This breezy beach house near New York City by Aamir Khandwala Interior Design (AKID) is equal parts elegant and playful

NOV 11, 2020 | By Aamir Khandwala
Located less than a two hour drive from Manhattan, this waterfront property belonging to a couple and their three children is a picture of calm and peace at dusk; Photographs by Jacob Snavely
Under the chandelier by David Weeks in the entrance foyer are bespoke pieces such as the farm table by Vermont custom furniture, woollen rug by Alt For Living and walnut bench by Mark Jupiter. Also seen are vintage armchairs, terracotta planters, Undercase hooks and a Stefan Ruiz artwork; Photographs by Jacob Snavely

“We’re looking for a designer to do one room at our newly purchased house in Bellport”—from this initial conversation with my client, the project evolved to transform the entire home, landscaping, installing a new gunite pool, and, most recently, the guest house on the premises.

This modern waterfront home was built in 1950 in the quaint village of Bellport in Long Island. It is an idyllic place to take refuge from the bustle of New York City, less than a two hour drive away. I had the pleasure of working on this project with my clients—a young family of five. This 5,000 sq ft beach escape with six bedrooms and bathrooms provides plenty of space for the three kids to run around and feel free!

The layout of this sun filled home is fairly open, so it didn’t need any major architectural changes.

Blue armchairs—in the style of JM Frank and upholstered with Pierre Frey blue matelasse fabric—dominate the living room. Other pieces include a De La Spada coffee table from Future Perfect, ceramic side tables by Tucker Robbins, custom rug by Crosby Street Studio, wall scones by Serge Meuille from Urban Archaeology and terracotta planters by Billy Cotton; Photographs by Jacob Snavely

Just inside the spacious entrance hall lies a bold geometric flatweave custom rug by Alt For Living, which connects to the living room overlooking the Patchogue Bay. We selected low profile furnishings with clean lines to ensure that the focus doesn’t shift from the mesmerising view of the sky and sweeping vistas of the bay.

The custom tufted leather ottoman by AKID, produced by LF Upholstery using Dualoy Leather, sits in the sunbathed lounge. It is surrounded by a Minotti sofa and cushions with fabric from Angela Brown. On the Crosby Street Studio rug are wooden side tables from Madegoods; Photographs by Jacob Snavely

The living room is connected to an open kitchen and dining area, and a nook with soft upholstered walls in outdoor fabric. From the breakfast room, you arrive at the cosy den—designed for snuggling and watching TV. Upstairs are three spacious bedrooms and baths, and on the level above is a large, open studio style fourth bedroom with an ensuite facility. This room features a turquoise daybed, nestled in an architectural niche with the best view of the water.

The family enjoys unobstructed views of the waterfront from this midcentury modern dining set by Alvar Aalto. Above it are Murano glass pendants; Photographs by Jacob Snavely

Adjacent to the main house is a charming guest house, complete with a lounge, kitchen, dining zone, play area, and two bedrooms and washrooms. Between the two structures is a pool, wooden decks, tennis courts, and open fields with flowering bushes and evergreens. The homeowners have busy lives between work, raising three children, maintaining two homes, philanthropic commitments and travel. So, we designed this one to be sophisticated (but not precious), playful, colourful, child friendly and easy to maintain.

The kitchen features custom oak cabinetry by AKID, produced by Riverhead Millwork and Andy Varney. Design Within Reach stools surround the Azul Macaubas counter from AKDO, while the backsplash tiles are from Mosaic House; Photographs by Jacob Snavely

We incorporated high quality natural materials like 100 per cent organic cottons, linens and wools that are soft to the touch. Furnishings have been sourced from far and wide—bespoke rugs were made in India, Nepal and South America, furniture was bought from contemporary galleries in the US and Europe. We designed all the millwork as well as custom barn doors separating the entrance hall and den. The stone for the kitchen is from Brazil, while the tiles are from Morocco. I believe the materials and subtle textures give the space an eclectic, modern feel that is casual yet chic.

The master suite features a bed and wall scones from Restoration Hardware, a wool and alpaca rug from Alt for Living and bedding from Garnet Hill. Seen in the background are accessories from Bower Studios, The Rug Company and Flos; Photographs by Jacob Snavely

My design philosophy—even while I was working with my mentor Robert Couturier—has always been that a home should reflect the sensibilities of its owner. It is not I but my client who lives in this home. So, I make every effort to curate a space that feels timeless, not trendy, with essential pieces that are rich in history but effortlessly styled such that everything has a place, and that there is a sense of dimension and geometry, colour and surprise. Energised by the transformation of this weekend home, we are now collaborating on their townhouse in Brooklyn Heights.

Scroll to see more images from this weekend haven in Long Island conceptualised by Aamir Khandwala…

The powder room uses a wallpaper from Designtex and vanity stone by Azul Macaubas from AKDO. Partially seen is a sconce by Rich Brilliant Willing; Photographs by Jacob Snavely


Both the custom daybed and the oak bed with inbuilt shelves are designed by AKID and produced by Riverhead Millwork; Photographs by Jacob Snavely