At Home with Marie Galvin
We tip our hat to the local milliner’s stylish décor
by Scott Kearnan
| June 11, 2012
Long before the royal wedding made headwear hot, Marie Galvin’s couture hats and fascinators were turning heads (and adorning them) on runways and in her South End showroom, GALVIN-ized Headwear (450 Harrison Avenue, Studio #67, Boston, 617.426.4885). But the award-winning milliner also shows off serious style in her Fort Point home. We pulled up a seat in the vivacious artist’s dining area to chew the fat about her top-notch talent for design.
A. We love the bright cherry-red pop of Galvin’s kitchen area. The lacquered cabinets and stool seating bring a touch of mid-century style to the industrial loft, and Galvin emphasizes its shiny sleekness by keeping the area free of clutter. Besides, she needs plenty of free space to craft her concoctions — though not those of the edible variety. Galvin admits she hardly ever cooks at home. (“Takeout sushi is as close as I come,” she laughs.) Rather, the large kitchen island doubles as the designer’s four-by-eight-foot worktable.
B. Naturally, nods to the fashion world are found throughout the designer’s home. We loved the eye-catching print of this ikat rug. The gorgeous dyed patterns, especially prevalent in Indonesian textiles, are “continuing to pop up everywhere” in fashion, says Galvin. She found this rug, along with the handsome Indian dining table atop it, in the international inventory at Mohr & McPherson (460 Harrison Avenue, Boston, 617.210.7900).
C. “Accessorize your home like your body: know when enough is enough,” advises Galvin. She lets her décor speak for itself against a backdrop of monochromatic gray walls. They gradually darken in tone from the right to the left, a nice touch that adds interest but is subtler than a bright accent wall.
D. As a Boston-based designer, Galvin is naturally eager to support other local artists — and their pieces are found throughout her home. We were especially taken with this cool ceramic piece by Hub sculptor Steve Murphy (bostonpottery.com), an instructor at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum whose work is often inspired by monsters, sea creatures, and dinosaurs. “I love the spiky, sci-fi feel,” says Galvin. So do we.
E. Galvin makes Boston beautiful one decorated dome at a time, but she doesn’t just sell her creations. “Sometimes I’ll trade my hats for pieces,” explains the crafty designer. That’s how she wound up with this lovely lamp from The ModHaus (28 Damrell Street, South Boston, 617.822.9183), one of Galvin’s favorite spots for home finds. (That’s also where she found the credenza and kitchen vases.) The 4,000-square-foot warehouse and showroom is a massive repository of mid-century furnishings and décor. It’s open by appointment only, but virtual window shoppers can browse its unique inventory at modhaus.com.
F. This painting by artist Stephen Coyle, Galvin’s friend and former flat mate, is a sentimental reminder of a Leather District loft she once shared with other young artists. “That was our ‘Sunday hangover couch.’ The rest of us would be lying there while Stephen fed us pancakes,” laughs Galvin. The neighborhood was different then, she says, recalling fond memories of hitting punk-filled loft parties and colorful club dance floors. (“From the way we were dressed, sometimes they thought we were the entertainers!” she says.) And her profession recently gave her a chance to relive those party-hopping days: she just designed a headpiece for legendary NYC “club kid” Richie Rich, who wore it in a May photo shoot for WestEast magazine. Knowing Galvin’s talent, we’re sure to rave over the result.