Many homes along Wickford’s main drag have had many lives. Take the home of Nicholas and Erin Batten, a Greek Revival Colonial initially spotted for them by a friend who knew the couple adored older homes with charm and were looking to move into the Village. “Our friend sent us the listing and said the house actually used to be her hair salon but was the perfect project for what we wanted,” begins Erin. “Well, that old hair salon is now our home, full of light, warmth, and character.”
In the four years since taking ownership of the 1839 house, the Battens have heard many tales, including the time a former retail tenant took the shutters along after vacating. Says Erin, “We wondered why there weren’t any – now we know!” Erin’s father, a master craftsman, was able to recreate period pieces to match.
Having been a family home, then partial commercial space, then mixed occupancy, the family embarked on a long list of projects to make the entire property – inside and out – a residence of their very own. From landscaping to renovations, the couple completed most projects themselves. One significant modification was removing an unsightly and unused downstairs bathroom shower stall, and using the space to create a small walk-in pantry.
Through this process of both structural updates and decorative changes, Erin discovered a knack and a passion for interior design and recently launched her business, Bespoke Staging. “I have been a stay-at-home mom for two years and decided I wanted to start doing something I loved, which has always been styling and decorating the home,” she says.
Signature elements of Erin’s style are neutral wall colors with white highlighting architectural details like window frames and interior shutters, molding, and fireplace surrounds. Larger furniture pieces are also neutral, with color and pattern introduced through textiles like throws and pillow covers. “I like pops of color and pieces that have special meaning,” says Erin. “I like mixing different styles and finding commonality in bringing it all together. In my own home it’s a bit eclectic.”
Erin enjoys living in Wickford and seeks pieces that imbue a waterside vibe. “I love using the outdoors to inspire the inside; it creates a nice flow,” she says. “Seeing the ocean is all the inspiration I need to create a warm coastal feel. Things like driftwood, sand tones, and a bowl of shells I found on the beaches here. Navy blue is one of my favorites, too, which reminds me of the sea. Also, you’ve got to get yourself a cast iron lobster from the antique shop in Wickford...we’ve sent a few of our house guests home with these!”