Saunders, Real Estate, Hamptons

Hamptons Life

Jan 14, 2019 1:01 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Danise Talbot To Open Bridgehampton Showroom

The faucet and fixtures accent the marble countertop. COURTESY DANISE TALBOT
Jan 14, 2019 1:12 PM

When Danise Talbot recently moved to Sag Harbor, she noticed there weren’t many local interior design businesses tailored specifically to the needs of full-time residents.

An interior designer herself, Ms. Talbot spent her teens at South Fork beaches and enjoying village shopping and eateries—getting the full Hamptons treatment.

In 2013, she opened a small storefront in Westport, Connecticut, where she has designed interiors for hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, offices, stores and homes, with a specialty in kitchens and bathrooms.

Since returning to the South Fork, she has observed the overall aesthetic of typical Hamptons design hasn’t changed much. Worse, it has become muted by the same tired colors and motifs that are played up for seasonal homeowners and tourists, she said.

That’s why Danise Talbot Design will debut its Bridgehampton showroom on Thursday, January 17. Ms. Talbot said she is dedicating the event to all things local: dining, real estate, community and business.

The Press: Why are you challenging the “typical” Hamptons look?

Danise Talbot: The audience is different and changing here. They tend to like neutral colors and whites only. All of the staging that is done here looks the same.

Whenever I do a staging here I like to pop in color. I am a little bias—my logo is blue and orange and I love those colors. Not every client likes that but I try to put in one or two elements with those colors.

How is it changing? The major takeaway from 2018 is bringing the outdoors in. That can mean adding fresh flowers and plants inside the home where it makes sense. Our fabrics and colors can have elements of the outside as well. Metallics are in right now. Gold is back. For a long time no one in their right mind would have used gold. I am seeing gold and silvers mixed together in a space. You can see that in the fixtures and faucets in the kitchens and the bathrooms. Hammered sinks and copper tubs are replacing porcelain.

Moreover, I try to evolve with my client. Let’s say they want to do their bathroom. Once I am there—because I do full-service interior design—I can help them redesign using what they have or by featuring something new. I try to always have a focal point, like a beautiful carpet they own or a painting. I don’t pressure them, but I say what will work and what won’t work.

My main goal is I want to work with the locals. I am hearing from residents who live here throughout the year that there is no one for them to go to here. Most of the interior designers who serve this area aren’t from here. They are brought in from New York City. I want this to be a base here.

This area is served almost exclusively by pop ups during the summer. Then, there is nothing left for the people who are here all-year-round. And it’s only going to get worse with online retail.

What I want to do is keep it local.

You describe your work to be transitional. What does that mean?

There seems to be a lot more modern builds going on. I don’t want to see all of the Hamptons coming that way, and preserve some of the old traditions. But the community needs to be updated. It’s in transition. It needs to blend into a transitional product.

For instance, a lot of people often use traditional materials like marble and colors like white and navy, which gives a kitchen a nautical vibe that feels like it should be right for the Hamptons. But I really want to update it by making a design that sort of looks like jewelry in a sense. You can really make a kitchen pop with a well-designed stove hood, which is usually the ugliest thing in the room, and custom lighting.

I go hunting for anything that I think I can turn into a light. My favorites are things from Europe, such as Murano vases and arts and crafts vases. No one is really using them anymore. I try to use them in my kitchen designs and entryways. They can really brighten a room.

How will the Bridgehampton showroom be different from the Westport flagship?

This is my first storefront on the South Fork. We will be featuring kitchen and bathroom designs, as well as some custom-made furniture.

All of the furniture I purchase is made in the U.S.A. unless a client specifically asks for something else. I tend to look for local goods. For instance, my upholsterer is in Connecticut and is going to come out and do some work here, too. We do a lot of mid-century modern furniture and recover it. We refurbish things from the past and make them up to date for today. I use a custom builder for my furniture, Ronald Webb Builders in East Hampton. Bud Webb makes all of my cabinetry, too. My favorite thing to redo are pool houses. I would say I have a little knack for that.

In Connecticut, it’s a boutique and jewelry store, where I sell a lot of secondhand furniture. I had worked in the diamond business in Manhattan on 42nd Street. I moved to Connecticut in 1993. In Westport, I worked Lillian August Designs, who is led by another great woman in interior design. It was first just a small boutique, and eventually expanded to several stores around the state. Along the way, I learned a lot from them, and decided I want to study interior design at Fairfield University.

In 2013, I opened my own showroom on Riverside Avenue in Westport on the water. I can remember vacationing here and, after more visits, I decided to eventually move here and expand my business to my new home.

There will be newer stuff here, but no jewelry. The jewelry in Bridgehampton will be the hardware. I try to at least every three months find out what the newest things are in Manhattan. I pick my fabrics and wallpapers and samples that I want to show. That way the showroom will have everything a client needs. Because of my jewelry background, I think the finishing touches are the most important.

As an interior designer, you have to make sure the products that you use are for this area. That means the workforce, too. I am going to have other interior designers use my space to meet their clients. Think of it like a membership, which gets a trade discount.

Transitional changes to a home shouldn’t be expensive. Sometimes changing out a traditional kitchen hood for a more modern look and hanging some custom lighting can do the trick. I want locals to come and experience this location.

The opening of Danise Talbot Design in Bridgehampton is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 17, at 7 Tradesman Path, #11. In Ms. Talbot’s more than 2,000-square-foot showroom there will be several presentations from real estate agents, builders and interior designers who will speak about the changing landscape of homes on the South Fork. A portion from the catered event’s proceeds—garnered from a $40 entry fee—will go to the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center.

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