Design:

Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh

Photography by Nicole Franzen 

As seen in Live Beautiful and Architectural Digest

Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh

Live Beautiful will be released in just 2 days!  I have worked on this book for the greater part of 2.5 years and could not be more excited and proud of this journey I embarked on with Nicole Franzen!  We shot my own Amagansett beach home for the book in Summer of 2018 but since then, in these past few month’s I have given it a refresh and Architectural Digest featured the material and tonality driven transformation.  Nicole shot both the before and the after and many of the angles capture are the same. I wanted to let these images speak for themselves and document for you how paint, furniture & decor, and updated materials can completely update a space. The architecture remained intact, noting changed structurally, however, I do feel like I am living in a brand new home.  Gosh, I love design!

When I initially designed this space in 2009 there was an uptick in the reclaimed wood craze as well as industrial antiques and obscure oddities which were bursting onto the design scene.  I reveled in the hunt at local flea markets, antique fairs and Brimfield at every opportunity. 10 years later I felt I needed to lighten and brighten the space in both palette, materials and energetically. I didn’t want to wipe the slate clean and strip the home of its original identity, just institute a few small tweaks that would make a large impact visually, but not a large dent in my budget.  

Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh
Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh

I converted a large wall niche once used for firewood into four compact compartments that provide plenty of opportunities for ever-changing objects and vignettes.

Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh
Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh

Whenever I can I buy vintage.  Not only because I love the time-worn patina and rich unknown history it adds to the home, I also love the sustainability of repurposing something old.  Here, I incorporated a 1970’s Angelo Mangiarotti travertine coffee table to my living room and a 1960s bamboo armchair by Giovanni Travasa.  Crisp white walls were replaced with a warmer hue plaster by Kamp Studios contributing to the textural contrast. Benjamin Moore fossil was used.

Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh
Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh

It is true that too much of one thing is never a good idea. The roughhewn look on top of salvaged industrial items on top of rustic findings, on top of an aged patina — began to feel like too much. I did not follow two cardinal rules of design — less is more and contrast and juxtaposition are far more interesting than anything one-note.  

Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh
IN LOVE with my by JennAir Rise range with brass details. Hardware by Optimum Brasses is designed to patina over time.
IN LOVE with my by JennAir Rise range with brass details. Hardware by Optimum Brasses is designed to patina over time.

The reclaimed wood and dark lava stone in the kitchen was ready for its departure so I offered some levity to the space by introducing new, lighter materials. My husband and I demo’d the kitchen ourselves and installed Semihandmade which is the greatest invention if you want a refined, custom look within a restrained budget. Our original kitchen was Ikea so the foundation was already there. Semihandmade makes new door and drawer fronts for Ikea cabinets in a variety of designs, I chose the shaker style. What’s more epic is their DIY option which means you receive unfinished doors making it that much more cost-effective and customizable. To say I am obsessively obsessed with Semihandmade would be an understatement, I could not have completed this refresh without them!  After receiving the fronts they were painted in the Farrow and Ball Colour by Nature collection in Ash Grey — which is the perfect shade of soft green that matched the veining in my marble called Calcutta Monet from ABC Stone and fabricated by C & B Marble. And finally, I called upon long term collaborators Kamp Studios to masterfully clad the island in custom fluted plaster in the same hue. 

 

Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh
Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh
Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh
The alabaster Apparatus sconces led me on this path of asymmetry. I designed a customized console with Green River Project to amplify that off-balance vernacular. The artwork is by Ethan Cook. The light sculpture is by Rogan Gregory, it command's your presence as it looms over the reclaimed wood table surrounded by 1970's Italian Sapporo dining chairs.
The alabaster Apparatus sconces led me on this path of asymmetry. I designed a customized console with Green River Project to amplify that off-balance vernacular. The artwork is by Ethan Cook. The light sculpture is by Rogan Gregory, it command's your presence as it looms over the reclaimed wood table surrounded by 1970's Italian Sapporo dining chairs.

There is nothing I love more than problem-solving and beautiful design — this transformation allowed me to exercise my mind and creative eye in both capacities. Our style does change over the years and you do not need to spend a fortune to make small improvements to your home. And let’s face it, is also pure fun to do-it-ourselves and take on mini-projects like this. It never ceases to amaze me how a new coat of paint (or plaster) and new light fixtures, furniture, and decor can breathe fresh life into a room. 

This home continues to be a workshop for me to experiment in. It is the place I come to decompress and to engage with nature with my family. And it will always grow with me and I will always evolve with it. I will add, edit, and tinker with it always – explore anew refined elegance or inject more grit as I see fit – I will always be balancing out the assemblage of things.  I can’t help it, my home will always be a visual autobiography of precious memories from the evolution of my life as a designer, creative, woman, wife, and mother. It’s amazing really…. truly amazing what this house holds for me – in my heart and on my creative path.

Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh
Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh

The beloved biomorphic light sculpture is by Rogan Gregory.  

My beloved biomorphic light sculpture, art really, by my dear friend Rogan Gregory commands your attention as it looms above a reclaimed oak dining table flanked by 1970s Sapporo chairs.

Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh
Before & After – My Amagansett Refresh

I collaborated with ceramic sculpture artist Simone Bodmer-Turner for an exclusive collection.  One of those pieces, the Vence sconce, is seen here in my family room. An ode to Matisse’s La Piscine, Royère’s squiggles, and the undulations of scallop shells, it plays off the neutrality of the space with organic texture. The rug is by Tali Roth for Empire Collection Rugs, the 1960s French walnut table is vintage, and the burled wood plinth is by Milo Baughman.

Necessary Objects

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