Tour a Vibrant Summer Escape in Bridgehampton
Two summers ago, interior designer Sasha Bikoff was driving down Ocean Road in Bridgehampton when she noticed a house being built on a one-acre property with private beach access. “It was a contemporary take on a 1980s Miami-style house,” recalls Bikoff. “A lot of modern homes in the Hamptons feel so cold, but this place was fun and beachy.”
Bikoff happened to be on the hunt for a new Hamptons home for her mother, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was looking for a quiet, restful retreat, so she decided to take a look. The designer walked right in and started talking to the project’s architect, Mehran Talaie, of McDonough & Conroy Architects. “He was from Tehran, and my mom was from Tehran,” Bikoff recounts. “He designed this home with a very Persian flair to it, meaning it was perfect for entertaining—and Persians love to entertain. And he even had a spot for a piano. My mom was a pianist.” That was all it took for Bikoff to convince her mother to buy the 10,000-square-foot abode.
Once the sale was made, the designer got straight to work reupholstering vintage pieces that she had inherited from her grandparents, such as a Milo Baughman sofa (updated with a Christian Lacroix fabric) and a Vladimir Kagan chair and ottoman (Pierre Frey). “I wanted to respect their silhouettes, but repurpose them with more exciting, current fabrics that would go with the vibe of the house,” says Bikoff, whose design m.o. was to instill a tropical energy that conjured a heady mix of the 1960s and Carnival. “If I had to define my style, it would be a combination of Gauguin’s Tahitian Post-Impressionist paintings, Pop art, and Brazil.”
A fitting statement, as Bikoff’s love for art history and her fine arts background are in evidence throughout the house, from the 30 sketches of fruit that hang in the living room (she found them during a scavenging trip to the Brimfield Flea Market in Massachusetts) to her own works on the second-floor landing. For Bikoff, art and decorating are one and the same. “When I take on a space, I do it in the same way I paint a painting. I’m doing what I love, and I make it work.”
In the house’s seven bedrooms, Bikoff decorated with the idea that each would represent a different beach moment. In her mother’s bedroom, for example, she chose Flavor Paper’s Shimmer, a non-repeating photograph of light hitting ocean water, and 1970s Roger Rougier shell lamps to create the essence of an Aegean escape. For guests who aren’t staying over, they can at least expect to enjoy a leisurely summer meal while sitting on vintage wooden shell-back chairs in the dining room, savoring fresh sea bass that Bikoff has reeled in herself. “The chairs are very Hollywood Regency meets Palm Beach,” she says.
Bikoff’s mother passed away last fall, but the decorator believes that the home’s buoyant style and energy helped her through her illness, and that decorating the house was a form of treatment in its own right. “She said it’s why she kept fighting as long as she did,” Bikoff says. “Interior design has a special kind of power. A space can really have an impact on your life.”
A version of this article appeared in the June 2016 issue of HC&G (Hamptons Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Tropical Punch.