Monday, March 29, 2010

Calling All Beach Bunnies!

Are you ready for Easter?? If you are in the New York Area please join us for the First Annual Blue Gull Beach House Easter Egg Hunt! To celebrate spring, we will toast to beach bunnies everywhere with a backyard brunch and an old-fashioned egg hunt on the beach. We know many of you can't join us in person, so please join us in spirit by sending us your spring pics! We'll post ours as well. Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!


Could not pass up these little appetizer plates, they had me all smiles today at work! As you can see, Oliver is ready to party! These are available at CB2-- they have some great stuff for summer entertaining, including table linens, barware, and even outdoor furniture, all at affordable prices and in modern styles.

If you're looking to spruce up your surf shack, check out their galvanized planters (available in different sizes), their sol pendant lamp, and their igloo chairs which were also featured on coastal living's blog (Sarah Latta has a great post on their store). As you can see in the pic to the left, the clean geometric lines help to add interest to an otherwise boring patio.

The Original Beach House Bedroom

I wanted to share a peek of the original master bedroom. The previous owners were a really lovely couple, and took great care of this little beach house. They had some amazing times at the house with friends and family, and we look forward to continuing where they have left off.

This is what the bedroom used to look like. They left behind some awesome vintage furniture from the 1960's that I am working with. The only thing that will probably look the same once I am done is the paint on the walls-- the cool green color is really relaxing! The one change that I will not likely get to finish is switching out the ceiling fan. I found one online that has a more modern feel to it, so I am going to eventually replace this one. The goal this weekend is to balance work on the house with some play in my new area. I am going to do my best to remember to bring my camera everywhere with me, and hopefully the ducks will be out again on Montauk Highway- Main Street! They are too cute! The picture below is the fan that will likely serve as the replacement once I get down to it on my to do list.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Coastal Furniture Find

In my search for some funky and unusual furniture pieces, I came across these beds and headboards at Cottage Home Maine. They have a huge selection of tables, chairs, upholstery, wall decor and more! Their furniture is custom made, and it comes in a variety of paint colors to perfectly match your beach shack (they have custom paint available as well). Not sure if these will be making a splash at the Blue Gull Beach House, as this coming weekend I will be trying my hand at painting the house's original headboard in the master bedroom. But, if the project falls flat, I may be giving Cottage Home a call!

Cottage Home also features design services and can help develop a "color package" to compliment any design package you might have. Check out "The Ledges Showhouse" and the "Dover Bluff Showhouse" on their website.

These beds (to the left) are from their Carolina Collection and come in a variety of sizes. I can see them fitting perfectly as a fun accent piece in a room for younger beach guests (or in my room, who am I kidding!). They also come topped with flamingos, palm trees, pelicans, whales and other beachy things.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Castle for the Rest of Us

I have received requests for more pictures of the Blue Gull Beach House, and they are coming! I will post some before and after shots once the rest of the furniture arrives and I have a chance to tackle some of my projects. In the meantime, I would like to show you a BIG haven, in comparison to my little one. I give you: the Montauk Manor.

I would bet that many kids imagine that a king and queen reside in the Montauk Manor, a true "American Castle." I know I thought so, when I first strained to take in its commanding presence. Built by Carl Fisher in 1925, the Manor was the first piece of what Fisher envisioned would become the "Miami of the north." Fisher's Montauk would be "the most fabulous summer resort in the western hemisphere," with polo fields, a yacht club, a boardwalk, and other upscale amenities. Unfortunately, hard economic times prevented his vision from fully materializing, but the Manor still stands as living proof of his dream.

When this resort first opened, it hosted many diplomats, celebrities, and important people of the day. Today, it serves as a hotel, accessible to the general public, and resort condominiums can also be purchased within. The second picture to the left showcases the lobby, and you can see how the castle-like atmosphere exists within as well. You won't see any royalty roaming the halls if you visit--more likely tourists from Queens, or those who have returned to this historic place after many years away, to see for themselves how it has evolved, and to remember its grand years. The Montauk Manor is, in a way, a castle for the rest of us. And I hope that its breathtaking views and sprawling grounds will continue to host imaginary kings and queens for many more years to come.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Art on the Way!

I wanted to remind you all to keep an eye out for the Montauk Fine Arts Festival this coming May 29-30th. Featuring artists from across the country, this two-day event will bring new ceramics, photography, digital art, paintings, jewelry, mixed media, metal works and sculpture to the Montauk Village Green. As a photographer myself, I am really excited to see what new artists and works will make it out to the End this year. The picture to the left is a photo that I recently took, I was debating hanging a framed version in the Blue Gull Beach House's kitchen.......but.......maybe I'll find a better option this May! (I'm pretty sure I will!).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Summer Dish 2010

There is something extraordinary about spending mornings on the beach. The inviting colors of the sky, the soothing rythm of the receding tide, and the overall calm make the first hours of the day spent on sand very special for me. It signals the beginning-- a day that exists only in its planning stages. Montauk is a town filled with rich tradition, but much like beach mornings, exists in its planning stages to some extent. This adds a real element of excitement to the area, and affords the opportunity for the continued growth of a unique beach town.

So, what growth is in store for summer 2010? Well, in addition to Navy Beach, there are some other new restaurants slated to open. First, the owners of Bostwick's Seafood Grill and Cherrystone's Clam and Lobster Shack will merge these two East Hampton favorites to create "Bostwick's Chowder House." We can expect some great chowders and raw bar items from their new location on Montauk Highway. The menu will of course, feature their signature lobster roll (we need to figure out who serves it up best before the summer is over) and the new space will include a "casual atmosphere" with a "beach and seaside theme." Love it. Surfboards and a full bar...thank you, gods of summer.

Both of these new hot spots will face some tough competition from Serafina East Hampton, which will occupy the former Matto location. Also featuring a "beachy" and "casual atmosphere," Serafina will dish up "creative pastas and risottos," and the thin crust pizza that has earned them fame throughout Manhattan. Envision a pied piper-ish line of city slickers drooling on their way out to this new Hamptons location. Well...they'll have to get in line.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Light My Fire! (And Win Our First Giveaway)

Join the Blue Gull Beach House's first GIVEAWAY! We have partnered with an amazing candle store called black & light to provide an opportunity for you to win a free candle (YES, I SAID FREE!). This family-owned business makes unique candles (designed by Holly Eve)-- they even design custom candles, like the ones that they created for the 2008 Obama Presidential Campaign and Mariott Resorts in Scottsdale, Arizona. Black & Light is dedicated to helping those in greater need, and they encourage us all to share the glow, which is why the Blue Gull Beach House is happy to shine a little light on them!

So this is how you can win (See Rules Below as Well):

1. Visit the black & light website, and browse their stuff! You will thank me.

2. Describe your favorite candle and tell us why you like it best.

3. Double your chance to win by mentioning the Blue Gull Beach House's site on your blog.

4. Triple your chance to win by booking with the Blue Gull Beach House for Summer 2010! For more information, please contact:

MaryAnn Peluso: 917-992-2251

Rules We Can All Agree With:

Please make that sure if your comment does not link back to a blog or a website that you provide an e-mail address so that we can contact you if you win. This contest is open to all and will end at Midnight on April 7, 2010. The winner will be announced on April 10, 2010.

Paper Chase

I came across this great paper at Paper Source. They have various locations and some good online shopping for all different types of paper, notecards, and other stuff. Not sure exactly what I will be using it for, but I am envisioning invitations, place cards, and I may try to use this blue fish print (my favorite) to to add a twist to one of the lamp shades currently in the house. If you combine this paper with plain note cards and beachy decor (like starfish, seashells, et. cet) you can make some great handmade cards and things. I am including this next picture-- mind you I do not have a green thumb, or whatever color thumb you need to master this kind of stuff, but I think I at least get points for effort. My tombstone shall read: She Tried So Hard. Yes, that is also some ribbon that you see, in some great paisley prints. I cut out one of the fish from that paper and mounted it (think placecard or decoration for an outdoor party). The starfish card does require a little assembly (don't try this at home, expert at work here) and I would not recommend sending it via mail! The edges of the paper were cut with pinking shears, and the hearts and other cut outs are from Paper Source.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Two Sheets to the Wind!

It's the little things that count...and also add up when you are trying to jazz up a beach house. Starting off simply, with just one main color has helped to point me in the right direction when picking out furniture and bedding, but it all can get very expensive quickly. In order to add some character to the house, (I opted to keep the exposed beams in their natural hue and to leave the original paint for now), I brought in some funky sheets and pillows to make things interesting (Life is too short, you gotta keep it interesting). Changing sheets, pillows and smaller accessories is a great way to give your pad a new look both quickly and inexpensively. and have a great selection of beachy sheets that will not break your bank (and at 200 thread count won't break your back either!). The Tommy Hilfiger Collection is great, and features bright stripey patterns, hula girls, little lobsters, and these cool "shark attack" sheets to the left. Given Montauk's long history of shark tournaments and its connection with the movie JAWS, these sheets were a must for me. They come in all the sizes you need-- out of the pool and into the bed!

What's Your Sign?

Beach houses, shacks, cottages and bungalows have some of the best signs, from nautical, to rustic, to funky. There are several shops in Montauk where you can pick one out if you are sans sign, such as Haven, and there is even a small shop where you can have your sign made to order. This one to the left is at the Blue Gull Beach House, right above the outdoor shower, a perfect spot to plan your escape from the Real World.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Win a Rug for Your Beach House!

Completely Coastal, one of the latest beach blogs "Making Waves" has a free giveaway from Outer Banks Trading Group. Outer Banks Trading Group has a ton of cool beach-inspired home furnishings, and you could win one of their "jelly bean indoor/outdoor rugs." To enter, go to the Completely Coastal website and follow the instructions-- entries are accepted up until midnight on Thursday March 25. My favorite is the one to the left, called "Little Fleet." Check out their other styles and sign up to win!

Outdoor Space: The Best Room in the House

One of the most important features of any beach house is its outdoor space. In the same way that you want to create a vibe inside a house that invites people in, you also want an outdoor space that "calls people out." Maximizing your outdoor space is key, and the great thing about the Blue Gull Beach House is that it has plenty of space, from backyard to side patio, to back patio, to front yard. This shot was taken of the back yard, and as you can see there's great space with a little natural shade. There are a number of catering companies in and around Montauk that set up fabulous clambakes, and will even set them up in your backyard-- I can just picture the tables and tents set up here for an event like that (possibly for the opening party of the season). To the right is the patio, simple concrete pavers where the main table will be stationed.

In terms of outdoor furniture, I am leaning towards teak. There was a great article in Outdoor Ideas & Solutions that reviews all the usual suspects: plastic, iron, aluminum and wood. All have their pros and cons, but it looks like teak will last a while, and still look great over time. The one area I plan on giving some attention is the front yard-- front yards are often under utilized, and can be a great spot to meet and greet visitors or just chill. More to come.

Calling All Flip Flops!

The amazing weather this past weekend proves that summer is on it's way! Yes, for the first time this year, my toes braved the great outdoors yesterday, donning flip flops. Flip flops are a critical beach accessory, and with so many designers cranking out stylish thongs you will make it through summer 2010 looking hot (and haute). I will admit, I am a a shoe junkie (as well as a beach bunny), and I had this pair of sandals handmade in Capri, Italy. I do my best to visit beaches both in and out of the Hamptons, and if you want to feel like Sophia Loren, the place to go is Capri. With its fabulous beach clubs and private relax boats to help you explore the island, Capri will take you on a fantasy voyage. Travel to the top of the hill in Anacapri and get yourself some handmade sandals to fit your feet exactly. Sophia would approve!

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Montauk Restaurant

I recently heard some buzz on a new restaurant in Montauk: Navy Beach. The restaurant has been described as "a beachfront restaurant and bar...serving coastal comfort food in a laid back family friendly environment." wrote a full article on the restaurant, and it's official website can be found here. In the past few years a number of great restaurants have opened in the Amagansett/Montauk area-- my current favorites include Harvest and Indian Wells Tavern...yummy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Beach Couch?

My search for the perfect couch has ended! Picking a couch for the beach house has been difficult, as my appreciation for modern style has not meshed completely well with my desire for a comfy seat. I was able to find something of a compromise-- a navy blue couch, keeping with my blue theme (a bit more traditional) from IKEA has taken the lead. It has a great pull out bed for extra guests (there are always extra guests!) and can likely hold up to the wear and tear of beach traffic. Plus, the covers are all machine washable! With some white tables to match and...maybe a bit of paint in the future? What do you think?


One of the first things I thought about in selecting the Blue Gull Beach House was the overall feel-- When you go on a beach vacation, you want to open the door to wherever you are staying and feel calm, relaxed and away from it all. So of course, I had to make sure the master suite had it's own bathroom and private deck, on the side of the house opposite the main patio. This way guests can rise and enjoy those rare moments of peace and quiet. I also wanted there to be ample space for parties, and those moments when you just want to be loud! For this purpose, the yard is surrounded with privacy hedges, and the house itself has an open kitchen and expansive livingroom.

In fulfilling this overall theme, I've enjoyed shopping for stuff-- beachy stuff. Stuff that when I look around reminds me that, yes, I am at the beach (and Montauk has many beaches including my private beach one block from the house). The above picture shows one of the shelves in the hallway, to give you a sneak peak at my style direction. I know you're wondering-- what's with the name Blue Gull Beach House? Well, I decided the main color scheme (gotta have a good palette) would play off of touches of blue. Is it summer yet? More pictures to come...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day!

This goes out to all of you enjoying St. Patrick's Day at the Beach! A number of beach towns have cool events going on today, and Montauk is getting ready for the big St. Patrick's Day Parade next Sunday, March 21. The parade runs down Main Street, with many local restaurants participating and chowder and hot soup served on the green beginning at 11 am. Question of the day: Can Leprechauns Surf??? I don't know the answer, but you can find that surfing leprechaun mouse pad that you've always wanted at Zazzle.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

This rain is driving me crazy! But I tell you what, if I had to build an ark or just a boat for play, it would probably look a little something like this one. I shot this photo last year while at the Topside Bar at Gosman's, one of my favorite spots to daydream when it's not too crowded. If you go for an early afternoon drink, or a late lunch, you will see some amazing boats coming back from sea. The Gosman's Dock area is within walking distance from the beach house, and there are a number of quaint little shops to visit, a large restaurant, a cafe, a sushi bar (I have not tried their sushi yet, but I've heard it's awesome). In the summer months they sometimes host free concerts and other forms of live music, once the official calendar of events shapes up I will be sure to post it. For now, I am just waiting for the skies to clear, and daydreaming about summer 2010!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Montauk Lighthouse

No blog referencing Montauk would be complete without a shot of the Montauk Point Lighthouse. Authorized under the Second Congress by President George Washington in 1792, this structure is the oldest lighthouse in New York State. Visitors can tour the old oil room, the keepers dwelling, as well as climb the tower (leave your Jimmy Choos at home for this trip!).

As you head toward the lighthouse (fyi-- they do charge for parking, and there is a separate charge to climb the tower), you will pass Camp Hero State Park, an important spot in Long Island's military history. There are also a few conspiracy stories surrounding the area, so if you're a science fiction buff, this may be an interesting spot to check out. The last time I walked through I did not see any aliens, but there was a pretty charming fox on the premises. Also, a number of what I believe were unused artillery any rate, the area has beautiful views and makes for a cool walking spot. The above picture was taken on a cloudy day-- once the weather warms up, I'll post some better shots.

The Leisurama...A Beach House for Me

One of the unexpected yet cool by-products of my house hunt was the unusual information that I uncovered regarding the different types and styles of vacation homes in Montauk. After viewing different styles of homes, from tudors designed by Carl Fisher to saltboxes in Ditch Plains, I fell in love with Raymond Loewy's concept and Andrew Geller's design in the "Leisurama."

This little house was once marketed in Macy's department store in NYC for $12, 990 (unbelievable!). The leisurama represented the post-WWII version of the American dream: easy living, a modern design, and as Nixon explained during the great kitchen debates with Nikita Krushchev, to "make easier the living of our housewives." No comment.
The Montauk Pioneer published a great article on the history of these little beach homes, and if you are really interested in how these homes have evolved over time, check out Paul Sahre's recent book, Leisurama Now: The Beach House for Everyone, 1964-. The book includes information on what originally came with these homes, and how some of them have been updated by new owners. I do still have some of the original furniture, and hope to give some pieces a facelift in the next few months. The above picture of the kitchen table is the original piece that was included when the house when it made it's debut back in the 1960's.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Movin' on the East End

Closing Day was Friday, March 12, and when it was over, we celebrated with a toast at Deks in Rocky Point, NY. From there, the drive out east began-- I've always loved that trip, winding through the many villages and hamlets of the Hamptons. You first cut through Riverhead (filled with pretty farmland), and head toward the Hampton Bays, next passing through Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton and Amagansett as you make your way across the south fork. There are a number of interesting shops, windmills, and vineyards to keep you company along the way.
The rain was a bit rough on friday's drive, but the roughest part was arriving at my new destination (full of excitement) sticking my key in the door and realizing that the electricity was turned off...of course! No electric, no heat, just a car full of stuff to move in and a bottle of champagne waiting in the fridge from the kind sellers of the property. My real estate company, Atlantic Beach Realty Group (Thank You MaryAnn!) was amazing through this whole process, and once again came through to make sure I did not freeze through the night! They provided a room at the Montauk Manor, and we were able to move in bits and pieces to bring the beach house to life the next day. These pictures are just a few of many to come as we prepare for an amazing summer season!


Welcome to the official blog for The Blue Gull Beach House, located in Montauk, NY! I've created this blog to provide information to those who wish to rent my home, to share my adventures in the Hamptons (and out of the Hamptons), and to showcase my photography. Thanks for stopping by!