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Tribal treasures

In a Weston home, interior design that incorporates a prized collection.

“An old collection like this can be combined with new things to create a casual elegance,” says Luchetti. “The key is finding balance.”

Michael J. Lee

“An old collection like this can be combined with new things to create a casual elegance,” says Luchetti. “The key is finding balance.”

In designing this Weston home’s interior, Jan Luchetti faced an intriguing challenge: to choose furnishings and colors that complemented the owner’s substantial collection of tribal artifacts. Most of it relates to the Plains Indians and dates to the 1870s, but it includes some pieces from Amazon tribes, as well as Asian works. Luchetti selected a neutral palette that wouldn’t compete with the art and the furniture, which has a masculine sensibility without overdoing it — it was important that the owner’s two daughters feel comfortable in their dad’s house. The Weston-based designer was also careful not to overload any room with native artifacts — their presence is intriguing rather than heavy-handed.

Michael J. Lee

1 >A CARPENTER’S WORKBENCH from the early 20th century displays feathers from the Amazon Indians and armbands from the Arapaho.


2 >A LAKOTA SIOUX CRADLE crafted of beadwork hangs on one wall.

3 >THE COFFEE TABLE of distressed dark-stained oak was made by Merz Construction, based in Carlisle, specifically to suit the narrow space in front of the sofa.

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4 >A HENRY BEGUELIN POUF crafted of leather serves as display area for books and a basket made by the Washoe Tribe — it can also be used as seating.

5 >THE CHAIRS AND SOFA are upholstered in beige linen. “While we wanted neutral, we didn’t want stark white,” says Luchetti, who used throw pillows that incorporate colors found in the room’s tribal pieces.

6 >A RED LACQUER LADDER from late 19th-century Asia pops against the neutral wall.


7 >A HEAVY ANTIQUE LAMP from Charles Spada at the Boston Design Center was chosen for its masculine appeal and “because the dark metal complements the tribal pieces,” says Luchetti.

8 >A JAVANESE WEDDING SHAWL, about 100 years old, that Luchetti had framed is the master bedroom’s focal point.

9 >THE VELVET HEADBOARD was custom made by Eliot Wright Workroom in Boston. “You should splurge on beds and couches, things that really need to be comfortable and long lasting,” says Luchetti. A modest stool, an American antique, serves as a bedside table.

10 > A MODEST STOOL, an American antique, serves as a bedside table.

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