Designer Robert McKinley of Studio Robert McKinley recently debuted his latest bungalow in Montauk: a cedar-shingled blufftop home where not just the house but everything in it is available for purchase.
McKinley is known for his laid-back yet elevated design work through past projects like Montauk’s The Surf Lodge, New York City’s GoldBar, and the Sant Ambroeus eateries in New York and Palm Beach. His latest residential project in the Hamptons encapsulates his signature modern and beachy yet vintage aesthetic. The home also offers an exquisite sense of seclusion—it sits on 1.6 acres at the end of a cul-de-sac and has a long private driveway—and is perfect for those seeking an oceanside escape far from the beach-going crowds that flock to the Hamptons each summer.
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Listed for $11.95 million, the newly constructed home is located on a bluff in Montauk’s Culloden Point area, overlooking Fort Pond Bay and Gardiners Island. It is situated above a sandy beach with 215 feet of bay frontage and has coveted private beach access via a deeded path. There’s 5,500 square feet of living space, five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a powder room. The home is also filled with incredible furnishings and decor, which McKinley designed to be shoppable. That’s right, you can buy it all, whether it’s a pot in the kitchen, a pillow in the living room, or a throw blanket in a bedroom. Every piece, down to the tableware, can be purchased by those who rent the home for vacation, future buyers, or even those who see the home on social media.
“The concept was actually from my wife, Kate,” McKinley tells Robb Report. “Years ago we bought a house in Montauk as an investment property and had fun thinking about how we were going to design it. She came up with the idea of designing a house where everything is for sale and working with brands, makers, and artisans who we love and work with all the time. That was the impetus and it took off with each project. It’s fun to get creative with it and have freedom with no client or design brief.”
The charming three-level property exudes classic Hamptons architecture with a cedar-shingled exterior, lots of windows that drench each room in natural light, and expansive terraces for an easygoing indoor-outdoor lifestyle. True to McKinley’s style, the home features a modern design softened with natural materials and vintage furnishings. This includes original Hans Wegner folding chairs, a De Sede Snake sofa, and Noguchi pendant lights, to name a few.
Furnishings and fixtures blur the lines between traditional and modern, and McKinley tapped brands like Coyuchi, Great Jones, Heath Ceramics, Reform, Lucetta Lighting, Beni Rugs, California Faucets, Duravit, Domingue Finishes, and others to design a home that represents his vision. There are also products available for purchase from Studio McKinley’s private collection and pieces from McKinley’s personal furniture line, Monea.
“All of the bungalows we create are very, very personal,” he says. “I’m consistent with the things I use. The products in the home are what I want to use in my house, and that was our one rule. We included pieces we really love and believe in.”
The open-plan main floor features a cozy living room with built-in bar shelving and a wood-burning fireplace, a dining room, and a bright and airy kitchen that’s lined with large windows and configured around an island snack bar. The living room looks out over a manicured lawn to the bay, while the dining room opens to the pool, spa, and pool house.
The most striking aspect of the home is arguably his use of color. The home does have fresh beachy tones, but he creates moments that take you out of that traditional Hamptons style by swapping it with sandy neutrals, mossy greens, dark reds, and a range of browns. There are limewash walls from Domingue Finishes and tile designs from Heath Ceramics, like a green tiled room inspired by the seaweed on the beach.
“The kitchen is bright, and the bedrooms are bright, but sometimes you just want to go into a moody room after being on the beach all day,” he says. “It’s all inspired by the surrounding local nature.”
All five en suite bedrooms, including the spacious primary suite, are upstairs. A wraparound terrace connects to nearly every bedroom. There is also space for a media room, an office, or even the option to transform a bedroom into a hobby studio. There is a detached garage, and let’s not forget the private footpath down the bluff that leads to the white, sandy beach.
“What attracted me to Montauk first and foremost was the ocean and the diverse coastline,” he says. “It really is distinctly different from the rest of the Hamptons geographically and from a terrain perspective. There’s a wildness to it and also a real creative artist spirit here. It’s a bit more casual and connected to travel and the ocean. That has always been something that attracts us and is a big inspiration in the design of the bungalows.”
The property is listed by Rylan Jacka of Sotheby’s International Realty—East Hampton Brokerage.
Click here for more images of 8 Captain Balfour Way.
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