A Transitional Southampton Guesthouse with Classic Exterior


Transitional Neutral Bedroom with Stenciled Wall Pattern

In the so-called “Blue Room,” the custom bed, in a synthetic raffia from Castel, is topped with custom Soie de Lune silk pillows fabricated by Arabelle Taggart.

Transitional Neutral Bedroom with Stacked Stone Fireplace

The fireplace is the focal point in the master bedroom, where designer Lien Luu had the walls stenciled in a custom fern pattern inspired by a Jean Lanvin wood panel. The side tables are by Robsjohn Gibbings.

Transitional Bedroom Sitting Area with Leather Banquette

In a cozy corner of the master bedroom, Luu installed a banquette with leather cushions from Keleen Leathers of Westchester, Illinois.

Transitional White Dining Area with Industrial Chairs

Vintage Shaw Walker and Kaare Klint chairs add to the industrial vibe in the dining area.

Transitional White Living Room with Pocket Doors

Beyond a pair of Raoul Textiles-covered armchairs, pocket doors open to the porch. The teak table and synthetic wicker chairs are from Janus et Cie.

Transitional White Living Room with Stacked Stone Fireplace

In the living room, architect John David Rose called for a light blue coffered ceiling to keep the mood “light and airy.” The custom sofa table has a bronze base and concrete top. The circa 1936 floor lamps that flank the fireplace are by Kurt Versen.

Fifteen years and one city office, Caribbean villa, Chicago condo and corporate jet later, Lien Luu’s longtime client came to the Manhattan-based interior designer with an especially fun project in mind: to work on a guesthouse on his handsome Southampton estate. “He wanted it for his adult daughters so they could bring their friends to a separate house on the same property,” Luu says.

Like many part-time Hamptons residents, the daughters live and work in Manhattan and would use the weekend abode as a place to relax and socialize. So, the thinking behind the guesthouse was to create a space that was all about being “casual and comfortable but very luxurious,” says Luu. Taking its cue from the main house, a classic shingle-style home more than 100 years old, the guesthouse pays homage to many of the same exterior elements: cedar shingles, white trim, a wrap-around porch, and distinct copper leaders and gutters.

It became a “cute button of a home that pays respect to the old home, but doesn’t replicate it,” says John David Rose, who, like Luu, has long collaborated with the homeowner. “There are plenty of little twists that make it distinct.” Among them are three prominent fireplaces: a large brick mantel underneath the porch outside, one constructed of stacked river stone and driftwood in the great room and a floor-to-ceiling fireplace, broken up by a round window, in the upstairs master bedroom. Inside, the architect chose classic finishes—oak floors, wainscoting with deep ledges and white marble countertops—that, again, harken back to the main house.

Because this is the Hamptons, Luu opted for an overall palette of white, beige, cream and light gray, carefully selected to take advantage of the region’s legendary natural light. As for the furnishings, “pretty much everything is a bit overscaled,” Luu adds. The custom tufted sofa, for example, upholstered in a durable Great Plains fabric from Holly Hunt, is so deep you can lie down on it.

To round out the interiors, Luu, who loves vintage furniture and accessories and shops around the world for them, combined such pieces with those of her own design and a few industrial-looking finds to satisfy a request from the homeowner. In the master bedroom, a midcentury arrangement, which includes a vintage pair of Scandinavian benches and a Gordon Martz tile-topped table, contrasts with the nautical motifs found in the pair of Balsamo rope lamps and the wavy custom headboard made from a Rogers & Goffigon wool with Samuel & Sons rope trim. The custom zinc dining table and antique French holophane streetlights provide the requisite industrial touches.

The result? A home that Luu happily reports had the homeowner nearly speechless. “When he first laid eyes on the completed space, he was completely in awe,” she says. “He said it was beautiful and unpretentious and that it looked so natural.” The perfect Hamptons escape.