This New Englander brings historic spaces into a bold, whimsical world.
By Marisa Spyker
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In her own unconventional, elegant way, Boston-based Rachel Reider is making historic seaside New England homes and hotels more daring and joyfully cheeky.
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When the urban-minded owners of this Massachusetts home moved full-time to the beach, they sought a place that would blend their elegant design sensibilities with a comfortable beach lifestyle. Reider struck a balance between sophisticated and cozy in the master bedroom, juxtaposing a luxurious metallic wallcovering and velvet headboard with casual woven sheers and a curved, teak ceiling. “It felt reminiscent of a boat hull,” she says.
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A vintage-inspired painting on canvas by artist Molly Dee sets the tone in this dining nook located in a Nantucket hotel. Reider played off the graphic nature and sepia tones of the artwork with a dramatic black and white palette accented with turquoise. “Highly textural pieces such as the weathered table base, hammered metal top, and nail heads on the ottoman pay homage to the coastal setting,” she says.
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Nod to Nautical
Reider knows the key to a successful nautical-inspired space is a fine balance between subtle and literal references to seafaring life. This Nantucket bedroom combines cottage details like crisp white board-and-batten walls and a navy, turquoise, and white palette, with real nautical accents like oars and a life preserver to emphasize its coastal locale in a sophisticated way.
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“The design for this southern Rhode Island home was driven by its inhabitants—a young family of six,” says Reider. “Their love of bold color and contrast is reflected in the artwork and bright color palette, which gives it a casual, youthful vibe.” The designer chose the watercolor painting above the mantel because of its resemblance to sea glass.
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Reider channeled the sea in more ways than one when designing this Nantucket den, which features a nautical palette of navy, black, white, and camel, and sealife-inspired artwork and accessories like a graphic octopus print on the wall behind the sofa. “The high-gloss navy walls call to mind the reflective quality of the water,” she says. Reider meticulously curated the room down to the collection of books chosen for the shelves: all favorites by Nantucket authors.
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The whimsical blue-green backsplash is the star in this Massachusetts kitchen. “It brings the outside in by mimicking the color and movement of the water,” says Reider. “You just want to reach out and touch it.” The glimmering backsplash is offset with more rustic, rough-hewn ceiling beams and wood floors. Visit RachelReider.com for more.