Kate Singer’s Great Room in the 2016 Hampton Designer Showhouse

Each year, we look forward to sponsoring the Traditional Home Hampton Designer Showhouse. It’s the closest we Atlantans get to experiencing the ultimate summer in such an iconic coastal locale. This year’s team of renowned designers created the quintessential beach house, complete with seaside style and an invitingly serene vibe. Designer Kate Singer decorated the great room using Ballard Designs product, and we’re thrilled to share it with you. We got a chance to chat with Kate, who gave us a few insider tips.

Ballard Designs: First, tell us about the overall themes throughout the home.

Kate Singer: There is such wonderful flow in this house, from the entry foyer into the great room and through to the backyard patio and pool area. There’s a really harmonious array of blues that greets you as you step through the front door that carries through to the backyard. It’s so beautiful and seems as though it was planned by the designers, even though it was serendipitous. There’s also a lot of natural tones and textures in each space, on the main floor and upstairs, which I love.

BD: You designed the great room. How would you describe this space?  

KS: Inviting, serene, cozy and comfortable. It’s perfectly suited for the relaxed and easy lifestyle the Hamptons is known for.

BD: How did the size of the room drive the layout and design?

KS: When tackling a large room like this, it’s always best to break it down into separate yet connected living spaces, so I divided it into three distinct areas. The central space is a cozy seating area centered around the fireplace and anchored by Ballard’s classic wing chairs. In the corner with a beautiful view of the backyard, we tucked in that great pedestal dining table and banquette bench. It’s the perfect spot for checking emails, doing homework, playing games or even eating a light meal. In another corner I placed this eye-catching Swedish settee from the 1800s to create a quiet spot for a bit of solitude.

KS: How did Ballard fit into your vision for the space?  

KS: Perfectly! All these beautiful and practical pieces are ideal for creating a family room to be lived in and loved by everyone. I love the rich tone and beautiful base of the Cora Pedestal Table combined with the Campbell Settee and Louis Chairs. The Tate Sofa has these wonderful high arms and comfortable cushions that make you want to curl up in front of a summer evening fire. I added the Thurston Wing Chairs, because they’re so stately and a bit dramatic, yet so comfortable. The bench is another great spot for warming up by the fire, and I love the added detail of the barley twist legs. The Bornova Side Table is a wonderful versatile piece to put next to or in-between chairs. And the armless Louis Chair is classic, comfortable and easy to move around the room to a perfect spot.

BD: A large part of that cozy vibe you mentioned is due to the color palette. You’ve got this serene mix of neutrals, soft blues and greens and cool metals, which is your signature look.

KS: I’m always inspired by the awesome beauty that exists in the Hamptons landscape. The tones and textures of the sea, the sand and the sky are all found in the fabrics and furniture in the room.

BD: There is a lot of rich texture in the room. Do you have more freedom to go heavy on the visual and textural detail when you’ve got a more quiet palette?

KS: Definitely. If you look closely — at the intaglio art over the table, the carved wood candlesticks, the stone trough filled with succulents and beautiful French Bisque Lamp Slips that are mixed in with bound leather books and several antique marble and alabaster pieces — you’ll see a lot of details and finishing touches. But by keeping these pieces soft and monochromatic in neutral tones of cream and white, everything seems to blend softly together. I love when everything blends together harmoniously with just a bright note here and there, such as the purple hydrangeas and the beautiful French blue screens over the fireplace.

BD: Tell us about those artful screens over the fireplace. It’s definitely the focal point of the room.

KS: It’s a handpainted mural that was done exclusively for this room by de Gournay. It’s is such an exquisite work of art that I think sets an understatedly elegant tone to the entire room.  

BD: There’s a lot of vintage-inspired decor and furnishings in the room, yet the space feels very fresh and modern. Why is that and what is your advice for creating that balance?

KS: I always like rooms and homes to feel evolved and collected. They should reflect our personalities and lifestyles. By blending in some antiques with the wonderful new Ballard pieces, I was able to achieve a more layered look and this more organic, evolved feel to the room. For example, the classic lines of the Louis Side Chairs around the game table help connect the past and the antique pieces to the newer pieces in the room.

BD: Was there a particular Ballard item that surprised you in some way or that you fell in love with?

KS: I love the updated and slightly dramatic look of the classic wing in the Thurston Chairs. The great lines and details — silver nailheads and a great blue linen fabric — give this classic wing chair a whole look and feel that is so “au courant.” I have to say, I turn to the classic Louis XVI dining chairs again and again. They’re just so pretty and comfortable! Here, I added a bit of French blue paint to the wood frame and upholstered them in Austell Oatmeal, one of my favorite Ballard fabrics.

BD: Lastly, what are the hallmarks of every summer home?

KS: Inviting, comfortable furniture in organic textures and tones and always forgiving fabrics. Summer is meant to be enjoyed carefree — so should the rooms we live in.

Thank you for the tour, Kate!

Learn more about interior designer Kate Singer, or see more homes from Traditional Home showhouses.

Did you like this post and find it helpful? Rate it below and share your thoughts in the comments.


About the Author:

Patricia Palermo
Patricia Palermo has been writing about home décor and design since 1999, which is when she first learned the term faux bois. She's passionate about helping others find their design style, because she believes with a little know-how and inspiration, anyone can decorate with confidence. Patricia has a degree in Journalism and lives in Atlanta with her husband and four-year-old twins.


  1. Kathleen Bonham May 8, 2017 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Is the coffee table in the living room from Ballard’s catalogue?

    • Annika Dupree June 5, 2017 at 11:59 am - Reply

      Unfortunately, the coffee table is a trade product and not one of ours. However, we do offer these tables, which are similar in style and you may like better:
      London Coffee Table

      Lana Coffee Table

  2. Kathleen Bonham May 8, 2017 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    IS the coffee table in the blue living room from Ballard’s?

    • Annika Dupree June 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately, the coffee table in the living room is a trade piece and not one of our own. We do, however, carry two tables that are similar in style and that you may like better:
      Lana Coffee Table

      London Coffee Table

  3. Penny Moore March 11, 2017 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Live bookcases. Are they in catalog ?

  4. Nancy McDonald September 2, 2016 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Again Kate Singer’s room is beyond beautiful! My friend and I visit the designer home in the Hamptons (Sag Harbor this year) each year and look forward to seeing Kate’s room before any other. What she did with this great room did not disappoint. We both agreed it was the best done room in the entire house. Congrats, Kate!

    • Kate Singer September 19, 2016 at 6:34 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind and generous words Nancy! I could not have created this summer’s great room without all the beautiful furnishings and wonderful support from Ballard. Grateful beyond words…

  5. Candice September 2, 2016 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Love blue and white together in a room. What is the art over the fireplace? Is that available through Ballard?

    • Lydia Merz
      Lydia Merz September 7, 2016 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Candice,
      The art isn’t Ballard, but it is de Gournay!

  6. Emily September 1, 2016 at 9:56 am - Reply

    can anyone who has one comment on how sisal / jute rugs feel underfoot? I’ve always wondered that… are they scratchy? bad for little kids that play on carpet? thanks 🙂

    • How to Decorate
      How to Decorate September 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately it really depends on which jute rug you’re interested in. I’d say jute is definitely much softer than sisal, however, you’ll want a more open, thick weave than something super tight. The only problem with a thicker weave is that they usually shed more. One thing we could recommend is choosing a jute rug with either some wool or chenille in it. That’ll soften it up and hopefully won’t shed so much.
      Happy Decorating!

  7. Kate Singer August 28, 2016 at 7:50 am - Reply

    The rug is a new jute sisal from Stanton called La Vella in color Grey Mist. Thanks!

    • Emily September 1, 2016 at 9:54 am - Reply

      thank you!!

  8. Zizi August 27, 2016 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Hello in one of the photos above there is a pedastal marble top table, is that from ballard? If not can you tell me where I can find it?

    • How to Decorate
      How to Decorate September 1, 2016 at 9:00 am - Reply

      This is a Trade Only table from Bunny Williams Home.

  9. Max Hud August 25, 2016 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Will you share the source & name & color for the rug?

  10. Emily August 25, 2016 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    I am in awe of this calm, soothing color scheme.

    I am SO interested in the area rug for this room. It has almost a natural texture but it still sticks with the warm creams of the room but also has a hint of blue…. What an amazing, thoughtful choice!!

    Would you be so kind as to refer me to where you obtained this area rug? Thank you so much.

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