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Lawless Design

To meet the deadline, Oravec needed to find furnishings and decor from retailers that were in stock and ready to ship, no easy feat for a project with over 60 items of furniture and a matching volume of accessories. A favorite find for Oravec is the bean-shaped couch in the den, while the kids adore the upholstered chairs placed opposite, endearingly naming them the “chunky chairs.”

The Phans wanted this home to be a place they and their kids could really live in and enjoy, as well as open it up to the wear and tear of renters. Understanding that the furniture needed to stand up to lots of use informed Oravec on the type of upholstery chosen. Performance fabrics, durable, high-traffic fabrics that are often both oil and water-resistant, were selected when available, something Oravec recommends as an option not just for those with children, but for anyone who wants to worry less and enjoy their furniture more. 

Oravec sources local businesses as much as possible for finding finishing touches that turn a concept into a home. This also supports her commitment to wellness by sourcing locally; cutting down shipping miles ultimately reduces carbon emissions, while putting money directly back into the local economy. A unique sister-run shop called Elburne, with locations in Dennis and Hanover, was the source for accent pillows and throws, while Myrth Ceramics in Somerville provided elegant hand-crafted decor. Linens for the many beds came mainly from New England-based Garnet Hill. Vintage bits and baubles found by Oravec round out the home’s styling. With clean walls and open, light-filled spaces, these closely-curated touches provide moments of interest for the eye upon which to rest and reflect, without cluttering the space. 

With Lawless Design, Oravec masterfully incorporates influences of different eras and styles into one concept for her clients, without compromising the integrity of the final design, evident in how she combined shapes and styles in dynamic and cohesive ways in the styling of the Phan’s home. The starkly elegant and geometric pendant lights contrast with the more classically styled farmhouse dining tables they hang above. A contemporary coffee table—a faceted rectangle in dark wood—sits between a minimal fireplace mantle and a pair of wood and upholstered chairs with lines echoing the Mad Men era.

“I just love the eclectic. I love mixing and matching different styles, so it also seems timeless and not like you’re stuck in one period. I think that’s what’s really fun about design is kind of coming up with something a little bit different with pieces,” said Oravec “I think there’s cohesion in materials too… I think that’s what helps mix styles together, when there’s some kind of cohesion in material or shape.”

Artwork on the walls is sparse, yet thoughtfully placed, focusing the attention on individual items rather than crowded tableaus of decor. Playful graphic prints of whales and a surfer van center over the headboards of the beds in the children’s and guest rooms, and simple botanical prints hang above the head of the master bed. Photographs by a New England studio, Lost is Found showcase the famous Cape land and seascape. It is interesting without being overdone—in a word, chill. 

While the abbreviated schedule was a challenge, the final result speaks to the skill and professionalism provided by Lawless Design. It should come as no surprise that after the makeover of the Mashpee house, the Phans are already in conversation with Oravec to have her work the same magic on their year-round home. For Oravec, it is another fun design challenge she is excited to take on. Oravec creates beautiful, livable, homes for her clients, and feels she has found her calling in her work and in the connections she makes through it. 

“My favorite part is working with the clients. I think that’s part of why I wanted to start a business, to help create this sense of space for people,” said Oravec. “It’s like you just created a place in their home, where they’re able to feel comfortable and relaxed. And I love building those relationships.”

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