This Serene Beach House Is an All-Season Escape

After seven years of hopping from rental to rental, product designers Michael and Ellen Diamant found their forever property on the water.

Photo: Michael Mundy/2016
Photo: Michael Mundy/2016

After seven years split between two rentals in Peconic Bay, design entrepreneurs Michael and Ellen Diamant took the plunge and bought a year-round country getaway. The husband-and-wife duo found their forever property in Sag Harbor, on the water.

“Sag Harbor inventory seemed so scarce at the time,” says Ellen Diamant of 2014, when she and her husband Michael began searching for a country home. The couple first looked at places in Amagansett. “They were lovely, but it’s more of a summer beach community there,” she says. “We wanted a place where we could escape from the city year round.” (“We” includes Michael and Ellen’s teenage son Spencer and a Labradoodle named Charlie.) The Diamants, co-founders of children’s product-design company Skip Hop, decided to buy a home outside the city after seven years of renting on Peconic Bay. The Diamants required either water or something “architecturally interesting.” When their broker brought them to a 1,800-square-foot country house built in 1977, he advised them to move fast. So they did. They hired Peter Sabbeth of Modern Green Home for the renovation and Jayne and Joan Michaels of 2Michaels for the interiors. Photo: Michael Mundy/2016
Before Sag Harbor had a freeze on rebuilding in 2014. The original décor, seen here, was rustic — intensely so. At a glance, one might easily assume that the house was situated deep in the woods. “We did gut the interiors, but we didn’t change most of the windows,” Sabbeth says. “We also built new stairs, rewired the house, and added all new bathrooms and kitchen.” Photo: Courtesy of Corcoran
After “Joan and Jayne are incredible,” Ellen says of the sister-sister design team 2Michaels, who also worked on the Diamant’s New York apartment. For the Sag Harbor house, the Michaels sisters worked from a palette of soothing blue tones and mixed vintage pieces with custom furniture. “It was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle,” Jayne says of fitting each piece into the small space. Here, the Dunbar tête-à-tête is upholstered in Rogers & Goffigon fabric. The Triad sculptures by the fireplace are by Toni Ross and the photograph above the fireplace is by Nicolas Guirad. Photo: Michael Mundy/2016
Before The original brown palette was made up of wood, wood, and more wood. Most of the original pine floors were too worn to be salvaged, so the designers replaced them with new pine. The original kitchen and dining area, seen here, opened onto a deck. Photo: Courtesy of Corcoran
After Here, the dramatic redesign, seen most vividly in the marble countertops, brass and glass fixtures, and in the natural finish on the floors. “This gives the interior a distinct feel that it is in one sense Scandinavian and in another very beachy,” Sabbeth says. “The white post-and-beam ceiling on the first floor contributes to that feel. It was originally raw wood, and very heavy.” The Henry one-hole gooseneck faucet is unlacquered brass from Waterworks, the tractor stools are from BassamFellows, available at Suite NY, and the windows are Andersen. Photo: Michael Mundy/2016
“With three views of the water, you feel like you are on a boat,” Ellen says of the site. Sabbeth replaced the original deck railing, seen here. The pool (barely visible on the right off the deck) was grandfathered into the property. Photo: Courtesy of Corcoran
Sabbeth gave the deck a new cedar-and-wire railing. The Michaels brought in the Henry Hall Tru Pure sectional and chair from Walters Wicker, covered in Sunbrella canvas. The Bento fire pit is by Paloform and the outdoor umbrella is from Tuuci. Photo: Michael Mundy/Michael Mundy (C)2016
Before Here, the master bathroom before renovation. Photo: Courtesy of Corcoran
After The Trapeze sconces by Apparatus Studio give the bathroom a certain liveliness, but so does the newly vaulted ceiling, seen here and throughout the second floor, which was made possible by removing the attic space. The custom vanity — designed by Modern Green Home Bridgehampton and painted in Benjamin Moore’s Metallic Silver — now sports two sinks, plus the Cloudy hanging light fixture by Fabbian. Photo: Michael Mundy/2016
Before The master bedroom prior to the renovation. With the attic still intact, the ceilings were much lower. Photo: Courtesy of Corcoran
After With raised ceilings and the Rustic canopy bed from Ruby Beets, the master bedroom is transformed. The Dunbar chair is covered in Pollack fabric, and the walls are painted in Farrow & Ball Light Blue No. 22. Photo: Michael Mundy/2016
Before The house has three bedrooms, including the master one. Here, Spencer’s room before the renovation. Photo: Courtesy of Corcoran
After A few key design choices led to a whole new atmosphere. The beds are from Miles and May; the two-armed sconce is by David Weeks; the new paneled wall is painted in Benjamin Moore Bancroft White; the flat-weave rug is from Nasiri; and the Abren Throws are from Bole Road Textiles. Photo: Michael Mundy/2016
The pool after Sabbeth and his team’s makeover. Photo: Michael Mundy/2014
This Serene Beach House Is an All-Season Escape