Portrait by Neil Landino; chairs by John Monson; all others photos contributed
Known as the “Scandinavian girls” when they first launched Eleish van Breems in Woodbury, Connecticut, in 1998, Rhonda Eleish and Edie van Breems have since parlayed their passion for design into a one-stop resource for fine antiques, reproduction furniture and interior design services. Childhood friends with a shared Swedish heritage, the women have now relocated their business to Westport. “We love the energy here,” says Eleish. “This place just felt like ‘it.’ ”
Located in Old Saugatuck, the new Eleish van Breems showroom and design studio is just steps away from the Westport train station. The storefront, painted a custom-made Farrow & Ball goldenrod shade, attracts seasoned designers and amateurs alike. Upon entering the light-filled showroom, clients can browse an eclectic mix of old and new treasures. An eighteenth-century Finnish armoire may be paired with a contemporary piece of art, while the designers’ own reproduction furniture shares space with their children’s line. A focus on eco-friendly, sustainable materials is also key. “We represent how Scandinavians really live in their homes,” says Eleish.
A library down the hall from the showroom is the go-to for inspiration. The designers, who have published three volumes on Swedish design, have stocked it with reference books and resources. Past the library is a design studio, which features a mix of modern and antique furnishings. A Smeg refrigerator adds charm, while a skylight provides natural light. Clients are welcome in this space, where they can enjoy a glass of cappuccino while sitting at the eat-in bar. Eleish van Breems is also a modern-day salon. The owners host monthly events, such as wine tastings, and regularly showcase the work of artists and photographers.Guided by the Scandinavian design principles of high quality and good form, the women are at home in this new space. “We just want to share things we love,” says van Breems. “We are our clients.” 22 Railroad Pl., Westport, evbantiques.com
LIVING THE LIFESTYLE
SHOP THESE FINDS AT THE NEW ELEISH VAN BREEMS SHOWROOM
Based on Swedish textile tradition, handwoven rugs and pillows from Swedish Rags get an updat. Made from cotton and linen, these pieces are only at Eleish van Breems and can be customized to fit your needs.
The designers’ line of historically accurate reproduction furniture is crafted in Sweden and hand-painted in Connecticut using Farrow & Ball paint.
L:A Bruket organic bath products from Sweden are an eco-friendly luxury. Ingredients are sourced from organic farms and seaweed harvesters on the North Sea.
The designers use Farrow & Ball colors exclusively on their furniture line “because of the paint’s high quality, richness and similarity to Swedish mineral paints.” —Edie van Breems