Campion Platt and Joe Farrell's Water Mill Masterpiece

BY MIKE OLSON | June 11, 2013 |

One is an Architectural Digest “AD100” interior designer and Water Mill resident who has crafted stunning residences for an array of celebrity clients such as Meg Ryan and Al Pacino. The other is a master builder and Bridgehampton resident who has been constructing dream homes along the East End since 1996. Separately, Campion Platt and Joe Farrell have reached the pinnacles of their respective fields, becoming synonymous with high-quality work and luxury living. Together, their collaboration on the elegant show home at 24 Mecox Bay Lane in Water Mill could change the face of Hamptons real estate. “I’ve had two or three private clients over the past few years who have all bought Farrell houses,” says Platt. “So I thought, Why not try to do something together with his architecture and my interiors?”

What Platt didn’t know was that he already had a fan in Farrell. “He did a home for one of my clients, and when I saw it, I was blown away by the job he did,” the builder remembers. “Then when I met him, I was even more impressed.” In 24 Mecox Bay Lane, the duo had the perfect blank slate—6,200 square feet meticulously designed by Farrell for Platt to curate, with a $9.35 million price tag that falls right in the sweet spot for each of their client bases.

It may appear that money was no object, but the finished product was achieved in the face of budget constraints that would scare off most other designers. “A homeowner would have spent three times what I did, so Campion was really restricted because of my budget,” admits Farrell. “It’s a lot more work to find stuff that looks great in a price range. I challenged him, and he blew me away with the results.”

Platt’s secret weapon in delivering a gorgeous home without a “money is no object” mantra: an almost intimidating amount of planning. “I’m kind of known for exhaustive detail in every room,” laughs Platt, who points to the hours he spent at Manhattan’s Strand bookstore picking out the tomes that he felt the hypothetical family at 24 Mecox Bay Lane would most likely read.

But counting dollars and cents wasn’t Platt’s only challenge—Farrell also gave him a six-week timetable. (Normally, he would have up to nine months to work with a client.) The designer saved time by preparing a meticulous spreadsheet to keep Farrell abreast of precise costs, including labor. When it came to ordering his furniture, Platt eliminated guesswork by measuring each piece’s elevations and dimensions down to the quarter inch, and inputting them into his floor plan. “Joe was very specific about the design intent,” says Platt, and the pair both agreed that they had no interest in the dated, traditional look that can be found in the older homes of Southampton.

“It’s a classic shingle-style house, but the molding is really understated, and it’s all painted white, so you can insert a modern interior and it works very well in contrast,” Platt explains. Ultimately, that allows Farrell’s trademark design to deliver the classic Hamptons touches—custom moldings, detailed coffers, raised paneling—while giving Platt the freedom to introduce a modern aesthetic with bold colors rarely associated with the East End.

Located just off Mecox Bay in Water Mill, the home was designed to capture stunning farm and bay views. There are private terraces off the master suite and secondary bedroom. The lower level (which Platt did not work on) adds an additional 2,500 square feet of recreational areas that include a wine closet and gym area. However, both Farrell and Platt point to the same area of 24 Mecox Bay Lane as its highlight—the great room and living room (with its Venetian wall finishes and access to the outdoor areas) that share a fireplace wall and open up to the kitchen, which Platt describes as “the soul” of the home. “This really represents Joe’s direction and the direction of houses being decorated in the Hamptons,” says Platt.

Considering how many homes he’s built and staged over the past two decades, Farrell couldn’t believe the end result. “When I walked in, it didn’t look like a staged home; it looked like a finished home,” Farrell explains. “There was nothing left undone. It was so well thought out.”

As a result, Farrell expects the buyer of this Water Mill residence to purchase the home with the furnishings. Not only does Platt agree, but he sees his partnership with Farrell as the wave of the future. “I think in the coming year you’ll see a lot more houses that are staged,” Platt explains. “It seems to be the way accelerated sales happen in the Hamptons now. It’s about who can have the best location with the best house and the best interiors.”

Ask Farrell, and he imagines many more collaborations with his new friend. “Absolutely,” says the builder. “I’ve already given Campion his next job.” Farrell Building Company, 2317 Montauk Hwy., Bridgehampton, 537- 1068; Campion Platt Interiors, 152 Madison Ave., NYC, 212-779-3835

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC STRIFFLER, Edge Media (exterior)

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