It is said that one of the many reasons people are drawn to the East End is because of its natural beauty. Water is a large part of that beauty. In fact, Garden Pundit Dianne Benson comments in her "Dirt" column this month, "Water is the element that makes the East End tick." I have lived many different places, but I always find that the sea here is magical and that the Hamptons tugs at my heartstrings. The homes we feature in this issue are also magical for their siting as well as for their life force. Structures may appear as inanimate objects, but each has a unique energy and its design says a great deal about the homeowner.
Interior designer Larry Laslo has a successful career translating his clients' lifestyle needs into reality. The Alexander Gorlin architectural residence calls upon traditional forms utilized in an abstract way reflective of elements from a Schinkel house and vernacular Italian villas. Designed by Laslo to be timeless, it looks as fresh today as when it was first created—the mark of a great designer.
Barbara Macklowe is also a person of exquisite taste and talent. Not only has she had the most sought-after French Art Nouveau antiques gallery in Manhattan for oh-so-many years, she is also applauded for her photography and her wondrous garden. We have the good fortune of showing her East Hampton garden through her talented lens. And on Guild Hall's August 25 garden tour, you can be fortunate enough to walk through it yourself.
What may be an amazing property to some is not necessarily so to another (thank heavens). A neglected beach house on Napeague Bay caught the eye of Leigh and Kevin Klenke. It needed a miracle to transform it into what it is today. But the wife—with miracle worker and designer Tom Samet—had the vision. It was completed in record time so that Leigh, Kevin and their two children could enjoy it all last summer, and so we could capture it before Leigh unfortunately passed away from the cancer she had been so valiantly fighting.
Another couple that wanted a casual seaside home is Bernt Heiberg and Bill Cummings. Their international eponymous design firm keeps them constantly traveling, so it was important to find a retreat from how they live in New York City. It is amazing how much is packed into their 1,200-square-foot residence. But then they are on North Sea Harbor, which makes the home feel expansive.
A stone's throw from the beach is a family home that truly is expansive, even though architect Stuart Disston employed subtle design features to reduce the exterior facade. The end result is an idyllic "cottage" that gradually unfolds. And since interior designer Sherrill Canet artfully kept to the clients' mandate of designing with just two colors, the result is even more seamless
Now it is time for me to escape to the ocean for a bit to keep my seams from unraveling. And I want to remind you that our Idea House is open through August 12, so please do come visit us. Hope to see you soon.
Barbara L. Dixon