Italian architect Achille Salvagni brings mega-yacht style luxury to a shingled mansion on Pheasant Lane.
Set on nearly two acres, the home references Hamptons architecture of the late 19th century.
“Don’t get stuck on what the client asks for,” says Roman architect and designer Achille Salvagni, who designed the interiors of this nine-bedroom house in a gated community with private beach access. “Surprise them. Go beyond their expectations.”
The affluent clients behind this home, now on the market with Harald Grant of Sotheby’s, originally hired Francis Fleetwood, considered the master of the shingled manse, but the renowned architect was badly injured in a hang-gliding accident in Colombia and later died of an embolism after a photo expedition to Patagonia.
The homeowners fell in love with Salvagni’s work when he designed the interiors of their 270-foot mega-yacht, so they brought him on to finish their summer residence in Southampton. “Most of the textile fabrics, wallpaper covering, and cashmere throws are from Hermès, as well as from Dedar Milano, which produces them for Hermès,” says Salvagni.
The traditional East Coast country kitchen comes equipped with the latest technology.
The furnishings include pieces from the architect’s limited-edition collection at Maison Gerard in Manhattan, along with custom creations and vintage offerings “found at auction in Paris and London and restored and reupholstered,” he says. The elegant “spider” chandelier in the living room is from Salvagni’s limited-edition collection; the wall sconces in the media room come from his “angel edition,” each carved from a solid block of onyx.
“Prints on the wall in the library are from the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt,” he notes. “They’re very precious and come from a book that recorded all the buildings, architectural details, and animal species known in Egypt at the time.” Custom features are omnipresent, says the designer.
“All hinges and handles were created for the house in bronze. In the basement, they’re seashell-themed; on the first floor, it’s fishes, and on the second floor, birds.” Salvagni increased the scale of the coffered ceilings and streamlined ship-like moldings in the kitchen, fine-tuning Fleetwood’s design plans.
“The original moldings were richer, heavier,” he points out. “We turned to a more contemporary, fresh, summer approach.” Other elements received a modern upgrade, such as the invisible flat-screen televisions throughout the home. “What appears to be an oil painting from the turn of the 20th century rolls up and a TV appears,” Salvagni says. “I tried to achieve a compromise between Hamptons expectations, the joyful palette of an Italian summer house, and fine heritage design from the ’50s and ’60s.”
The home, located on nearly two acres in Southampton’s Murray Compound, is currently listed by Grant for $32 million. Harald Grant, Sotheby’s International Realty, 50 Nugent St., Southampton, 283-0600