This month's Arch Digest steps inside Villa Maria, the Hamptons home of fashion frontman Vince Camuto and his wife and business partner, Louise. The home, a rambling restoration of an 1919 Victorian summer manse, was originally built for a man who made his fortunes in WWI and eventually fell into the hands of Roman Catholic nuns. "There was something magical about the place. Though the nuns couldn't afford the upkeep or the taxes, they wanted a buyer who would take care of it," says Camuto, who co-founded Nine West in the '70s and now heads an eponymous fashion line. "Louise and I told the sisters we wanted to restore it, no matter how long it took, and we wanted to live there."
The pair recruited NYC-based architect André Tchelistcheff to rehab and rebuild the "21,000-square-foot stuccoed Xanadu," as AD describes the home, which suffered terrible water damage after decades of slow decay. Tchelistcheff's four-year restoration incorporated period-appropriate overhauls—the central staircase's wood balustrade was replaced with "a regal sweep of wrought iron," for example. "The idea was restrained elegance—to modernize the house completely but without touch screens everywhere," Tchelistcheff says. "What's interesting about Villa Maria is that although it's big, it feels summery, not ostentatious." Even the magazine has trouble believing that an "11-bedroom getaway with a living room stretching 60 feet in length (it used to be the ballroom)" could possibly described as "not ostentatious," but somehow that seems to be accurate; the interiors are elegant and not the least bit stuffy, with Venetian-plaster walls in the dining room (below), a TV cabinet covered in horsehair, iron tables topped with marble or oak, and Carrara for the kitchen counters and backsplash. Check it out: