A beach house can be many things: a much needed escape from city life, an opportunity to be more playful in your styling, and the perfect place to host summer BBQs and pool parties. This 7,400 square foot East Hampton beach house, designed by Susana Simonpietri of the Brooklyn-based design firm, Chango & Co. is all of those things and more.
The design firm was approached by an NYC family of four to help give their newly constructed beach home a little more personality. The team started from scratch as the house was completely unfurnished at the time.
"The home had elements of farmhouse and modern, but it felt very much like a spec house," Simonpietri says. "There was so much of it that felt prescribed and formulaic. Our design decisions had to do with drawing the eye to the things we did love about the home, and taking the focus away from what we found less appealing. We added surprises that made the home feel more intimate and personal to add warmth and life to the home."
Keep scrolling to see how the Chango & Co. team transformed this space into a relaxed and modern Hamptons home.
The home was designed with hosting guests in mind, but the goal was to keep the space inviting and restful too. The living room is comfortable and minimal thanks to a neutral palette and soft textures, but there's still plenty of space and surfaces for easy entertaining.
"We wanted a space that felt serene and comfortable while being used by four or twelve," Simonpietri says. "The family, who planned to use this as a summer home, wanted to be able to entertain large family gatherings and weekends, so we set off to create spaces that would not feel crowded with lots of little ones running around in them."
"We brightened up the dining area with two large shelving units, filling them with bright art and accessories, including a mini bar (and lots of rosé)," Simonpietri says. "Moroccan runners were placed throughout the hallways, entryway, and mudroom to soften the floors and tie together the beachy, bohemian feel."
The Chango & Co. team had a completely blank slate, so they chose everything from the lighting to the wallcoverings and of course, the furnishings.
Our favorite surprise design element in this house? The vintage canoe that hangs over the kitchen and dining space.
"We had a beautiful vintage canoe sitting in storage just waiting to find the right home," Simonpietri says. "Immediately upon entering the shared kitchen and dining room and peering up towards the 22 foot ceilings, we knew it would be the perfect 'wow' factor of the main space."
The master bedroom is kept soft and cozy with lots of neutrals and an emphasis on soothing art.
"Our favorite accessory in the master bedroom is the olive tree," Simonpietri said. "With such a light-filled, open space, we felt it would capitalize on the natural elements while bringing a sense of texture to the modern lines of the room."
"We wanted a home that was comfortable for all members of the family (little and big) and that felt appropriate for the beach while still being modern and cool," Simonpietri says.
The earthy wallpaper in the child's bedroom plus the addition of the hanging chair makes for a beachy room without feeling cheesy. The flamingo on the wall adds an extra playful touch.
This playful bookcase is a master class in "shelfie" design. The mix of trinkets, toys, books, art, and even a neon sign make this area engaging and oh-so-fun.
Though many designers choose a simple or muted palette in young children's rooms, Chango & Co. decided to amp up the color, giving the family a space the children can love for years to come, even as they grow up.
"We wanted to keep the home muted and infuse color in the kids' spaces," Simonpietri says. "We knew it was going to be a more playful space, so we used lots of natural materials and finishes that brought a brighter tone to the home and overall atmosphere."
Guest rooms are a must when a family emphasizes their love of entertaining. This warm and inviting space relies on lots of texture, muted tones, with a quirky wallpaper to tie it all together.
"We rely heavily on Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, but the real direct inspiration for each project comes from the family that is to inhabit the home," Simonpietri says. "We have been very fortunate to work with really beautiful families over the years and they do bring all of the inspiration cues to the projects."
The biggest challenge of this project was pulling it all together in only six months.
"As most summer homes go, the family was hoping to settle in before the start of summer to begin utilizing their getaway from the city, and we were excited and eager to make that happen," Simonpietri says.
The quick timeline didn't faze this team who lives by the mantra, "There is no try. There is only do."
"In the world of interior design, things will get tough often while crunching to get a project done, and in my eyes, failure is simply not an option," Simonpietri says. "We simply get it done."