Tom Britt’s Impossibly Fab Hamptons Pool House

Nobody sizzles up a summer house like designer Tom Britt, whose Water Mill “barn” and pool house grace the July/August ’13 issue of Veranda, reported by moi. Tom’s designs are, like him, are often bigger than life, and I am happy to call him friend. Even though he yells at me for half the interview and we laugh the other half. It’s a miracle I get any information at all.

Pool House - Tom Britt in Veranda - photo by Max Kim-Bee

If you peek down the hall you see it is painted a beautiful, pale, robin’s egg blue, a glorious counterpoint to the claret and burgundy reds. (See all pool house and “barn” photos in the magazine itself.)

It’s brilliant the way he takes inspiration from something extravagant like a European castle or maharaja’s bedroom and translates it to his own work. (I wrote about that in another Veranda article on Tom in May ’12,  posted about here. Btw the May ’12 article was on his other Water Mill house, since sold.)

It is not everyday, in fact I can’t think of any day, I’ve seen a gi-normous bed upholstered in red leather with nailhead trim. We did not have those in Tarboro.

Ton Britt in Veranda
Tom Britt in Veranda - Red Leather Bed - photo Max Kim-Bee

Small wonder Elle Decor has just included Tom on its very short list of Grand Masters of Design.

For choice bits of Grand Master’s advice, see Tom’s Britt’s Design Tips by Dayle Wood on He has great things to say about color and scale.

Speaking of scale, this epergne on steroids about blows my mind. I cannot write stuff like “it blows my mind” in Veranda, but I can write it here and feel subversive.

Tom Britt in Veranda - Al Fresco Dining Room - Photo Max Kim-Bee

Also posting recently about this Tom Britt house is Patricia Gaye Tapp in her fab blog Little Augury. She’s great, and her blog is great.

Tom Britt in Veranda - Exterior poolhouse - Photo Max Kim-Bee

All these beautiful photos are by Max Kim-Bee for Veranda.


  1. We did not have red leather upholstered beds in MS either—but I love it. The Al Fresco dining area is just waiting for a party. Wouldn’t you just love to move into that pool house. You have the best job ever!

  2. Frances, Happy Summer!!!

    –Not sure where you are—you are pretty slippery!~ But if in the Hamptons, have you ever remembered such wind and such heat at this time of year? Here on the Cape we are about the same temp as Alabama, for Pete’s sake! A slight temperature/wind break today, but so mosquito-y!

    Oh, I do so love a bench in front of a fireplace! We could never have a fireplace in an Alabama pool house, but looks divine! Thank you for the lovely post!

    Best, Ellen@Color Calling

  3. Love the shape of this little gem of a building, so dying to see more (so I can figure out how it lays out inside!) I tried going to Veranda, but only found something with Tom’s tips for decorating – or something like that. Is there a way I can see more of the interior?
    thanks – as always – for sharing!


    1. Hi Sarah and thank you! Veranda is available on line by subscription only – so you’ll have to spy a copy in the newsstand or somewhere. But basically the pool house is two octagons joined by a large central hall. I think. The barn is interesting also – see Little Augury’s post on that. xo F

  4. Why do people want to advertise their homes? Is it becuase they are house proud, which I acknowledge and respect, or is there an additional motive? I am genuinely curious.

    1. To Kate M,
      Tom Britt is a genius gone mad. He doesnt need a “reason” to create. His ideas are unique, and startling but kulled from his many exotic travels combined with his uninhibited imagination. He does this in the same sense Picasso painted everyday, all his life. He can’t stop and I hope he never does. Plus, he is a gentleman from the Old School, Top Drawer and hilariously un-shy.

  5. It’s magical with touches of whimsey everywhere. I’m looking forward to my next Veranda Issue. Now when they arrive I feel cheated if there isn’t an article by you.

  6. Frances, I bought Veranda today and read your article. You are a great writer, both of articles and blogs. I say this as an English teacher and a poet. You could write how to write books in addition to how to decorate books.

    I love the blue ceiling in the hallway above the aqua walls (picture in magazine) and am trying to plan something similar in my own humble abode.

    1. I so agree with you Susan! Frances is a great writer! Check out the recent House Beautiful on Small Spaces. She has a delightful article on a Georgian Townhouse.☺ She has always inspired me on my humble digs.

      1. Waiting, waiting, waiting, for the small spaces issue here in small town west coast Canada. That one always seems to come to the store August 1. So hard to wait!

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