gold tooling brass detail
What personal possession do you cherish and couldn’t live without?
KP ~ My mother’s bracelet that I’ve worn since she died…it’s something that was left to me and will go to my daughters.
Can you describe the perfect day?
KP ~ I always love my birthday…I allow myself to not think about work…have a day off…usually my husband organizes something decadent like a massage or spa treatment…then I’ll meet my girlfriends for wine or champagne and french fries…and then have dinner with my husband and family…that would be a perfect birthday…and to be honest, my favorite thing is to go to flea markets and antique shops, that’s a perfect day…I could do that all day long!
If you could have dinner with anyone living or deceased, who would it be?
KP ~ My mom, Hilary Clinton
Nation On Vacation Pillow ~ Hand-woven, drum dyed calf nappa, woven on both sides. 10% down, 9 % feather insert.
Detail of The Chateau (framed) ~ Vaux Le Vicomte
Carthage table lamp in a natural brass finish by Ralph Lauren Home
Urchin Shells (set of 6) ~ Sea Foam See Form. Beautiful white urchins in plaster.
What are some of your guilty pleasures?
KP ~ Chocolate, too much coffee, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo!
PG ~ French fries, chocolate chip cookies, The Soup on E!
Do you enjoy cooking?
PG ~ Yes, I love to cook! Every night…I’d much rather stay home and cook than go out…I’m trained in interior architecture but I had a catering company for 13 years where I was the chef so I get my little outlet of cooking every night or if we have a dinner party…I love to plan it out…at night, I’ll think of what groceries I need to get, and I’ll try to stop and pick them up on my way to work when the grocery store is less crowded, and then cook when I get home…it’s my little quiet time.
Do you have any favorite restaurants in Harvard Square or the Boston area?
KP ~ We go to Harvest (Harvard Square) and sit at the bar, it’s local and cute…a glass of wine and an appetizer…that’s our regular…Mary Dumont is the chef, she’s very nice…I live here in Cambridge so we just walk over…and Sofra Bakery (Cambridge)…I love their coffee and they have naughty treats.
PG ~ My favorites, because I love it when it tends to be on the smaller side, are B&G and The Butcher Shop (South End)…love being there, just sit at the bar and have a glass of wine, have a hot dog at The Butcher Shop, or go get some oysters and something great at B&G…if it’s a large restaurant, I like Trade, it’s a blast and the food is really good and Sam’s over by the ICA (Boston).
Vintage sign from an old farm in France
A Pair of 48″ Demi Lunes ~ French wax finish: sandstone colored stain applied over white weather-durable concrete, achieving the warm patina of the stone of Provence.
Wooden Column Lamp with custom black paper shade
Can you talk a little about your dog?
KP ~ We have a sheep dog named Fred but at home we call him Mr. Naughty…he’s very cute…he’s a Polish Lowland Sheep Dog, so he looks like a Mini English, but not as grand as an English, he’s more countrified looking…he has that naughty face and cocks his head…and everyone gives him whatever he wants!
Is he named after Fred from Breakfast at Tiffany’s?
KP ~ Yes, he is….his collar reads “Fred Baby”…on my wedding day, my husband gave me the screenplay to Breakfast at Tiffany’s that he found through friends in Hollywood…he had it bound and it was waiting for me in the limousine…yes, I love Breakfast at Tiffany’s…it’s one of my favorites!
PG ~ I have a Wire Fox Terrier named Raleigh…he turned five months old a few days ago
Stag Leg 30″ and 21″ Accent Tables ~ STAG Party! Newly made side table in white painted finish with gold detailing.
Celadon Figurine Lamp ~ Custom Silk Shade
Peter, can you tell me about the fabulous window display?
PG ~ We wanted to create a living wall…kind of with a whimsical feel…we have these great classic pieces juxtaposed against the boxwood wall…it gives it a very warm feeling and makes for a very inviting space.
Tassle Side Table or Stool
Swedish Style Painted Dresser ~ Hand painted Gustavian chest of drawers made from reclaimed Elm Wood. 2 available. Great finish!
I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the entire team at Kristin Paton Home and Interiors for sharing their time and talent with me. Click here to link to their beautiful website and next time you’re in Harvard Square, please stop by for a visit!
Kristin Paton Home and Interiors, 152 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
pictured left to right ~ Courtney Aleksa, Peter Griglik and Kristin Paton
photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye