There's no sweeter escape from busy city life than a beachy Hamptons hideaway that doubles as the perfect getaway for a relaxing retreat from the city or an intimate destination for entertaining friends and family. That's exactly what interior design writer Will Taylor of Bright.Bazaar and his husband Toby Willis found with their 1940s small Cape Cod style cottage in Southhampton. The 1600 square feet Hamptons retreat is a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house the couple converted into a more luxurious two-bedroom, two-bathroom home.
"We wanted to make the beach cottage a tonic from our busy lives in New York City," says Taylor, who lives with his husband in Manhattan's Upper West Side. "Our NYC apartment is more minimal and Scandinavian in design style, which we love, but we felt like the house was a good opportunity to take a different approach, so we created a more casual cosy, and comfortable interior out there." One Kings Lane Studio designers, including lead designer Sally Gotfredson, teamed up with Taylor to help design his elevated vacation home.
The Hamptons house boasts deep rich hues, midcentury accent pieces, and chinoiserie details. "Since Will had just moved in right when we installed, I didn't want it to scream new," recounts Gotfredson. "I tried to pepper in as much vintage as possible to give it a really lived-in feel. In general, we layered a lot of texture, and there was a mix of pieces that Will and Toby have brought with them from their travels, and fun new accessories."
Head below to step inside Will Taylor's sophisticated, light-drenched Hamptons home.
Taylor describes his style as laid-back coastal meets English heritage with a hint of Scandinavian. "I've always been eclectic with my design style," he admits. "It's where the 'Bazaar' in my blog name, Bright.Bazaar, came from."
"The house was completely renovated and nearly every room went back to the studs," says Taylor. "Several walls and doors have been moved, and dropped beams were raised to create streamlined open spaces."
"Downstairs we decided to go with a classic blue and white palette—it's a beach cottage after all—plus blue has long been my favorite color," admits Taylor. "I love that it's so versatile and you can keep layering different shades of blue on blue and it still feels fresh."
The flooring is a hardwood European oak that they sources from Madera Trade in Brooklyn. "With the construction stage completed, Toby and I chose all of the wall finishes from paint to shiplap to wallpaper, etc. and the fabric for the window treatments that run throughout the property. Once this was completed, we worked with Sally at The Studio at OKL to pick our furnishings."
Taylor says that he and Willis worked with a custom steelmaker in Brooklyn to create custom steel and glass French doors. "We also wanted these doors to help bring more natural light as we'd also removed a window to allow for the fireplace niche to be built along one of the living room walls."
Every piece in the home is completely new. "As we only emigrated from the U.K. to America a few years ago, we are still building up our arsenal of furniture and décor," says Taylor. "Plus, we're keeping our NYC apartment which has a totally different aesthetic to the beach house, so we didn't want to take any pieces out from the apartment to the house. This is what made it perfect for us to partner with One Kings Lane, as they have such a great assortment and selection of furnishings for a more traditionally designed property."
They completely redesigned and renovated the kitchen. "I'm particularly proud of the work we did in the kitchen as it's the first time I've designed a kitchen from the ground up, choosing everything from the cabinetry, the colors, the tile, the countertops, the lighting, hardware, and so on," describes Taylor. "It was kind of a nerve-wracking design process because you have to pick all of the elements for the kitchen without ever seeing them all together in the space until they get installed. I remember walking into the kitchen for the first time and being so relieved at how beautifully it all came together."
"For the master bedroom, we were keen to do something unexpected: Toby and I knew from the outset that we didn't want to create a whole house of blue and white, especially as we wanted the house to feel livable year-round," notes Taylor. "So we opted to paint the master bedroom in a rich shade of Goodwin Green. The rich green feature wall is the main anchor of the master bedroom space. My reason for choosing to paint the wall behind the bed in an accent color was simple: Impact. I knew that by highlighting this wall in the space it would make a feature out of the architectural shapes at play."
"The house is a traditional Cape Cod that has been extended at the back with a shed dormer roof to create a full height ceiling along the back of the house upstairs," describes Taylor. "Rather than try to disguise the dormers, I was keen to embrace their architectural shape."
"Each piece is truly a standout and selected from one of our most amazing brands, vintage and new," says Gotfredson. "It was super fun working with Will and seeing his interpretation of our One Kings Lane look. He was drawn to the classic yet masculine pieces that you could see staying around for generations."