Design Duo Eleish Van Breems Brings Scandinavian Coastal Design to Nantucket3 min read
Arbiters of Swedish design since the duo’s inception in 1997, Rhonda Eleish and Edie van Breems of Eleish van Breems came together over their love of Gustavian antiques and have been imbuing American tastes with their vision ever since. Their first storefront, located in Westport, Connecticut, is their studio and design firm, where they have authored three design books about Scandinavian design. It’s no surprise their Euro-American aesthetic has been coveted by many East Coast households.
Light-hued and airy, Gustavian design lends itself well to storied American coastal aesthetics. So when the opportunity arose to begin a new endeavor in Nantucket, the duo grabbed at the chance.
“Nantucket has always been for us a place with a determined spirit of adventure and freedom very akin to the island communities of Sweden,” explains Eleish. “We are drawn to the special light, the sailing, the dramatic southern shore beaches on the Atlantic, but most of all, to the wonderful community found on this historic island.”
Located in the heart of downtown with views of the Easy Street Basin, EVB evokes the pleasure of island life with whitewashed walls and pops of blue scattered throughout the shop’s wares.
“At our store you will find Scandinavian style embracing island sensibility. Our furnishings and accessories reflect the timeless allure of indoor/outdoor living and entertaining with a focus on high-quality natural materials and small artisan makers from both sides of the Atlantic.”
Pure East Coast charm exudes from the exterior, though EVB furnishes the interior with a distinctly Scandinavian flair for clean lines and serene decor that is at once comfortable and welcoming.
Antiques intermix with the new craftsmanship arriving fresh from Sweden, including table linens by Axlings Linne, fine porcelain dinnerware from Gustavsberg, rugs from Brita Sweden, textiles from Johanna Howard, and the soulful pottery of Paradisverkstaden out of Öland. Handcrafted homewares and hostess gifts create a stylish backdrop for the larger pieces on display from EVB’s own design collection as well as other European-focused companies like Verellen and Dedon.
“We have always focused on presenting unique finds and collections that are rooted in craftsmanship: textiles, furniture, lighting, artworks, leather goods,” the duo says. “We highlight companies and makers that reflect our interest in what the Swedes call ‘good design for everybody,’ the hallmarks of which are high-quality materials meeting optimal form, function, and beauty.”
Eleish van Breems will be cutting the ribbon on their newest location Thursday, July 2, just in time for the holiday weekend. While the coronavirus pandemic has many of us staying at home, Nantucket is still reachable by virtual means. EVB is a sponsor of Nantucket by Design, an annual summer fundraiser that celebrates the island’s influence on American design, that will be held virtually on July 30—August 1 with designer panel discussions and antique auctions.
For locals, Eleish van Breems Home is located at 14 Easy Street, Nantucket, MA 02554.
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
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