Filling a snug living space with bric-a-brac is sort of like trying to cram a trunk full of junk into your college jeans: not a good look. So when Flour Bakery executive pastry chef Nicole Rhode set out to overhaul her South End studio, she tapped Brad Dufton and Kendra Amin-Dufton, the husband-and-wife team behind local interior-styling service colorTHEORY Boston, who helped her create an airy, streamlined, and balanced vibe. We stopped by to get a peek at her just-wrapped home project — and a little insight into this sweet chef's personality.
A. When Rhode started as a barista at Flour 12 years ago, she had zero kitchen experience; chef/owner Joanne Chang trained her from scratch. But this old family cookbook proves baking is in her blood. It's filled with handwritten recipes from her grandmother, a pro baker.
B. These cookies are from Flour's holiday cookie swap, an annual fundraiser for children's nonprofit Room to Grow. Flour's got room to grow too; in January, it'll open a fourth location at 131 Clarendon Street, the former site of the Hard Rock Café.
C. To make the small studio feel airy, colorTHEORY chose a color palette with "paper white" walls and an "anchor gray" ceiling that mimics a soothing sky.
D. Rhode grew up in Wisconsin, and her family boated on the Mississippi River. They'd stop in Red Wing, Minnesota, to pick up these five- and 10-gallon Red Wing Stoneware clay crocks, which Rhode has repurposed into planters.
E. Most of Rhode's ornately carved wooden chairs are antiques passed down by family. To give them a fresh look, colorTHEORY reupholstered them with colorful fabrics in contemporary patterns.
F. No Tupperware here. Instead of plastic storage, Rhode opts for glass mason jars that double as décor.
G. Stuck with small closets? Rhode uses these vintage suitcases to hold accessories and handbags. Bonus: they fill in empty under-bed space, keeping dust bunnies at bay.
H. Pro tip: don't be shy with a statement piece. Rhode isn't religious, so the Our Lady of Guadalupe wall hanging was once consigned to a corner. The design duo put it front and center, giving the room a calming focal point.
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