Located in the Hamptons, in the historic village of Sag Harbor, NY, the house was designed and built in 1852 by Ephraim Byram (and was inspired by Andrew Downing’s designs in “Victorian Cottage Residences”.) Byram was a clockmaker, astronomer and self-taught inventor. His clocks were installed in public buildings, such as New York City Hall, West Point Academy and the Sag Harbor Methodist Church.
The home is designed in the Italianate style with a tower (“campanella”), and has an irregular geometry. Byram used the tower for his astronomical observations, and legend has it that he marked his observations on the tower walls. The current uses of the tower are as a library/entertainment space on the lower level and office space on the upper level.
On the ground level of the house, Byram’s original office was outfitted with skylights, and did not have a window to the public street. This is a very unique building element for that period, meant to keep the street noises away from the workspace.
The home is surrounded by a mature garden containing dozens of oak trees that are older than the home, and a shade garden filled with ferns and mosses. Because every room in the house is completely open to the garden, the interior spaces have an intimate connection to the exterior from every angle, always in a dialogue with nature. In the morning, mist rises from the man-made pond in the backyard, while afternoons fill the house with golden sunset light.
The home was recently renovated with great respect for its spirit. All of its original elements including flooring, fireplaces, stair and brickwork were carefully restored, while the kitchen area and bathrooms were updated, the end result being a symbiosis between old and new.
The design included collaborations with unique high-end lighting, fixture and appliance companies, for aesthetic as well as functional reasons.
The interior design features a collection of important furniture and fine art that spans many periods and geographies, creating a harmony of the new with the old.