“We love living in Providence, specifically because it’s close to where we grew up and where our parents live in South Kingstown, but far enough and completely different,” says Abby Brown of the West End apartment she has shared with childhood bestie Rose Kenyon for more than two years, and Tyler Morris, who moved in last November after two years of traveling. “Providence provides the diversity and culture that we love, and proximity to the beaches we grew up on.”
Together the three creatives – Brown, an editorial designer, Kenyon, a digital marketer, and Morris, a landscape designer – share a sensibility that can best be described as bohemian. “We think that our styles are collectively eclectic and work well together,” says Morris. Brown agrees and chimes in, “You can see a difference in style when you look at our individual rooms, but for the most part, we think our styles really come together in the living space. We all enjoy second-hand items, art, cozy vibes, and plants.”
Like many shared abodes, furniture is a combined mix of family heirlooms and cast-offs, upcycled trash-night scores, and quick builds like the standing desk fashioned from a wide plank of wood across two file cabinets. There are also unique accents from travels, like prints from New Zealand and textiles from India. The friends also enjoy a good craft and wine night at home, which has resulted in much of the apartment’s decor.
“People think you have to buy expensive art, but local postcards and prints in a thrifted frame are just as beautiful,” says Kenyon, who also enjoys higher-end acquisitions from local artists like a four-foot nude figure painting she bought at a Rhode Island College auction and another commissioned by the group from high school friend, Dylan Partridge. “We were sitting at the bar where he was bartending at The Point on Wickenden. Essentially, after a couple of drinks, we tipped him $300 to make us a painting and the subject was up to him,” says Brown.
During the mid-March COVID-19 lockdown, the roommates made a conscious effort to rearrange shared spaces to inspire specific activities and creativity. The dining table and standing desk were moved into the living room to take advantage of the large bay windows for a sunny work zone, and the center room of the double parlor became the living room. “It’s where we can sit on the couch, watch TV, be with friends, and be closer to the kitchen at night.” Brown adds, “Our advice for making a rental feel like home: rugs, art, DIY, curtains, the perfect lighting, and blankets!” Kenyon adds, “Collectively we own 27 throw pillows and 60 plants. We just counted!”