House Tour: A Colorful Fire Island Bungalow

A colorful island living room by Wesley Moon
Wesley Moon

New York interior designer, Wesley Moon has a long standing love affair with the beach. For years, one of his favorite beaches to visit was the Fire Island Pines. Just a short distance from the city, yet accessible only by ferry, the island had everything anyone could want for a home away from home. So when the chance discovery of The Co-ops - a mid-century collection of some one hundred apartments divided between six buildings on a single property - made a second residence possible, Moon and his partner, Salvatore set out to find an island home to call their own. 

  • 01 of 09

    The Front Entry Hallway

    Hallway with colorful art and kilim runner
    Design: Wesley Moon | Photos: Peter Murdoch

    This charming studio space was a simple white box without furniture or ornamentation when the designer arrived. However, the pair quickly set out to infuse the space with their own sense of style. This entry hallway, which leads from the door into the living room area is a perfect example of professional ingenuity at work. 

    A narrow space, the hallway presents a challenge in that, as the first visual moment of the home, it requires a good measure of personality, yet it provides little space for furnishings or art. One of the first things Moon did was to add wood strips to the walls for a 3-dimensional effect that adds texture to the space. The floors were stripped and treated to give them a soft, gray sheen. Finally, color brought the narrow entryway to life in the form of a bright blue pop art portrait by Math-You and an traditional kilim rug used as a runner. The combination of modern art with a traditional weaving technique creates an interesting mix that makes perfect use of the hall while setting the stage for the rest of the home to come.

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  • 02 of 09

    The Living Room

    A living room with bright, blue sofa, patterned drapery and rug
    Design: Wesley Moon | Photos: Peter Murdoch

    The hallway opens up into the main area of the home. A studio apartment by design, this main area encompasses the living, eating and sleeping areas of the home. One of the first things to stand out in the room is the couple's wonderful embrace of color.

    Where island or beach styles can often imply a simple and predictable color palette, here the couple sets their space apart with a bright blue sofa accompanied by multi-colored, patterned pillows and a deep purple side chair. Warming up the white walls are a number of wood elements in the coffee table, end table and bar. The pattern continues as well on the drapery and rug, giving the space a sense of life through the interaction of so many dynamic patterns.

    Comfort is clearly the priority here as the plush, soft-looking furniture appears tailor-made for long days of enjoying the quiet serenity of life on an island. Again the designer's love of modern art shines though with a large text piece sitting over the sofa. Finally, the plants add a touch of outdoor life and warmth to the space.  

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  • 03 of 09

    A Repurposed Cabinet for Creative Storage

    Designer living room entertainment center
    Design: Wesley Moon | Photos: Peter Murdoch

    Opposite the sofa, this massive console occupies an entire wall. Storage is key in any space, and in small spaces particularly, creative solutions such as this one are a must. To create this display the couple repainted the originally yellow console to allow it to blend into the overall room. Before painting, the piece was covered in beadboard to create the interesting stipe patterns that run across it, counterposing the curvy waves of the patterned drapes.  

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  • 04 of 09

    A Console with a Secret

    A murphy bed hidden in the living room wall console
    Design: Wesley Moon | Photos: Peter Murdoch

    This wall cabinet does more than hold the sandals and sun tan lotion. Hidden behind its doors are a television and air conditioner, as well as a convenient murphy bed. Murphy beds are an excellent solution for small living spaces that want to avoid being forced to be a bedroom at all times. Here, the bed folds neatly away providing ample space for entertaining or simply enjoying the space as a living room. And when it is time to sleep, the bed is never too far away.

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  • 05 of 09

    A Chef's Kitchen

    A modern kitchen with bar and backed stools
    Design: Wesley Moon | Photos: Peter Murdoch

    A functioning kitchen was a must for Salvatore, who excels at the art of cooking. Yet with so little space to work with, the pair was wary of designing a space that felt like they were living in a kitchen. The solution was butcher block countertops concealing the homes appliances and cooktops. The resulting kitchen is regularly used to host up to fourteen people, with help from an outdoor grill. As a finishing touch, counter stools from BlueDot are paired with seat cushions made from a Holland & Sherry abaca ikat which are held in place by magnets. 

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  • 06 of 09

    A Banana Leaf Bathroom

    Bathroom decorated with banana leaf wallpaper
    Design: Wesley Moon | Photos: Peter Murdoch

    Banana leaf wallpaper prints have been in style since Dorothy Draper first introduced the design in the 20s and 30s. The particular version used in this space is called Martinique and was created by designer, Don Loper for the Beverly Hills Hotel in the 40s. By recalling all of the Hollywood glam that this iconic print has touched over its long career the couple turns the home's sole bathroom into a visual moment.

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  • 07 of 09

    Expanding Space with Mirrors

    A large mirror expands a small bathroom
    Design: Wesley Moon | Photos: Peter Murdoch

    Using mirrors to extend a small space with mirrors is one of the oldest tricks in a designer's book for one very good reason: It works really well. Here, a large mirror behind the modern vanity creates the appearance of space while repeating all of the wonderful pattern from the walls.  

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  • 08 of 09

    An Outdoor Oasis

    A sunny outdoor porch
    Design: Wesley Moon | Photos: Peter Murdoch

    While they love every inch of their Fire Island escape, Wesley and Salvatore confess that it's the outdoor space that draws them here from the city and which invariably sees the most use on every trip. Decorating the covered porch is a custom oval table made from a white Corian top on a Saarinen base. Coupled with an outdoor furniture set from Room & Board, the space is ideal for entertaining, reading or just letting the time wander by. 

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  • 09 of 09

    A Spot for Tea

    A covered outdoor space with Ligne Roset Serpentine chairs
    Design: Wesley Moon | Photos: Peter Murdoch

    Away from the patio's main seating area, a cozy pair of Ligne Roset Serpentine chairs is an ideal spot listening to the ocean. One of the biggest trends in outdoor decorating is to make the outdoor space feel just like the indoor. And with this stylish outdoor rug from Dash and Albert this side vignette fits the bill perfectly.