Awe Inspiring...

Alison Sheffield

Alison Sheffield

Hi Gang! This week I want to introduce you to a lady who inspires me daily - not only through her Interior Design work but, with her zest for life and wonderful endearing nature.

Alison Sheffield shares a glorious Bow Roof Cape in Cohassett, MA with husband Stephen Sheffield a talented Artist and Photographer; sons Milo, 14 and Finn, 11; and some sweet furry family members - their adorable pup Evvie and cats Otto & Puck.

Family Room

Family Room

I’ve been following Alison on social media for years … and over that time we’ve become friends. This greater Boston area designer has been working in the industry for over 15 years. I know you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.

Dining Room

Dining Room

Alison grew up in Wellesley, MA in a home filled with antique furniture and rugs, many with an Asian influence. She always loved rearranging furniture and decorating growing up and remembers three distinct incarnations of her childhood bedroom. Her mother wallpapered every room in their house at least once; so using wallpaper doesn’t feel permanent to Alison and its why she embraces it so effortlessly in her own home and with her clients.

Living Room

Living Room

Both sets of grandparents decorated with antiques. Her paternal grandparents foyer and upstairs hall walls were covered in Blue & White Toile. It was a huge influence on her.

“Before I even knew what Chinoiserie was, I was smitten with it.”

A Peek into the Butlers Pantry from the Kitchen

A Peek into the Butlers Pantry from the Kitchen

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Alison told me decorating her freshman college dorm room was a summer-long activity, involving custom pillow shams and lots and lots of Laura Ashley.

“Decorating every space I’ve lived in since has been as much of a thrill.”

Recently Alison’s Home which she designed was published in Erin Gates newest bestseller: ELEMENTS OF Family STYLE. As an example of how to live stylishly with children and pets. During her career she has also been featured in Better Homes & Gardens and Boston Globe Magazine.

Sun Room

Sun Room

Family Room

Family Room

While living in that dorm room she studied English, Art History, and Women’s Studies and remarked that all these disciplines have been helpful and relevant in her life since.

After college she worked for John Hancock in their major events department. Which ran events surrounding their corporate sponsorships of the Boston Marathon and the Olympics. From there she ended up at The Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, running smaller fundraising events. That morphed into managing the Stewardship Events for the hospital’s development office - which included naming dedications and thank you events for very large donations.

Alison decided she really wanted to try her hand at interior design. She attended design school where she focused on - the history of furniture, architecture, color theory, lighting and the decorative arts. While attending The New England School of Design she worked part time for the - then regional editor for Traditional Home and Better Homes & Gardens. Alison did research and interviewed designers about their spaces and she would write up the first pass for her boss. Her boss pitched she and Stephen’s home in Boston to BH&G for their First Home feature and it was published in the September issue just before their oldest son was born that December. The article was called A Marriage of Styles and described how they’d meshed their different aesthetics in their first home.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Alison added that she wasn’t exposed to anything very “modern” or “contemporary” until she met Stephen, an artist whose Father an architect is a fan of the Bauhaus movement, and whose Mother is a master of all the home arts (cooking, sewing, knitting, quilting, gardening, etc.). The home he grew up in had a much more modern slant, and its what he was surrounding himself with when they met. She shared that he doesn’t have bad style and that he’s actually very good at putting a space together. He leans toward the utilitarian (especially when he was in art school – think sawhorses and hollow-core doors) with a bit of an edge. At the time they met her style was still entirely traditional – mahogany furniture, Persian rugs, toile wallpaper.

Sun Room

Sun Room

“Incorporating his style with mine was a tremendous learning experience for me. Figuring out how to balance the different silhouettes, styles and materials and make each sing in its own way, 100% changed how I approached design.”

Their son Milo’s nursery was featured in Boston Globe Magazine. With that exposure she was able to cobble together enough work to start Sheffield Interiors. Over the years she’s done primarily residential work, with a few commercial/hospitality jobs in the mix.

“Homes really are my passion. Creating an environment a client loves is so important to me. To be able to give them a space that reflects who they are and what they love brings me joy.”

Living Room

Living Room

Alison shared that her style still definitely slants toward the traditional. She’ll always turn toward antiques and vintage rugs, but offset them with clean lines and more up-to-date textures or finishes.

“I use a lot pattern and color because I LOVE them. I consider jewel tones and animal prints pretty much a given in most designs I create. And there’s nothing more important in creating a timeless and classic room than layering. And art, always art.“


I asked what the rest of 2019 held -

Bar Cart Concept

Bar Cart Concept

Alison is thrilled to be participating in the 3rd annual Heading Home To Dinner event in October. The event works to raise funds to provide emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing and supportive services to homeless and formerly homeless families and individuals in the Boston area.

This event brings members of the local design community together to support this incredibly important organization. Tickets are sold to a cocktail reception, as well as a formal dinner, during which bar carts created by local designers are auctioned off. You can see her concept for the bar cart she’s designing - the inspiration is a collage created by her husband Stephen Sheffield.

She wants to expand her client base, and continue to create and collect beauty!

New Logo

New Logo

Alison will be updating her website, in the meantime she’s using Instagram as a portfolio of her work. She loves the connections she’s made both professionally and personally as well as the inspiration she gets from the creative community on the app.

“I’m currently working with an artist on my branding.”

Living room

Living room

Her next-door neighbor was a decorator and the most glamorous person Alison knew and she wanted to be her when she grew up! Well, Alison you’ve succeeded in Spades!!!

Pop over and check out Alison’s feed and follow along, you’ll be so happy!

Til next time - have a terrific week and I’ll see you on the Gram!

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All Images by Alison Sheffield

Deck Refresh

Recently I had a ton of fun helping a client with the redesign of the massive deck she shares with her husband and three small children. This is where we started. They had the furniture we just needed to get busy bringing this space to life!

May 27, 2019

May 27, 2019

The client and I are IG friends. When she posted the above image - I sent a message suggesting she reorient one of the couches and pull in the two chairs to make a cozy lounge area. The next day she told me she and her husband had sat out there the previous evening and how much they enjoyed the new vibe.

May 28, 2019 Just having pulled the lounge area together

May 28, 2019 Just having pulled the lounge area together

We kept chatting about the design - the different zones. The lounge, the dining, grilling and kid zone and that’s when she hired me. The next steps included making a plan, a shopping list and then getting a date to meet at the At Home Store in Wayne, NJ.

June 10, 2019 At Home Store purchases.

June 10, 2019 At Home Store purchases.

It’s important when working with a client that I keep their design sensibility and budget in mind. As I mentioned my client already had the furniture she just needed my help to finish the space. She is a lover of a classic aesthetic - and wanted this area to be grounded in neutrals.

June 11, 2019

June 11, 2019

As we chatted I asked: do you need cushions? do you need an umbrella and base? do you have a large tray for the table? do you have lanterns? do you have battery operated candles? do you have real candles? do you have melamine dishes and glasses? Remember this is a room that just happens to be outside - you need all the same things you need for inside!

June 11, 2019

June 11, 2019

June 11, 2019

June 11, 2019

I wish I had thought to take the cover off of the grill but, you all get the idea…the grill now has it’s own area instead of being next to the seating area. It’s actually closer to the kitchen door. now.

I suggested an AstroTurf rug for under the kiddos play table which is behind the lounge area. Something fun to do is to fill a large plastic bin with bubbles and water pistols. This way the kiddos have access to them and Mom and Dad will know where they are too! You want to enjoy your deck and your children do too - so set them up to have fun so you can relax!


For less than $400.00 we purchased:

  • One 7 x 10 Rug

  • A 7-1/2 foot Crank Umbrella

  • Umbrella Base

  • Three Throw Pillows

  • Two Chair Cushions

  • Three Decorative Bowls in various designs and material all good for Outdoor Use.

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The clients are enjoying the space both day and night!

Click here to read the full client services Chaletmomma offers.

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Til next time!

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