Tour the Perfect Shingle-style Southampton Beach House to Dream About All Summer Long


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For any interior designer, there are projects that play to your strengths, and there are projects that flex new creative muscles. Charlie Ferrer, a seasoned Manhattan-based creative, was eager for a challenge when two longtime clients approached him about their Long Island property. Located in a lesser-known 1960s subdivision of Southampton, the one-acre site directly overlooked the bay—a dream come true for the nautically-inclined couple, who wanted to build a house from ground up. “It was quiet and beachy, fabulous but not fancy,” Ferrer recalls of the waterfront enclave. “I saw an opportunity to do something super special.”

Since founding his eponymous firm in 2012, Ferrer has built a reputation for spare but sophisticated interiors, more often than not city apartments where chiseled vintage treasures of wide-ranging provenance mingle merrily with bespoke pieces. This Hamptons project allowed him the chance to work in a fresh coastal idiom, but it also enabled him to work with a longtime design hero, architect Tom Kligerman. (Formerly of Ike Kligerman Barkley, he is now the founding partner of Kligerman Architecture and Design.) “Tom’s synthesis of old and new is very much aligned with my own,” says Ferrer. Kligerman, he knew, would immediately understand his and the clients’ vision of a shipshape contemporary cottage. “He is so good at making a small house feel bigger than it is.”

For cues, the team looked to early examples of the Shingle style—that pivotal moment in the early 1880s when New England houses straddled traditional and modern worlds. Cloaked in Alaskan yellow cedar, their design remains classical in thinking yet playfully proportioned, its massing and fenestration undergoing dramatic shifts. Details were reduced to a minimum, so that at times the structure reads as almost abstract, most notably on the front facade where an off-center entrance and oversized window scramble any immediate sense of what’s within. “We all liked this idea of mystery,” reflects Ferrer, noting that while the architecture “twists convention, it all feels right.”

The pale blue tones of the mudroom entry can be seen in this powder room as well.

The same hue (and paint color) continues into this space.

“In some ways it’s a deceptively simple house,” adds Kligerman, citing the straightforward floor plan but complex section, with five levels. In accordance with flood-plain regulations, all the living spaces are raised some six feet off the ground, so that upon entering you must ascend a staircase to arrive in the great room, furnished with multiple seating and dining areas. To one side lies the kitchen and beyond it the family room, whose double-hung floor-to-ceiling windows can transform it into a screened porch. (They call it the Four Seasons room.) To the other side, three successive short flights of stairs lead to the primary suite on one level, a guest suite on the next, and—on the top floor—two additional bedrooms and baths with a shared study. The combined constraints of the site, Kligerman explains, “called for a bento box of a building.” Outside, meanwhile, a vast deck with varied overhangs feels practically boatlike.

Throughout the interiors, Ferrer took a furniture-driven approach, beginning with the strong forms of statement pieces. In the great room, those included pairs of Guillerme et Chambron and Joseph André Motte lounge chairs. The interior designer’s first purchase for the kitchen, meanwhile, were two Swedish pendants that had been designed in the 1930s for a hospital. The dining area, meanwhile, is anchored by a bespoke table surrounded by Alvar Aalto chairs. “I am very iterative in my process,” explains Ferrer, who pushed himself with color, embracing a palette of pale lavenders and blues that evoke the sea and sky. “I find building blocks and create a world from there.” He designs, in other words, the way one might collect, layering fixtures, fabrics, and other treasures over time.

As proof of the power of collaboration, Ferrer and Kligerman point to the family room’s tiled fireplace surround: a stunner of a hearth that incorporates vintage door pulls in the shape of seahorses and sculptural blocks of red glass. The kitchen’s glass-and-metal pocket doors, inspired by ones at the Ritz Paris, hit a similar Art Deco note. (Their design reappears as doors to the primary suite’s shared shower, accessible from the husband and wife’s separate baths.) The powder rooms, meanwhile, are each artisanal feats, one outfitted with a basin carved from a single block of stone, another anchored by a fluted sink based on a Rosario Candela building.

“Partnerships like this are opportunities to push yourself,” says Ferrer, reflecting on the many conceptual challenges afforded by this project. “This is the exact kind of work I am excited to do more of.”

A windowside desk is the pièce de résistance of this room with a view.

Pale brown can be seen in the woodwork, stone choice, shower curtain, and stool of this bathroom.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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