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."