Interior designer Bennett Leifer infuses character into a new Southampton build.
A fireplace in the great room speaks to the team’s desire to design a home for all seasons.
For Bennett Leifer (bennettleifer.com), flexibility between the public and the private is at the core of an ideal home. That was his philosophy in designing 63 Duck Pond Lane in Southampton, a classic, Shingle-style home spanning over 16,000 square feet. Outside, landscaped gardens surround a clay tennis court, lounge patio, fireplace and pool house. The luxe project also features a basketball court, gym, billiards room and wine tasting room.
Leifer designed the interiors in ways that allow residents to move around freely but with the fallback option of separating spaces to retain a little privacy. The great room has two large openings into the kitchen to facilitate the flow between the two spaces, but the pocket doors give a choice to close off the room for a formal occasion. Leifer also installed fully retractable screens between the family room and porch to fulfill the needs of creating either one large space or two smaller spaces. The easy conversion between privacy and open space is one component of Leifer’s integration of tradition and modernity. Despite being a classicist at heart, he likes to modernize his designs to fit contemporary ways of life.
The shingled home features landscaped gardens, ocean views, an open lawn, pergolas and water features.
“People don’t live as formally as they used to,” Leifer says. “But they still love really beautiful furnishings and well-thought-out traditional aspects.”
Leifer has also seen that seasonal living is coming to an end for contemporary buyers. He focused his design on year-round living and made sure that the house functions well in every season and every type of weather. He placed an outdoor kitchen by the pool, but the cinema room and an indoor pool await in case of poor weather.
The oversize kitchen contains updated appliances and Waterworks fixtures.
Yale Fishman, owner of Hamptons Luxury Estates (hamptonsluxuryestatesllc.com), was the builder on the project, and Leifer says that working with him was the first time he felt that he was designing for an imaginary client in the most pure way. “It wasn’t necessarily about hitting bells and whistles to make it sell,” Leifer says. “It was more about building a home for the potential person [who] buys this house.”
“Timeless beauty with tradition merged with the utmost comforts of modernity is quite a balancing act,” Fishman adds.
Another trend they’ve noticed is more of a desire for move-in-ready homes, so they outfitted this house to achieve just that. “People are really looking for something they can see themselves in,” Leifer says. “And we tried to honor that by making this universally appealing yet sophisticatedly designed house.”
Photography by: Whitebirch Studios