By Bryn Kenny Photography by Eric Striffler| January 1, 2015 |
The heavy hitters call on rising star interior designer Bradley Stephens for a dose of glamour in their east end abodes.
Bradley Stephens’s first design project in the Hamptons was this home in bridgehampton, which he says is “a modern take on classic Hamptons style.”
Bradley Stephens may have grown up in Texas and settled in Manhattan, but the Hamptons has always felt like his home away from home. “I first visited the Hamptons a dozen years ago, soon after moving to New York, and I was instantly smitten,” he says. “Coming over the dunes and seeing the Atlantic Ocean stretched out before me took my breath away, and I’ve never gotten over it.”
These days, Stephens gets to play and work on the East End, having become one of the community’s go-to interior designers following his participation in the Hampton Designer Showhouse in 2010. His design firm, Stephens Design Group, just completed work on a family compound in Bridgehampton and is currently working on a “traditional, beach-inspired Hamptons home” in Bridgehampton as well as a more “modernist, gallery-like” space in Amagansett. There’s no doubt this ability to move seamlessly between two vastly different aesthetics has become Stephens’s calling card, and ultimately, his recipe for success.
“I start with a detailed study of my client’s lifestyle and aspirations and spend hours talking through every detail of how each part of the home needs to function in order to fit [with that] lifestyle,” Stephens says. “I basically write a novel about my client’s aspirations and focus on carefully translating and refining their own personal sense of style.”
Stephens sites architects Deborah Berke and Caroline Wharton as well as designer Bruce Bierman as several of his greatest influences. “All three helped shape my design sensibility from the start of my career,” he says, adding that he also seeks inspiration from places, particularly historical cities. “I’m particularly drawn to Paris and London—I find the effortless mash-up of history and modernity in these ancient, vital cities completely intoxicating.”
When he’s not knee-deep in one of his ongoing Hamptons projects, Stephens spends his free time taking advantage of the lack of crowds and the tranquility that settles over the East End during the off season. “I’m always ready to jump into my favorite things about fall in the Hamptons—snuggling by the outdoor fireplace with a glass of wine, beach walks, cooking up family-style dinners with friends—it’s incredible because you feel like you’re in on a big secret,” he says. “The contrast [between New York and the Hamptons] is an amplified version of my Texas childhood, and I thrive on both [ways of life].”