Manchester’s Karen Swanson has focused her professional career designing the one room that is now the undisputed center of the American home — the kitchen.  Earlier this month she was named “Best Kitchen Designer” in Boston Magazine’s 2020 Best of Boston Home.  In this Q&A, Swanson shares her nonlinear journey to kitchen design, her advice for home projects and describes the rewarding process of working through challenging designs.

Well into the new season, it’s now less “out and about,” and more “in and around.”  Life at home. Entertaining.  The holidays. Winter. Coziness. All that.

This marks our first foray “Home”, with two special sections before Thanksgiving with a local take on home life and food. We focused the section on the things that make our lives inside a little nicer, a little more enjoyable. 

Stacey Clarimundo is an interior designer who in 2018 opened her studio-slash-store in Essex.  We met her when asking local home design experts how they view the seasonal design reset and share some advice from them on what’s practical, what can have great impact and make a familiar environment a little more exciting.

Painting may be the last thing on people’s mind.  That’s a mistake, says one expert.  Interior painting is one of the easiest ways to make a fresh, dramatic change for the new season.  Exterior jobs stop by November, because of the cold.  But fall and winter can the optimal time for interior painting.  It’s easier to achieve the right balance between hot and cold temperatures that allow paint to dry and bond properly.