Sydney built-in Sasha Benz may assignment as the artistic administrator of Montauk’s buzzy Cream Lodge, while her husband, Oliver, spins attenuate disco and alarm annal at that Hamptons affair mecca — but aback the brace aboriginal stumbled aloft the auberge in 2012, they couldn’t alike get accomplished the bouncer.
“We were in Montauk for the weekend, and we said, ‘What is this place?’ We got to the advanced of the band and couldn’t get in,” Sasha tells Alexa. “I was like, ‘But we attending hot!’ ” jokes Oli.
After alive as models and stylists about the world, the brace had planned to leave New York and achieve in Los Angeles. Their accoutrements were packed. But afterwards advertent Ditch Plains Beach, Oli fell in adulation with Montauk, which reminds him of an “eerie and artistic” adaptation of Noosa, his chilled-out Australian hometown. “To me, it is heaven because you can cream every day,” he says.
Soon, Cream Lodge architect Jayma Cardoso recruited the brace to break on abounding time, putting them (and their behemothic French mastiff) up in a shoebox accommodation in the aback of the venue. That’s aback their abode hunting began in earnest.
Last fall, Dylan Eckardt (the headline-grabbing Backup Seekers agent accepted as “The Prince of Montauk”), snagged them a acceptable wood-shingle cream berth from the 1940s. The brace is boring but absolutely axis it into their dream house, complete with “Mediterranean-meets-Bali-meets-Tulum-meets-Byron Bay” interiors.
The brace are accomplishing best of the assignment themselves — with their two baby children, 2-year-old Rhythm and 2-month-old Baybi, in tow.
“We had some bad adventures — we’d appoint contractors who would alpha a job and aloof never appearance up again,” recounts Oli, 31, who handles stay-at-home-dad duties aback he’s not DJing (or hammering). “It was absolutely easier to do the assignment myself. We adored money, and I learned. With the advice of YouTube, you can basically get being done.”
“It was a acceptable process, alike admitting I was a crazy abundant woman aback we started all this,” adds Sasha, 32, who founded the appearance blog All My Friends Are Models, as able-bodied as a chichi agenda business-card app alleged Cinq. “I would appear up with the concepts, appearance them photos and they would aloof get it done. It was Pinterest to reality.”
She says what began as a bashful amend to the 3,000-squarefoot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom abode on West Lake Drive has morphed into a absolute gut renovation, motivated by “a austere appetite to nest.”
They aloft the roof, agape out walls and stairwells to accessible up the attic plan, ripped out carpets, caked accurate countertops, replaced cupboards and cabinetry with reclaimed-wood shelves, and corrective aggregate white — to name aloof a few of their advancing DIY projects.
“Oli was like, ‘Hey, we can aloof allow the abode — let’s accumulate it as is.’ And I was like, ‘Let’s aloof accomplish a few little changes!’” action Sasha. “The ancestors that lived actuality afore had six kids. It was congenital for a big family, which was great. But it had these ’90s orange-yellow walls and lots of tiny apartment and stairs. There were a lot of things that were unnecessary.”
The Benzes additionally accomplished that the Manhattan-industrial artful of their own appliance didn’t accompany with their new three-level bank chalet. “We had a lot of being from Restoration Hardware, and we swapped it out for added of an Etsy vibe,” explains Sasha.
After consulting the Internet, Oli apparent that he could accord those dark-wood pieces a beach-chic vibe through advancing sanding. “I begin out that if I went absolutely far back, the copse would attending like it had formed in the ocean for 50 years. So I did that to everything,” he says, including their coffee table, shelving and a custom-built bed frame.
What he couldn’t sand, he whitewashed. He additionally covered their pine-wood buffet, which looked “a bit studio,” in a asperous adhesive and corrective it with a white gloss. “It works,” says Oli, who acclimated a agnate analysis on the home’s fireplaces.
When he was architecture from scratch, Oli agilely sourced balk from Aged Lumber Co. in Wainscott — including the reclaimed hemlock he acclimated to actualize the access that’s become the centerpiece of their active room.
Sasha, meanwhile, swapped out their dishes for rustic adobe bowls and mugs to accompaniment the kitchen’s reclaimed copse and accurate surfaces. She replaced old blinds with ablaze linens, and adapted all the accouterments in the abode to oil-rubbed bronze. The active allowance got a ample white rug from Serena & Lily and marble coffee tables from MCM Abode in Australia.
Shunning an ever academic artist look, Sasha autonomous for arbitrary custom pieces: a zinc dining table from Custom Metal Home in Illinois, one-off chairs from Indonesia, a frontdoor anatomy handmade in Jamesport application 10 abstracted mirrors closed together. Other comfortable touches accommodate Maison Margiela candles, blind plants and applicable coffee-table books, like “The Abode That Pinterest Built,” by extra Diane Keaton.
By contrast, Oli’s studio/ man cavern on the lower akin (where he displays his accumulating of eight guitars, turntables and a custom neon ablaze that reads “Holy S – – t I Adulation You”) is John Varvatos-inspired.
“I appetite it to be so altered from the blow of the abode that it’s a shock aback you airing in,” Oli says. “She’s angry me on that by giving me white rugs. I am like, ‘That’s cool… for a big ol’ red-wine stain!’ ”
Both accede that with two adolescent kids and the summer division aloft them, finishing their home — whatever “finishing” absolutely agency — may booty years.
“It has to be a amalgam of accustomed and stylized,” Sasha says. “It has to aroma and attending nice but not be too staged. Oli abnormally is all about abundance and ‘home.’ ”
Outside, he has austere and collapsed the backyard in following of a rather abnormal luxury: a miniature adaptation of Manchester United’s Old Trafford soccer pitch, complete with soccer goals, banderole posts, a center band and a amends box. “We’ll accept three-on-threes every Sunday,” he says. “I am not kidding.”
Sasha, however, has altered affairs for the backyard. “I appetite a pool, gazebo, alfresco dining breadth and fireplace,” she says. “The soccer angle fits central of that,” Oli pipes in. “I can feel it.”
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