When a 30-something couple with a baby on the way purchased an East Hampton vacation home in need of a renovation, the challenges they faced were enough to make them wonder if they'd made a big mistake. The property sprawled across its parcel of a quiet cul-de-sac in a series of lackluster additions, and its many rooms made for a disjointed design. Principal Robert Young and his eponymous firm wanted to streamline the complicated layout—a beach house is supposed to be laid back, after all—and he opted to do so without employing major construction. “The challenge was not to tear it down just because it was ugly,” he says. Instead, his team worked “to save and enhance the good parts while removing or de-emphasizing the bad.” A dull, overpowering exterior was traded for layered cedar and six bedrooms were opened to light. All it took was a little imagination, and a clever use of new elements, to steady the owners’ nerves.