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Holidays In The Hamptons

All-Seasons Design Trends Make 2018 The Coziest Year Yet
By Heather Senison - December 5, 2018

The eastern tip of Long Island was once synonymous with seashells and white linens. Today, however, it is transforming into a year-round retreat, with proof in everything from the late-October pumpkin-pickers to all-weather approaches in home construction. Once closed-up bungalows now resemble the New England cottages depicted in Christmas stories, filled with chatter and soft flames aglow.

“Everyone you talk to that lives here, our favorite time of year is the fall and winter,” local designer Debra Geller explained. “It thins out the herd, which lets you appreciate what the Hamptons is really about. It’s about the beauty around you.”

Here are some design trends Geller and other experts are using to keep Hamptonites warm and cozy during the holidays this year:


Summer ocean breezes are treasured among Hamptonites, but those salty winds can become menacing in the winter. To protect his clients from the chilly gusts, architect Blaze Makoid turns outdoor spaces into protective nooks. “The winds tend to come more from the northwest in the winter and you have to take that into account,” he said. “Part of it is sitting, or locating, spaces that are sheltered.” His firm recently designed one beachfront house in a U-shape, with a windowed room in the middle and an outdoor courtyard that is insulated by three barriers. “So in the summer they’re on the porch in front, and in the winter they shift their outdoor living space to the courtyard,” Makoid said. “You can still see through [the house] because it’s all glass, but now you’re protected from the wind that’s coming off the water.”


For days warm enough to hang outside, designer Alicia Murphy makes porches feel like interior spaces by furnishing them with indoor sofas and materials. She centers them around outdoor televisions and fire pits or fireplaces, to create a living room outside. “There’s a lot of tricks that we’re trying to make these rooms user-friendly in an area that doesn’t have arguably the best climate,” she said. Inside, Hamptons great rooms lend themselves well to summer soirees, but families cuddle up in dens during the winter, Makoid noted. His firm is, “designing spaces where the kitchen and the TV space are sort of the same room, so people might be cooking and baking, and somebody else might be watching a movie, but they’re still together,” he said.


“The worst thing is when you walk into a beach shack in the winter,” Murphy asserted. To make her clients’ homes more appropriate for the season, she plays with warm colors and thicker textures. “The materials that you use to upholster, it’s no longer just white linen,” She said. “In the winter we’ll put a fur pillow and a velvet pillow, that make more sense during the colder weather.” Geller, meanwhile, seeks inspiration from nature, even when it’s hibernating. Her methods include decorating interiors with natural elements, such as hearth stones with everyone’s names painted on them, and exterior landscaping that stays green. “In planters and containers, you can put an evergreen in them and little fairy lights on them so they’re lit up and pretty,” she said. “You want to make sure when you look outside it’s beautiful, no matter what time of year it is.”

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