August 25, 2017
Jolie Korek and Dan Michels Design a Bridgehampton Home Open to Nature
Interior designer Jolie Korek creates an inviting contemporary retreat on the edge of a nature preserve in Bridgehampton.
by Arlene Hirst interior designer Jolie Korek and Dan Michels photographer Peter Kubilis
SOMETIMES GOOD FRIENDS make the best clients. That certainly was the case when a high power Manhattan lawyer asked Jolie Korek to create a home for him in Bridgehampton. The house—a 1950s colonial that had a chopped-up layout and small cookie-cutter bedrooms—was situated on a one-acre piece of property facing a nature preserve. Eventually he decided to tear down the dwelling and start over.
"We wanted to start fresh and design it to the nines," says Korek, whose husband is a partner of the client. "We didn't want to be limited."
She explains that he asked for a comfortable living environment; a place where he could fully enjoy the landscape from both a cosseting interior and expansive outdoor spaces. "He gave me free rein," says Korek, "he let me be my creative self."
Korek, who had designed several of her client's other residences, partnered with designer Dan Michels on the architecture as well as the interiors of the house, aiming for a modern barn feeling. The duo sited the house to face the nature preserve, clad it with classic Hamptons' cedar shakes and paid attention to every detail, including placing the swimming pool on the side of the house rather than directly in front because Korek thought that no one would want to look at a covered-up pool in the off-season. The 4,000-squarefoot house has four bedrooms and four baths, and is flooded with light from numerous skylights— including one in every shower.
To accentuate the barn-like feel, Korek installed reclaimed 10" to 12"-wide plank flooring everywhere but the foyer where she opted for a more formal herringbone pattern. She used hickory on many of the interior walls, explaining that it takes gray stain the best.
"I'm into squares and symmetry," says Korek, describing the treatment of the window wall panels framed in hand-stained gray concrete. While the dwelling has a relaxed informal vibe, it is also tech-savvy. The living room doors leading to the deck pivot open completely and Korek says that this is the first time this system of lift and slide doors from Weiland has been used on the East Coast. Everything, she says, is motorized, all the outlets have light bars, and half of the house is heated with solar energy.
"It was a dream project with a dream client."
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