In re-imagining the interior space of the Caumsett estate’s 1930s Summer House in Lloyd Harbor, designer Amal Kapen thought of the grandness she remembers when wandering by the property as a teen, while designer Keith Baltimore wanted to show how drastically this new uncertain world has changed things that used to be.
"For me, the home’s architecture and location dictate the palette and design — especially Caumsett — with its idyllic rolling hills and coastal setting," Kapen, who redesigned the entry hall says.
Baltimore designed the dining room as a multifunctional space for today’s families spending more time at home due to the pandemic and says it was his vision to juxtapose old and new — but with a twist.
"It’s a very traditional home but I wanted to not only break the mold, I wanted to stomp on it by using very edgy art and contemporary things," Baltimore says. "I wanted the old and new to be slammed together — jammed together — to create a new aesthetic."
Kapen, lead designer of Amal Kapen Interiors in Huntington, and Baltimore, founder of Baltimore Design Group in Port Washington, are among more than 15 noted interior and landscape designers from Long Island and other parts of the New York metropolitan area who have lent their talents to rooms and outdoor areas at the two-story Colonial Revival residence for the six-week Caumsett Designer Showhouse. The event, being held from Oct. 4 through Nov. 15, gives the public a chance to see the designers' different takes on how the property would look today.
"The Summer House will be decorated in a variety of styles from traditional to transitional," explains Janet Barone, president of the Caumsett Foundation’s board of directors. "Visitors often get interesting ideas that they can bring into their own homes."
And the Summer House will be available to the public for rent as a residence after the Showcase event ends. It can be rented unfurnished or the renter can buy the furnishings from the designers.
Most recently, the Summer House, built in 1939 and including Georgian and Federal details, was home to the Nassau County BOCES’ environmental education center. The structure was originally designed as a guest residence for friends and family by department store heir Marshall Field III. During World War II it became the Field’s primary residence when the main house was used as a government office. It is part of the 1,500-acre Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve overlooking Long Island Sound that comprised the Field estate.
Architect John Russell Pope designed the buildings on the property, which include the Main House, the Winter Cottage and the Polo Stables; and Olmsted Brothers created the English country manor-inspired landscape. Today, the park offers passive recreation, nature walks and equestrian services.
Proceeds from the Showhouse will benefit the host of the event, The Caumsett Foundation, which uses its funds for ongoing restoration projects, education, cultural and environmental programs at the park preserve.
"We wanted to restore and retain the integrity of the historic architecture and structure while updating it for today’s lifestyle with modern-day conveniences," says Kate Singer of the Showhouse. She is the design chair and a Caumsett Foundation board member whose work has been featured in such magazines as Architectural Digest, Traditional Home and Better Homes & Gardens. She notes Huntington architect Andrew Giambertone was integral to the project that also included a new slate roof and exterior masonry work.
The Caumsett Foundation has sponsored two previous showhouses at Caumsett; one in the Main House in 2003 and another at the Winter Cottage in 2010.
CURRENT DESIGN TRENDS
Catch these trends, which can be encorporated into your own home design, at the Caumsett Showcase:
- The color blue, on walls, accents, furniture and more
- Wood furniture in contemporary and traditional styles
- Burnished brass accents for lighting fixtures
- Large scenic murals
- Wallpaper in textured weaves and bold prints
- Simple classic window treatments
- Floor coverings such as Sisal or low pile rugs
WHEN/WHERE 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, with the Showcase closed on Mondays and Tuesdays with the exception of Columbus Day. The Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve is located at 25 Lloyd Harbor Rd., Lloyd Harbor.
ADMISSION Arranged in advance and by appointment only. All tickets are $40.