Dezeen Magazine

Home Studios revamps Nantucket bar and restaurant using maritime references

Brooklyn-based Home Studios has refreshed a trio of hospitality spaces on Nantucket that includes a bright restaurant and a subterranean lounge that immerses guests in an "cinematic" underwater scape.

The Pearl restaurant, The Boarding House bar and Below the Rose lounge are all located under one roof at 12 Federal Street, Nantucket – an island off the coast of Massachusetts that is popular with summer vacationers.

Bright dining room with tiled-covered chimney stack
The Pearl is one of three hospitality spaces renovated by Home Studios at 12 Federal Street, Nantucket

After 30 years, the establishment changed hands and was in need of updates, so Home Studios was enlisted to rethink the interiors while retaining some familiarity for regulars.

"The Pearl and its offshoot spaces are beloved Nantucket institutions, so Home Studios identified the goal as continuing the existing story and tradition: to reinterpret it, not rewrite it; polishing and refining its origin story," said the studio, which took two years to complete the project.

Restaurant tables with pony wall running beneath a staircase
The restaurant features white oak tables and chairs, shaped to contrast the colonial-era architectural details

The aim of the interior design was to create an individual look and feel for each of the three spaces, yet keep a level of visual cohesion across the connected rooms.

"There's an immersive, cinematic experience across the board," studio founder Oliver Haslegrave told Dezeen. "However, each space is distinct in its material and colour scheme choice."

Bar with floral murals around the outside
Floral patterns by two different artists decorate the perimeter of the back bar

Renovating The Pearl involved "polishing" the main restaurant, private dining rooms and patio area.

In the light-filled restaurant, warm white and beige tones are complemented by cooler blues, and glossy tiles that clad the chimney stacks introduce texture and sheen.

Earth-toned private lounge with leather and bouclé seating
The Pearl's private dining rooms were also updated, including this earth-toned lounge area

The white oak tables and chairs have soft, contemporary shapes that contrast the rigid, colonial-era architectural details.

Behind the stone-topped bar, floral patterns including a mural by Lukas Geronimas Giniotis and mirror art by Paul Clifford add flourishes.

View into a private dining room from a lounge
The private dining rooms include a selection of vintage furniture

Darker earth tones decorate one of the private dining spaces, which includes a lounge area with leather and bouclé seating, and a selection of vintage furniture pieces.

For The Boarding House revamp, Home Studios looked to the island's maritime history for influences.

Many of its original elements were kept, including the bar, back bar, and stone floors, while the interiors were updated to present a contemporary take on the building's federal-style architecture.

"With The Boarding House, we sought to create a space built to withstand the trials of life at sea, and the place to host the exuberant celebration of one's return," Haslegrave said.

Dark blue bar area with aquatic mirror artwork
Home Studios also created a dark and moody subterranean lounge, Below the Rose, as part of the project

His studio also designed a new dark and moody lounge in the basement, named Below the Rose, where a different take on the oceanic theme was applied.

Envisioned as an underwater scape, the deep blue hues across the walls and ceilings feature a mural of aquatic creatures – also by Geronimas Giniotis – to make guests feel like they're submerged below the waves.

Dark blue lounge with plush banquettes
The dark blue space starkly contrasts the restaurant upstairs

"We approached the spatial design as if it were an ocean filled with unfamiliar creatures, textures, and forms," said Halsegrave. "It's dark and moody, and full of character and unique detailing."

Richly grained wood wraps the cased openings and the base of columns, and forms arches across the back bar that frame more mirror artwork by Clifford.

Mural of aquatic creatures across walls and vaulted ceiling
A mural of aquatic creatures allows guests to feel as if they're underwater

Rust-coloured bar stools, dark brass sconces and champagne-toned glass flush mounts all stand out against the darker hues.

The lounge is starkly different in atmosphere to the dining spaces above, but together they bring a storied local institution back to life.

Bar area with rust-coloured stools one the left, and lounge on the right
Details like rust-coloured stool and dark brass lighting stand out against the blue surfaces

Home Studios has multiple hospitality projects under its belt, ranging from the refresh of the Daunt's Albatross motel in Montauk to the design of the Laurel Brasserie and Bar in Salt Lake City.

Founded by Halsegrave in 2009, the studio has also created a Mediterranean-influenced hotel in Los Angeles and converted a Wisconsin train station into a restaurant.

The photography is by Matt Kisiday.