471 FIRE ISLAND BLVD
Architect: Unknown. Interior Design: BRAY-SCHAIBLE, c. 1980
Robert Bray and Michael Schaible are a pair of interior designers associated with the High Tech design movement of the late Seventies and early Eighties, a minimalist sensibility that favored materials like chrome, black leather, and Lucite. This sensibility translated surprisingly well to their shared home at 471 Fire Island Boulevard—their only known project on Fire Island--where they rejected much of the usual bromides regarding beach house décor. “They’re supposed to be white,” said Bray, “or at least pale and beachy, with bare floors. Well ,when we bought the beach house, our first decision was what to do about the walls…We stained [them] black. That sounds perverse, but when you come indoors after being in the hot sun, the darkness is extremely soothing—like the shade of a tree. Then we covered the floors with charcoal-black industrial carpeting, and our friends thought that we were crazy…”
Architectural Digest featured the home as its Cover story in May 1993.
Photos: Durston Saylor.