Book Review : Out East – A Glimpse of Southhampton Design

Far removed from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan is the respite on the beaches of Long Island, filled with the beautiful homes of the Hamptons.  Jennifer Ash Rudick, hailing from the Southamptons herself, has written a wonderful testament of old and new architecture and styling coming together in her book Out East: Houses and Gardens of the Hamptons.  With photography by Tria Giovan, Rudick highlights a number of Southampton homes, cottages, and gardens, describing not only their styles but the history behind the homes and owners.

Rudick describes the homes featured in this book as having many variations of style, but all having “a common lack of showiness and vanity” (17).  These residences reflect on the personalities of those who dwell within them, making for a wide range of visual elements.  The first home is named “Chez Louise”, a Hampton home with classic elegance and American vibe.

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Following is the “Kilkare”, a home hidden away in deep fog right next the Atlantic; sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?  The owners attempted a modern reevaluation of the home without taking away from its original character and charm, which is something many homeowners desire to do, since the bones of a home often offer their own flair and sentiment.

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Departing from the classic feel, Rudick includes a fun home deemed the “Vibrant Shelter”, and island house which she claims was inspired by the artists Richard Serra and Ellsworth Kelly.  Bold colors and clean, minimalist lines define the spaces, making obvious references to their artistic counterparts while delivering a totally different attitude than some of the other homes in Southampton.

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Aside from the bigger, flashier homes, there is also a list of cottages included for a look into a slightly different style of Hamptons living, one which requires less square footage but lacks nothing in design.  One such cottage is in Sag Harbor, a nineteenth century colonial home furnished beautifully with dusty gray-blue tones and gold accents, making for a relaxed yet refined space.

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Towd Point is another of these cottages, and to me felt reminiscent of a beach condo down in South Texas.  The rope details and nautical theme are so quintessential to an island experience, and were used refreshingly in this cute home.

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Something completely different is found in “Into the Blue”, a cottage Rudick included in this segment, in which the owner wanted a blue and white theme.  Each space is packed with details, working together to create a chic, paisley wonderland.

Not only does Rudick do an amazing job weaving together stylistic elements of each unique home in her writing, but the pages and pages of beautiful photography are great to use for personal inspiration.  The stories behind each home and its eventual design make the book not only informative, but narrative–a great read for designers and others alike! This coffee table book from Vendome Press is a must for interior designers & enthusiasts out there!