Silly Weekend with Ben Watts and Friends

There is no doubt photographer Ben Watts knows how to make a splash. Ben's Long Island retreat is the perfect venue for a summer party thanks to its' colour-clash interior and beachside location. 

As one of the rising stars of the photography world, its no surprise that Brit-born Ben Watts (brother of actress Naomi Watts) chose to relocate to New York. But needing somewhere to escape the city, he created a weekend retreat in Montauk, on the eastern tip of Long Island. The tiny hamlet is part of a beautiful stretch of coast that makes up the Hamptons, the summer playground for cool New Yorkers. 

When Ben's glamourous Manhattan guests come down for a fun weekend, the laid-back vibe and Brit-cool interiors encourages everyone not to waste anytime in replacing their Monalo's with a bikini and an i-phone with a blow-up inflatable. All the lifestyle shots are by Mr Ben Watts and the interior shots are by talented photographerJames Merrell

I gave Ben a call to ask him a few questions about his style and love for summer. 

What does summer mean to you? 
'It's an exciting time that's over way too quickly. It spells fun and optimism'. 

How would you describe your Style? 
`Lively and Eclectic. I like to bring things back from my travels and use them in my home.'

What Inspires You? 
'I was born in the UK and grew up with images of pop culture in magazines like The Face and 
i-D. I'm drawn to anything with a strong visual identity, from the hip-hop scene to the British Flag'

What do bright colours bring to an interior?
'They give a space energy and make everyone feel upbeat. Colour creates mood and reflects the personality of whoever lives there. I like to use loud colours.' 

But how do you mix it all together – colour, pattern and prints – without it all clashing?              

'I don’t really think about it. They all have vitality, so they they work together. I’m an energetic person, so I need my surroundings to keep up with me. Although I live in a beach cottage, I wanted to bring an urban edge to it because it’s still New York'.

How do you like relaxing with friends?

'When people come to Montauk, they let their guard down. The barbacue is fired up and we have a feast. I hold a huge Fourth of July party and guests sleep in tents in my backyard. It’s a place where people can chill out with a beer, sit by the pool or wander down to the beach'.

Ben’s party tips...

Your pool parties are legendary. What’s the recepie for success?

'Good music, interesting people and lots of inflatables.' 

What’s your favourite drink to make a party to go with a bang?

'The pink drink rose – it’s fun and everyone likes it'. 

Speedos or board shorts?

'Board shorts! I would never wear Speedos and I don’t think any man ever should – even if he thinks he can carry them off. If I could get a human-size vacumn, I would suck up all who attempt to don the Speedo!'


  1. great interview! and such amazing photos!

    love your new name btw! very cool!