Tour an Art-Filled Brigette Romanek–Designed Retreat

The Hamptons getaway, belonging to an entertainment executive, is the perfect balance of classic and eclectic decor.

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Reid Rolls

In any competitive business, repeat clients—the loyal set who return time and time again—are just as valuable as new leads. Los Angeles-based decorator Brigette Romanek knows this first hand.

Over the past few years, entertainment executive Kent Belden has entrusted Romanek with transforming two Los Angeles homes, one of which he still shares with his husband, Dr. Louis Re. But most recently, he enlisted Romanek to put her stamp on a charming Hamptons property, a respite from his demanding work schedule. (Belden is the CEO and founder of The ONLY.Agency, a creative management agency with an A-List celebrity roster of clients, including the Kardashians, Beyoncé, Madonna, Celine Dion, Anne Hathaway, and Lady Gaga.)

While one may mistake Belden and Romanek for old friends, given their easy-going working relationship, the duo only met a few years back. A design firm recommended Romanek after noticing that her eclectic style would perfectly suit his unique taste. "Kent is so, so special to me and when I was starting out in design, he really believed in me and didn’t let me doubt myself at all," says Romanek.

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The foyer with artwork by Vik Muniz, Lisa Yuskavage, Kehinde Wiley, Ryan McGinley, and Andreas Gursky.
Reid Rolls; Styling: Chelsea Fierst

But before Romanek even stepped into the picture, Belden attempted to revamp the home on his own. He quickly abandoned this ambitious approach after accepting that his vision for crafting a beach house with rock and roll influences wasn't that easy to execute without professional guidance. "After I got into the decorating process, I was able to make it habitable," Belden explains. "We enjoyed it for the first summer with all of our friends, but I realized that I needed help and called in the big guns. The home was missing a point of view, and Brigette fully realized what was in my head that I hadn't been able to get out."

To get started, some designers might be steadfast on acquiring all new pieces, but surprisingly, Romanek's first order of business was to rearrange Belden's existing furnishings and accessories. "She came up with concepts for the rooms that hadn't been done—that I was instantly in love with—but she also came in one day and reorganized everything I had purchased," Belden says of Romanek's thoughtful approach. For instance, the rug in the dining room was moved to the living room; Belden's art collection was shuffled around throughout various spaces in the home.

Like his other homes, art was especially important for this Hamptons project, as Belden and his partner are avid collectors of paintings and photography. Kehinde Wiley, Lisa Yuskavage, and Ryan McGinley are just a few of their favorite artists. "Whether it is photography or a figurative painting, our pieces all seem to evoke a lot of emotion and have a lot of bright colors," Belden says. There have even been instances where Belden has purchased similar works from one artist for his properties on both coasts.

Romanek was completely onboard with the couple's art choices, understanding that their collection presented the opportunity to showcase their aesthetic. "Kent really loves and responds to art," she says. "It was important to make their home feel personal and take it away from looking like a model home."

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In the family room, the coffee table and sofas are from Restoration Hardware, the bird sculpture is by Tom Otterness, and the light fixture is Lindsey Adelman.
Reid Rolls; Styling: Chelsea Fierst

Beyond art, the designer added a slew of other unique additions. While several of the rooms, like the kitchen, living room, and dining area, are rooted in classic design, Romanek incorporated a sense of balance by weaving in pieces that capture the couple's energetic nature. The striking shape of the Moroccan-inspired Ligne Roset armchairs in the living room; the breakfast table and Duesenberg No. 30 light fixture in the kitchen; and the office that's sheathed in a Carly Kuhn-designed wallpaper featuring portraits of the couple are just a few touches Romanek introduced to give the home character.

Another highlight is a guest room, complete with an eye-catching black and white striped accent wall paired with a playful yellow armchair from B&B Italia. Then there's the powder room, with its custom fish wallpaper and neon "Please don't do drugs in the bathroom" sign—another nod to Belden's sprightly personality. "I told her I wanted a punk rock beach powder room, so she came up with the idea for a neon sign and I came up with what it should say," Belden shares. The entryway, complete with a marble-topped table and several pieces of colorful art, is another special design moment in the home, as it "feels grand and warm at the same time," he says.

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B&B Italia's Up Chair, a table lamp by Apparatus Studio, and a Jeff Koons vase appear in the guest bedroom.
Reid Rolls

Romanek couldn’t have asked for a better design project or a more collaborative client. With this Hamptons home, she was able to unlock the property’s design potential, tap into her appreciation for varied aesthetics and periods, and embrace Belden’s irreverent design approach and fervor for art. "One of the biggest compliments you can get in interior design is to have a client come back to you again," says Romanek, reflecting on her experience working with Belden the third time around. "Kent really allowed me to express myself."

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The homeowners, Kent Belden (left) and Dr. Louis Re.
Reid Rolls; Styling: Chelsea Fierst
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