HOUSE OF THE MONTH

A peek into the beau­ti­ful New York home of renowned in­te­rior de­signer Vi­cente Wolf - who is also an ac­com­plished dec­o­ra­tor, pho­tog­ra­pher, fur­ni­ture de­signer, shop owner and the au­thor of four books

The Ideal Home and Garden - - Contents - IM­PRES­SIONS: BENOY SE­BAS­TIAN IMAGES: VI­CENTE WOLF

De­signer Vi­cente Wolf’s beau­ti­ful sea fac­ing home

There’s a house on the coast of Mon­tauk, New York, which is ca­pa­ble of trans­port­ing you to ex­otic des­ti­na­tions like Bali, Namibia, and even Mada­gas­car. A de­sir­able home, which is filled with trea­sured me­men­tos gath­ered by the globe-trot­ting de­signer Vi­cente Wolf. In the en­try­way, a Cam­bo­dian sculp­ture greets you; in the din­ning room a Bud­dha head. Wolf ’s travel so­journs have in­flu­enced his sen­si­bil­i­ties - “I bring the travel ex­pe­ri­ences in­side, he says, “whether by us­ing the colours of the Sa­van­nas in Africa or the fab­rics worn by the Ma­sai tribe in Kenya.”

Ini­tially, Wolf ’s plan was just to build a third floor atop the ex­ist­ing two-storey house to con­tain a new master suite of­fer­ing spec­tac­u­lar ocean views. And, as many of the home’s fin­ishes dated back from the late 80’s, he de­cided to re­paint the en­tire in­te­ri­ors and re­place the shin­gle sid­ing as well. It’s a sub­tle, yet sig­nif­i­cant change, with the walls and ceil­ings, pre­vi­ously fin­ished in white lac­quer, made even brighter and shinier. The use of nat­u­ral el­e­ments are ev­i­dent through­out the house, in the form of colour pal­ette - lots of greys, blues, and tau­pes - and the fur­nish­ings, an eclec­tic mix of mod­ern pieces, an­tiques, and hand­crafted in­dige­nous works, many fash­ioned from wood or other or­ganic ma­te­ri­als. In the bed­room, for ex­am­ple, a teak bed cus­tom-made in Bali is off­set by a knoll chair and ot­toman

up­hol­stered in beige linen, a quin­tes­sen­tial Wolf pair­ing. Con­trast­ing ob­jects, images and ideas of shapes, eras, and prove­nance re­cur ev­ery­where in the home; be it an Eames side chair next to a 19th cen­tury English ta­ble or a sleek mar­ble-top cock­tail ta­ble op­po­site a vin­tage In­dian ac­cent ta­ble. “What’s in­ter­est­ing about the house,” Wolf says,

“is that it reads as mod­ern and com­fort­able, but then you dis­cover all the un­usual things around it.” These range from Ira­nian prayer beads to Ethiopian fig­urines. While a lot of the pieces are new to the decor, many were al­ready fa­mil­iar to Wolf, who amassed the ma­jor­ity of them while on pro­fes­sional scout­ing trips. He says, “When I buy on my trav­els, it’s gen­er­ally for a job or to be sold in my show­room.”

The mav­er­ick de­signer fur­ther

men­tions, “There’s a yin and yang that flows through­out the house, it gives the place a vi­brant en­ergy.” An­other as­pect that you can­not miss out is the tweak­ing of the land­scap­ing, which was sub­stan­tially pruned to open up the views and also to un­der­score Wolf ’s gar­den­ing tal­ents. “It still feels very nat­u­ral and beachy, but now you can re­ally see the wa­ter,” says the de­signer. Though, Wolf ini­tially was not keen on mak­ing the changes, he re­alised that they’re ac­tu­ally in keep­ing with the sense of sym­me­try that pre­vails across the prop­erty. A case in point is the swim­ming pool, which Wolf de­vised in the late 90’s. A 20 square foot set neatly within a 40 foot stone sur­round. As Wolf ob­serves, “When walls and corners line up, it gives ev­ery­thing an air of peace and calm.”

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