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Home Away from Home

Ulla Johnson’s home away from home—recently profiled for Architectural Digest—lies in the quiet hamlet of Montauk, surrounded by swaying trees and wild flora, and beyond that, the ocean. It is as much a warm, lovingly adorned weekend oasis for her Brooklyn-dwelling family (and wide circle of friends) as it is a space of creative meditation and inspiration, furnished with beautiful, handmade objects found on her travels around the world.

A modular leather sofa reminiscent of softly undulating sand dunes sits atop a Moroccan rug, lining two edges of a sun-soaked, ivory-hued space. A fireplace resting on a bed of cool marble centers your attention, and expansive windows frame dense green foliage outside. The room is ornamented with cactus and succulents, while delicate blooms unfurl from a curvilinear ceramic vase sitting on a rounded cocktail table.

Renovated in collaboration with architecture firm Studio Zung and interior designer Alexis Brown, Johnson’s home is a perfect reflection of her sartorial design philosophy. Both the indoor and outdoor spaces are gorgeously designed and meticulously decorated, yet enjoyably livable, comfortable, and inviting—with a touch of wildness and free-spiritedness mixed in via a beloved garden.

Rich textile artworks and tapestries by Sheila Hicks and Analia Saban adorn cream-hued walls, while a serene ceramic pot by Kazunori Hamana rests below two lithographs by Paula Rubenstein. Collections of driftwood cohabitate with ancient pottery Johnson discovered on a trip to Brazil. 

I was brought up with this love of objects—especially ones that have a personal story or have been created by hand.” As the daughter of anthropologists, this appreciation for the unexpected, rare, and extraordinary comes as little surprise. Her plans for the family’s abode are similarly eclectic and roving: “It’s all about this idea of layering,” she says. “Over a lifetime the house will continue to evolve.”

Read the full story here.