Interiors expert Tracey Rapisardi brings beachy flair to every home project she touches. Tour two homes that display Rapisardi's signature cottage style.
Although she lives with her family in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, homeowner Gay Cloutier yearned for an oasis that would transport her to her childhood home on the Queensland beaches in Australia. The Cloutiers' pool area is designed to transition smoothly among multiple activity centers, both indoors and out. In addition to the house itself, the property encompasses an outdoor fireplace, dining area, lounging deck, pool with slide, and putting green.
The moment Gay walked into designer Tracey Rapisardi's interiors store, Sea Rose, she knew she'd found the perfect person to decorate her family's pool house. "I met Tracey and I felt like we were long-lost soul mates," Gay says. "She's the mermaid, and I gave her the water to swim in."
Rapisardi's casual cabana flair is alive throughout the pool house, from the seaglassy green-and-blue palette to the mermaid and sealife accents. In this small dressing room, wainscoting outfitted with hooks is a handy spot for wet towels.
Because the rest of the room plays it casual, Rapisardi wasn't afraid to add this sparkly chandelier. Reflective glass pieces are repeated throughout the house.
"I used seven custom colors throughout the space," Rapisardi says. Each of these tones is designed to layer easily with the others, for a look that is delicate and cool.
Like many of the details in the pool house, the fireplace surround is custom. The glass tiles mimic a colorful aquarium, adding plenty of interest even when a fire isn't crackling inside.
Rapisardi and her husband, Richie, designed the stair balustrades, then painted them aqua to help break up the white in the entryway. Cherry treads recall ship ladder details.
Although he resides in a coastal suburb in Maine, Joe Charrier had Nantucket on the brain when he built a new home for his family. With help from Rapisardi, the cottage-cute interior now reflects the dramatic dormers and wood shingles Joe created for the exterior. These seaside accents provide a hint of what's to come.
Joe and his wife Pam moved this hutch with them from their old house into the new. A few coats of pastel paint transformed it into a piece that fit perfectly with their new decor. "People sometimes think you have to pitch everything in a room and start over, but that's not how I work," Rapisardi says. Painting, whitewashing, and distressing can breathe new life into a formerly dark and dated piece.
Rapisardi loves signage reminiscent of bygone days in beach towns. Two lanterns flank this custom sign, while underneath a fireplace constructed from weathered granite and bricks from an old mill gives the new home instant character.
These cherry bowls from France mix naturally with vintage tableware from the Charrier's collection. Light-color table linens add country charm.
A large open space with wide-plank floors is the center of activity for the Charrier family. A rug defines the main sitting area, but traffic is still able to flow freely throughout the space.
Rapisardi ensured that the Charriers' main family spaces were both durable and beautiful. The cotton canvas slipcovers are machine-washable. Rapisardi deliberately kept the windows free from fabric window treatments in order to draw interest to architectural elements, such as the shutters and panes.
Rapisardi thoughtfully included a vintage vanity in the guest bedroom. The restored table, paired with a three-way mirror, is a peaceful spot to begin and end each day. "I try not to do it all with store-bought items," Rapisardi says. "You need to put some individuality into it."
The master bedroom is full of classic Rapisardi style. The iron bed frame is painted white to match a leggy side table. The floral lampshade is a custom detail Rapisardi suggested to coordinate with the bedding. Sparkle comes by way of a vintage clock studded with pink rhinestones. And a bucket of seashells reminds Joe and Pam that the ocean isn't far away.