The Hamptons Designer Showhouse presented by Traditional Home, which benefits Southampton Hospital runs through September 1st. Located at 408 Paul's Lane in Bridgehampton, we recently toured this stunning property with Sean Bruns of Mecox Design Services. Speaking to casual elegance, we were smitten with the dining room! The oversize Eden Roc Pool print and the in-room wine cave (hello, glamour!) set the tone for a true South of the Highway escape. Think, fashionable functionality. Bruns opened up to us about the genius of working with Greg McKenzie Design and Paramount Builders, the importance of lighting, and exactly how he and his colleague Judy Hadlock created a little fabulous 70's chic…
What inspired the design of the dining room?
The concept was inspired by a unique 146 inch dining table found at Mecox which seats 16 when used traditionally. It is designed to separate into 3 tables with 8 settings on each and that is how we have set it here for the showhouse. The space and table design perfectly suit a room set for grand scale, Hamptons entertaining. The fabrics, color and design for the room were wholeheartedly inspired by the beautiful Bella Vista wallpaper supplied by Phillip Jeffries.
The ability of the table to break out into smaller eating areas is reflective of how people actually live. Was the goal to make the room more approachable?
Yes, that was definitely part of the concept- to step away from the traditional long dining room table which is often very rigid and impersonal. The Dining Room is one of the largest rooms in the home and with this design, now has several uses- both formal and casual. The separate seating allows for the hosts and guests to circulate the room comfortably. The host and hostess chairs are currently flanking the bamboo etagere and are in a mod fabric from MOKUM. In addition to the dining tables, there is a small seating area by the window which provides a great spot to continue conversation post dinner in a more casual setting. The pigskin settee offers a comfortable place to enjoy a glass of wine and a book.
We adore the art - that fabulous image overlooking the ocean. Tell us more about it...
The official word on it is, Eden Roc Pool. Caption, Guests by the Pool at the Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc, Antibes, France, August 1976. Artist, Slim Aarons. Date, August 1976.
Personally, I am a little in love with this piece! The image and bright infusion of color are stunning and tell a fun story even before you get close enough to read the caption. It's August 1976, and you're on the South of France. Its an amazing sunny day at a world premier hotel. We all want to join them in the photo! It just grooves. And I hope that the spirit of the artwork was somehow infused into the room. A little fabulous 70's Chic.
Where do you feel like you took chances?
The 93+ inches of lighting was definitely the boldest stroke. The contractor, the electrician, were both like, whoa, that's a lot of lighting, but there is nothing worse then a small fixture in a big room. Fill up that air space! The light fixture is a very easy spot for anyone to bring a small (or large) amount of dramatic design into their room. And don't hang it too high, that's no good either!
What's your favorite piece in the room?
How could I possibly choose! There are so many beautiful and dramatic pieces that draw the eye. I'd have to say the wallpaper and the art if I were forced to choose just two. I think it is one of the most beautiful wallpapers I have ever worked with, and the art takes me away and gives me this wonderful relaxed vacation feeling every time I walk into the room, and bear in mind, I live here full time!
The in-room wine cave is genius. How do you see people living with it?
How often as a host or hostess do you bring the assembled company downstairs to the wine cellar? In this house, Paramount Builders has done something so unique by bringing the wine cellar right into the dining room itself. Not only is it stunning, but it's also functional. Why not have immediate, easy access to the wine cellar while entertaining? Why hide away the wine cellar and all of the gorgeous vintages in a rarely trafficked area of the home? If I lived in this house, I would have it lit every night so as to attract the eye when you walk past.
The show house is such an event every season in the Hamptons. What are the real challenges of designing a room for it?
My colleague Judy Hadlock and I worked in the house this year with 33 other designers. It was an honor to be included. You always want to give your room some stand out quality, but also to work in the confines of what would be expected in real life. You just have to deliver your very best work and really make the room sing. I believe that with the color palette- the way the wallpaper, the ceiling, the rug and the accents of that gorgeous sea glass color all intertwined, that we achieved just that!
Actually none this year. We have participated in the last 5 Hampton Designer Showhouses, this one was ready way ahead of schedule, and had the finest of finishes. Once sold, the new homeowner will have a beautifully designed home immediately available to them to enjoy. That important facet was accomplished due to Paramount Builders having a full time professional interior designer on their team- Greg McKenzie of Greg McKenzie Design. Greg provided the perfect canvas by picking beautiful tiles, hardware, and finishes for every inch of the house and grounds. This house was off to an amazing start even before 34 designers came and had their way with it.