Posted by on Jul 12, 2009 in Between these four walls: house tours, Decorating, Design, Houses | 4 comments

Every once in a while you find a place that somehow restores your spirits. Of course, if you’re lucky, your home has that effect too. But I’m talking about finding another place, perhaps a B&B you escaped to one weekend or the home of a friend who hosted a weekend wedding party. Somewhere that still evokes happy memories many years later. Well, I have a feeling the house in which we stayed in the Hamptons this month is such a place.

Perhaps it was because we were so exhausted when we arrived. Or maybe it was because this was the first time our whole extended family had been together for over a year (and the first time ever since my nephew was born). But a big factor in our enjoyment was certainly the house itself. Now that I’ve finally downloaded all the photos, I thought I’d share a few. I hope you can see what I mean when I say this was an unforgettable vacation…

Exterior

Well, that’s it there. Beautiful isn’t it? The house was actually built in three separate phases, spanning centuries. The original structure is on the far right. The central and left portions were added later by subsequent owners (and, in some cases, descendants of the original owners). Part of the building was even shipped from Pennsylvania. It also reminded me of the houses you see scattered around the English countryside.

Entry

This is the entry hall. You can see straightaway that this is first and foremost a home. Yes, it’s a big house and the exterior is stunning. But the interior is not at all ‘grand’. It’s sweet, charming and comfortable – although, admittedly, every room does also have enviable proportions and light. The style is slightly Gustavian – the whitewashed floors, striped walls, lots of pale painted furniture. But it’s also uniquely personal. This is a home occupied by artists and you can see evidence of that in every room.

Entry

We were in the house over July 4, so these little figures on the hallway mantelpiece were quite fitting!

Dining room

This is the dining room. It’s the heart of the house physically and metaphorically. It’s supremely practical (you can walk over those white painted floors in your bare feet straight from the garden and the table will stand up to a child’s idea of table manners – and then some). But it’s also really pretty. I love that wallpaper and the chandelier.

Dining room

This little bar area in the dining room is so cute. Brilliant use of colors – and yet it doesn’t look at all contrived.

Dining room

Yet another dining room detail. I love the way this painting is propped up casually on a child’s chair.

Living room

We didn’t spend much time in the living room (couldn’t move off the patio or out of the dining room!). But this is probably the perfect beach house blue.

Sunroom

We did, on the other hand, spend a lot of time in the sunroom. This covered porch is a later addition to the house but it’s perfect for cooling off when the sunbathing gets too much (!).

Sunroom

More Swedish style in evidence. And those lamp bases that look like milk pails are a stroke of genius.

Library

The oldest part of the house includes a library. I can imagine this would be a great snug for winter. I’m partial to walls of books, so here’s a little hint of the room for those who, like me, hanker after floor-to-ceiling reading material.

Master bedroom

The master bedroom is also in the oldest part of the house. The windows are the best vantage point in the house for spotting deer in the garden!

Bathroom

I love this wallpaper in one of the bathrooms. With the dark blue tiles, it looks sharp, not chintzy.

I hope I’ve done the place justice. I’m no photographer. And you can’t capture all the details that make a house so welcoming: the paintings with personal notes from the artist, the collection of old copper kettles in the hallway. But, at least you can see how the owners have eschewed the showiness of much of the Hamptons and instead created a stylish home that makes you want to kick off your shoes and settle down to a great book. Now that’s a restorative vacation…

If you’re interested in renting this house for a vacation, you can do so through CyberRentals. I guarantee you’ll return home a new person.