“Beach, pool, sun, open-roof driving—all of those things are what I consider to be paradise,” says homeowner Georges Arbache. With those simple pleasures top of mind, it’s only fitting then that the Manhattan-based investment banker set his sights out east for a second home to unwind on the weekends.
The search for an all-season getaway pad led Georges to a turn-key Colonial in East Hampton with an open floor plan and a backyard oasis—both of which were essentials for the consummate entertainer. Upon the recommendation of a friend, Georges then turned to designer Dan Mazzarini for help infusing the blank canvas with high style and all the comforts befitting a home devoted to R&R. “The bones were there,” notes Mazzarini of the house. “It was ready for us to just do a blitz on it.”
Blitz being the key word because, with summer fast approaching, Mazzarini, alongside team member Susan Evans, had a mad-dash 10-week timeline to design and execute. Luckily, the duo intuited exactly what their client wanted. “Georges has clean, simple taste and he likes midcentury” says Mazzarini. “He wanted his Hamptons house to be a bit more casual and layered than what he has in the city, which is more buttoned-up and polished.”
In the central family room where friends and family tend to congregate, Mazzarini channeled “a crisp, masculine vibe” with evenings of merriment top of mind. “Approach ability was one of the strongest qualifiers,” notes the designer. “Georges didn’t want people to be afraid to put their feet up,or of spilling.” A taupe sofa in a stain-resistant Crypton fabric, a black-upholstered daybed and a leather egg chair meet the brief, providing a plethora of places for guests to lounge freely after dinner. Of the addition of oversize accent pillows and layered rugs to the scheme, Mazzarininotes, “textiles are important in softening edges.”
Ease and comfort guide the design once more in the adjacent dining area. Georges and his friends all love to cook, so maintaining an open, welcoming feel between the kitchen and dining space was paramount. Midcentury modern chairs with comfy, upholstered seats encourage lingering over home-cooked meals,while decisions like a black-stained oak table and lack of rug beneath promote convivial evenings that are anything but formal.
But while the common areas cater to a house full of guests, the double-height master bedroom is Georges’s private refuge. To complement the room’s soaring ceiling, Mazzarini sourced a four-poster bed with strong architectural lines and large hanging lantern, layering in a patterned rug, ombré drapes and a woven leather settee for texture and balance. “We needed to scale everything up—the lighting, the nightstands—because it’s a very big space,” says the designer. “We didn’t want a lot of little pieces.” The result is an airy escape that feels cozy despite its grand size. “One of my favorite things to do is wake up on the weekends and have my coffee in bed, because it’s such a wonderful room,” says Georges.
Fittingly for a house by the sea, crisp whites and soft neutrals are a constant thread throughout the home—but there is one notable exception: The library, where the designer had other plans. “We were making this easy, breezy house, and then I said, ‘And I think the library should be black!’” laughs Mazzarini. “Georges said, ‘You’re going to have to talk to me about that one.’” It took a little convincing, but the finished room, with its painted black beadboard, charcoal wallpaper and graphic book display, has become “a fan favorite,” says the designer. “It’s this kind of eyeliner upon how light and lovely everything else is.”
Ten weeks may not have been much time to create a home away from home, but Mazzarini nailed it. Notes Georges in a definitive stamp of approval, “having this escape from the city, honestly, has been transformational to my life.”