Forever Young on Long Island’s Gold Coast


Gracious All-White Foyer with Eclectic, Modern Touches on Long Island's Gold Coast

A light and airy palette creates a graceful oasis for a family matriarch looking to spend more time with her grandchildren.

Architectural Grid Moulding Adds Amazing Interest to All White Great Room

Handcrafted woodwork by Red Tail Moulding & Millwork creates a wall grid that is ideal for hanging artwork in the great room. The antique Persian rug from Nazmiyal Collection forms a dramatic backdrop for a seating area that includes a patterned chair and ottoman covered in Bloomsbury fabric in Saffron from Rose Tarlow Melrose House. The two multicolored 25-pendant ceiling fixtures by Bocci were purchased at Karkula.

Intimate, Casual Sitting Room With Patterned Rug & Midcentury Modern Flair

A linen sofa from Rogers & Goffigon and a woven Jens Risom chair with Maize cotton upholstery from Knoll Studio create a casually elegant sitting area for visiting with friends. The French midcentury modern oak side tables with inset travertine tops are from L’Art de Vivre.

Turkish Midcentury Cotton Rug Adds Texture and Color in Casual, Intimate Sitting Area

Adding color and texture to the sitting room is a Turkish midcentury cotton carpet from Double Knot. A painting by Hunt Slonem is displayed above an early-20th- century circular oak table from Glen Dooley Antiques. A paper-cutout art piece by Pablo Lehmann, from Miami’s Black Square Gallery, hangs on the other side of the doorway.

Four Poster Bed Anchors Master Suite Filled With Patterns

In the master suite, a Soumak rug from Nazmiyal Collection fashions a balance of international flair with traditional elements, such as the antique four-poster from Hollywood at Home in Los Angeles. The spacious room also includes custom chests from Laszlo Sallay, which flank an Art Deco birch- and-rosewood Swedish daybed by Erik Chambert from B4.

Bluestone Patio Lets the Family Feel As If They Are in Nature

A bluestone patio from E & J Construction, designed by CeCe Haydock, is one of several that surround the house. The doors and windows are from Reilly Windows & Doors; the hand-split cedar shingles are by Michael J Allen Roofing.

Long Island Gold Coast Guest Room Features Decorative Elements from Federal to Midcentury Eras

Painted in a soft shade to complement the Turkish carpet from Double Knot, the twin beds in the guest room are from The Federalist and have been stripped of moldings to reflect the transitional interior. Atop the antique three-drawer oak chest from Briggs House Antiques sits a lamp that began its existence as a floral 1960s-era vase from Derbyshire.

Pattern on Pattern, Era Upon Era in Long Island Gold Coast Guest Bedroom

Custom curtains made with Floreat fabric in Campion by Lewis & Wood, purchased at Hines & Company, introduce pattern and softly filter the natural daylight; the bench is from Newel.

​This home is light and youthful,” designer Thomas Jayne says of the weekend retreat that he decorated for a family of sailing enthusiasts on Centre Island, the exclusive coastal enclave on Long Island Sound’s Gold Coast. Perched at the top of a gentle hill and surrounded by woods, the two-level structure’s traditional shingle siding and cedar shake roof belie the ethereal feeling that Jayne and project designer Egan Seward created inside. “It’s a family house,” Jayne explains. “The owners wanted it to be harmonious, fresh and contemporary while still fitting into the traditional setting.”

The project is one of several that the designers, along with architect Kathryn McGraw Berry, designers Jayson Michael Fay and Aimee Lopez, and landscape architect CeCe Haydock, created for a matriarch who wanted her children and their families to have their own respective retreats close by. “It is a grandmother’s dream to have what I call casual contact,” the owner says. “I like how the house sits overlooking trees and that I can easily visit with my grandchildren in their own space—their natural habitat, if you will.”

Comprising three distinct pavilions connected by interior links with peaked ceilings, the sprawling shingle-clad structure nevertheless feels cozy and intimate, with private spaces on either side of a cavernous central living and dining room. “You enter into a compressed space, and there’s a juxtaposition of large and small spaces throughout,” Berry explains. “The circulation space defines the rooms and creates interest.”

This central space allows for a range of activities, with various areas that cater to everything from intimate conversations to piano recitals to group dinners in front of a fireplace. To create a warmer feel in such an expansive room, Berry designed simple wall moldings in conjunction with Fay and Lopez to add texture and break up the wall massing, as do a pair of exposed ceiling supports. “The trusses give the big room a human scale,” Berry says. “This is a country house after all.”

Enhancing that country house sensibility is a mix of furnishings that play off both the architecture and the owner’s extensive art collection. “We believe having a wide range of things from different periods makes a room richer, more interesting and more enduring,” Jayne says. “Our rooms are not modish, so they will still look good 10 years later.”

In the open and airy great room, a pair of modern chandeliers made of a mix of glass spheres in nautical-inspired hues purposely contrasts with the grid of painted-wood wall paneling. “We wanted something playful and contemporary against the older-appearing architecture,” Jayne says, noting that Seward selected the colors and adjusted the heights of each of the glass globes. “It was like designing a DNA chain on the ceiling.” Complementing the chandeliers is a colorful early-19th-century Persian rug with a repeating circular pattern motif that relates to both the wall paneling and the whimsical lighting fixtures—a lively juxtaposition that balances the unexpected with the traditional.

The designers employed a similarly playful approach throughout the home. In the master bedroom, for example, a metal canopy bed coexists easily with an antique rug and a Swedish Deco daybed made of walnut, ebony and birch, while fabric-clad walls add pattern and texture. “You have to be willing to experiment and not rely on a formula,” Jayne says. “It’s about making a collage, taking elements and putting them together in an artistic way.”

This carefully planned yet unexpected take on the décor extends to the outside. On either side of the main entrance, there are bluestone terraces with pavers that have been laid in a random rectangular pattern. On the public side, a brick-and-wire wall provides privacy without totally obscuring the view. “We made this entranceway that is sort of magical and enclosed,” Berry explains. “It’s like an old-fashioned front terrace.” The patio overlooks a meadow of wild flowers and native grasses that Haydock and landscape consultant Larry Weaner, of Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, created along the winding, sloped driveway. In addition to remediating the poor soil quality, the wild, open space attracts monarch butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. “When the family is sitting on the terrace, they feel as if they are in nature,” Haydock says of the space, which includes evergreens and berry-bearing shrubs that ensure color year-round.

Indeed, the house is a hit with the family, who gathers there for weekends and holidays, and with their grandmother, who envisioned the project in the first place. “We love the light from all of the many windows,” she says. “The lighthearted feeling of the house just makes us all smile when we arrive.”

— Tate Gunnerson