Block Island Beach House
Block island, Rhode Island
Late afternoon on the sand. You watch the sun slowly move toward the sea amidst friends and family, most of which are both. You’re immersed in feelings of wonder and bliss as you realize that Block Island is the summer you always want to know. A sister to the few other New England islands that stake their claim as the classic summer place, Block Island has a personality all its own—eclectic yet understated and beautifully broken in. The island is the salt-kissed barefoot siren that calls you in from sea for the restoration of your soul. Owned by the earth and devoted to unspoiled simplicity, Block Island is the place to immerse yourself in what was, and the things that always will be.
Our conceptualization of Block Island Beach House was solely based on the inspiration of the feeling of summer, that certain feeling that you can’t pinpoint on anything else, the colors you see and the harmony you feel. BIBH is intended to be an expression of what summer would look and feel like in the form of something tangible. The natural place to start for us was with our friend, and very talented photographer, Matt Schwartz. Matt has a way of making art live and breathe. He’s able to capture the moments that make you question whether or not you were there to live it yourself, in one life or another. A photoshoot on Block Island was a necessary first step to our memoir, out of which came thoughts and ideas and inspiration for what our version of what Block Island summer is. Our intention was to emulate the pace and personality of Block Island under one roof—to make a space that would age gracefully, a generational place, one that feels like returning to the beach house that you’ve always known, but timestamped 2019. We were also in awe of the beautiful imperfections we were seeing all around us; recreating that essence was important to us. Every room was curated to stand on its own—no two alike—each with its own spirit. This came through in the form of handcrafted wood beds, individually selected antique rugs, 1960’s and 70’s surfboards adorning the walls and our four specialty vintage tribute rooms.
Our vintage rooms were inspired by the layers and layers of history (literally) within the walls. Discovering so many patterns and colors of floral wallpaper, all from unique eras of time during the renovation of The Surf, was like flipping through a family photo album of decades past. We felt like the some of the quirkiness of the Surf’s past should live on for those that would appreciate it. The elements in our vintage rooms were meant to feel a little bit over the top and collected through generations, much like the feeling of the previous version of the hotel. Eclectic, eccentric and spiked with surf shack charm, designing these rooms allowed us to play and push boundaries which was the icing on our cake.
All in all, Block Island Beach House is the brainchild of our collective summer memories. It’s the animation of nostalgia for back when, and our daydreams of the future. Blended together, we hope the result is a timeless destination—the best destination—for a person to simply relish in the company of their tribe.