Designer Snapshot: Catch the Drift

June 8, 2011

By Paula M. Bodah

In writing about Michele Kolb and Eric Rosenberg’s restored Colonial-era house for our 2011 Cape & Islands issue, I was struck by the way the couple–principals at their own firm, Rosenberg Kolb Architects–used rustic elements like driftwood for inspiration in designing a house that has a comfortable, beach-y feel but is far more elegant than it is rustic. “I have always loved the effect of the sand and sea on wood that’s exposed to the elements. It really speaks to the sense of time passing,†Michele told me. “The gray patina of driftwood is so soft, natural and warm.†She worked with her cabinetmaker to give the kitchen cabinets the soft look and feel of driftwood. She also used found driftwood as the base for a pretty lamp, the sort of decorative object the couple offers at their Nantucket store, Belongings. “Driftwood used in an interior says ‘instant beach’ and brings with it the wonderful memories of lazy beach days and endless summer,†Michele says. Driftwood, it turns out, inspires designers and artisans all over New England.

Michele Kolb designed this captain’s table with a driftwood finish to sell in her Nantucket shop, Belongings.

I like the way the “Linekin†lamp by Maine artist Michael Fleming of Designs Adrift combines the organic driftwood with the sophisticated, contemporary linen shade.

Photo by Richard Sandifer

Catherine and Rob Wissmann of By the Sea Driftwood Company of Cape Cod created this driftwood table for Boston designers Jim Gauthier and Susan Stacy of Gauthier-Stacy.

Photograph by Catherine Wissman

This driftwood bench–called “Twist‖was crafted by Nancy Lou Riccio and Dave Sayad at The Studio at East River Road in Guilford, Connecticut.

Photograph by Nancy Lou Riccio