In 1962, American author and socialite Truman Capote—he wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's in the decade prior—commissioned a local carpenter to build a home in the Hamptons according to his exact desires. It wasn't a symposium of glass, which was ever-popular for the area's new-builds—in fact, it wasn't flashy at all. He wanted a nondescript, wooden pile that looked weather-beaten even immediately after construction, with blown-out interiors as light as breezy as the surrounding acreage. It was here, whilst sequestered behind cloisters of hydrangeas, wildflowers, and scrub bushes, that he wrote In Cold Blood in 1966, and it was here that he spent his autumns and winters (reportedly eschewing the company of famous neighbors like Willem de Kooning and Kurt Vonnegut) until his death in 1984. In the decades since, a fire has required something of a rebuild, but the bones of the place, and the simplicity Capote demanded, is still there. In fact, the "Kansas with a sea breeze," as he once described to Architectural Digest, is on the market, asking $13.995M for the "rundown comfort" Capote craved.
It is, in almost every way, the opposite one may expect from the author, whose New York City home (an opulent manse in Brooklyn Heights) and crew (which included Andy Warhol) were famously flamboyant. His city digs—which sent real estate nuts into a tizzy when it sold for $12M two years ago, then the biggest sale in the borough's history—had 18 rooms and 11 fireplaces; it was decorated within an inch of its life in paintings, ceramic dogs, and odd tufted sofas.
His Hamptons home, however, was "a place to be alone," he told AD in 1976. "I spend most of my time out here reading, writing, going for walks with my dog and talking on the telephone. I see people in New York; I don't see New York people out here. I hardly see anyone when I'm here. In the past 14 years, since I've had this house, I've gone out six times for dinner. Now that's quite a record for someone known for being so social, isn't it?"
Back then, Truman considered the house "one big room," and the furnishings—worn yellow velvet seating, gnarls of glittering paperweights, claw-footed tables, needlepoint pillows—were, as AD described, "comfortable, attractive, and appear to be used rather than looked at."
Now, the interiors are sparse and modern, with slick colorless fixtures and huge windows. The charm of Capote's slumpy hidey-hole has been thoroughly scrubbed out, but, in a different way, it's rather beautiful nonetheless. Have a look: