“There are so many books about seaside homes. The last thing I wanted to do was deliver another,” explains the photographer, Instagram sensation, and men’s underwear entrepreneur Douglas Friedman.
Instead, The Seaside House: Living on the Water (Rizzoli, $55), penned by Nick Voulgaris III with photographs by Friedman, shows an eclectic range of waterside homes from stripped-back beachside cottages to grand, opulent manors, capturing varied coastal lifestyles. Highlights also include Giorgio Armani’s ultrachic villa in Antigua and Martha Stewart’s historic stone estate in Maine.
So what ties the spaces together? First, explains Voulgaris, they had to be “accessible and comfortable—whatever the owner’s definition of that is.” Second, they are places where you can be yourself. And third, there had to be enough space to welcome friends to stay.
Both Friedman and Voulgaris are drawn to the outdoors and nature. A keen sailor, in his spare time Voulgaris can be found restoring his 59-foot boat, while Friedman heads to Marfa, Texas, whenever he can. “The sky in the desert goes on forever, it’s almost like having an ocean on the ceiling,” explains Friedman. “But the book takes prime place on my coffee table there, so I can visit the sea whenever I want.”
Below, the duo share some of their favorite seaside locations.
Designer Celerie Kemble’s Dominican Republic home is at both exuberant and relaxed. “Island homes exude a different ambience to anywhere else. You immediately feel you have arrived on vacation,” says Vouglaris.
In contrast to the typical whimsical island style, this breakfast room in Newport, Rhode Island, boasts a more formal design aesthetic. Valerian Rybar designed the interiors in 1961, and they have been beautifully preserved ever since.
Voulgaris had long been admiring this home in Shelter Island, New York, from the water. “It has such a quintessential summer view,” he comments.
“Designer Steven Gambrel’s house in Sag Harbor, New York, is my dream. Everything he does is special and looks effortless,” says Friedman.
“It’s a very special experience to wander the halls Martha Stewart’s moody house in Maine,” says Friedman. Longtime friends, Stewart was asked to pen the book’s forward.
“Designer and event planner Ken Fulk’s house in Provincetown, Massachusetts, looks as though it’s been there for 100 years. He’s such a genius at conjuring lived-in spaces,” says Friedman.