At Home with Susanna Salk and Liz Lange at Grey Gardens

Few homes elicit the same obsessive intrigue as Grey Gardens. Made famous by the late David and Albert Maysles’ 1975 documentary, the house was subsequently featured in an HBO remake with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, as well as endless parodies, most recently Fred Armisen and Bill Hader’s hysterical Sandy Gardens. Immortalized in the true bittersweet tale of Edith Bouvier Beale (Big Edie) and her daughter Little Edie, aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the house was almost as much of a star as its occupants. In 1979 the late Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn purchased the house from Little Edie, bringing Grey Gardens back to its former glory with a beautiful and sensitive renovation. Last summer, fashion designer, entrepreneur and friend Liz Lange rented the house and invited us for a visit. Please join us for a rare video glimpse of the iconic estate.

Representing the best of classic Hamptons style, the house is now a far cry from the dilapidated disaster it was in the movie. It was a serendipitous match made in heaven that Liz was able to live in Grey Gardens as she is a designer with a fascination for fashion and style history. A voracious reader and creative thinker, Liz was the perfect person to be last summer’s caretaker of this iconic home.

Grey Gardens today

Sally Quinn did a beautiful job evoking timeless summer style with wicker and chintz

Living room at Grey Gardens

along with many original pieces salvaged from the attic that reference the Beale’s former lives.

Grey Gardens vignette

Grey Gardens garden room

There is a gentility and sense of easy living that is echoed inside and out.

Grey Gardens view from gardens

And while the house is updated withe modern conveniences for today,

Grey Gardens pool

there is always the sense of the past and the memories that linger within. So thank you Liz, it was a rare privilege to visit a piece of iconic history.

video tour of Grey Gardens

Susanna Salk & Liz Lange at Grey Gardensall photos by Stacey Bewkes for Quintessence

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18 Responses to At Home with Susanna Salk and Liz Lange at Grey Gardens

  1. Stacey and Susanna –

    Most glorious – and I am completely transported! It truly perfection to a degree that science would be unable to measure . . .


  2. Robert Franklin says:

    Such a delight. Thank you.

  3. A perfect summer house for playing and dreaming.

  4. Elle says:

    Spectacular! I love all the splendid details that you captured while sharing a broader presentation of house and garden. What a great tour.

  5. A Renaissance in the art of discovery.
    A sanctuary for the imagination to bloom.
    Thank you.

  6. Cindy White says:

    You could have made that video 20 minutes long and it still would not have been enough!
    Just lovely.

  7. Lissy says:

    Thank you so very much for the fantastic tour! What a treat on a Monday morning.
    xo, Lissy 😎

  8. I love this! What a treat. I love how they have kept the house furnished in such a simple, classic fashion, how noble.

  9. Mary Schalk says:

    Thanks for sharing this gem! I love your comment that the house is “real” Hamptons, not the big albatrosses built today! Here’s to authenticity and respect for historic homes!

  10. Sarah Parker Young says:

    Stacey and Susanna,

    You two are becoming true design chroniclers, capturing the beauty, authenticity and history of interiors.Thank you for being so diligent in recording your travels and visits. Brava to you both! To top it off, the original Grey Gardens documentary is one of my favorites!

    Sarah Parker Young

  11. Ron Masleh. says:

    Enjoyed the trip though a dream , we all have had this home in our minds from one time or other .
    I would love for Susanna to visit the progress of the Charleston home of Carolyne Roehm .

    Ron in Vermont

  12. Jayne says:

    What a treasure!

  13. Ilene Shane says:

    Loved seeing this short story about Grey Gardens and Lil Edith Beale . I have a very interesting collection of photographs that I took in 1982-83 of Edith after leaving Grey Gardens and living in NYC . She was my neighbor on 62 nd Street and the photos are quite extraordinary. I am. Fine Arts Photographer and have these photo available for viewing and possibly for sale as individuals or collection never published and viewed only by a small special group of friends and photographers. I have had them packed away since the 80’s and now am revisiting the collection now that I have the time. At the time I was studying under Judy Dater and Jack Welpott . 2 environmental fine arts photographer and fashion photographer. Edith ‘s 100 Birthday is spproachin grand I would love to move forward to celebrate. Ilene C. Shane 212 246 0413

  14. Joni Webb says:

    Wow!! Loved this!!! My favorite in the house are the chintz slips. Just fabulous. I have but one complaint though……. LONGER!!!!!!! I wish it were longer!!!! Maybe an hour or two????? :)

  15. Joni Webb says:

    one question – I’m curious, do you know who is renting it this summer? Does Sally still own the house?

    • Stacey Bewkes says:

      Hi Joni – I believe Sally still owns the house but have no idea who if anyone is renting.

  16. Beth Scanlon says:

    A great summer tour ! Thank you Stacey and Susanna, it is v nice to see a new life given to that lovely house.

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