NYSID at Nantucket by Design

bed in NYSID student project at Nantucket by Design-1

As a board member of both the Nantucket Historical Association and the New York School of Interior Design, Maria Spears was instrumental in orchestrating a unique and creative event for Nantucket by Design. Nantucket represents the best of old and new and in thinking of how to meld the island’s history with the power of design, a group of NYSID students were invited to reimagine two rooms in Nantucket’s oldest house.

Nantucket Oldest HouseBuilt as a wedding gift in 1686 for Jethro Coffin and Mary Gardner by their fathers, what is now known as the Jethro Coffin House, is not only the oldest house on island but the sole surviving structure from the Nantucket’s original English settlement. As Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean at NYSID, Ellen Fisher selected and oversaw two undergraduates and two students pursuing their MFA’s in Interior Design for the project, below.

NYSID students at Nantucket's oldest house for Nantucket by Design week

The living room, designed by MFA students, Tom Elka and Larissa Moutrier, below, was entitled Vagabond Soul.

NYSID students Tom Elka and Larissa Moutrier at Nantucket by DesignAs international students, originally hailing from Israel (Tom) and Luxembourg (Larissa), they intended the room to express cultural exploration and the passing of time. Just as the original Nantucket settlers traveled long distances to eventually call the island home, so these two young designers have traveled far to continue their studies and settle in New York.

Nantucket by Design event at the oldest house

Working with many island resources, they carefully selected furniture to reflect timeless craftsmanship and artisanal traditions as well as an awareness of the centuries evolving in the space.

Nantucket Looms throw on antique at NYSID project at oldest house

Thoughtful juxtapositions of objects and textures tell the story of old and new with a sense of place,

NYSID graduate student project at Nantucket's oldest house for Nantucket by Design week

sharing a magpie’s gathering of art and meaningful treasures collected on their journey to a new home.

NYSID student design at Nantucket by Design

Undergrads Faith Hoops and Emily Kent, below, designed the bedroom honoring the house as a “longstanding monument to love and family.”

NYSID students at Nantucket's Oldest House for Nantucket by Design project

In memory of the house as a wedding gift, the designers wanted to capture that sense of emotion and warmth within the context of an antique house, while bridging the gap between historic structure and modern lifestyle.

NYSID design project at Nantucket oldest's house for Nantucket by Design

Including what could have been the couple’s personal possessions, they transformed an empty box into what would have been the newlywed’s new home together.

NYSID student project in bedroom at Nantucket oldest houseAs in the living room, the bedroom represents old and new with selections from many of Nantucket’s antique and design shops.

NYSID project at Nantucket's oldest house

Using soft colors, an airy mix of textures, patterns and art, the room represented an intimate place for work, leisure time and romance.

bed in NYSID student project at Nantucket by Design-1

And while telling the house’s historic story with rustic simplicity, this charming moment brought the room forward with a nod toward a modern lifestyle.

NYSID project in bedroom at Nantucket oldest house

As the NYSID explained, the project “proved to be a unique lesson in both preserving and reimagining history through design.”

photos of house by Stacey Bewkes for Quintessence; photos of designers via NYSID

4 thoughts on “NYSID at Nantucket by Design

  1. What these young imaginative ladies created within these old walls was interesting and somewhat quirky yet soothing!!! What a brilliant idea that I would like to encourage to be done here in Bermuda in one of our old properties. Very inspirational!
    Jan – Bermuda

  2. Wonderful concept & execution. Makes me wonder if the newlyweds might have done the same with an eclectic mix from the day :)

  3. I’ve looked at these photos several times with a tingle of excitement. The house is so well preserved. The wide plank floors and fireplace are the soul of this interior, and I would say the heart is the thoughtful and imaginative interior design of these students. I particularly love the woven fabrics of the bed covering and pillows, the sea chest and simple shapes of the pottery. All in all a most satisfying project.

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