May 4, 2021

A Tennis Pavilion With a Throwback Vibe

By Stephen Wallis

1,013 words

A family gets an athletic retreat on Long Island that is just this side of camp.

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Refreshed on May 14, 2021 at 8:50:08 am

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  This article is part of our latest Design special report, which is about expanding the possibilities of your home.
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  Is it yellow? Or green? Wherever you come down in the great tennis ball color debate (for the record, the International Tennis Federation goes with “optic yellow”), the sulfurous shade is one that, according to Ghislaine Viñas, “only about three people in the world absolutely love.” You can count her as one.
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- “Nothing could be more thrilling for me than to actually have a perfect excuse to use that color,” said the South African-born, New York City–based interior designer, and intrepid colorist. Her “excuse” was a fanciful tennis pavilion she masterminded for a family’s summer home overlooking Lake Montauk, on the tip of Long Island.
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+ “Nothing could be more thrilling for me than to actually have a perfect excuse to use that color,” said the Dutch-born, New York City–based interior designer, and intrepid colorist. Her “excuse” was a fanciful tennis pavilion she masterminded for a family’s summer home overlooking Lake Montauk, on the tip of Long Island.
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  The pavilion is the latest project Ms. Viñas has completed over the past two decades for Paige West and Christopher Cooper. Ms. West, founder of the now-closed Chelsea art gallery Mixed Greens, is the curator of the West Collection, which she has assembled with her father, Alfred West Jr., the chairman and chief executive of the financial services firm SEI. Mr. Cooper, her husband, is a founder of FanHero, a technology company that helps celebrities monetize their social media content.
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  The couple have three teenage sons, and they have tailored their Montauk home — working with Ms. Viñas and the architecture firm Arcologica — to be a stylishly low-key refuge for play and relaxation with plenty of guests. They even gave the house, which sleeps up to 24 people, a droll portmanteau name: the Floritauk Motel — a mash-up, coined by Ms. Viñas, of the home’s two primary aesthetic influences, Montauk and Florida. The latter looms large in Ms. West’s childhood memories, thanks to the many vacations she spent there with her family.
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  Local ordinances stipulated that, in order to put a tennis court on the property, they had to build a structure on it as well. So they commissioned Arcologica and Ms. Viñas to create a 1,650-square-foot pavilion: a low white-brick building tucked against the slope and topped by a roof with a bocce court and sedum plantings to blend in with the surrounding vegetation.
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  That restraint, however, ends at the pavilion’s minimalist glass-and-steel French doors. Inside, Ms. Viñas took a very different approach to the spaces, which consist of a kitchen and bar, a lounge area with a television and Ping-Pong table, and a locker room. “We definitely went with the whole kitsch-retro vibe,” said the designer, who amped up the pattern and exuberant color, including, yes, that distinctive tennis ball hue.
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- In fact, Ms. Viñas gave it a starring role, upholstering the lounge’s 12-foot long banquette and a pair of rattan-framed poufs in an S. Harris fabric the company calls light green. Complementary shades abound, from the viridian tile bar with brass details and its tufted teal leather stools to a glossy Granny Smith-green credenza. A tropical trellis fabric by Christian Lacroix clads the two daybed-like sofas, which have a modern Saarinen table between them.
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+ In fact, Ms. Viñas gave it a starring role, upholstering the lounge’s 12-foot-long banquette and a pair of rattan-framed poufs in an S. Harris fabric the company calls light green. Complementary shades abound, from the viridian tile bar with brass details and its tufted teal leather stools to a glossy Granny Smith-green credenza. A tropical trellis fabric by Christian Lacroix clads the two daybed-like sofas, which have a modern Saarinen table between them.
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  A clubby canvas awning, in bold black-and-white stripes with a shapely scallop edge, adds graphic flair above the banquette and wall where the Floritauk Tennis Club logo is playfully stenciled. Providing similar visual punch in the kitchen and bar area is a classic Florence Broadhurst bamboo lattice wallpaper that Ms. Viñas had “morphed up like it’s on steroids, 20 times bigger than it is usually,” she said.
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  “Those bright colors and the brass and the stripes and the bamboo trellis wallpaper — all of that was my childhood growing up,” said Ms. West. “It’s a very ’70s, ’80s color scheme that I remember from my grandmother’s beach house, and we just kind of ran with it.”

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  • A Tennis Pavilion With a Throwback Vibe

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  • Design
  • Florida
  • Interior Design and Furnishings
  • Montauk (NY)
  • Tennis