It was a lovely Saltbox in the Hamptons. Now it is something else.
After 25 years of owning a charming saline home in the woods of Wainscott, a hamlet in the town of East Hampton, NY, Joe Tringali was ready for a change – a dramatic change.
“He wanted to live in a glass box,” said his architect, Reid balthaser.
Mr. Tringali, now 66, bought the three-bedroom, two-bathroom salt shaker in 1992 for $ 620,000 and used it mainly on weekends and during the summer. But six years ago, when he retired from his legal work (he now teaches at New York University and the University of Miami), he started spending more time there. And the little things he once found vaguely irritating have become major annoyances.
His loft-style room, for example, was on the second floor and had no door, so he could hear everything that was happening downstairs. And the living room was facing south, but there wasn’t a lot of light, so he rarely used it.
His tastes had also changed over time. The decor had a “strong Santa Fe influence superimposed on folk art,” said Robert kaner, his friend and interior designer. Now it looked old fashioned, Mr Tringali decided, and needed a clean, modern aesthetic.
Mr. Balthaser offered him three options: sell the house and build another one elsewhere. Demolish it and build a new one on the same lot. Or do what Mr. Balthaser described as an “organized intervention” – a fancy way of suggesting bowel renovation.
Mr Tringali took the third option and began a two-year process of turning the salt shaker into the Modernist home of his dreams (and adding another bedroom and bathroom along the way).
Mr. Balthaser’s strategy was to keep the shape of the original house while enlarging it to create more space and light, using specific materials to distinguish the old from the new.
“Everything new to the existing footprint” – including the enlarged living room, larger guest bathrooms, new guest suite, and the terrace outside the master bedroom – “ we dressed in thin slatted cedar, ”he said. “Everything that was there, we repainted it in stucco.”
In the entryway, vertical cedar slats create a dramatic screen that rises up the staircase instead of a solid wall – an item Mr. Tringali calls “a work of art in itself.”
Bringing cedar inside the house was “a bold thing to do for a colonial salt shaker,” Balthaser said, but “it breaks the boundaries between inside and outside and helps it feel contemporary and fresh “.
Up the stairs is Mr. Tringali’s new bedroom, with a redesigned bathroom and, yes, a real door.
Early in the process, Mr. Tringali introduced Mr. Balthaser to Mr. Kaner, a former lawyer who had been a partner in Mr. Tringali’s law firm and who had designed his Miami home a decade earlier. Together they tweaked some of the finishes, and Mr. Kaner then used the neutral palette of architectural elements to found the interior design, creating each room around variations on a single color: blues in the living room, reds in the den, and greens in the den. the master bedroom.
Mr. Tringali, noted his interior designer, is a fan of “beautiful and sophisticated, yet bold – they’re not in the Crayola box.”
Mr. Kaner had “a lot of leeway” in choosing the furniture, he said, a task he undertook in an attempt to create a house that was not “just for summer – I l ‘envisioned a great place to go anytime of the year.
Those who saw the house before the renovation, which cost around $ 1.5 million, will hardly recognize it now. The floor plan is similar, but almost everything else is new, including most of the furniture and fixtures. Even the pool has been reconfigured.
One thing that has survived: the non-working windmill in the garden that accompanied the house when Mr. Tringali bought it.
The subject of much debate during the renovation, it is currently used for storage. But Mr Balthaser hopes that Mr Tringali will eventually allow him to organize another organized intervention.
“I want to open it up and turn it into a cabin space,” he said. “It would make the coolest bar. “
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