Cape Cod Home / Summer 2013 / Home, Garden & Design, People & Businesses
Writer: Nancy E. Berry / Photographer: Eric Roth
Tamara Weiss brings a whimsical sensibility to a new Midnight Farm location on Martha’s Vineyard.
An island fixture for 18 years, longstanding Martha’s Vineyard home goods shop Midnight Farm has moved across the street from its original Vineyard Haven location to 44 Main Street. Upon entering the new shop, one is struck by its old-time emporium feel: Sturdy farm tables are arrayed with scented candles, beautiful home and garden books, and colorful tabletop accessories, while well-worn floorboards, patinaed plastered walls, and an antique stained-glass window heighten the sense you have just entered a bygone era. And be assured, you won’t find the island’s ubiquitous seashell mirrors, or coastal blue and white upholstered fabrics here.
Midnight Farm gets its eclectic design sensibilities from owner and interior designer Tamara Weiss. (Her longtime friend and business partner is Vineyard resident and singer/songwriter, Carly Simon.) Weiss sources one-of-a-kind items from India, Morocco, and France to bring color and whimsy to island homes.
Items such as Bombay bedding featuring stylized poppies in indigo blue and hand-block print pillows, both by John Robshaw are perfect to dress a summer boudoir. “I will always have John Robshaw bedding in my home and store. Duvets, quilts, shams, and vintage pillows are some of the things that I adore,” Weiss notes. She also sells Four Hands furniture made from reclaimed pine and inspired by historical designs. There are also playful pieces such as red and white oak banjo cutting boards, or vibrant mermaid vases by Kalalou.
Organized on two floors, the mini-department store offers a treasure trove of unique and interesting pieces for the home as well as for everyone in the family, including clothing and accessories for both kids and adults. Some of Weiss’s favorites are: Goe body oil, a soothing body oil perfect after a day at the beach; Chan Luu wrap bracelets made by Weiss’s friend Chan Luu, which come in an array of hand-cut semiprecious stones, sterling silver, gold vermeil, and custom dyed leathers; and mango lime salsa. This culinary treat is always on the front counter for tasting and is great on grilled chicken, fish, or straight-up with a Margarita.
“The new location is organized in a different way, and it feels really fresh and new,” says Weiss. “Still, we made sure to keep the same feeling of home, body, and spirit throughout the store, so regardless of what floor you find yourself on, it all feels the same.”
Weiss explains that her inspiration comes from all things beautiful, and she works hard to find products that are not particularly common. “I am drawn to the unexpected, the surprising—for instance, pairing reclaimed wood with velvet or industrial metals,” Weiss notes. She keeps her eyes open when she travels, or when simply walking on the beach or in the woods. “I am just as inspired by a vintage textile from India as I am by a fish skeleton or a feather,” she notes. “One found piece can dictate the design of an entire room or even a house—and I always welcome the challenge!”
Weiss operates a full-service interior design studio as well. From carpets and bedding to fabrics and furnishings, Midnight Farm treasures can turn any ho-hum space into a cozy, welcoming oasis. Weiss often strives to bring the outside in and frequently uses the greens and blues of the ocean in her design work. Although difficult to truly pin down, she sums up her own distinctive design style as Boho Chic. Whether you are outfitting an entire house or just a summer porch, Weiss can offer her experienced design vision and the treasures from Midnight Farm deliver that perfect finishing touch.