Shingle Style: Inspiration from Famous Architects Today

The architectural history of America’s East Coast oozes glamour, classicism and sophistication. From Cape Cod to The Hamptons, Shingle Style architects built homes that embody classic New England style. This article describes some of the hallmarks of this timeless sensibility, taking inspiration from some of the most famous architects today from the Shingle school.


The Most Famous Architects Today of the Shingle Style

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Some of New England’s most iconic buildings were created by Shingle Style architects. Extremely popular during the late nineteenth century and borrowing elements from several different architectural styles, including Queen Anne and deep south Colonial Revival, the style is classic yet welcoming, weathered yet distinguished, and effortlessly timeless – making Shingle Style restorations more and more popular.

Some of most famous architects today from the Shingle school include Shope Reno Wharton, the Nantucket Architecture Group and Botticelli & Pohl. Most famously, Lisa Botticelli of Botticelli & Pohl helped Coco Chanel realise her dream home in Nantucket in 1993. Other notable restoration projects include Andrew Pollock’s Shingle Style windmill on Long Island.

Exteriors: Subtle, Steely Greys

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The most important aspect of the style is of course, the distinctive shingle cladding. Usually made from cedar wood, the material is elegant yet hard-wearing and can be found across the New England region on homes designed by some of the most famous architects today.


Due to its sophisticated yet hardy texture, the cool, steely grey of traditional Shingle Style cladding appears on beach retreats in the Hamptons, windswept manors on Long Island, and sumptuous family homes on the harbours of Nantucket. This subtle palette is best complimented by clean white window frames and deep green and blue doors and shutters.

Landscaping: Welcoming, Blooming, Beautiful

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The gardens of East Hampton and Nantucket are some of the most charming in the country. Inspired by traditional English country gardens with a beach retreat twist, many Shingle Style architects incorporate several different styles into their landscaping. Reflecting the refined eclecticism of their architecture, the gardens of Shingle Style homes may feature anything from large, sweeping lawns, to packed wild rose gardens or windswept beach grasses.

Whatever planting or landscaping style is used, what always defines the garden of a Shingle Style home is the classic, welcoming styling. For instance, the formal sensibility of Alex Papachristidis’s family home in Bridgehampton in New York state is offset by the playful landscaping designed by Edmund Hollander.

Interiors: A Classic, Homely Beach or Country Retreat

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Generally found by the sea or in more rural parts of New England, Shingle Style architects’ interiors always compliment their surroundings. Similarly to the exterior of the buildings, the feel of a traditional Shingle Style interior is always sophisticated and classic, yet welcoming and informal.

Antiques are the perfect compliment to a restored Shingle Style home. However, don’t read this as stuffy; as was said by Arie L. Kopelman when he and Coco Chanel chose the decor for their Nantucket retreat, “rooms can have a clean, fresh, modern sensibility but still have traditional elements that let your mind wander through history.”

Beyond some expertly selected antiques, suggestions for accessories and color palettes should always take cues from the outside – for instance, adorn surfaces with dried corals, shells and driftwood. Equally, curtains, sofas and throw pillows should draw inspiration from colonial styles in salty, seaside blues, greens and greys.