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Celebrity home: Katie Couric's getaway in the Hamptons

By John Kirchner September 21, 2011

Take a stroll through Katie Couric’s Hamptons getaway on Cottages & Gardens and you’ll find a perfect example of a home that totally reflects its owner. Elegant, laid back and even playful, Couric’s sprawling beach house features a full tennis court, a pool, ornate landscaping (designed by her older sister) and plenty of space to relax and entertain. And that’s just the outside, but Couric admits entertaining is a top priority.

“I love doing all the typical things in the Hamptons, like making dinner with friends,” Couric says.

When Couric purchased the home, the interior required just a few minor tweaks and personal touches. The exterior, however, was a much larger undertaking:

At the rear of the house is a wonderful covered patio, perfect for outside dining, but the view from it was murky at best. A white picket fence and row of hydrangeas enclosed an adjacent small lawn, and a large shade tree loomed too close; these elements obscured the connection between the house and the pool and left the landscape hemmed-in and claustrophobic rather than inviting and airy. Batchelor [Couric’s sister and landscape artist] removed the fence and hydrangeas and repositioned the shade tree, opening up the view of the pool and even the tennis court beyond.

As for the pool, it was saddled with unattractive brick coping and a lopsided deck; Batchelor added new bluestone coping and potted annuals that give vertical definition to the pool’s horizontal plane. Completing the setting are symmetrical pergolas covered in wisteria and perennial beds planted with peonies, phlox, coneflowers, daylilies and ornamental grasses.

We should all be so lucky to have a builder, remodeler or landscape artist in the family. Then again, make one mistake improving the fragile beauty of a home in the Hamptons and you won’t have to worry about having friends for dinner.

[Photos by Keith Scott Morton for Cottages & Gardens]