Name: Will Taylor and Toby Taylor-Willis
Location: Bellport, NY
Size: 1500 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned
If you've spent any time (or, like us, endless time) browsing the colorful design blog Bright.Bazaar, you know that Will Taylor's signature "make-you-smile style" does exactly that. So we were all grins over the chance to peek inside the delightful beach house that Will shares with his husband, Toby, in Bellport, NY, a village just a few train stops west of the Hamptons.
Will and Toby used their stellar design sense to create a dream weekend retreat from their hectic life in New York City, but before they could work their magic, they had to find the right house. That was when Will turned to one of his Instagram pals, a Realtor®, a member of the National Association of Realtors®.
Will was already a fan of the "quintessential New England" vibe on his agent's Instagram feed, so he trusted him to run their search. Turnover is low in Bellport. That, plus Will and Toby's tight budget (they were saving for the remodel), meant that when a potential buy did come up, they'd have to act fast. Working with a real estate professional who has longstanding relationships in and intimate knowledge of the area made the process less scary. His confidence in the search also kept Will and Toby looking on the—ahem—bright side.
"There were times when it felt like we'd never find a place we could afford," Will says—especially because, as new U.S. residents, they faced added challenges proving their credit and securing a mortgage. "He kept us calm and made sure the other parties felt confident in us." And once the deal was done, their real estate agent cut through the remodeling red tape, explaining local permits and processes and using his insider knowledge to connect Will and Toby to the right contacts. Now, they have the home they envisioned—and new friends to enjoy it with now that Will and Toby and their old Instagram pal are neighbors.
"It was so much more than just buying a house," Will says. "It was someone who genuinely wanted to help us settle in the neighborhood and become a part of the community."
Settling in is a big part of the Bright.Bazaar life. When you meet Will and Toby, you'll notice their cool, calm energy, which translates right into their home. It's a comfortable, functional space that likes to be a little cheeky. It's a beach house and it knows it, totally owning its surfy style. It's a house where color rules but never overwhelms. And it'll surely make you smile.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Modern coastal with a playful Scandinavian twist.
Inspiration: Our travels through Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.
Favorite Element: The kitchen! It was Will's first time designing a kitchen from the studs up, so it's extra rewarding that people often say the kitchen is their favorite part of the home — we know it's definitely ours!
Biggest Challenge: Working out a revised floor plan when we started the renovation. The house was owned by a flipper before us and they had broken up into very small, boxy rooms. It took us some time to figure out how we could best use the space available to work most effectively for how we planned to live in the space.
What Friends Say: "This house feels like the house version of you guys as a couple."
Biggest Embarrassment: Right now? Our yard — it's a hot mess! After a year of renovations on the house, it's not in any great shape, and it looks especially sorry for itself now that the interior renovations are completed. It's time to get our hands dirty, I think...!
Proudest DIY: We love the tactility and texture that the white rope banister brings to the stairway.
Biggest Indulgence: The custom made steel and glass French doors that lead out from the living room to the back yard. SO worth it though, it's the one design element that everyone always mentions when they first see the house.
Best Advice: Do sweat the small stuff when renovating because all those little details matter in the end—trust us!
Dream Sources: Fireclay Tile for beautiful handmade tiles. Madera for stunning hardwood flooring. Rebecca Atwood for the most beautiful textiles in the biz. Circa Lighting for, well, lighting! One Kings Lane for vintage. TRNK for sourcing beautiful Scandinavian designs on this side of the pond. IKEA, yes IKEA—I'm a huge fan of the Swedish brand and won't hear a bad word said against them! From my first bedroom at college through to my first home, I've always had pieces from IKEA.
Armchairs by the French doors — vintage from One Kings Lane
The French doors themselves — custom made in Brooklyn via one of City & Stone's (our contractor) suppliers
Paint — Benjamin Moore
Cabinetry — Cosmos (via Waterworks)
Island — Decoy (via Waterworks)
Cabinet pulls — Schoolhouse Electric
Dining table — One Kings Lane
Dining chairs — CH24 Wishbone Chairs from ABC Carpet & Home
"Night owl" pillow shams — Rebecca Atwood Designs
Nook cushions — Pottery Barn and One Kings Lane
Bedside table lamps — the JWDA lamp by MENU
Lemon wallpaper — Serena & Lily. (Now discontinued, but Etsy and Chasing Paper sell similar lemon wallpapers.)
Tile — Fireclay Tile.
Thanks, Will and Toby!
Whether you're still searching or ready to renovate, a Realtor®—a member of the National Association of Realtors®—can help make your dream home a reality. Visit realtor.com/getrealtor to find your next home.
This post is sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® and was created by Apartment Therapy's Creative Studio. Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors®.
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Wherever you are on your home ownership journey—buying, selling, or happily settled in—you can find loads of free information and helpful tools on HouseLogic.com. Brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS®, HouseLogic has everything you'll need to find, finance, remodel, and enjoy your home.