A Peek Inside | The Keeping Room
I've had the goal for a long time to highlight the gorgeous homes that are scattered throughout Charm City. One of my favorite things to do is to walk around town at night with the hopes that I can peer inside homes that are lit from within and get a little glimpse in to historic homes with fantastic design (Creepy? Maybe just a little....). My goal is give you some design and architecture inspiration while show casing the fun, quirky, beautiful homes that you may not otherwise be able to see along with the awesome people who live in them.
This week we're chatting with Rachel Gill, interior designer and self proclaimed homebody, home cook, boy mom, experience collector, serial entrepreneur, idea junkie, change addict, and consummate researcher. Since initially interviewing Rachel, she has stopped taking on client design jobs and has taken a slightly different path. She recently began a passion project called The Keeping Room - a community that she is building through her Substack newsletter, Facebook group, and Instagram as well. Each week she shares favorite recipes, product recommendations, and reflections on real food and real life and considers it a sisterhood of sorts.
Let's take A PEEK INSIDE
M: How long have you lived in your home?
R: 16 months
M: What drew you to this neighborhood?
R: Havre de Grace has so many things to offer - small town vibe, great schools, a waterfront promenade where I love to take walks, beautiful old homes with tons of character, First Fridays and festivals in warmer months and and I'm close to family
M: What's your favorite neighborhood shop or restaurant?
R: I have two favorite shops and can't choose one over the other - Found Vintage, which is full of curated vintage and antique pieces. The owner, Sommer, also hosts workshops for candle making and other DIY workshops throughout the year. Second would be Seneca Cannery - filled with three floors of antiques. I stop in here at least once a week and I rarely leave empty handed. Some of my favorite things to search for are unique tableware, transferware, vintage mismatched silverware, and art. If you've never been, it's definitely worth the trip! Favorite restaurant would have to be Backfin Blues: Creole de Graw. My favorite US city is New Orleans and I love the French creole food at Backfin Blues as well as their Sunday Brunch.
M: What's your favorite room or element in your home and why?
R: The natural light! The right side of the house is full of windows and they let in the most beautiful natural light most times
M: What is your design style and where do you draw your design inspiration from?
R: I have a lot of words to describe my style and they're all over the place - collected, well-made, uncommon, cozy, comfortable, livable, layered. As far as inspiration, there are a few designers whose style I admire (Meta Coleman, Lucy Williams, and Rita Konig), but I do my best to stay away from trends. I love a space that doesn't fall in line with the status quo and am mostly inspired by exploring new places. I pull a lot of inspiration from restaurants and boutique hotels that I've visited.
M: What's one thing in your home that you couldn't live without?
R: Books. It's where I spend most of my discretionary income - cookbooks, design books, memoirs, you name it. I have so many saved in my Amazon cart it's not even funny. I read them all, but I also use them throughout my home to style with.
M: Any DIY's that you're particularly proud of?
R: I've got to be honest, I'm not much of a DIY'er these days, although I have been known to paint furniture on a whim and feel pretty confident in my abilities with a paint brush.
M: What's your favorite home goods or supply shop?
R: As an interior designer, I have access to so many to-the-trade resources from fabric to lighting to furniture, but my favorite way to fill my home and any home for that matter is to collect pieces over time. I find the best things at antique stores and consignment shops, my favorite being The Turnover Shop in Hampden. And I can't leave out Facebook Marketplace - the best place to find quality, one-of-a-kind furniture. A collected, personalized home is so much more interesting than anything you see on Pinterest in my opinion.
M: What's 1 piece of home-styling advice you have for readers?
R: When you're out and about shopping or traveling, purchase things that catch your eye or have meaning to you. My thought is that if you love something, you can make it work somewhere in your home. Something as simple as a postcard can be framed and turned into art. Grab matchbooks at restaurants that you visit and toss them in a bowl on your coffee table. These things tell a story and tell those you welcome into your home who you are, what you love, and where you've been.
M: As an interior designer, what gets you most excited about a particular project?
R: The projects that are the most enjoyable for me are those where the clients have trust in me as a designer while also seeing the value in including items in the design that have a bit of patina and wear to them. When everything in a space is brand new it lacks interest and can feel one note - the best designs are those that use a mix of materials, textures, and eras.
Home of: Rachel Gill
Business: The Keeping Room
A big thanks to Rachel for opening her home for us. If you or someone you know has a special space that they'd like to share, please send an email to email@example.com for information on being featured.