2012 HC&G IDA Winners!
This past July, HC&G held its second annual Innovation in Design Awards ceremony, recognizing the very best design projects in the Hamptons. Check out our winners!
West Chin Architect
It’s what every house aspires to be: “A place one would never want to leave,” which is how judge Sherrill Canet responds to this residence by West Chin Architect. Like some magical structure plopped mysteriously at the shore, the house appears to float above the ground while simultaneously sloping toward the ocean, so that even the most deeply recessed rooms have an unobstructed view. Indeed, it’s sometimes difficult to tell whether you’re indoors or out, particularly when the 26-foot-wide hangar door is opened to the elements. Not just statement-making, the house comprises environmentally sensitive materials like laminated lumber and solar roof panels. The latter efficiently collect, radiate, and disperse heat, but judge Scott Sanders insists that the house is “very cool.”
James Michael Howard, Inc
How do you make the interiors of a decidedly traditional home stand out without them seeming overdone? In this luxurious East Hampton house enhanced with expertly articulated period detailing, James Michael Howard layered a variety of pale hues—whites, off-whites, taupes, beiges, creams—so that every room takes on keen visual interest. Pattern also plays a strong role in the decorating scheme, along with textured headboards, stunning antiques, and furniture arrangements that make residents and guests want to linger. Perhaps the best way to describe these interiors is that they’re timeless. As judge Scott Sanders says, “This home will still look great in 15 years.”
Form Architecture + Interiors
Both the client and Form Architecture + Interiors wanted to make a collection of paintings, photographs, and drawings the focal point of the decor in this new home on a historic Sag Harbor block. The most novel and exciting example of this direction appears in a corner dining area, where a minimalist geometric work is hung against a multi-paned wall of windows. A crisp, stripped-down version of traditional molding was added throughout to keep the interiors humble but equally fresh and animated, and the first floor, noted for its tall ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, has an especially airy, loft-like feel. As judge Deborah Berke says, part of the success of this design scheme depends on “a sense of humor about scale, which is delightful.”
The Design Studio
This house in Westhampton Beach is full of colorful surprises. The dining room is graced with a pair of pretty blue Murano glass chandeliers that cast a distinctive light, a guest bedroom features a boldly patterned cinnabar-red wall, the beds in another guest bedroom are fitted with an exuberantly striped headboard, and the small sitting room focuses on a dramatically sculpted neo-Renaissance fireplace. By imbuing each space with captivating details, layered textures, and a playful color palette, the Design Studio has created a house with a “youthful exuberance to it,” says judge Sherrill Canet, “yet it is extremely sophisticated at the same time.”
Susanne Kelley Design
As all Hamptons designers know, it’s hard to compete with the ocean. Susanne Kelley’s mandate while decorating this waterfront house in East Hampton was to celebrate the views while giving character to the combined living and dining rooms. The client requested an all-white interior, so Kelley carefully introduced small moments of drama into the large-windowed, sky-lit space, starting with an enormous photograph of the ocean by Robert Bery above the fireplace. The intense blue echoes the surf outside while introducing a beautiful burst of color into the otherwise largely monochromatic space. A glass sculpture and side table and a Lucite coffee table further underscore Kelley’s clarity of vision.
photographs by patrick bernard
Where should a kitchen begin and end? Martin Architects seamlessly integrated this thoroughly useful and supremely elegant kitchen into the open-plan design of an Amagansett beach house. As judge Kerry Delrose notes, “Kitchens should be very clean and workable spaces, but with style. This kitchen accomplishes both tasks beautifully. The use of one primary material, bleached white oak, creates a room that is so streamlined it almost seems to disappear.” A zen-like serenity prevails in the space, from the stainless-steel hood to paneling that defines the central island, giving it the impact and import of sculpture.
James Michael Howard, Inc.
Architect and designer James Michael Howard encourages his clients to make the kitchen the center of activity in their houses, especially when it’s a second home, where entertaining is key. By integrating easily maintained, durable surfaces, configuring an expansive multi-use island with concealed computer outlets and phone chargers, and incorporating elegant hardware along with other refined decorative details, he achieves what judge Sherrill Canet describes as the room’s “great blend of the Old World and the new,” while Kerry Delrose praises its “classic millwork.”
photograph by matthew carbone
When a room comes ready-made with expansive views of both ocean and bay, no kitchen appliance should ever get in the way. Stelle Architects’ solution for this project in Bridgehampton was to keep everything in the room simple—from polished concrete to custom matte-lacquer cabinets, light-gray oak plank flooring, brushed-metal appliances, and a nearly transparent staircase. By melding the dining and sitting areas into one, the kitchen functions as the central hub of the house, a place from which the homeowners can follow the natural light throughout the day.
photograph by eric striffler
Daniel B. Scotti Design & Development
In designing a space meant to have the feel of a cozy cottage-style kitchen—but one infused with natural light and generous open shelving—Daniel B. Scotti incorporated a decisive focal point: a pair of vintage European industrial light fixtures. “I knew these fixtures would be perfect for the space,” he says, “not only for their texture and color, but also because they provide just the right amount of visual weight without blocking any light.” Nothing is predictable in this Wainscott kitchen—from the custom-milled tongue-and-groove boards to the Carrara marble and oiled walnut work surfaces. “Simple, clean, charming,” comments judge Deborah Berke. “A traditional kitchen that’s neither fusty nor cloying.”
photographs by matthew carbone
Stelle Architects’ design for this beach house’s master bathroom proves that minimalism can have a maximum effect. The design goal for this north-facing room,
situated on the bay, was to celebrate the glorious view and light while simultaneously creating a sense of serenity. The walls, floor, and countertop are clad in a multi-tone gray travertine, which contrasts beautifully with the white matte-lacquer cabinetry. A rectangular window fronting the bay and a seamless skylight above foster the sense of an outdoor shower year-round. Judge Scott Sanders says emphatically, “I want this bath!”
Daniel B. Scotti Design & Development
A mid-century-modern writing desk by Lovig equipped with a small domed reading lamp, a rare Hans Wegner cabinet stacked with terry-cloth towels, and vintage Herman Miller pendant light fixtures are what make this master bath, as David Kleinberg emphasizes, “in fact, a room.” Turning a bathroom into a real room of the house is not an easy task, but in addition to being spa-like, this light-filled space is an inviting retreat for writing and reading and truly relaxing.
photograph by eric striffler
Barnes Coy Architects
Barnes Coy Architects wanted light to be the major design element in this master bathroom. The focal point of the room is an ingenious projecting corner window, angled to capture ocean views. Natural light is harnessed, too, via two walls of glass situated on either side of the tub, while translucent insulated channel-glass panels form the exterior walls. Comments from the judges included such remarks as, “all things important in a bathroom are featured here,” “spa-like,” and “a dramatic space.”
James Michael Howard, Inc.
Designer James Michael Howard knows how easily a bathroom can fall prey to becoming a cliché of predictable motifs and materials. As he says, “Baths require and must embody the best craftsmanship to really sing.” This master bath hits all the right notes with features that include a herringbone floor, rich dark trim, and a simply executed notched arch that sets the tub apart from the rest of the room and smartly separates the two vanities. “The use of materials and patterns is very elegant,” says judge Kerry Delrose. “This is a really well thought out space.”
R.G. Shuster & Company
This small wooded lot in East Hampton was thickly populated with trees, and local laws severely limited the amount of clearing that could be done, so landscape designer R. G. Shuster pruned the trees in such a way as to bring in welcome light. The homeowners had also requested an abundance of flowering plants year-round, but nothing too “fussy”; a “comfortable modern style” without anything too minimal-looking; and privacy and immediate access to the garden. Stucco retaining walls were built to establish a strong relationship between house and garden, including a notched sculptural retaining wall above the pool that hides equipment. Judge Deborah Berke praises this project’s “wonderful use of white flowering plants and pale gravel for a sophisticated, monochrome garden design.”
Lear & Mahoney Landscape Associates
At first glance, this extraordinary landscape created by Southampton-based Lear & Mahoney is so subtle that it’s easy to miss some of the details. But the intention was to re-create a natural landscape that would reflect the seaside locale, while also incorporating new elements. One of the most exhilarating introductions is a series of long, shallow lawn steps that lead from the rear of the house to the expansive back lawn and, in turn, a swimming pool. Handsome mortarless stone retaining walls, inviting sandstone benches, locally sourced boulders positioned as natural sculptures, and rose-arbored seating areas all work to create an environment that feels completely natural and compelling at every turn.
Spaulding Landscape Architects
A long, narrow lot—110 feet wide by 950 feet deep—required the careful positioning of garden and leisure-time elements so that each serves its purpose without interfering with the others. Spaulding Landscape Architects planted a dreamy grove of native cedars and white spruce at the south end for screening, while native cedars and holly provide additional screening from the road. A limestone terrace follows the entire width of the rear of the house, a material that manages to stay cool even during the hottest summer days. The separate garage and guesthouse frame an entry courtyard, from which an inviting sinuous pathway, lined with 30 varieties of perennials, leads to the spacious main lawn, expansive enough to accommodate tented parties. Soil removed to fashion a sunken tennis court was ingeniously used to elevate the main house to the required flood elevation—a “very smart move,” says judge Scott Sanders.
CWM Horticultural Services
When Chris and Denise MacDonald first visited their East Hampton home, it had been described to them simply as “the house on the hill,” with views of a smattering of weedy trees and brambles. Chris, the owner of CWM Horticultural Services, used gravel and fill to take the house off its perch and integrate it more harmoniously with the land. Now the property is an oasis of manicured lawns, low-rise stone walls, cleanly articulated wooden fences, dazzling arbors, perennial, herb, and vegetable gardens, birdbaths and birdhouses, and an outdoor fire pit. Even vintage cast-iron sinks have been repurposed as planters. “This is a project my husband has put his heart and soul into,” says Denise, “and it has become a true oasis for relaxation.”