I met Peter Zucco about 4 years ago when we participated in the Laboure House Tour (the Laboure is a wonderful Catholic Charities organization located here in South Boston). Peter was one of the designers who graciously donated his time to decorate several of the houses featured on the tour. Tall, handsome, talented and stylish with a warm demeanor and a welcoming way with people - I immediately liked him. We became friends and have even worked together several times. Peter is an AWESOME interior designer and co-owner of Design Complements. Also a fabulous host (trust me, I've been lucky enough to hang out at his gorgeous homes both here in Southie and in Kennebunkport, Maine) so I thought he'd be the perfect person to talk to about getting your home ready for the Summer Season and also to give us some tips about hosting the perfect little patio soiree! Enjoy!!
The man himself!!
DMP: Where did you grow up and how long have you lived in Southie?
PZ: I grew up in Melrose and have lived in Southie for 13 years.
DMP: What is your favorite part of living in Southie? What do you like to do in the neighborhood?
PZ: My favorite part of living in Southie is the neighborhood feel you get here. My neighbors know my name and I know theirs. I love living close to the ocean and being able to walk the dogs on the beach and at Castle Island. Some of my favorite spots to eat are: Cafe Portobello, The Lincoln, Stephi's and Salsa's. It's so nice to just be able to walk to your destination too! I spend a lot of time at the Drive-In Paint Mart too.
DMP: I hear you have a fabulous place in Maine! Tell us a little bit about that.
PZ: Yes! My husband and I bought a place in Kennebunkport, Maine about 5 years ago. For us - It's a small piece of heaven!! It's a 1948 gambrel style home outside with a traditional/modern interior featuring a large front porch which is the perfect spot for Spring Cocktails! We love spending time there year round (when our busy schedule allows). It is a very short walk to the beach and we spend a lot of time walking the dogs there and of course entertaining friends and family!!!
Here's a shot of Peter's fabulous house in Maine. Those are his adorable dogs - Max and Turner - out front!
DMP: Where did you go to college? Have you always been interested in Interior Design?
PZ: I went to Chamberlayne School of Design. I graduated in 1994. I have always been interested in Interior Design. At a very young age I drove my parents crazy moving furniture, painting walls and decorating for the holidays!!
DMP: Tell us about Design Complements?
PZ: My partner Rachel and I have been in business for 12 years now. We are a full service interior design firm which means we design homes from the ground up working in conjunction with architects and contractors; to accessorizing a single room. We find that our clients utilize our expertise for kitchen and bathroom renovations and also to completely finish a room with furniture, rugs, lighting and accessories. Our strength is that we understand how best to incorporate design and function for the individuals we are working with in all styles. We don't limit ourselves to concentrating on one style over another and in many cases we actually combine elements of traditional, modern and metropolitan to create eclectic and interesting spaces. It is important to understand our clients needs and personal style to create spaces they will be happy and comfortable in for years to come. Good communication is key and we strive to have fun throughout the process.
Here are some shots from a few of the houses Peter has designed. Gorgeous! Am I right????
DMP: Could you give us a few tips on freshening up our homes for the Spring/Summer Season? In your opinion, where are the best bargain places to shop for your home (for those of us on a budget!)?
PZ: I think the best way to make your space look updated and "freshened up" is to change a paint color in a room or just paint one wall with an accent color. You could also try changing fabrics on your windows or maybe a few new pillows, painting or lacquering a piece of furniture and adding a few new rugs. Any of these projects will make a big impact in your space. If you are looking for some home bargains, I suggest taking a trip to a consignment store. I have found some wonderful pieces at stores like Boston Consignment and Garage Sale and salvage companies like Old House Parts. Also, don't forget the good old Flea Markets and Antique Stores!
DMP: Since the warm weather is upon us, everyone is dying to spend time outside! One of my favorite parts of Spring/Summer is spending time on my patio. Could you give us a few pointers on throwing a simple yet divine casual cocktail party?
PZ: I like to decorate with bright colorful linens and cushions. Use fun cocktail napkins and casual flowers, some potted succulents and plenty of flattering lighting! My favorite cocktails to serve are Aperol Spritz, Pineapple Margaritas and Lillet on the Rocks. I keep the food choices simple and choose dishes that can be prepared before the guests arrive so that I can spend time with my guests and not in the kitchen. Crostini with basil pesto, apricot/curry cheese spread and Mexican cheese spread, citrus grilled shrimp and mushroom pate are a few of my favorites. It's all about tasty cocktails, yummy treats, fun color and laughing and enjoying each others' company! Be sure to check out my Spring Cleaning/Decorating Board on Pinterest for these recipes and also inspiration for your next Patio Cocktail Party!