Outdated Montauk Home Becomes Modern Retreat on a Minimal Budget

Montauk, NY

A young couple came to us with an intriguing design challenge: they wanted to modernize their outdated retreat in Montauk for minimal expense. The British husband and American wife also just welcomed their first child, so they wanted the house to be beautiful, but it also had to be simple and easy to care for.

“My husband, daughter and I use the house on the weekends throughout the year for both entertaining and cozying up together,” the wife says. “Our daughter was born in February, so it’s really special that she can spend her first summer at the beach, a place my husband and I love very much.”

The couple’s primary residence overlooks the Hudson River in Manhattan, and the wife says the decor is “calming with a few luxe touches, but nothing that competes with the spectacular view.”

“We were careful not to make the house feel themed as a ‘beach house,’” she says. “The beaches and water surround us and the environment speaks for itself, so we wanted to create a cool Bohemian vibe that would complement the magic of Montauk.”

To add definition to the space, Master Designer Alex Caratachea went with a high-contrast look, and painted the walls white and the trim black. Instead of replacing the cabinets, he saved them money by painting the upper cabinets white and the bottom cabinets black. He also removed the backsplash and painted that area black. “l love a black and white motif–its iconic! When Alex suggested it, we were so excited,” the wife said. “It started off as a true design solution for a home that was being weighed down by lots of moldings and intricate doors and archways.”

The living room features a statement settee–a vintage piece recovered in a Miles Redd fabric that our master interior designer found from a store in Texas via 1st Dibs. We reupholstered the barrel chairs, which are from their Manhattan home and were originally covered in a leopard print fabric. The black and white patchwork area rug is from ABC Carpet. The artwork in the living room and throughout was collected from artist friends and thus has sentimental value, so we wanted to highlight these pieces.

The high-contrast design extends to the master bedroom, which has white walls with a black door and black trim. The wooden bed and crisp white bedding imparts a subtle beachy vibe. A mix of elegant and eclectic furniture and decor reinforces the Boho feel the homeowners were seeking.

This project was featured in Design Milk.

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