master bedroom with vaulted ceiling and french doors
Photo: Tria Giovan
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Wonderful Windows

Helgesen had to design a new roof—enlarging beams, realigning exposed rafters, and reconfiguring trusses—to evenly distribute the roof's weight over the new additions to the house. And then there was Amagansett's recent adoption of a hurricane-zone standard requiring windows with high-impact glass.

And windows are among the chief delights of Helgesen's design. The East End of Long Island is famous for its brilliant light, and Helgesen brought in as much as he could. He installed French doors in the new breakfast area and master suite, built out a box bay in the living room, and enlarged windows or added more where he could, thus employing one of his favorite tricks: "Whether you are walking down a hallway or entering a room, I want you to be moving toward a window," he says. "It makes the space seem larger." His choice of finishes enhances the effect.

Shown: The master bedroom's 13-foot vaulted ceiling echoes the one over the dining room, which adds volume and reflects light.
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