What I'm Crushing On

Designer Tracey Rapisardi on How to Achieve the Coastal Cottage Look

Color, texture and—surprise!—plenty of nooks and crannies.

By Ilene Denton October 3, 2019

Sarasota’s Tracey Rapisardi has more than 30 years of experience as an interior designer, stylist, and architectural and furniture designer. These photographs are from a Longboat Key project, and appear in her new book, Simply By the Sea.

Refreshing Colors

“I custom designed this cocktail area for fun-casual comfort. Placing the wet bar next to the seated cocktail area allows conversations to flow. Turquoises and mint greens are mixed against crisp whites, which is as refreshing as your drink.”

Boys bedroom


“Having come from New England, I love built-in beds and I love adding nooks and crannies to a client’s home. I designed this bunk bed unit for three brothers so they can all have their own individual space while sharing the same room. The custom bedding is designed from my daughter, Mandi’s, shop here in Sarasota, Summer + Company. I added additional storage drawers in each riser, adorned with flush boat pulls to finish off the boathouse bunks.”

Open Shelving

“Open shelving is one of my signature looks. A collection of mixing bowls, dishes, glasses, pitchers, and bakeware adds an element of design that is functional as well as esthetically charming. I back open shelving with beadboard or shiplap for a layered feel. Here, I added a custom-built, butcher-block island with custom turquoise casters, so it is movable throughout the kitchen.”  

Master Bedroom Seating 

“I love adding a seating area in the master bedroom. This dreamy nook is anchored with a cloudlike rug, which floats the custom white slipcovered chairs and ottoman. I added an original panoramic painting of the ocean in soft hues of pinks, mint greens and turquoises.” 

Pops of Color

“I love to add a fresh pop of color over a textured beadboard wall. This custom designed sofa table adds color and also provides storage. I dressed up the sofa table with jeweled glass knobs to add sophistication to the piece.” 

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