Father-Daughter Jewelry Designers Tag-Team the Decorating In Their New Warren Home
After a rough pandemic year, John Petersen and Riley Kinnane-Peterson, of Gunner & Lux, were ready for a change — and a decorating project.
Above: William Kinnane, John Petersen, and their daughter Riley pose with their basenjis, Emerson and Graham, in a reading nook outfitted with comfy armchairs from Camden’s DAAC Designs. Petersen and Riley arrange special books facing out on the shelves and incorporate keepsakes. “My favorites are the fake awards,” Riley says. One, given to her by a client of Gunner & Lux, reads: “Taking Aim at the Patriarchy.” The other, bestowed on Petersen by a friend, says: “Excellence in Kindness.”
The catalyst for William Kinnane and John Petersen’s 2021 move to Warren was, of all things, a pool. Their efforts to install one in their Atlanta yard were stymied by layers of red tape. “So we started joking, If we move to Maine, we can put a pool anywhere,” Kinnane says. “And somehow that joke became reality.” Today, little flags mark the corners of an in-ground pool that’ll soon go in on the 10-acre property where Kinnane grew up. In 1980, his parents built an earth-sheltered house here: a small concrete box with insulating layers of soil and grass covering the roof and three exterior walls. “We had horses and it used to scare my mom when one would run across the roof,” Kinnane says. Eventually, his parents uncovered the structure, added a second story, and gave it to Kinnane, who never planned on living there. But after a rough pandemic year, he found that Petersen and their daughter, Riley, 14, who run kids’ jewelry company Gunner & Lux, were ready for a change — and a decorating project.
Because the house was once partially buried, most of the windows are concentrated on the south-facing side. Fresh coats of snowy paint on the interior’s precipitous wood paneling helped brighten things up. Petersen began collecting vintage ship portraits while living in Atlanta. Here, he and Riley consolidated them above the stairs, with additional portraits unearthed in the property’s barn and local antiques shops.
Riley, who started making jewelry when she was five and sold it at a lemonade stand, was invited to collaborate on a room makeover with West Elm Kids. She and Petersen printed photos of items she liked from the company’s website, cut them out, and arranged them on paper before finalizing her picks, which included peel-and-stick stylized-bird wallpaper, a wool rug strewn with stars, and a walnut dresser. Their own finds — a hanging rattan chair from Facebook Marketplace, a vintage poster from Kinnane’s mom — round out the look.
“We’re not big drinkers, but we have friends who said, ‘This is what you need,’” says Petersen, who set up this living-room bar area for guests. An RH cabinet holds liquor bottles, glasses, and collections of vintage suitcases and arrows. On the walls: a Ludwig Hohlwein print, a vintage life preserver, and a vintage portrait. “William says he looks like an FBI agent,” Petersen says.
Like sipping scotch, cooking is not the couple’s thing, “so this is more for show than anything,” Kinnane jokes. Petersen decorated the shelves with spongeware pitchers, some from Camden’s Antiques at 10 Mechanic, a vintage candelabra from Vivien + Coco, also in Camden, and a vintage sailboat painting that belonged to his uncle. At lower right is a glow-in-the-dark lighthouse charm Riley designed soon after moving to Maine.
Kinnane’s parents never quite finished this space, so he and Petersen added trim and beadboard paneling. Petersen layered a patch-work of vintage carpets over the concrete floor and brought in leather seating, an RH leather coffee table where guests can also perch, a vintage chest, a brass sconce from Rockland’s 17-90 Lighting, brass candle sconces from Hoppe Shoppe, and a stack of old National Geographics “to create a modern Ralph Lauren look.”
Petersen thought they should put doors on the closets in Riley’s room, but she was set on hanging West Elm velvet curtains. “It turned out great,” he admits, “like dressing rooms.” The shoe rack was her idea, and he found the sign — used to indicate where boat passengers should deposit their footwear — at Rockland’s Antiques Etcetera. The home collab mirrored the pair’s professional one. “We work really well together,” Petersen says. “But sometimes we have differing opinions and need to take a dance break.”
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