A bayfront cottage in Hampton Bays gets a sophisticated boho makeover.
Sometimes less really is more, especially when the rear and side elevations of the house you’ve been tasked to decorate look on to marshlands and a bay. That was the interior designer Brittany Marom’s first reaction when the new owner of a nearly 3,000-square-foot modern ranch approached her about designing the interiors. Because the house was a recent build, the client didn’t want to redo the finishes or the flooring or touch any of the kitchen fixtures. The problem was, the place was a blank slate.
Marom lives and works in New York City’s Nolita neighborhood, but has summered in the Hamptons since she was a young girl. With a foot in both places, her style is an amalgam of downtown chic and beachy boho.
“Because the house is next to wetlands, no one can ever build on the adjacent land, so the place had good juju from the start,” she affirms. When Marom first visited the property, she felt it was important to play up the views and resolved to eschew any design scheme that would distract from them.
While another designer might have gone full-on minimalist, chilly interiors and all, Marom had a better idea. “I wanted to create a space that was super-cozy and quiet and contemplative,” she says. She accomplished this, in part, through a textural palette that included raffia, deep-toned wood, tactile fabrics, and comfortable yet sophisticated furniture. The resulting interiors are an object lesson in the evocation of mood through the art of knowing what to add and what to leave out.
The owner’s bedroom is a case in point. The big picture windows along the back wall open on to Flanders Bay. The client didn’t want to add anything that would obstruct the sightlines, but Marom pressed for billowing sheer curtains that trail on the ground. They give the space an ethereal feel and let the light in while also providing privacy. “At first my client was scared of window treatments, but once we installed them, she saw how dreamy they make the place and changed her mind.” Marom also covered a wall behind the Balinese-inspired bed from Restoration Hardware with a custom wallpaper ‘mural’ that references the view beyond the windows.
“The sunset in that room is amazing and I wanted the wall covering to reflect it,” she says, explaining that her client travels a lot and is “really drawn to printed textiles and hand-blocked prints.” An outsize chaise-and-a-half, custom upholstered in loose elephant-grey linen with a fringe, adds to the relaxed feel.
Marom is particularly proud of the reading nook in the open-plan living room, a favorite spot for relaxing and watching the sun go down while cocooned in Hans Wegner’s Halyard chair. “I love that chair,” Marom says. “It’s insanely comfortable. It reminds me of being on a boat.” She scored a leather and black iron footstool on the furniture resale website Chairish, and deployed Enzo Mario’s low double Fratello table for Driade as a bookshelf. Marom, who has ‘a thing for furniture on legs’, fell in love with the sculptural welded steel ones on that piece.
What comes through in all the rooms is the sense that the designer spent as much time on the careful selection of furniture as she did on the finishes. “I source a lot of Italian mid-century pieces as well as items of more recent vintage,” she says. “On this project it was really fun to bring furniture together from those different eras. Beachy, warm, cozy and chic were my watchwords.”