‘Shop Til’ You Drop’ at the East Hampton Antiques & Design Show, Say Design Experts Randy Kemper and Tony Ingrao

East Hampton Antiques & Design Show, East Hampton, Tony Ingrao, Randy Kemper
The East Hampton Antiques & Design Show returns to Mulford Farm Saturday and Sunday with a preview cocktail party on Friday night.
Courtesy of the East Hampton Historical Society

The East Hampton Antiques & Design Show returns to the grounds of Mulford Farm on July 13 and 14, 2024, offering a delightful weekend of discovery and elegance. This celebrated event, now in its 18th year, has become a cornerstone of the East Hampton arts and social calendar, well-attended for its rich blend of history and contemporary design.

Benefitting the East Hampton Historical Society and presented by Ralph Lauren, the 2024 show’s honorary chairmen are Randy Kemper and Tony Ingrao, longtime East Hampton homeowners and the creative minds behind the internationally known, New York City-based architectural and interior design firm Ingrao, Inc. They bring their passion for design and history to the prestigious role of honorary chairmen. 

“Mary and Lorenzo Woodhouse, who supported the restoration of the East Hampton Historical Society’s headquarters at Clinton Academy, were instrumental in preserving the historical beauty and charm of the community,” said Ingrao, who has designed many Hamptons homes, in a conversation with Behind The Hedges.  “It’s an honor to carry on their legacy by preserving one of their former properties as our home and supporting East Hampton history.”

East Hampton Antiques & Design Show, East Hampton, Tony Ingrao, Randy Kemper
Designers Tony Ingrao and Randy Kemper are co-chairs of the East Hampton Antiques & Design Show this weekend. The event benefits the East Hampton Historical Society.Bjorn Wallander

Held on the grounds of the historic Mulford Farm, the show’s venue is a fitting tribute to East Hampton’s rich heritage. The four-acre property, maintained by the society, features a restored 17th-century farmhouse and several of Long Island’s oldest barns and outbuildings. This setting provides a perfect backdrop for the elegant white tents that house the show’s treasures, making for a picturesque time to observe and shop.

The pair enthusiastically took on this honorary role, noting that they have been attending the East Hampton Antiques & Design Show for years. “As avid supporters of the East Hampton Historical Society and active members of the community, being chairs of this year’s show is a great honor,” they said in response to questions from Behind The Hedges

“The East Hampton Antiques & Design Show brings everyone together amongst some of these glorious buildings so you can shop ‘til you drop in this fabulous setting,” Kemper said. “We like it because it’s so intimate, and it’s right in the middle of the town of East Hampton. It just feels so local and wonderful.”

“You don’t feel like you’re at an exhibition hall, you feel like you’re in a vintage farm, it feels great” added Ingrao, who began his career as an antique dealer in Paris. 

While the show gets underway on Saturday, the festivities kick off with a preview cocktail party on Friday, July 12, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The evening offers guests an exclusive first look at and buying opportunity of the diverse array of antiques, jewelry, textiles, and chic furniture on display. 

“The preview cocktail party is special because, unlike other events, it is intimate in both scale and community and it brings together new and old friends, and dealers alike, who have an interest in antiques and history,” say Ingrao and Kemper.

Throughout the weekend, the East Hampton Antiques & Design Show will showcase an impressive lineup of more than 50 antiques and art dealers. The event’s focus is on vintage decorative items for the home and garden, encompassing a wide range of styles from classic to contemporary. Attendees can expect to find everything from classic rattan and bamboo furniture to intricate lighting, textiles, and architectural elements. 

Other highlights include American and European country-decorated furniture, Art Deco and Moderne pieces, garden ornaments, wrought-iron accessories, industrial items, paintings, trade signs, period jewelry, weathervanes, and mirrors. With such a diverse collection, the show promises something for every taste and interest. There are items for seasoned collectors and casual enthusiasts.

Georg Jensen Grape Shears with ornamental pattern featuring floral lace
One of the unique pieces that can be found at the show is this Georg Jensen Grape Shears with ornamental patterns featuring floral lace.Courtesy of Drucker Antiques

The honorary chairmen, who have worked on private residential projects from New York to Hong Kong and Tel Aviv to Palm Beach, offer some advice. To not be overwhelmed by the immense collection of treasures that is difficult to choose from, “it is always best to walk the whole show and then focus back on the pieces that excite you.”

“Whatever strikes you as appealing, get the history of it from the dealer,” Kemper advised.

“You never know what you’re going to find. You can find a table that can create the vibe for a whole room,” they said in an email. “We source, and we get inspired through pieces, and then we go from there.”

This year’s event is further enriched by the insights of a distinguished panel of experts who will be presenting their products or designs. Among them is Andrew Spindler of Andrew Spindler Antiques & Design in Essex, Massachusetts, who emphasizes the importance of character and individuality in home decor. 

Andrew Spindler (Essex, MA) Booth
Andrew Spindler (Essex, MA) BoothCourtesy of the East Hampton Historical Society

“In a world with so much good, but somewhat homogeneous design, people really crave pieces that add character and individuality to their homes. In my world, it’s always been about the mix. I favor antiques that have great sculptural form and interesting surfaces–things that might be hundreds of years old, but that read as ‘modern,’” he said.

Ronald J. Wells of Wells & Company in Hudson, New York, notes a shift towards discerning, quality-driven collecting. “What was once ‘more is more’, it is now ‘quality over quantity.’ Collectors have educated themselves exponentially on the subjects that mean the most to them in regard to art, home, furnishings, and collectability. They are becoming the astute new connoisseurs of the future,” he said.

Wells and Company Federal Chest
Wells & Company (Hudson, NY) – A federal two-drawer blanket chest, circa 1810, in the original blue paint. It features a cut apron across the front as well as the sides. This chest also retains the original brass pulls with a Greek key pattern. Courtesy of Wells & Company

Sheryl Ann Dunleavy, who brings The Ann Parke Collection from Darien, Connecticut, highlighted a growing trend for elegant yet relaxed antiques inspired by the natural world. “Clients often bring garden pieces, traditionally kept outdoors, indoors for a fresh look. They cherish the character and timelessness that these pieces give their living spaces,” she said.

Terra Cotta Pug & Cast Iron Garden Bench
Ann Parke Collection (Darien, CT) – A 19th-century Austrian cold-painted terra cotta pug, standing atop a “Renaissance Scroll” cast iron garden bench from around 1900. Courtesy of The Ann Parke Collection

 “The revolving display of unique and beautiful objects always serves to educate and inspire our design,” the honorary chairmen say. “We have always approached design with a collector mentality which provides the client with a perspective geared towards their individual interests and tastes. Mixing styles always adds depth and contributes to an interesting design outcome.”

“As lifelong residents of East Hampton, we appreciate that history influences all aspects of design and how one lives. We have lived in many of the hamlets of East Hampton and appreciate the special attributes of each,” noting how each hamlet has its own unique mood and vibe,” they said. 

“There’s moods in these different places, and you can find pieces that enhance the moods of the projects you’re working on,” Ingrao said. 

Village Braider Antiques (Plymouth, MA)
Village Braider Antiques (Plymouth, MA) BoothCourtesy of the East Hampton Historical Society

The pair are looking forward to seeing friends, family and neighbors, and finding unique pieces for not only their clients, with whom they’re excited to shop with, but for their original Woodhouse home as well. 

“Our vibe is an eclectic vibe. We don’t like things that are either too modern or too traditional. We like a mix. We like things that show history and are authentic and we also like to create a dialogue between old pieces and new pieces,” they say. “We purposely don’t want to live in a museum or in a time warp. We like living today, and today means appreciating all the different periods.”

The East Hampton Antiques & Design Show is not just a marketplace but a celebration of art, history, and community. Managed by Green Tree Events of Maine, this year’s show promises to be a highlight of the summer, offering a treasure chest of rare and unusual items that capture the essence of East Hampton’s enduring charm.

Polaris Gallery (Southampton, NY)
Polaris Gallery (Southampton, NY) BoothCourtesy of the East Hampton Historical Society

“The show is an integral part of the Village of East Hampton and its surrounding hamlets, in both the historical context of its location and the ability to bring dealers, artists and collectors together in the most educational and intimate of ways,” say Ingrao and Kemper.

“That is the essence of East Hampton as a community,” they add. “It gives the village its heart.”

For tickets, call the East Hampton Historical Society at 631-324-6850 Ext. 1, or email at info@easthamptonhistory.org. Tickets for the Preview Party and Show are $250 while tickets for the Show alone are $18. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting the Events page on the East Hampton Historical Society’s website.