interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: tyler doran

by anne

today’s first sneak peek is into the 1890 home of tyler doran and his husband mark in providence rhode island. they instantly fell in love with the old victorian house with 12ft ceilings, columns and crown molding located near brown university. every square inch of the place needed repainting, but the result is absolutely stunning, and reminiscent of heir, tyler’s beautiful antique shop. click here for more, full-sized images and stay tuned for another stand out sneak peek at 1pm! [thanks, tyler!] anne

[above: We painted the master bedroom a dark navy and added panelling in the same color to give it a gentleman’s club feeling. I’m a huge Merchant Ivory/Brideshead Revisited fan.]

I like mixing that formality with irreverence and unexpected art and objects.

While working on the house I slowly amassed the inventory for Heir on trips all over the country, finding great folk art pieces and industrial furniture and objects. And Providence has an incredible artist community with RISD churning out some amazing talent. It’s the mix of carefully edited antiques and objects and contemporary work that make the house and the store dynamic. The spaces i design are subtly intriguing and i restrain myself from having too many wow moments that overpower a room. I love Karin Blake’s restraint and use of form in minimal spaces and Daryl Carter’s organic and texture driven Virginia Farm House is insanely inspiring. I have images of that house peppered all over my home and office.

No matter where I am I always like to imagine i can just step outside to a picnic by the lake and listen to the victrola with a gin and tonic. Hard to imagine in providence in January in 9 degree weather. We soldier on though.

My family had always been collecting strange pieces from their travels, so it came naturally to me to seek out the more unusual items. I was born in Saudi Arabia, and we moved to New Hampshire when I was three, so our 1803 farmhouse was filed with Afghani Rugs, Middle Eastern antiques and peppered in with all that were American rustic pieces. It was incredibly influential in my design aesthetic allowing me to explore that juxtaposition.

[the iron work above is part of a series tyler creates (and sells) himself]

Suggested For You


  • Wow, such beautiful decor. I appreciate the restraint of the “wow” moments….it keeps your eye moving, but makes those special details even more stunning.

  • This was great…at first. “Ooooh…. eeeeee…. aaaahhhh! Scroll…..scroll…..
    Then I get to pic number 5… and I suddenly feel a rush of color-me-really-jealous! Then I get to the lil’ closet vignette with the red stripes, boots, etc. Tear-inducing! I’m floored. Ggggggoreous!

  • This was great…at first. “Ooooh…. eeeeee…. aaaahhhh! Scroll…..scroll…..
    Then I get to pic number 5… and I suddenly feel a rush of color-me-really-jealous! Then I get to the lil’ closet vignette with the red stripes, boots, etc. Tear-inducing! I’m floored. Ggggggoreous!

  • That little nook with the navy jacket and boots kind of took my breath away. Also I’m totally intrigued by the Dixie Zephyr Mohawk sign… what does it mean???

  • absolutely love your style! my hubby and i are slowly but surely renovating an 1880s home, and i am so jealous of your unique and rustic pieces. (we’re brown grads too, so when we’re back on the hill for a visit we’ll definitely stop by Heir!) thanks for sharing.

  • I love it all, especially the shell shaped drawer pulls and, most especially, the Boston terrier reposing on the rug.

    Grace: Looking forward to an Obama inspired post tomorrow!

  • Tyler! I had no idea what you’ve been up to down in Providence. You’ve come a long way since we worked together at LB. Ha ha! I’ll pop in for a visit next time I’m in your fair city!

    Love, Carrie

  • this place is fabulous! i love it. the floors, the walls, the architectural details, the dark wooden pieces. love it!!

  • There’s something great about this mix of light and dark. I do, however, get a masculine feel that doesn’t appeal to me personally (as in I wouldn’t want to live there, even though I can appreciate it).

  • thanks so much for everyones comments on my little slice of home. I’m humbled and really happy to be a part of grace’s wonderfully inspiring site. questions… the chandelier in the bedroom came from Brimfield and we had it rewired. The island in the kitchen is from an old hotel in Watch Hill Rhode Island and was used as a baking table. The Dixie Zepher Mohawk sign is a trade sign from a Brooklyn party boat in the 1930’s trying to attract more people with a flashy sounding boat name. I think it’s a perfect indie rock band name. and finally the color of the grey paint in the dinning room is farrow and ball’s pigeon and the blue in the family room is F & B’s Oval Room Blue. thanks again and check out http://www.heirantiques.com for more art, antiques and covetable goods…

  • Tyler, I know your store is AMAZING, and I am not surprised that your house is too! Next time I walk by the store I am going to listen for that victrola and maybe stop in for a gin and tonic! Thank you for showing.

  • This is so beautiful! It feels so familiar… I think I lived here in a past life…. although I distinctly remember the guest room being a beautiful shade of mauvy pink… and there was a deer head in it…. Can I have that cute dog in the living room?

  • This house has really great character. All of the different furniture pieces give the rooms great depth. It’s a nice mix of old and new.This is a great home design.


  • WOW! I love your home, so lovely. That is one of the things I love about New England, our wonderful old style homes. You have done an enchanting job on your decorating~!
    I wish you many years of peace and harmony in your lovely home.

  • this is my favorite sneak peak and not because I want to do everything the same way, but because it’s truly one-of-a-kind everywhere you look. I’ve never seen anything else on this site quite like this, where everything is truly a design idea that has come from within. This is real authentic creativity when it comes to designing a home, and this home is absolutely breathtaking. My fiance and I just bought a 1920’s house that we are fully renovating, and this makes me want to think about how to design with the time period in mind. I’ll have to refrain from using too many mid century pieces.

  • I love the house. No wonder you fell in love with it! … I have kitchen envy after peeking into yours. … Love the painting-chest-candle and how the light in the off center painting and the light of the candle play together.

  • Tyler!

    Hey buddy, this is Brad, of Kendra and Brad.

    Can’t believe the randomness of finding photos of your home, which is stunning by the way.

    Our home will be posted this Monday, stay tuned.

    Take care.

  • As long-time reader of design*sponge, I have to comment to say that I am shocked and offended by the RHINOCEROUS HORNS used as bookends in the second picture.

    The international trade in rhino horns is well-documented to be a leading cause of their status as an endangered species. As with other endangered species, trade and possession of animals and body parts is ILLEGAL.

    I am completely sickened that Tyler labeled his use of the horns as irreverent. It is completely unacceptable to attribute to the poaching of any wildlife, much less threatened and endangered species.

  • erin, you do realize that they could be fake, right? and if they aren’t, they could be antique. i HIGHLY doubt tyler just put in an order for rhino horn book ends.

  • beautiful. one no-no as a south african, would be the rhino horn book-ends. more than 200 rhino have been killed for their horns in the past 4 months 2012 so far. just a comment not a critisism.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.