To be cleaned: Malcolm Kafra’s Hampton Lodge
The brand he represents may be the apogee of Zen, but his working life is a place of riot and cacophony. Carfrae finds it all stimulating but also enervating. “I want to strip my mind from the worries of the workweek when I finally land here,” he explains. “I want there to be real harmony.”
What happens when the desire for escape meets the inexorable process of Calvinization? You get a place where there is plenty of ease and lots of luxury, but virtually no excess—and, best of all, an abundance of gloriously empty space. “I don’t believe in crowding the mind,” Carfrae says. Instead of adding new pieces, he says he is “constantly editing, stripping down, retaining only the things that are really perfect. I love a blank canvas.”
Planters with birds-of-paradise flank the entrance to the poolhouse; the cedar Adirondack chair and ottoman are by Kilmer Creek, and the lounge chairs came from Rumrunner.
Carfrae was able to save some of the windows, as well as the well-worn floors in the kitchen, hidden beneath “a million layers” of old flooring material. He extended the living room a few feet and installed French doors to the back deck. “The light is so special out here that you want to let it in as much as you can,” Carfrae says.
In the living room of the Hamptons house of Malcolm Carfrae and John Wattiker, the chaise, stool, and rug are all by Calvin Klein Home, the photograph over the fireplace is by Allison V. Smith, and the cocktail table-which once belonged to Calvin Klein- and rattan armchair were tag sale finds. The floors throughout are bleached oak.
Reclining on the chaise, one can soak in the sun during any season and reach for a drink on the cocktail table, which once belonged to Calvin himself. Carfrae kept the master suite on the main floor, as it was in the original layout, but he couldn’t bear the way the upstairs was configured, with nothing but a bathroom and a single bedroom. When he first saw the place, the bedroom contained nothing more than a single bed with a stark chair facing it. He shudders at the memory. “I don’t know what was going on in there, but it had to stop right then and there. It was very Norman Bates,” Carfrae jokes, conjuring Hitchcock’s Psycho. Moving the staircase—admittedly no small task—enabled him to carve out a third bedroom with its own bath. The setup is perfect for Carfrae and Wattiker, who love guests but treasure their privacy.
The bed in the master bedroom is dressed with linen sheets by Calvin Klein Home, and the artworks, from left, are by Erwin Redl and Zack Carr, a former creative director of Calvin Klein.
His most recent project is the newly completed poolhouse. It was once a second garage, run down and full of refuse. Now it is a cozy yet cool hideaway, with whitewashed ceiling beams, sling chairs in striped linen, and a cocktail table of arched glass. “It feels really wonderful to sit in there and just look at the house from that vantage point,” says Carfrae. “It’s like a beautiful painting in a frame.”
In the poolhouse, the 1950s French metal armchair and teak sling chairs are from Bloom in Sag Harbor, and the self-portrait on the shelf (center) is by Anh Duong.