Inside Molly Sims' East End Home
A primer to looking and feeling your best, The Everyday Supermodel is a fitting title for Molly Sims’ new book, due out next spring from HarperCollins. It also perfectly describes her life on the East End. The model and actress has lived and worked in Paris and New York, appeared in countless Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, and starred in more than 100 episodes of the television series Las Vegas. In one year alone, she took 77 red-eyes between New York and California to attend acting classes in L.A. But despite her frenetic schedule, the Kentucky native has found comfort and simplicity in the Hamptons retreat she has created with her husband, producer Scott Stuber, and designer Dan Scotti, where she can indulge in such everyday thrills as picking raspberries and watching her young son take his first steps.
“My life kind of changed when I met my husband and had a baby—now they come first,” says Sims, whose house reflects her new worldview, with deep, soft couches, a lounge-y media room, and plenty of open space for her son’s Bubble Mower and Froggy Bulldozer. In fact, one of the directives she gave Scotti was to “imagine kids dripping red Popsicles all over.” No designer wants to hear that, but fortunately Scotti is the Swiss Army knife of East End house mavens. A lawyer turned designer, he not only designs and builds homes, but also creates meticulous interiors, furnishing them with a carefully curated mix of industrial and mid-20th-century modern pieces. While building the home, he was focused on integrating it into the neighborhood of two-story farmhouses and small Capes, so it looks smaller from the outside than it actually is. The traditional shingle-style abode is beachy, but never predictable. “You won’t find any glass lamps filled with shells in here,” Scotti says.
Sims had previously owned a home in the Hamptons for 13 years, but found that it no longer suited her needs once she was married and had a child. The minute she stepped inside the house Scotti had built, she fell in love with the high ceilings and soft color palette of grays and blues. The designer had lined the walls and ceilings with eight-inch tongue-and-groove boards, forgoing crown molding for a cleaner aesthetic. He then hand-brushed them with several coats of custom-mixed colors from Fine Paints of Europe. This laborious process paid off in terms of both luxuriousness and solid craftsmanship.
The large open kitchen—with its oiled walnut island, swivel stools, and “beautiful, architectural vintage lamps”—sealed the deal for Sims. It’s no surprise that the kitchen is her favorite room. “It’s where we drink wine and make ice cream and play music,” she says. “We’re all here together.”
Sims has grown fond of baking “brookies” (a brownie and chocolate-chip-cookie combo she perfected one weekend), served on platters at the white lacquer Tense dining table, which is surrounded by weathered Sikes banker’s chairs in their original gray paint. Scotti is a master at resurrecting vintage furnishings and finding new roles for them: Old Pyrex jars hold cotton balls and bath salts in the master bath; curtains hang from unlacquered brass foot rails reclaimed from an Irish pub; a surgical lamp functions as an ambient light source in the living room.
Sims has long had a passion for interior design and says that this house, replete with neutral Belgian linens and oil-rubbed bronze hardware, is a departure from her typically more eclectic taste. “But you don’t want to have the same house everywhere,” she says matter-of-factly. No matter where she has lived, she always stays true to her collection of art and photography. Two photographs from her former boyfriend Stephan Dessaint’s “Formentera” series greet visitors in the entry hall, a Jung Lee photograph spells “I dream of you” in her bedroom, and Ed Ruscha’s Cold Beer Beautiful Girls is a focal point in the living room. For the kitchen, Sims commissioned a Matthew Heller piece that repeats the word forever in turquoise duct tape “because I want to stay in this house forever.” And Ormond Gigli’s Girls in the Windows, a signed classic photograph from 1960, was waiting to surprise her when she took up residence on Memorial Day. It was a gift from her husband for her 40th birthday.
A few days later the couple celebrated the occasion with friends at a long table in the middle of the open living room. “We had been here only six days,” Sims says, “but it felt like we had lived here for years.”
A version of this article appeared in the September/October 2013 issue of HC&G (Hamptons Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Model Home.