September 8, 2015

Designers Deborah Lipner and Andrea Robinson Decorate a Beach House

When a Manhattan family decided to build a beach house, they wanted a home that would be colorful, relaxing, and fun. Designers Deborah Lipner and Andrea Robinson made it happen. Styled by Olga Naiman.

by Arlene Hirst interior designer Deborah Lipner and Andrea Robinson photographer Peter Murdock


This New York couple and their three daughters found that they loved to spend summers in the Hamptons. After several years of renting, they decided it was finally time to buy there. Rather than purchasing someone else's dream house, they opted to build their own. For that purpose, they bought a plot of land in Sagaponack, a village in the town of Southampton, one of the area's most desirable enclaves.

The couple had worked on two of their family's previous homes in Manhattan and Tuxedo Park with decorators Deborah Lipner and Andrea Robinson, who were business partners then. Given that track record, it made sense that the clients approached Lipner and Robinson to do the interiors of their new beach house, too. While the designers had amicably split up their partnership years before, they were happy to reunite for the project. Since the clients were eager to have them collaborate with the builder and his team, the duo was involved from the outset.

The house, a classic Hampton's shingle-style dwelling with the obligatory center hall, is just one block from the ocean and thus demanded outdoor-friendly materials. "The clients wanted it beachy—colorful, relaxed, and fun," says Robinson. The chairs in the living room and all of the pillows are covered in Sunbrella fabric; the custom-designed sofa is upholstered in outdoor-grade fabric from Rogers & Goffigon. Many of the accessories, like the custom coffee table from Room, are an easy-living rattan.

The powder room gains character from the Scion wallpaper that’s dressed with Thomas O’Brien’s sconces and a mirror from Restoration Hardware.

With the exception of the husband, whose only wish was to have a wine wall, the project became a family affair: the wife and daughters were totally involved with the design decisions every step of the way. Each daughter wanted to create her own room and each worked with Robinson and Lipner to carry out her schemes. The eldest, 24, chose a blue-and-white motif; the middle daughter, 21, went for the bold with bright green because she wanted something graphic; and the youngest, a high school senior, was besotted with turquoise. The design duo made weekly trips to the site for more than a year. Given that they were using a veritable rainbow of a palette, they explained, "we had to go, because the light is so different out there."

The family, now ensconced, is very happy with the finished product, as are the designers. "The architecture of the house is traditional, but we gave it a modern twist," says Lipner.

Andrea Robinson of ASR STUDIOS INC., 249 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011; T: 212 366 6894.

Deborah T. Lipner, Ltd., 310 Round Hill Road, Greenwich, CT 06831; 203-629-2626.