BY JEFFREY SLONIM PHOTOGRAPHS BY ZEV STARR-TAMBOR| July 24, 2011 |
Food & Drink
Scott Campbell, in a shirt by Rogan, and Jayma Cardoso, in a dress by Electric Feathers, sit on a dune at the back of their house, which was designed by architect Beata Galdi
The master suite: Cardoso found the hide bedcover and
matching pillow in Buenos Aires. The couple snapped up the round mid-century seat at an East Hampton antiques fair.
Architect Beata Galdi’s work shines in the sleek kitchen. Cardoso found the driftwood on the counter, and the driftwood tree stump with legs under the counter comes from a design store.
If you are a power broker who has visited a hip lounge, chances are Jayma Cardoso, a beautiful Brazilian with an endearing manner and a delicious, lilting accent, has enhanced your evening. She owns The Surf Lodge in Montauk and Goldbar in Soho. The hospitality whiz is also managing partner at Lavo Italian Restaurant & Nightclub in midtown Manhattan. And while her warm demeanor suggests she is yours alone, she in fact shares her airy home in Amagansett with financier fiancé Scott Campbell.
Contrary to what you might think, they did not meet in a club. Campbell was Cardoso’s “annoying” partner at a tae kwon do class. When he walked into her club later, she forgot momentarily that she had even taken the class. They eventually met for drinks at the Mercer Hotel, and she asked him to pretend he was her boyfriend at an upcoming wedding. As it so happens, he was a great dancer and, presumably, kisser. They never stopped pretending.
When they both wanted to buy an apartment together in Manhattan, Cardoso suggested, “It could be a business thing.” Campbell countered: “And maybe we could do it because we’re thinking of spending the rest of our lives together.” Cardoso has yet to stop smiling.
East End Bliss
Not only did they buy in Manhattan, they now spend weekends at an East End getaway they discovered together, designed by local architect Beata Galdi. “I’ve been going to Montauk ever since I moved to New York from Brazil when I was 19 years old,” says Cardoso. “The nature there makes me think of home. I wanted a house with a lot of light. It had to feel airy... a blank white canvas.”
At the modernist escape, a wall of sliding windows opens to the dunes and a canopy of green, two blocks from the ocean. “At night we can hear the surf,” she says.
If The Surf Lodge has charm and wow factor, Cardoso and Campbell’s beach house elevates that aesthetic to a more subtle, arty note. “I wanted the amazing light and skylights to be the stars,” Cardoso explains. “You should be able to walk into a beach house in your bathing suit and sand and sit on a couch. Scott is from Colorado—he’s super-mellow.” She snapped up a patchwork of five Moroccan rugs sewn together at her pal Claudja Bicalho’s store, Lazypoint in Amagansett. (Bicalho and boyfriend Mark Wilson helped curate the home.) “My friend Bob [Melet] finds vintage linens for Ralph Lauren,” she says. “He found me the old comforter on the couch.” And while the bedroom is white-on-white with a hide throw, Cardoso occasionally adds scarves from Surf Bazaar at The Surf Lodge or from model Liya Kebede’s LemLem line for a punch of color.
The couple on the porch, Cardoso in a dress by LemLem by Liya Kebede
A Mark Wilson landscape from Lazypoint in Amagansett (one of the couple’s favorite stores), a vintage alaia surfboard from Jeff Taylor and a Brazilian spirit costume wearing a yellow lei
The overall look? “Modern with hippie accents,” says Cardoso, who collects artifacts like a groovy archeologist when she travels. A wooden bowl from Indonesia perched on a stool from Cameroon serves as a side table. Wilson designed a driftwood table and chair; the vintage surfboard and glowing recycled gas-pipe light are from Jeff Taylor. Next to the surfboard hangs a Brazilian spirit costume—a museum piece wearing a yellow lei. Notable artists in their subdued collection include Ross Bleckner, Eric Freeman and Mark Wilson. Legendary Montauk photographer Peter Beard gave Cardoso a sweet image of a baby tiger.
Her so-called day job comes with benefits. When designer Tracy Feith created a teepee for The Surf Lodge, the town of Montauk would not let the hotel use it. So, it became a rug in Cardoso’s bedroom. “And if my teepee rug weathers from wear,” she says, “it will be even nicer.”
While Cardoso and Campbell enjoy serving freshly grilled fish and caipirinhas to friends, she plans to eventually create a destination hotel with a restaurant and chic drinks. “Perhaps in Mexico or Brazil,” says Cardoso, who also adores North Island in the Seychelles. “I’d like to create a destination holistic spa.” But for now, her Brazilian pride comes through here at home. “When I found a Brazilian flag pillow at ABC,” she says, “I was literally jumping up and down.”