When summer starts receding, the string of picturesque seaside communities that make up the Hamptons on Long Island’s South Fork traditionally begin retreating to their small-town roots. The cooler and calmer months of fall bring with them a slower pace.
That shift in tone certainly won’t defer Mimi Ritzen Crawford from the manicured two-acre property she owns with her husband in Southampton, New York. Though the vestiges of summer abound at her 8,000-square-foot residence—a heated gunite pool and grass tennis court sit on a plot just half a mile from one of the most private stretches of beach in the Hamptons—Ritzen Crawford isn’t abandoning her bounty amenities when the weather turns crisp.
“Summers are always beautiful out here, but I really think the fall and winter months are more special in so many ways,” says Ritzen Crawford, a longtime photo editor who now works as a photographer. (Her portraiture and lifestyle photography appear in Vogue and The New York Times, among other publications.) “It’s a time to bring family together, so we spend most of the fall and even Thanksgiving and Christmas out here too,” says the Nashville native, who spends the rest of her days in New York City.
Ritzen Crawford turned to interior designer Jenny Vorhoff and architect Nina Cooke John to help renovate and decorate her house so that it would feel comfortable and functional in all seasons. Vorhoff leads Studio Riga, a full-service and boutique interior design firm whose projects range in scale and location. Cooke John—an architect, designer, and artist—is head of Studio Cooke John, a multidisciplinary practice that recently expanded to include socially engaged public works. Notably, Ritzen Crawford also hired the duo in 2017 to renovate her Manhattan town house.
“I loved being able to expand the design ideas that we had started three years earlier for the Crawfords’ Manhattan town house to their house in Southampton,” says Cooke John, whose commissions range from apartment renovations to ground-up projects that display her signature modern aesthetics. “We translated how they live and entertain as a family in the city to their life at the beach.”
“Our goal with the Southampton project was to add functionality to the home and make it feel fresh and contemporary,” says Vorhoff, who recently moved her firm from New York to her native New Orleans. “The project took about nine months, but we also wanted to make it feel as if these interior elements were there for a long time.” The artful interplay between vintage finds and modern pieces is evident as one walks into the home’s double-height foyer, where Cooke John designed the entry’s double Dutch doors to open up the space and make it feel more welcoming. An Urban Electric Company lantern hangs above a custom skirted table and Marc Philips Swedish modern rug that’s complemented by a vintage rattan bench.
In the living room, walls are coated in a hydrangea blue shade from Resources in New York. Sconces by Parisian designer Laura Gonzalez and a vintage pink Murano glass mirror deliver additional character to the space. An abaca rug from Patterson Flynn Martin—along with a custom ottoman and sofa—enhance the room’s flow and sense of proportion.