It Was a Charming Saltbox in the Hamptons. Now It’s Something Else.

Joe Tringali, owner of a lovely saltbox cottage in the woods of Wainscott, a hamlet in East Hampton, New York, was ready for a change — a significant one.

Reid Balthaser, his architect, remarked, “He wanted to live in a glass box.”

He purchased the three-bedroom, two-bath saltbox in 1992 for $620,000 and had been largely utilising it on weekends or throughout the summer. However, he began spending more time there six years ago, when he retired from his employment as a lawyer and began teaching at New York University and the University of Miami. And the things he used to find mildly unpleasant have now become big irritants.

Joe Tringali had become tired of living in a conventional saltbox house in Wainscott, New York, for the past 25 years. Reid Balthaser, his architect, remarked, “He wanted to live in a glass box.” Credit… The New York Times’ Eric Striffler

For example, because his loft-style bedroom was located on the second story and lacked a door, he could hear anything was happening on the first. He rarely used the living room because it faced south, although it didn’t get much light.

His preferences had evolved along with him. Robert Kaner, a friend and interior designer, described the décor as having a “strong Santa Fe influence covered with folk art.” Mr. Tringali thought that it was time to give it a fresh, contemporary look.

With three choices on the table, Mr. Balthaser suggested that he sell the house and start over someplace else. Destroy it and erect a new one on the same site instead. Mr. Balthaser referred to this as a “selected intervention,” which is a fancy way of saying a total remodel.

By selecting option three, Mr. Tringali set out to turn his saltbox ideal house become reality over an eight-month period (and adding another bedroom and bathroom along the way).

In order to preserve the ancient structure while enlarging it, Mr. Balthaser used specialised materials to separate the old from the new.

Including the new guest suite and deck outside the primary bedroom, “we clad in thin, slatted cedar” anything new to the original footprint, including the bigger living room, larger guest bathrooms, and all of the aforementioned. “We resurfaced everything that was already there in stucco.”

While a complete wall would have been more obvious at the doorway, Mr. Tringali describes the screen of vertical cedar slats there as “a work of art in itself.”

This “brave thing to do for a colonial saltbox,” according to Mr. Balthaser, breaks down the barriers between inside and outdoors, helping it feel contemporary.”

A brand-new bedroom and bathroom await Mr. Tringali at the top of the stairwell.

After introducing Mr. Balthaser to a former lawyer who had worked for Mr. Tringali’s law firm and constructed his Miami home a decade earlier, Mr. Tringali brought Mr. Balthaser to Mr. Kaner. Afterward, Mr. Kaner used the architectural components’ neutral palette to anchor the interior design, constructing each room around variations on a single colour: blues in the living room, reds in the den, and greens in the master bedroom.

“Beautiful and refined, yet edgy — they’re not in the Crayola box,” his interior designer observed of Mr. Tringali.

In order to create a house that wasn’t “just for the summer,” Mr. Kaner was given the opportunity to choose “a lot of leeway” when it came to the furnishings, which he did in order to make it “a great location to go any time of the year.”

After a $1.5 million restoration, few people will recognise much of the house they saw before. However, almost everything else has been completely redone, including the furnishings and accents. We even redesigned our in-ground swimming pool!

The windmill in the rear, which Mr. Tringali acquired with the house, was one of the few things to have survived.

It’s currently being used for storage after much disagreement throughout the refurbishment. He hopes, though, that Mr. Tringali will allow him to conduct another curated intervention.

I want to bust that open and transform it into an outdoor cabana area,” he remarked. As a bar, it would be the best.

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