Designer Deborah Heimowitz warms a brand-new home in Water Mill with clean-lined furnishings, rich finishes, and a comforting pastoral palette.
Interior designer Deborah Heimowitz says her clients were ready for a more contemporary environment, so she combined clean lines and neutral colors, with abstract art to provide pops of personality.
It’s not every day that an interior designer has the opportunity to shape a home from the ground up. So when Deborah Heimowitz was asked recently to create the interiors for a new house in Water Mill, she worked diligently with her clients, Dr. Irving and Ellen Grauer, to refine architectural and material choices at every step along the way. “The three of us worked like a team,” says Heimowitz. “We added to and deleted from the builder’s spec sheet, repositioned certain elements, and offered input on details.” The result is a family weekend home that suits her longtime clients to a T.
Designed and constructed by well-known Hamptons builder Joe Farrell, the 7,800-square-foot, five-bedroom shingle-style home sits on a pastoral lot that opens onto a serene rolling lawn (with the horse farm of Today show host Matt Lauer next door). Having worked with her clients on their Manhattan apartment a dozen or so years ago, Heimowitz understood their tastes and values well. “They’re both very detail-oriented and fashion-forward,” says the designer, who presented the couple with three possible furniture schemes. “They love clean lines and neutral colors, and they chose to go with a transitional look to define the vibe.” She adds that here they were ready to ease into a setting more contemporary than the traditional style of their Upper East Side apartment.
“They wanted spaces that were comfortable enough to put your feet up but chic enough to feel grown up,” says Heimowitz, as in this guest bedroom.
Once they had settled on the spirit of the interiors, the designer collaborated with the Grauers to enhance the standard finishes and architectural elements with character-rich surfaces, like handmade Tunisian field tile in the kitchen, bluestone pavers on the patio, Wallace Creek fireplace surrounds in two living areas, and a rich brown stain on the wooden floors throughout. The trio also decided on the furniture—including upholstered pieces from Holly Hunt and case goods by Thomas Pheasant and Baker Furniture’s Barbara Barry Collection—along with plush fabrics and engaging accents that make the home as relaxing as it is beautiful. “They entertain a lot and often host out-of-town guests or their two grown children and their friends,” says Heimowitz, “so they wanted spaces that were comfortable enough to put your feet up but chic enough to feel grown up.”
Elements with rich textures—like rabbit-fur pillows, shagreen leather chairs, and ribbed silk-and-wool rugs—and a nature-inspired palette of khaki, saddle brown, pale gray, and touches of indigo graciously link the interiors to the outdoors, while vibrant abstract art from the owners’ collection and sculptural light fixtures, including a tiered chandelier (“a dramatic showstopper” the designer calls it) in the double-height entry, inject pops of personality throughout. In the end, says Heimowitz, “we had so much fun, my clients said, ‘Let’s redo the apartment in New York,’” where subtle reflections of their Water Mill home are now beginning to appear.