Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Beautiful Britthampton, Interior Designer Tom Britt

Entrance, Main House, Britt estate, Watermill, NY
I-fone photo by Dean
I never imagined that, what I thought was "The Barn" could have been entered via an elegant neo classic David Adler looking portal, complete with a stately broken pediment overdoor, above which was hanging a distressed white pierced metal Moroccan lantern!  Or that, before that vision of classical beauty, I'd find myself in a kind of outdoor room/courtyard~ surrounded by the tallest of tall hedges, and teetering on white quartz gravel.  The shock of the classical!

Britt estate, Main House Living Room, rock quartz under Jean Michel Frank style table from the Michael Taylor estate
I-fone photo by Dean
Then, upon entering the house through the classical entryway, one was faced with the drama of a half-timbered, white washed "barn" such as Billy Baldwin had on Nantucket!  Tom told the story of Billy sending him a beautiful letter, praising this house, after having seen pictures of it.  Tom was only 26 years old when he built his house, in a former circa 1600's potato field.  He and his lovely companion, Julie, had seen a similar place belonging to old friends who were in the antiques business.  Over fifty years later, "Britthampton" is now sitting in a posh area of mini-estates, each with their own high hedges, reminding one of Palm Beach.
Photo: DK Holland

Britt estate, low table from the Helena Rubenstein sale
I-fone photo by Dean

Tall, tall fig trees are growing in the barn~and one especially huge one hangs over a bar set-up on a side table.  These gorgeous trees read as sculpture in the room.  The front door and entry is on an axis with the living room fireplace, which is low and modern, a la Frank, and topped with a tall undivided glass window!  The flue is vented off to the side.  The floors are a wonderful and strange kind of poured concrete with a wavy texture, which seem to have been painted with many thick coats of black, murky, waxed looking paint.  Very dramatic with the plain flat white walls, which have some sand in them for texture.  In true Tom Britt style, all upholstered pieces are classic Parsons style models in a Chanel- like quilted white vinyl.  Big pillows are made of vintage looking textiles, and the low table facing the fireplace is from the estate of the late Madame Helena Rubenstein.  While enjoying evening cocktails, served up by handsome Marcelo, I did notice that the glow from the fireplace was coming through the frosted resin Greek key legs of this ultra-chic table. 

The dining area off of the "barn room" is a simple, white space, furnished very Spartan like with a plain, probably English table, white Parsons chairs by Tom, and a plain white console with shells and coral.  Candles are burning everywhere, but the chandelier is conspicuously absent.  Creating a very calm, artist in the studio mood.  One looks out to a white quartz gravel garden with pergolas shading towering stacks of potted geraniums in pinks and reds.  I had the pleasure of meeting the iconic fashion designer, Jackie Rogers, in this very room.  Her tales of past adventures were enchanting, she's a very interesting lady.

Britt estate, Guest House
I-fone photo by Dean
After saying our good nights, Billy and I wandered back to the very decorative and charming guest house, a pavilion of two octagons flanking a square~ to our magical, octagonal bedroom, but that's coming up in the next part of this post on Thomas and Julie Britt, and their magnificent Hamptons compound.  Until then, I'm yours, sincerely, DEAN 


  1. Dean, I am so excited to see your next feature on the Britt's Hamptons estate!
    Every time I visit you I know there will be beauty beyond!

    The Arts by Karena
    Featuring Sharon Santoni

  2. Thanks K !
    It's fun being with creative people, particularly in such a place as the famous Hamptons!