Carefree Color and Playful Patterns Give New Life to This Colonial Home
A classic Hamptons house gets a breezy makeover with happy hues and loads of great texture.
Young and Fresh
If a house could go barefoot, you'd catch this one joyfully wriggling its toes in the warm sand.
This Shingle-style Colonial in East Hampton, New York, you see, has exhaled all uptightness into the gentle sea breeze and embraced a playfully patterned, color-happy, just-a-bit-bohemian life. And it's all courtesy of designer Thom Filicia.
"It's a historic house, and I wanted to celebrate its architecture—have it visible—but at the same time, I wanted it to feel young and fresh," Filicia says. "While being respectful of the environment of the Hamptons, I needed to be true to this family, a young couple and their two kids. They wanted relaxed, easy, and fun. They love color, pattern, and texture. That became my inspiration for the house."
Timeless and Comfortable
From the first step inside, the home displays its good bones. A classic staircase, paneled wainscoting, and columned fireplace celebrate tradition and timeless good looks. Filicia finds their perfect foil in a mix of comfortable yet tailored furnishings, all rich with texture. A sandy-hue raffia wallcovering furthers the tactile intrigue, contrasting the sleek wainscoting and painted white floors.
Dynamic Color Combos
The wallcovering repeats in the dining room, another textural haven. Host chairs covered in Belgian linen juxtapose woven leather side chairs, a rustic trestle table, and painted floors—here, in a blue-gray that nods to sea and sky. Henna-hue linen draperies, bordered in tweed, complement the expanse of blue as they expand on the home's other theme: dynamic color.
Color with Personality
In the media room, henna glows warm as a summer sunset on the braided hemp wallcovering. Blue-gray also reappears, popping out from the backs of white built-in bookcases that flank the original fireplace.
"It's brave use of color in a subtle way to make rooms feel alive," Filicia says. "I mixed color and pattern to get an organic, natural vibe that doesn't feel anonymous. It’s fresh, light, and crisp with layers of personality that are specific to this family."
In the kitchen, color—in the form of blue, red, white, and gray stripes painted on the wood floor—anchors a space that's all about casual family living. "The kitchen is the hub of this house," Filicia says. "It has to work for family breakfast, casual lunches, grabbing a drink, or a snack after coming in from the pool. There are always people coming and going."
For ultimate functionality, Filicia paired an oversize island with a lively assortment of seating: a bench, curved-back chairs, and stools. "There's an outdoor dining table, so we didn’t need a big dining table here," he says. "Instead, I created seating that’s more like a café lounge. It's more malleable, easier. It's fun and flexible for kids and friends."
A Place to Unwind
Through a Dutch door, the kitchen opens to a sleeping porch, one of Filicia's favorite spaces. "After a long week in the city, it feels so good to enjoy a delicious drink here as the sun goes down," he says. "I love how this space connects to both the outside and inside."
Connecting to the Land
Outdoor connections continue in an enviable gathering area around the pool. "It's a contained space, which is great when you have kids and want to know where they are," Filicia says. "But it's also pretty. It's like a secret garden."
The designer called on a textural mix of organic-form furnishings, including woven chairs and rope side tables, to furnish the outdoor room. "They're classic-inspired pieces that at the same time feel clean and modern," Filicia says. "They connect with the architecture and the land."
Bohemian Hamptons Vibe
The designer's amalgam of modern, young moments set against clean, classic backdrops also threads through the home's private spaces.
The master bedroom offers an expanse of architecture—to-the-ceiling wainscoting painted the same crisp white that covers the wood floors. It becomes a calm canvas for Filicia's mix of colorful patterns: ethnic prints, geometrics, stripes, and medallions in warm, earthy hues.
"Great color and texture make the room feel inviting," he says. "It's about creating a wonderful balance—a classic backdrop set against a fun, fresh, collected, little-bit-bohemian Hamptons vibe."
Pattern play in the guest room translates into an antique rattan bed spiked with graphic pillows. It snuggles enchantingly under eaves covered in a hand-painted lapis-blue wallcovering that's sprinkled with golden metallic specks. "It's like looking at the sky at night," Filicia says.
Charming Kids Room
The kids' room charms with beachy surfboard wallpaper, knitted poufs, and a buoyant sailboat pillow, while their play space unfurls striped rugs that serve as the perfect motorway for toy cars. Colorful bent-wire chairs work with a cushy pouf and whimsical mushroom stools to provide plenty of plop-down places.
"Nothing is too precious," Filicia says. "It's young and fresh without trying too hard. My whole idea in this house was to let the architecture play to the traditional and historic, while the rest of the design feels younger and fresher yet is rooted in classic design. It's approachable, but it's also just really pretty."