Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Making a statement: Meaningful design

Go Beyond, Campaign for Wheaton

Frances “Phoebe” Lovejoy Russell ’01

Frances “Phoebe” Lovejoy Russell ’01 and her husband, Peter

Frances “Phoebe” Lovejoy Russell ’01 provided the design expertise for the renovation of the Eliza Wheaton Conference Room in Park Hall. She is the head of Lovejoy Designs and was recently named one of New England Home magazine’s 5 under 40, the short list for the hottest emerging talents in the region. At Wheaton, she majored in psychology, which she credits for helping her work effectively and cooperatively with clients. As an undergraduate, she also rediscovered her passion for design, then studied at the New York School of Interior Design.

Why the project was special: I loved making the trip down from Boston and putting on my professional hat for a place that is so meaningful to me. Utilizing my skills and my love for design, which I have been cultivating since graduating in 2001, was a complete honor.

Form follows function: I wanted people to feel welcome and generous toward a place that I know so many people hold close to their hearts. To achieve a look that would complement all ages, I envisioned how the space may have looked in the 1920s, 1950s, 2000s and beyond.

Material inspiration: Using finishes like antique brass for all the metal surfaces and rich walnuts and burled oaks complements the school’s traditional look. And I had to use blue.

Campus collaborators: The college archivists were a great resource for photos. We took all the photos and printed them in a sepia tone to give them an aged, classic look.

Surprise dedication: I was floored to see my name on the door! It made the experience all the more meaningful and left a smile on my face for days. I will forever be thankful to Janet [Lindholm Lebovitz ’72] for including Lovejoy Designs in this way. She is a true Wheaton example of kindness, determination and loyalty to this institution’s success.

About Michael Graca

Michael Graca is the college's Assistant Vice President for Communications.