Former Holt Renfrew president Mario Grauso finds solace in his Bridgehampton, New York country home when he needs a break from fashion’s fast pace.
For someone who has spent his professional life so influenced by fashion’s directional winds, Mario is disinterested in imposing that world on this setting. He’d rather be surrounded by the finest linens than the latest lighting trends. In his Bridgehampton home, who he shares with his husband, Serkan Sarier, and son, Harry, each room reflects their love of collecting, curating and color. “Homes are a kind of living organism; they grow and change,” says Mario. Click through to see inside his personality-filled escape.
The house sits on a secluded double lot that’s landscaped with manicured hydrangeas and boxwoods.
Mario — pictured with Lily, the couple’s Italian greyhound — and Serkan leave go-go city life behind when they head to Bridgehampton. “We have a very relaxed life out here,” says Mario.
Although the couple has embraced the reality of sand in the house, Mario and Serkan aim for order. A basket of Tod’s moccasins keeps the front entrance tidy. Mario bought the green ceramic jars on a trip to Shanghai.
The living room furniture brings timeless elegance to a space that’s also highly personal and relaxed. The addition of a striped sisal rug tones down any formality. “It’s really important that a home doesn’t feel like a showroom,” says Serkan. “Here, there are layers of history that we’ve accumulated.”
Mario and Serkan find many of their “little treasures” at auctions.
In a sitting area separate from the living room, summery red and white upholstery creates a bolder expression of a classical furniture arrangement.
Having grown up in a very decorated house, Mario says arranging vignettes comes naturally. “This has been one continuous story in my life.”
Though Mario and Serkan didn’t think they would change much inside the house, they ended up refreshing nearly every room, including the open kitchen. They refurbished the cabinetry and flooring and replaced everything else.
The kitchen’s wall color was decided by Serkan, who is especially fond of the Farrow & Ball range. This blue hue complements the couple’s red and white Hermès china and puts a fresh twist on a French country kitchen.
Instead of wallpapering the principal bedroom, the couple introduced pattern on a series of upholstered screens that can be easily moved. “They make the bedroom much cozier,” says Mario.
The Nymphenburg porcelain figures that Mario collects for Harry have sentimental value and currently live in the principal bedroom. “There are special memories everywhere,” says Mario.
Blue and white Wedgwood pieces are grouped for impact on a table in the foyer outside the principal bedroom.
Mario and Serkan stripped the existing exterior finish and stained the cedar shingles a darker color to give the house a uniform look.
Combining the formal elegance of an English garden with wilder expanses was the jumping-off point for the outdoor zones. “We’re bringing a little bit of Europe to the Hamptons,” says Serkan.
Author: Amy Verner
House & Home September 2018