With a little help from their friends, Ariane and Max Goldman transformed an extraordinary midcentury dwelling into a nature-inspired wonderland.
With stairs leading to a loftlike perch, the Goldmans' multistory home in East Hampton, originally built in 1969, allows family members to gather in the expansive living room or retreat to their own hideaways as the mood strikes.
If anyone proves the old adage that persistence pays, it’s Ariane and Max Goldman. Case in point: the hunt for their East Hampton home. “It was the 40th house we’d seen in our search, and we’d just lost a deal on another house, so our hopes were pretty humble,” says Ariane. “We were looking in January, with three feet of snow on the ground, and it was the last house we saw that day. But as soon as we walked in, we knew this would be our Shangri-La.”
Instinctively attuned to artful living, both Ariane, a designer, and Max, a cinematographer, knew they wanted a unique property. “We were looking for this home with soul,” she explains. “We wanted something with a point of view that felt different from the turnkey McMansions you often find in the Hamptons.” And this house fit the bill: Designed and built in 1969 by New York architect Alfredo De Vido as a home for himself and situated on a beautifully landscaped two-acre site near the northwest woods, the house blends Midcentury Modern style with a classic symmetrical layout, lodge-inspired materials, and barnlike details to create an enchanting dwelling unlike any other in the area. The house had had only one owner since the architect sold it decades ago, and its original design integrity remained intact. “I knew with a little refreshing, the place would just come to life,” Ariane says.
Pink chairs and a wood slab table add a playful touch to the dining area.
Respecting its original bones, the Goldmans, who were expecting the first of their two daughters at the time, simply brightened the dark wood-paneled walls with a coat of white paint but retained the dark ceiling beams and window moldings. Since the pair frequently entertain, they also opened the dining room onto the kitchen, linking the two spaces with a large new island. “Guests are overflowing in our home. It’s too special not to share—even when we’re traveling—so someone is always staying there,” says Ariane, who’s known for her inventive clothing line, Hatch (hatchcollection.com), for expectant and new mothers. “Our attitude is the more the merrier, so it’s like a commune.”
The property's Edenesque qualities include this idyllic koi pond and lush vegetation.
As a result, the décor keeps evolving to make room for wonderful new textiles and curios from places like India and Morocco, where Ariane travels for inspiration and the fabrication of some of her line, as well as accents and artworks that grateful guests have left as housewarming gifts. “The interiors have a high-low feeling, with key investment pieces combined with flea-market finds,” she says. “You can’t be too precious with kids in the house.”
The magical conviviality of the interiors extends outdoors, where a lovely long pool, three ponds filled with goldfish and koi, a gazebo, and a whimsically shaped twostory guesthouse that was once the architect’s studio contribute to the fairy-tale ambience. “There’s a whole ecosphere here, with gardens and birds and fish and bunnies and families of frogs,” says Ariane. “We just pinch ourselves every time we’re here. It’s as special today as it was the day we got the keys.”