A Stunning, Zen Retreat in East Hampton
2 Wagon Lane is a modern, spa-like home in East Hampton that has stunning architectural details and Zen feels. The creative mind behind this stunning home is Ben Dixon. He’s been renovating properties since he was 12 years old, helping his dad out on job sites. Now he renovates stunning properties out in The Hamptons and in the city, and FORM was fortunate to work on the 2 Wagon Lane project with him. Take a tour of this beautiful place and learn more about Ben’s approach to design.
December 19, 2023
Early Renovation Roots
Ben got bit by the renovation bug as a kid, working alongside his dad on job sites at the age of 12.
“I really learned how to actually do it all with my hands.”
He took his appreciation for sweat equity and his love of transformation and design into his first business project as a young professional in San Francisco.
San Francisco: A Labor of Love
He and his partner at the time bought a fixer-upper in the city, and did nearly all the work themselves. “I think, except for cutting stone for the countertops, we pretty much did everything in that project. We demo-ed everything, we set the cabinets, we did all the tilework… it was a true labor of love.” It was also a real education in understanding all aspects of development. He learned about proformas, costing, material selections, timelines, holding contractors accountable, and how to determine which properties are a good fit for redevelopment.
East Coast Ventures: The Hamptons Home
He then took his talents and passions to the East Coast and bought his first home in The Hamptons in 2016, where he now lets his talents flourish. “I really love the challenge and like the puzzle of renovation. And usually when I'm going into homes out here, I'm trying to look at a home and see how much of this is really cosmetic, and how poised the property is for a massive transformation without having to fundamentally change the bones of the home. I love when I can change the features and functionality of the home without necessarily having to go outside the footprint of the home.”
Wagon Lane: A Contemporary Departure
2 Wagon Lane fit the bill, based on the above criteria, but it was certainly a departure for Ben. “To date, I’ve always done traditional homes, you know, kind of boxes stacked on top of each other. Whereas Wagone Lane is a big contemporary home with soaring rooflines and a very different kind of vibe. But it had a really great layout and tons of space. It was just trapped in 1985 and in dire need of new finishes and some space reimagination.”
One of the biggest areas for improvement was the kitchen, which is why he teamed up with FORM. “The kitchen was far from practical. It was massive – it took you like five minutes to walk across the kitchen. And we wanted a luxury feel and a modern contemporary look in there. To resolve the space issue, we worked with Debora to create a butler’s pantry, and put a lot of the functionality in there.”
“That allowed us to really focus on the main kitchen as a place of Zen. We wanted you to walk into the kitchen and actually feel a sigh of relief. The modern Scandi vibes of the cabinetry really helped us achieve that. And the island space gave us that awesome gathering place, where you could relax with a drink and catch up with people. And the durability aspect of FORM was important too. We really wanted this kitchen to get used and stand the test of time.”
“We love that this kitchen feels like a real family meeting place – like everybody intuitively ends up in the kitchen and gathers around the 10-foot island. And with the butler’s pantry, you can do a big cook in the kitchen, but not have it feel cramped and crowded, so you can have the big family meal, but still feel at ease.”
Ben also used FORM for the bathrooms, to carry that Zen-like spa feel into the bathrooms, as well. “I loved simplifying my life with one vendor for all those key moments.”
We look forward to doing more work with Ben, as he pours his heart and soul and creativity into each of his projects, and the homes really do speak for themselves.