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Durability. Utility. Beauty.
Kean's Beachfront Retreat
Story by Nancy Patterson
Photography by Kim Sargent Architectural Photography
Interior Design by Marge Thomas and Wu & Joo Design Group
The spirit of the architectural style known as "shingle" is truly American in nature. Born of a renewed interest in New England's colonial structures, as well as British influence, the unadorned shingled facades became a popular style of design in the late nineteenth century. Kean Development has built numerous, superb shingle-style homes over the last 30+ years.
Kean Development Company's philosophy has always been that there is a responsibility in design and construction that goes beyond economics. The three architectural principles laid out by Roman architect, Vitruvius, still hold true: durability, utility and beauty. "My responsibility to the community and generations to come is to leave behind a legacy of structures that are safe, functional and of course beautiful," says CEO and president, John C. Kean. "Over the last three decades, we have proudly built, with honesty and passion, some of the most stunning homes on the East Coast."
Early examples include the colonists' use of native materials and construction of the "saltbox"; a shingled lean-to in its most basic elements. Defined by a severely pitched, north-facing side roof and two story exposed southern side, light, air, warmth and dryness are contained. Later, 17th century Gambrel houses employed double–pitched roofs creating second story space and preventing snow accumulation by shedding the snow from a two-tier assemblage. Shingles here proved to be a practical sheathing to protect the home from water penetration.
Shingle style residences were brought into architectural vogue by the fashionable, grand "cottages" commissioned by American aristocracy whose great wealth was spent on these summer seaside residences. Newport, Rhode Island, and the Hamptons of Long Island were popular playgrounds frequented by families of prestige and power. The North Shore's Gold Coast provides a trove of shingle style residences.
The creation of this shingle-style, Kean home was an exciting but difficult prospect for Andrew V. Giambertone of Kean Williams Giambertone, Ltd., Kean's exclusive architect. The beachfront lot was wonderful but tight in terms of setbacks. Its North Shore location boasts vintage homes, many with Victorian attributes that are understated and noble. The homeowners asked Kean to maintain the integrity of the vintage enclave they were becoming a part of by building a lovely shingle-style house with panoramic views of Long Island Sound, Lloyd Neck and the distant Connecticut shoreline, that would appear to have been there for decades.
This highly restrictive waterfront parcel posed numerous constraints and intense planning on the part of Kevin Murphy, vice president of Kean Landscapes. The property was elevated, and a heavily planted tiered retaining wall system was put in place, allowing privacy without compromising views. Organic soils and a layer of crushed stone top an expansive level drainage field on which this seaside property rests. Hardy, vivid fairy and knock out roses, award winning Russian sage, rippling textural grasses and vibrant accent perennials lace this simple, natural, yet challenging site.
An unadorned, Gambrel gabled Victorian elevation, recessed and gated motor court, pebble driveway and lush indigenous flora detail this classic residence's western front façade. Quietly unassuming and carefully nested on the site, a "lighthouse" tower is a charming elevator in disguise next to an inverted copper bell balanced on a heavy keystone corbel with oriole window. Delightful railings trim the widow's walk and balconies on the second floor, under the watchful eye of the vintage weathervane salvaged from the original site. A wonderful electronic gate and charming guardhouse protect the inner courtyard, allowing for privacy and cultured garden beds.
The beachfront elevation bares a long, lean windowed façade with a rambling roofline and lovely fenestration. Off the den, a wall of oversized sliding doors creates a 16-foot entryway opening onto the waterfront bluestone terrace. The pool, porches and terraces are cleverly sequestered beyond the dune and green boundary below. These venues capture views of the opulent garden beds that line the retaining walls and the bay as well.
Built as an exclusive weekend retreat for a high-powered, Manhattan couple, relaxation and entertainment were paramount. Kean Development's forte of incorporating high-end accouterments and amenities was a prerequisite for weekend peace.
The interior boasts a fresh, open, airy aura; close to the beach, sand, salt water and sun. Antique, hand scrapped oak wide plank floors create a warm tread, heavily coffered ceilings give volume, and a partitioning wall of faux antique iron and glass imparts light and interest to the living and dining rooms. A handsome wrought iron balustrade ascends to the second floor, exposed to the gallery and public rooms below.
Collectors of vintage French fixtures and European baubles, the homeowners, artists in their own right, relished the idea of Kean custom cabinetry with antiqued details and finishes, as did project manager, John Lomele. Polished patinas, rich faux-finishes and statuary honed marble mix beautifully with their collected treasures. The big, sophisticated country kitchen with chunky antique beams and built-in oak coffee hutch overlooks the breakfast area bound by transom-topped glass windows, that in turn overlook the bay. A marvelous, china "pantry" with floor to ceiling custom cabinetry mirrors a beautifully lit porcelain boutique. This floor continues with spa bath, prep kitchen, guest suite, lovely sitting room and circular entry vestibule.
The second floor comprises beautifully appointed en-suite bedrooms and a gorgeous master suite. This elegant master bedroom features antique beams fashioned into trusses, a superb imported chandelier, an upholstered mirror-front TV, Chesney marble fireplace and private water view balcony. The generous dressing room and walk-in closets hold Kean custom millwork. The master bath boasts an onyx and Rosa Aurua marble floor, a custom tub and spacious, sunbathed balcony with outdoor shower and panoramic views of the pool, grounds and capricious harbor.
House Magazine - Table of Contents
Septembert • Two Thousand Thirteen
- 32 Durability. Utility. Beauty.
Kean's beachfront retreat - by Nancy Patterson
- 40 Bishops Pond Southampton Village
Resort-style living for all the family
- 44 This isn't just apartment living
This is Avalon living
- 46 Stoneleigh Woods at Riverhead
Luxury North Fork Living at affordable prices
- 48 Seifert Construction builds multi-million
dollar house using PVC - by Denis Sheahan
- 50 Beautifully Breezy
Modern amenities by Northport Development and Katherine Jessica Interior Designs
- 52 Grand Center Colonial
The magnificent home you deserve is closer than you think with Napoleon Development
- 54 Going Coastal
Marvin enhances enjoyment and limits worry about coastal living
- 60 Style Mix
Marilyn Rose blends antique, contemporary and classic with ease - by June Sullivan
- 64 Decorating after Remodeling< br />
Made easy at Seigerman's - by Gail Flug
- 66 North Shore Towers
Living in a city unto itself - by Natalie Weinstein
- 70 This Old House
Judith Reid in 'cherished Quiogue'
- 76 After effects
Aladdin takes bad situation and makes something beautiful
- 78 Kitchen Collaboration
Kitchen designer Ken Kelly teams up to update historic "Gatsby" era home
- 80 East Hampton Summer Retreat
Nassau Suffolk Lumber designs clean, contemporary look
- 30 Items
- 56 A Labor of Love by Michele Knapp
- 58 Go with the Flow by Pamela Laurence
- 74 The Garden Spot by Ken Muellers
- 98 The Scene by Denis Sheahan, Jr.
- 100 Long Island Focus by Natalie Weinstein
- 82 Friends of Sands Point Preserve
Hempstead House Showcase
Friends of the Sands Point Preserve will present "Titans of Business & the Best of Design" - a world class design show house at historic Hempstead House
- 87 Sally Miller Couture
for the brilliant tween girl
Lifestyle & events
- 38 Uniquely Natalie
- 39 Southampton Hospital Gala
- 88 Americana Manhasset Fashion Show
- 92 Blinging in the Holidays with Maddaloni Jewelers
- 94 Veteran's Development
- 96 Antique Spotlight - Futurism