To better showcase its seaside surroundings, the Sea Cliff, N.Y. club gave its outdated dining room a dramatic transformation.
During the initial downtime posed by the pandemic, when clubs were not bustling with their usual activity, some long-postponed renovation projects returned to the forefront. Such was the case for Sea Cliff (N.Y.) Yacht Club, where a dining facility underwent a décor update—with new lighting, carpet, window treatments and artwork—that better complements its picturesque surroundings on the North Shore of Long Island.
“We did not have any plans to do any capital improvements, but our membership rolls had stayed strong, and [so] the board decided to move forward with the project,” says General Manager Charlie Walsh. This past June, the club put the finishing touches on improvements made to its 2,500-sq. ft. member dining room for just under $40,000—and just in time for the summer season.
Enhancing the ‘Wow’ Factor
Just off the Long Island Sound, Sea Cliff YC has been a second home to seasoned sailors and landlubbers alike since 1892. To keep up with members’ expectations while preserving the facility’s rich history, the club engaged Rebecca Goodman of Lola Tucker Interior Design to reinvent its dining room.
“We had to be careful to honor the club’s past, while helping to create a more modern, timeless vibe,” says Goodman. “We created a chic and elegant space without taking away from the star of the show: the picture-perfect view of Hempstead Harbor.”
The dining room itself, which seats up to 150 guests, boasts easy access to the kitchen, pool area and adjacent 1,000-sq. ft. bar. Primarily used for member-only dining both inside and outside, a set of double doors can be opened to a deck when weather permits.
While no major structural changes took place during the dining room’s renovation, the existing layout was updated from top to bottom. The previous color palette of maroon and gold was swapped out in favor of beach-inspired hues. A newly painted accent wall, now awash in a soft blue, balances out the remaining walls in a sandy hue, designed to evoke the beachfront and water just outside the dining-room doors.
To further the nautical motif, light-brown steel beams running down the center of the room were repainted in matte black, “to mimic the bottom of a ship,” notes Goodman. Underfoot, a maroon rug with gold stars and gold rope detailing was replaced with sea-blue carpeting, while paintings of boats add to the seascape look and feel.
But perhaps the greatest focal point is the dining room’s custom-made French chandelier (see photo above). Fashioned from 35 arms of nautical rope, it purposefully anchors the room and draws the eye upward to the St. Tropez-print, Roman-shade window treatments, alluding to the club’s sailing history. (The original wood-colored blinds with white padded cornices proved to be outdated.)
While natural light pours through the windows, additional illumination creates a cozy feel as the sun sets. Outdated and mismatched high hats were replaced with uniform color-temperature LED high hats, while nautical cage lights and black crew pendants serve as decorative lighting.
Since the reopening of its enhanced dining space, Sea Cliff has seen a noticeable uptick in catered bookings. While the space has a limited schedule for member dining during the week, Walsh believes the updated décor has also provided members with a new source of pride that they’re eager to enjoy and show off to guests.
“Feedback has been very positive both from members and prospective catering clients,” says Walsh. “Most really love the new look.”
SEA CLIFF YACHT CLUB
Sea Cliff, N.Y.
Interior designer: Lola Tucker Interior Design
Paint: Smoky Blue and Sand Beach from Sherwin-Williams
Lighting: Chandelier from Home Art Paris; Cage lights from Visual Comfort; Pendants from Hinkley; LED high hats from Standtech Electric
Carpeting: Innovative Flooring and Design
Wall art: Nautical art from Leftbank Art
Window treatments: St. Tropez Print from Lee Jofa