Step inside this chic Long Island home - a new build with an old soul

It may be a new build, but thanks to quirky family heirlooms and vintage finds, this Long Island home has plenty of soul.

Long Island home

The property

A two-storey modern home built in 2012 overlooking Bellport Bay on Long Island, New York. The ground floor comprises a living room, dining room, kitchen, screened porch, den, guest bedroom with en suite, bathroom, boot room and foyer. On the first floor are four bedrooms, a dressing room, three bathrooms, a study, TV/family room and deck and pool area. On the roof is a terrace with ocean views.

Living room

It may be a new build, but this house has an old soul. However well designed, a new home can lack character unless you work hard to put your stamp on it.

The weatherboard-clad house took 18 months to build using local architect Mary Knowles. New York design duo The Novogratz then helped create the interiors. (As regular readers will know, Livingetc loves Cortney and Robert Novogratz’s work.)

Almost every room has views of the sparkling bay. Accents of blue reflect the seaside views, while a colourful limited-edition rug designed by The Novogratz (in the living room above) spells out the word ‘Family’.


Colourful furniture and flooring make a plain space bright and playful.

Long Island home


Items introduced from former homes, such as family heirlooms and salvaged finds, take off the new edges – an old tablecloth (complete with red wine stains) is used to cover banquette seating in the dining room. Wood panelling from a house that previously stood on the plot was reworked in the living room, while oak flooring, inspired by the Crosby Street Hotel in New York’s SoHo, (designed by Kit Kemp) adorns the master bedroom.

Long Island home


Cortney demonstrates that reclaimed pieces help a new building develop a sense of history – she calls them ‘storytelling moments’. Everywhere there are echoes of the past: an old French dining table, an antique moulding and resprayed vintage lights.

Long Island home

The blue subway-style tiles were chosen to reflect the sparkling sea outside. It’s a pop of colour a white kitchen often needs.

Long Island home


The old farm table and wicker chairs add a weather-beaten air to the luxuriously spacious porch.

Long Island home


Blending their home with its surroundings was another challenge, as several ancient redwood trees had to be felled to make way for the house. They live on as quirky architectural features thanks to Cortney and landscaper John Beitel.

Long Island home


Throughout the house and in this modern bathroom, the colour palette is drawn from a mixture of blues, including cobalts and azures.

Long Island home

Master Bedroom

The ornate mirror originally belonged to the owner’s mother. The couple were inspired to fit oak boards by the flooring they had seen at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York’s SoHo.

Long Island home

Photography / Matthew Williams

Styling / Lili Diallo

Find out more about The Novogratz at

For Mary Knowles’ portfolio, see

John Beitel’s work can be viewed at

See another home interior designed by The Novogratz here.

The homes media brand for early adopters, Livingetc shines a spotlight on the now and the next in design, obsessively covering interior trends, color advice, stylish homeware and modern homes. Celebrating the intersection between fashion and interiors. it's the brand that makes and breaks trends and it draws on its network on leading international luminaries to bring you the very best insight and ideas.