Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Hamptons: They Sing to Me with a Siren's Song

But alas, I have never been there.  I know they are south of New England and northeast of New York City.  I know names of towns - Southhampton, Sag Harbor, Amagansett, Sagaponack, East Hampton, Montauk.  I know the real estate is some of the most expensive in the US because it is so close to New York City and is so beautiful.  And I know I must visit there some day, but until that day I'll visit through books, magazines and films...

...films like Something's Gotta Give which featured the house every woman fell in love with.  The following images are from Hooked on Houses and they give a flavor of the Hamptons and a reason why I must go there someday.

The film was a definite charmer, and the house was a huge part of this charm.

But onto the real world.  Let's look at this Hampton house designed by Steven Gambrel.  (All images are from his website S.R. Gambrel.  It's so nice not to have to scan each one from my library of his work.)  Investment banker John Rolfes had seen Steven's own Sag Harbor home and had Steven do this redo for his house in 2002.

Love the house exterior - all the gray shingles redolent of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, and especially how the blue shutters actually fit the windows; they are not just ornamental.

All very different from the Something's Gotta Give house, but be patient.

Now to Steven's own 2001 house in Sag Harbor, the one his friend had seen and been inspired by.

Steven's sitting room.

Kitchen storage.

A designer's work appears never done even when relaxing in his Hampton house.

In 2004, note the changes.  Gone is the orange sofa replaced by this white one.  Gone are any bright, bright blue tones replaced by softer ones.

Love his kitchen (of course) and wide plank floors.

  Very funky wallpaper makes this powder room.

The designer, himself...

relaxing in his "great outdoors."  Really pretty, eh?

And now, to the changes as of 2008.

Guest room.

Master bedroom with sofa from 2004 living room.

Such simplicity here - plank door, unadorned window, rope handrail.

These images became slightly blurry when enlarged, but had to show the dutch door (why do we love them so much?), the new dining room chairs, and the topiaries for all you topiary lovers out there (Loi and Phyllis).

Great view of wide-board floor, and sweet antique table and chair.
I like this version the best.  What do you think?

Onto another designer - Robert K. Lewis.  For the life of me, I could not find the magazine which featured his house.  Thank goodness Mary Emmerling also covered his Sag Harbor house in her American Country Classics.   My article had a few more images so when I find it (which I know I will someday), I'll post them.  Till then, enjoy these from Mary in 1990.  This little Hampton house seems timeless.
I always loved the white trim against the rusticity of paneling and floors.  And the very neutral banquette.

Interesting antiques.  I think that is a whalebone crimper in the circular box.  Antique experts out there - help!

Again, the fresh whiteness contrasted with the antique-iness is great.  The object on the mantel is an antique eel fork which I might have left right there in the antiques store, but it is very unique.

The paneling on the island reminds me of Anthropologie's floors.  Very cool and funky and reclaim-ish.  I have a pot rack similar to this one in my own kitchen.  Could this very one have been my subliminal inspiration?  

Finally, the very pretty master bedroom - again, such a white contrast to the rest of the house is so appealing.

In my search for the article I could not find about the Hampton house above, I came across the following images from Cote Sud Hors Series.  Because of my blog's name and because I love kitchens so much, I always feel compelled to dwell more on kitchens so here's my compulsion fulfillment for today.

That's all for this post, my friends.  Next time, it's more Hampton houses.  
Till then-


  1. Great post, Billie! Although I grew up on Long Island I have only been to South Hampton once, as a child, but am thinking of taking the family on a tour next year. Maybe very early summer or after Labor Day when I expect the crowds will be gone. I'd really like to see Montauk. For another great look inside Steven Gambrel's first Sag Harbor house which was purchased and redone by Swedish antiques dealer Jill Dienst of Dienst & Dotter go to Martha Stewart's website and search her. It is just as beautiful in its current incarnation. Interestingly, she left the kitchen pretty much intact - even the light fixtures are unchanged.

  2. I am back, as always, you post is wonderfully done, a lot to look and read and get inspired by!
    I love these rooms, with lots of brightness and an eclectic mix of old and new! Such lightness!
    The Hamptons are lovely to visit, although I hate the crowds and the obvious display of money....It has become an extension of 5th AVE!

  3. When you visit the Hamptons, can I come along? I've never been there either. And, I am a big Steven Gambrel fan. His rooms are always very cool...very stylish....and a bit unpredictable. BTW, you do know we all appreciate very much you scanning those goodies for us, right? Many thanks ;)

  4. I have been to the Hamptons twice, once for a garden tour which was so wonderful and another time for a wedding. I really enjoyed this blog post with all these images of houses in that area. I am a fan of traditional New England style homes so the ones you shared with us gave me a little dose of the style I love. Thank you!