I don’t actually know for a fact that this is the smallest house the Hamptons, but the couple that weekends here thinks their 520-square-foot former fishing shack in Amagansett could be a serious contender for the title. It’s smaller than most pool houses out there. The couple are both architects, Paul Rice and Ward Welch. Rice says,
“This is an area that’s known for larger homes that are done to perfection. Although we entertained ideas of expanding this house, building codes kept us from going up or pushing out. We decided to keep it simple.”
The demolition started a LOT sooner than anticipated…
“We had just purchased the place, and we had no concrete plans or ideas about what we wanted to do with it. We removed a small piece of wall trim, and then something took us over—some kind of architect desire or a condition? Within two hours, we had demo’ed the entire place and rendered it unlivable.
It forced us to work together to come up with a plan.”
“Many think that wood ceilings make a small space feel smaller. But for us, the opposite is true, it draws the eye up and makes it feel larger. As for the rustic nature of the beams and ceiling, this house is a jewel of sorts, but we didn’t want it to feel too precious.
We were careful to leave prep space between the sink, the cooktop, and the refrigerator. Our appliances are small, but we got the best we could afford —including an 18-inch-wide Miele dishwasher and a 27-inch-wide SubZero refrigerator.”
Rice says the 322-square-foot pool is the star of the yard,
“Many people who have a large lot install a simple rectangular pool. With the size and restrictions of our property, everything had to be much more considered.
The level changes mean you can easily wade into it and get out of it.”
A year after the project started the couple feels more connected than ever.
“We started at the beginning of our relationship, and it’s not always easy for two architects to work together. There’s no doubt that if either one of us did this on our own, it would look much different. There’s no denying that there were some brutal arguments, but I think they brought us closer together and the collaboration made for a stronger project.
We always have friends and family over, and it’s a constant stream of people going in and out all summer long.”
Welch says the attraction may be the home’s minute size.
“It seems like we are always the site of the party. The small size is so intriguing, we have friends who bring their guests here just to see and experience it.”
Bigger is NOT always better. This tiny house revolution is a nice antidote to the suburban McMansions, if you ask me.
(Photos, Pernille Loof; via Curbed)