Architect Mark Stumer is fluent in the vocabulary of Shingle-style architecture. But for the home of some friends in Southampton, Stumer saw an opportunity to do a new twist on a classic style. While the home as a whole is contextual of the Shingle style, the façade is full of surprises, like the copper-topped turret with whalebone striping or the extra kick of diamond detailing on its rounded tower. “The copper roof really makes the home stand out,” says Stumer, “and the diamond shingles are fun. There’s also the varying roof lines—it’s kind of like a Dutch gambrel.”
But the interior of the 7,000-square-foot home is intentionally modern. “I told him ‘If you want a typical Shingle-style house, I’m not that excited,’ ” says Stumer of his initial conversations with the husband, who also brought on builder Bruce Lifton. “But I was interested in something really cool, without moldings or trims. I wanted to keep it very simple, very clean.”
The modern home is grounded by rich 6-inch-wide Brazilian walnut plank floors and plenty of wall space for an amazing contemporary art collection, as the couple are avid collectors. There’s not a typical foyer, but rather a flow right into the core of the house: a great room boasting a 25-foot ceiling. “I wanted something really strong and simple,” Stumer says. “The most important goal was a room that opens to a covered terrace and pool.” To that end, there are three sets of French doors and an abundance of windows that allow natural light to stream in.
Upon entrance, the 15-foot-deep, 45-foot-long corridor between the entry and living space “acts as both a sort of foyer and a gallery open to the whole,” says Stumer. Connecting the first and second floors is a staircase with a hammered-iron railing crafted by a blacksmith. “The iron was pounded by hand and features a very simple yet intriguing detail,” he says. Above is a catwalk that floats above the first floor and connects the master bedroom and guest bedroom wings with an open feel. The underside of this bridge, a contemporary coffer, defines the entries to both the dining room and den.
Eschewing a traditional fireplace in the den, the architect instead clad the wall in bronze panels, building a niche for a flat-screen above the brick-lined firebox and framing it with custom mahogany bookcases. Here as throughout, interior designer Nina Wexler kept the interiors light and balanced, with a mix of linen and velvet upholstery paired with a rustic wool rug in a wide-striped chevron pattern and notes of chocolate. Furnishings speak to function—a reading nook and work space with midcentury chairs and a snuggle-in sofa, as well as an inviting upholstered window seat in a velvet leaf pattern that teams cinnamon and blue hues.
In the kitchen, sleek stainless steel joins custom classic white-painted wood cabinetry, commercial-grade appliances and concrete counters, transitioning to a different floor material—reclaimed 4-by-4-inch end-grained birch block for more durability. In the corner is an intimate breakfast nook in another turret overlooking the pool.
With such an abundance of windows, there was a great effort to frame the views. “The husband loves trees and gardens,” says landscape architect Edmund Hollander. “Also, the site is reasonably sheltered from salt winds and on this fabulous old farm soil you can grow almost anything.” To that end, the grounds feature a mix of trees including a pair of Japanese pagodas, copper beech, river birches and crabapples; boxwood and maples complement the front façade. “We also thought about the nighttime landscape,” says Hollander, “and how the trees would be illuminated at night.”
For Stumer, however, “The best thing about the home architecturally is the openness,” he says, “and that it celebrates the owners’ combined love of modern design and fine art.” All with a little twist.