Creative Collaborations

Celebrating  A Thirteen Year Relationship

By: Dawn Carroll, Stone Specialist, CUMAR Marble and Granite

 

(L-R) Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto at The 2007 Builders Association of Greater Boston. Winners of Silver PRISM Award for Best Kitchen Remodel Unlimited.

(L-R) Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto at The 2007 Builders Association of Greater Boston. Winners of Silver PRISM Award for Best Kitchen Remodel Unlimited.

Pure fascination. That’s typically the reaction people have when designer Rosemary Porto, of Poggenpohl Kitchens, unleashes her creativity. We are left in awe with the end result. However, her designs and unparalleled talent is only part of the entire process.  The other half of her success is due to her uncanny ability to assemble the perfect team for each job. How do I know this? For many years, I have found myself on her winning team.

For those New England fans out there, you can think of Rosemary as the Coach Belichick of the design field. As Belichick has said, “On a team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.”

Cumar Marble and Granite Table- ASID AWARDS Honoring Over My Shoulder Foundation Designing the Next Generation Mentoring Award

Cumar Marble and Granite Table- ASID AWARDS Honoring Over My Shoulder Foundation Designing the Next Generation Mentoring Award

Over the past 13 years of working together, Rosemary has led me to many “Design Super Bowls.” Together, we have won prestigious awards. The Subzero,  Best of the Best Kitchen Design, which showcases top talent, featured two amazing projects that I was lucky to be a part of, along with Hacin + Associates. I have also been very fortunate to have had the opportunity, through Rosemary, to work with some of the finest architects and builders, in some of the most well-known addresses on the East coast. Not only had the experience working with these individuals been wonderful, but I can also now call most of them by dear friends.

Editorial feature project in September 2016 Design New England issue. (Photo courtesy of: Greg Premru)

Editorial feature project in September 2016 Design New England issue. (Photo courtesy of: Greg Premru)

Rosemary is also a big believer in the power of mentoring. She has been a huge supporter of one of my passion project,  the Over My Shoulder Foundation and our Design Mentoring Mission. Rosemary embodies the words of our co-founder, Patti Austin, when she says “we are all increasingly interdependent on each other, rather than independent individuals.” She invests in her friends, their dreams, and gives her time as she graciously hosted a dazzling mentoring event in collaboration with designer and friend, Leslie Fine.

 Collaboration between Poggenpohl Kitchens and Cumar Marble and Granite.

Collaboration between Poggenpohl Kitchens and Cumar Marble and Granite.

 

As Rosemary consistently reminds us, it’s all about the team and I couldn’t agree more. Therefore, I would like to give recognition to my colleagues at Cumar Marble and Granite, who are the true “Rock Stars” of this collaboration.

My super star boss Ivo Cubi, owner and patriarch of Cumar, travels around the world to hand pick the gems of the earth to bring back to Cumar. After the designers make their selections, our engineering team examines each slab spending hours creating a layout where the elegant stone patterns and designs come to life,

Team from L-R: Bob Earnst at FBN Construction, Rosemary Porto, our client Bonnie Berman, Dawn Carroll.

Team from L-R: Bob Earnst at FBN Construction, Rosemary Porto, our client Bonnie Berman, Dawn Carroll.

weaving the perfect story. Then the fabrication shop talks ownership of this creation, slicing and polishing each rare stone, sculpting the shapes needed for each individual project. Once it’s complete, the installation artists secure the stone in its final home, where it becomes the epicenter for a family, hosting many family gatherings.

 

As I celebrate with Rosemary thirteen years of friendship, mentoring, design, and collaboration, it is with great pride that I share the news of an exquisite editorial piece that is in the current Design New England’s Fall issue. A stunning team design- a Super Bowl win for us.

Poggenpohl and Cumar Marble and Granite display at Clarke Distribution Boston Showroom. Cumar and Poggenpohl's second collaboration for this prestigious company, Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto celebrate with designer Eric Roseff and Real Estate professional, Colin Sullivan.

Poggenpohl and Cumar Marble and Granite display at Clarke Distribution Boston Showroom. Cumar and Poggenpohl’s second collaboration for this prestigious company, Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto celebrate with designer Eric Roseff and Real Estate professional, Colin Sullivan.

 

Congratulations to the entire team and bravo to my Cumar team! Looking forward to thirteen more wonderful years creating masterpieces.

 

http://cumar.com/1832-2

Event Wrap: The Give and Take of Mentoring in the World of Luxury Homes

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“The Give and Take of Mentoring in the World of Luxury Homes,” held last Monday as part of Boston Design Week, was a magical afternoon of inspirational mentoring stories, expert insight into the challenges of mentorship, and wisdom from some of the shining stars of the Boston design world.

Celebrity moderators Patti Austin and Taniya Nayak kicked off the event. Nayak, red-faced, admitted to the nearly two hundred–person audience that she shares a unique bond with her Grammy Award–winning co-moderator: that although she has “the worst voice ever,” she always sings Patti’s hit song, “Baby Come to Me,” in the shower when no one is listening. Patti pounced, and made Nayak serenade the panel with a few bars—a perfect, light-hearted start to the day.

The two moderators introduced the esteemed panelistsMeichi Peng, founder and principle of Meichi Peng Interior Design Studio; Andrew Goldstein, retired CEO of Thoughtforms; David J. Hacin, founder and principle of Hacin & Associates; Cheryl Katz, owner and co-founder of C & J Katz Studio; and Sean Clarke, general manager of Clarke Distribution—asking each of them a few questions about leadership and mentoring: What is the biggest challenge you have face mentoring your team? How do you manage inter-generational similarities and differences in your company? What qualities are needed to become a respected leader?

The experts talked about the 24/7 schedule of the cellular era and the impact this might have on your creative staff; the difficulty of leadership during the great recession; ways to be a better mentor in the fast-paced design industry of the 21st Century; and the most difficult setback of their careers.

“There were actually a few moments that really caught my attention,” said designer Eric Roseff, who was in attendance. “One that stood out was Cheryl Katz recalling that she asked one of her staff to do something once, and the young woman replied that she thought that wasn’t how the task should be done. I loved the way Cheryl’s initial reaction, frustration, turned into something else: true respect. She’s secure enough to realize that we don’t always have the right answers, or know the best thing to do—we need that input from others. She obviously taught that girl well, and then had the chance to learn from her.”

“It was nice to hear that even these industry leaders face the same issues or challenges as we do at Cumar,” said Carlotta Cubi of Cumar Inc. “I found it really interesting to hear how they approached situations and I could really relate to what they were saying. There were more than a few instances where I had found myself saying to myself, ‘We went through that!’ or ‘I know how that feels!’ So for me it was interesting to hear how they handled it or what their thoughts about it were.”

Stay tuned to the Cumar blog for more. The panel was filmed, so you’ll have the chance to hear some of the most respected design professionals discuss life in the captain’s chair, navigating turbulent waters, and leading their teams to success. Until then, enjoy these fantastic photos from the event.

 

Photos courtesy of Tara Carvalho/South Shore Photography

Meet the Stars of Cumar’s Boston Design Week 2015 Mentorship Event – TONIGHT

Cumar and the M-Geough Company are delighted to host a very special Boston Design Week event next week, in partnership with the Over My Shoulder Foundation, “Designing the Next Generation: The Give and Take of Mentoring in Luxury Homes.” This panel on the importance of mentorship in design will be moderated by media personality and Ellen DeGeneres brand ambassador Taniya Nayak as well as Patti Austin, Grammy Award–winning singer, Over My Shoulder Foundation co-founder, and interior design mentee. Get to know the star panelists before the event, which takes place on March 23 at 2:30 pm at the Boston Design Center:

 

meichi1MEICHI PENG

One of Boston’s most highly-acclaimed interior designers, Meichi Peng is renowned for her ability to marry eclectic design with a modern sensibility. She is founder and principle of Meichi Peng Interior Design Studio, and in 2009 opened Peng Furnishings, a South End boutique. Peng was named “Best Modern Designer” in 2010 by Boston Home magazine and a “Rising Star” in 2009 by Metropolitan Home magazine. “No one in Boston can match Peng’s vigor and style,” writes Boston Home, “everything she touches becomes a study in elegance and grace.”

 

 

goldstein1ANDREW GOLDSTEIN

Andrew Goldstein served as CEO for Thoughtforms, a design-build firm (thought + form) founded in 1972 that has partnered with some of New England’s most exceptional architects and design professionals. Under Goldstein’s leadership, Thoughtforms has been awarded “Custom Builder of the Year” as well as numerous “Best of Boston” awards. Having spent many years as mentor to his expert team, Goldstein ensured that his legacy of premier quality and creativity would remain intact when he finally passed on the torch.

 

 

HACIN1DAVID J. HACIN

David J. Hacin is the founding Principal and President of Hacin + Associates, established in Boston in 1993. Hailing from a design family—he trained at his father’s architecture firm in Geneva, Switzerland—Hacin’s career includes positions with organizations like Owings and Merrill, SOM/Skidmore, the Office of City Planning for New York City, Gwathmey Siegel Associates, and CBT Architects. An exquisite mentor, Hacin provides unique learning experiences for all his employees, building an innovative team brimming with talent and imagination.

 

 

cherylkatz1CHERYL KATZ

A local girl, Cheryl Katz attended the School of Education at Boston University. But in her heart, she knew that design was her true calling. After a couple years teaching and writing curriculum, she wrangled a job at Bonwit Teller and never looked back. While working at Bonwit, Cheryl ran into an old friend who helped her land a job in the fashion office of the Jordan Marsh Company, where she was mentored by James Sullivan, the stores’ talented fashion director. Later she and her husband co-founded C & J Katz Studio, and a critical part of the studio’s mission is mentoring those interested in the design world. Cheryl believes that not only can her mentorship be an important component in a designer’s success, but that there’s an immeasurable amount she can learn from those she mentors.

 

clarke1SEAN CLARKE

Over more than fifty years and three generations of family leadership, Clarke Distribution has long been a cornerstone of the appliance industry in New England. Sean Clarke joined the family business in 1999 as a trade sales representative and has since become general manager of the company. Clarke Distribution has redefined the luxury residential experience under Sean Clarke’s innovative leadership: he was included in a New England Real Estate Journal “Industry Leader Spotlight” and named one of DealerScope Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” business leaders. Sean has been mentored by the generations before him, and foresees many more generations in the Clarke legacy.

 

 

EVENT SPONSORED BY

BDW2015_brands

Boston Design Week Event: Meet the Moderators, Taniya Nayak and Patti Austin

Untitled-1Taniya Nayak, left; Patti Austin, right

On March 23, 2015, Cumar Marble & Granite, with the M-Geough Co, is proud to present a special Boston Design Week Event, “Designing the Next Generation: The Give and Take of Mentoring in Luxury Homes.” Taniya Nayak and Patti Austin will lead a panel of design stars as they discuss the importance of mentorship in the field of interior design. Included in this panel will be Meichi Peng, founder and principle of Meichi Peng Interior Design Studio; Andrew Goldstein, retired CEO of Thoughtforms; David J. Hacin, founder and principle of Hacin & Associates; Cheryl Katz, owner and co-founder of C & J Katz Studio; and Sean Clarke, general manager of Clarke Distribution. It’s guaranteed to be a brilliant, uplifting discussion. And Cumar is particularly honored to feature two shining co-moderators for the day in Nayak and Austin. Let’s get to know them a little better.

 

Taniya Nayak

One of America’s leading interior designers, Taniya Nayak rose to stardom as a design expert on HGTV and the Food Network. In 2005 she founded Taniya Nayak Design LLC, a Boston-based interior design company that specializes in residential and commercial spaces. Nayak’s known for her mile-wide smile, personable demeanor, and easygoing attitude, as well as her genius for marrying rich textures and stunning finishes with functionality. She currently hosts the HGTV series House Hunters on Vacation and Billon Dollar Block, and appears regularly as a featured designer on Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible. In 2012, Taniya launched her first collection of home products, Taniya Nayak Lighting, available exclusively via Wayfair.com, and very recently became the brand ambassador for Ellen DeGeneres.

Nayak remains at the leading edge of the interior design industry. She has worked with a striking range of high-end clientele, from television celebrities to famous musicians, and her designs can be found all around Boston too, at Petit Robert Central, 88 Wharf, Lola’s Cantina, Whiskey Republic, and Julep Bar, just to name a few. Taniya’s design wisdom has been featured in print at major outlets like People, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and Ladies Home Journal. She has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s Today, The View, and Rachael Ray, among others.

 

Patti Austin

Patti Austin is one of the world’s most beloved jazz and R&B singers. Her most recent project, Avant-Gershwin, which reimagines Gershwin’s classic songs for a contemporary audience, won Austin the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocalist. “You can judge a brilliant piece of music by how you can bend and stretch it,“ said Austin. “I always believed George Gershwin to be avant-garde so I wanted to challenge myself and rework everything melodically and lyrically.”

Mentoring has been crucial to Austin’s life and career. She attributes a significant part of her success to the guidance of her mentors, notably that of her godparents, Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington. That’s why she co-founded the Over My Shoulder Foundation (OMSF): to recognize the vital importance of mentorship in individual lives as well as its positive impact to society as a whole. Austin is currently being mentored by members of Boston’s prestigious design community, foremost among them OMSF co-founder and Cumar designer Dawn Carroll, as she pursues her lifelong dream of becoming a professional interior designer.

 

Event Sponsored by
BDW2015_brands

EVENT | Designing the Next Generation: The Give and Take of Mentoring in Luxury Homes

CUMAR_POSTER_10(20x36)COMPMentorship is the engine that drives the design industry. Relationships between up-and-coming designers and industry leaders both enrich the design world today and ensure its future. At this Boston Design Week event, mentoring takes center stage as a constellation of home design and construction stars reflect upon the importance of mentorship in their own careers, how mentoring helps enliven the field of home design, and ways to foster those key mentoring relationships.

Included in this panel will be Meichi Peng, founder and principle of Meichi Peng Interior Design Studio; Andrew Goldstein, retired CEO of Thoughtforms; David J. Hacin, founder and principle of Hacin & Associates; Cheryl Katz, owner and co-founder of C & J Katz Studio; and Sean Clarke, general manager of Clarke Distribution.

The discussion will be moderated by interior designer / media personality and Ellen DeGeneres brand ambassador Taniya Nayak along with Patti Austin, Grammy Award–winning singer, Over My Shoulder Foundation co-founder, and interior design mentee.

This Boston Design Week event is co-sponsored by Cumar Marble & Granite and the M-Geough Company, created by Dawn Carroll, Cumar designer and founding director of the Over My Shoulder Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote mentorship through personal stories, multimedia, and events, along with fellow designer Holly Miller Dono of M-Geough.

Event Details:
Monday, March 23, 2015
2:30pm seating / 3:00pm panel
Boston Design Center
1 Design Center Place, Boston, MA 02210

Following the panel, a reception will be held at the M-Geough Company, Suite 410

An Interview with Gerald Pomeroy, Designer of the “Home for the Holidays” Balmoral Room

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The “Home for the Holidays” exhibit—sponsored by Cumar Marble & Granite, the Over My Shoulder Foundation, Neiman Marcus, Boston Design Week, and New England Home magazine—features three gorgeous, unique living spaces decorated for the season and inspired by a royal residence. “Home for the Holidays” is the vision of Cumar’s own Dawn Carroll, who also serves as the Executive Director of the Over My Shoulder Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes mentorship in design. Each of the participating designers—Paula Daher, Eric Roseff, and Gerald Pomeroy—worked closely with a mentee on the project.

Celebrating his firm’s twentieth anniversary in 2015, Gerald Pomeroy specializes in elegant residential spaces with a personal touch. His design projects have been awarded the Bulfinch Award from the New England Chapter of the Institute of Classical Art & Architecture, among others, and have been featured in the pages of Design New England, New England Home magazine, and the Boston Globe. Cumar was able to chat with Pomeroy about his Balmoral Room in the “Home for the Holidays” exhibit as well as the experience of working with a mentee.

 

How would you describe your personal design philosophy?

I am a classicist, but clearly I have my eye on the 21st century, and as such, there are always modern elements to all of my projects. I believe this mix is what makes for truly elegant and timeless interiors.

 

What was the first design element you chose for your “Home for the Holidays” room?

Without question the breathtakingly beautiful de Gournay “La Chasse de Compiegne” mural. It was a wonderful starting point to a very special Balmoral space.

 

Which is your favorite design element in the room? Why?

That is a difficult question for I pride myself on always achieving seamless interiors that as a whole speak volumes. But in this case, the unexpected drop ceiling that became part of the architecture of the room to highlight and celebrate the hearth as well as our English gilt carriage lantern is without question a crowd pleaser.

 

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Which do you think is the most unique element?

This may surprise your readers but I would have to say the simplicity of the room. When a design has all the important elements, i.e. beautiful things, wonderful scale and more than a few surprises, you don’t need much more. It then allows you to pull back, edit and let the room speak for itself.

 

What were the biggest challenges to this project?

I would have to say the ambitious time frame and still to be able to meet the standards I set for myself and for all of my projects was the biggest challenge.

 

Tell us about the experience of working closely with a mentee.

This is a subject I can chat about at length about. We always have, for the most part, an intern working in the office. Exposing them and bringing them along on the journey of the design process from start to finish, is something I enjoy immensely and find extremely rewarding. Home for the Holidays was no exception and was perhaps was one of the big reasons I participated. To have the opportunity to take Lauren Cozzi on this adventure, without question, made this experience all the more gratifying.

An Interview with Eric Roseff, Designer of the “Home for the Holidays” Winter Palace Room

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The “Home for the Holidays” exhibit—sponsored by Cumar Marble & Granite, the Over My Shoulder Foundation, Neiman Marcus, Boston Design Week, and New England Home magazine—features three gorgeous, unique living spaces decorated for the season and inspired by a royal residence. “Home for the Holidays” is the vision of Cumar’s own Dawn Carroll, who also serves as the Executive Director of the Over My Shoulder Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes mentorship in design. Each of the participating designers—Paula Daher, Eric Roseff, and Gerald Pomeroy—worked closely with a mentee on the project.

Eric Roseff welcomed the challenge of a Winter Palace–themed room with open arms. Over the past fifteen years Roseff and his firm, Eric Roseff Designs, have become one of Greater Boston’s most sought-after interior designers, boasting projects as different as Montana’s Yellowstone Club and a residence at the Ritz Carlton. He also starred in a recent episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters Renovations.” Cumar got a chance to talk to Roseff about his experience with the “Home for the Holidays” exhibit.

 

How would you describe your personal design philosophy?

I believe that everyone deserves great design in their lives. I approach each project with a new and fresh outlook. While there are design principles that are always in play, such as scale and proportion, it is most important to me to constantly strive to create something new, something unique to the client and the project. No two people are alike, so no two interiors should look the same.

 

What was the first design element you chose for your “Home for the Holidays” room?

The first element I chose for my “Home for the Holidays” room was the rug, from Landry & Arcari. I knew I wanted something really large to fill the space, and truly ground it. I also wanted something that felt “palatial,” and that felt both traditional and contemporary at the same time. I kissed a lot of frogs before I found this rug!

 

100814neh052Which is your favorite design element in the room? Why?

Tough question … there are so many wonderful design elements in the room. I love the incredible piece of Amazonite stone over the fireplace, supplied and fabricated by Cumar, which we framed in a gilded frame. It shows how the stone itself truly is a piece of art.

 

Which do you think is the most unique element?

I think I would have to say the incredible Diamond White polished stone columns that flank the fireplace wall, and are lit from within with LED lights. They are so monumental, and regal, and definitely capture one’s attention, and draw you into the space.

 

What were the biggest challenges to this project?

The timeline was extremely accelerated on this project. Also the fact that the entire room had to be constructed from the ground up. This also included adding electrical to the space, and being certain the structure would support the weight of many of the elements, most notably all of the marble and stone-work. There were so many moving parts, different contractors plying their trades in the space at the same time. This is also what makes the process so invigorating and exciting. It was also important to me to make the space exciting, almost a bit theatrical. After all, this is Neiman Marcus and the holiday season all rolled into one exciting project! I did a lot of research on the Winter Palace, and it really was a riot of color, gilding, and ornateness. I love it!

 

Tell us about the experience of working closely with a mentee.

Working so closely with my mentee, Evie Hickey, was such a wonderful experience. It really brought things full circle. I thought back to the mentors who were there for me, who made such an impact in my life. I realized what a great responsibility it was for me to do my best to make the same type of impact on my mentee. In the process, I learned so much from her as well. It really is all about listening, sharing, patience, and truly being in the moment.

An Interview with Paula Daher, Designer of the “Home for the Holidays” Versailles Room

The “Home for the Holidays” exhibit—sponsored by Cumar Marble & Granite, the Over My Shoulder Foundation, Neiman Marcus, Boston Design Week, and New England Home magazine—features three gorgeous, unique living spaces decorated for the season and inspired by a royal residence. “Home for the Holidays” is the vision of Cumar’s own Dawn Carroll, who also serves as the Executive Director of the Over My Shoulder Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes mentorship in design. Each of the participating designers—Paula Daher, Eric Roseff, and Gerald Pomeroy—worked closely with a mentee on the project.

Recently, Cumar had the chance to chat with Paula Daher, founder and principle of Daher Interior Design. Since 1995 she and her team have designed elegant, stylish living spaces in Greater Boston and beyond. For “Home for the Holidays,” Daher teamed up with mentee Virginia Sherrer-Thoss to produce the stunning Versailles Room (pictured), on display at Neiman Marcus, Copley Place, through the new year.

 

How would you describe your personal design philosophy?

Scale and proportion are the foundation of any space I work on. Proportion and scale have everything to do with how a room is viewed and how it functions. Fabrics, colors, and textures play strongly into the scale of the room by helping to balance the overall field of vision. My personal aesthetic is that of simple elegance, uncluttered, with forms, shapes, and color harmoniously integrated.

 

What was the first design element you chose for your “Home for the Holidays” room?

Ah, the two antique chairs and settee were the first elements. My overall feel for the room was to have a modern interpretation of what Versailles would look like if created today. The shape of the two antique chairs with their round backs and simple tight-back interiors feels modern, yet the carved-wood detailing echoes the past. My inner visual was always to approach the room with the back of the chair, upholstered in an interesting way, framed by sumptuous curtains.

The Versailles Room fireplace by Cumar

 

Which is your favorite design element in the room? Why? 

The fireplace, with stone and fabrication by Cumar, is the most dramatic and awe-inspiring element in the room! The way the stone has been bonded into a mass, yet has softly curved lines and polished edges, allows it to visually carry the weight of being the center and star of the room!

 

Which do you think is the most unique element?

The beautiful painting by Luc Leestemaker brings vibrancy and personality to the room. The artist was so adept at bringing the viewer into his painting with color, blending, and abstract imagery. Each viewer sees something different, something personal.

 

What were the biggest challenges to this project?

An eight week timeframe from sketchpad to opening party was the greatest challenge. The build-out of a complete room—flooring, electrical, furnishings, all custom, all posing a great degree of technical difficulty—was an extraordinary feet. All of the artisans involved worked diligently, with many long nights and weekends, to make this room the success it is.

 

Tell us about the experience of working closely with a mentee.

How fun to be able to work on a complete project, in a short amount of time, and be able to show all of the tenets of interior design at the same time. The opportunity to show our mentee how hard work, collaboration, scheduling, flexibility—the ability to change a design plan if something either did not work or was unavailable—showed the true picture of what it takes to be successful in the world of interior design. Our mentee, Virginia Sherrer-Thoss, proved herself a valuable team member that was an integral part of the success of this project.

 

Photographs courtesy of Michael Lee.

“Home for the Holidays” Launches at Neiman Marcus

The Cumar team in the Winter Palace room.

 

A glamorous reception last Wednesday night kicked-off the “Home for the Holidays” exhibit at Neiman Marcus’ fabulous Copley Place location.

“I never thought in a million years that our little gift gallery could be transformed into three amazing royal residences,” said Daniel Kramer, Vice President and General Manager of Neiman Marcus Boston, in his opening remarks. New England Home publisher Kathy Bush-Dutton spoke next, echoing Kramer’s sentiment and crediting the three designers and their teams.

Tony Fusco, co-producer of “Home for the Holidays,” announced the schedule for Boston Design Week 2015, which takes place March 19–29 in Boston. He then put the spotlight squarely on Cumar’s own Dawn Carroll, who took the microphone to emphasize the vital importance of mentorship in the world of design and in this exhibit especially.

Dawn Carroll talks about mentoring.

“There’s no school for stone design,” Carroll said. “That’s why mentorship is so important to Cumar, and that was part of the reason I founded the Over My Shoulder Foundation. In mentorship, we act as good stewards for our industry and our society.”

To produce “Home for the Holidays,” three Boston designers were invited to re-imagine famous royal palaces, and each were asked to allow a mentee to contribute significantly to the vision and project.

The Versailles room, designed by Paula Daher and mentee Virginia Seherr-Thoss, offers the classic gold trim in perfect balance with the decidedly modern furniture. The finishing touch? A pair of Christmas trees that sparkle with silver and gold ornaments.

Intoxicating in its blend of comfort and style, Gerald Pomeroy and mentee Lauren Cozzi’s Balmoral room boasts green-and-white wall panels of British country scenes, tweedy wall-to-wall carpet, and a rustic lantern chandelier above the table.

In the Winter Palace, Eric Roseff and mentee Evie Hickey dazzle with deep blue walls, a mélange of richly-textured furniture—including green leather chairs and a lush blue sofa-in-the-round—as well as faux windows that face an array of mesmerizing portraits.

Cumar Marble and Granite provided magnificent pieces of stone art for each space, carved fireplaces, framed pieces of semi-precious stones—and something special in the Winter Palace: two gorgeous white natural quartzite columns, both back-lit for ambiance, resembling floor-to-ceiling icicles. Each piece is a stunning work of art.

“Home for the Holidays” can be visited in the home section of the Neiman Marcus store in Copley Place, Boston. The event will close in January 2015 with a mentoring gala sponsored by Cumar and the Over My Shoulder Foundation.

The Mentoring the Event of the Season!

by Dawn Carroll
Designer, Cumar Marble & Granite
Executive Director, Over My Shoulder Foundation

The Over My Shoulder Foundation is a nonprofit that focuses on encouraging and producing unique mentoring projects, and the upcoming “Home for the Holidays” event (co-conceived and co-sponsored by Cumar Marble & Granite) offered the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Boston Design Week invited celebrated Boston talent—Paula Daher, Eric Roseff, and Gerald Pomeroy—to do something they’re probably not used to doing: step (slightly) out of the spotlight. These top designers were asked to support and mentor three burgeoning designers in the conception of three holiday-themed home spaces in the gorgeous Neiman Marcus store at Copley Square, Boston.

This was no small feat. The schedule was aggressive, and the standards extremely high. The mentees—Virginia Seherr-Thos with Daher Interior Design; Evie Hickey with Eric Roseff Design; and Lauren Cozzi with Gerald Pomeroy—were challenged to create a beautiful home display area in one of the most luxurious department stores in the country. It’s a dream come true for anyone in the design world (including me) but for these up-and-coming designers it was also a daunting task.

Luckily, there were talented and careful mentors at the helm. Working with each team in my capacity as a Cumar stone designer, we transformed three blank spaces into amazing rooms that feature stunning contemporary and classic styles. Deadlines were met and refined tastes were satisfied because everyone adopted the mentoring mission of OMSF, wholly embraced by Cumar as well, of “Designing the Next Generation.”

When you mentor someone, you act as a good steward for our industry, for our society, and for future generations. But you also get something that’s totally mind-blowing in return, something that offers a lifetime of satisfaction: the euphoria that comes from having an impact in another person’s life.

Cumar Marble & Granite and the Over My Shoulder Foundation would like to thank everyone who made “Home for the Holidays” possible! We look forward to sharing more of the mentorship stories that blossomed from this fantastic project.

The grand opening event takes place on Wednesday, October 8. If you’re a member of the media and are interested in attending, please contact Annette Goubeaux at Neiman Marcus (Annette_Goubeaux@neimanmarcus.com, 617-585-6008).