Ashley's Window /

February 23, 2017
Robert McKinley’s Montauk Beach House Design
Robert McKinley’s Montauk Beach House Design

Known for his own particular brand of elevated beach-chic style, New York-based designer Robert McKinley – who is an artist, furniture designer, and creative director as well, among other things – has a long history of crafting fashionably designed spaces that convey people to different times and places. Robert has a keen eye for details; with such an artful background, it’s no wonder that his work is often celebrated for a playful approach to sophistication.

When one of Robert’s latest projects was recently featured in Architectural Digest, we had to know more about how this impressive space – a ranch house from the ‘60s on a bluff 300 feet above the ocean in Montauk – came to life after undergoing a gut renovation to function as a casual weekend home for an art collector and his grown children.

A view outside.

The coast is naturally reflected in this expansive project; as Robert stated, “The light colors, natural woods, fabrics, and textures all lend themselves to or have been inspired by the beach and the ocean.” The aesthetic influence of the shore weaves throughout the entire home, from the hint of pink in the white-painted walls to give the rooms a soft, warm glow to the pairing of simply oiled wood floors with intricately woven seagrass rugs.

Another way that Robert brought his unique take on interior design to the house was to decorate with a mix of vintage and new furnishings, some of which were his own creation. “It’s important to collect items as well as design some pieces that speak to the home and its context,” he explained. The sofa designed for the living room is made of oiled mahogany, while the guest room features a fun double bed designed for the occasion; it almost feels like a hotel room, topped off by a beautiful vintage desk that came from Paris.

The living room.

Of course, STARK appears in this Montauk beach home, as well; six individual rugs are scattered throughout the many rooms of this gorgeous home, including a chunky jute piece, a large scale flat woven jute piece, a tightly woven natural and green sisal, and an indigo wool carpet.

Guest bedroom featuring a custom STARK chunky jute carpet.

Guest bedfoom featuring a custom STARK large scale flat woven jute.

Guest bedroom featuring a custom STARK indigo wool carpet.

The master bedroom contains one of the most striking wool rugs in the entire home (which also appears in another room in a different colorway). “I fell in love with the thickness and feel of it,” Robert said. “It was important for the rug to ground the bed and provide ultimate comfort. The pattern and color combination are simple and timeless, so it gave balance to the strong live edge headboard we designed and some of the colorful artwork in the room.”

The master bedroom featuring a custom STARK wool rug.

Robert has worked with STARK for years, generously utilizing STARK's custom fabrication in this specific project. Most of the floorings seen throughout this home were designed and created in custom colors and to fit custom sizes, a useful capability for a designer as committed to a specific vision for each space as Robert is.

“We have always loved the wide range and high quality of rugs, carpets, and fabrics STARK offers. We keep coming back for a reason!”

Explore all the rooms of this stunning beach house below, with photos courtesy of Architectural Digest; view even more of the impressive spaces featuring STARK in Ashley’s Window, our Design Showcase, and Behind the Scenes.



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