Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness’s Airy East Hampton Getaway is a Minimalist Dream

At that point, Furness, book in hand, decided to collaborate with architect Viola Rouhani and interior designer Eleanor Donnelly, both of Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects. “I went to a party at Mr. [Calvin] Klein’s house,” recalls Furness of how she had made the professional connection. “He is the master of minimalism. And I just said, ‘I’ll have what he’s having.’ ”

The house’s planar façade is punctuated by interesting cutouts for skylights and overhangs.

Frank Frances Studio

The primary bath is clad in Florim tiles that imitate marble. Bath fittings by Studio Piet Boon for Cocoon; Custom waterfall tub filler.

Frank Frances Studio

Of their robust conversations, Donnelly recalls, “Part of the fun was having a client that is giving you so much. Deb was definitely a part of our design team, probably more so than any other clients I’ve ever really worked with. She weighed in on every moment and every opportunity. And that was helpful for us.” Rouhani agrees, noting that “the collaboration and the back-and-forth dialogue took on a life of its own. The end result is something that is, at the same time, completely in line with the work that we do but also very different.”

The design team first tackled the “shack,” staining the outside black and creating a cozy-chic interior with lots of wood built-ins (including bunk beds) and whitewashed floors. In the five years that the main house was materializing, the family—which includes their kids, Oscar, 21, and Ava, 16, and their dogs, a French bulldog named Dali and a poodle-terrier mix named Allegra—would hunker down there when they headed out east. Of that time, Furness recalls: “My husband would say, ‘Why are you building the big house? I love it here.’ And I would say, ‘Because it’s nine in the morning, we have two teenagers asleep in the main room, and we’re sneaking around, that’s why.’ ”

Furness had a vision. “I wanted to do a beach house that allowed for the way we wanted to live,” she says. “That’s why the design is unusual, because people usually hide the kitchen. For us, cooking is the main event. I want to be a part of the action. My kids love to cook, so that’s in the middle of the living room.”

Still, she appreciates that everyone, even close-knit relatives, likes to have time to themselves. “You can watch sports on the mezzanine—that has its own moment. And with the way I’ve set up the living room lounges, you’ve got your sit-by-the-fire moment, you’ve got your look-out-to-the-sea, pondering-your-own-navel moment. And Hugh and I are complete backgammonophiles, so the backgammon set lives there.” To accommodate additional pastimes, the home also includes a gym, an artist’s studio, and a screening room. “It’s such a magical thing,” adds Furness. “I know it’s an extravagance, but the house has got just what we need.” Jackman, who begins a star turn in the Broadway revival of The Music Man in late December, adds, “I love that we use every room, every day. Because of Deb’s design, it brings us all together. When you have time off, you want to be a unit.”

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