A Fireplace Island Couple Purchased the Cottage Subsequent Door—and Now Their Dreamy Retreat Sleeps 14
“One factor we realized early on about ourselves, and our relationship, was that we wish to encompass ourselves with associates new and previous, and we wish to host,” says New Yorker Gabe Brotman in regards to the idyllic retreat he owns along with his associate, Thomas Gensemer. “And Fireplace Island is a implausible place to convey household and associates, homosexual or straight.”
Fireplace Island Pines—considered one of various small, beachy hamlets reached by ferry off the south shore of Lengthy Island—has lengthy been a summer season getaway for the homosexual neighborhood. Automobiles are banned, most properties are accessed by sun-bleached boardwalks, and a inhabitants of deer roams freely with out a lot concern of individuals. This 12 months, the pandemic has helped flip the island into a house away from residence for a extra numerous crowd than simply males in Speedos. Or, as Gabe places it, a “broader rainbow.”
Whereas most homes within the Pines are leases the place interiors could be an afterthought, Gabe and Thomas have created an area the place the couple, their visitors, and occasional renters can reside amongst an inviting mixture of informal midcentury glam, classic finds from Brussels (the place Gabe was residing when the pair began courting), and queer-themed artwork.
Discovering a property fitted to a design-conscious dwelling within the Pines could be troublesome, however the duo lucked out—not as soon as, however twice.
First, 5 years in the past they managed to buy a home initially designed by Horace Gifford, the late architect credited with creating the neighborhood’s modernist vernacular of cedar wooden constructions. The 1963 residence underwent a significant renovation in 2010 by Rob Southern and Invoice Melnick that elevated the home (for flood safety) and added a pool, a brand new kitchen, and further cabana-like bedrooms.