Modern Ranch Overlooking Three Mile Harbor

A longtime East Hampton resident finally gets her dream home.
East Hampton Infinity Pool

Photography by Tria Giovan

Sometimes waiting can pay off big-time–especially when you’re building the house of your dreams. After living for nearly 15 years in a much-loved cottage on a bluff overlooking East Hampton’s Three Mile Harbor, Barbara Hair tore it down and started all over again. Erected during the 1950s, the 750-square-foot Sears kit house was “charming and sturdy,” Hair recounts, “but I bought the property with the intention of building my dream house there one day.”

The co-founder of a SoHo-based agency that specializes in large corporate meetings and learning sessions, Hair desired a larger weekend getaway to enjoy year-round with her friends and her two English Springer Spaniels. “I’ve been coming out East since I was in my 20s, and every season is just magnificent here,” she says. 

East Hampton Dining Room

Photography by Tria Giovan

Armed with more than a decade’s worth of pages torn from design magazines, Hair knew exactly what she wanted. Finding someone to carry out her vision, however, proved more difficult than she had anticipated. “I met with a lot of architects, but I just wasn’t finding an aesthetic match.” Her luck changed, however, when an acquaintance suggested Adam Jordan, a Bates Masi + Architects alum who was in the process of launching his own firm. “Adam is a minimalist, and I love the way he thinks,” says Hair, who was confident that Jordan could deliver a design that felt “modern, yet inviting.” Her must-haves: Water views from every room and a single story. “I might retire here one day, and I don’t want to be climbing a lot of stairs. The layout is really well planned.”

East Hampton Courtyard

Photography by Eric Petschek/Courtesy of Adam Jordan Architecture

In order to accommodate Hair’s requests, Jordan “had to get creative,” he says. “With only one level to work with and a very narrow site, it was a challenge to give every room a view.” The floor plan he devised features two wings separated by a courtyard: The harbor-facing primary living spaces and the master bedroom are located in one, and a pair of guest rooms occupy the other, with views over the courtyard and through the glass-walled living area to the water beyond. “We ended up with a program of nicely layered spaces,” Jordan continues. “The courtyard started as a solution to a problem, but now it’s the house’s shining moment.” Another major victory: the gunite infinity pool, which involved tricky permitting due to its proximity to the harbor.

Inside, dark stained oak and moody Venetian plaster prevail, creating a cocoonlike ambiance. “I didn’t want the typical white beach house,” Hair says. “The home gets a lot of sun exposure, so it stills feels light inside, despite all the wood. The color palette is warm and sexy, with shades of gray, brown, black, and beige.” As for the furnishings, she was “inspired by the work of Axel Vervoordt and Vincent Van Duysen,” as well as the unerring eye of her good friend Lukas Machnik, a Springs-based artist.

Hair is more than thrilled with how everything turned out, but she spends the most time in the master bedroom, curled up with a coffee while enjoying the vistas and the fireplace. “My bedroom is so cozy that everyone ends up packing into the king-size bed to watch movies instead of using the TV room,” she says. “This place is all about spending time with friends, listening to music, cooking, and laughing. It’s a great hangout house.”

The print version of this article appeared with the headline: Endless Summer.