Since his first visit to the Hamptons in 1985, designer Mark Zeff has had a love affair with the region’s wide-open farmland, rugged beaches, and the classic vernacular of barn structures that dot the landscape. His longstanding love affair has come to full fruition with the design and construction of BLACKBARN, a dream home he built for his family near his favorite beach in the Northwest Harbor.
BLACKBARN is a 256-page intimate look at Zeff’s home via a superbly illustrated tour that reveals for the first time how he practices what he has preached for nearly 30 years – redefining what modern and luxury mean today. Not just about design, BLACKBARN is about a lifestyle that redefines luxury, where the cornerstone is finding the right location and creating a home that is authentic to its surroundings.
This coffee-table tome features striking photography by photographer Eric Laignel, with whom Zeff has collaborated for over 15 years and who also wrote the foreword. There are also personal photographs by Zeff documenting his world travels. In addition, Zeff shares his innovative ways of combining high and low elements, the rare and the utilitarian, and collected objects paired with contemporary art and design. The book provides practical ideas for decorating, planning, storage, maximizing indoor/outdoor living, and how to use humble materials to create unforgettable spaces.
BLACKBARN takes readers on a journey through Zeff’s home and synthesizes the influences in his life that have affected the way he designs. The Approach showcases all the elements that inspire Zeff, from the beach to the dunes to landscapes that lead to the approach of BLACKBARN. Arrival is what you are about to experience from BLACKBARN. Indoor/Outdoor shares how to mix outdoor elements inside the home and how to take the indoors out. Gathering Spaces focuses on the kitchen and dining areas. Collecting shows how a lifetime of travel and collecting influences his interiors. Textures highlights a host of patterns, shadows, and materials found in BLACKBARN. Garden punctuates Zeff’s approach to designing the outdoors, and Sanctuary is all about the home’s intimate nooks and havens.
There is casualness in BLACKBARN but also a bit of theater. The home is equal parts nature and culture, industrial and artful. For all these reasons, BLACKBARN is also the purest expression of Zeff’s creative worldview, embodying a lifetime of travel, influences, ideas, and experiences.