The architecture of the newly built Bridgehampton home being taken over by this year's Hampton Designer Showhouse is being billed as "modern barn style," so it's fitting that the decor is an exercise in contrasts.
The interior designers who were called on to transform the 6,500-square-foot space into the ultimate Hamptons vacation home layered on a dizzying array of styles: soft, elegant, beachy, fashion-forward and pure fun. In some cases, the mix could be found all in one room.
Mixing casual and formal is by no means just a Hamptons thing, and the designers shared some tips on how to replicate their looks, without the Champagne and lobster prices.
COOKING WITH COLOR AND TEXTURE
Merrick designer Marlaina Teich took on the home's plain white kitchen (in which the sink has a $3,000 Grohe faucet and filtration system with the option of sparkling water) by layering different materials and finishes and bringing in bold graphic elements. These included chunky, shimmery cubist tile for the backsplash and thick aqua chevron stripes painted on the side of the marble-topped center island. "People are not leaving them white -- they're painting their islands," Teich says.
DIY TIP. One of the design elements that Teich included -- a smaller version of the center island chevron pattern on the back of the glass-front kitchen cabinet -- looks high-end, but was very much a do-it-yourself job. Teich cut foam board to the size of the cabinets, wrapped it in wallpaper and popped them in. "If you get bored with it, you can pull it out," Teich says.
COME IN AND PLAY
Gretchen Kubiak and Adam Verboys of Philadelphia interior design firm Black & Poole put a quirky, outdoor spin on the basement game room, using croquet mallets and handcrafted archery bows as decorative elements. For artwork, they printed three archery targets on cotton rag paper, placed them on rustic wooden clipboards and hung them over the couch. A graphic designer from Philadelphia tattoo studio True Hand created custom wallpaper with a rabbit-hunting whippet dog for the room's closet. While the custom-built couch -- upholstered in a camouflage print fabric from luxury textile company Fortuny -- would cost around $10,000, it fit in with the idea to keep the space low-key and not too precious.
DIY TIP. Forget the filler art found at most chain furniture stores. Collecting pieces is more meaningful, Kubiak says, but if expensive art is not in the budget, try to have fun. For one client, Kubiak printed out and hung vintage maps. For the show house, she and Verboys also hung black and white photos of Olympic athletes that they found online and slipped them into Ikea frames.
The home's living room, designed by Patricia Fisher, who works in New York City and East Hampton, is a little more formal than the downstairs spaces, but still relaxing. The fun Anjou cocktail table, designed by Jonathan Browning of The Bright Group, has room for one stiff drink. Paired with a Midcentury Modern chair, it seemed ready for the Don Draper seal of approval.
DIY TIP. Mixing metal finishes, such as chrome and brass, can tone down a room's formal look -- think of how not matching your shoes and your handbag makes an outfit more relaxed, Fisher says.
MOTHER NATURE MIX
In an upstairs bedroom, Manhattan designer Elise Som used materials and decor, including jute, linen and seashells, to create a soothing, nature-inspired retreat. One of the more striking pieces was a linen ottoman with a subtle abstract print, hand-dyed by Brooklyn design studio Eskayel. Because the room has a small window, Som put up light metallic green wallpaper to draw in the sunlight and brighten it up. "I want to offer what Mother Nature already offers," Som says. "We're really mixing the beach and the forest together."
DIY TIP. If you want to base a room around one color -- in Som's case, the color green -- break it up with different textures and make sure to have a lot of other accents. If the room has a lot of neutrals, add bright pops of color at the end. "A good design is to always match the same color and different texture," Som says, "using some fur, using some linen and using some cotton."
AROUND THE TABLE
On the lower level, there was a massive flat-screen TV, but the focal point was a pool table made of lemon tree wood that retails for more than $150,000, on loan from a company in Barcelona. Manhattan designer Melanie Roy designed the recreation room around the pool table. The rest of the room was inspired by the pool table, with lots of black, white and gray, and pops of gold and yellow, including a playful sculpture of a melting yellow lollipop. Roy selected the floors, which are made of porcelain but are meant to look like wood. "I wanted it to be a luxe look, but I wanted it to be practical," says Roy, who focuses on family-friendly designs.
DIY TIP. Using ceramic tile floors that look like wood makes a room look more luxurious but is still practical in the case of spills and pets. "It's more cost-effective, and it's indestructible," Roy says.
SOPHISTICATED IN THE SUN
The designers who decorated the outdoor spaces used furniture from luxury brand Frontage, and some went with its contemporary Porta Forma collection. For the dining area, Huntington designer Katharine Posillico McGowan surrounded a rectangular glass-topped table with sculptural all-weather wicker chairs that come with built-in cushioning made of vinyl. She also added side tables made of plastic with a high-gloss lacquer finish and topped it off with Frontgate's dramatic Frou Frou Parasol, made with white raffia that rustles in the breeze. McGowan, who owns Katharine Jessica Interior Design, says she sees modern outdoor furniture that adds a resort-like feel as an emerging trend. "Everyone wants to feel their home is a vacation now," McGowan says.
DIY TIP. If you want a sleek and chic look outdoors, consider furniture that's not necessarily made for the outdoors, McGowan says.
IF YOU GO
WHAT. The 2015 Hampton Designer Showhouse, a benefit for Southampton Hospital
WHEN | WHERE. Gala preview cocktail party from 6 to 8:30 p.m. July 25 at 233 Old Sag Harbor Rd., Bridgehampton, with show house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, starting July 26, through Labor Day
INFO. Gala is $225 a person; regular admission is $35, which includes a journal; no admission 30 minutes before closing; no strollers, infants, children younger than 6 or pets allowed; 631-377-3667, hamptondesignershowhouse.com.
ASKING PRICE. $5.795 million
SQUARE FOOTAGE. 6,500
LISTING AGENT. Hedy Tufo, Sotheby's International Realty, 516-830-0269