Lofty Goals

A Providence couple makes a large space into a cozy retreat that is anything but run-of-the-mill


In Providence, the impressive complex Rising Sun Mills brings to mind the old saying “Birds of a feather flock together.” Built circa 1800 and named after their former function, the textile mills have been revived as live/work studios and lofts for artists and the once-abandoned buildings are now thriving with creatives of all disciplines, including Courtney Webster, an event stylist and project manager for an interior design studio in Boston, and her husband Brandon Aguiar, a painter. “We needed a space that coul accommodate Brandon’s art studio,” Courtney says. “We fell in love with the raw, industrial character of the building with its original large windows, brick walls, and wood floor.”

Living in a 1,300-square foot loft with such high ceilings takes some planning design wise. “We struggled a bit with how open the layout is! It was tricky to define spaces without anything feeling closed off,” Courtney admits. Yet within the floorplan concept the couple managed to create distinct areas linked by a neutral palette warmed with pink and blue color accents. “I love how well they pair with one another and how many different shades of each there are," Courtney notes. Their individual sense of design also comes into play. “Brandon and I have blended a mix of bohemian, midcentury-modern, and rustic styles in our home to create a true reflection of us. We wanted it to feel honest and homey with a mix of functional and stylish pieces,” says Courtney, who mines inspiration from design books, Instagram, blogs, and her job. “I’m always surrounded by beautiful fabrics, and am constantly sourcing and selecting items for clients. I get to envision how things would work in my home and love taking that influence and making it my own,” she explains.

Courtney describes her style evolution to its present-day contemporary bohemian mood. “It has naturally morphed over the years. In our first apartment together, Brandon and I bought almost strictly Ikea and vintage. Then we started buying almost entirely midcentury modern. That felt too cold, so we introduced different textures and colors and it made the space feel warmer and more inviting. Since then we’ve only brought in pieces we truly love and it has felt more and more like home.”