Oh, lovin’ this charming home of Kelli Delaney in the Hamptons, NY.
“As a former creative director, I am a very visual person—I know exactly what I like pretty quickly,” says Kelli Delaney, the well-loved Hamptonite who serves as the editor in chief of KDHamptons.com, a digital luxury lifestyle magazine chronicling the best in fashion, design, and social goings-on in the area.
So when five years ago her husband-to-be, Mark Kot, introduced her to the circa-1885 Victorian farmhouse he had purchased in 1995, Delaney was quick to recognize its myriad charms. Dubbed Maple Shade for the three 150-year-old maple trees that grace the property, the shingle-style home spreads graciously over three floors and is surrounded by gardens both groomed and wild.
The circa-1885 Victorian farmhouse in the Hamptons town of Water Mill boasts a gracious mahogany porch characteristic of the era in which it was built.
Kot bought the home, located in the tiny town of Water Mill, from Italian designer Massimo Vignelli after noting not only its historic details but also its uniquely intimate surroundings. “I was attracted to the strong bones, history, and privacy of the property, encompassed as it was by a privet hedge and surrounded by farmland,” he says.
In the living room, a sofa bench doubling as a coffee table sits on a honeycomb sisal rug is from Stark Carpet. The scene is rounded out by worldly finds such as the white leather Moroccan pouf Delaney picked up in Marrakech.
In a part of the world better known for its out-of-town visitors and over-the-top social scene, such an attention to quiet grace is a defining character of Kot and Delaney’s approach—both to design, and to life in the Hamptons.
In the living room, a sampling of Delaney’s collection of antique chinoiserie pieces cluster artfully on an 18th-century English tilt-top table surrounded by tufted French linen chairs from English Country Antiques in Bridgehampton.
The sunlit dining room is decorated in warm tones and textures, from the Edwardian dining table to the Persian rug to the dining chairs upholstered in a Ralph Lauren tartan. A 19th-century Czech crystal chandelier presides over the scene.
“In the fall and winter we use the formal dining room for larger dinner parties, but when it’s just the two of us I’ll set the round table in the living room for a fireside meal.”
— Kelli Delaney
In the master bedroom, a tufted bed from One Kings Lane is dressed in block-printed bedding Delaney picked up on a trip to Jaipur, which adds lightness to a room otherwise filled with antique case goods and serious art.
“I love a blue-and-white color palette and mixing and matching patterns and textures,” says Delaney. Nowhere is that more evident than by her bedside, where a chinoiserie garden stool and lamp live in harmony with a mix of brightly printed Indian bedding.
While art is hung elsewhere with precision and picture lighting, a looser vignette takes shape on the Victorian walnut sideboard in the master bedroom, where pieces from the couple’s stately collection mix with playful tokens that speak to Delaney’s publishing-world pedigree.
“I think it’s important for couples to blend styles, especially if one person has lived in the home first.”
— Kelli Delaney
Awash in Carrara marble, the beadboard-walled master bath is a breezy departure from the rich tones and textures that define the rest of the house.
“I wainscoted the walls, had the whole room painted with Ralph Lauren’s Brilliant White, and designed a Carrara marble platform so the new claw-foot Cheviot tub would have a perfect-height view of the pool gardens,” says Delaney of her master bath revamp.
Nestled into the home’s traditional Victorian turret is Delaney’s home office. When she moved to the Hamptons, she brought along several pieces from her prewar apartment in Manhattan, including the antique monkey chandelier from William-Wayne & Co. Antiques that hangs above her desk.
In a guest bedroom, Delaney again favors symmetry, flanking a custom-upholstered linen headboard with a pair of Italianate sconces. Sumptuous bedding by Matouk and Yves Delorme makes for an inviting place of rest.
In summer Delaney and Kot spend as much time outdoors as they do inside the house. When she moved in, Delaney added an “entertaining space” off the kitchen with a large bluestone patio and cedar pergola, which she decorated with Eastern-inspired flair, adding Moroccan-style hanging lanterns and suzani-print poufs.
“I consider designing our outdoor spaces as rooms, which should be as inviting, comfortable, and chic as any spot inside the house.”
— Kelli Delaney
The verdant grounds are dotted with various interiors-worthy design vignettes that manage to fold seamlessly into their surroundings, including an intricately carved antique Balinese bench.
One corner of the grounds evokes the romanticism of a secret garden, from the antique limestone fountain shrouded with greenery to the trellis covered in a wild spray of climbing vines.