My Stay at Sea Roost in Montauk
While most people think of the Hamptons as just a place to visit in the summer, they can be just as fun off season. Last week, my friend Michelle Adams and I went out to Montauk to stay at Sea Roost and visit some of our favorite friends and stores out east.
You may remember that I posted about Sea Roost in June of this year. The two-cottage property of original fisherman cottages in Hither Hills area of Montauk were built in the 1940s and are owned by photographer Matt Albiani and his partner Ron Brand. The duo also own the Mate Gallery store in Montecito curated with maritime accessories, book, objects, photography, and more. It’s no surprise that this aesthetic extends to the two rentable cottages. They are filled with treasures and painted furniture that give them a warm and cozy feeling without feeling cluttered.
Even if you don’t want to rent them, the cottages are filled with great design inspiration. I asked Matt and Ron to tell the story of how they came to own the cottages and the design decisions that went into them.
“I rented a small beach house adjacent to Sea Roost in the mid-aughts with friends for years, and these cottages sat behind a fence and lots of brush, completely hidden from the road. I always thought it was sort of storybook looking and romantic, how overgrown it all was – sort of like a Montauk “Grey Gardens”.
An artist and his family lived back there for twenty years, and we became good neighbors. When I heard they were thinking about moving, I reached out to them and asked if they would be willing to sell it to us.– Matt Albiani and Ron Brand
The houses were very rustic and needed some TLC but we knew the bones were good. The windows are original and something we really wanted to keep, all the light they let in, was something that really attracted us to the house.
A lot of decisions were made over (several) glasses of wine, at night, with blue painter’s tape, masking out where we thought things should go. Being in the space and working through ideas for each room is so important.
We like to be thrifty when we can: for instance, the rattan headboards are from Ikea, and the sisal in the master is really just pieces of rug from Overstock that we installed ourselves, and it’s great because it looks like custom wall-to-wall.
We wanted the bathroom to feel modern, and thought the black metal shower stall looked so cool with all that white subway tile.
We are lucky to own a vintage shop, and a lot of the decor came from Mate Gallery – we had surplus from our Amagansett pop up last summer, and outfitted much of the house with a lot of that product. Plus a trip to Brimfield last fall!
A great resource as well are all the great estate sales out east – as we love to say, go to sales in expensive towns! ARF in Sagaponack was a good spot – we got the large cabinet in the hall that had been in a family’s home for five generations. “
The cottages were incredibly cozy even when the weather turned bitter cold and windy with snow showers. I look forward to returning when the weather warms up since they are a short walk to the beach and ocean just down the driveway and across the road. You can actually see the ocean from the front porch and go to bed while hearing the waves crash. A great sound no matter what the temperature.
The main house has two bedrooms and bathrooms and includes a washer and dryer and dishwasher.
There are ample areas to sit and eat outside in nice weather.
The vaulted ceiling makes the cottage feel large and airy even though it’s not that big.
Do as they do and add plaid blankets to wicker chairs for the colder months.
We had one beautiful sunny 60 degree day that allowed us to have the front door open before the snow arrived the next day.
The indoor table gives you a place to eat on cold or rainy days.
The branches were probably cut from the yard and were a lovely welcome.
We lit a fire on the coldest night and watched Very Ralph on the television off the left.
More foraged branches add ambiance to the mantle.
For a small cottage, it has an incredible amount of storage in the form of armoires and the large cabinet in the hallway.
I love all the little collections throughout the house.
Instead of one large refrigerator and freezer that would take up a lot of space, there are two under cabinet fridges on the right and a freezer on the left.
The open shelves allow for art to be displayed with the glasses.
The wooden counters relate back to the wood ceiling and create warmth in the kitchen.
I like that they didn’t extend the cabinets under the window. It gives it a little breathing room.
Even usable dishes and bowls create a cohesive collection of blue and white.
The light from the windows was so lovely during the day. Because of the large bushes, the cottages is very private so you don’t have to worry about the neighbors seeing inside.
Yellow slickers and hats are on hand in case of rainy weather.
I love all the nautical and sailing art through the cottage too.
I nicknamed this gentleman “Captain Obvious”.
Collections of objects and books make for interesting displays in the hall cabinet.
The view from the hallway into the bedroom in which I stayed.
I loved the mix of painted furniture in this room.
It was such a cozy room.
You could pull a chair up to the desk next to the bed to work.
Outside the window is an outdoor shower and an outdoor bathtub. It was a bit too cold to use them on this trip.
I took this photo on the last cold morning after I packed up my suitcase so there’s a little frost on the windows. The door goes out to the side porch with the outdoor shower and bath. To the right is a large picture window and a clothes closet, a closet with the washer and dryer, and a small door to the bathroom.
The master bathroom was very spacious and had lots of shelf space for toiletries.
This is the bedroom that Michelle had during our stay. If you look at all the photos, you’ll notice pops of yellow in almost every room.
The bushes outside reminded me of Grey Gardens too since they filmed the documentary in the winter.
The old issue of National Geographic were a fun design touch.
The bedrooms had simple white roller shades.
The artist’s studio is a separate cottage next door.
It would be fun to stay here with a group of friends or family.
This studio space has everything you need in one room.
I love the paint splattered chair that relates back to its life as an artist’s studio.
I think it would be fun for a family staying in the main cottage to have the kids stay in this studio cottage.
Even though it’s small, it also contains lots of storage.
An artist shot of the room by me.
The studio has a smaller kitchen but it still has everything you could need.
I love all the artwork in both cottages.
This is a view of the ocean from the bottom of the driveway. To have a home this close to the ocean in Montauk is amazing and you can experience it too if you decide to rent Sea Roost.
All photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic.