Step inside this modern Hamptons beach house that expertly plays with colors, shapes and scale

Leave all your assumptions about 'beach houses' at the door, this sprawling property is a lesson in quirky contemporary decor

Exterior view of Modern Zen beach house
(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

The property 

When you think 'beach house' perhaps you envision a weather-beaten, clapboard cottage, a bolt hole by the sea decorated with blue and white stripes and nautical-inspired decor. Well, this enormous beach house in Hampton's could not be further from that vision. Known as 'Modern Zen' this modern home spans over 14,000 square foot, has eight bedrooms, ten bathrooms, numerous living rooms, tennis courts, plus of course, a pool and pool house. 

To decorate this gorgeous expanse of 'beach house' the homeowners brought on interior designer Michelle Gerson. The direction was pretty simple, create the vibe of the home's namesake – Modern Zen. A cool and casual interior that felt light and airy and had a seamless connection with the outside space. Let's take a tour...


Grey and white kitchen with large kitchen island

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

The property is a family's holiday home, so having a kitchen that was both functional and sociable was key. The stunning white kitchen island brings adds some freshness to the taupey grey wood of the kitchen cabinets but it also creates a more casual dining space and an area to gather around that feels less formal than the dedicated dining room. 

Grey kitchen with marble topped island

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

The colors used for the kitchen are cool-toned, giving the space a sophisticated modern edge, but all the rustic wooden accents like the built-in chopping board, the island seating, and oak-toned flooring add an inviting warmth.

Kitchen island in grey kitchen

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

Breakfast nook

Breakfast nook in modern kitchen

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

At one end of the kitchen is a breakfast nook, again another casual dining area that looks out over the pool area. Large sliding doors create a seamless flow between outdoor and in, joining the kitchen with an outdoor dining area.


Pantry with mirrored tiles

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

In contrast to the cool, light colors of the kitchen, the stunning pantry is all about the deep, moodier hues. Because the space is obviously smaller, and not as heavily used as a kitchen would be, it can handle this darker color scheme and really stands out in the house as being the most dramatic space.

The metal-clad cabinetry is custom made and the splashback made up of antique mirrored tiles, which reflect the light around the space. 

Dining room

Dining room with wooden dining table and white chairs

(Image credit: Michelle Gerson Interiors)

A more formal dining room can be found between the kitchen and the pantry. 

Living areas

Modern grey living room

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

There are numerous living areas to choose from throughout the property – a formal living room, a family room, an upstairs sitting room and a sunroom. 

Modern grey living room

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

The main living room is filled with curves – curved armchairs, curved sofa, gorgeous layered curved coffee table, even the throw cushions are rounded. In contrast to all that softness, is the industrial-style steel fireplace that was designed to look like a vintage airplane.

Family room with white coffee table

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

Pops of color are brought into this neutral space with the artwork. Artwork features heavily throughout the home as a way out bringing in color – you'll find pieces by Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and Bev Fishman to name just a few. 

Living room with wallpaper

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

The fireplace is again the focus in the smaller, but perfectly formed, master sitting room. The colors running through the grey onyx mirror the scheme used in the rest of the room, with the pop of yellow for contrast. 

Sun room with patterned ceiling

(Image credit: Marco Ricco)

The playful shapes continue in the sunroom, where the marble-like patterns of the flooring and ceiling, clash and yet compliment the clean line of the coffee table and sofas.  

Book shelves in grey living room

(Image credit: Michelle Gerson Interiors)

Master bedroom

Grey bedroom

(Image credit: Michelle Gerson Interiors)

The light and airy color palette continues upstairs in the master bedroom. Layers of creams, white and pale greys create a lovely relaxed, tonal effect and all the textures give the room a modern rustic vibe. Again, it's the contemporary artwork that brings in the perfect amount of color and give the space an edge. 

Dressing table in modern bedroom

(Image credit: Michelle Gerson Interiors)

Master bathroom

White marble bathroom with walk in shower

(Image credit: Michelle Gerson Interiors)

While the master bathroom may look minimalist, there is in fact plenty of texture going on here. The floor tiles, shower tiles and wall tiles, although having the same pale colors running through them all bring a different finish to the room.

Bathroom with wooden cabinets and marble floors

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

The integrated sinks are made of a vanilla onyx that matches the warm tones of the gold accents. They sit atop a wooden fluted vanity that brings just more subtle textures into this minimalist, modern bathroom

Guest bedroom

Bedroom with pink artwork

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

The marble wallpaper used in the guest bedroom mirrors all the marble textured that can be found downstairs. Again, you can see how the modern artwork gives this neutral bedroom a touch of creativity and edge as well as add color.

Guest bathroom

White bathroom with wooden cabinetry

(Image credit: Michelle Gerson Interiors)

Warm woods and vanilla-toned marbles can be found in the guest bathroom too. The black hardware and lighting, plus the brass taps give the room a more contemporary feel. 

Pool house 

Pool house with white interior and surf board decor

(Image credit: Michelle Gerson Interiors)

It's in the pool house you will find that more classic beach house feel. Surfboards adorn the shiplap paneled walls and the blue and white scheme gives the rooms a fresh, holiday feel. 

Interior of Modern Zen pool house

(Image credit: Michelle Gerson Interiors)

Pool area

Swimming pool with sun loungers

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

The impressive pool area spans the whole length of the house, and can be easily accessed from all the downstairs living areas. Sun loungers and umbrellas run the length of the pool, and you'll find loungers built into the shallows too. 

Pool area of Modern Zen

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

An outdoor dining area can be found leading on from the kitchen.

Outdoor dining area with wooden furniture

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)
Hebe Hatton

Hebe is the Digital Editor of Livingetc; she has a background in lifestyle and interior journalism and a passion for renovating small spaces. You'll usually find her attempting DIY, whether it's spray painting her whole kitchen, don't try that at home, or ever changing the wallpaper in her hallway. Livingetc has been such a huge inspiration and has influenced Hebe's style since she moved into her first rental and finally had a small amount of control over the decor and now loves being able to help others make decisions when decorating their own homes. Last year she moved from renting to owning her first teeny tiny Edwardian flat in London with her whippet Willow (who yes she chose to match her interiors...) and is already on the lookout for her next project.