Nearly a century ago, Jean-Michel Frank made a compelling case for the compatibility of the old and the new. “The noble frames that came to us from the past can receive today’s creations. The house that we build now can welcome ancient things of beauty,” the eminent French designer wrote.
Architectural and interior designer Giancarlo Valle and his client Kevin Wendle apparently got the message. On a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the coastal village of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, the two have deftly brokered a rapprochement between past and present, reimagining a stately 1903 “cottage” with contemporary interiors laden with treasures of 20th- and 21st-century design.