English Style in East Hampton
David Kleinberg Design Associates designs a proper summer cottage.
When a client from the U.K. called on interior designer David Kleinberg to collaborate on a Hamptons summer cottage for her family, the two came up with a plan that was as fluid as their longtime friendship. Together they envisioned a seamless design scheme that would blend her penchant for English style with Kleinberg’s flair for American polish.
“Like any proper Englishwoman, my client brought wonderful antiques, comfortable upholstery, and beautiful collectibles to the project,” Kleinberg recounts. “I found myself drawing on my years working at Parish-Hadley, devising bold color palettes with small prints and patterns, woven rugs, and pottery, all at their most glorious alongside fresh flowers from the cutting garden during the summer months.”
Accordingly, cherry red and mustard yellow accents add punch to relaxed and inviting seating arrangements in the living room, and antique carpets are layered on woven sisal rugs in the best English country-house tradition. Because the airy living room opens to most of the main-floor rooms, “we carried on with our red and yellow palette,” adds project designer Matthew Bemis, who worked with Kleinberg to design custom paneling and cabinets that house the client’s extensive collections of dinnerware. Red in the cozy dining room, for example, is intentionally “cheerful and warm, since the space is used on chilly nights when sitting outside is not an option.” An eight-arm 1960s Ballerina chandelier by Paavo Tynell and a pair of 1940s Austrian bronze sconces flanking an antique English portrait painting further enhance the room’s intimate appeal.
Throughout, the house has been designed to capture the famed Hamptons light, notably in the gracious stair hall, which features wraparound passageways that pool sunlight into the middle of the structure. In the modern farmhouse-style kitchen, a Kleinberg-designed skylight sheds bright sunshine on the cerused- oak cabinets and stone floor. A cheery breakfast nook featuring rattan furniture from Bielecky Brothers and wicker consoles from Soane Britain offers an idyllic spot for coffee and birdwatching. A softer, quieter ambiance prevails in the master bedroom, where vaulted ceilings and a soaring canopy bed dressed up in an Elizabeth Eakins print set the tone. In a guest room, an English spooled-mahogany four-poster is graced with bed curtains made from a hand-printed peony-pattern fabric from Tillett Textiles and edged in a deep indigo from Lee Jofa. A small stripe wall covering from Peter Fasano adds just the right accent.
With all Hamptons homes, outdoor living areas require deep consideration, no matter how sumptuous and beautifully executed the interiors. This house’s main-floor rooms open to covered porches, pergolas, and a limestone terrace furnished with roomy McKinnon and Harris seating pieces upholstered in a sophisticated stripe. “Most people in the Hamptons come for the warm days and breathtaking light,” says Kleinberg, “and try to spend as much time outdoors as possible. So it’s important to dedicate as much thought to the outdoor rooms as to those inside. The two should ebb and flow, and this house has an especially nice flow. We know we’ve succeeded as designers when our clients use all the spaces with ease and contentment.
The print version of this article appeared with the headline: Further Flourish.