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French Rustic Minimalism In A Hamptons Home

French Rustic Minimalism In A Hamptons Home

PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICK JOHNSON

Trust is a delicate thing. most people make their leaps of faith only after considerable deliberation and often with more than a soupçon of anxiety. But in the end, observed Ernest Hemingway wryly, “The best way you can find out if you trust somebody is to trust them.” When it came to hiring designer Francine Gardner, the owner of this Shingle-style home in the Hamptons followed Hemingway’s dictum. As it turned out, there was absolutely no need for trepidation.

The women met years ago when the client wandered into Intérieurs, Gardner’s home furnishings store, which was then in Tribeca and now occupies a town house on the Upper East Side. Their relationship was instantly symbiotic, and the client, at that time unmarried, engaged Gardner to design her apartment. It was the first of five projects that the two would undertake together. “Our tastes are so similar,” concedes the client, who spends weekends and summers at her new Hamptons retreat with her husband and their two young children. Even in separate conversations the two intone the same adjectives to describe aspects of the design.

Gardner was called in for the Hamptons endeavor after architect Todd Nagy tore down an existing ranch house on the property—in one of the quaint villages along Long Island’s South Fork—and drew up new plans. “The concept was to have its design fit into the fabric of the historic district of the village,” explains Nagy. “By showing a greater proportion of shingled roof and adding elements such as doghouse dormers, ridge flares and brackets supporting pent roofs, the house speaks of the rich English history brought to the Hamptons by its earliest settlers.”

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