Riven Rock was built as a no-frills vacation ‘cottage’ with tons of room for family and guests just a few dozen feet away from a private pebble beach in Jamestown, Rhode Island. The house has a massive wrap-around porch, a fireplace in most bedrooms, and zero (literally zero) insulation. It is the definition of a summer house.
Ben brought his repair bag to fix wiggly chairs between swims and sailing lessons.
Our family rented Riven Rock for two weeks a few summers in a row shortly before and then into the pandemic. It was a place to gather safely; together at a time when distance was draining us all dry. It wasn’t our house, but it felt like our place because it offered us exactly what we needed precisely when we needed it. From morning swims to afternoon rowing excursions out to the oyster beds to evenings drinking boxed wine and eating fish tacos, it was pure luxury — leaky faucets, creaky doors, lack-of-privacy, and all. It was where we celebrated summer birthdays, welcomed new puppies, and even had our baby shower.
The view out the shower.
As we got to know the house over the summers, we were especially interested in the utility of it, and the way that sense of usefulness was embodied in even the small details. There was the bar tucked under the back stairs, the outdoor shower kept sand out of the house, and, in the kitchen, an old-school ‘loop style’ towel holder cut down on paper towels.
A father/daughter row in angstrom, our little boat.
Ben and I were enamored with it the towel holder, and tried to find something similar to use in our own home to no avail. As has become habit, instead of giving up or settling for what we were able to track down, we decided to make one. Our loop towel holder, named the Riven Rock after the house, is true to the original form while updated for today.
The wood is oiled black walnut, and the brass rod has a living finish that will patina with time. You can drape any towel over it, but we make loop towels true to the inspiration in blue and black should you feel so inclined. We hope you do.