In Southampton, Mariana and George Kaufman unwind in their vibrant wonderland.
Mariana Kaufman surrounded by the lush landscape created by her husband, along with Patrick and Mary Manley, to reflect her Greek heritage.
Southampton’s Mariana Kaufman is noted for her elegant sense of style, warmth, devotion to family, and love of entertaining—qualities that become clear to anyone who visits her inviting East End home. She helped found the Couture Council at the Fashion Institute of Technology and has served on the board of the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation. Her husband, George S. Kaufman, chairman of the Kaufman Organization and Kaufman Astoria Studios, is a prominent real estate developer and a member of the boards of the Whitney Museum, the Fashion Institute of Technology, Exploring the Arts, and the Museum of the Moving Image.
In the 1970s, George purchased a home on Southampton’s Murray estate that was once used as a barn. With the help of the well-known Southampton landscaper Patrick Manley and Manley’s wife, Mary, he created a verdurous landscape with a lush, flower-filled garden to reflect Mariana’s Greek background and her love of white. “Mrs. Kaufman is very sophisticated,” says Manley. “She wanted something crisp.”
Arriving at the stately gate, lined with ilex hedges, visitors immediately notice the centerpiece of the driveway: a stunning, 100-year-old locust tree. Further along, a cloud planting of boxwood balls flanks the home’s entrance, and green shutters and festive green-and-white-striped awnings decorate the white façade. Terracotta planters burst with white geraniums.
Walking through the cheerful home, past an interior garden, one arrives at the patio, a covered space filled with wicker sofas and tables and planted with palms, evoking the flavor of the Mediterranean. “It reminds me of Palm Beach, where we winter,” says Mariana. “I wanted something cozy and beautiful. The area blooms all summer and fall. We have a vegetable garden with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. George loves sitting in the gazebo, reading the papers. It’s a typical Southampton cottage. We wanted to keep it simple, pretty, and clean-cut.”
Beyond the patio, the pool is a box-bordered oasis, lined with hydrangeas, New Guinea impatiens, dahlias, angelonia, and lythrum. Pots burst with mandevilla, caladium, scaevola, and Algerian ivy. A sunken tennis court lies ahead, along with the charming gazebo, situated among ornamental grasses, lilacs, lilies, and salvia. Trees are under-planted with white begonias. And large groups of Annabelle, Limelight, and Endless Summer hydrangeas keep the two-acre property buzzing all season. The Kaufmans’ earthly paradise sparkles in the Hamptons (or is it the Mediterranean?) summer sun. Patrick J. Manley, Inc., 29 Westway Dr., Southampton, 283-8516