The phrase “indoor-outdoor” has become a bit overused in architecture, but for this Long Island weekend home with stunning water views, it’s just about right. The couple who commissioned the project wanted a house open to the outside while allowing them to display their vast collection of contemporary art. From an impressive team that included the architect Blaze Makoidthe interior designer Joe Nahemand landscape architect Edmond Hollanderthey had both, and then some.
Makoid’s design for the two-story house was inspired in part by the poured concrete buildings designed by Tadao Ando for the Japanese “art island” of Naoshima. Customers who were there shared Makoid’s enthusiasm. Makoid also used Japanese shou sugi ban, or charred wood, for the beams and exterior cladding. The home site descends one full floor and a lower level contains a garage, gym, laundry room and mechanical rooms. To reach the glazed entrance hall from the garage, you climb a flight of staggered limestone steps, flanked by corten steel planters full of greenery. “The topography was a big influence on the design,” says Makoid. “You are inside and outside all the time.”
A neon sculpture by Tracey Emin hangs near the entrance, its boldness contrasting Hollander’s landscaping with a soft mix of grasses. Inside, the entrance hall is anchored by a striking copper and wood console table from Wendell Castle. Just beyond is the high-ceilinged living room, with its full-height windows and blackened steel fireplace, above which hangs a large red painting by Carrie Moyer.
Nahem placed a curved sofa in a wooden “wall” designed by Caleb Woodard to give a sense of shelter. He credits clients for trusting him “to seek out artisans around the world,” some of whom he found on Instagram, like Casey McCafferty, who designed the cocktail table, and Hinterland Design, who created the pendant light. in driftwood. A George Nakashima lounge chair provides a place to take in views across the pool to the water, and a handmade rug by Dana Barnes Studio adds rich texture. The room’s palette is neutral, like that of the architecture, which Makoid calls “a great supporting actor.”
The living room opens onto the dining room where, between a yellow painting by Sue Williams and a blue and green interior by Mickalene Thomas— an oak table by Gal Gaon surrounded by vintage embroidered chairs sits beneath hand-blown pendant lights by Jeff Zimmerman and James Mongrain. A louvered wall masks a staircase that leads to the second-floor gallery — a living room with lots of art — and the master bedroom. Makoid designed the gallery as a rectangular tube covered in black granite that protrudes from the front and back of the house; its underside forms the ceiling of the dining room and a canopy for the front door. Throughout the home, custom shades control the light.
Beyond the dining area, the kitchen has stainless steel shelving designed by Nahem, a terrazzo-covered island, and bright blue artwork by Yayoi Kusama. An adjacent covered outdoor dining area is equipped with a grill and a wall with a TV that can show video art. This side of the building, which faces east, looks out to the water through a screen of existing oak trees that Hollander was keen to keep. “The sun comes up through those trees,” he says, “and the shadows dance across the lawn.” Near the residence, Hollander laid Madras gray limestone steps in the grass.
The spacious first floor also includes a den, study and three guest bedrooms. The blackened plaster-lined powder room is further embellished by a wall panel inlaid with mother-of-pearl, silver leaf, lacquer and resin by artist Nancy Lorenz.
On the second floor, the gallery is filled with works by artists like Carroll Dunham, Christina Quarles and Jordan Casteel. The master bedroom’s neutral color scheme is interrupted by a red Kusama painting above the fireplace. Nahem designed the wall behind the bed in polished stainless steel with hand-woven leather upholstery, through which you see reflections of the view. The master bathroom features a bathtub designed to appear to have grown out of the ground, with a circular skylight above.
The owners are, of course, happy. The husband was particularly impressed with “the team effort of Makoid, Nahem and Hollander, which was tremendous”. He says: “We really like the way the house is laid out. It’s great for entertaining, and it’s nice to have the outdoors inside.
This story originally appeared in the summer 2022 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE
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