New England Home: Tour a Coastal Rhode Island Home Set on a Peninsula
Hi friends, I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Cannot believe we are already at the start of summer! This year has flown by! We were excited to see a home we had collaborated with Designer Sarah Eilers featured in New England Home! This is one close to my heart as it is a forever family home set on the latke in beautiful Rhode Island. I hope you will follow along with me as I read this beautiful piece written by Bob Curley. All photography is by Read McKendree.
If you have a waterfront home, you typically get a beautiful view. When you build a 16,000-square-foot house on a peninsula extending into the waters of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, you get three.
When architect Greg Snider stood on the site of what had previously been an oyster farm, he was captivated by the triptych in front of him: a classic New England seaside town to the left, an iconic suspension bridge straight ahead, and the islands and open water of the bay to the right.
To take full advantage of the vistas, “I basically designed three homes facing three directions,” says Snider. He further enhanced the half-hexagonal aspect by lowering the grade around the home and motor court, which allowed for twelve-foot-tall windows that adhere to the community’s roof-height restrictions. Snider calls the seaside estate “a modern home treated in a traditional way,” and that’s most evident when approaching the front door through a courtyard garden designed by landscape architect Kate Field. There’s more than a hint of formality in the carved granite archway bending over the entry, and the gabled roof sheeted in slate tile gives the impression of an English manor home, albeit one with sharp Gothic peaks.
The perfectly symmetrical layout nods to the owners’ passion for precision, but once you pass through the modern glass door, “it gets eclectic fast,” says Snider.
This venetian plaster selection is absolutely perfect for the look and feel of the home! The movement of the plaster perfectly reflects the movement of the seas.
A small foyer quickly yields to the trio of linked, high-ceilinged ocean-facing rooms: kitchen, living room, and an enclosed patio with NanaWalls that can be sealed shut or opened to the elements depending on the weather.
The start to this rich beautiful tone for the living room was Sarah’s vision to pull a rich teal from the rug and accent fabrics. The wall application is a rich venetian plaster made from a fine lime putty infused with a high concentration of marble dust creating a beautiful sheen.
The steel doors are stunning! I love how the natural light reflects off the plaster ceilings and walls, adding warmth at the entrance of this home.
Interior designer Sarah Eilers’s “timeless transitional” aesthetic is most apparent in the kitchen, which nods to the French rather than English countryside while subtly sprinkling in nautical references like a central island shaped to resemble a ship’s wheelhouse.
The living room is the owners’ favored vantage point for watching evening sailboat races on the bay, but you don’t even need to look outside to see boats in the dining room: they’re painted right on the walls (including the owners’ own boat) in a four-wall mural depicting Nantucket Harbor. The room is perhaps the best synthesis of the talents of Eilers, Snider, and builder Maxx Heerlein of Kirby Perkins Construction, with the mural blending seamlessly into a painted groin-vault ceiling, which in turn nods to the arched walls and windows.
Beneath this ocean of blue sits a comparatively understated dining set and rug in shades of blue, ochre, and coral, comfortably complementing—but not competing with—the visual landscape. “The owners wanted a formal dining room that people wouldn’t be afraid to sit down in,” says Eilers.
This was a fun ceiling for us!! Vaults add so much dimension to a space and the teal tone inspired by the Gracie wallcovering, enhances the feel of the water in the paper and outside.
Eilers spent three years working with the owners to gather art and antiques to fill the home; rustic elements like the reclaimed barnwood used in the kitchen ceiling add to the sense of warmth and livability that permeates the house.
I love how the homeowners and the Lucas Eilers team tied the sea into the house even through antiques! This “English bamboo dresser adorned with decoupage fish furthers the country-manor-meets-sea-captain-quarters vibe.” I could not have said it better my self, just beautiful!
Barring rising sea levels or other catastrophe, “this is a 500-year house,” says Heerlein, pointing to the quality of materials and skill that went into its design and construction. For the owners, however, the comfort and serenity of the home remains its timeless appeal.
The blue plaster was inspired by the colorations of the mosaic flooring and reflects the view of the ocean right outside of the window. It was such an incredible experience working with the Lucas Eilers team and helping enhance the home with plaster!
Thank you so much for going on this home journey with me!!! This was a special project for our team, and we had so much fun collaborating on a second home for these lovely homeowners and working with Sarah and her talented daughter Ellen from the nationally acclaimed team of Lucas Eilers team. Check out their website and if you don’t have a copy of their inspirational design book Expressive Interiors you should check it out! Until next time, xo Leslie