Paper Trail

Modern Relik founder Meg Kimball turns forgotten family heirlooms into a centerpiece. By Olivia Gehrke

Photograph by Jared Kuzia

Wallpaper may be undergoing a modern-day revival, but the pair of 19th-century chinoiserie panels displayed in Meg Kimball’s Lexington home are more than just a trendy design element. Kimball, founder of the new Waltham-based furniture design company Modern Relik, says her husband’s great-grandmother bought them while traveling in Europe. They were stored in a trunk and unused for decades until uncovered by Kimball’s mother-in-law, who dispersed them among the family. More than 100 years old, the 7-foot-tall panels have since become a staple in Kimball’s home. They currently flank either side of a lattice window in her foyer—quite the upgrade from being stuffed away. “[The panels] have the most beautiful colors and work with everything,” Kimball says. “They’re another form of artwork.”

Meg Kimball / Photograph by Jared Kuzia