At Home With Designer Dennis Basso: Inside His Hamptons Retreat
“We wanted a blue and white house that combined the South of France and the Italian Riviera with Southampton,” designer Dennis Basso shared, reflecting on the Long Island home in Water Mill that he built with husband Michael Cominotto 16-years ago.
The house occupies a special place in the lives of the couple—a weekend retreat, entertaining pad, and a showcase for treasures accumulated from around the world including Aspen, Europe, and the Far East. “We spend all of Christmas time there and extended summer stays,” Basso said. “It is very much a home for us.”
Interior designer Kenneth Alpert collaborated on the house—which manages to feel both totally relaxed and perfectly conceived. Chinese Export porcelain, striped fabrics, and mahogany and leather accents, all add to the home’s warmth. The centerpiece, particularly during the summer, is a plein-air living room that sits poolside, where Basso and Cominotto host dinner parties during the warmer months, honing their reputation for being consummate entertainers. And of course, house guests are de rigueur. “It is just great to be be able to go outside and jump in the pool with friends, and have that connection,” Basso shared.
It is no surprise that Basso, celebrating his 30th anniversary in the fashion business this year, and a favorite of the likes of Joan Collins and Martha Stewart, has an eye for interior design. Still, the designer shared the design process is quite different between fashion and interiors. “When you are designing a collection it signifies a single moment, when you are designing a home, you are constantly layering, adding things, changing things,” Basso shared.
Basso who designs three collections a year for his namesake ready-to-wear line, a line for QVC, and a line of wedding dresses for Kleinfeld, has spent a fair amount of time working from his home office in the Hamptons. “Sometimes when I’m working on a collection it is nice to work in that atmosphere—to have that really enjoyable moment,” he said. As for what is coming up next for the designer, he is fresh from showing a resort collection, and New York Fashion Week and his next spring collection is looming. “I’m using lots of florals, chiffon prints—it is very exciting.”
Scroll through the gallery above to get a glimpse inside Dennis Basso’s Hamptons retreat!