Shop Visit: The Cottage at Four Corners

November 1, 2019

Text by Megan Fulweiler

Nancy Hemenway, proprietor of The Cottage at Four Corners, has been a design world star for decades. Her talents brought her first to Boston’s Design Research, a legendary 1950s atelier that’s widely credited for instigating today’s lifestyle stores. She followed up that stint in the ’70s in Manhattan, launching the first U.S. Marimekko. Fans—many with big names—came to the shop in droves.

Considering Hemenway’s know-how, it’s no wonder then that for some twenty-six years The Cottage has reigned as a top design destination. Once a service station, the revamped two-story building is as light-filled and airy as a tree house. Everything on display—from the Lee Industries and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams furniture (all of which can be customized) to John Derian’s decoupage dishes—has been carefully chosen.

“People today want great quality and comfort,” Hemenway explains. “The shop is heavily curated, allowing you to see, touch, and feel things.” Indeed, there’s a generous rack of Dash & Albert rugs to spark up your space, a buffet of glossy coffee table books (plenty devoted to cooking) to linger over, and aromatic candles to lift the spirits. The Palermo all-natural skin products promise beauty and health. And there’s even a bounty of eco-friendly home-care concoctions by Laundress.

Tableware, lamps, baskets, garden accessories—Hemenway’s ever-evolving inventory encompasses all the fixings for living well, including John Robshaw’s chic block-printed bedding and handcrafted Bella Notte linens. In fact, she’s thoughtfully dressed a bed to illustrate how readily sleep might come amid such stylish goods. Like everything in this alluring shop, the bed, with its sky-high mound of pillows, is the stuff dreams are made of.

Cottage at Four Corners, 3847 Main Road, Tiverton, R.I., 401-625-5814,

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