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DEMOLITION has begun — and it ended, four hours later — at my East Hampton beach house, above. That’s how long it took to disappear two closets and a storage area in a corner of what’s eventually to become a ‘winter studio,’ and in summer, a great room with an open kitchen. Those four hours revealed a skylight and a large southwest-facing window, long blocked by the warren of unneeded storage spaces.
Below, top: ‘Before’ view showing a corner of the great room occupied by a group of closets. Below, bottom: ‘Now’ view showing that area of the rooms sans closets.
I love demolition. Tearing down walls is about the cheapest, most cathartic thing you can do in a home renovation, and it always makes a space lighter and airier. Sometimes you have to build walls, too, but removing them is the fun part.
I’ll be moving the kitchen into that newly opened-up corner. Yes, the kitchen I built just a year-and-a-half ago, below, has proved to be temporary; it served well for two seasons. But I’ve come to realize that if the great-room end of the long, narrow house is ever to be utilized — if people are ever to be induced to go down there — there needs to be FOOD. That’s really the only thing that gets people into a little-used part of a house, more so even than TV. Also, when I insulate that part of the house for my own use in the off-season, I’ll be needing a place to cook.
My plan is to simply move the appliances and the sink and possibly even some of the cabinets into the new area (the old kitchen area will become a small bedroom/study). I love the old kitchen, and it functions very well, so I intend to more or less replicate it in the new spot.
Meanwhile, I’m having fun on Pinterest, coming up with some of the photos below. They all have beamed ceilings, and most have a window in the center of the appliance wall. Their simplicity inspires me. And of course, a whitewash changes everything.
Next up: new windows!
GET READY to be blinded by the white…
They may look OK here, but trust me, they’re bad in spots, and I just couldn’t get excited about the idea of sanding and refinishing them when I can go all screaming white.
You’ll forgive me if I don’t properly credit the rest of the photos, lifted from other websites. Most of those sites didn’t give proper credit, so I don’t know the original sources. I did note that many of them seem to be of homes in London, though white-painted wood floors are very popular here in the Hamptons, too.
I’ve rented out my cottage for the last two weeks of August, and no sooner do I anticipate some extra income, I make plans to spend it.
Of the three main items remaining on my wish list (painting the floors, a new kitchen counter, and glassing in the screened porch to create a year-round room with fireplace), the last is too major to contemplate immediately, and of the first two, it’s the floors that bother me most.
So next Monday, a painter is coming to move all my furniture out to the back deck (weather permitting) or onto the screened porch (weather not), sand the sad floors down, and give them two coats of white paint for that clean, beachy look I covet.
I’m lovin’ it already. What do you think?
WANT TO RENT my bright and comfortable 1940s cedar-shingled cottage in Springs, N.Y. (5 miles north of East Hampton village) August 1-31? It’s on a landscaped half-acre with a view into peaceful woods from the back deck.
The house is half a mile – a 10 minute walk, 5 minute bike ride, or 2 minute drive –from the beautiful, unspoiled, never-crowded Maidstone Beach on Gardiner’s Bay.
– 2BR (one full bed, two twins), 1 bath
– High ceilings, skylights, screened porch, huge deck, best outdoor shower ever
– ½ mile to Maidstone Beach, 1 mile to Louse Point (another spectacular beach on Accabonac Harbor). Superb swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, etc.
– 5 miles to ocean beaches at East Hampton and Amagansett
-Under 1 mile to Springs Historic District, including Jackson Pollock-Lee Krasner House and Springs General Store
– 10 minutes East Hampton Village, 10 minutes Amagansett, 20 minutes Sag Harbor, 25 minutes Montauk (restaurants, bars, stores, art galleries, historic houses, movies, etc.)
– 2-1/4 hours from NYC, barring traffic
– Washer-dryer in basement
– Flat-screen TV, DVD player, Wi-Fi, printer, iPod dock
– A/C in living room, ceiling fans in LR and MBR
– $7,000 August 1-31
To see more photos, go here. Email email@example.com if interested in renting, or for more information. Thanks!