The keys to creating a restful retreat? They are simpler than you think.
The keys to creating a charming, restful haven are easier than you think.
“Even if we come out here for only 24 hours, we still feel relaxed and re-energized,” Lien Do says of the Hamptons cottage she shares with her husband, Patrick Hogan, and their three children Connor, Aiden and Elaine. Lien and her husband have been regular visitors to this picturesque group of villages just outside of New York City for many years. “We first shared homes with other single couples, and we really fell in love with the tranquility and the beautiful beaches,” Lien explains, “There’s something about the smell of the privet hedges in bloom that is just gorgeous, and the light, and the birds. You hear the birds, which you don’t hear in the city.”
Lien and Patrick loved the quaint character of the home that dates to the 1940s. They made some big changes to make room for their growing family. “[We] took off the roof and added another master bedroom to the second floor, gutted the kitchen and made it into a big kitchen and adjoining family room.”
Shawn Leonard, an architect out of Southampton, and Brian McGuinness, a local builder, assisted with the task of transforming the home into something akin to a Nantucket-style cottage. “What we really like about the house is [that] it’s small,” Lien says, “It’s not a gargantuan house, but it has a lot of private areas. Off to the right there’s a bedroom, off to the left there’s a bedroom, and there’s outdoor access from the back of the house.”
RENOVATING FOR TWO LOVES
A big priority for Lien was the kitchen. “I love to cook and I wanted to be able to cook looking out into the backyard; that was always my dream, that I would be preparing and chopping the food and looking out at my garden.” She redid all the flowers around the home to create what she refers to as “kind of an English perennial garden” that would flower from April through September. “I want to see color everywhere,” she says of what she describes as a “continuing project.” In addition to a mix of colorful flowers, the backyard also houses a swing set and a trampoline that are popular with her kids.
Living by the coast, as the family does, the water is a strong influence on Lien’s décor. The blues, greens and whites throughout the home create a beach feel echoed in paintings of Nantucket and nearby Georgica Beach and other nautical influences.
But Lien’s accessories draw from other, more unexpected sources. The home is peppered with artwork that includes Balinese paintings from Tokyo, print work from Vietnam and a local artist’s watercolor of an 18th-century house that is now a restaurant frequented by Lien and her family.
Even though the home has the appearance of a classic summer residence characteristic of the
“What we really like about the house is [that] it’s small,” Lien says, “It’s not a gargantuan house, but it has a lot of private areas. Off to the right there’s a bedroom, off to the left there’s a bedroom, and there’s outdoor access from the back of the house.”
Hamptons, Lien and her family visit frequently throughout the year. “We come out here all the way through November,” she says, “We spend Thanksgiving here and March and April if it’s not deathly cold. We light fires, and it’s really a warm house in the winter, so it’s not just a summer house.”
“The kitchen and the family room are the heart of the home,” Lien notes, explaining why these are preferred indoor areas of the house for her family. “I like it because it’s a house I can see growing old in,” Lien says. “My favorite place is to sit in the back of the garden on a bench at the end of the yard. From there I can see my children playing and watch the light hit the garden in the early evening. It’s just very peaceful and quiet.”
“I love to cook and I wanted to be able to cook looking out into the backyard; that was always my dream, that I would be preparing and chopping the food and looking out at my garden.”
PIECE OF THE PAST. The chairs surrounding the dining room table were assembled by the previous owner, which Lien believes adds more character.
NAUTICAL NOTES. Light wood flooring,white cabinets and countertops mix with hints of blue in the décor. The sleeker finishes, modern chairs and glass pendants adda nautical vibe.
|OPPOSITE| COZY COMFORT. The back family room is all about relaxed textures. The Belgian linen window coverings have aneasy swag that complements theFrench chairs.
|ABOVE| BLOSSOMING STYLE. Her daughter Elaine’s room is equipped with twin beds to accommodate friends staying overnight. A shabby and chic armchair fits right in with the young-girl motif but will work in the room when her style matures too.
|RIGHT| BEACH CHIC. Lien wanted to create a sense of luxurious “beachy” calm using all white and aquamarine. The French doors lead to a balcony overlooking the backyard.
LUSH AND LAYERED. Aside from enhancing the natural surroundings, hydrangea bushes around the pool area also help to minimize the fence.