BoND revives mid-century Sears Catalog kit house in Fire Island Pines

Fire Island Pines house by BoND

New York studio BoND has “brought back the simplicity” to this modernist home on Fire Island by stripping away finishes from previous renovations and adjusting the internal layout.

The 1,100-square-foot (102 square metres), two-bedroom home is a Sears Modern kit house – the blueprints and building supplies for which were originally ordered from the American retailer’s catalogue.

Living room in a mid-century house on Fire Island
BoND stripped back the remnants of a previous renovation to bring back the character of this modernist house

The building is one of the oldest at the eastern end of the barrier island, which lays along the Atlantic Coast east of New York City.

It was bought in 2021 by an art collector who was “drawn to the building’s slim profile, with its gently peaked roof, inspired by California mid-century Modernism”, according to BoND.

Cedar panelling installed diagonally in a lounge area with armchairs
Cedar panelling is installed vertically and diagonally in the lounge area

However, the interiors were marred by a 1999 renovation and required updating and reconfiguring to bring the dwelling back to its original

“BoND’s aim was to de-complicate the interior and bring back the simplicity of the original design, while also blurring the boundaries of the rigid modernist floor plan,” said the studio.

Corridor along a fully glazed wall
Large expanses of glass bring in plenty of natural light

Colourful finishes were stripped away, replaced with natural materials like cedar panelling installed both vertically and diagonally in the lounge.

White-painted walls, ceilings and structural beams help the space to feel light and bright, which is also aided by large expanses of glass.

Bedroom with white-painted walls, ceilings and beams, plus wooden furniture
White-painted walls, ceilings and beams help the interiors to feel light and bright

Along the fully glazed facade of the building, fritted panels obscure the view between a bedroom and bathroom, and the saltwater swimming pool and deck outside.

Spatial moves included shifting the stovepipe fireplace by Wittus to the other side of the main living space, creating distinct areas for lounging and dining.

Kitchen with open shelving and a custom island
The kitchen was opened up by removing upper cabinets and hiding appliances in a custom island

Removing upper cabinets helped to open up the kitchen, while the refrigerator and freezer were tucked away in a custom island.

Outdoor furniture from Hay, a Finn Juhl lounge chair, In Common With lighting, a Harbour table and chairs by Artek and Normann Copenhagen, and a blue Thomas Barger chair that matches the pool were all introduced.


10 of the most significant Modernist summer houses in Fire Island Pines

“The home is furnished with pieces that would both compliment the beach-centric lifestyle of Fire Island, yet still fit with the mid-century architecture,” said BoND.

The homeowner’s collection of queer-focused art was also incorporated, with pieces by Stephen Truax, TM Davy, Mark McKnight and Doron Langberg all displayed to celebrate the island’s history as a haven for the LGBTQ+ community.

Dining table with spherical pendant lamp and colourful paintings
The homeowner’s collection of queer-focused art adds colour and celebrates the history of Fire Island Pines

Fire Island Pines is populated with many significant examples of modernist architecture.

Among other recently renovated homes on the island are two-storey, cedar-clad house designed in 1965 by architect Horace Gifford, and a bungalow that was opened up to allow views from the living space to the swimming pool and bay beyond.

Blue-tiled bathroom with fritted glass
Fritted glass obscures the view from the pool deck into a blue-tiled bathroom

Homeowners on the island themselves, Dvir and Rauchwerger founded BoND in 2019 shortly after overhauling their own apartment in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood.

The studio’s previous commercial projects have included interiors for men’s apparel store Le Père and a showroom for Brazilian fashion brand PatBo, both in Manhattan.

The photography is by Chris Mottalini.

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