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DESIGNER SPACES DESIGNER SPACES

JENNIFER MABLEY & AUSTIN HANDLER: MASTERS OF “SOPHISTICATED BEACH” By LINDA SASLOW

When asked to describe their home interior design

consultation to complete home interior design and

style, Jennifer Mabley and Austin Handler aptly put

decorating—from estate homes and cottages to their

it this way: “Sophisticated beach.” The Hamptons

most recent project, Bishops Pond in Southampton.

duo — partners both in marriage and business —

Jennifer and Austin were recruited to decorate the

have developed a reputation over the past decade for

five model showrooms at Bishops Pond -- a development

designing homes on the East End which reflect that

of 77 single-level villas and single-family townhomes,

unique approach.

with a private clubhouse, state-of-art-fitness center, ten-

“Our clients are surrounded by style,” explained

nis court and pond-side pool -- the fastest selling new

Austin. “They come to the Hamptons looking for a more casual lifestyle, but don’t want a rustic surf

luxury lifestyle neighborhood in the East End village.

shack. They want great style with luxury finishes in a

In the newest model on this 13-acre planned develop-

home with layers of sophistication.”

ment, they created a beach house look to exude a calm

But sophistication “doesn’t necessarily mean fan-

coastal feeling with a relaxed beach vibe. Using a vari-

cy,” added Jennifer. “Some clients are more formal,

ety of blues, aquas and turquoises, the Mabley-Handler

others more casual, but sophistication is about taste

team included comfortable clean-lined furnishings and

and an eye for what works.”

colorful playful patterns.

And clearly, the Mabley-Handler Design team has

Each Bishops Pond interior is airy, open and dra-

that eye—working together to create or redesign living

matic—with high ceilings, oversized windows, great

environments with style, flair and imagination for cli-

rooms, island kitchens with custom cabinetry, and

ents throughout the Hamptons. They bring together their individual skills and talents, combining to create

luxurious finishes. Jennifer and Austin designed five

a dynamic team.

different kitchen styles and 25 different bathrooms,

Jennifer Mabley, now 48, left her home in Wash-

creating a unique theme in each of the townhouses

ington D.C. to study interior design at the Univer-

and villas, infusing elegance and sophistication with

sity of Arizona, then worked for fabric designers in

eye-catching touches.

Manhattan and Santa Fe. Fueled by her passion and

The Mabley-Handler designs also were featured in

growing confidence, she opened a furniture and

several Hamptons’ designer showhouses, where they

fabric store in downtown Manhattan, designing her

tackled the pool lounge in 2010, and the guest suite

own furniture line.

in 2008.When they are not busy at work, Jennifer and

Austin Handler, 42, was born in London and grew

Today, while each has an area of expertise—she selects

up in California and New York. After studying journalism

furniture and fabrics; he excels at architecture and build-

at Rutgers University, he realized he was more interested

ing details -- they work on every project as a team, always

in architecture and graphic design, and his path changed

meeting new clients together. At any given time, they have

erty of their Water Mill home, their commute to work is

direction. Discovering how much physics and math were

between eight and ten ongoing projects, each equally spe-

between 10 and 12 steps.

involved in architecture, he opted instead to pursue graphic

cial and important, they agree.

“So much of what we design for our clients is about luxu-

design, he admitted with a chuckle. That decision led to a

“If we have to, we divide and conquer,” said Jennifer.

ry,” said Austin. “For us, the greatest luxury is being able to

job at a major New York City advertising agency.

“But with any project, we can each jump in and do every-

be there for our family.”

Their journeys melded, romantically and professional-

thing.” To which Austin added, “We carefully plan the

ly, when they met at a wine tasting party in Manhattan. In

entire home scope for our clients. It’s a term we coined

As for the future, they are both brimming with enthusi-

2002, inspired by a better quality of life, their love for the East

that takes into account all of the elements of a property.

End, and an opportunity to work together on design projects,

It tells a story about who is living there and what makes

they relocated from Manhattan to Water Mill, where Mab-

them comfortable,”

ley-Handler Designers made its debut in the Hamptons.

For that reason, the design team, which now includes a

Austin recalled, “The initial plan was that I’d design the

support staff of five, doesn’t take on projects for just one or

want to lose the connection with our clients. We will always

web site and business cards and help Jennifer out. But after a

two, rooms, but, as Austin explained, “We take our clients

be on top of every detail of every project. First and fore-

few years, as we got busier and busier, I became more involved,

down a path with us to transform an entire home.”

most, we are designers, and this is what we breathe every

until one day I realized also was an interior designer.”

Mabley-Handler services range from new construction

day. This is what we love.” SE

18 SHAWN ELLIOTT LUXURY

Austin spend most of their free time with their two sons, now ten and seven. With their design studio on the prop-

asm over the possibilities for designing their own lines of fabric, furniture and custom rugs. “We are in the growth period,” said Jennifer. “It would be nice to put our signature on our products, but we never

Each Bishops Pond interior is airy, open and dramatic—with high ceilings, oversized windows, great rooms, island kitchens with custom cabinetry, and luxurious finishes. Jennifer and Austin designed five different kitchen styles and 25 different bathroom. SHAWN ELLIOTT LUXURY 19

LUXURY Magazine Healthy Home Issue  

DESIGNER SPACES THE HAMPTONS’ MABLEY HANDLER - EAST END SCENE SURF’S UP - BUILDER DELUXE MEET MICHAEL DUBB - AT HOME WITH TRUTH + BEAUTY...

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