Amongst the farmland of Bridgehampton, New York, sits a cedar barn-style residence that reflects the vernacular of its rural surroundings. But take a closer look and you’ll notice architectural details such as clean lines, oversize windows in charcoal casings, and a wide-pivot entry door–all hinting at the decidedly contemporary interiors designed by Jennifer Post.
The homeowners were drawn to Post’s signature clean aesthetic–they’d received multiple recommendations from friends who said her style could bring a modern look to the residence, which was originally designed by architecture firm Historical Concepts. The owners’ vision, however, also deferred to the rich farm history of the area. “We loved the idea of an old barn but taking a modern approach to it,” says the wife. “Our idea was to take that barn feel and make it comfortable and fun.”
Post understood the sentiment completely and, together with her associate, interior designer Lena Kravtsova, as well as general contractor Michael Davis, devised a barn-chic entertaining destination with open circulation, a floating-glass catwalk and European furnishings made for group lounging. “I wanted to make it like their resort,” Post says.
Davis gave the house the desired agrarian character with board-on-board, random-width siding and, at the front, a pair of gables. “It’s a natural and timeless form,” he says. But, “the house gets more modern toward the back,” he points out, describing the 36-foot wall of glass along the rear of the house that looks onto the pool and minimalist pergola, and beyond, to farm fields.
Post brought to the interior architecture what her client described as “holistic” ideas that gave the house a modern slant throughout, like the elevated kitchen, an open stair that leads from the basement to the second floor and large openings between rooms–such as the pair of 8-foot-wide openings to the living area–for improved circulation. The 12-foot pivot door at the entry recalls a barn door, but on this residence it’s “modern, overscale and powerful,” says Post. “To me, doors tell the whole story of a house. This is arresting. You pull up and you know: This is architecture.”
Decorative restraint meant that materials mattered, particularly for their texture. The walls were done in a Venetian plaster in a satin finish that bounces light everywhere, and floors throughout are white oak, contributing to a blank-canvas backdrop for the art and furnishings. A palette of blues and grays with pops of yellow reference the ocean, the sky and the sun. “This house is all about space and texture and light,” Post says.
That sensibility is evident in the furnishings, harkening back to the goal of making this home comfortable for entertaining large groups. Says the wife, “We wanted a space where I wasn’t going to freak out if my kids were eating or walking around in shoes,” she says. Post’s response? At the center of the living area, she positioned a 9-foot-square, ocean-blue leather lounger with swiveling backs for support, almost like a bed. “It’s amazing,” says the wife. “Who doesn’t want to hang out on the bed?” Offering even more seating is a pair of inviting 10-foot sofas nearby, oversize yellow club chairs, and a swing chair suspended from the 14-foot ceiling. “The vision was to have everyone relax,” says the designer.
Plentiful seating and airiness continue to the nearby elevated kitchen and breakfast area, where a giant curved banquette embraces views. The kitchen’s Bilotta cabinetry, which features a grooved door panel, is an example of where Post introduced some transitional styling. “All white is too modern,” she says. That detail brings textures and visual interest to the cabinets. The slender groove also references the slivers of glass panes in the entry, the dining room and elsewhere.
Upstairs, the children’s suite of bedrooms on one side is connected by a glass catwalk to the master suite on the opposite side. “Tranquility” and “cocoon” were two words that came to mind in designing the master. Post introduced a quieter variation of the downstairs palette with seafoam green bedding on a linen-covered bed, and a blue-and-white rug that plays off the clouds and sky.
“We’re so in love with everything she did that she’s now helping me update our home in the city,” says the wife of the final result. “Jennifer gave me what I always dreamed of.”