Tag Archive | "house tour"

Serene Retreats-John Jermain House Tour

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The sunroom of Susan Goldstein's North Haven home.

The sunroom of Susan Goldstein's North Haven home.



By Candace Sindelman

There are rare instances where sneaking a peak at a neighbor’s property can actually be considered a charitable act, but there are exceptions. On Friday, July 6, the public will have an opportunity to take part in a mostly self-guided tour of five homes in and around Sag Harbor with the proceeds benefiting the John Jermain Memorial Library.

One of the featured homes tucked away in a wooded area on Fresh Pond Road is the abode of Arlene Ollie Ball Dempsey and Bob Dempsey. Built in 1981, this light-filled country contemporary house exudes a playful quality.

A king size headboard made of barn-board has finally been found for the master bedroom, and the house is now a merging of memorabilia and objects from the couple’s past that meld perfectly with each other and are rich in history.

The “great room” of their house now features a total of 49 works of art, many of them arranged in a gradual slope going across one of the towering white walls. An Amish quilt is represented on another wall. Ball-Dempsey pointed to the one house image on the quilt that was different in the seemingly symmetrical design and explained how the Quakers would always add one imperfection to each piece as a reminder that “only God is perfect.”

A new addition to their home is the Bombay Room, thus named for the red and gold wallpaper that showcases elephants and giraffes and, the couple notes, their favorite beverage is the Bombay Sapphire Martini.

“This is our life,” Ball-Dempsey said. There is the photo on the wall that Dempsey thoughtfully retouched to say “Our American Hotel” instead of “The American Hotel,” the meeting spot for their first date.

A retired Navy captain, Dempsey’s rank swords hang over various photographs and works of art, among them a lighthearted sign that reads: KEEP CALM and DRINK MARTINIS that is illuminated by candles. And there is a piece of artwork of two lovers signed “always” in the bottom left corner that was given to them by friends.

“To be given art is so great, it’s just something so personal,” said Ball-Dempsey.

Pieces of aged wood taken down from the original façade of the house now serve as interior doors. Behind one is a revamped home office with new, eye-catching wallpaper that consists of pen and ink drawings of early chairs.

Outside, in the backyard, the porch overlooks a magnificent pear tree, a gift, given to them by Ball-Dempsey’s sister that bears white blossoms in the spring and red in the fall. Here, is a gorgeous spot where they can just entertain or relax.

“What’s good about the house tour is that you get to make your house perfect,” Ball-Dempsey said.

More than 500 strangers are expected to walk through the couple’s home during the house tour.

“We’re very pleased to be selected,” Dempsey said. “It’s an honor to be involved, we’re very proud of our home and we take joy in sharing it.”


Susan Goldstein’s House

Behind a set of gates on Ferry Road is a stunning contemporary home belonging to Susan Goldstein. The Gold LEED certified home is 6,500 square feet of airconditioned, occupiable space, not including the mechanical room which features an efficient geo-thermal mechanical/electrical system.

The original ranch-style house was devastated by a storm in October 2005 and was flooded 2-3 inches above the first floor. When it came to renovating, Goldstein deemed it was best to start off with a blank canvas, or in this case a green one. It took years, but the ranch would be transformed into a cutting edge, eco-conscience oasis.

“Everything needed to be torn down,” Goldstein said. “It needed to be renovated.”

She commissioned architect and engineer Dominick R. Pilla Associates for the project and decided she wanted something that was environmentally sound and responsible. It added years to the project, especially between waiting for permits and making sure everything met strict standards, but she says it was worth it.

“It’s been a labor of love. Lots of labor and lots of love,” she said.

“It was a lot like learning a new language,” said Goldstein when describing the process.

From bamboo floors, to soy insulation, to the reclaimed cypress siding, to all the plants being indigenous to the area and drought resistant, each detail was carefully monitored. The flat design of the roof enabled prime placement of the photo voltaic roof panels. The pool is heated entirely by solar heating and hot water is also controlled by solar thermal heating. The house also uses recycled rain water.

“There’s a lot of stone and wood in the house that could potentially make it seem cold,” Goldstein observes. “However, everything looks so beautiful, everything feels warm and comfortable.”

A waterfall was installed because of the homeowner’s affinity for the water.

“I love the sound,” Goldstein said. “I wanted to create a space for myself and friends, and use the piece to create a separation in the living room to create a sense of peace and quiet.”

“It’s all about using recycled, reused or reclaimed materials,” she said. The most notable was the use of two fallen cherry trees that were used to make an entire staircase, coffee table, benches and statues throughout the house. “It was like the trees became part of the house.”

Outside her residence is her front yard where, in the summer, liriope bloom under a glistening sculpture of two horses, a piece she commissioned from Robert L. Hooke. The sculptor was inspired by his time in England when he took notice of two mares that were sisters in a field.

“You’ll often see similar poses of horses nuzzling, or nipping at each other,” said Hooke;” but what really struck me was how the one had its head turned in towards the other, it was a more affectionate type of pose,”.

Goldstein’s daughter, a professional equestrian, has her room decked out in a funky black and white design and a dazzling shoe collection is displayed behind a glass case like museum artifacts.

An art deco chandelier, originally owned by her mother, hangs upstairs.

“She would also collect Asian art,” Goldstein added.

Sculptures by her son Darin can be found throughout the home as well as art work done by artists and friends such as Theresa Seran, Toni Weber and Tobi Kahn.

“I love being so close to town,” Goldstein said. “This has been the perfect place to raise a family.”

Designing for the Hamptons

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Preston T. Phillips Exterior

by Courtney M. Holbrook

Life on the East End has its aesthetic benefits. Sag Harbor has verdant fields and sandy beaches, high-priced shops and straight-from-the-water food. People who live or visit the East End can expect certain things: men will wear white pants, there will be a gallery opening on Saturday — and most houses will have dark shingles.

That dark, overlapping wood often defines houses on the East End of Long Island. But for a few world-renowned designers and architects, the shingled look is not the sole stylistic aspect of the East End, but in fact, one small part in the larger dimensions of Hamptons’ style.

“People come to the East End to simplify their lives,” said Harry Bates, the architect from Bates Masi + Architects. “Sure, there’s the old shingled idea. But really, what people here want is to be as maintenance free as possible.”

That idea of simplification drives life and architecture on the East End. Simplification, however, does not mean design laziness. According to Preston T. Phillips, each client means a unique home.

“As an architect, I’m not looking for the cookie cutter home,” Phillips said. “And neither are the clients. My job is to interpret what they need but might not understand; and make the best home that’s flowing, open and seamless.”

Phillips knows what’s best. An internationally respected architect of the firm Preston T. Phillips, his house will be on display at the St. Ann’s 43rd Annual House Tour in Bridgehampton on Thursday, August 4 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. A design symposium precedes the tour.

“It’s an honor to be asked,” Phillips said. “It’s one of those houses people have heard about, but they haven’t necessarily been able to see. Now, they can.”

The tour will feature Phillips’ home, the “Ludlow Grange” house, built in 1920, and a Sagaponack farmhouse. All three showcase the wide variety of Hamptons’ design aesthetic, from modern to De Stijl to Victorian. Proceeds from the event will go toward providing scholarships to Bridgehampton High School students and other community outreach programs, including Hampton Healthcare, The Retreat, East End Farmworkers and LIACC.

From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., St. Ann’s will host a design symposium, where intrigued viewers can discuss and ask questions of some of the leading designers and architects working in the Hamptons today. These include Phillips and Bates, both architects, Kerry Delrose, an interior designer of Delrose Design Group, and Craig James Socia, a landscape architect.

“I think for all of us, though I can only really speak for myself, we’ve developed this understanding of style in the Hamptons,” Delrose said. “People in the Hamptons want to be really chic, but they don’t want to live in a Faberge egg.”

Steering away from the Faberge egg visual means designing a place where “there’s a little potato to it,” according to Delrose. In other words, perfection is not always necessary. Sophistication is required, but not on the level of New York City’s Gilded Age aesthetic.

“This is a place where people live in the summer, they vacation — they have kids and families, they wear T-Shirts and jeans,” Delrose said. “But they still want to be cool, live in a cool place. So, relaxed chic just keeps coming through the home.”

That relaxed chic idea does not simply apply to the average beach house. There are no sandy hallways or mildewed front entryways in the homes of these architects and designers. Instead, Delrose insists it gives the Hamptons’ design experience a more personal feel.

“What’s different between the Hamptons [design experience] and the Manhattan [experience] is how we interact with our clients,” Delrose said. “We approach them a lot; they get to know us.”

Despite Delrose’s base in Manhattan, he estimates that about 50 percent of his clients live in the Hamptons. It’s a popular real estate destination; one that architects and designers are eager to snatch up.

“I moved my office to the East End some 40 years ago,” Bates said. “My clients come to the Hamptons to get away from the city, to stop being slaves to high maintenance. So, they have an interest in good design, and so do we.”

Phillips also insists working on the East End allows for a greater sense of creativity. For his own house on display in the tour, Phillips wanted to create something dramatic and colorful; a “surprise” at the end of a “wooded driveway.”

The space available for land and the special privacy allotted to Hamptons’ residents made Phillips’ dream house possible. He designed it in the De Stijl style, a Dutch artistic movement from the early 20th century.

“It was my favorite movement in architecture school,” Phillips said. “It was really quite groundbreaking when we built it in the Hamptons in 1988.”

It’s not difficult to see how De Stijl would have seemed like a foreign architectural concoction in the ‘80s. Characterized by primary colors and smooth shapes, the De Stijl movement advocated the purity of straight lines and deep colors. Phillips took this motif when he created a house designed that “paired geometry with primary colors.” Through the De Stijl movement, the house became an artistic composition, where design ruled the Hamptons.

“These straight lines and shapes, they have an effect on people who see the house,” Phillips said. “The interior and the exterior of the home are designed to move seamlessly from one to another, and people always notice that. They think it’s seamless.”

One aspect viewers seem to notice most in Phillips’ house is the “sky” room. Made entirely of glass, the room sets the stage for Phillips’ dramatic architectural intentions. The staircase extends outward from a Wharhol piece over the fireplace, and then sweeps back into the second floor. Everything is connected.

The glass, or “sky,” room transforms at night. Then, the interior of the room becomes a mirror, reflecting the exterior into the interior. The outdoors forms part of the architecture of the interior home.

“[The house] is definitely dramatic,” Phillips said. “But it’s also flowing and relaxing. In a way, it’s still a house that belongs in the Hamptons.”

Phillips emphasized the importance of color to most clients in the East End. Color is an “important and personal” decision, and one especially important in the Hamptons. Here, color can determine whether your home is beach-friendly or Colonial rigid.

Delrose insists the spread of sophisticated design coincides with the burst in shopping and stores in the Hamptons.

“About five years ago, we saw this burst of new cool things in the Hamptons,” Delrose said. “There came this abundance of cool places to shop; now interior design has followed suit. You’ve got your own little design cache here.”

Whether it’s relaxation or creative freedom, the average Hamptons’ home designer is looking for something special. Delrose, Bates and Phillips hope to give it to them.

“You don’t go in your home with a suit and tie,” Delrose said. “But you still want sophistication. That’s the essence of homes in the Hamptons — they’re gorgeous, but you can still live in your swimsuit.”

LVIS House Tour: In Homes for the Holidays

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J.J. Nolis’ wood shingled home on Denison Street can best be described as traditional, but with a contemporary twist. Elegantly furnished and boasting a master bathroom that is the envy of all who lay eyes on it, the home is full of light and good cheer — especially good cheer.

Every other year, the Sag Harbor LVIS hosts a house tour between Christmas and New Year’s. This year, there are five homes on the tour, but without a doubt, Nolis’ house will be the holiday centerpiece of the event. Visitors need take only one step inside Nolis’ front door before they will realize that in addition to being an architect, and a designer — Nolis is, in fact, a child who has never grown up.

There, nestled in the foyer of his entryway is the true centerpiece of the home — a 19 foot high, tin foil covered Christmas display that Nolis (who doesn’t mind being known as the “Willy Wonka of Christmas”) calls “Candy Cane Mountain.”

To get a sense of Candy Cane Mountain, think of a favorite childhood memory and add a vision of a very tall Macy’s window during the holidays, but without the crass commercialism of product placement.

Nolis’ Candy Cane Mountain is a riot of color and light with layers upon layers of tinsel, and beads and faces and figures surrounding a virtual fantasy land of miniature joy. Through the post W.W.II miracle of animatronics (batteries and extension cords not included) tiny skiers go up plastic hills only to turn around and come zipping back down, over and over again. Meanwhile, the Tornado, a mini roller coaster, rushes full speed down hills and around curves while little amusement park planes suspended by strings from a revolving carousel soar round and round.

But the main attraction of candy cane mountain is the music. It sits overhead, at about the 10 foot level and is a miniature bell choir made up of seven soldiers and one Santa. With little mallets in hand, each figure turns to ring the bells at their sides. The little choir rings out 36 separate songs before starting all over. It’s not just Jingle Bells either — the repertoire even includes Carol of the Bells, a tough song for such a tiny bell choir.

“The origins of the bell choir were my Aunt Marion and Uncle Al Sakavich,” explains Nolis. “They live in Woodbury, Conn. and three years ago when I moved in they said, ‘You’re the person we want to have this.’ They were older and always knew I was the one person who would care for this and use it.”

Nolis has been creating his elaborate Christmas display for 20 years now. But this is only his third Christmas in his new house. Prior to that, he had only the limited space in his apartment with which to work, and most of the 80 boxes of decorations stayed in the attic or basement.

A lot of friends come and see the display and say I put them in the Christmas spirit every year.”

It’s easy to see why. In addition to Candy Cane Mountain, Nolis also has some 150 nutcrackers, bunches of Santas and countless other memorable Christmas objects. In the living room is a Lithuanian Christmas tree, a nod to Nolis’ heritage, with hand made ornaments created by his grandmother.

This year, it took 100 hours and 32 rolls of aluminum foil to assemble Candy Cane Mountain, and Nolis called on his godson, Dana Harvey, a Pierson High School student, to help.

“There are also 180 electric candles in the windows,” says Nolis, who points to his mother as being the inspiration behind his love of Christmas.

“Tillie Nolis, my mom, was over the top with anything that could make people laugh. My mom passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease two years ago. Christmas was always so much fun,” he says. “I definitely have my mom’s Christmas spirit. I didn’t realize how much I had it until she passed away. I built the house and I wanted to bring her here, but she was so ill, she never saw it.”

“Everything in my house as a story behind it. It’s authentic and for a reason. That’s what Christmas is for me,” he adds. “It’s my meaningful connection.”

Nolis is also a session singer who travels regularly to Nashville to record. He and his friend Mike Dodson have written a Christmas song entitled, what else, “Candy Cane Mountain.” Nolis recently recorded the song, backed up by some of his favorite Nashville singers, and come next Christmas, will officially release it.

 “It’s just a fun Christmas song. It reminds you of those old specials like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

 

Also on the tour this year is the historic Sag Harbor home of Joy Lewis — a circa 1830 Greek Revival on Hampton Street built for shipbuilder Charles T. Dering. Like Nolis, Lewis loves decorating for the holidays. But her displays reflect a slightly different focus.

“It touches me…the things people bring when they come to this country,” says Joy Lewis as she looks wistfully at the small, elegant Christmas tree on a table in the front hall of her home.

It’s obvious even to a casual viewer that Lewis has love for all things historic. Busts of George Washington and Voltaire share space with vintage board games and paintings of local notable figures.

“When I came to the East Coast, I can’t forget the first night I slept in an 18th century house,” says Lewis. “I loved it — that feeling of being in a house someone spent so much time in, the feel of the people that lived there before.”

“It inspires you to think of those who were here before,” says Lewis who is fascinated not only by people with names like Dering or James Fennimore Cooper who was Dering’s business partner and very likely visited him at the home or William Wallace Tooker the well known ethnologist who also once lived there — but by the smaller and often undocumented lives. The lives represented, for instance, on the Christmas tree in Lewis’ foyer.

The tree itself is from the German area of Transylvania in Romania. It’s all white — made of turkey feathers wrapped around wire. Hanging from the boughs are intricate little silvery ornaments that, at first glance, look as if they are made of tin. But closer examination reveals they are much more fragile in nature and are actually constructed of thick paper.

 “They are called Dresdens and were made in Germany from 1880 until W.W.I when they melted down the molds for munitions,” says Lewis. “I think the center of the craft was in Dresden.”

“They had a male and female mold, and they would punch them as engravers do,” adds Lewis. “There were three dimensional ones and also flat ones.”

Lewis notes that while the Germans were also known for making fine blown glass ornaments, those were primarily for export. The paper Dresdens didn’t tend to travel far from home — unless they were packed in the luggage of immigrants.

“The paper ones were for themselves,” she says.

Lewis and her late husband, Bob, became avid collectors of Dresdens after finding their first — a delicate little armchair — in an antique shop in the city. Many more were found at shops locally

“Our imagination was as if these are the ornaments that might have been brought by the Germans who worked at the watch case factory,” says Lewis.

Among the paper Dresdens on Lewis’ tree is a zeppelin, a fish, a miniature house and a sailboat. The tree is also decorated with die-cut lithographs from the period of angelic faces and outdoor scenes, as well as cornucopias and fragile, lacy looking ornaments most likely handmade by women in the Thüringen Mountains from material like cotton, wool and paper.

“They are so delicate. It’s amazing they survived,” says Lewis. “I love the cornucopia and the little presents in them.”

Considering the violent history of Germany — particularly Dresden which was heavily bombed during W.W.II — and the fact that the paper ornaments were mainly produced for the local market, it’s amazing that any of them have survived at all. In fact, notes Lewis, they are not all that common.

“In big traumas, things get lost,” she notes.

As a child born in Kansas during the Depression, Lewis knows all about big traumas, the fragile nature of family treasures and the appreciation of simple gifts.

“People born in the dust bowl in Kansas appreciate everything so much,” she says. “When you’ve had enough time to realize what you’ve been doing, though you don’t know while you’re doing it, you get an interesting perspective.”

“One thing I’ve realized is that one of the things Bob and I shared was a rescue fantasy,” says Lewis who bought and fixed up a number of old houses with her husband during their life together. “The first time we were in Sag Harbor, it looked like it was going into the ground. We just felt we had to save it.”

“My father was a small town preacher,” says Lewis. “That’s probably where I got my interest in saving things — but I turned to different stuff.”

When she was in third grade, Lewis and her family escaped the dust bowl by moving to Sheridan, Wyoming where her father had found a church to preach in. For Lewis and her little sister, it was Shangri-la.

“Everything I had seen until then was brown,” she says. “It was the Christmas season when we were there. People at the social hall were singing Christmas songs and they sang this Victorian one — ‘Up on the housetop.’”

“My sister told me later she was amazed that our mother knew the words,” says Lewis. “How did our mother learn the words? We had never heard her sing that song. That’s when I realized at another depth what the Depression meant. They could’ve sung them but didn’t. The songs are free, but they were too sad to sing them.”

The Sag Harbor LVIS Holiday House Tour is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 27. Five homes and the Sag Harbor Historical Society will be on view. Refreshments will be served at Bay Street Theatre, Long Wharf. Tickets are $35 in advance at the Wharf Shop or $40 on tour day at the Historical Society, 174 Main Street. Call 725-7984 for details.

 

House Tour Benefits Church Outreach

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By Catherine McNamara

For those who enjoy touring residences of the East End, the Saint Ann’s 40th  Annual House and Garden Tour will showcase some exceptional areas to the public today, Thursday, August 7. By purchasing tickets for this special event, attendees will also be donating to the community through Saint Ann’s Outreach Program. The tour will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and features four houses, whose styles are each very unique, and a garden. The venues of the tour range from Bridgehampton to Sagaponack to Wainscott.

The first house on the tour was originally constructed two decades ago, on five acres of potato fields. The house has a Mediterranean style, stemming from the owners’ love of Tuscany. A guest house and pool house create an outdoor area sporting flowers from their Italian-style garden, which is also on view at the home. A walkway beside the pool area leads into an open meadow containing a winding labyrinth. Visitors are welcome to enter this maze, which takes about 20 minutes. As the path continues, it opens up to an outdoor, brick-walled patio and fireplace and next the owner’s studio. As visitors walk through the studio, they are brought to a meadow surrounded by orchards and maples. A walk trough the meadow leads to the tennis court, and then back to the house.

A family-oriented residence, the second house has been recently updated. Initially owned by the Thayer family, the original structure was renovated by the late architect, William F. White. The house features large, open rooms that are complimented by many works of art from the owner’s native Brazil. Several years ago, the house was expanded with a modern-style room perfect for gatherings. A loft was also included in this expansion, containing a suspended walkway to the master bedroom on the second floor. Outside, there is a guest house, complete with multiple bedrooms, a kitchen, and patio. The garden surrounding this area was created by Patricia . The large tree at the front of the property was a sample from the New York Botanical Garden, sent to original owner, Thayer, who was an active member. Opposite the guest house on this property is the tennis court and pool area, which contains a cookout area and changing house.

Built in the late 1970’s, the third house is identified as a summer home, manageable and for a young working couple. The house is surrounded by hedges, has two floors and also features a balcony. Following its summer theme, the residence contains a large pool and pool house. The landscape, also developed by Ouderkirk accompanied by John van der Wolf, was presented to the couple as a wedding gift from the groom’s mother.

Sagaponack sports the oldest house on the tour, constructed in 1677, by an early potato farmer named Jobe Pearson. The home, which has stayed in his family for almost 400 years, was at one point used as housing for their field hands, but eventually abandoned and rumored to be haunted. However, the current owners began restoring the house with architect Peter Paul Muller when they discovered in 30 years ago. The house retains its 18th century design, complete with three fireplaces, one even suitable for cooking. Old-fashioned household items are seen throughout the house. The house even features a triple hung window, made popular by Thomas Jefferson, which open to the garden.

Owned and planned by the founding president of the Central Park Conservancy, the garden, located in Wainscott, is over two acres large and features native plants of eastern Long Island, stone paths and a water garden. The garden contains many Adirondack-style pieces put forth by Frederick Law Olmstead, Central Park’s master planner. Hidden within the garden is a small bridge crossing over a pond surrounded by many different plants. A nearby path will lead visitors back to the house. The garden will have refreshments for those attending the tour and also a list of the native plants featured there.

Brochures for the tour are available at the Candy Kitchen and Saint Ann’s Church Office, both on Main Street in Bridgehampton and at the Southampton Chamber of Commerce, 76 Main Street, Southampton Admission for the tour is $75. The tour is for ages 12 and up. Please do not bring baby strollers, dogs or food. No photography or video is permitted. For more information about the tour, please call the church office at 537-1527.