Organic & Contemporary

PROFILE-The Interior Design Issue, February 2012

DESIGNER: Nicki Bongiorno | Spaces Kennebunkport

Photography Trent Bell

This Space, This Way:

With her clients’ house so beautifully situated on the ocean, designer Nicki Bongiorno sought a design that would reflect the location rather than compete with the view. She selected furnishings with organic qualities reminiscent of the beach, including items made from a variety of weathered and natural materials: raw wood, rope, brushed metal, and rattan. Since the house has a distinctly contemporary design, the furnishings needed to relate to the home’s unique architecture.

“Everything I selected has simple, clean lines, but with soft edges and curves that complement the modern structure while honoring the proximity to the beach and the laid-back lifestyle of the owners. This is a family home, so materials needed to be tough wearing, casual, and comfortable without sacrificing style,” she explains. The quartz counter is durable, and its muted glass flecks evoke the subtlety of beach glass. The indoor/outdoor fabrics and slipcovers will stand up to sunshine, wet bathing suits, and dirt yet are surprisingly soft to the touch.

Since the room needed to accommodate cooking, lounging, and dining, Bongiorno designed the layout to allow for easy flow. To keep the space open, she used three small cocktail tables in place of a single large coffee table. The backless dining benches are also readily mobile to encourage conversation between areas. The transparent Lucite side tables offer functionality without adding undesirable visual weight.

Signature Style:

“I love to use a variety of textures in combination with neutrals. In this home there is a calm, layered effect achieved by the mix of organic elements and soft colors. I intentionally chose not to establish one focal point. Everywhere you look there is something interesting for your senses to enjoy; your eye can rest and appreciate the beauty of an object without any single item stealing the show. I also like to gently weave color around a room in small touches, so I applied the coral color sporadically instead of boldly using it on the wall or in large furnishings. This soft hand lends to a timeless, versatile design that is more easily changed if a homeowner tires of the look, at which point they can simply switch accessories.”

Trick of the Trade:

“Take something existing and paint it a new color. A little paint goes a long way toward transforming an item and adding new life to any object in this room. In this room, the three coral cocktail tables were purchased in natural bamboo. While they were sculpturally beautiful, they were lost in the room in their original color. By simply spray-painting them coral I created a whimsical and customized product unique to this space.”

 The Goods:

Custom kitchen: Downsview Kitchens and Fine Custom Cabinetry at Dalia’s Kitchen,
Nougat quartz counter: Caesarstone at Salem Stoneworks,
Tara faucet: Dornbracht,
Gas stovetop: Gaggenau at Agren Appliance,
Coral fish pitchers and salt & pepper shakers: Gurglepot at Spaces Kennebunkport,
Tiered tray, Pasha wine bucket, beverage dispenser, beehive lanterns & folding compartment tray: Roost at Spaces Kennebunkport,
Oasis flat-weave rug: West Elm,
Oasis sofa: Crate & Barrel,
Peekaboo clear console tables: CB2,
Large rattan lanterns: Vagabond at Spaces Kennebunkport,
Balou lounge chairs: Janus et Cie at Spaces Kennebunkport,
Dusty pillows: John Robshaw at Spaces Kennebunkport,
Reata counter stool, Illusion end table, Natural world dessert plate, Penumbral dolly plate & Atom art bowl: Anthropologie,
Custom dining table: Peter Spadone, Spadone Furniture Design, 207-985-7214
Slate cheeseboards: Brooklyn Slate Company at Spaces Kennebunkport,
Trunk console table: Four Hands at Spaces Kennebunkport,

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