THE 2019 Hampton Designer Showhouse


We were honored to be included as one of twenty participating designers in the Hampton Designer Showhouse 2019 sponsored by Traditional Home.  We wanted to share some details outlining our process for the room.  From an original  Stanford White gilt mirror to an Isamu Noguchi paper light sculpture, our room celebrates the creative bastion that Long Island is and has been for many generations. As a descendant of Stanford White, I have enjoyed Long Island through a lens set up by him and his wife, Bessie Smith. Through the generations, their summer home has become a place where natural materials live alongside combinations of furnishings. Art and furniture collected on journeys or produced by their friends are juxtaposed with antiques in an elevated environment that always feels relaxed and welcoming. 

We wanted to share this experience through the elements of decoration in Bedroom Number 5.

Shells and stones from the beach were our inspiration for the subtle color palette found in the walls and fabrics. The furnishings are a mix of French Antiques, Mid-century as well as newly crafted pieces.

The art included represents four generations of descendants of Stanford White as well as current photographers and artists from across the world.


We were assigned bedroom #5, which is a basement bedroom with one window that looks out onto a sizeable full-height window well. We wanted to bring in as much light and nature as possible and worked with this design challenge.



To start the project, we pulled some items together that were inspiring and made us think of Long Island. Some shells found on a beach walk, a mottled Pollockesque fabric from Diamond Foam and Fabric, a vintage sun hat purchased on a trip to Nova Scotia.


An image of the beach we walk to clear our minds. We often find project inspirations in nature: natural forms and scale, color combinations, and pairings. I realize now the blue on the daybed matches the blue of the Long Island Sound.



We wanted to layer a rug over the patterned wall-to-wall carpet in the room. We were looking for a piece that was soft under bare feet and could lighten the floor. We chose a beautiful ecru broad-loom that is incredibly soft and durable. It is a hemp and sisal mix. Our friends (TONY!) at  Van Den Loom helped us find it.  We wanted the walls to be welcoming and restorative and push light around the room. We had recently used Setting Plaster from Farrow and Ball in a project, and it jumped out to us.  The sheer linen curtains are made with fabric supplied by Thibaut who also provided the fantastic French linen for the upholstered pillows and mattress on the bed THANK YOU THIBAUT!!

Here is a preliminary rough sketch of what we saw the room to be. We thought a way to bring nature and light in was large scale photography as well as a large mirror. We ended up swapping the placement of the mirror and the bed as it felt more natural to have the bed along the wall at the room’s entrance.


A typical pile found in our studio as projects evolve, and we are sorting through materials. I love that the Sea Salt pita chips made it in, as I do think we were trying to capture some of the sea. We love so many of the trims from Samuel and Sons (an old favorite) and added one as the way to close the bolster. These sort of details excite us no end! Thank you, Samuel and Sons, we will be coming back again and again!



We (finally) met the immensely talented (and hilarious, and kind, and generous) Laure Joilet when she shot our Los Caballeros project for Domino Magazine. We were lucky to work with her again on a project in Cambridge, MA. We were admiring the photos she was posting from her Italian honeymoon and asked if she had had any art photography she could send us to use in the room. She sent some options over, and this one seemed so right!

The sconces are the Charlton Wall light from Circa Lighting.  We have been using pieces from Circa for years. One of the many highlights of the Showhouse opening party was meeting Gale Singer, the founder of Circa Lighting, and hearing how she was drawn into designing and making lighting. This photo highlights the beautiful 19th century French Iron Daybed from Laurin Copen Antiques with the mattress covered in Thibaut fabrics.


This wall celebrates Long Island artists and makers. On the wall three generations of descendants of Stanford White are represented.  An ink study by Robert White, a Beach Landscape by  Christian White, and Genevieve’s Horseshoe Crab Painting form a family streak.  (A painting by Christian is also featured on the July cover of Dan’s Papers). “Sparks & Stars, New Year's Eve, Nicaragua” photograph by our dear friend and magical photographer, Ira Lippke adds to the mix. Sitting on the desk is a leather catchall by Andrew McAteer, a Lip Ceramic Plate by Ippolita Ferrari.   The ceramic vase is vintage and was picked up at a local church sale.  One of the last pieces to fall into place was the desk. We felt the room needed some contemporary furniture that fell in line with what we were creating.  We were ecstatic when we came across the Sebastian Desk and Chair by the ever-thoughtful Volk Furniture from Brooklyn.  Another maker that we often use and have long admired is Workstead. Their candle-like adjustable Chamber Table Lamp fits so perfectly with the vibe of the room! 


This stained glass piece was made by Zachary White, another descendant, who also comes from a long line of stained glassmakers. He learned his skills from his great aunt.  Zachary makes beautiful pieces like this eel when he is not busy as an architect. 


We have a soft spot for worn things. The patina of the antique french bed does all the right things. 

The hat is from LALI Shop, Carter Designs lifestyle store and showroom in St. James, New York.


Isamu Noguchi kept a studio in Long Island City where there is now a museum.  One of his light sculptures was a natural addition to the room with its organic and timeless shape. A gentleman from Amagansett attended the Showhouse preview party admired the light and shared that he knew Isamu Noguchi personally and how lovely he was.


The addition of the mirror was absolute serendipity as I was walking down the street near the D&D building I saw an image of Stanford White in Lowy Frames window. I wandered in to introduce myself and learned they carried a line of reproductions of frames designed by Stanford White as well as originals. Lowy so generously lent us an original for the Showhouse. This mirror is stunning in person and adds to the room as well as inspired the multigenerational story.



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Desert Landscape Photograph By Laure Joilet, Charlton Wall Light, Circa Lighting, Stanford White Gilded Frame, Lowy Frames, Christian White Landscape Painting, Antique French Bed and Vintage Upholstered Chair, Laurin Copen, Mia Floorlamp by Circa Lighting, Overhead Light, Isamu Noguchi Akari Light Sculpture,  Book on Fairfield Porter, Table Light , Workstead  Chamber Table lamp Wall color: Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster

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Thibaut Fabric, Solid Blue Grey LInen:  Pattern: Dyed Wheat, Color: Orage, Bolster Fabric: Thibaut,  Pattern: Cairo, Color: Eggplant, Cord for Bolster 3/8” Gresham Woven Cord: Color: Prussian Blue from  Samuel and Sons, Vintage Italian Table, Cosulich Interiors, Printed Italian Linen Fabric Diamond Foam and Fabric, Items Available through LALI Shop: Andrew McAteer Catch-All, Ippolita Ferrari Lip Dish, Zachary White Stained Glass Piece, Genevieve Carter Horseshoe Crab Painting, Books: Stanford White ArchitectStanford White, Letters to his Family , Private Gardens of the Hudson Valley, Rescuing Eden, (Thank you Monacelli Press!)



There are so many wonderful things to see and enjoy at the Showhouse besides our room.It is open until September 2.


genevieve Carter