Inside Doors, Behind Hedges

The best in design and architecture from colonial chic to beach house modern
This Shingle Style residence is the latest addition to Foster Crossing in Southampton, a modern family-centered home that looks as though it has always been there. Emma Ballou

There are plenty of garden tours to enliven the summer and provide sneak peeks behind the hedges, but few allow participants past the front door.

Each June, the Southampton Historical Museum gives its supporters that unique opportunity by offering a mix of historical and contemporary structures whose residents open their doors and floors to the curious eyes of their next-door and regional neighbors.

Now in its eighth year, the Southampton House Tour Insider’s View will offer sprawling oceanfront mansions and quaint village cottages, some on properties that date back to the 17th century and the early colonial days of the South Fork. Each residence can be relied upon to demonstrate the best in design and architecture from colonial chic to beach house modern.

Houses include the Post family homestead on South Main Street, which was the home of Richard Post, who came to Southampton in 1643. In 1873, Edwin Post presided over property that stretched to the South End Burial Ground. Infamous for his livestock that grazed on the hallowed site, he was sued by the villagers for this practice. In the late-19th century, his property became a sort of boarding house resort that could accommodate up to 50 people.

Another historic property on Foster Crossing holds a recent structure built in a shingle cottage style mimicking the late Victorian period of the traditional summer colony. The property boasts mature trees and a traditional style that seems historical, but provides the family with all of the comforts of a modern residence.

Breeze House has a mature rose garden, shade trees, and the sound of the nearby sea to recommend itself. The property has both natural charms — sunlight, high hedges, lawns, and gardens — and interior accommodations such as a gourmet kitchen, billiards room, movie theater, a pool house, and barn with its own kitchen and studio.

At the Murray family compound, on Wickapogue Pond and the ocean, Raspberry Cove’s recent renovation makes the most of its views of the water with a two-story living room and a waterside dining area. A chef’s kitchen and media room add luxury to the household. Its many bedrooms include a master with a balcony with water views.

On Herrick Road, a traditional village residence offers hearth and window seats in a late-19th-century dwelling updated for contemporary family life. The house is enhanced by both a professional decorator as well as the paintings of the artist-owner. Inside, there is a media center and wine cellar. Outside there are porches and balconies, both shielded by privet.

The late Francis Fleetwood, the Stanford White of the contemporary summer colony, designed a recently built house that combines the best of open contemporary floor plans with a crowd-pleasing traditional Hamptons cottage exterior. The sprawling manse includes nine bedrooms, each with a dressing room and bath with all of the expected public spaces such as an eat-in chef’s kitchen and assorted living and family areas. 

The tour will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. with a champagne reception catered by Sant’Ambroeus restaurant in Southampton at the Rogers Mansion from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $95 in advance online or at the Rogers Mansion museum shop and $110 on the day of the tour.