Eric Roseff Designs

Boston Common - 2011: Home Tour - A Nantuckt Hideaway


The kitchen table is custom-made by Eric Roseff Designs and decorated with vases from Studio 534 at the Boston Design Center. Lanterns on the marble island are from Webster & Co., and the pendant lamps overhead are from Urban Archaeology. Drapes and cushions are upholstered with fabric from Raoul Textiles at Studio 534.

Beyond Beach House Kitsch:
When designer Eric Roseff set out to create a relaxing retreat on Nantucket for longtime clients based in Greenwich, Connecticut, he simply looked to the sea and sand for ideas while ignoring the oftabused beach house kitsch found in so many summer residences (no WELCOME TO THE BEACH signs here). “My inspiration was the calm and serenity that Nantucket can bring; the soft colors and open spaces of the island,” says Roseff. His clients wanted their newly constructed four-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath shingle-style home to be clean, well edited and low maintenance, so the Boston-based designer conjured an escape that would allow the on-the-go clan to truly relax and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle Nantucket has to offer.

Roseff began his design with a subdued but texturally interesting palette of foggy blues, crisp whites and calming sandy beige that mimic the shades found naturally on the island. “The colors are soft and tranquil, with a great mix of textures and patterns to offer visual interest without anything really jumping out at you,” Roseff explains. The muted hues connect the light-filled rooms of this 5,000-square-foot home and maintain a sense of calm and organization. Even the home’s transitional spaces, specifically the stairwell, were given great attention to detail. “Because so many of the rooms open up to each other, I wanted them all to relate and to transition seamlessly,” he says. “The stairwell area is a bit of a destination, with plenty of interest to draw you in—artwork, seating, the great driftwood mirror.”

Despite the consistent palette and mood, each space also has its own personality. “Every room was designed to stand on its own yet work together with the other spaces as a whole,” Roseff says. “There are special and beautiful focal points throughout. The family really uses the entire house.”

Comforting Common Space
The entry provides a stunning first impression of what lies inside. A bench with pillows outside the front door welcomes guests and “offers a sense of comfort, relaxation and ease,” says Roseff. “The outside blends with the inner space through the use of natural materials, elements and textures. The large wooden crab also conveys a sense of whimsy, emphasizing that this is a place to relax and have fun.”

Inside, the living room is divided by a contemporary two-sided fireplace with glass screens. “The smaller side of the room was originally slated to be a formal dining area, which my clients did not need or want,” says Roseff, so they decided instead to utilize it as a den. Four upholstered club chairs create a space that beckons for a chatty gathering over a few glasses of wine. On the opposite side of the fireplace sits a larger seating area with a pair of “super-comfortable” sofas and wing chairs, all decked out in summery Lulu DK fabrics. “As a family, they tend to gather in the small and cozy living room,” Roseff says. “It’s a very intimate space.”

In the den, the ottoman and chairs from Century Furniture at the Boston Design Center are upholstered with fabric from DeLany & Long Ltd. The custom draperies are by Lulu DK, at Webster & Co., and the artwork above the fireplace is by Pamela Reynolds, from Jules Place in Boston’s South End.

When mealtime calls, the bright, spacious kitchen is a masterful mix of sleek, modern amenities with classic New England style. “The materials in the kitchen give it a very clean, serene, airy feel,” Roseff explains. “The marble is such a classic material, while the stainless steel appliances and polished nickel of the light fixtures add some reflective surfaces and another layer to the mix.” Wood Windsor chairs and upholstered classic wingbacks are playfully paired with metal counter stools and industrialstyle lighting from Urban Archaeology, hinting at both a history past and a history being made, a dichotomy the designer says he loves. A large marble island serves as a place to eat a quick bite or catch up after a long day at the beach and gives the owners ample prep space. “There is a lot of counter space, and the Carrara marble keeps the room from feeling heavy,” Roseff says. “We used a custom table and a mix of chairs to prevent a sterile feeling too. I think the kitchen has the clean, easy feel of summer.”

Room to Grow
In the private areas of the house the calm color scheme continues, with one bold departure in a punch of beach-ball orange found in the playroom’s custom mural and framed chalkboard wall, executed by Roseff himself. When the kids have tired themselves out and are ready for bed, there is a shared en suite girls’ bedroom featuring a pair of aqua ultrasuede upholstered daybeds designed by Roseff. Custom bedding and a painted antique dresser finish the look. “The kids are young, so we wanted the rooms to reflect that but also have an air of sophistication so they can grow into them,” Roseff says. “They have their reading loft upstairs with fantastic round chairs from Walters Wicker and their play space on the lower level. Their rooms were designed to be calm, tranquil spaces, yet still kid-friendly.”

In an opposite area of the house lies the master bedroom suite, swathed in rich and varying shades of sand. More of Lulu DK’s beachy prints were used to make up the custom bedding and upholster a loveseat and chair. Linen-wrapped side tables from The Furniture Guild, which display a pair of Crate & Barrel lamps and pieces of blue coral, hint at the fabrics of a relaxed summer wardrobe.

Underfoot, more references to summertime abound in a mix of textures. The home’s hardwood floors are layered with natural sea grass and wool sisal rugs, and in the master bath an inset “mat” of glass stones from Ann Sacks provides a spa-like point of interest. “The textures remind me of summer, being barefoot so much of the time and experiencing a plethora of feelings under your feet,” Roseff says. “Grainy sand, cool water, smooth pebbles.”

While this beach retreat maintains a tasteful and restrained appearance that would be considered stylish in any location, touches of oceanic ephemera abound—for example, a driftwood hall mirror, framed fan coral and a grouping of antique sealife prints in the beadboard-clad powder room (“This makes a big statement in a small room,” says Roseff), or the oversize shell sculptures tucked away on a bookshelf. The artworks all relate in one way or another to the ocean, whether a representational harbor scene or an abstract swath of blue across one of the canvases Roseff painted at the bottom of the stairs. “Every piece was chosen for comfort as well as easy care,” Roseff explains. “I really wanted the house to convey a sense of simplicity.” It’s that absence of a “hit you over the head with driftwood” approach that makes this a sophisticated yet sandy-foot-friendly place for this family to call home anytime of year.




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