Home Tour: Inside a Classical Hamptons Mansion
Pulling up to the impressive exterior of this Hamptons mansion may have intimidated other interior designers, but Eddie Lee knew that, with the right combination of elements, he could make the lavish space a home. Located in the Northwest Harbour area of East Hampton, the house features four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, entertaining spaces, a wine cellar, gym, and perfectly landscaped grounds.
While the exterior is designed in the Italianate style, clad in limestone with a ceramic tile roof, the interior is decidedly English country combined with a little French and American flair. “The concept was to create a warm, luxurious country home,” says the designer. With relaxed textiles, smart furniture plans, and luxurious accents, the rooms feel classic but comfortable, and sophisticated not stuffy.
Keep scrolling to take a tour of the space.
Lee’s clients—the former president of Coach International and his husband who hails from China by way of Paris—wanted two things: a summer escape that would blend the aesthetics of their individual heritages, and plenty of space to entertain.
“My clients love to entertain,” says Lee. “Whether it’s dinner parties, luncheons, or garden parties, the house is always full of friends, food, wine, and laughter.”
In the dining room, Lee combined different chair styles for a more relaxed feel. “Having 14 of the same chair would make it feel a bit too much like a boardroom,” says the designer. “The mix keeps it dynamic and friendly.”
The dining room’s statement lacquer-like walls were a true labour of love. “It's about eight coats of high-gloss paint with wet sanding in between,” says the designer. “You can see your reflection!”
Lamps Plus Schonbek Silver Novielle Spectra Crystal Chandelier ($4257)
“High-gloss walls are a fantastic way to treat a dining room,” says Lee. “Candlelight and chandelier light look amazing reflected in the walls at night.”
Though construction on the home was almost entirely complete when Lee took the project, the designer was brought in to help with minor renovations and to decorate the entire home.
A thoughtful mix of comfortable and casual textiles (like linen, cotton, suede, and chenille) makes the generous spaces feel livable and friendly. “Comfortable upholstery and lots of layering keep this home fresh,” says Lee.
When devising a furniture plan for large spaces, Lee recommends keeping flow and function at the forefront of your mind.
“Create logical seating groups with good flow,” suggests the designer. “Place large upholstery pieces against large walls, orient lounge chairs near the sofas to encourage conversation, scatter occasional chairs and tables that can be moved around as needed, and make sure there is a place for everyone to place a drink!”
“The aesthetic inspiration for the home’s design was my client himself,” Lee tells us. “He's the quintessential British gentleman with a modern twist: impeccable dress, impeccable manners, and a fabulous wit and sense of humour.”
Lee designed the master bath using entirely book-matched slabs of a timeless white marble.
The bathroom’s open shower is a modern choice in a mostly classic space. Acrylic legs on the side-by-side open vanities provide an additional contemporary element.
In the library, Lee opted to keep the upholstery consistent, using charcoal chenille to ground the room. “It keeps it from feeling fussy,” he says. “I'm not a fan of mixing too many prints.”
The basement wine cellar’s stuccoed, groin-vaulted ceiling was designed to look like the catacombs of a cathedral from the Middle Ages.
The impressive grounds are particularly meaningful to the clients. “They were married in the backyard last Fourth of July under a festive tent,” Lee tells us. “The event combined traditional Western and Chinese ceremonies complete with dancing dragons!”
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