Subtly Sophisticated ..................... 28
More reclaimed wood—and less glitter—transitions a flashy 1980s party house into a comfortable retreat designed to fit its natural setting.
glitz, glam, and good times—and homes there reflected it. While the-shinier-the-better philosophy was chic then, design has, thankfully, moved on to a more comfortable and subtle aesthetic.
Interior designer John Bjørnen transformed one of these costumed jewels into a modern boho farmhouse for a New York family. “It was super dated,” he says. “There was a huge rounded wall between the entry/kitchen/living room, and the master bath was black plastic laminate with bright gold fixtures. Yowza!”
Still, the house had good bones and its location adjacent to a land preserve afforded privacy for its large lot. “The owners lived in it for the first year or so while we planned the renovation,” Bjørnen says.
Working within the existing footprint, Bjørnen reconfigured spaces to create a floor plan with equal spaces for family fun and adult entertaining. “They wanted a house that had a great flow for their two girls, dog, and friends to enjoy pool parties and cookouts,” Bjørnen says. “They wanted it stylish and sophisticated but understated and comfortable with surfaces that welcomed sand on your toes and a cocktail in hand.”
Bjørnen could envision the easygoing look the owners wanted because he knows the couple’s lifestyle. “I worked with them on two previous houses over the past 10 years. This house was a confluence of their past and present styles and the aesthetics they aspire to. Over the years, they have leaned cottage, traditional, modern, and farmhouse, so it was a fun challenge to marry those elements in a sensitive way,” he says.
To create an inviting exterior, Bjørnen stained the clapboard siding dark gray, replaced small wooden windows with larger metal ones, and added beachy taupeand-white awnings. Inside, “it’s the Hamptons, so blue is the classic choice,” Bjørnen says. “We modernized it by adding blacks and grays in ikat and ethnic prints.”
While the home has moved into the present, one thing hasn’t changed. It’s still all about having a good time—with “impromptu parties,” the homeowner says, that almost always turn into dance parties.
In the 1980s, the Hamptons were synonymous with over-the-top