HOME AWAY FROM HOME
A 19th-century home on the Atlantic coast gets a modern update that honours its history.
A 19th- century abode on the Atlantic coast gets an update that honours its provenance
Aquiet vacation destination a few hours east of the bustling Big Apple, Shelter Island, N.Y.,
is full of heritage homes and incredible vistas, providing many city dwellers the perfect seasonal escape. One such New Yorker is interior designer and stylist Betsy Morgan, whose summer home is in the sleepy enclave. The original character of the 1887-built abode won Betsy’s affections, but she was eager to leave its dark disjointed rooms in the past. Though the large house had seen exterior updates in the 1980s, the entire place, inside and out, was due for a major overhaul, and the designer was up for the task.
The plan was simple: Brighten the home by stripping off layers of wallpaper and create a fresh envelope with white paint; then, maintain the brightness with a minimalist approach to furnishing. To make things interesting, Betsy didn’t restrict herself to just one – or even two or three – decorative influences. The spacious rooms embrace an unexpectedly broad mix of styles, including traditional, contemporary, country and urban, plus a hint of coastal chic thrown in.
The resulting look deftly honours the home’s history, placing the spotlight on period-appropriate architectural features like arched doorways and mullioned windows, while providing a light and airy interior befitting this modern-day designer.
Cream-coloured sofas keep the space bright and neutral. A select few dark elements, including Mid-Century Modern-style chairs and a cowhide rug, introduce some grounding contrast. Small pops of pattern on the toss cushions imbue the room with casual...