Image: Raquel Langworthy | Design: Susana Simonpietri
This Hamptons, N.Y., abode is the perfect stylish summer retreat for a young family to make many lasting memories
As in the old fable of the grasshopper and the ant, sometimes it takes a lot of hard work throughout one season to thrive in the next. Such was the case for interior designer Susana Simonpietri of Chango & Co., who was hired in winter to design a vacation house in East Hampton Village, N.Y., and to have it ready by the start of summer for the owners – a young family of three – to enjoy. “The plan was to bring modern touches to the otherwise traditional home,” says Susana. “The family wanted a house that felt comfortable and classic Hamptons, but they also needed it done fast...in four months, to be exact.”
The 4,500-square-foot five-bedroom late-19th-century home boasts traditional details like original mouldings and existing hardwood floors that Susana left intact. However, the designer had the walls painted white for a crisp envelope in which she could create a fresh beachy character befitting the best of the Hamptons. “I love using white in coastal homes,” says Susana. “It instantly lends a cool airy feeling to counter all the summer heat.”
Hits of sandy beige pay homage to the beach town setting, but the serene palette is livened up with a few restrained splashes of red, notably in the vintage living room rug. But mostly, it’s all about the blue. “The blues are reminiscent of the clear sky and undulating sea that are synonymous with the local landscape,” says the interior designer. From the cobalt blue modern artwork and denim-look striped toss cushions in the living room down to the inky backdrop of the kitchen’s Moroccan rug, the striking hue makes a chic statement in almost every room.
Lest things get too cool, Susana also effortlessly layered in natural materials: Linen, wood, jute and braided rope serve up soothing beachy beauty. The dining room is especially cozy with its textured wall covering and weathered wood dining table. Add in the low-hanging pendant lights and warm neutral tones, and it’s an elegant yet intimate place to savour a good dinner.
“We really thought about the materials we used to make the home comfortable and livable for the family,” Susana says. “We wanted to create a space where they can come in and relax after a day at the beach, host dinner for visiting friends or have fun while escaping the heat.” And considering the family’s big summer plans – to come here every weekend – it was great that, with some hard work, Susana finished in time so they could start enjoying the long lazy days of the season.
To achieve an inviting transitional look, interior designer Susana Simonpietri employed the art of layering styles, silhouettes and even textures. “Laying a vintage Persian rug atop a jute one adds both character and warmth,” she says.
In the U-shaped kitchen, Shakerstyle cabinetry with polished nickel pulls and a shiplap backsplash deliver refined traditional beach house style. Sleek white stools blend in to the peninsula for a clean look, and the Moroccan rug adds an unexpected element.
With a table that comfortably seats 10, the dining room of this Hamptons, N.Y., summer home plays host to both elegant dinner parties and casual family meals.
Nestled next to the front door, a Windsor bench is the perfect place to rest beach bags or kick off flip-flops. Wooden dot hooks look Scandi-chic even when bare.
“Upstairs, there’s a special hallway rotunda teeming with sunlight,” says Susana, who embraced the light and decorated minimally to honour it. A vase of fresh cherry blossom branches adds all the eye candy needed, and a circular rug with an artistic weave adds extra interest. Such intricately patterned rugs are displayed throughout the house, and the upstairs landing is no exception, with a vintage option rich and saturated with colour. It adds a lot of character to the pared-back design.
Since the emails don’t stop simply because it’s summer, a small office area offers a space to catch up on work and correspondence. Open shelving keeps books and knick-knacks within easy reach of the antique desk.
Though the master bedroom’s king-sized bed sits low, a large circular mirror and a pair of braided-rope hanging sconces add visual height. Woven textures make the space cozy, while the rug at the foot of the bed acts as an interesting focal point.
The perfect place to relax after dinner, the indoor-worthy outdoor living area comfortably accommodates many – and dining chairs can be deputized as extra seating when needed. The fireplace helps extend the season (and is ideal for making s’mores).
The home features several sets of French doors leading to the outdoor spaces, inviting the family to maximize time in the fresh air. Thanks to this comfy dining area, they can indulge in regular alfresco meals. By the pool, loungers accented with striped lumbar cushions and matching umbrellas make the backyard feel like it’s part of a chic resort.