Rachel & David's Historic Seltzer Factory Home

Rachel & David's Historic Seltzer Factory Home

Sarah Rainwater
Nov 29, 2011

Name: Rachel, David & their 9-month-old son, Henry
Location: East Side — Providence, Rhode Island
Size: 2 bedrooms, 2,400 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months — owned

Many former Providence residents are so in love with the city that they often fantasize about moving back some day. Brown University grads Rachel and David didn't imagine that fantasy would go beyond perusing real estate online from their Brooklyn apartment until they stumbled on a renovated seltzer factory in a charming historic neighborhood. Then, before they knew it they had won a bidding war and were packing their bags for a new life in New England.

Part loft, part cozy lodge; the space is irresistible with its warm exposed brick walls and dark wood beams — not to mention an ideal location on Providence's walk-able East Side. Rachel, a photographer, and David, a painter and writer, both work from home offices, so it was important to make the house feel like home as soon as they moved in. They admit that having lived there for less than 6 months and with an active 9-month-old son to keep constant watch over, there is still a lot more they would like to do with the space. But there's no question that the family's fresh start is off to an impressive first chapter.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Favorite Elements: Probably the exposed brick and floating staircase (now encased in plexi for Henry safety). We love the round nautical skylights. It's amazing to use the downstairs fireplace, which has two exposures and heats the whole house. Also we have a washer dryer for the first time in our adult lives. Very exciting.

Biggest Challenge: The open floor plan was a bit tricky when planning the layout, as well as making our Brooklyn furniture stretch to fit the space.

What Friends Say: New Yorkers are amazed at the kind of space we were able to find here. Some others couldn't imagine making an open brick home feel cozy, but hopefully we've changed their minds.

Proudest Project: Trolling Craigslist until I found an original Eames chair for a few hundred dollars (!)

Biggest Indulgence: The one new thing we splurged on was the Room&Board Hudson bed, which we are in love with.

Best Advice: Don't feel everything has to be perfect right away; we look forward to finding the right things for the house in the years to come.

Dream Sources: I was a master at finding things on NYC craigslist, am trying to recreate that source in New England!

Resources of Note:


    • Chilewich entry mat, which hides all dirt and is super durable.
    • The mirror above the staircase is a remnant from the Plaza Hotel, procured by David's mother when it closed.


    • Eames chair: craigslist
    • Wassily chairs: found at a vintage store
    • DWR Theater Sofa: craigslist
    • Lamp: Ikea
    • Grey Sofa: Ikea
    • Globe photograph by Rachel: available on 20x200
    • Lobster painting by David


    • Table: found on closeout from CB2
    • Candlesticks: a wedding present from Tiffany


    • A Real stove. We're not worthy of it.


    • Hudson Bed: Room and Board
    • Stokke Crib: craigslist
    • Buffalo stuffed animal for us
    • Bear for Henry

Thanks, Rachel & David!

Images: 12,15: Rachel Hulin, all others: Sarah Rainwater

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