The Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) kicked off Memorial Day Weekend last night by transforming the thrift shop on 17 Montauk Highway into a designer showhouse. Admittedly smitten by the rescue cats and dogs seeking adoption, we caught up with designer Scott Sanders to discus his Blue, White & Bailey Room, beach house design, and fashion icons. Spoiler alert, he's really into Mr. Porter!
What inspired the blue and white theme of your ARF room?
Well, I think of blue and white as the beach. And, very early on, I had gone to ARF- they had this set of vintage wicker furniture. It was all painted in navy blue, and I thought, I don't want to paint this, it's so fantastic. So, we just went with the blue and white theme.
How does this room reflect your signature "New American Style"?
There are traditional elements inside the room, and there are more modern elements that we mixed in with accessories, lighting, and lucite trays from Home Nature. It's a nice mix. It feels very American, and it's got the vintage dog wallpaper that was already there.
Oh, that's such great wallpaper-
Yes. And, we added in throw pillows that are white with blue anchors. It's really fun!
How does this room differ from a traditional Scott Sanders project? If a client commissioned you, what would you do differently?
I probably wouldn't have an entire matched set of something. I would have mixed it up more. But, since it's ARF and it's such a beautiful set, you don't want to take part of it out. If I had done it myself, I would have taken the ottomans out. But, I think we made it more modern by adding in porcelain blue garden seats from Mecox, which really makes it fun.
What style element should the interior of every Hamptons home have?
Rattan, rope, seagrass, seashell mirrors- anything that connects you to the beach and to the water. Just fun bright fabrics- stripes. Anything that reminds you of the beach. It's sort of a no brainer, but you have to do it right, otherwise it looks clichéd. These elements are classic, and they always work.
Clearly you like to have fun with design. So, do you think beach houses should take on a more whimsical feel or should they, instead, stick to clean lines?
I prefer whimsical. If you have a beach house, most likely you have another house. So, this is your opportunity to do something fun, something different. It's the weekend, so you're not living with it everyday. Take some chances, whether it's with the furniture, the art, or the accessories. Have fun with the color!
For beach house décor, what on-trend colors are you loving right now?
I've been thinking about yellow. Most people stay away from yellow, but it's such a beautiful color, in the right shade-
Especially when it's paired with black and white.
That's funny, I was just going to say that we're seeing a lot more black and white. It can be very cool! I've done things before with black and white fabric from Ralph Lauren around a whole pool. You know, whatever color you add in, you need to add in a lighter color to counteract it and make it feel light and airy.
What is the most common mistake you think most people make when decorating their beach home?
[Laughs] They didn't use a designer. Maybe they tried to do something and the scale is off.
Given your history with Ralph Lauren, do you borrow ideas from the fashion world?
All of the time- color, texture, fabric, trim. I think that fashion is so inspirational, and it's so fun to take it, twist it, and put it into a room. I love it!
Okay, you love fashion. So, who is your style icon?
Well, it changes every season. I'm a huge fan of Thom Browne. I love Maison Kitsune, and I was just at their shop in Paris. And, I am literally on the Mr. Porter website every night. The free shipping overnight to the Hamptons is genius on their part!
And, dishing on the Hamptons, what is your favorite beach?
Well, I live very close to Two Mile Hollow Beach, but I tend to go there off-season and in the evening. I'm actually a pool person. I have my bathroom, my kitchen, I have food and drinks; my dog is there. I'm a pool person.
Fair enough. You are involved with a number of organizations, so who throws the best summer parties?
The one we're throwing in 2 weeks, School's Out.