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Great Color in a Hamptons Home

2015 New Trad designer Jen Going creates a vibrantly hued, family-friendly Hamptons retreat inspired by a colorful family photo

Written by Kari Costas

Inspiration comes from the most unlikely sources. For designer Jen Going, it was an old photograph of her cousin, dressed to the nines in deep blue, turquoise, and chartreuse. When a young lawyer approached her to build the ideal summer getaway for him and his family, she knew exactly where to start. 

Framed prints by the front door are by Jackson Radcliffe, a photographer who’s just 16 years old.

“We hung the photo on the inspiration board and started pulling product,” Going says. “The house is half a block from the beach, so the colors of the ocean and the dunes were an inspiration as well, but we amped them up.” 

Designer Jen Going’s vivid turquoise and chartreuse palette comes to life in this sunlit space.

The secretary from Gabby Home offers patinated polish. The prints from John Robshaw are framed in Lucite boxes with linen backing.

The peacock palette became the foundation for the design and also a way to address the home’s beachside location without getting literal. “With the Hamptons, that can be such a trap,” Going says. “You have to be careful not to fall into that.”

Concerned that mahogany walls were too formal for a beach house, Going worked with a cabinetmaker to create a custom finish using oak panels—a risk that paid off. A rug from Madeline Weinrib brightens up the room.

Going was brought on board from the very beginning of the project. Over the course of a year, the designer worked closely with architect Fred Ercolino and Hampton Builder to create the ultimate family retreat for the couple and their three children. 

Benjamin Moore’s “Balboa Mist” paint provides the perfect cool backdrop for summer entertaining. Bar stools from Arteriors add a rustic touch. 

The kitchen table, made from reclaimed wood with a jute-wrapped stretcher, is from Going and Czeck’s furniture line. For easy cleanup, Going laminated the banquette’s fabric.

“They do a lot of casual entertaining, which is represented all over the house,” says Going. They built an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven, as well as a spacious lower level with a wine cellar and tasting room, a bar, a billiards room, a playroom, and a home theater. 

Going had chairs, originally dark mahogany, lacquered in white and reupholstered, adding buttons on the backs for interest. “There’s no reason to spend the money if you have pretty chairs to start with,” she says. “If you’ve got something good, reinvent it!”

The peacock palette was carried throughout the house—from the bold blues in the much-used family room to the softer hues in the bedrooms upstairs. Interspersed throughout is a mix of budget buys and splurges tailored for the active family. “Comfort and bulletproof were the requirements for this house,” says the designer, laughing. “And storage!” 

Going opted for a bold blue grass cloth to achieve maximum impact with minimal wall space. The copper storage unit is a favorite trick of the designer’s: “I love using copper for log storage. It gets old and scratched and takes on a beautiful patina.”

This meant a lot of large-scale custom designs, like the area rug in the family room and the sideboard in the dining room, as well as pieces from Going Home, the furniture collection designed by Going and her partner Stephen Czeck. 

Going commissioned artist Maryanne Quinn to create the playful wool-felted “Surf Club” piece over the entertainment console. “I love working with up-and-coming artists to make pieces for clients,” says the designer. 

A custom backgammon table from Oomph provides for some lighthearted competition between the children and their grandparents.

“I like to use color and texture to interpret the feeling of a home,” Going says. “In this case, they suggest ‘beachy’ without screaming it. The whole vibe is very casual—beachy and fun.”

Going softened the peacock palette upstairs, opting for a silver-gray grass cloth on the walls that she likens to a classic summer-weight suit. A triptych from Trowbridge introduces the bolder colors used downstairs, but with a level of restraint. 

Schumacher’s “Modern Trellis” wallpaper in a cool blue adds a spa-like feel to the master bathroom. A pool photograph from Trowbridge and the shell mirrors from Made Goods introduce a coastal vibe. 

“I like bedrooms to be serene,” Going says, “and I love the combination of periwinkle and red.” A woven headboard from Made Goods and a rattan chair from Serena & Lily ground the airy space..

Portrait: Doug Young

Jen Going’s ideas for staying sane during the design process

  • Get referrals. Hire an architect and designer who come highly recommended by people you trust.
  • Start early. Bring in a designer and/or architect in the early stages to ensure that the project will unfold in a coordinated manner.
  • Do the dirty work first. Hold off on decorating until all of the architectural and construction details are done. It’s hard to go back and make a mess later!
  • Make the most of your space. Find a use for every little nook and cranny. Add a reading nook to a second floor hallway or squeeze a cool bar in, if possible. There’s always a little area that could be so much more.

Photography: Marco Ricca

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