For some and, quite honestly, most people, the planning, building, and moving into a new house can be a chaotic, anxiety-laden, and somewhat overwhelming undertaking. Then there are Jay Johnson and Tom Cashin—an extraordinarily calm, collected, and super-organized couple who not only make it all look easy, but have ended up with a beautiful, highly personal and, well, an absolutely perfect home. Their new house, in Brookhaven Hamlet, New York, holds an enviable collection of English and American Arts & Crafts and Mission furnishings that is paired with contemporary art works. Included are American Pop artist Andy Warhol’s most iconic works—a complete portfolio of his ten flower screen prints and one of his brilliant Brillo boxes, as well as adventurous examples by both well-known and emerging painters and photographers, still under-the-radar ceramicists, and intensely personal things that poignantly, yet unsentimentally, recall Johnson’s twin brother Jed Johnson, who died tragically 20 years ago.
Decades ago, the Johnson brothers, who were part of Warhol’s innermost circle at the New York artist’s famous Factory, had started collecting American Mission furniture—ferreting out some of the best Gustav Stickley pieces on Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue, before the style became popular and the Johnsons moved onto English Arts & Crafts.
When the house on the adjoining property to the weekend house they purchased in 1999 became available, Johnson said, “We just had to have it.” Originally, the idea was to build a pool on the property and expand the pond. But soon, they found themselves taking the house they had just bought down to its footprint and building a new house that was bigger than what they had originally felt they needed. “But,” added Johnson, “we quickly realized that we were getting older and could really enjoy a larger house.”