Tour a Gracious Southampton Home



Traditional Southampton Home Meleski & Malkov

When Manhattanites Steve Markov and Jeff Meleski saw it, they knew they had to have it. Though the nondescript ranch measured only 675 square feet, it was smack-dab in Southampton Village and hidden at the end of a long drive—and came with a combined garage/pool house to boot. Originally the guesthouse to a larger Victorian estate and later parceled off as part of a separate half-acre lot, it was the kind of place that most house hunters would easily dismiss as a diminutive drive-by. But the couple saw pure potential. “We envisioned our own mini Hamptons compound,” says Meleski, “a private little oasis.”

One day in January 2010, around the time Markov, president of a trend-forecasting company, and Meleski, chief growth officer for a social media firm, closed on the house, they met designer Josh Greene, owner of the interior- and graphic-design firm Shagreene. All three were volunteering for God’s Love We Deliver, chopping vegetables and preparing meals for people with debilitating medical conditions. Markov and Greene started to talk about the tiny Southampton property, and somewhere over a stack of cucumber wedges, Greene signed on to decorate it.

“We had renovated many homes over the years,” Markov says, “but we needed Josh to ease us out of our comfort zone just a little bit.” To them, comfort means a healthy dose of Ralph Lauren–style accoutrements, of which there are still plenty in evidence in the new digs. Coincidentally, Greene formerly worked for the design titan, so he was well schooled in the general aesthetic Markov and Meleski gravitated toward.

Initially there was some concern that the couple would be forced to relinquish luxuries that an average-size interior would otherwise allow, but “above all, Steve and Jeff wanted a gracious home,” recounts Greene, “and we all agreed that bigger isn’t always better.” Remarkably, grand statements—the living area’s brass chandelier, the couple’s king-size bed, the his-and-his double bathroom sink—fit right in where allocated, with nary an errant shoehorn in sight. “Nowhere in the house does it feel cramped,” Greene says.

The home remained the same structurally, save for bumped-up ceilings throughout and the removal of several walls to broaden the layout and lend the tight space an unexpected airiness. “We created volume by raising the ceilings— especially by vaulting the portion over the living room—and eased flow with an open floor plan,” Greene explains.

Reclaimed vintage accents, such as the fireplace’s Victorian mantel and pocket doors that close off the bedroom, “give the home authenticity and character,” adds Meleski. (“If everything were purchased new, the place would’ve looked so odd,” says Greene.)

In the kitchen, rather than installing the expected island with space-saving bar stools, Greene chose an antique country-style wooden table with more versatile ladder-back chairs—all the more suited to summer get-togethers that spill out through the double doors onto the lawn. Full-size professional appliances, a deep farmhouse sink and a cleverly concealed washer/dryer make the small kitchen hum with five-starrestaurant efficiency.

As for the decor, Greene expertly layered color, pattern and texture in a quintessential Hamptons palette, ranging from varying shades of blue (navy, turquoise, robin’s egg) to washed-out whites (on bedding and handpainted kitchen cabinetry) and sandy browns (on floors and furniture). Metal finishes on all fixtures—from brass to chrome to oil-rubbed bronze—add shimmery accents throughout.

In turning an unexceptional guesthouse into a well-appointed weekend cottage, “Josh definitely maximized every square inch of space,” says Markov. “When we show up for the weekend,” Meleski adds, “we turn the key and enter Shangri-la.”

A version of this article appeared in the August 1 2011 issue of HC&G (Hamptons Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Small Wonder.

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Lovas Architects
Every project is a unique response to each client's lifestyle and programmatic needs as well as site characteristics and surrounding context. We create buildings that harmonize with their environment and dovetail into existing buildings when necessary. Styles are based in classical forms yet designed for a modern lifestyle. We work closely with our clients, to interpret their desires and are committed to providing each project, large or small, with the utmost in personal, specialized attention.

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Ben Krupinski Builder
Ben Krupinski Builder has been building luxury homes of the highest quality for over 30 years. From custom coastal, country and city residences to remodels and historic renovations, they are respected for their integrity and innovation by discerning clients, visionary architects and world-class designers. For projects of both modest and expansive scale, they work to exacting standards delivering consistent excellence through value engineering, deep knowledge and vast resources in the Hamptons, NYC and Connecticut.


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Yankee Custom Builder
Yankee Custom Builder’s priority is maintaining your original concept within budget and on schedule. YCB strives to make the process of building a home gratifying rather than overwhelming by providing clear communication and valuable product knowledge. This allows our clients to feel comfortable every step of the way. Because of our excellence in service, the majority of our business comes from architects & designers who feel confident in recommending us to their valued clients.

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