Hamptons Seaside Zen Project / by Brad Krefman

The Hamptons have long been the summer destination of choice for many affluent residents of New York and beyond. Best known as a seaside retreat with rural historic charm, the Hamptons boast a plethora of beautiful homes and sprawling estates. We’ve all come to recognize the classic Hamptons interior as a nod towards traditional coastal themes with painted paneling, wainscoting and trim. However, for our Hamptons Seaside Zen project, we decidedly broke with that tradition.

 Our Clients, a growing family with five children, wanted a casual and relaxed retreat to offer respite from their busy life in New York City. They enlisted A-list architects, Backen Gilliam Architects, to design the beach front home whose work is best known for blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living. This can be seen in the floor to ceiling glass sliding doors utilized in the homes Great Room. This amplified fenestration ushers the outdoors inside creating an immediate connection with the surrounding landscape. We took cues from the natural beachfront setting as we set to design the home’s interior.

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One distinctive characteristic of the interior design is the prolific use of reclaimed wood. Rather than treating the walls and ceiling with painted sheetrock we opted to clad all surfaces in reclaimed barn wood siding. The wood, reminiscent of driftwood found along the beach, exudes a warm tone and texture to help balance the expansiveness of the Great Room and provide a perfect background for our client’s furniture, art and artifacts.

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The Great Room furnishings were carefully selected to reflect a casual and elegant beach house vibe. Additionally, they were considered in conjunction with our client’s vast collection of Asian art and antiques. The goal was to create a tranquil setting that worked as well for lounging daytime or evening . We paired slip-covered upholstery with sculptural coffee tables that subtlety evoke the curves and shapes of surfboards. The decorative lighting adds bohemian flair and we gave centuries old Chinese textiles new life in the decorative pillows throughout the room.

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In the kitchen we continued the use of reclaimed wood on the walls, ceiling and even to conceal the range hood. We are often fans of open shelving in our interiors which we incorporated over the sink to display a collection of carefully selected crocks and cookware. The planked doors and drawer fronts were painted a soft blue-gray in keeping with the overall seaside style. We had fun incorporating two layers of decorative lighting - a pair of bigger bolder pendants to anchor the island and a series of smaller more delicate pendants to light the kitchen’s perimeter.

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The dining room design started with our clients existing Tansu storage chest and impressively large sumi-e ink painting. To compliment these impressive pieces, we added a stunning live-edge acacia wood dining table, and teak and rope chairs. The table, large enough for up to 14 guests, is perfect for hosting casual lunches and more formal dinners. We custom designed the copper filament pendants to emit a beautiful ambient glow during long summer nights.

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For the kid’s bedroom walls we opted to paint the reclaimed paneling white. The built-in beds draw inspiration from the classic ‘captains’ bed. Fabricated from distressed oak these beds are equipped with trundles for the ultimate slumber party. The graphic rug, cozy pillows, and sumptuous bedding ensure good summers night sleep. We were careful to keep the bedroom style neutral and therefore easily adaptable to the changing tastes of growing children. Like in kitchen, we had fun within the decorative lighting that adds whimsy and accentuates the unusual angles in the architecture.

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The pool house and porch both are both contain unique architectural features.

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Here we installed a series of bi-fold doors over an extending counter to echo the sense of a beachfront lemonade stand that’s only open during the season.

At the porch we suspended a queen-size daybed - the perfect place for a nap, a book or just a quiet moment to soak up the summer sun. We may be heading into Fall but relish in the long days and cool nights of Summer.