Scandinavian design is what influenced this calm and contemporary holiday home
This light-filled getaway in the Hamptons has a pure aesthetic that is brilliant in more ways that one
A tired 30-year-old property was turned into a Scandi-inspired modern home by Interior designers Jessica Helgerson and Chelsie Lee, based in Portland, Oregon.
The house is a weekend and holiday retreat for the owners, Suzy and Chris, and their three children. The couple had long dreamt about having a refuge in the Hamptons, a chic seaside area where New Yorkers go to escape city life.
Located in the small beach town of Amagansett and spread over two floors, this 279-square-metre home, which has a peaceful backyard that hosts different birds, trees and plants and backs up to hiking trails, offers the owners exactly that escape.
To turn this vision into a reality the property needed to undergo a huge transformation...
The couple purchased the house for its exceptional location and for its privacy, but the 1990s aesthetic was clearly in need of an update.
‘The biggest challenge was getting the exterior to be more attractive,’ says Jessica. ‘To be really frank, this house was not an architectural gem in any way and the exterior elevations were really pretty unattractive. But – and this is in large thanks to local architect TBD Design Studio – by making a few key moves, repainting it all white, adding a front porch, and changing some windows, we were able to get them to a much better place.’
Inside, the original oak floors were retained and bleached, while wooden planks and beams were added to the ceilings to bring more character to the interiors.
A minimal approach to new joinery and cabinetry was kept and all the spaces were reorganized. ‘We had many objectives with this project, but one of them was to create a layout with a lot of space for reading and relaxing,’ says Chelsie.
‘The property itself was originally very Scandinavian in style and we took our cues for furnishings from our stylish clients, incorporating Danish pieces with some more modern touches,’ says Jessica.
Some elements, such as the kitchen island and the desk, were custom designed, then made in Jessica’s hometown of Portland and sent to the East Coast.
The new kitchen-diner now occupies what was the old porch, and the staircase was opened up, while two bedrooms, one bathroom and two living areas on each floor, with comfortable built-in sofas, were added.
Because the light-filled house serves as a serene getaway, the palette is restrained yet warm, with pale natural timber, white-painted wood, handmade white tiling, neutral natural leathers, nubby wools, marble and brass throughout.
With a mix of timeless furniture and lighting combined with textures and a few artworks, the new interior spaces are welcoming, calm and comfortable.
Here, every member of the family takes the time to do the things they love, at their own pace and with no rush, while also sharing quality and joyful moments together in their home away from home.
Protected from the sun by a plant-covered trellis, the outdoor dining area is a haven of peace.
‘This house reflects the personality of its inhabitants,’ says Jessica. ‘It is refined yet it doesn’t take itself too seriously.’
See more: a Scandi-inspired lake house that's a lesson in blending ultra-modern and quirky vintage style
A French trilingual editor, content creator, and interior stylist living in Southern California. A compulsive reader of design, architecture, and lifestyle magazines, and an avid traveler, Karine lives and breathes interiors and is inspired by designers Nika Zupanc, Charles and Ray Eames, and Marcel Wanders; architects Luis Barragán and Frank Gehry; artists Gerhard Richter, Beatriz Milhazes, and Anish Kapoor. For the past 12 years, Karine has been contributing to international design, architecture, and fashion publications including Architectural Digest, ELLE Decor, Vogue Living, Design Anthology and MilK Decoration, among many others.
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