Designer Robert McKinley’s New Montauk Bungalow Is So Cool It Hurts

Weekend getaway meets shoppable showroom in this carefully curated residence where everything—even the faucets—is available for purchase.
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While working on boutique hotels across the U.S., New York–based designer Robert McKinley noticed a shift in the way people were traveling. Realizing that travelers increasingly crave spaces that offer a sense of discovery along with a home-away-from-home feel, the young multi-hyphenate saw a golden opportunity to combine his signature coastal and laid-back style with his favorite brands in a new endeavor—the McKinley Bungalows: rental homes with a "shoppable stay" concept.

"It feels very much like a home, where we mixed products from our design partners together very organically, whether they be books, textiles, ceramics, or furniture, so there is a sense of inspiration and discovery," says Robert McKinley.

Just one year after opening the Fairview Bungalow in the coastal hamlet of Montauk on New York’s Long Island, McKinley has completed his second property, the Federal Bungalow. As with its predecessor, the Federal takes cues from Montauk’s coastline and European seaside towns for a modern and elevated spin on the beach chic aesthetic that’s emphasized with thoughtfully curated furnishings and objects, all of which are available for sale.

The dining room features a HAY dining table and Aelfie tapestry. In addition to outfitting the bungalow with brands, the design team also added decorative elements found at antique markets and from Etsy.

"We chose to create a space that reflects our own aesthetic sensibilities— that we’d want to bring our families to, but also one that people could visit and enjoy," explains McKinley, who filled the fully shoppable interiors and exteriors with his studio’s favorite brands like Floyd, California Faucets, and Heath Ceramics.  

The Federal Bungalow is centrally located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Montauk and is a five-minute drive to the popular beach Ditch Plains. The door hardware is by Emtek and the house numbers are by Heath Ceramics.

Entertaining is at the heart of the home, as evidenced by the central kitchen and open-floor layout that connects seamlessly to the outdoor deck. Natural oak floors are seen throughout.

Although both properties were designed in the same spirit, the Federal, which opened June 2019, is the larger of the two and involved a thorough renovation. The 1971 raised ranch-style house saw a complete overhaul, while some original midcentury details and the beachy feel were left intact.

The backyard features a large pool with a mahogany wrap-around deck and the Perch Sofas and coffee table from Blu Dot's new outdoor furniture collection.

Refreshed for a bright and airy ambience, the 2,400-square-foot residence features an open-floor plan, raised ceilings, and a color palette of lime-washed whites and natural finishes. A mix of pattern, color, and textures add character and warmth to the space. 

The four-bedroom, three-bath Federal Bungalow sleeps eight guests. The bed frame and side tables are by Floyd.

A look at the Master Bath double vanity with a Duravit sink, California Faucets fixtures, and Heath Ceramics tile.

A glimpse into the master bath covered in tile by Heath Ceramics.

Studio Robert McKinley also brought on some new partners, including the likes of Blu Dot and HAY.

A mix of colors and textures adds character to this bedroom that features a Floyd bed frame, Wright mattress and bedding, a HAY side table and Aelfie rug and tapestry.

McKinley adds a touch of nostalgia with a vintage chair.

"The synergy this year was incredible—not only were we able to spotlight various partners’ new collections, like Blu Dot’s new outdoor furniture collection, but we also really took a considered approach to integrating their larger practice’s aesthetics into our own," explains McKinley, who plans to round out his collection of McKinley Bungalows in Montauk with a third addition opening spring 2020. His team is also eyeing opportunities for expansion in Aspen, Upstate New York, and Rockaway Beach.

As in the Fairview, the Federal incorporates a few "IKEA hacks" such as the IKEA kitchen cabinets combined with modern front and cover panels by Reform. The faucet is by California Faucets.

A close-up view of the PITT Cooking stovetop. The pots are by kindustrie.

A kitchen nook with Heath Ceramics bowls occupies a corner of the living area.

"Admittedly, I’m really excited about the green room," says McKinley. "This living room is bold and fresh in a way that isn’t overpowering. I feel like its aesthetic further nurtures the space’s contemporary charm. We were proud to work with Domingue on the finish, which is all lime-based—the depth and texture they are able to capture is truly unparalleled!" The handwoven rocking stool is from Marni and was purchased at Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2019.

The Pool House comes with a wet bar with a SMEG fridge and wall-to-wall tile work.

The Pool House is also outfitted with a Moroccan-style day bed with a Wright mattress.

Accessible from both the Green Room and the Pool House, the dark-toned guest bath features tiled walls by Heath Ceramics, a tub and sink by Duravit, and fixtures by California Faucets.

Book Your Stay

Related Reading: 21 Finely Finessed Getaways in the Hamptons and Montauk

Project Credits:

Designer: Robert McKinley / @studiorobertmckinley

Builder/ General Contractor: Greystone

Landscape Design Company/ Lighting Design/ Interior Design: Studio Robert McKinley

Sound: Sonos

Cabinetry: IKEA & Reform Cph


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