Montauk, New York

At Home with Robert McKinley

Emma Owan

Welcome to At Home, a series where we step inside the unique dwellings of the most inspiring interior design minds. This edition takes us to the scenic shores of Montauk for an exclusive look at Captain Balfour, a waterfront bungalow recently transformed into a work of art by the esteemed Robert McKinley. Renowned for creating iconic spaces such as The Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyers on Long Island, McKinley's latest project blends his signature nautical flair with the unparalleled comfort and sophistication of Coyuchi. 

Join us as we dive into McKinley's creative journey, uncovering the inspirations behind his designs and the coastal luxury that defines Captain Balfour.

Captain Balfour, a waterfront bungalow recently transformed into a work of art by the esteemed Robert McKinley

Thank you for welcoming us into your home. Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you spend your time.

We are Katie, Robert, Marella and Monti McKinley. We are a family of 4 and split our time between the beach town of Montauk, N.Y. and New York City.  We spend our time playing at the beach, designing as many things as we can, cooking and connecting with friends and family.

Linen bedding in a master bedroom
Shop the Look: Organic Relaxed Linen Sheet Set, Organic Relaxed Linen Duvet Cover

"Every choice in our home is personal and tells a story. My wife Katie and I spend a lot of time choosing everything based on how these materials, artwork, collected objects, color palette and, of course, textiles make us feel. It’s not a house, it's a home." – Robert McKinley

Linen bedding styled in a bedroom
Shop the Look: Organic Relaxed Linen Sheet Set, Organic Relaxed Linen Duvet Cover

What inspires you most when creating your ideal spaces? Is there a process you follow?

We like our home to have a sense of place. We are always inspired by local materials and we use local makers to ensure that connection to the community.  It’s also important that we leave space for the inspiration of our travels; from color palettes, vintage furniture, to art, and objects. This process helps give the home that indescribable soul.

towels folded in a bathroom

"We love the Cloud Loom bath sheets, they wrap you up in luxury." – Robert McKinley

towels in a bathroom that had tile
Shop the Look: Cloud Loom™ Organic TowelsUnisex Organic Waffle Robe 

How do the realms of design, food, and entertaining intersect in your life?

The realms of design, food, and entertaining are the pulse of our home.  The excitement and continued inspiration the design gives us is so fulfilling, especially when we fall deeper in love with those design choices year after year.  Food is life, and sharing the meals you make or sharing that process with friends and family is when our house feels like a home.

elevated beach house kitchen

And lastly, please describe your style in 3 words.

Vibrant. Storied. Natural texture.
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