Into the Blue
Although this condo overlooks Boston Harbor, its interiors didn’t quite reflect its coastal location. Enter designer Rachel Reider, who was hired to maintain the pied-à-terre’s sophisticated urban vibe while injecting it with seaside attitude. Reider reconfigured the 1,100-square-foot home to suit her clients’ lifestyle, using a blue palette layered with organic patterns and textural finishes. Ahead, the designer’s tips for making a compact space feel airy and spacious.
Time to Shine
Polished surfaces add sparkle to tight quarters. Here, a mirrored wall creates the illusion of depth while reflecting the view. Mirrors also bounce light, says Reider, who chose a round cocktail table with a metallic resin finish for similar effect. “It has a very dynamic texture that changes depending on how the light hits it.”
Put It on Repeat
Similar patterns and textures have a unifying effect. “We didn’t want to go overboard with too many different things going on,” Reider says. In the bedroom, she hung a mother-of-pearl Maya Romanoff wall covering; bedside lamps and iridescent glass tile in the bathroom repeat the theme. Drapes by Martyn Lawrence Bullard complete the look.
Break It Down
Sometimes you have to do some demo. Reider removed the two walls separating the kitchen from the living area and foyer to make the home feel larger and cohesive. “Before, the kitchen was a tiny box,” she says. “Now you walk into the unit and see everything. Wherever you are, you’re always part of the activity.”
Once you remove dividing walls, moments of intense color help define spaces. For a little wow factor, Reider lacquered the kitchen cabinets with Benjamin Moore’s striking “Marine Blue.” “In a large kitchen, the blue would feel overwhelming, but in this small space it’s a great accent,” Reider says. The cabinets are the first thing you notice when you walk in the front door, creating an unexpected and intriguing effect. “The high gloss and shade of blue is very tactile—you just want to touch it,” she adds.
Design It Yourself
When you can’t find something off the shelf that fits, Reider suggests going custom. That’s how she dealt with the fact that there wasn’t room for a full-size dining table. In its place, she designed a half-round zebrawood table that seats four, placed flush against the kitchen peninsula. At standard table height—30 inches—it feels separate from the kitchen and more formal than sitting at the counter. Reider selected the three knot-shaped blown-glass pendants to further define the dining area without obstructing the water view.
Edit, Edit, Edit
It’s critical to figure out what you can’t live without, especially when working in tight spaces. “Recognize that you can’t cram it all into a small space. You need to pick the elements that are most important to you,” Reider says. For example, to accommodate a double vanity and walk-in shower in the master suite, the deep soaking tub had to go. Similarly, her clients needed a king-size bed, so the designer sacrificed several closets (creating a reach-in instead) to create space for it.
Interior Design Rachel Reider Interiors
Cabinetry Woodmeister Master Builders
Contractor Martin Interiors