As a leader in the New York City residential real estate market, Louise Phillips Forbes was well acquainted with the work of HGTV stars Robert and Cortney Novogratz when she asked them to design her family’s new getaway in the Hamptons.
Louise and her family owned a half-million-dollar lot in Montauk Shores—a 20-acre trailer park known as a billionaire hotspot for its high-end amenities and coveted beach location—and they wanted to install a roughly $200,000 double-wide prefab from Indiana-based Hi-Tech Housing. The family of four called upon the Novogratz design duo’s playful and artsy design sensibilities to transform the “generic white box prefab” into a cozy surfer paradise.
“Because the home was built off-site, we didn’t have the opportunity to spend time in it before we started our decorating plans, which is unusual for us,” share the Novogratzes, who featured the prefab home in their new book, Novogratz Design Fix: Chic and Stylish Tips for Every Decorating Scenario. “We had to rely on blueprints and the manufacturer’s renderings, and extrapolate the best we could.”
To make the 1,160-square-foot prefab feel more spacious for the family of four, the Novogratzes asked the factory to increase the ceiling height by a few feet, remove several walls, and install taller doors. The prefab was constructed in two parts and then shipped to the site and installed atop the existing foundation.
“The clients live in New York City, and they were looking for a simple escape on the beach,” note the Novogratzes. “They are a surfing family and wanted the home to represent that. They asked that the outdoor space be as livable as the interior, and that the interior feel like them—open, warm, and relaxed.”
To visually open up the home, the Novogratzes utilized a minimalist design approach and a light, neutral palette. Bold pops of color, texture, and local art infuse the prefab home with personality and charm.
Along with the surfing-inspired decor, large windows and sliding glass doors that connect to an outdoor patio emphasize the indoor/outdoor living experience.
“We loved the kitchen, as it was unique for a home like this,” say the Novogratzes. “It felt like being in a city loft apartment, but then opened up to the outdoors, letting in wind and ocean scents. Whenever you can open the kitchen to the outdoors, something magical happens.”