Rachel Reider, the founder and creative lead of Reider + Co, has designed 18 properties for Lark Hotels including its newest, the Coco on Martha’s Vineyard.
The rooms have a homey yet elevated feel.
It’s somewhat apropos that Rachel Reider’s (reiderandco.com) hospitality design career began when she was on vacation. She and her husband were at a bed and breakfast in Maine and while chatting with the Innkeepers, Reider discovered that she went to design school with the owner’s sister. When the weekend was over, she kept in touch with the owners and six months later they asked her to do the design for a hotel they had purchased in Nantucket, specifically requesting her aesthetic to make the space feel more like home.
room #4 features Tibetan tiger wallpaper, velvet bedding, and a fringed chandelier.
Without realizing it then, Reider and the rest of the team were creating more than just an interior, they were writing a playbook for a new kind of hotel. One that embodied an identity and a cohesive story as part of the travel experience, where guests were no longer an anonymous traveler but a visitor to a space that inspired, revealed, and welcomed like a good friend.
Reider created a built-in in the Coco’s entryway where the hotel puts out coffee and drinks
Today that concept is condensed into one word—boutique—a buzz word used in many a hotel marketing brief. But fifteen years ago in Nantucket when a magical dynamic was formed between designer, owner and branding, their goal was truly to create something unexpected that would wow the traveler. The result was so unique that they decided to do it again and again and eventually Lark Hotels (larkhotels.com), the company that grows and supports design-driven hotels, was born. To date, Reider has designed eighteen Lark Hotels, in addition to being the founder and creative lead for her residential interior design firm Reider + Co. “I never thought that I would work within hospitality. But, I found that our work in both strengthens the other, they’re a nice compliment,” she says.
the sitting area in Room #1
Her latest project with Lark Hotels, the Coco, opened in Martha’s Vineyard this summer. It joins five other properties in the Edgartown Collection, owned by Anne Hajjar. Reider, along with her senior designer Kristina Ranaldi, has designed all of the hotels within the collection and has a level of trust with Hajjar that really allows her creativity to flourish. She and the branding team Might & Main (might-main.com) suggested a complete redesign of the old house once owned by whaling captain Charles Williams Fisher and his wife Parnell Pease Fisher based on their story.
Rieder and her team utilize fun fabrics and wall coverings.
In a very unusual move for the time, Parnell joined her husband on his boat for a five-year expedition around the world. She was often seasick and her husband dropped her off on remote islands for months at a time to recover. Th e Coco’s interior is reimagined to look as if it were decorated by Parnell and the many items she collected from her travels.“We wanted to figure out a way to play up the uniqueness and rich history of the property rather than try to fight against it,” she says.
Room #5 features woven reed wallpaper and a jungle rattan chandelier
As with many of the Lark Hotels, several pieces were custom designed which allowed Rieder and her team to play with fabrics and wall-coverings. One of Reider’s favorite rooms is also one of the smallest, on the third floor. Th e nook’s palette is navy and teal with a palm-covered wall that’s vibrant, warm and welcoming. “One of the reasons I really enjoy doing hospitality is because most clients aren’t going to let you do this to their house. It’s really fun to creatively push the boundaries and try crazy combinations,” Reider says.
the Coco’s largest room, #1, has high ceilings, bay windows and village views
She has however acquired clients who were former hotel guests. “More and more there’s a connection between residential and hospitality. People want to have their home be a kind of sanctuary where they feel pampered and taken care of. And more hotels want to create a warm and inviting space,” says Reider.
Designer Rachel Reider’s favorite room, #7, at the new Coco Hotel on Martha’s Vineyard is also one of the coziest
So as her involvement in the hospitality industry grows, so does her residential business. Because although we travel to embrace the newness, at the end of the day when your head hits the pillow, it’s nice to feel like you’ve come home.
Photography by: MATT KISIDAY