Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Eleish Van Breems

Best friends Rhonda Eleish and Edie Van Breems have been designing together for over two decades. With their daily mantra, “bring good design to everyone”, they do precisely that. They know exactly how to combine both modern and Mid-Century Scandinavian furniture, which ends up creating a perfect space that makes anyone feel welcome. Eleish Van Breems offers interior design, an entire furniture collection, and unique antiques you won’t be able to find anywhere else. This dynamic duo will continue to bring us the best Nordic design elements from the past and present. Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, Rhonda Eleish and Edie Van Breems of Eleish Van Breems.

You can shop for any tabletop accessories on the Shop EVB Home page. There you can find different variations of plates, cups, and candlestick holders, which all come in multiple colors.

Andrew Joseph: Describe your design style as if you were describing it to someone who cannot see.
Rhonda & Edie: Our Scandinavian style embraces the best of island and seashore sensibility. Our furnishings and accessories reflect the timeless allure of indoor/outdoor living and entertaining with a focus on high-quality natural materials, historic influences and small artisan makers from both sides of the Atlantic. Imagine a feeling of freshness – clean sea air, sunlight, your touch on beautifully crafted linens, glass, wood furniture and objects, natural stone, handwoven baskets. Each of the items in our collection are thoughtfully crafted and chosen to give you a sense of well-being and balance.

Andrew: How would you define your work in three words?
Rhonda & Edie: Individual, Thoughtful, Uplifting.

With every interior design, Rhonda and Edie know exactly how to combine both modern and Mid Century pieces. They manage to provide a perfect balance between the two, making the space cozy and inviting.

Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage selves.
Rhonda & Edie: Never give up, everything is cyclical and, for heaven’s sake, lighten up – it’s going to be okay!!

Andrew: How do you define beauty?
Rhonda & Edie: Grace and Kindness.

Andrew: What’s your design pet peeve?
Rhonda & Edie: Placing something for the sake of placing something as expected within “the rules”. Design is really an art form and process so uniquely individual to each space and if you get too cookie-cutter the whole project becomes just flat. Use the tape measure as a reference point but be brave enough to throw it out once in a while as necessary – even with abandon!

Now offering beautifully handcrafted furniture made in Sweden, Rhonda and Edie continue to uphold the historical detailing of each piece, while also keeping to their own style.

Andrew: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Rhonda & Edie: We would love to read people’s minds…especially men! All kidding aside, we love to make dreams come true for our clients. Sometimes it really takes a while to know their innermost wants and needs for their homes because they may not have expressed it yet – even to their own consciousness. So, what we would really like is a direct insight into not just their minds but also their hearts!

Portrait image by Chichi Ubina; lifestyle images by Neil Landino of Landino Photo.

About The Makers | Rhonda Eleish and Edie Van Breems have been mavens of Scandinavian design for more than two decades. Best friends since fifth grade, the two founded their eponymous Scandinavian brand in 1997 with a focus on antiques which has since expanded to include an interior design firm and home store. All along their mantra has been and continues to be, “bring good design to everyone”.

Since their early days as antiques dealers in Woodbury, CT where they bought a container in Sweden and furnished an historic 1760 house & garden with all things Scandinavian, they have always followed their own path. Rhonda and Eleish were selling to everyone in Litchfield County and beyond including designers, dealers, and doyennes as well as writing books and working with master craftspeople throughout Sweden to create custom designed furniture and accessories, tabletop and leather goods.

Having come full circle, Rhonda and Edie have moved back to their hometown of Westport, CT opening a design studio across from the town train station and most recently this year added a larger retail space. Eleish Van Breems Home is the new destination for design lovers to explore, shop and find inspiration. Eleish Van Breems Home is a sophisticated but also whimsical shop, filled with many product lines including porcelain, pottery, textiles, pillows and gift items from small international companies and artists whose work resonates with their brand in terms of quality and design.

Rhonda Eleish and Edie van Breems have been ambassadors for everything Scandinavian and have shared their knowledge through three bestselling Scandinavian interior design books including the most recent Reflections on Swedish Interiors. These two have created a brand and a haven to host dinners, lectures, authors, craftspeople and are on a mission to get consumers and designers to think about the products that all may bring into their home in a more thoughtful way.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.