When it comes to adding curb appeal, what could be more inviting than decorative touches created right here in New England?
By Marni Elyse Katz
Feb 17 2021
By: Wooden Screen Door Co.
When it comes to adding curb appeal, what could be more inviting than decorative touches created right here in New England? If you’re looking to spruce up your home’s exterior, these eleven local products, from crisp outdoor pillows to cheerful porch rockers, are a great place to start.
Done right, shutters add polish. Done wrong, and the neighbors, well, shudder. Seaport Shutter Co. founder Peter Malone turned a passion project into a bespoke business after fashioning shutters for his family’s fixer-upper in Harwich Port, Massachusetts. Twenty-five years in, the Brewster-based company dispatches carpenters all over New England to measure for and install shutters with a just-right fit. Hand-milled, hand-painted shutters come with or without appliqués or cut-outs, allowing you to add gravitas to a Federal row house or funk up a quirky beach bungalow. Contact for quote.
The tactile sensation of metal striking wood is grounding, perhaps even empowering. Your visitors will appreciate the solidity of Michael Healy’s door knockers, which are sand-cast in brass, bronze, nickel silver, and black cast iron in his foundry on the banks of the Blackstone River in Rhode Island. Designs reflect Healey’s Cape Cod upbringing as well as more fanciful inspirations, like his newest release, the peacock. Scroll through his robust Instagram feed for ideas, then share your selection in all its glory with the tag #adoremydoor. Around $60–$140.
Start with a neutral base, then add color. This tried-and-true rule makes it easy to update the look of your porch and provides an excuse to indulge in an array of accents, particularly pillows. The Pawtucket, Rhode Island, company Nantucket Bound offers pillows made from Sunbrella fabric in zippy colors and showcasing embroidered coastal motifs. New England favorites abound, such as a crab crawling across regatta stripes or, the company’s newest design, a trio of sweet-faced seagulls. Around$30–$50.
Don’t get your twine in a twist—let Mystic Knotwork do it for you! Matt Beaudoin’s team of artisans follow in the tradition of his grandfather, whose knot-tying skills landed him a nod from the Smithsonian. Located in Mystic, Connecticut, the workshop makes all sorts of nautical-inspired knotted mats out of manila rope dyed in on-trend colors or left natural to silver like cedar shingles. Either way, the mats can withstand severe weather and decades of boot-stomping abuse. $60–$225.
A year of working and learning from home has taught us a valuable lesson: We can’t afford to overlook square footage. Turn the front porch into a hangout space (or napping place) with a swing. The hammock-meets-daybed designs of Penobscot Bay Porch Swings in Brunswick, Maine, draw inspiration from the laid-back looks that have been mainstays of New England camps and cabins for more than a century. The mildew-resistant Sunbrella swings come with high backs, low backs, or no backs. If shaky isn’t your thing, there’s an extra-stable style that behaves more like a glider. $995–$1,400.
Designers consider lighting to be the jewelry of a room, even if that room happens to be outdoors. Hubbardton Forge fixtures are hardworking adornments that balance form and function—no small feat, considering the corrosive nature of the coast. The Hubbardton, Vermont, company boasts one of the nation’s oldest commercial forges along with a collaborative team of engineers and artisans who conceive and construct lights that, one could say, bring the indoors out. $810–$1,380 for styles shown here.
Prevent friends from passing by with an eye-catcher from Massachusetts’s own Chatham Sign Shop, whose house number signs are inspired by the quarterboards found on the sides of ships. Opt for an oval with carved stand-alone numbers highlighted in gold leaf or metallic silver finish, or up your numbers game with a three-dimensional embellishment of seaside faves. Hand-painted lovelies such as periwinkle hydrangeas (or any image your heart desires) can be depicted too. Around $300.
Adopted from our New York neighbor, the Adirondack chair has become as much of a New England staple as a bowl of clam chowder. Seaside Casual in Coventry, Rhode Island, modernizes classic Adirondack forms with ergonomic tweaks and a color palette that includes sky blue and acid green. The furniture bests its wooden cousins by being constructed out of a maintenance-free material made from recycled plastic bottles and containers. Prefer a plush perch? You can also order custom indoor/outdoor cushions. See website for details on where to buy.
The thud of a screen door is an unmistakable sound of summer. Get that and a hefty dose of curb appeal from Wooden Screen Door Co. in Waldoboro, Maine. The primed mahogany doors come complete with tempered glass panels for the off-season. There’s an architectural profile for just about every kind of dwelling, from curlicue silhouettes for gingerbread Victorians to Craftsman styles that would make Frank Lloyd Wright proud. Per usual, cutouts of fish, pine trees, and such are part of the package. Around $600.
Martha Stewart has the largest private collection of Guy Wolff Pottery around. Monticello and the New York Botanical Garden are also fans. Working in a rustic barn in a tiny town in Connecticut’s tony Litchfield County, Wolff alternates between red clay and white, taking cues from 18th- and 19th-century English and Italian pottery. Over the years, collaborations have resulted in a Wolff stamp on a variety of vessels, though of late, most Guy Wolff Pottery comes from the potter’s own hands or those of Erica Warnock, his wife. Around $50–$100.
They’re not just for Christmas. Jessica Billings, aka The Accidental Farmgirl, helps you get your greenery on year-round with wreaths crafted from artificial fruit, flowers, and foliage that seriously resemble the real thing. Springtime styles overflow with lemons, magnolias, and cabbage roses and might also sport fairy-tale pairings of pink and cream peonies. The long-lasting creations from this Exeter, Rhode Island, designer are popular among influencers, providing endless Insta inspiration on doors and beyond. Around $100–$150.