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Lovley Hamptons Guest Cottage

An iconic American house style goes pint-size and playful in a Hamptons seaside cottage

Written by Amy Elbert
  • Tria Giovan

    Growing up, architect Stuart Disston often vacation in Quoque, Long Island, and developed a soft spot in his heart for the Shingle-style houses that dotted the New York seaboard. Clad in sun- and salt-resistant red cedar and often sporting fanciful features like gambrel rooflines and towers, the Shingle-style house is a Yankee original. “It’s a very indigenous American style,” the architect says.

    While Shingle houses are famous for their sprawling proportions (just take a drive through Newport, Rhode Island; Cape Cod; or along the Hamptons shore), Disston took a more playful spin on the style when designing a guest home for Susie and Rob Koltun on Long Island’s Moriches Bay. An adorable pint-size version of the Koltuns’ main house, the two-story cottage has stained-gray shingle siding, a gambrel roof, bay windows, dormers, multiple porches, and even a tower housing a winding staircase.

    A pathway of blooms leads to the side entrance of the gambrel-roof garage, which complements the architecture of the guest cottage and main house. 

    Photography: Tria Giovan  
    Produced by Bonnie Maharam

    Architect: Stuart Disston, Austin Patterson Disston Architects, 376 Pequot Ave., P.O. Box 61, Southport, CT 06890; 203/255-4031,
    Interior designer: Douglas Graneto, Douglas Graneto Design, 61 Ridgeview Ave., Greenwich, CT 06830; 203/622-8383,  

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    Cozy Living Room

    Disston designed the two houses simultaneously, and while the 1,534-square-foot guesthouse certainly looks like a small-fry relative of the big house, Disston wasn’t trying to make a clone. “Because there are fewer rooms, this house could be more playful. It’s more like a Victorian-style cottage,” he says.

    A Vermilion “Hampton Stripe” rug from John Rosselli & Associates warms the room and repeats the green-and-gold color scheme. 

    Decorative painting on dresser: Andrea Torrens,
    Chairs (“Robert” #223): OHenry House Ltd.,
    Chair fabric (“Gooseye”/Frogbelly Green #7306): Twill Textiles, Through Rose Tarlow Melrose House Showroom, 212/750-7700. 
    Chair trim (“1.4-inch Lancaster Lattice Braid”/Pale Olive #977-39808-11): Samuel & Sons,
    End tables (Amy Perlin Antiques): owner’s collection.
    Lamps: The Antique & Artisan Center, 203/327-6022.
    Drapery fabric (by Old World Weavers); chair-pillow fabric (by Old World Weavers): Stark,
    Sofa (custom): KP Upholstery Inc.,
    Sofa fabric (“Baldwin” #009810T): Quadrille,
    Sofa trim (“1/4-inch Velay Cord with Lip” #981-30449-829): Samuel & Sons,
    Plaid pillows on sofa (“Ibiza”/Yellow, by Old World Weavers): Stark,
    Embroidered pillows on sofa (“Spring”/Gold): Chelsea Editions,
    Trim on plaid pillow (“3/8-inch Bellagio Cord w/Tape” #981-27922-9007): Samuel & Sons,
    Coffee table; rocker: owner’s collection.
    Tray on coffee table: Mecox,
    Leather rocker fabric (“Modena Margherita”/Caffe #52-1M, ultra-distressed pull-up with daisy embossment): Cortina Leathers,
    Area rug (“Hampton Stripe” by Vermilion Rugs): John Rosselli & Assoc.,
    Chair in corner to left of fireplace (“Renaissance Chair” #2885S): Artistic Frame,
    Chair fabric, front (“Monterey Woven Texture”/Straw #BR-89626.310): Brunschwig & Fils,

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    Cozy Spot

    Interior designer Douglas Graneto took cues from those details as he and Susie selected colors and furnishings. Like Disston, Graneto wanted the main and guest houses to relate—but not too closely. “There is definitely a cohesiveness between them, but there wasn’t an effort to make them match,” Graneto says. “The cottage is a lovely little folly, so we went with a lighter, fresher palette of yellow-golds and greens.” A decorative painter embellished yellow and green walls throughout with subtle glazed patterns such as strié and crosshatch finishes that add texture and a sense of age to the spaces. “We wanted to give the rooms a warmth and softness beyond what you get with basic wall paint,” Graneto explains.

    Armchairs from O. Henry House Ltd. are covered in “Gooseye” fabric in Frogbelly Green from Twill Textiles. 

    Chairs (“Robert Chair” #223): O Henry House,
    Chair fabric (“Gooseye”/Frogbelly Green #7306): Twill Textiles, Through Rose Tarlow Melrose House Showroom, 212/750-7700.
    Chair trim (“1.4-inch Lancaster Lattice Braid”/Pale Olive #977-39808-11); pillow trim (“3/8-inch Bellagio Cord w/Tape” #981-27922-9007): Samuel & Sons,
    Pillow fabric (“Ibiza”/Yellow, by Old World Weavers): Stark,
    End table (Amy Perlin Antiques): owner’s collection.
    Lamp: The Antique & Artisan Center, 203/327-6022.
    Drapery (“Jardin De Fantasie,” by Fonthill, discontinued): Stark,
    Drapery hardware (custom): Morgik Metal Designs,
    Area rug (“Hampton Stripe” by Vermilion Rugs): John Rosselli & Assoc.,   

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    Living Room Fireplace

    A striped rug from Brazil in the living room and window treatments made with an embroidered crewel fabric bring home the color scheme and reflect the handcrafted artisan details of the architecture. “The idea was to make the home feel light, airy, and comfortable,” the designer says.

    Salvaged lumber was fashioned into the mantel for  the river-rock fireplace. 

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    Breakfast Room

    The Koltuns have two college-age children, and knowing this would be a popular hangout for them and their friends, Graneto looked for durable and easy-care fabrics. “When we were choosing furniture, Susie and I would always ask ourselves, ‘Is this comfortable and would you want to lounge on it?’ ” Chairs in the kitchen were upholstered in fabrics laminated with a matte-finish vinyl so they are easy to wipe clean.

    A beamed and wood-plank ceiling and bay window define the dining area. The antique pierced-copper chandelier from Carlos de la Puente Antiques dates to the early 1900s. Window shades are made with a crewel fabric from Old World Weavers. 

    Table: owner’s collection.
    Chairs (“Renaissance Chair” #2885S): Artistic Frame,
    Chair fabric, front (“Monterey Woven Texture”/Straw #BR-89626.310): Brunschwig & Fils,
    Chair fabric, back (“Sandon”/Leaf Green #F3005-18, discontinued): Cowtan & Tout,
    Roman shade (“Jardin De Fantasie,” by Fonthill, discontinued): Stark,
    Roman shade trim (“2.25-inch Venise Border”/#977-28661-609): Samuel & Sons,
    Chandelier (antique): Carlos de la Puente Antiques,

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    Darling Kitchen

    In the kitchen, glass-front cabinets make items easy to find—an important feature for guests. The glass and other reflective surfaces, such as the painted wood ceiling, also reflect light and make the room feel spacious. “Susie even bought green and gold plates for the kitchen to play to the cottage’s color theme,” Graneto says. “The house feels fun and whimsical, and that’s its charm. You feel like you’re always on vacation in this warm little cottage.”

    A beadboard backsplash, farmhouse-style sink, and a copper triple-pendant “Il Poggio” light fixture from Country Gear above the island contribute to the cottage feel. 

    Light fixture (“Il Poggio” #203.11.OF): Country Gear Ltd.,
    Roman shade (“Jardin De Fantasie,” by Fonthill, discontinued): Stark,
    Roman shade trim (“2.25-inch Venise Border”/#977-28661-609): Samuel & Sons,
    Cabinetry (custom): Austin Patterson Disston Architects,
    Wall paint (“Linen White” #912): Benjamin Moore,  

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    Stunning Stairs

    The main level includes the living room, kitchen, and dining space. “Then there is this oversize staircase, which is the fun part,” Disston says. The tower staircase has white-painted beadboard walls and a mahogany railing that “spirals up like a ribbon.” Other cottage features include beamed and wood-plank ceilings, a river-rock fireplace, and dormers that create cozy alcoves upstairs. 

    An antique pedestal table by early-20th-century French designer Charles Dudouyt accents the curve of the staircase. A flat-woven runner softens the stair treads. 

    Wall paint (“Linen White” #912): Benjamin Moore,
    Table: Hamptons Antique Galleries,
    Stair carpet: Beauvais Carpets,  

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    Upstairs Landing

    Graneto and Susie both “love the hunt,” and as construction proceeded, they scoured area antiques shops. “We tried to mix in old pieces, particularly when it came to lighting,” Graneto says.  One of their first purchases was an oversize lantern that now hangs in the cottage stair tower. “Douglas has a talent for taking the things that I love and finding ways to incorporate them into our homes,” Susie says.

    Decorative painting: Andrea Torrens,
    Light fixture: Ann-Morris Inc.,   

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    Green Bedroom

    A shadow box with sea urchins hangs above the sea-grass headboard. The bedside wall lamp is from Gracious Home.  

    Art above bed: Bungalow,
    Decorative painting: Andrea Torrens,
    Bed: discontinued.
    Sconce (“Primitive Swing Arm Lamp” #5008777): Gracious Home,
    Side tables (from Amy Perlin Antiques): owner’s collection.
    Bedding fabrication: La Régence,
    Bed cover, plaid (“Linen Check Large”): Chelsea Editions, 
    Bed cover and pillow trim, striped (“Shore Stripe”/Green #J214F-05, discontinued): Cowtan & Tout,
    Pillow fabric (“Jacob Hand-Embroidered”/Olive on Cream #JJH1016E/05, by Jed Johnson Home): John Rosselli & Asoc.,

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    Upstairs Bathroom

    An open green-and-white vine trellis pattern painted by decorative painter Andrea Torrens accents the slanted walls and alcoves of the guest bath that adjoins the green bedroom.

    Decorative painting: Andrea Torrens,
    Toilet: Toto,
    Wall and shower tiles (by Barbara Barry): Ann Sacks,
    Vanity cabinet (custom): Austin Patterson Disston Architects,
    Sink: Kohler,
    Mirror: custom.

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    Gold Bedroom

    Woven headboards from Pottery Barn and gold patchwork-style coverlets on the beds create a cozy vibe.

    Decorative wall glaze (custom): Andrea Torrens,
    Lantern: Vidal’s Antiques,
    Headboard (“Corbin”): Pottery Barn,
    Dresser: owner’s collection.
    Decorative painting on dresser: Andrea Torrens,
    Drapery (“Trondheim”/Soleil #9423, discontinued): Pindler & Pindler,
    Bed cover and pillow fabrics: Sonia’s Place,
    Chair (“Laura” #192): O Henry House,
    Chair fabric (“Hedgefund” #BR-89729-345, colorway discontinued): Brunschwig & Fils,
    Antique poster: owner’s collection.
    Sisal area rug (“Pueblo”): Beauvais Carpets,
    Sconce (“Primitive Swing Arm Lamp”): Gracious Home,  

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    Back Porch

    The cottage has two porches and a balcony off the second-level master bedroom. 

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    Backyard Bliss

    Adirondack chairs wait for company beneath the trees.

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    Homeowner Susie Koltun and architect Stuart Disston.

  • Francesco Lagnese