A note from our editors:
It’s time for one of our favorite traditions! Each year, we spend the holidays reflecting on the stories and articles you loved most. It’s the “Best of Rue” and this is one of 2020’s top stories. Enjoy!
Previously published on June 23, 2020:
With it’s stucco exterior, this home is very unique to its New England location. It also has a bit of a storied past, as designer Shannon Tate explains: “It started out as a meat market, remained a commercial property for many years. It was later a laundromat and then was converted into a residential unit.” When Shannon’s clients hired her, the space was in okay condition, but not great. “We discovered a few structural issues that needed to be addressed, but with a property of that age (original construction from around 1900), it was bound to be the case,” she says. “The flow wasn’t great, but it was livable.”
Shannon’s clients, a young newlywed couple (he’s a restaurant owner from Duxbury, Massachusetts; she’s a lawyer from Tucson), were excited to totally transform the space. “After reviewing their design questionnaire, I saw they were drawn to a few things,” Shannon recalls. “Scandinavian style, global textiles, and they also loved California. We were a match made in heaven! All of these things speak very clearly to what I love most. So, the inspiration words I used to design were Scandinavian Warmth.“
The designer used that theme as her jumping off point, knowing it would be modern, organic, and edited while leaving room for a layered, cozy vibe. As a base, neutral white oak floors pair well with white walls and plenty of black and wood accents. In the kitchen, she used slab front cabinet doors alongside Moroccan Zellige tiles. “It speaks to a global style, but it’s still a muted, neutral look,” she explains.
In the bathroom, there are modern Fireclay tiles and a custom white oak vanity, designed by Shannon. There’s also a shelving unit with an elegant arch, a detail that runs throughout the entire home. “Knowing she was from Tucson and that they love California architecture, I had arches on my mind,” the designer muses. “I just love the soft, feminine feel they have, and the size of the arch we did between the living room and kitchen, just makes the space feel so much larger. I’m madly in love with all the arches we brought into this home. It makes it feel very unique, and the home feels like a departure from what most people think of ‘New England’ style, and that’s just how I like to roll. I love how this home turned out.”
The project was finished just before quarantine, a true blessing in disguise. “They had an amazing honeymoon planned for right after the renovation completed in March,” Shannon tells us. “Their trip was planned for Thailand and Vietnam, and just a week before their departure, the plans were cancelled after a coronavirus outbreak was reported at one of the hotels they were planning to stay at. Days after, travel bans were put in place and while they were completely disappointed, they are so beyond grateful to be able to hunker down in their newly finished home… and really put their new kitchen to work!”