Fire Island is only 60 miles outside of Manhattan, but for Mitch Willey, the owner of a handsome contemporary home on the island's eastern shore, it might as well be another universe. "I'm constantly amazed that one of the busiest cities on Earth is so close by," he says.
When he found a house for sale on the island's highest elevation with 270-degree views of the ocean and Great South Bay, he grabbed the opportunity to remodel it in deference to the untouched setting. Enlisting architect Andrew Kotchen's help, he flipped living areas from the first floor to the second, where the views go for miles. Here, the pair reveals secrets for creating a house with a seamless connection to its surroundings.