An East Hampton Renovation Fit for a Ship’s Captain

Pat J. Fraley


To get their suitable retreat in the Hamptons, Frank Selvaggi and Invoice Shea did not just renovate one particular dwelling — they overhauled two. But that wasn’t the first prepare.

In 2015, the pair purchased a small cottage in Amagansett, N.Y., for about $1 million, on a avenue nestled amid sand dunes extending to the ocean. The house was small — less than 600 sq. ft — but they figured they did not need pretty substantially place. And even if they had needed to increase, regional creating rules produced it almost extremely hard.

The composition, nevertheless, was in determined have to have of get the job done, so they employed Kyle O’Donnell, the founder of the New York-centered firm Gramercy Style, to rebuild it inside the authentic footprint.

“There was no insulation. There was hardly a foundation. The rafters were being undersized for the roof,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “It was just a summer time cottage, held up by not substantially. Every little thing experienced to be changed.”

Mr. O’Donnell finished designs for the rebuild, but just as building was about to begin, the couple, now both equally 62, began possessing second views. Mr. Shea, a freelance creative director, prepared to stop by the household only periodically. But Mr. Selvaggi, a founding husband or wife at Altman, Greenfield & Selvaggi, a Manhattan accounting and organization management company with celeb clientele like Anne Hathaway and Timothée Chalamet, began dreaming about dwelling in the Hamptons pretty much entire-time in the summertime.

“I’m very a great deal parked out there for as lengthy as I possibly can be,” Mr. Selvaggi explained, introducing that his partner isn’t fairly as eager on paying infinite days on the sand. “He’s not as substantially of a seashore person as I am.”

Nonetheless, he fearful they might really feel cramped in the little cottage with their pet dogs, Sherlock and Dodger. So it appeared like a stroke of luck when he struck up an opportune conversation with a neighbor at a road affiliation assembly.

“We had been just chatting, and I claimed, ‘Oh, I really like the road so a lot. It would be good if a thing more substantial arrived up,’” Mr. Selvaggi reported. “He explained, ‘It’s as well terrible you cannot purchase the residence following to me. The operator is never there.’”

Intrigued, Mr. Selvaggi tracked down the home’s proprietor, got in touch and discovered that the owner was receptive to offering. Right after some again and forth, Mr. Selvaggi and Mr. Shea struck a deal to buy the 1,150-square-foot residence for about $1.9 million in November 2016.

Their 2nd household, it turned out, desired just as a great deal do the job as the 1st, as it had received only minimal updates more than the yrs. But the notion of starting up two construction tasks simultaneously was challenging, so as design proceeded on the very first household, Mr. Selvaggi and Mr. Shea moved into the larger sized one with out altering a issue.

By early 2018, the to start with dwelling was entire. Alternatively than moving in, the few offered it to Anthony Bonsignore, Mr. Selvaggi’s company partner, for $1.7 million, which Mr. Selvaggi mentioned authorized the few to crack even.

Then they expended yet another summer in their greater, unrenovated cottage right after the setting up permit was delayed, and at last began their next renovation in September 2019.

Significantly like the to start with project, this 1 involved in essence rebuilding the property from scratch in the authentic footprint. But by incorporating dormers on the 2nd flooring, Mr. O’Donnell was capable to boost the home’s sizing to virtually 1,350 sq. toes, producing place for a few moderately sized bedrooms and two comprehensive loos.

The design features a new ground-ground terrace behind the residence with a small pool and outside shower, a pair of terraces off the most important suite on the second floor, and a rooftop terrace overlooking the dunes.

The exterior of the dwelling was earlier brown-stained board-and-batten, but Mr. O’Donnell clad the new structure in cedar shingles and outlined the home windows in Farrow & Ball’s Stone Blue, Mr. Selvaggi’s favored coloration.

Within, “the approach was to make it as colourful as achievable, and as exciting as attainable,” Mr. O’Donnell said, adding that he wished to make the rooms truly feel deeply cozy working with components that could endure wet and sandy ft.

Most of the flooring is bleached, wide-plank white oak. In the living room, he lined the ceiling with V-groove paneling and extra a paneled element to the walls, which he outlined in Stone Blue. “It’s type of a nod to a ship captain’s household, or anything you might see in older houses out there,” Mr. O’Donnell explained.

In the kitchen, which he relocated to produce place for a lot more home windows, he mounted teak cabinets reminiscent of kinds that may possibly be observed on a boat and added a countertop, backsplash and window trim in White Fantasy marble.

Upstairs, the most important bedroom has doors that open up to terraces on two sides: 1 for sitting down and chill out the other, outfitted with an out of doors shower, for exercise. The workout terrace also connects to the principal lavatory, which is finished in azure hexagonal tile and white marble.

Design was concluded in June 2020, so Mr. Selvaggi and Mr. Shea did not skip a one summer at the seashore. Which includes the furnishings and inside finishes, Mr. Selvaggi approximated that the undertaking price tag about $2 million.

Now, soon after living via so quite a few yrs of construction, they have no intention of relocating everywhere else. “It’s wonderful out right here,” mentioned Mr. Selvaggi, who can stroll to the seashore in much less than a moment and enjoys catching up with neighbors in excess of cocktails in the evening.

Maybe ideal of all, their new property has just the suitable amount of money of area to easily accommodate the few, their canine and attendees, with no requiring also much routine maintenance, he claimed: “It’s the fantastic dimensions for a seaside dwelling.”

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