Once home to the Vanderbilts and Kennedys, and even the oldest country club in America, Atlantic Beach was originally developed to become the Palm Beach of New York. With its white sand shores and proximity to the city, it held the same illustrious charm—plus, the benefit of a lingering old New York spirit. But despite its traditional origins, the sweeping properties on the coastline have become more varied. And with the influx of younger generations has come a growing demand for something more fresh.
For architect Douglas Wright, that something meant the opportunity to create a distinctly modern home, drawing from early Le Corbusier works and the International Style in general. “We wanted to take that stark modernism of the 1920s and recast it in a regional context,” says Wright, who opted for cedar shingles—a long tradition of the great American summer home—to connect the striking facade to its local surroundings.
When it came to the interiors of the house, New York–based designer Bella Mancini wanted to celebrate Wright’s design, opting for clean lines and a subdued palette that would complement the rest of the architecture and nearby landscape. “Every decision that was made about the interiors took the exteriors into consideration,” Mancini notes. That ethos is evident from the moment one enters the home, where a harmony of neutral tones and materials can be glimpsed just inside the foyer.
A nature-imbued sense of serenity continues into the main area of the house, where a light-flooded living room with double-height ceilings is a total showstopper. In that room, earth-toned B&B Italia chairs are paired with a vintage Warren Platner cocktail table. Across the way, a Poliform sectional faces an ocean-inspired table by Andrianna Shamaris.
Mancini’s own San Diego upbringing helped her think deeply about the house’s coastal location. The fact that she was inspired by “the effortless indoor-outdoor living of Southern California” was perfect for the clients, who were hoping for a laid-back space that would foster a social atmosphere for both guests and family members.