Thursday, July 19

My favorite views at the Hampton Designer Showhouse - a daily posting: Day 1

Visit me every day for a week so I can bring you along on my favorite views at the 
in Watermill, Long Island  
These over sized swans floating in the pool make me smile, reminding me of the duck house over in Flanders.  I chatted with designer Tara Seawright about a possible name - Swan Lake, perhaps?  I have to give kudos to Tara because working with new pools and landscaping can be challenging.  I know that from when I built my home in East Hampton and long after the house was designed and lived in, the pool area and landscaping took some time to retain that patina we all love.  Tara combined a great collection of Schumacher outdoor fabrics by Trina Turk for pops of color and swathing the pergola, outdoor furniture by Barlow Tyrie  and other fabulous details.  Stop back tomorrow for more backyard views of Tara's designs
one of my favorite room was a downstairs retreat designed by Greg McKenzie Design.  He used a rich, textured custom fabric wall covering by John Rosselli in Hermes-orange and coupled it with a painted chocolate brown ceiling to anchor the space:  a get-away retreat from the "Hampton's noise" as he described.  I immediately noticed my friend Idoline Duke's art on the corner wall as seen above.  You may remember I featured idoline's work in Dan's Papers and in my blog two years ago.  Stop back for more views of
Greg's snazzy retreat tomorrow.

Here I am interviewing Idoline at
Mecox Gardens two years ago about her beautiful "pools" watercolors

Ralph Lauren lantern, 
Bunny Williams chair and a 
custom designed rug, Greg's room sings

Editor's Notes...
We started July with lots of "nesting" views throughout New England.  I am someone who falls in love with places, and through travel and experiences I literally become infused with the temperature of a specific area.  As I wrote last week, I love the Yankee sensibilities and simplistic yet beautiful nature of much of New England.  Because I write about it often and live in the Big Apple, you may know I am over the moon in love with the energy and culture of New York City.  I love the juxtaposition of raw beauty and ocean in California and the unique vibe.  But, as a lifelong Long Island native, I hold my most precious heartfelt feelings for the East End of Long Island.  There is so much rich history, gorgeous architecture and of course there's the influence of the farming and boating communities.  I know I am partial, but I love the Hamptons, and part of what I love is how the area draws unique and artistic people.  

The Hampton Designer Showhouse is no exception to that rule, and every year we locals just can't wait to see what designers and design-industry companies have cooked up.  I am so very fortunate to be friendly enough with Traditional Home magazine and Lillian August  and I am grateful they invited me in this coming Saturday afternoon for a blogger press preview and to participate in the gala opening of the showhouse.  Because I write for local magazine, Dan's Papers (here’s this week’s story for my East End Nest column  about local designer Libby Langdon and her thoughts on the room), I was invited for a press tour today to write another story for the magazine, and arrived to the house in the throes of installation.  I love this part, and it's the nuts and bolts of our industry, the glitches and all.  I had the opportunity to mill about and meet a few very friendly designers who were working hard behind the scenes to bring the public this beautiful showhouse on Saturday.  I decided to write daily posts this week to give you my favorites vignettes at the event, like snapshot visions, since sometimes you need to go back again and again and take a look.  I hope this inspires you and your designs.  I saw lots of blue and on the polar end of that spectrum some wonderful peachy, pink, and even some cozy darker, warm color combinations and  a of course there was  neutrals.
What I liked most this year at the show was a wonderful sense of layering in many of the rooms, but how it all seems fresh and modern at the same time.  Many of the designers used incredible art and accessories.  It is no secret that Pratt & Lambert paints are some of my most favorite colors and the house is entirely Pratt & Lambert - that makes me happy!  I like that many of the rooms in the home are cozy in size and not the cavernous spaces we often see in newer homes in the Hamptons.  Although a whopping 10,000 square foot this home feels quite intimate and cottage-like in feel, which as Martha says "It's a good thing".  I saw some quality products that can actually be ordered online (oh my) mixed in with custom work - bravo designers. 
XO Tamara

Pearson's Guest Suite 
is the perfect size with lovely appointments, interesting art and lighting,
and pops of color.  

loved the striped rug by Karastan
a red horsehair, Chinese blue toile and a modern multi-colored fabric ties it together:
all fabrics from the Pearson Collection
 these faux shagreen cluster tables make a square coffee table and can be ordered locally at Mecox Gardens in East Hampton
landscape painting by Douglas Freeman
my obsession with indigo and blue is realized in this room.  I love this fabric which is upholstered on this chair and on the full panel of curtains on the windows! 
Today's top pick at the Showhouse is furniture and fabric manufacturer Pearson's guest suite.  I am going to be quite frank when I say I sometimes don't love rooms done in all one company's furniture and fabrics because it can look a little showroom-y, however, to me the Pearson room (upstairs take a left and just on your right) is a fabulous, warmly decorated space and Jennifer combined a mix of coloring and textures.  I love the indigo fabric curtains, the cluster of faux shagreen coffee tables and the various textures.  It all makes me want to curl up on the sofa, drink an iced tea and grab my favorite magazine to read while overlooking the pool below.  The head of design, Jennifer McConnell, was extremely pleasant and took the time even during her busy photo shoot and install to walk me through the space, and explain the products and their story.

Stop back tomorrow for a glimpse of Robert Passal's master bedroom (it literally made me swoon), a cerulean dining room designed by husband and wife local team Mabley Handler, a cozy sitting area by Tammy Connor, and a bedroom channeling a warm cabin in Maine, plus other design goodness.