Jennifer Ash Rudick first visited the Hamptons in the 1980s, right after touring Europe. She’d glimpsed châteaux, castles and manors, but when she saw East Hampton, something stood apart. Here was a style of home that was completely its own, filled with grand views of the Atlantic, crisp textiles and cottage shingles blown over by countless salty winds.
The stately houses of the South Fork inspired the Veranda contributing editor to chronicle their history and aesthetic in Out East: Houses and Gardens of the Hamptons ($75, Vendome Press). Photographed by Sag Harbor native Tria Giovan, the book includes more than 30 residences and gardens that characterize the Hamptons’ style.
“I could seriously, happily live in any house in the book,” says Rudick, who spends her summers in Southampton. “Each is different, and each is transportive. The whole process provides a constant sense of discovery, which I hope comes across in the book.”
The pages of Out East showcase both interiors and exteriors of homes with distinct personalities and eclectic collections of art. The featured gardens are Edens of serene reflecting pools, trellises crawling with roses, and—Rudick’s favorite—shady places to sit and daydream. In addition, she interviews homeowners to illustrate how a decorated room might echo a family’s personality.
“A stark white house can be as intimate and appealing as a house full of tchotchkes and color,” Rudick says. “The homes are authentic reflections of the people who live in them. When something is personal and practical, more often than not, it will also be beautiful, and its appeal will stand the test of time.”
The author’s and photographer’s appreciation for the area is apparent in their presentation of both traditional Long Island farmhouses and modern glass paradises. Through them, readers can gaze upon the Hamptons with the same first-time awe that Rudick experienced when she returned from Europe. In this way, the gorgeous tome indeed helps beauty out East stand the test of time.