Designer Homes

Tour a Hamptons Farmhouse Bursting with Style

Tour a Hamptons Farmhouse Bursting with Style
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The circa-1885 Victorian farmhouse in the Hamptons town of Water Mill boasts a gracious mahogany porch characteristic of the era in which it was built.

The circa-1885 Victorian farmhouse in the Hamptons town of Water Mill boasts a gracious mahogany porch characteristic of the era in which it was built.

“As a former creative director, I am a very visual person—I know exactly what I like pretty quickly,” says Kelli Delaney, the well-loved Hamptonite who serves as the editor in chief of KDHamptons.com, a digital luxury lifestyle magazine chronicling the best in fashion, design, and social goings-on in the area. So when five years ago her husband-to-be, Mark Kot, introduced her to the circa-1885 Victorian farmhouse he had purchased in 1995, Delaney was quick to recognize its myriad charms. Dubbed Maple Shade for the three 150-year-old maple trees that grace the property, the shingle-style home spreads graciously over three floors and is surrounded by gardens both groomed and wild.

Kot bought the home, located in the tiny town of Water Mill, from Italian designer Massimo Vignelli after noting not only its historic details but also its uniquely intimate surroundings. “I was attracted to the strong bones, history, and privacy of the property, encompassed as it was by a privet hedge and surrounded by farmland,” he says. In a part of the world better known for its out-of-town visitors and over-the-top social scene, such an attention to quiet grace is a defining character of Kot and Delaney’s approach—both to design, and to life in the Hamptons.

 

In the living room, a sofa bench doubling as a coffee table sits on a honeycomb sisal rug is from Stark Carpet. The scene is rounded out by worldly finds such as the white leather Moroccan pouf Delaney picked up in Marrakech.

In the living room, a sofa bench doubling as a coffee table sits on a honeycomb sisal rug is from Stark Carpet. The scene is rounded out by worldly finds such as the white leather Moroccan pouf Delaney picked up in Marrakech.

The Art of the Mix

Kot’s bachelor stage was a bit more refined than the average. Eschewing shag rugs and oversize televisions, he had filled his home with pieces that reflected the stately era in which it was built, including an impressive collection of 19th- and 20th-century landscapes, seascapes, and equestrian paintings. When Delaney moved in, she recognized the need to lighten things up. “Although a wraparound porch is a pretty architectural detail, it does end up blocking a lot of light from the first-floor rooms, so we needed lighter furniture and rugs to brighten the living spaces,” she recalls. Her aim was clear: to update the serious, “one-note” interiors of her husband’s home to reflect their more contemporary shared style. “I think it’s important for couples to blend styles, especially if one person has lived in the home first,” says Delaney. “I wanted to create a home that felt like both Mark and me, incorporating pieces we covet from our past as well as new items we’d acquire together.”

Single-paned, double-hung windows and distinctive period moldings punctuate the common areas and play beautifully against the contemporary furnishings Delaney seamlessly melded with the couple’s combined collection of antiques. In the living areas, contemporary seating is stylishly geared toward comfort, while case goods, tables, and decorative accents are largely antiques. The resulting mix feels invitingly practical and yet carefully curated. The couple’s use of the space follows a similar approach. “In the fall and winter we use the formal dining room for larger dinner parties, but when it’s just the two of us I’ll set the round table in the living room for a fireside meal,” says Delaney.

In the living room, a sampling of Delaney’s collection of antique chinoiserie pieces cluster artfully on an 18th-century English tilt-top table surrounded by tufted French linen chairs from English Country Antiques in Bridgehampton.

In the living room, a sampling of Delaney’s collection of antique chinoiserie pieces cluster artfully on an 18th-century English tilt-top table surrounded by tufted French linen chairs from English Country Antiques in Bridgehampton.

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The sunlit dining room is decorated in warm tones and textures, from the Edwardian dining table to the Persian rug to the dining chairs upholstered in a Ralph Lauren tartan. A 19th-century Czech crystal chandelier presides over the scene.

The sunlit dining room is decorated in warm tones and textures, from the Edwardian dining table to the Persian rug to the dining chairs upholstered in a Ralph Lauren tartan. A 19th-century Czech crystal chandelier presides over the scene.

In the fall and winter we use the formal dining room for larger dinner parties, but when it’s just the two of us I’ll set the round table in the living room for a fireside meal.

— Kelli Delaney
In the master bedroom, a tufted bed from One Kings Lane is dressed in block-printed bedding Delaney picked up on a trip to Jaipur, which adds lightness to a room otherwise filled with antique case goods and serious art.

In the master bedroom, a tufted bed from One Kings Lane is dressed in block-printed bedding Delaney picked up on a trip to Jaipur, which adds lightness to a room otherwise filled with antique case goods and serious art.

“I love a blue-and-white color palette and mixing and matching patterns and textures,” says Delaney. Nowhere is that more evident than by her bedside, where a chinoiserie garden stool and lamp live in harmony with a mix of brightly printed Indian bedding.

“I love a blue-and-white color palette and mixing and matching patterns and textures,” says Delaney. Nowhere is that more evident than by her bedside, where a chinoiserie garden stool and lamp live in harmony with a mix of brightly printed Indian bedding.

A Balanced Approach

Delaney’s curatorial instinct is evident at every turn: Symmetrical placement, neutral foundation pieces, and judiciously balanced pops of blue and white create spaces that feel at once airy and robust. The master bedroom, which Delaney calls her “sanctuary,” is grounded by walls painted Benjamin Moore’s rich Champion Cobalt. Crisp block-printed linens collected on Delaney’s Indian travels introduce a surprise hit of bohemian charm to the space, and a Victorian walnut sideboard layered with dignified art in gilded frames adds gravitas. As for the room’s deeply personal warmth, that’s trademark Delaney. “You will always find fresh flowers by my bedside, a Diptyque Baies candle burning, and too many down pillows on the bed,” she says.

While art is hung elsewhere with precision and picture lighting, a looser vignette takes shape on the Victorian walnut sideboard in the master bedroom, where pieces from the couple’s stately collection mix with playful tokens that speak to Delaney’s publishing-world pedigree.

While art is hung elsewhere with precision and picture lighting, a looser vignette takes shape on the Victorian walnut sideboard in the master bedroom, where pieces from the couple’s stately collection mix with playful tokens that speak to Delaney’s publishing-world pedigree.

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I think it’s important for couples to blend styles, especially if one person has lived in the home first.

— Kelli Delaney
Awash in Carrara marble, the beadboard-walled master bath is a breezy departure from the rich tones and textures that define the rest of the house.

Awash in Carrara marble, the beadboard-walled master bath is a breezy departure from the rich tones and textures that define the rest of the house.

“I wainscoted the walls, had the whole room painted with Ralph Lauren’s Brilliant White, and designed a Carrara marble platform so the new claw-foot Cheviot tub would have a perfect-height view of the pool gardens,” says Delaney of her master bath revamp.

“I wainscoted the walls, had the whole room painted with Ralph Lauren’s Brilliant White, and designed a Carrara marble platform so the new claw-foot Cheviot tub would have a perfect-height view of the pool gardens,” says Delaney of her master bath revamp.

Nestled into the home’s traditional Victorian turret is Delaney’s home office. When she moved to the Hamptons, she brought along several pieces from her prewar apartment in Manhattan, including the antique monkey chandelier from William-Wayne & Co. Antiques that hangs above her desk.

Nestled into the home’s traditional Victorian turret is Delaney’s home office. When she moved to the Hamptons, she brought along several pieces from her prewar apartment in Manhattan, including the antique monkey chandelier from William-Wayne & Co. Antiques that hangs above her desk.

A Home for All Seasons

Rather than a warm-weather escape, Delaney and Kot are full-time Hamptons residents who enjoy Maple Shade year-round—more, almost, when the crowds clear and the coziness of the home they conceived together is at its most pronounced. “We love [our house] in all seasons, but cozying up to the fire with a white blanket of snow outside can’t be beat,” gushes Delaney. And never more than when the holidays loom. While it is hard to tear the couple from the collection of spaces they so lovingly filled with personal touches and homey staples, Thanksgivings are often spent at favorite haunts in their beloved area. “We typically go for a meandering drive out to Montauk, followed by dinner at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor,” says Delaney.

In a guest bedroom, Delaney again favors symmetry, flanking a custom-upholstered linen headboard with a pair of Italianate sconces. Sumptuous bedding by Matouk and Yves Delorme makes for an inviting place of rest.

In a guest bedroom, Delaney again favors symmetry, flanking a custom-upholstered linen headboard with a pair of Italianate sconces. Sumptuous bedding by Matouk and Yves Delorme makes for an inviting place of rest.

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In summer Delaney and Kot spend as much time outdoors as they do inside the house. When she moved in, Delaney added an “entertaining space” off the kitchen with a large bluestone patio and cedar pergola, which she decorated with Eastern-inspired flair, adding Moroccan-style hanging lanterns and suzani-print poufs.

In summer Delaney and Kot spend as much time outdoors as they do inside the house. When she moved in, Delaney added an “entertaining space” off the kitchen with a large bluestone patio and cedar pergola, which she decorated with Eastern-inspired flair, adding Moroccan-style hanging lanterns and suzani-print poufs.

Bringing the Indoors Out

The outdoor spaces are as carefully conceived as the stunning interiors. “We live outside as much as we do inside during the warmer months,” says Delaney, an avid gardener. “I consider designing our outdoor spaces as rooms, which should be as inviting, comfortable, and chic as any spot inside the house.” An intricately carved Balinese bench-turned-daybed shrouded by voluminous Endless Summer hydrangea bushes is the perfect spot to sprawl out with a book on a lazy summer afternoon. A gurgling antique limestone fountain tangled with vines channels British garden elegance, while a bluestone patio presided over by a cedar pergola is the perfect indoor-outdoor extension of the back of the house. Delaney has a number of inputs to her process when it comes to the exterior spaces. “I pore over books by Charlotte Moss and Carolyne Roehm, I never miss a Hamptons garden tour, and I always make time to visit historic gardens in Europe when I’m traveling.” They entertain alfresco as often as they can, serving cocktails on the porch or poolside and holding dinners under the pergola with a prime view of Delaney’s prized rose garden.

The verdant grounds are dotted with various interiors-worthy design vignettes that manage to fold seamlessly into their surroundings, including an intricately carved antique Balinese bench.

The verdant grounds are dotted with various interiors-worthy design vignettes that manage to fold seamlessly into their surroundings, including an intricately carved antique Balinese bench.

I consider designing our outdoor spaces as rooms, which should be as inviting, comfortable, and chic as any spot inside the house.

— Kelli Delaney
One corner of the grounds evokes the romanticism of a secret garden, from the antique limestone fountain shrouded with greenery to the trellis covered in a wild spray of climbing vines.

One corner of the grounds evokes the romanticism of a secret garden, from the antique limestone fountain shrouded with greenery to the trellis covered in a wild spray of climbing vines.

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Related: Tour Carolyne Roehm’s Elegant Home >

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