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Poggenpohl’s Rosemary Porto Dishes on Skincare, Books, Wine, and More

The recently retired designer shares a few of her favorite things.


Portrait by Tony Luong

Calling Rosemary Porto’s March retirement the end of an era for the Boston design community might seem like a stretch at first. But when you consider the sheer number of covetable interiors the longtime Poggenpohl designer created over a 35-year career—plus the scores of awards she racked up in the process—it starts to make sense. And, when you add in Porto’s autodidacticism (she essentially taught herself interior design after making the switch from fashion executive to design assistant for a friend-of-a-friend’s luxury décor company), her résumé becomes even more impressive. “I [like to quote] Judge Judy, who said, ‘Find something that you’re naturally good at, and then figure out how to make a living at it,’” says Porto, who’s using her newfound free time to write a novel. “When I [first heard her say that], I thought, Well, that’s what I’ve done. I found something that I was really good at, and that gave me a chance to see the depths of my creativity and make people really happy. I’ve loved, loved, loved it.”

Here, the designer shares a few more things she loves.

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Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

This cleanser has been a go-to in my daily regimen for over 12 years. It’s even more necessary now that I’ve been opting for a makeup-free, clean face.

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My Deck

My deck became my little slice of heaven this year while spending time at home. I planted my flower boxes with a burst of color and redecorated with new cushions and a rug from Wayfair.

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Eero Saarinen “Womb” chair

If a piece of furniture could give you a hug, it would be this midcentury classic in pearl bouclé. I curl into it for my late-afternoon reading while dinner’s in the oven.

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Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch

I return to this book over and over again. Lynch’s theory is that ideas are like fish, and one must dive into the deep water to catch the big fish/ideas. Through daily meditation, I dive to [search] for creativity.

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NakedWines.com

I [recently] discovered NakedWines.com. Their mission of supporting small winemakers resonated with me during this difficult time—I signed up as an “Angel,” and I have been drinking delicious wine ever since.