Raymond transformed the uninspired living room of this East Hampton home into a more open space with a selection of lighter pieces sporting more distinctive profiles.
Time is rarely our friend. It is never available when we need it, and when it is, it passes too quickly. It doesn’t help that the pandemic has twisted our days and weeks utterly out of shape. Still, we cannot afford to ignore it. Especially when there is a job to be done.
Like many designers, Todd Raymond is accustomed to enjoying a relatively reasonable window in which to execute a project. But when COVID-19 convinced a Manhattan-based couple to decamp to the Hamptons for the duration, he had to think fast. His clients wanted to get out of town sooner rather than later and also needed to be settled before their new baby arrived. While the four-month timetable he was given was tight, considering that he not only had to furnish the house but also make some architectural changes, Raymond took the challenge in stride. “You’re always up against time on any project, really,” he explains. “But we were more limited as to where we could source product because of the time crunch.”
The client’s new home began life as a builder’s spec house and had been a rental property in recent years. “It was pretty nondescript, and you can imagine the state it was in with tenants coming and going,” adds Raymond. “Our job was to come in and make it a little bit more appealing, a little more custom.” That included tackling the kitchen and bathrooms, and most importantly from where Raymond stood, transforming the primary living area from two spaces into one free-flowing zone.
The living room and family room shared a double-sided fireplace, but were separated by two sets of French doors. “We removed the doors, widened those openings and raised the bulkhead in the ceiling to maximize the feeling that these rooms were meant to be together,” Raymond describes. With the liberated fireplace now assuming a monolithic profile, Raymond mediated its presence by wrapping two-thirds of the structure in black marble shot through with white. The stone tames the scale and visually unites the two spaces.
When it came to specifying furniture, Raymond began as he would on any project, asking his clients to share some images that would give him a clue as to the look that best reflected their taste and the way they live. “After that,” admits Raymond, “they pretty much let me go to town.”
Knowing that they don’t entertain too much and simply wanted a comfortable family home, Raymond exercised a sensible restraint, sourcing pieces that possess distinctive personalities but don’t demand attention. In the living room, the Hans Olsen “Gesture” chairs and the 529 Rio Table by Charlotte Perriand are certainly chic, but when sharing the space with a baby grand piano, they seem like family, not iconic design pieces. A custom, French mattress-style sofa in the family room leaves no doubt that this is the place to kick back after a day by the pool. And who’s watching the clock then?
Photography by Adrian Gaut.
For more like this East Hampton Home be sure to check out the refined renovation of this Carnegie Hill home.
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