Tour Decorator Richard Keith Langham's Party-Ready Guest Cottage



A 19th-century settee and cupboard hold court in the corners, while an oversize Noguchi-style lantern hangs above a Crate and Barrel coffee table and wicker chairs.Summer in the Hamptons often means a calendar chock-full of events and parties from Westhampton to Montauk, but Richard Keith Langham rarely has to stray too far from home. Virtually every weekend, the designer kicks open the doors of his sprawling house in Water Mill to welcome friends and family from as near as New York City and as far as his native Alabama. In addition to the main residence, a Victorian beauty built in 1884, Langham’s compound includes a charming guest cottage, a pagoda-shaped pavilion overlooking a square pool, and an outdoor dining platform under a huge maple tree. The place is “like a real old-fashioned summerhouse,” explains Langham, who forgos both air conditioning and heat and confesses to holing up frequently in the guest cottage, formerly the garage, to spend quality time with his visitors. “I live out there,” he says, reflecting fondly on the space he calls “my little house.”

The cottage’s interiors are decked out with white wicker, finds from antiques shops, and a rich blue cotton dhurrie from his Langham & Fine Rugs collection. The pool pavilion—which he designed from the ground up—oozes Palm Beach, with green-cushioned bamboo-motif seating pieces, pillows covered in Matouk terry-cloth towels, a checkerboard floor, and a Kelly green bar cart, always stocked with chilled rosé. “It’s just so nice to enjoy the outdoors and each other,” the decorator says. “Last summer, I had 58 house guests—it was almost like a hotel! But I always keep things easy and relaxed.”

A version of this article appeared in the August 1 2015 issue of Hamptons Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Party at Keith's.

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