East Hampton Beach Cottage
In a previous life it was a beach cottage…
When we entered the house, we saw beyond the ochre walls, the olive drab interior and exterior trim, the dark yellow wood and heavy brown tile that covered the floors, and the windows and French doors occluded by thick and dusty quilt-patterned drapes. We could see the potential and we had a simple plan… Fling open the doors, let some sun and ocean air in, peel away the layers of heavy Winter clothing and slip into some light and colorful Summer attire.
On our way back to the office after our first visit to the property, we took a detour to East Hampton’s Main Beach to take stroll along the shore. In the distance we saw a woman staring out at the horizon wearing a traditional navy and white sailor stripe shirt. Susana felt compelled to photograph the scene, and upon looking back at the image, she knew she had captured all the inspiration she needed for this new project.
A beach is a land of stripes, a succession of one horizontal strand after another. One golden strip of sand, the etched lines of faded waves, a thin white foamy shoreline that traces each receding blue wave, the incoming white caps that dwindle into the widest deepening gradient of a vague horizon line which connects the sea to a sliver of deep blue sky striped with airplane vapor trails and thin, wispy clouds.
The uninterrupted width, depth and color of these lines somehow instill a sense of calm in the beach dweller and are present everywhere you look in maritime regions… from sails, flags, painted hulls and sailor suits to surfboards, bikinis and beach blankets. It was these stripes that would awaken and connect the spaces in this home and give it a new sense of character and purpose.
A serene and natural foundation of shimmering grasscloth wallpaper, bleached hardwood floors and wide loom sisal rugs were wrapped around the walls and floors like a sandy floor surrounded by dunes. Layer upon layer of white sheer fabrics filter the sunlight like an umbrella and pick up on the faintest of breezes, as a sail would. The repeated use of bold patterns in shades of blue, sand and white, a surfboard in the stairwell, a downright daring selection of wallpapers and a dreamy master bedroom transform what was a homely home into a buoyant and sparkling oasis, an idyllically peaceful and decidedly playful getaway whose undertone reads:
“You are now at the beach, take off your shoes, turn off your phone and relax”