Home Tour: Providence

An artful couple embraces “museum bookstore” style in their 1900s condo


When East Side homeowner Leah Pisari came across the trending interior hashtag “museum bookstore,” it resonated, giving a name to her own predilection toward styling bookcases, composing gallery walls, and furnishing spaces with tactile materials and graphic punch. Indeed, the home she shares with her husband Ed and their two pets since March 2020, is skillfully outfitted with storied heirlooms, art work, and trinkets. “I have traditional elements like the green couch and the dining room table, while mixing in the mid-century console and eclectic decorating,” says Pisari.

Raised in North Kingstown, Pisari left the state for Maryland to earn her Master of Fine Arts, then lived and worked in New York City. When she landed a job at her undergrad alma mater, the University of Rhode Island, as a visual media specialist at the Harrington School, she knew she wanted to live in Providence – particularly the East Side – for its walkability and access to cafes and downtown. “We viewed three or four places, fell in love with our home, and got it right in time,” she recalls. “We bought the condo weeks before the COVID shutdown! We closed on March 1.”

The spacious circa-1900 renovated townhouse boasts five bedrooms, three full baths, high ceilings, and large windows that fill the first level with light; the entire second floor was originally deemed a “bonus space” since it wasn’t liveable when the Pisaris first took ownership. “We spent most of the lockdown painting and learning how to fix things while FaceTiming with our parents,” Pisari chuckles.

When it comes to color, Pisari is very
deliberate. Gray walls on the main level are a neutral foil for artwork while swaths of blue appear on kitchen cabinetry and upstairs walls; green is also a constant on both couches and leafy plants. “I wanted greens to bring in a pop of color in the sea of blues.” Accents like textiles infuse dashes of reds, pinks, and yellows.

“I like my ability to combine seemingly mismatched pieces. I always trust the process and just pick things that resonate with Ed and me,” Pisari muses from her peridot velvet couch. “My favorite part is that my home reflects us.”


Get Rhody Style

Leah Pisari shares ideas and resources for making the most of living in the Ocean State.


A Natural Fit

“I feel like my style reflects Providence with the historic traditional architecture mixed with arts of all kinds and an eclectic community. I have always loved Providence. After city-hopping around the East Coast, including New York and Baltimore, I always came back. Providence feels the most authentic and always lives up to the hype.”


Small Biz Love

“I love Rhode Island small businesses. My favorites are Craftland (almost all of the bedroom art), Frank & Laurie’s, Lore, NAVA, Oak Bakeshop (their black and white cookies featured in the living room photos), Piemonte Pizza, Stock Culinary Goods, and Wickford Gourmet.”


Campus Commute

“I love working in South County and having a home in Providence. I love exploring the city and spending the day at the beach. I am so happy to call Rhode Island home.”



No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here