looking from the dining room into the living room
(above), a garden statue of the Archangel Gabriel by
the glass door to the balcony catches the eye. A
Taxco silver tea pot, purchased with Gene on a trip
to Mexico, and a collection of Italian plates occupy a
shelf (above left). An iron bed, bought for Jody
when she was a teenager, is piled with pillows in the
master bedroom (left). Art glass, a Deco pitcher,
and a nautilus shell form a vingette (bottom left).
The late author and woodworker Winston Brebner
built the bookcase (bottom right).
“I live with my collections,” says Guralnick.
“The house is full of them, and every piece I
bought because I loved it.” Then, in an aside,
she adds, “The secret is to know when to
stop.” To her, “three or more items make a
collection.” And when it comes to smaller
treasures, “I always mass them. That way,
they won’t look busy.”
Her move to Cambridge after 40 years in
neighboring Belmont, Massachusetts, was not
easy or impulsive. She left behind the graceful
sprawling 1915 house where she and Gene had
raised their three children and that she had
filled with antiques and collectibles that covered a lifetime of travel and memories.
As a longtime field editor for Meredith
Corp., publisher of Better Homes and Gardens
and Traditional Home, a design writer and
freelance editor for the Boston Globe Magazine, and, for the last 10 years, the Style
& Interiors editor for Design New England,
Guralnick has an unquestionable eye for good
design. As a seasoned photo stylist, she also
has a talent for mixing disparate elements into
camera-ready moments that are equally compelling and disarming.
All that skill came to the fore when the
Belmont nest became too big and too empty.
Her children were grown and raising families
of their own in far-flung places — Rob, in the
movie industry, in Los Angeles; Jody, an artist, in Aspen, Colorado; and Margot, a writer
and editor, in New York City. When Gene
died, Guralnick says, “I waited 10 years to
downsize.” When she was ready, she says, “I
thought it was time for an urban experience.”
To Guralnick, the Belmont house was the
“the epitome of insouciant perfection. I was
besotted by the place,” she says, recalling how