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Interior designer: Skye Kirby, Lillian August, 32 Knight St., Norwalk, CT 06851; 203/847-1596, lillianaugust.com.
Text by Jenny Bradley
Photographs by Squire Fox
There are few summer getaways more desirable than the Hamptons. That may be partly due to the see-and-be-seen social scene, but the Hamptons' intense natural beauty is impossible to ignore. In fact, it's downright inspiring. Just ask Skye Kirby, designer and vice president of stores and marketing for retailer and interior design firm Lillian August. While the scenery served as Skye's muse as she created the pool house-turned-couple's retreat for the 2009 Hampton Designer Showhouse, the retreat's inner beauty gives the area's outer beauty a run for its money.
Envisioned as a summer studio for an artistic couple, the pool house boasts charming interiors inspired by the long, wide beaches and the energetic surf juxtaposed with acres of farmland nestled between the ocean and the bay, explains Skye.
The neutral color palette is injected with only the slightest hints of color--in the form of Hamptons blue (of course) and ocher. "I used a lot of heathery colors inspired by the Hamptons landscape--grasses, blue sky, sea, sand," says Skye. "All these subtle colors--gray-blue, green, and gold--really influenced the interior palette. It feels very Hamptons-y. And very refreshing."
Substantial, curl-up-and-cozy furnishings from Lillian August, flagstone floors, and sisal rugs encourage the low-key, sand-between-the-toes lifestyle. A peppering of soft pattern does nothing to discourage the dreamy, soul-soothing atmosphere. Nor do the purposefully simple accessories. "Lack of clutter is an absolute must for a body-and-soul retreat," notes Skye.
Another must? A "wonderfully cushy" bedroom. Upstairs, the master bedroom provides the one exception to Skye's light-and-airy color palette. The combination of a curvaceous tufted headboard and layered bed linens balances the charcoal-gray-and-ocher scheme to create a retreat that is neither purely masculine nor purely feminine. It's handsome, yet alluring.
Across the hall lies another of Skye's body-and-soul-soothing necessities--a creative space in which to focus on any and all right-brain activities that tickle your fancy. In this case, that creative outlet revolves around art. An under-the-eaves artist's studio is outfitted with a highly edited and fittingly sculptural selection of furnishings. The only hint of color comes from the artwork and the ocher valance--inspired by the golden glow of the undulating wheat field.
"That field is hypnotizing," effuses Skye. "When it flows in the wind, it resembles the ocean. A sea of wheat. It's incredibly soothing and inspiring."
A trio of vintage outdoor pieces from Lillian August creates a cozy poolside area ideal for a quiet tête-à-tête.
Table; chairs; vase on table; planters: Lillian August, 203/847-3314.
Put-your-feet-up living room furniture from the Lillian August Collection for Hickory White. Drapery fabric by Romo. Lamps from Lillian August.
Upholstered sofa ("Belvedere" in "Mike"/Linen); upholstered sofa ("Albert" in "Vinson"/Beige); club chair ("Albert" in "Erdel"/Seafoam); chair ("Quinn" in "Hawks"/Seafoam): Lillian August for Hickory White, 336/884-2244, hickorywhite.com.
Coffee table ("Sydney"); console table ("Sigvard): Lillian August for Hickory White, 828/322-8624, hickorywhite.com.
Pillows on sofa with Greek key trim; tray on coffee table; coral; lamps on console table; baskets; floor lamp beside wing chair: Lillian August, 203/847-3314.
Art behind console: Janet Slom, 917/846-7827.
Carpet ("Madagascar"): Merida, 800/345-2200, meridameridian.com.
Drapery: Romo, 212/319-7666, romo.com.
Drapery hardware: Robert Allen, 800/333-3777, robertallendesign.com.
Art on wall beside club chair (Something, by Julie Headland): Julie Headland, julieheadland.com.
Paint ("Seapearl" #OC-19): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667, benjaminmoore.com.
A subtle sea-and-sand-hued Greek Key border on floor cushions from Lillian August maintains the pool house's cozy and tranquil mood.
A table from BoBo Intriguing Objects serves as a desk in the studio. The shade fabric is F. Schumacher & Co.
Desk ("Tapestry Table"): BoBo Intriguing Objects, 404/355-2309, bobointriguingobjects.com. Custom finish through Lillian August Workshop, 203/847-1596, lillianaugust.com.
Desk lamp; desk chair (one-of-a-kind); ottoman ("Billy Stool," from Artesia); stool; easel (antique); sculpture on desk: Lillian August, 203/847-3314.
Art on easel (by Julie Headland); art on wall beside desk (by Julie Headland): Julie Headland, julieheadland.com.
Carpet (Nostalgia Collection): Fibreworks, 800/843-0063, fibreworks.com.
Shade fabric ("Trellis Print," by Trina Turk): Schumacher, 800/523-1200, fschumacher.com.
Paint ("White Sand" #OC-10): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667, benjaminmoore.com.
Driftwood sculpture is available at Lillian August.
Sculpture on desk: Lillian August, 203/847-3314.
The curvaceous tufted bed and wing chair are from the Lillian August Collection for Hickory White. Shade fabric is F. Schumacher & Co. Striped rug is Tamarian.
Bed ("Devonoshire Queen Bed" in "Burberry"/Slate); upholstered chair ("Clayton Chair" in "Mike"/Linen): Lillian August for Hickory White, 336/884-2244, hickorywhite.com.
Mattress (Hastens 2000T): Lillian August, 203/847-3314.
Bedside table ("Alfred Chest," Antiquaire Collection): Lillian August for Hickory White, 828/322-8624, hickorywhite.com.
Striped rug (Tsukden lamb rug): Tamarian, 800/854-0538, tamarian.com.
Shade fabric ("Bleecker"/Twilight #174040): Schumacher, 800/523-1200, fschumacher.com.
Art beside bedside table: Janet Slom, 917/846-7828.
Paint ("Baby's Breath" #OC-62): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667, benjaminmoore.com.
A serene under-the-eaves bathroom.
Vanity; mirror; sconce; sink; faucets; tile: through Farrell Building Company, 631/537-1068, farrellbuilding.com.
Drawing of girl on door; painting over towel rack: Janet Slom, 917/846-7827.
Vase on vanity: Lillian August, 203/847-3314.
Skye Kirby's 10 "must-have" body + soul elements
Heathery grays, blues, golds, and whites--in the Hamptons, these colors come naturally from the landscape and the ocean.
Comfortable seating and ottomans
When you want to cuddle up and relax, you always need a place to put up your feet.
A clutter-free zone
I am a believer that less is more. Over-accessorizing can take away from the calming nature of a room and become distracting.
Whether to read, to escape into, to inspire, or just to look good.
There should always be a good source of music to set the mood and create relaxation.
I'm a big believer in having a throw in every room to wrap yourself in--preferably while enjoying that good cup of coffee or tea.
Orient your space to the best view. If you don't have a view, create one with original art or photography of the things you love.
Light and candles
Always maximize natural light. Ambient light can also effectively create a mood, if done with thought. And don't forget the candles.
I love flowing panels. When the windows are open, the breeze creates a rippling that is not unlike the water.
Create a space for whatever your pleasure is, a place that's totally dedicated to your creative outlet.