Announcing our third annual list of the talents who are making waves in amazing seaside style.
By Michael Cannell and Brooke Showell
1 of 10Photo: Thomas Whiteside
The Queen of Glam
She’s the creative genius behind some of the most unforgettably striking coastal hotels in the world (The Viceroy Anguilla and The Tides South Beach, to name a couple), the author of four design books, and the designer of fabulous coastal homes from Mercer Island, Washington, to Seal Beach, California. With coveted home furnishings and accessories in nearly every category—a green ruched leather chair or a handcrafted wooden surfboard, for example—Wearstler’s world is rich with organic textural nuances.
New York-based Katie Ridder spent Augusts in an old family home in Mishaum Point, Massachusetts, the quietest of Cape Cod coastal enclaves, when her children were little. By long-held custom, the house was without Internet or TV. “I had a month of looking out the window,” Ridder says.
The Pattern Player
As a child, designer Madeline Weinrib accompanied her father to work on Saturdays. Lucky girl—the office was the headquarters of ABC Carpet & Home, the illustrious Manhattan furnishings bazaar founded by her grandfather. In those days, the floors were piled high with stacks of kilims and dhurries, Berbers and coirs. “It was lots of fun,” Weinrib says. “Kids still love to jump on the carpets, and I did, too.”
The Natural Wonder
“I’ve always doodled designed patterns,” says designer and Maine native Angela Adams, whose eponymous line of rugs, furniture, and textiles is boldly emblazoned with the swirls of nature and intricacies of the shore’s changing light.
The success of her heirloom-quality handwoven rugs has evolved into a lifestyle brand and a Portland retail shop (cofounded by Adams and her husband, furniture designer Sherwood Hamill). Leaves, fish, the sediment of the ocean floor, or even cumulus clouds all spark their product ideas.
The Quintessential Californian Nathan Turner exudes West Coast cool, but one would expect no less from this fourth-generation Californian, for whom spending time on boats and beaches has always been a way of life.
The products that the design veteran of Today and Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators commissions and curates, both in his eponymous West Hollywood shop and on 1stdibs.com, are a relaxed, bohemian mix of seascapes, ikat stools, quirky antiques, and embroidered suzani textiles old and new.
On the dedication page of his monograph, Time and Place, interior designer Steven Gambrel thanks his parents for a childhood of “flea markets, endless construction projects at home, and tours of historic villages and abandoned houses.”
New York–based Gambrel has never stopped collecting vintage flotsam. He’s bought six old Sag Harbor homes—two of them 19th-century whaling houses—and restored them with his trademark approach to punching up the past. In his hands, preservation rises to artistry. “I don’t want to design period rooms,” he says. “I like the way things become chic and modern when they’re mixed.”
Raised in France, spending summers by the sea in Spain, and educated at Oxford: Such a glamorous melting pot is distinctively Peter Dunham. The Los Angeles–based interior designer’s impeccably curated coastal residences and his SoCal boutique, Hollywood at Home, reflect his worldly view.
The Free Spirit
Injecting upbeat Floridian influence into traditional New England homes, interior designer Katie Rosenfeld’s work radiates a cheerful disposition in a pop of chinoiserie on a pillow, spirited seashell wallpaper in a bath, or pretty turquoise benches at the foot of a cushy bed.
“I grew up in Florida, so I come from a warm-weather point of view,” she says of the oceanfront shingled houses and Cape Cod remodels near her Boston base that she infuses with pattern and pep. “I like rooms to feel naturally coastal, but not themey.”
The Color Maven
Thirteen years ago, Angie Hranowsky, then a graphic designer, remade a lowly 1940s Sears kit house in Charleston, South Carolina, with turquoise dining room walls and a chocolate brown grasscloth ceiling in the den. The assortment of midcentury furnishings included a Saarinen chair covered in purple Ultrasuede. The renovation was low on budget, big on statement. In a town ruled by rigid preservation, the little house of color got noticed. Hranowsky left graphics for interior design: “This is what I was put on the planet to do,” she says.
When Jean-Michel Gathy was growing up in Belgium, his mother gave him daily milk money. “I always kept the money,” he says. “At the end of the week I’d buy a map and study it. I was traveling by wanderlust.”
Today Gathy may be the world’s most traveled architect. As principal designer of Denniston International Architects and Planners, he has amassed an expansive portfolio of top-rank coastal resorts ranging from Montenegro to the Maldives, Bora Bora to Yalong Bay, configured around exceptional water views.