Decor: Summer Houses

As I’ve stated many times before I am OBSESSED with  homes, architecture and interior design. I spend hours just browsing through houses on sale, even celeb homes that are recently purchased or put up for sale and newly built houses and imagine what I would change and how I would decorate it. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think of getting my real estate license and/or go back to school for interior design. I don’t know what it is about it all that I find such joy and great interest in but it is a passion of mine that I owe it to myself to explore! My ultimate dream is to one day design, build and decorate my own dream home! Let’s all speak our wishes into existence!

via Architectural Digest

Victoria Hagan and FamilyDesigner Victoria Hagan Invites Us Inside Her Nantucket Home

Nantucket! Take out your map and look at it,” wrote Herman Melville in Moby-Dick. “A mere hillock, and elbow of sand; all beach, without a background.”

It is the rare civic document that begins as lyrically as this Melville quotation that introduces the design guidelines manual of the Nantucket Historic District Commission (HDC), which has for decades governed construction on the Massachusetts island to help preserve its salty New England charm. Unlike many of the East Coast’s illustrious summer colonies, Nantucket did not become fashionable until well into the 20th century, sheltering it from the Gilded Age mansion-building boom that stretched from Bar Harbor, Maine, to Palm Beach, Florida. In fact, for a good hundred years after the mid-19th-century demise of the whaling industry, Nantucket stayed pretty much as it had always been—a town of relatively modest Colonial and Federal housing stock, with peaked roofs, dormers galore, and shutters aplenty. And that’s how the guardians of Nantucket have kept it, even as the island has become one of the country’s foremost havens for moguls, a 21st-century Newport of sorts, minus the marble.

Designer Victoria Hagan knows all this history—and the HDC laws restricting the height, style, and materials of new houses—by heart. Hagan has been summering in Nantucket since she was a teenager, and she has crafted several residences for clients on the island. Spending so much time here, she had always kept her eyes open for the perfect spot to build a home for her own family, and in 2010 she found it: a three-acre parcel on the eastern shore, with beautiful open views of the Atlantic, Sesachacha Pond, and Sankaty Head lighthouse. Aiming to create a house as idyllic as the setting, Hagan formulated a strategy to avoid complicated negotiations with the building authorities.

“The way to succeed with the HDC is to work with them,” she says. “I decided I would treat them like a client and listen to what they wanted, and it made such a difference. Sometimes when you feel like you’re compromising over small details, you can focus on that and lose sight of the big picture—and the joy.” Hagan therefore aligned her expectations (and those of her husband, media investor Michael Berman, and their twin sons, Harry and Alex) with the mandates of the island’s strict construction regulations. “I’m always looking for what feels right,” she adds. “This is a beach house, and I wanted it to feel that way.”

Collaborating closely with Ray Pohl of the local firm Botticelli and Pohl Architects, Hagan devised a basic blueprint for a country home and got out her red pencil to see what could go. First off: Ditch the formal front foyer and try a more casual entry/stair hall at the side of the house. “I love that you can walk right into the living room,” declares Hagan. And she made it a living room to savor. It’s the core of the house, with lots of comfortable seating, a pair of doors to the terraces, and an abundance of large sash windows facing north and south.


Living Room

Breakfast Area


Master Bedroom


This house is stunning! It is so clean, crisp and calming. The perfect sanctuary to wake up too every morning. The house reminds me of the Hampton’s! Growing up in Brooklyn our summers were spent playing outside when the sprinklers would go off or spent just hanging out at the stoop with neighborhood friends. It wasn’t until I got older till I learned about the Hamptons and it was known only as the swanky town where only the rich go to spend their summers in their fabulous beach houses and now that I am much older I see friends renting houses there to spend long weekends and I can’t help but be jealous! I have to make that my next ‘vacation’.

Speaking of Long Island summer houses in the South Hampton, here is another beautiful and charming house:

Inspired by the shingle style mansions of the 19th century, architect Joel Barkley masterminds a whimsical swooping beach house in Southampton, New York


Entrance Hall

Living Room

Living Room



Dining Room


Dining Room

Pool Area









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