Sean Avery: hockey star. Model. Dancing with the Stars contestant. Hamptons developer. Really? Yes—Avery's latest project is building and decorating houses in the Village of Southampton. The first, at 52 Prospect Street, is nearly finished. It's a traditional house with interesting modern twists (like black framed windows and a mod hanging fireplace) and it's being sold completely furnished. Furniture includes a Case-Study V-Leg bed in the master and Muji beds in guest rooms, as well as minimalist Hem Palo sofas and skateboard decks with Basquiat drawings as artwork—all of it chosen by Avery. Intrigued, we sat down with the burgeoning designer to find out more.
You're building four houses in the Hamptons, and they're all going to be in Southampton?
Yes, they are all in Southampton. I remodeled the house I live in with my fiancée in Southampton Village. The contractor who did the remodel and I hit it off; the process went really smoothly, so I said, "You know what, why don't we just keep going?" So we bought a few properties to work on. Two of them are in the process and the other two are going to be started once we get a nice handle on these two.
How far along is the first one at 52 Prospect?
52 Prospect is about two weeks from full completion.
How much are you going to be asking for it?
I think it's a 3 million dollar house. But based on other jobs it could be half a million less or half a million more.
Pricing can get very weird in the Hamptons.
I think personally it's worth more than that but the buyers are going to dictate that. We've researched it, and I don't think there's any advantage of overpricing since you'll get money no matter what. If you underprice it, I think the buyers are potentially going to drive it up. I'm not greedy in the sense that I have a grand plan or anything—I just want to make some money off of this house and sell a great product. I want to start a trend—not only with the type of houses that I'm building but with our reputation and trying to create a little bit of demand for it.
Why did you decide to sell it completely furnished, even down to the artwork?
I think a working family wants to be able to come in and buy a house and drop their bags and not have to do a whole lot. I think aesthetically I tried to give a palette that tries to work with anybody, whether you're a 25 year old athlete or a 35 year old couple with two kids where maybe the husband works on Wall Street, I just wanted to give something that feels complete; it feels weird to see a house with nothing in it. I wanted to create something that I was also comfortable with. it's just my process. I've managed it and sourced materials and furniture from American companies that are making things in a cost efficient way.
So you've been really involved with planning and decorating the house.
Yes, it's been a 24 hour a day thing.
That's not really what I'd expect from a former hockey player!
I've always enjoyed designing in my personal life from an aesthetic standpoint. It's really nice to have an outlet doing this, as there are only so many things I can buy for myself! I have an apartment in New York and a house in the Hamptons.
So you can plan other people's houses too now as well.
At this point it's therapeutic.
Anything else you want readers to know about?
It's interesting about how much involved building in the Hamptons is, especially in Southampton Village. The permit process is very difficult, there are high expectations and a certain footprint that they feel comfortable with. I took that as a challenge. I'm proud of this house in particular because it's something totally different from what they're used to, for example, the black windows and black trim. It's just a very different house for the village. I think that the tradition is great, I love it. What I tried to do was create that traditional element with those modern day finishes that I think new buyers want.
· Palo sofa [Hem]
· Case-Study V-Leg bed [Modernica]
· Basquiat decks [TSR]