Northwest Woods Retreat
It’s always interesting when an acclaimed interior designer works with an equally renowned architect. In the case of designer Kerry Delrose, and architect Alfredo De Vido, the “collaboration” occurred 30 years after the latter built the house.
The architect’s wood and glass boxes were “very modern and Asian influenced. He was very progressive for the time.” Delrose, who is also known for his clean modern lines, moved from Sag Harbor into the East Hampton house in 2005. “I wanted the privacy and serenity of woods,” he says of the property that was built in a grove of rare white pines. The exquisite gardens surrounding the house were another selling point.
First, a bit about Delrose. Principal of the Delrose Design Group, the designer has “worked internationally in Australia, Europe and Dubai as well as every corner of the U.S.” His residential clients include hedge fund managers while his corporate clients have included hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental and Baccarat. His work has been featured in House & Garden, Elle Décor, LUXE and House Beautiful.
There had been multiple additions on the house, throughout the decades. Most notably was what is now the living room, a grand affair with a super high pitched ceiling, tall windows and a big stone fireplace at one end. In his typical fashion, Delrose hung large-scale pieces over the fireplace: a nine-foot tall mirror and, above that, gigantic resin deer antlers.
The room, which he uses mostly for entertaining, is separated into three sitting areas. Upon entry, down three steps and onto the leather floor, is an enclave with a pair of Barcelona chairs and a vintage Hermes coffee table. Near the fireplace are a pair of handsome Billy Baldwin slipper chairs covered in caramel Madagascar cloth.
Beyond that, then rest of the living room “is a Ralph Lauren explosion,” says the designer. From that brand’s Modern Penthouse collection there are two sofas, two chaises, a half dozen nickel floor lamps and leather table lamps. One aspect that is decidedly not RL, is a pair of Japanese linen panels framed in bronze. “Unusual objects and innovative applications are a signature of my work.”
His biggest change took place in the downstairs master suite, in which he both sleeps and uses as an office. “It was heavy,” he says. “Velvet curtains and Roman busts.” He stripped the wallpaper, darkened the floors to a matte ebony and gutted the dated bathroom, which is now “a limestone box.”
A hallway provides a gallery for his favorite artistic medium: photographs. Especially black and white images that reflect his love of a palette of blacks, whites and grays. Among the pictures displayed are a Montauk surfer by Peter Beard and a shot of revelers on a boat by Howard Roffman.
In the dining room, with its 30-foot ceilings, he covered the walls in a heavy beige Madagascar cloth from Donghia. He abhorred the yellow brick fireplace, so painted it a chic black. A “spectacular four-feet-wide photo of horses in Iceland” dominates the room. It is the work of Emmy-Award winning TV producer Frank Valentini, whose East Hampton home Delrose designed.
But it is the sunroom that is the designer’s favorite space. With its pickled pine walls and oodles of glass, he says, “In winter it looks like a snow globe.” He has furnished it with an original Saarinen table and a Bielecky Brothers sofa. A Moroccan lantern hangs from the pitched glass ceiling. He spends many an evening in front of the room’s fireplace, glass of red wine in hand.
While it might seem that the house is formal, that is decidedly not the case. “My litmus test is that everyone should be able to sit everywhere in bathing suits. Your home shouldn’t be like a Fabergé egg.
Delrose is currently working with a client building a house on a glorious piece of waterfront in North Haven. “Maybe this will be the next place I’ll live,” he says.