As one half of the duo who founded the uber-chic fashion brand Veronica Beard (the other being her sister-in-law, Veronica Miele Beard), Veronica Swanson Beard is known for her crisply cool, put-together style. The same can be said for one of her favorite places in the world (and ours): Nantucket. Obsessively popular in the summer, the effortlessly charming island truly comes to life in the off-season and shoulder season months, when its rich history as a fishing and whaling village and as a font of the decorative arts truly come to life.

To get an insider view of life on the island, we spoke to Veronica about some of her favorite places and pastimes, her favorite ways to entertain fashionably, as well as the new tabletop line by Veronica Beard for Juliska. Read on for all the details—and get started planning your trip—and be sure to shop her curation of personally selected Chairish favorites.

Shop Veronica Swanson Beard’s Chairish Favorites >>>

Courtesy of Juliska x Veronica Beard

You’re of course known for your career in fashion and for co-founding Veronica Beard. How do you think the worlds of fashion and interior design intersect, and how have they played a role with each other in your own life?

I think interiors and fashion are equally important in the way people express themselves. Print and silhouette trends in fashion often mirror the zeitgeist in interiors and vice versa. I look at the interiors I surround myself with as the ultimate expression of myself and my family. Our stores express the personality of the lifestyle we are designing for. When you walk into someone’s home, you understand so much about them. The type of architecture they live in, the art and furniture they surround themselves with, the collections they’ve gathered, the colors they like, print or lack thereof, the music they play, the candles that burn—it all tells a story of the person or family that lives there. I am attracted to classic and eclectic styles in both fashion and interiors and like the mix of both together the most.

How do you go about designing pieces for the Juliska tabletop line? And how did you choose them as your partner?

We wanted to design pieces that were classic with a bohemian cottage sensibility. Pieces that were versatile enough to use for school day breakfast, Saturday night dinner parties, or Sunday brunch. Mix-and-match pieces that are family friendly and seasonless. And Juliska is a fantastic leader in the tabletop industry and we share many of the same customers—it was a natural fit.

Tell us a bit about your personal decorating philosophy. How do you like to design your own spaces?

For me, more is more. I’m really almost allergic to gray or beige unless it’s grass cloth or sisal. I love collections and the mix of fine art and flea market finds. I like that our home tells a story about who we are and what has influenced our life. Growing up, our homes were designed by Tom Britt, and my Mom would add these crazy layers to his maximalist palette. I don’t like stark. My eye has to move.

Veronica Swanson Beard
Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo

Veronica Beard has stores around the US. How do you think location affects design? How does it influence your choices?

Location completely affects our design process for our stores. We do a lot of research into who the local customer is and what the art and cultural influences are and design each store completely independently. We decorate the stores as though they are homes themselves because that’s the way we look at them. We want you to feel like you’ve walked into our living room.

What’s the key to a gorgeous tablescape? How do you ensure you throw a memorable dinner party?

I love to layer my tables! Think of your table as a great outfit: I start with the plate and napkin pairing and think of those as the outfit. Then I choose a placemat and napkin ring and those are the shoes and bag. The glassware, candles, and flowers are your hair and makeup. I love setting the table almost more than sitting down to it!

What’s your favorite thing about Nantucket? What’s something people might not know about it?

I love its beautiful beaches and raw beauty, but it’s the island’s rich decorative history that I truly adore. Fiber arts, Sailor’s Valentines, needlework, Scrimshaw, Penwork and basket weaving all fascinate me and are classes that I hope to take through the Nantucket Historical Association workshops.

Veronica Swanson Beard
Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo

On Chairish & Vintage Shopping…

What do you find most compelling about Chairish?  

The incredible rabbit holes I’ve gone down searching for something! As an avid collector of many things, I feel like Charish has led me to many new favorite obsessions.

How does sustainability factor into your design choices and love of vintage? 

I love shopping for vintage clothes and furniture, and nothing is more sustainable than vintage. Scoring vintage and antique finds is the greatest high! 

Are there any dream vintage/antique “gets” you wish you could have? 

Too many to mention. There is nothing worse than when I check back into my beloved favorites page and something I adore is gone. If you really love something and you can afford to buy it, do it! That vintage piece may never come around again.

Veronica Swanson Beard
Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo

Some Design Favorites:

Favorite way to create a statement-making moment in a room: 

Showcase your collection in groups.

Favorite decorating “cheap thrill:” 

Old wicker chairs from garage sales in the corner of bathrooms

Favorite iconic piece of vintage design:

I love rattan furniture—Bonacina, Bielecky, or Gabriella Crespi, rickety old burnt bamboo—give me any of it. Also Billy Baldwin: the tuxedo sofa and slipper chair.

Favorite paint color:  

Paper backed fabric over paint 

Favorite piece of decor in your home: 

My Sailor’s Valentines 

Favorite designer or artist from the past you most often turn to for inspiration: 

YSL, Halston, Peter Beard, and Helmet Newton

Favorite style icon: 

Carolyn Besette and Jane Birkin 

Design destination every creative should visit at least once: 

Les Puces flea market in Paris

Best piece of career advice you’ve ever received:

Know your customer.

Veronica Swanson Beard
Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo

Some Lifestyle Favorites…

Favorite vacation destination: 

Nantucket in the off season

Favorite hotel that’s inspired your work while traveling:

The Greydon House bar is always inspiring. 

Favorite restaurant: 

Le Languedoc 

Favorite small museum: 

The Nantucket Whaling Museum

Favorite podcast: 

Lipstick on the Rim

Favorite Instagram accounts to follow: 

Too many to mention!

Favorite hostess (or thank you) gift:

Flowers or a rummikub set 

Favorite flower: 

Gardenia by my bed, flowers from my garden

Favorite adult beverage: 

The Regatta: Blanco Tequila, Regatta sea salt soda, fresh mint, two slices of lemon squeezed, splash of Regatta Ginger Beer

Favorite way to unwind at home:

Cutting flowers and a glass of wine on the porch with my husband or rummikub with my kids 

Favorite entertaining essential: 

Fun friends, great music, and candles

Lead image: Portrait of Veronica Swanson Beard by Taylor Jewell; interior photo by Ngoc Minh Ngo

July 18, 2023

Dennis Sarlo is the executive editor of Chairish and a lover of all things design-related. Prior to joining the team, he served as the executive editor of Dering Hall and was the first site director of Architectural Digest. He was also part of the founding team of travel startup Jetsetter. He lives in New York.