“Just add water!” is the enthusiastic reply answered in unison by homeowners Sherri and Ray to the question: What are your hobbies? The retired couple, who enjoy water skiing, wakeboarding, and paddle boarding, spend the warmest seasons based in Newport Harbor, traveling the waterways of the New England coast all summer long aboard their motor yacht. “Once it gets below 60 degrees we start the journey south down the Intracoastal Waterway where the winter destination is Key Largo.”
When they’re not on their vessel with beloved pomsky Luna, they landlub in the heart of the city. “I was done the moment I stepped inside and faced west,” says Sherri of the couple’s condo. “The panoramic views remind you of how special Newport is.” However, the pair felt that the footprint could use a refresh and would benefit from an open floor plan; they enlisted Ally Maloney, founder and principal designer at Maloney Interiors, who had previously outfitted their yacht.
“They hired me to develop a plan, which included an open layout, a custom millwork package, and the selection of all products, materials, and furnishings. I also developed a bid package and invited three contractors to bid for the job,” Maloney explains. “Once construction work was underway I oversaw the renovation work on behalf of the homeowners who had returned to their home in Florida to wait out the construction. Ray is a retired contractor, and they have both been through home remodels before so they understand the amount of time, energy, and creativity that goes into a project like this.”
Knowing her clients well and their preference for coastal chic sensibilities, Maloney selected materials and furnishings that evoke a ship-shape feel. “I love wide plank white oak floors, rift sawn or quarter sawn white oak cabinets and furniture, and teak, which is great for coastal-style homes.” Maloney suggests “having fun with texture” and infused spaces with natural materials like raffia wallpaper, overhead paneling that channels a boat-cabin feel, and shiplap in “easy go-to” bright white. In contrast to nubby grasscloth bar stools, elegant pendant lamps hang in the kitchen area, and in the bathroom, colored glass hardware connects with glass and tile for a cohesive look that reflects both location and style.
Says Sherri with a smile, “The open floor plan, colors of nature, serene surroundings, beautiful fabrics, design, and the harbor views make me so happy.”