If designs were people, this oceanfront Hamptons interior by New York designer Eric Cohler wouldn't be just another pretty face. It would be a brainy Belgian beachcombing beauty toting a backpack bursting with books-about as ungeneric as it gets. Created as part of Traditional Home's Oceans 3 Showhouse in Montauk, New York, the villa definitely has its sea legs-sweeping views of the Atlantic ensure that. It's also pretty and polished, wearing cool sand colors, blues, and whites to deflect the summer heat and reference the sea.
But that's where any hint of a beach stereotype ends. A more cerebral thread weaves together a Eurocentric theme, a carefully curated collection of fine art, and a library rather than a media room to give the design more depth than might be expected from a typical American beach house.
Accordingly, he seated a new glass-top refectory table featuring four pairs of modernistic tripod legs with a mix of chairs of older styles and varying provenances, including a set of six made in 18th-century Sweden.
"I conceived it as a European take on a beach house," says Cohler, whose protégé on the project was Arlene Angard. "It could be on the coast of France or on the shore in any northern climate. It definitely says beach house but doesn't say which beach. The one thing it absolutely is not is Caribbean," he says. "There is nothing tropical about this design."
Interior designer: Eric Cohler, Eric Cohler Design, 95 Fifth Ave., Sixth Floor, New York, NY 10003; 212/737-8600, ericcohler.com.
Developer: Distinctive Ventures, LLC, 310 Northern Blvd., Great Neck, NY 11021; 516/482-2155 and sales division, 631/668-3000, distinctiveventures.com.
Builder: Gentry Construction Co. Inc., 201 Montauk Highway, Suite 7, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978; 631/288-9004, gentryinc.com.
Architect: Alexander D. Latham III, principal; Michael J. Iwanyczko, project manager, ADL III Architecture PC, 24 Woodbine Ave., Suite 1, Northport, NY 11768; 631/754-4450, adl3.com.