This Checkerboard Pool House Spa Is Living in My Head Rent
By Sydney Gore
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The pool house paradise of my dreams on the property of an art-world insider’s home in Long Island.
Upon thinking about the concept of a pool house, the first thing that comes to mind is Ryan Atwood from The O.C., arguably one of the best teen shows in TV history. When the “I’m not like the other one percenters” couple Sandy and Kirstin Cohen generously take in the wrong-side-of-the-tracks misfit, they put him up in their swanky pool house instead of a bougie bedroom. While you might think that’s a strange setup for a teenager, Ryan was evidently living the dream—at one point, the coastal-themed space was decked out with Cesca bar stools, a Noguchi-style floor lamp, woven baskets, and other pieces of rattan furniture. (Note that the decor changed often throughout the four seasons, but the beach vibe was always consistent.) The best part? He didn’t have to pay to play. My guy was literally living rent-free!
Personally, I never had the desire to reside in a pool house until AD published the home tour of an art-world insider in the October 2021 issue. Built in the early 1900s, this particular Long Island waterfront property looks like something out of a fairytale and features the most decadent pool house that I have ever seen. (Not only is it nicer than most of the apartments I’ve passed through, but the space is also surrounded by a secret garden.) As west coast editor Mayer Rus so eloquently described it, “the capacious pool house, clad in live-edge wood planks, is a pleasure dome of a different stripe, visually connected to the architecture of the main residence, but distinct in its details and spirit—think Hans Christian Andersen by way of 1stDibs and Art Basel, with a Turkish bath thrown in for good measure.”
I became so enamored with the resort that I barely noticed the main house. The vibe is set in the spa room with a delicious spread of Moroccan zellige terra-cotta tiles that are arranged in a checkerboard pattern, but it’s the early-20th-century alabaster pendant lamp, Egyptian Revival sconces, and huge crystals that take the drama to the next level. I fantasize about taking a seat on the Victorian Turners chair in the corner, it feels very Middle Ages Modern.
Then there’s the game room outfitted with Carl Bergsten chairs, a Melchiorre Bega midcentury Italian table, an Adam Kurtzman pendant, and Zoffany wallpaper. Working from home? Head on over to the study and take your Zoom meetings at the early-20th-century Swedish table with a trendy Tiffany table lamp! When you’re ready for a disco nap, you can retreat to the putty-green sleeping berth. This might be a red flag for some, but I mean it when I say I want to retire here... Until I manifest that destiny, here are some of the items I’ll be stocking up on to channel that luxurious energy at home: