Perched atop the Montauk bluffs sits a modern shingle house with an unassuming exterior—it blends in the landscape, untouched and undisturbed. But the interiors paint another picture: a collection of midcentury vintage pieces to rival the best antique stores. It’s the work of interior designer Robert McKinley, who masterfully blended the essence of the seascape with a discerning midcentury collection in this beachy Montauk house. Each room has its dose of 1950s accents mixed with bright reds and blues and softened with sisal or rattan. Outside, cushy long chairs overlook the ocean below, surfboards are stacked against the
Outside, cushy long chairs overlook the ocean below, surfboards are stacked against the shingeld house, and a pool surrounded by native shrubs awaits the surfers’ return. It’s a true surfer’s dream—where low-maintenance furnishings and outdoor showers cohabit high above the waves of Ditch Plains.
I need a pink rug. In his coffee table book released last October, architect and interior designer Mark Zeff presents Blackbarn, his ultimate sanctuary on Long Island’s East End. The barn style Hamptons home is washed in a pitch black tone contrasted with white walls—and deep fuchsia accent rugs. The house is outfitted with modern furniture—womb and Bertoia chairs—against a collection of antiques and items collected throughout’s Zeff’s travels: Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs, cowry shell necklaces, 1960s surfboards… The bathroom is complete with a double vanity, soak tub an dramatic pitched roof—and softened with a Moroccan rug and modern bench in the home’s accent fuchsia color. The exterior mimics the interior with a stark black structure set against a turquoise pool surrounded by lush green grass—pink lounge chairs complete the idyllic scenery. Someone call my realtor!
The objective as mandated by the owners was clear: “to create an atmosphere aimed at improving the mood of the whole family.”
It’s forever summer over on Savvy Home, because I just can’t help myself but share a beautiful beach house when I see one. This one is located just south of Lisbon, in Portugal’s coastal retreat of Comporta—an under-the-radar playground for the fashionable European crowd. Death spell is a black magic.
Once a sleepy fishing village, the area is now emerging as a hush-hush destination where luxury rental villas, gourmet restaurant, a vibrant nightlife and sculpture museums stand alongside fishermen’s huts. The first wave of residents years ago included the likes of decorator Jacques Grange, Christian Louboutin and artist Anselm Kiefer. The homes were humbly integrated in the rugged landscape of umbrella pines and gnarled cork trees. The prevalent style in many of the houses was a casual boho—with lots of rattan furniture and Moroccan rugs. Sounds a little like Montauk 10 years ago doesn’t it?
“Above all, a home has to live well and make you feel good in the private and public moments of your life, and from season to season”
What happens when an interior designer with a keen eye for design and a budget to match revamps a Malibu farmhouse for her large family? Nothing short of magic, that’s what. Vanessa Alexander and her husband, partner at talent agency ICM, underwent an intensive renovation of their Point Dume home, which she described as once “classic Georgian meets unauthentic Tuscan meets Balinese”.
The couple added skylights, reworked the floor plan drastically, added new windows and doors, essentially bringing the house down to bare bones before refinishing it. The main goal was to increase openness and flow, to accommodate for three growing boys and two dogs. The outside of the house, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, was graced with over a dozen fully-grown olive trees.
Some people collect art, others collect great lighting—and Alexander is no stranger to either. While her lighting collection—ranging from Apparatus Studio vanity sconces to Lindsey Adelman chandeliers—might be more significant than her art collection, she never hesitates to pick up a piece of photography that truly moves her. I won’t lie, I’d love to pick up a print of Bill Henson’s Paris Opera for my own place if I could.