Project Spotlight

In East Hampton, Magdalena Keck Puts a Modern Spin on Old-World Decadence

Vintage furnishings practically sing against contemporary artworks at this East Hampton getaway, while a moody subterranean den rivals the digs of even the most exclusive social clubs.

Photo credit (all images): Jeff Cate

The in-the-know often turn to Magdalena Keck’s eponymous interiors firm for her expertise in crafting pied-à-terre and vacation dwellings and her eye for showcasing distinguished art collections. For a weekend home in East Hampton, Keck and studio designer Tauana Marques created an art-filled locale perfect for entertaining and hosting spirited gatherings.

Their vision unfolds in the living room, where an intellectually-engaging art collection with works by Andrea Hornick, Leo Guida and Alyson Kinkade cultivates a distinctly contemporary dialogue with the well-appointed furnishings. “Designed for entertaining, the house cultivates a variety of social activities, accomplished through the open but dynamic layout and selection of furnishings, from oversized buttery India Mahdavi couches to star-gazing caned chairs and a textured-steel coffee table by Lukas Friedrich,” says Keck. “The details, like a solid spun-bronze vase by Michael Verheyden on the mantle along with the photography books, pottery, and twigs, are rich and tactile.”

The play of old and new continues into the dining room, where vintage Monk chairs by Afra and Tobia Scarpa set a dramatic tone, situated around a solid walnut dining table, which is illuminated by a geometric pendant light from Allied Maker. On a nearby console, a dry point drawing by Antonin Anzil creates a dialogue with the organic form of the origami Dragon lamp.

The primary bedroom articulates lavish comfort, done in a minimal way. Each guest room has a slightly different ambiance, achieved through the selection and composition of art and objects. The palette of neutrals and natural materials—in the form of hand knotted rugs, cashmere window shades, and textured linens—is interlaced with thoughtfully-curated art and design objects. The artwork’s depictions of divers, fish, and the ocean evoke imagination and play—occasionally even a bit of drama and history.

The project’s crown jewel, a subterranean club room with billiards, a games table, bar, and a cinema, is realized in verdant gem tones as a marked contrast to the home’s upper levels.

We sat down with Keck, who shared some highlights of this sumptuous getaway out East.

Inspiration: The client’s vision of how he’d use the house; socializing and entertaining were top of mind. He wanted to create a playful and imaginative experience—a comfortable environment that would ignite conversations and good time, activated by interest in art and design.

Blueprint: The three-level Woodpink House is situated in the privacy of the woods of East Hampton. The ground floor opens with a double-story entry hall and a staircase. It leads to a generous open living space anchored on one end with a fireplace and by a well-outfitted kitchen on the other end. Both the living room and the kitchen have multiple doors opening to the patio and the garden. The dining room is also situated on this level. The upstairs is private and holds four bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms while the lower level holds a bar, game lounge, cinema, and gym.

Uniqueness: The house is activated by art and the unique objects in the space that awaken curiosity. There are so many interesting works in different media. A couple of noteworthy highlights include Stag Backs Cecilia Gallerani with Duke’s Ermine and Nascent Child by Andrea Hornick, which is in Hornick’s solo exhibition at Sears-Payton Gallery; Gold Medal Winner in the Men’s High Diving, a 1936 photograph by Leni Riefenstahl, and Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber’s photographs of Sharks and Anglerfish dioramas at Museum of Natural History. These unusual combinations provoke and create new neural pathways.

The detail and visual information present on the main floor is juxtaposed by a completely monochromatic approach to the entertainment space downstairs, where everything is enveloped in a velvety green (the color of forests), fancy liquor bottles, and game tables.

Challenges: The house is new construction in colonial style, built by a developer, so the attention to detail was of a somewhat different level. We needed to work through what edits and upgrades made sense given the project timeline and the scale of investment, ultimately balancing the existing architecture and the new interior.

Magdalena Keck is a member of The List, the destination for all things Surface -approved. Want to join The List ? Contact our team to find out how to apply.



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