We Are Family
C


OLOR ME MOM!
 And, WOW, how my life changed in a heartbeat! People always say “get ready” but I didn't really understand until it happened to me...then everything turned upside down! Priorities shift. No matter how many books you read, or experts you consult, you don't really know what it is to be a mom until you become one. And, you should watch what you say! I can't tell you how many times I said to myself, "I would never do that" but you never know till you walk in those shoes. So, no judgements! Great moms get on-the-job training and learn with their little ones. In fact, my first summer with my first child in our Bridgehampton Summer Home was one big practical learning experience! 

For example, you cannot put white linen on your couch if it cannot come off and be cleaned. While this may sound like an “of course” moment, there is more. I know now (and I didn't know then) if you are going to commit to the white, you must be willing to buy two covers so that while one is out being cleaned, your sofa still has an outfit! Storage becomes a priority. You always need somewhere to put the stuff! Kids require so much of it —the basics, the toys, the gear — their stuff will fill up your space in no time at all. For this reason, I am all about function and form: find places to stow stuff in or under quickly. Turn chaos into order without going crazy; get some "undercover containers"! 

Our Hamptons home is a beach house and I wanted it to feel like a beach house... a place for play. I think it a sin to create a beach house where everyone (including the kids) can't let loose and eat popsicles! I cannot tell you how many times we pulled up stools, poofs, and pleather covered chairs to eat a clam bake on the lucite table in the family room. Keep it casual but clutter free. And always keep it personal. Once I put the IKEA storage under the Damien Hirst, it made a world of difference in our clutter room—scratch that, family room! Because the number one priority is to enjoy the people and places you love! 
PHOTO: Nancy Nolan

“Life without love
is like
a year without
Summer”

SWEDISH PROVERB


DOMUS VOLUMES 1-12 are a a great way to build up your design library (walks you through a history of design) and brighten up your shelves!
LULU by LULU DK shows that she not only knows how to jazz up your house with her fabrics, but she also knows how to jazz up your coffee table with her vibrant book!
JEFF KOONS has some of the most playful and whimsical art that you can find! It's no surprise that his book as the same vibe.
RYAN MCGINNESS has some of the most fabulous abstract art in the most lively colors. I'd love to have one on my wall, but am more than happy to settle with having it on my coffee table!
<span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 18px;">Bridgehampton<br />
1810 Farm House</span>
We are Family
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Bridgehampton
1810 Farm House


When we bought the house, it had a great red door that everybody loved. In fact, when I started talking about changing the color, I got a LOT of push back. But I wanted it to feel softer and more inviting, so I chose this warm green with an ever so subtle brightness that I think set the perfect tone! <em>Please enter...</em><br />
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This Old House
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The House

When we bought the house, it had a great red door that everybody loved. In fact, when I started talking about changing the color, I got a LOT of push back. But I wanted it to feel softer and more inviting, so I chose this warm green with an ever so subtle brightness that I think set the perfect tone! Please enter...



The door is always open, and, therefore we need flexible design spaces. These bright benches move easily to join the sunroom at right, or the large coffee table that doubles as a dining table whenever the mood strikes!<br />
This Old House
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Entry

The door is always open, and, therefore we need flexible design spaces. These bright benches move easily to join the sunroom at right, or the large coffee table that doubles as a dining table whenever the mood strikes!


Not only does the fireplace provide warmth on cooler beach evenings, but it also creates a ledge for favorite objects that are high above the reach of tiny hands! (Indestructible objects and photos of parents are safe on the lower hearth.) I decided to leave the original mantle because it felt real and warm and a little âoffâ, which made it perfect. The cover blends with the fireplaceâand creates safety from hot embers.<br />
This Old House
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The Fireplace

Not only does the fireplace provide warmth on cooler beach evenings, but it also creates a ledge for favorite objects that are high above the reach of tiny hands! (Indestructible objects and photos of parents are safe on the lower hearth.) I decided to leave the original mantle because it felt real and warm and a little “off”, which made it perfect. The cover blends with the fireplace—and creates safety from hot embers.


<span _fck_bookmark="1" style="display: none;"> </span>Affordable storage from IKEA keeps things organized while adding shots of color from toys and books. The buckets also come in all white and a lot of other colors if those work better with your decor! <span _fck_bookmark="1" style="display: none;"> </span> I chose these colors because the Damien Hirst above them allowed for some pretty powerful color below! <br />
This Old House
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Storage everywhere!

 Affordable storage from IKEA keeps things organized while adding shots of color from toys and books. The buckets also come in all white and a lot of other colors if those work better with your decor!   I chose these colors because the Damien Hirst above them allowed for some pretty powerful color below! 


This sunny room doubles as a space for multiple laptops and play time too. Small chairs, just her size, make Olivia feel part of the conversation. The funny thing is that at least one out of three adults sat in one of her chairs instead of one of the bigger chairs, just proving that bigger is not always better! <br />
This Old House
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Home Office, for everyone

This sunny room doubles as a space for multiple laptops and play time too. Small chairs, just her size, make Olivia feel part of the conversation. The funny thing is that at least one out of three adults sat in one of her chairs instead of one of the bigger chairs, just proving that bigger is not always better! 


While the dining room seems more formal, all surfaces are durable and easy to wipe clean. A key lock on the china cabinet keeps dishes safe when not being used. As you may notice, I brought my favorite objects with me from my previous homes, including this painting by Chris Cosnowski, <a href="http://www.coz-art.com" style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-decoration: underline;" target="_blank">www.coz-art.com</a>.<br />
This Old House
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Dining Room

While the dining room seems more formal, all surfaces are durable and easy to wipe clean. A key lock on the china cabinet keeps dishes safe when not being used. As you may notice, I brought my favorite objects with me from my previous homes, including this painting by Chris Cosnowski, www.coz-art.com.


We recently sold the farm house, which makes me extremely sad right about now. We tried and tried to make it work for our expanding family, but after many studies by a great architect, Sam White [whose firm <a href="http://www.pbdw.com" style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-decoration: underline;" target="_blank">PBDW</a> built this study],<span _fck_bookmark="1" style="display: none;"> </span> we found that what we needed was going to be too much house for the land size. We didn't want that because we loved the little farm house and wanted to keep its integrity. So now we are building a house in Amagansett, NY, but, <em>more on that next volume! </em><br />
This Old House
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Making Plans

We recently sold the farm house, which makes me extremely sad right about now. We tried and tried to make it work for our expanding family, but after many studies by a great architect, Sam White [whose firm PBDW built this study],  we found that what we needed was going to be too much house for the land size. We didn't want that because we loved the little farm house and wanted to keep its integrity. So now we are building a house in Amagansett, NY, but, more on that next volume! 


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Just-their-size Chairs  


One of my favorite discoveries as a designing mom
has been mini-me chairs
—perfectly sized for kids to call their own.
More and more designers have gotten into the game lately, from JONATHAN ADLER
to JENNIFER DELONGE and CYNTHIA ROWLEY. Even the design clasics like
the Ghost and Panton chairs come in kid sizes. It's the easiest way to get kids to sit!
And they'll be doin' it with style...

Life loves
to be taken by the
lapel and told:

“I am with you kid.
Let’s go!”

MAYA ANGELOU

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