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...

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