From Pre-fab to Fabulous

East Hampton, NY — When Jeffrey Rosen set out to design the shingle-style, post and beam pre-fab home in East Hampton, NY, his only guidance was a vision of what future homeowners might want. That’s because as a spec home, there were no clients to consult with to determine preferences. Yet he seemingly hit the mark, with the home selling for near-asking price just three weeks after completion.

Rosen is creative director for Grantham, NH-based Yankee Barn Homes, a national custom post and beam company specializing in classic American architecture, including barn-style homes, classic farmhouses, coastal cottages, mountain lodges and lakeside retreats. He is responsible for setting the design tone and selecting materials for several homes – five, with more to come – in East Hampton, a 17th century settlement on the east end of Long Island. “These homes were developed to evoke New England tradition with barn architecture, yet encompass modern technology,” he explains.

Multi-purpose kitchen spaces

A common theme amongst the homes Rosen has designed in East Hampton focuses on multi-purpose kitchens. “The big emphasis these days is kitchens that have morphed with family rooms/dining rooms/computer centers with easy access to the outdoors,” he says. Abundant storage (with large pantries) and multiple refrigerators and dishwashers – when room permits – are often included in these homes, which are typically second, or even third, residences designed for summer living in the resort community. “People want enough space so they can eat in the kitchen, prepare food in the kitchen and work on their computers in the kitchen.”

Another common theme is Yankee Barn Homes’ hallmark post and beam construction that provides a rustic, traditional feel in open-concept homes that are elegant in their simplicity. Abundant windows allow a lot of natural light to flow into the space.

This home – which was completed with the help of Gerard Mingino General Contracting, in Patchogue, NY – is no different.

The oversized island anchors the room and provides eat-in kitchen seating. There is enough room left for a dining table, so the new homeowners can use the space as an all-purpose gathering room that is easily accessed from the porch that leads to the backyard and pool.

White painted maple cabinets from Crown Point Cabinetry serve as the island’s base, as well as providing storage throughout the rest of the kitchen. Their shaker-style design and clean lines support the traditional feel of the space, while specialized organizers such as cutlery and pot/pan inserts enhance storage. The island is topped with contrasting dark-toned countertops in honed Black Mist limestone. An Elkay stainless steel sink is accented with an American Standard faucet. A second sink along the kitchen’s perimeter eases prep and cleanup.

Looking up

While the island garners initial attention, visitors quickly turn their focus to the ceiling, which features white American Olean subway tile arranged in a herringbone pattern.

“I wanted something unique,” he says. “I’ve never seen anyone do tile on the ceiling in a kitchen. It provides a great feeling of antiquity.”

Although the process was laborious, encompassing a week’s time, Rosen notes that installing the tile was not difficult.

The subway tile is accented with Douglas fir timbers, reclaimed from an old barn and arranged lineally across the ceiling. They coordinate beautifully with the southern (American) wide-plank pine floor from Yankee Barn Homes. “I wanted to soften the ceiling and provide a bit of a commercial feel to go along with the theme of stainless steel appliances,” he says of the GE dual-fuel range, microwave, wine refrigerator and range hood, dual Bosch dishwashers and Sub-Zero refrigerator. “The new homeowners love the beams.”

Additional accents include repurposed Scandinavian industrial fixtures. “I like the interplay…mixing textures as well as contemporary/modern with traditional and rustic,” he notes.

Oil-rubbed bronze hardware from Emtek provides added style, according to Rosen. “It’s a great accent against the cabinetry,” he says. “It gives a little punch, yet ‘reads’ as traditional.”

Transform pre-fab

In addition to providing a family with a summer home complete with all of the amenities, Rosen hopes this residence, and others like it, will transform the idea of what most people think when they hear “pre-fabricated home.”

“We really want to take the idea of ‘modular home’ out of the box,” he says in reference to Yankee Barn Home’s building style, which Rosen indicates reduces build time and material waste and provides for a highly efficient home because of the energy-saving, trademarked insulated panel system. “While Yankee Barn Homes, including this home, are completely designed, precut and prebuilt in New Hampshire, all of the interior components, such as the cabinets, flooring, tile, etc. are ordered in a traditional manner and installed on site. In the end, you have a highly efficient home…without any concept that it’s modular.”