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A Low-Key but Subtly Luxe Beach House on Shelter Island, Courtesy of Workstead


A Low-Key but Subtly Luxe Beach House on Shelter Island, Courtesy of Workstead

June 7, 2021

Nick Gavin is a child of the once-gritty neighborhood of SoHo: “I grew up in the 1980s/90s in a loft at the corner of West Broadway and Houston; my mother ran a nonprofit, and my father was an art dealer. We frequented Fanelli Cafe and Jerry’s Cafe. My first date with my now-wife Katrin Thormann was a visit to the Judd Foundation, literally the first weekend it opened.”

So, a few years ago, when Nick came across a house with an interesting pedigree on Shelter Island, he leapt at the chance to own a sliver of history. Built in the 1940s, the modest shingled home was at one time owned by Giorgio DeLuca, the cofounder of legendary NYC food emporium Dean & DeLuca. After a time, DeLuca sold the house to Melvin Dwork, a celebrated Parsons-trained New York designer and LGBT activist.

“The original structure had pine-paneled cathedral ceilings and a floor of lagoon-green ceramic tile,” Gavin says. “I loved it, but I knew we were going to need to update (and add on to) the house, so I cold-called Workstead, a firm I have long admired.”

“Our mandate was: let’s not mess with the integrity of the house, and the Workstead team got it.”

Here’s a tour:

Photography by Matthew Williams.

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Above: “We hired East Hampton-based  Geoffrey Nimmer to create the layered landscape,” Nick says.
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Above: Workstead designed a glass-door-encased breezeway to connect the addition to the older structure.
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Above: The team installed a new cedar-shingle roof and siding and reproduced an existing cedar-shingle sconce for exterior lighting.
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Above: The couple retained the original ceramic tiles in the main living spaces; they’re cool underfoot during the hot summer months.
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Above: The team retained the original pine-paneled cathedral ceilings in the main spaces. In the kitchen, the Sub Zero refrigerator is concealed behind a wood paneled front.
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Above: A custom steel-framed daybed with a linen French-rolled mattress from Ruby Beets anchors a corner off the kitchen/dining area.
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Above: In the kitchen (and throughout the house), the team spec’ed a brass Vola faucet.
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Above: The Dining Table T21 Sfax is by Pierre Chapo, and is circled by a suite of Pierre Chapo S28 Dining Chairs.
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Above: In the guest bath, an Elm Mini basin sink from Kast Concrete is paired with a midcentury Danish mirror.
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Above: Throughout the house Workstead installed wood shutters to regulate light.
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Above: The main bedroom has four exposures, plus the original paneled ceiling and wood shutters.
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Above: The primary bathroom features a rough-hewn limestone sink and brass Vola taps.
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Above: The couple’s daughter, Greta, now has her own bedroom post-remodel.
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Above: “We were inspired by a Donald Judd bathroom in the design for the main bathroom,” Nick says. “The Agape Ottocento tub is a modern interpretation of the classic clawfoot tub.”
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Above: A view of the newly constructed pool.

For more Workstead:

Southern Modern in Charleston: A Fresh Take on the Old South from Workstead

New Directions: The Workstead + Schumacher Lighting Collection

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