Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan’s Shelter Island Vacation Home

Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan’s Shelter Island Vacation Home

By Dan Rubinstein
For design mavericks Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan, a challenging site that slopes toward the sea yields a unique opportunity to create an intimate and relaxing hideaway.

If personality transforms a house into a home, then the recently constructed beachside residence of interior-design maven and ceramics luminary Jonathan Adler and his husband, window-dressing legend, creative ambassador-at-large of Barneys New York, and all-around bon vivant Simon Doonan, is one of the greatest residences on New York’s Shelter Island. After spending years in a 1970s A-frame in the area, the creative couple decided to build their first-ever ground-up project. "We wanted to crank it up a notch," says Adler. They knocked down a small cottage on 1.25 acres of beachside land and started anew with the help of Connecticut-based firm Gray Organschi Architecture. "We wanted warm, rustic modernism," Adler continues. "It’s a little California, a little bit Japanese, and a little bit Swedish."

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