Designer Young Huh Embraces Spontaneity In This Beach-Front Home

Sometimes a house is more than a home. Sometimes, it represents something a little less straightforward, like a renewing second wind, a long, drawn-out exhale, or an ode to the season—summer. And just like a whimsical summer poem, this beach-front second home for four in Mantoloking, New Jersey sings the dawdling delights of life.

The interior, by New York City designer Young Huh, is elevated and luxurious without feeling disconnected to its breezy and idle coastal surrounds. Defined by an effortless mix of countless and widely-varied colors, textures and patterns, the space is an exciting and unhurried exploration. “With the number of different patterns and colors, one would think we’re working within maximalism, but it’s only the faintest nod in that direction,” says Huh.

In the great room, minimalist trees and birds dance up the walls on a paper by Fromental. A custom green velvet sofa, exposed wood armchairs from Studio Van Den Akker, side tables in Alpha Workshop’s stylish Negoro Nuri treatment, and Holly Hunt’s Gazelle cocktail table sit atop a gorgeous Chinese silk rug. A myriad of colors and patterns are brought in with throw pillows.

From iconic designs by Fornasetti to over-scaled stripes and geometrics with a twist, this fun and expertly-liberal pattern play feels less rigid; and thus, more in keeping with the “rules” of summer. The living room seating group includes ten different mixed-and-matched patterns, and even more colors.

Fornasetti’s Acquario wall covering is a stirring backdrop to a desk and chair in custom colors from The New Traditionalists.

Color and Huh make a formidable pas de deux—she broke the internet with her vivid 2019 Kips Bay Decorators Show House space—and the resulting palettes are unrelenting in thoughtfulness and curiosity. Rather than selecting hues that are overtly coastal or summery, Huh took an equally successful road less traveled in favor of greens, reds, rusts and taupes. Interestingly, very few neutrals are employed yet somehow the rooms feel toned-down and balanced.

In the master bedroom, Maya Romanoff’s Weathered Metals wallcovering in luxe red is a unique texture with metallic pigmenting and surrounds a custom iron bed and custom chaise lounge. Softening the space and making reference to the natural world, the airy curtain fabric depicts cherry blossoms and is by Fortuny.

Unsympathetic to agendas and to-do lists, this home embraces spontaneity in summer living. The great room is designed for on-a-whim breakout activities, like afternoon chess on the burled-wood game table and evening juleps circling the baby grand piano.

Off the back deck, where the smells of salt and banana boat linger, the sparkling crested waters reflect more than a home. They reflect a place where style and function come together swimmingly for barefoot Sundays, sunset sundaes, and off-the-cuff summer kicks.

Photography by John Bessler.

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