Walk along the sidewalk from Five Corners to the beginning of Main Street, Vineyard Haven and it is impossible not to take notice of Cottage Haven Interiors. Set between the Chamber of Commerce Building and the Mansion House at 18 Beach Street, designer Ron Lawrence’s store and showroom is located in a historic colonial era house set back from the busy street and framed by a small elegant, garden that reflects his company statement, “Living in Simple Elegance.”
Cottage Haven Interiors offers “distinctive home furnishings, unique accessories and personal esthetic essentials that will impart simple elegance to your home and lifestyle,” according to its website.
Products include the complete Shabby Chic collection from designer Rachel Ashwell, Bella Notte linens, and bedding and unique lamps and lighting designs that include floor candle holders and chandeliers set amidst an atmosphere of tranquil music and clouds of whites, neutrals and soft pastel hues.
“I wanted to create a destination,” said Mr. Lawrence, who first began operating a business in 2008. “A treat for the senses. People can come in and relax.”
The shop, which opened its doors on May 11, features a series of decorated rooms that give it the feel of a lovingly furnished, comfortable home. The multiple themed showrooms display a variety of items with a variety of price points.
Beautiful, inviting comfortable beds display antique inspired or high quality cotton linens. Gorgeous throws and pillows adorn chairs. There are rugs, chandeliers and other lighting fixtures, and dressers, bookcases, nightstands, cabinets, and tables with a country genteel look.
In one corner of the front room finely tailored clothing in silk, satin, and linens hang from a circular rack. “I try to stay with natural fibers and American made when I can,” Ron (he prefers to be less formal) said. European style and quality is not absent. A visitor will also find gorgeous Italian made cashmere and silk throws, and a quaint little apothecary room that features different lines of French scents.
Mr. Lawrence’s design sense aligns well with the Vineyard aesthetic. Going forward he wants to add to the local art and photography that now adorn the walls of the store, he said.
“I’ve had a lifelong passion for creativity, the arts and beautiful classic design,” he wrote on his website. “But a deep love and appreciation of nature has always been at my core, providing a constant source of inspiration, rejuvenation and respite in an all too often hurried and frenetic world. Being drawn to serene qualities found in natural outdoor settings, I especially enjoy bringing into interior environments that same sense of tranquility and harmonious balance.”
The new store, located in a former home built in 1797 and known as the Luce house, features a bounty of products but there’s nothing cluttered or overly busy about the decor. That’s due to the clearly evident design talents of the owner and his ability to incorporate a variety of different items in a way that blends well together.
Ron has transformed the space, which most recently housed a home security business, into an elegant oasis of fine taste. Virtually everything one might need or want in a home – indoors and out – may be found at the spacious store or on his website. Most items, including furniture and lighting, can be custom ordered in a wide variety of colors, fabrics and finishes, he said.
Ron moved to the Island last year with Jim Berney, his partner of 17 years. Their plan is to call Martha’s Vineyard home, and to eventually retire here. Among his varied careers, he has worked as an interior designer, model, makeup artist, and editor of an international art and design magazine. The former fine arts major, also studied photography at the Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles. Although he has owned and operated a showroom and online business for six years, this is his first venture as a store owner.
“Living on the Vineyard is a dream I’ve had since I was in high school, and after years of vacationing and visiting the Vineyard I have finally made it a reality. I’m thrilled to finally be living here,” he said.
With his latest venture, Mr. Lawrence appears to be living his dream in more ways than one. He finds that he has the ideal job, living and working among beautiful things, and it provides the opportunity to get acquainted with Vineyarders and visitors who share his love of beautiful things.
Cottage Haven Interiors is located on 18 Beach St. in Vineyard Haven. A driveway between the store and the Chamber of Commerce building provides access to a parking lot.
For more information, visit cottagehaveninteriors.com or call 508-338-2699.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct several inaccuracies with regard to product descriptions and Mr. Lawrence’s history on the Vineyard.