Reupholstered Vintage American Mid-Century Corner Chair, 1stDibs.
36 Hours in Marrakesh Paint, Backdrop; Vintage Burled Walnut Display Cabinet, American of Martinsville; Custom Arc Well Sconce, Allied Maker.
Vintage Danish Footrest and Bergere Style Caned Club Chairs, Chairish; 9 Sphere Chandelier by Tala, with Custom Macramé by Grace Teng; Custom Dining Table, Foundry Wood.
Aegean Lounge Chairs, RH; Custom Umbrella, Santa Barbara Designs.
Dotted Palm Wallpaper, Rebecca Atwood.
Above: Vintage Wallpaper, William Morris; Carson Bed, Serena & Lily; Stonewashed Linen Quilt, The Citizenry; Custom Roman Shade, Smith & Noble. Above left: Grier Wide Dresser, RH.
Gramercy Single Metal Washstand, RH; Hand-Painted Drop Cloth by Shower Curtain, Dean Isidro.
Stonewashed Linen Euro Shams and Lolani Side Table, The Citizenry; Bole Sconce, Workstead; Mohair Throw, Jenni Kayne.
Capri Sand Rug, Rugit; Custom Disco Ball, Yolanda Baker.
Vintage Armchairs, Adrian Pearsall; Arrow Light Fixture, Apparatus; Art by Eric Stefanski; Bookshelves, Iron Oaks.
Vintage Ottoman; Belgian Track Arm Sofa, RH; Custom Roman Shade, Smith & Noble.
To maximize their main entertaining space indoors, they opted for a mix of seating. Multiple guests can squeeze into a cozy love seat up against a window, while stools slide underneath the dining table when not in use.
for it, she scratched her head. “I was like, ‘Okay, well, sometimes that’s not possible,’” she shares. Decorating her home with lots of natural materials would suffice as a solution, they told her. So after she first contemplated removing the decorative wood wall the previous owner had installed in the living room, Huffine embraced it.
When an astrologist informed Huffine that her strong air sign meant that she had no earth in her chart and would need to put her feet in the grass every day to compensate
I always asked Shelly, even
up until recently, ‘Do you feel like this is home?’ Because I think that’s the most important thing.”
We have a whole nighttime routine where we check on the vegetables and throw the ball. It’s like [we’re in] a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Lynch-Sparks and Huffine uncovered the perfect wallpaper for their guest
bedroom in the most unlikely place: curled up in a bucket at an antiques store on the North Fork (they suspect the print is vintage William Morris). The catch? There were only three rolls. Lynch-Sparks worked with 71 Visuals to create a nearly exact replica print so they could cover three full walls in it—a venture that took two visits to get the color and scale just right.
While staying at the Dive Motel in East Nashville for Huffine’s birthday a few years ago, the pair discovered the work of Yolanda Baker, one of the
last true disco ball makers. “We were like, we have to get a disco ball made by her before we die,” says Huffine. They hung Baker’s delicate piece in the kitchen, while a basic one from Amazon sits on the grass in the backyard.
The gallery that spans the pink dining room wall bears other sentimental works, from a thank-you note former Cosmopolitan editor in chief Helen Gurley Brown wrote to a matchbook from a restaurant Huffine and Lynch-Sparks tried for the first time together. And who said couples can’t give each other housewarming presents? Lynch-Sparks gifted the large pink painting that now hangs in their bedroom to Huffine when she moved in. The vintage maps of Palm Springs and Coachella Valley in the corner are also special to the duo, who call the desert area their “happy place.”
It’s okay by them if others don’t understand the meaning behind each piece. “It’s not about putting it there for someone else to enjoy,” shares Huffine. “We come through and stare and remember and re-love again.” Collaborating on their first home as a couple went so well that they decided to open a coffee–slash–cocktail bar in nearby Westhampton called One Trick Pony. “We always say that we’re like the sprinkles to each other’s ice cream,” says Lynch-Sparks. “We just complement.”
Inadvertently staying on theme with a best-selling romance, the house is full of art that Huffine and Lynch-Sparks have either bought together or gifted to each other, like the rare photograph of former Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia hanging in the kitchen. Lynch-Sparks befriended a gallery owner who was able to secure the image from photographer Jim Marshall’s estate. “It’s just a really joyous photo,” says Huffine. It’s customary for visitors to toast their wineglass back at Garcia or at least say hello when they walk through the pair’s galley kitchen. And if you know a piano (or guitar or ukulele) tune, please raise your hand. “The idea for the house is for it to be filled with music,” says Huffine. “Anytime someone comes over, I always ask if they can play something.”
The best light, though, comes from the outdoor firepit—the spot where they and their guests inevitably end up on summer weekend nights (soaks in the 5.5-foot-deep “party pool” and games around the outdoor kitchen table usually precede their fireside chats). Friends have everything they need outside (including a toilet), and sometimes they’ll
opt to pitch a tent and stay out there until morning.
Although no one takes better advantage of the fenced-in space than Dolly, the couple’s fetch-obsessed Bernedoodle. Jerry, their dachshund, is never far behind. “We have a whole nighttime routine where we check on the vegetables and throw the ball. It’s like [we’re in] a Nicholas Sparks novel.”
Over the course of a year, they continued to listen intently to each other’s must-haves. “Candice was like, ‘I need you to design a bookshelf with a ladder
so I can have a Beauty and the Beast moment,’” shares Lynch-Sparks. Check. Meanwhile the designer had to make a case for lighting—not the style, just
the sheer amount of it. “Shelly wants to put sconces everywhere,” jokes Huffine. Because she was a renter for so long, Huffine admits that drilling holes in walls and deciding on permanent hardwiring still makes her nervous. But at night, the combination of vintage table lamps, dimmable overheads, and picture lights creates a warm glow throughout the house that is totally worth the 30 minutes it takes them to go around and flip the switches. “Each room is its own journey,” adds Huffine.
To get their bearings, the couple painted every room white—even the ones they knew they’d eventually wallpaper or take a brush to again. They streamlined the layout by closing up a number of doorways, striking a balance between flow and separation. “It was the ultimate sageing,” Huffine recalls. Lynch-Sparks adds that there was also actual sageing involved in the revamp, even though they technically didn’t need to restore harmony; they already had it. “Typically we don’t disagree,” says the designer. Their biggest conflict—Lynch-Sparks likes bright, white rooms; Huffine loves cozy, dark corners—was easy to overcome with a trip to the paint store.
Luckily the two had experience in meshing their design sensibilities. Long before they were partners, in both everyday life and business, they were best friends. Huffine, now the founder of activewear brand Day Won, was one of the very first people Lynch-Sparks met when she arrived in New York City back in 2008, and anytime she would rent a new apartment, she wanted Lynch-Sparks to work on it. “Candice is one of my greatest collaborators,” shares Lynch-Sparks, who you could say was unfazed when her boxes arrived at the two-
bedroom Long Island retreat in 2022. Right away, they agreed they would turn the space back into
a blank canvas. “That way we could really step
into the future in a way that was ours together,” explains Huffine.
From longtime friends to girlfriends, model Candice Huffine and designer Shelly
Lynch-Sparks effortlessly navigated a pivotal relationship stage: moving in together.
Styling by Julia Stevens
Words by Lydia Geisel
Photography by Christian Harder
SHOP the STORY
when she asked her girlfriend, Hyphen & Co. founder and interior designer Shelly Lynch-Sparks, to move into the Southampton, New York, home she’s owned since 2018. She knew that the house had to feel like them. “I always asked Shelly, even up until recently, ‘Do you feel like this is home?’ Because I think that’s the most important thing,” Huffine says.
the alternative: one of you making room in your current space for the other, the fear being that it’ll never truly feel like it belongs to you both. Model Candice Huffine was hyperaware of this reality
When most couples decide they’re going to cohabitate, they search for a new place together. It’s often far less stressful than
Stonewashed Linen Quilt,
Honeysuckle & Tulip
Wallpaper by Morris & Co., Anthropologie
Serena & Lily
Sunbrella Awning Striped Outdoor Throw Pillow,
Crosby Teak Expandable Dining Table, Serena & Lily; Zina Ember Black Dining Chair, Article.