View a East Hampton Home with a Stunning Makeover



East Hampton Modern Makeover Exterior

When Boston-based entrepreneur Greg Wilson and his wife, Lisa, decided to buy a weekend place in East Hampton rather than the more expected Cape Cod or Nantucket, they considered just about every possibility for their family, which includes teenage daughters Caroline and Alexandra, two golden retrievers (also sisters), and a Havanese. Ultimately, they settled on a somewhat tattered circa-1950s house on a humble parcel in the middle of the village. “We like being able to walk to dinner or the grocery store,” says Greg, “and the girls love walking to the theater and Starbucks.” No strangers to home improvements, the couple planned to transform the dated rambler into something just right.

“I kind of talked Greg into it,” recalls Lisa Wilson. “I said, ‘Oh, we can fix it up. It’ll be great!’ And he agreed.” But like many a renovation project, the old place stood in the way of its new owners’ vision. “I realized after we started that no matter what we did, we were going to end up with an ugly little renovated 1950s house,” says Greg, “so I had the construction crew tear the whole thing down.” Instead of telling his wife, he sent her a photo of the .66-acre property with just the chimney standing in the middle of it.

East Hampton Modern Makeover Living Room

To create a new one-story house on the original footprint, the Wilsons hired architect Tom Pedrazzi and the design firm Foley & Cox, which had decorated a condo for the couple in 2007, at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston. The clients desired a low-maintenance home that was big enough to be comfortable, but not bigger than they needed. At around 3,000 square feet, the finished structure provides ample common spaces, a dreamy master suite, and two en suite bedrooms for the girls. At the center of the plan lies the dining room, flanked by a high-gloss all-white European-style kitchen and a double-height space the Wilsons call the family room.

“We were playing with surprises with this house,” recounts Foley & Cox principal Michael Cox. “From the outside, you expect the interiors to be much more traditional than they really are.” Adding to the modern appeal is a wow-factor wall of windows and glass doors at the gabled end of the family room. Framed in industrial-style black steel, it offers expansive views and easy access to the verdant backyard.

Lisa Wilson describes her style as a cross between the sophisticated simplicity of Calvin Klein and the layered tranquility of famed Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt, so “for this place, we went for a very clean, calm, neutral ground, experimenting with a lot of beautiful textures and weaves,” explains Cox. In addition to echt Hamptons materials like cedar shakes, tongue-and-groove battens, and rough-hewn recycled wood, Cox and his clients stepped up the contemporary mandate with accessories and materials such as a Lindsey Adelman chandelier in the dining room and ceramic tile flooring patterned to look like old timber. “I’ve got three dogs and two kids who have their friends over all the time,” says Lisa, “and I didn’t want to be constantly redoing wooden floors.”

On the recommendation of Foley & Cox co-founder Mary Foley, who retired last year, the Wilsons engaged landscape designer Joseph Tyree to create a planting scheme “without a lot of flowering things that would be weedy-looking when they weren’t in bloom,” Lisa says. Accordingly, Tyree focused on common shrubs that thrive in the area, along with one grand gesture: an allée of hornbeams that’s equal parts “sophisticated and refined,” Cox says. “The great satisfaction of this project came from creating exactly what the Wilsons asked for: a house that’s perfectly in tune with modern living.”

A version of this article appeared in the June 2019 issue of HC&G (Hamptons Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Simply Stunning.

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Landscape Spotlight

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Rosalia Sanni
Rosalia Sanni is an award-winning landscape designer whose approach strikes a balance between architecture, nature and people. Comprehensive services include master planning, construction, administration, furniture souring, and an open dialogue that often continues after completion. Rosalia believes that good design enhances people's lives profoundly, and should offer more than a collection of beautiful pictures. Landscapes should suit the people who inhabit them in a meaningful, fun and deeply personal way.

Rosalia Sanni Design

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Architect Spotlight

Consiglio Builders
Consiglio Builders is a luxury residential construction company located on the East End of Long Island. We have developed a unique method of residential construction in the Hamptons—we call it "The Considered Approach." It stems from our experience which demonstrates that meticulous planning and transparency throughout the process, combined with our expertise and emphasis on perfection, enable us to deliver consistently the best-constructed homes on time and within budget to our discerning clientele.


 

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James Merrell Architects 
From our perspective in the 21st century, all styles are historical. Even Modernism is now a century old. So, we are free to interpret, and interweave the minimal with the decorative to find new expressions for our own era. Our house celebrates this new design freedom. It brings a contemporary sensibility to the architectural covenants of this otherwise traditional neighborhood. Floor to ceiling glass on the ground floor, for instance, yields modern interior spaces. While above, divided windows sit comfortably in second floor dormers. And the style that results is both unique and timeless.


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Bates Masi + Architects
Bates Masi + Architects LLC, a full-service architectural firm with roots in New York City and the East End of Long Island for over 50 years, responds to each project with extensive research in related architectural fields, material, craft and environment for unique solutions as varied as the individuals for whom they are designed. The focus is neither the size nor the type of project but the opportunity to enrich lives and enhance the environment.

Bates+Masi Architects
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