Design Diary: Frank Roop in Nantucket (Part II)

If you read my last post, you know that Sunday’s edition of the Boston Globe Magazine featured “Living Brilliantly”, the piece I wrote about a Nantucket house with interiors by Frank Roop .I know I promised Part II of this dreamy spot yesterday, but life (well, kids home on summer vacation) got in the way. Three doctor’s appointments, a teacher conference, a trip to the playground, two playdates, a four hour hair appointment (hey, straight hair takes time) and a massive Target trip later, here’s the other half!

Photography by Eric Roth – Courtesy of The Boston Globe

1 Globe Frank Roop Great Roomthe dining room

Don’t you love the chandelier? It’s a very heavy commercial piece, probably from a restaurant, from the 1960s. It resembles of mass of tangled twigs, or maybe coral. Roop calls its look “a nod to the ocean without being corny.” The antique table came from a Paris flea market. The homeowners bought it on a trip years ago, and had been storing until they had the space for it. Roop added the vintage faux bamboo chairs that he had lacquered in celery green (I know, they look white here) and reupholstered. Roop filled a huge clamshell he found in the basement with hydrangea for the shoot.

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2 Globe Frank Roop Kitchenthe kitchen

The perfect kitchen. The sea colored glass tiles are divine. Roop ordered them in an array of custom color arrangement from Ann Sacks. They make a perfect backdrop for the wife’s collection of green and blue seltzer bottles, which she’d been collecting over the years and acquired mostly in Paris and at Brimfield. She says, “I have a bunch of them; some have old wicker around them. They’re antique and very heavy. I love them; I have been hoarding them for Nantucket.”

The cabinetry is from Dalia Kitchen Design in the Boston Design Center. You can’t tell here, but the base of the island is stained a light blue color to break it up and bring in more color. The cooktop is Thermidor, with cobalt blue knobs, similar in color to the vintage Greek fisherman pendants that were acquired by Roop through a dealer. The countertop is jet mist honed granite from Gerrity Stone in Woburn, Mass. (a popular source around here). They wanted a honed stone because they felt is was less formal than a polished stone, and it also created a soapstone look without the fragility. (Soapstone is pourous and stains easily.

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3 Globe Frank Roop Sitting Room off DRsitting room off the dining room

This is the room you see in the background in the dining room shot above. How great is that 1950s driftwood lamp? Of course, Roop added a new shade, white linen, I think, trimmed in khaki grosgrain ribbon. Even better are teh 1820s blue opaline glass sconces from England. Love, love, love. Roop designed the side table, using a Moorish shaped-base to continue the exotic accents theme. The top is bronze, with a Moroccan pattern stamped on it. The coffee table is by French Modernist Jacques Adnet. It has a tile top in its iron base. (You can find some similar pieces by Jacques Adnet on 1st Dibs.) And, by now you’ll recognize Roop’s signature drapes. These are made from green silk that looks like linen (imported from Thailand), white linen and khaki linen. I’m thinking of trying this look in my Back Bay bay living room bay windows.

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6 Globe Frank Roop LRthe living room

Let’s start with the rug. Like pretty much everywhere else in the house, the living room rug is sisal. The family has two dogs (a chocolate lab and a mutt) and three cats, so they needed a pet friendly solution. The husband wanted Oriental rugs. The wife said no way. She had some rag rugs. Roop was less than charmed. So the sisal was a practical compromise. (The husband got an Oriental in his office.)

The fireplace surround is Costa Esmerelda, which is a pale green granite from Brazil. Roop designed the niche bookcases, above which are mounted sconces with sky blue pleated silk shades. Roop designed the coffee table. The open detail Moorish shape was inspired by a Robsjohn Gibbons stool he has. The top is inlaid paoa shell imported from Hawaii, which is a super shiny and lustrous veneer that Roop uses whenever he can. He has a star-shaped table covered in it in his design studio, and when the wife saw it, she insisted on his designing a piece using paoa shell for the Nantucket house. The finish is unique and gorgeous. The side table in the foreground is vintage faux bamboo. Roop designed the X-stools as well; they’re covered in a green silk canvas by Jim Thompson. The drapes are custom, but this time vertical panels are stitched together rather than horizontal swathes of color. They’re linen, with some shine, in three different colors.

Roop also designed all the upholstered pieces. (The sofa and chair were actually prototypes.) Roop uses McLaughlin Upholstering Company in Everett, Mass. to make them. The sofa fabric is a very heavy grayish blue linen, and the chairs are in a linen awning stripe. The daybed is upholstered in linen too, with a linen velvet cushion in a bluish green. Roop loves to do a contrasting cushion on a daybed, so it almost looks like a mattress. He cleverly used a daybed in front of the window because a sofa with a back would have blocked the view. The husband wasn’t crazy about the idea of seating sans back, but it’s the wife’s favorite seat in the house. She says,  “I love to sit there with a cup of tea and look out at the sky with the sun shining in on me; I can see the water in the distance, I love that seat, it is my favorite place.”

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4 Globe Frank Roop Game Roomthe game room

This is a little room off the living room where the family does puzzles. Their old house did not have a television, so they did a lot of puzzles, and wanted to be sure to fit in a dedicated round table for puzzles here. The table was found by the homeowners in a Paris flea market. The chandelier is thoroughly amazing. It’s funky Danish piece from the ’60s that Roop got from a dealer in New York City. It’s iron, embellished with handmade glass tiles. The wife adored it immediately, but both she and Roop were certain that neither the architect or her husband would like it. Surprise! They both loved it. Roop designed the chartreuse shade, which is made out of at least 100 yards of cotton cording, and trimmed in suede around the bottom edge.

5 Globe Frank Roop Game Rm Chandelier

Design Diary: Erin Gates At Home

By New York City standards, the 1,400-square foot condo in JP that interior stylist and blogger Erin Gates shares with her husband Andrew and their two little dogs isn’t all that small. Or so points out our dear friend Jen, who lives in a tiny studio in the Village with her husband Luke, just upstairs from her in-laws. However, as my husband constantly reminds me, we’re not in New York. Really?

Erin’s place is quite the showpiece, in a very accessible, Domino magazine sort of way. And, she did everything totally on a budget, with the exception of a little splurge here and there. She did it herself too – painting walls, painting actual paintings, refinishing furniture inherited from Andrew’s grandparents, and scouring estate sales and design-conscious chains.

I loved the trendy but sophisticated hi/low sensibility so much, I hired her to help me with our condo. The piece I wrote about her home, “Small Is the New Black,” is on the cover of today’s Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. Both Erin and the interiors look fabulous.

Here are the photos, shot by everyone’s favorite photographer, Eric Roth.


Above left: The cover shot – Erin and Baxter in the entry. The painting is an Erin Gates original – she was a studio art major at, coincidentally, Connecticut College (I went there too, but graduated sooo much earlier).

Above right: Erin sitting in her brand new, wanted it so badly, Louis Ghost Armchair designed by Philippe Starck. The Kelly green walls were inspired by a page in Domino. The zebra print rug is from West Elm. The blue artwork in the background is a framed piece of wallpaper.


Above: Erin has inspiration boards hanging in her office, filled with all sorts of fun images. (I took these photos, not Eric.)


Above: Standing in the living room, looking into the dining room. I can’t even tell you how many inquiries Erin and I received about the bookcases. Listen up people, they’re the Sapien Bookcases from Design Within Reach. They’re actually on sale right now, $168.30 – $253.30. West Elm makes two similar models, the Cadman Spine and Spine Wood bookcases, and CB2 has the Array (in grey and orange). They’re less expensive, but not quite as sturdy.


Above: A full view of the living room. The sofas and chairs are from Boston Interiors. Who knew they had such clean-lined pieces? The rustic coffee table was a splurge from Crate & Barrel. The white pedestal side table is a Saarienen copy, called the Trumpet from Target, just $24.99. The white vase on it is a Jonathan Adler knock-off – IKEA’s Färm vase, just $1.99. The starburst mirror above the fireplace is from Pier 1. The curtains are from JC Penney – apparently a great source for custom drapery. The luscious Oriental rug was on loan for the shoot from Landry & Arcari, with the expected hefty price tag. Erin’s mom bought it afterwards!


Above: The dining room table and chairs were hand-me-downs from Erin’s husband’s grandparents, who relocated from Chestnut Hill to Sea Island, Georgia. Erin painted the pretty chairs white, and recovered them in an $8/yard zebra print fabric. When they bought the condo, the paneling in the room was a dark stained wood. Against the advice of their realtor, Erin painted them white. In the background is a glimpse of the glass-fronted pantry, which is what sold Erin on the place.


Above left: The pantry, Erin’s favorite part of the house. She papered the back in Jonathan Adler’s Bamboo Reverse wallpaper in white and metallic silver. A pricey paper, but she only needed a small amount. Notice the bamboo Roman shades on the window? From Target. Erin and Andrew built the wine storage slots and added the wine fridge – there were cabinets there originally. I love the vintage French opaline glasses as much as Erin does. “I’m literally mad for them,” she told me.

Above right: The bedroom. I adore this room. It’s so pretty and peaceful, and I love the grey accents. The funky grey ikat pillows are from Fabricadabra (did you see them in Daily Candy? Thanks for the tip Erin!) The double prints over the bed are framed pieces of vintage Schumacher wallpaper. (A wallpaper designer left loads of vintage samples to Erin’s dad.) She has French Provincial style dressers that are equally romantic, plucked from the grandparents. The Venetian crystal chandelier is from Great Chandeliers. It was only $100, but a real pain to put together. Here’s a funny little tidbit: When I visited the bedroom was yellow. Erin made her husband paint it blue the weekend before the shoot. What a guy!


Above left: Here’s Erin and Baxter in the entry again, this time we’re seeing the wall across from the bench. Erin scored the buffet for just $75 at an estate sale in JP that she happened to stumbled across. The interior was originally a sunny yellow, but she repainted the two end interiors turquoise. Atop sits her cherished Fu Dogs, found on Ebay. The arrangement of framed photos and artwork on the wall above includes all sorts of fun memories, like their wedding, the store her grandparents founded when they came here from Ireland, and a fun silhouette of Baxter, that Erin made herself. (See closeup below.)

Above right: The kitchen cabinetry and appliances are not so snazzy, but Erin made the seating area plenty spicy, with the black and white scheme and saffron runner. She loves her plate wall, with $1.99 plates from Home Goods. The blackboard is from Home Goods too; the frame was gold, but she painted it white. This seems to be one of Erin’s favorite pastimes! When I visited the Mandarin orange branches were on the mantle, but they look perfect here.


Above left: Erin’s handiwork, a silhouette of Baxter on a grassy background. (She sent me this image the weekend before the shoot. I think she made it to give the picture wall some punch.)

Above right: Erin’s brother, Sean Tubridy, who is a graphic designer and photographer, sets up and shoots these very clever Polaroid portraits, using LEGO figures. This one is a bride and groom, posed in the same way as Erin and Andrew’s favorite wedding picture of themselves. Sean also started the artsy and clever website Save Polaroid.

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