Interior designer Susan Petrie-Badertscher of and her family call the SoHo neighborhood of New York “home” for the majority of the year. On weekends and holidays, however, the brood makes the trek to Shelter Island – a beach community at the eastern end of Long Island, NY. Here they unwind in their sprawling, shingled home and fabulous pool. I only recently learned about the island getaway, but Susan has been a Shelter Island regular since childhood. “When my husband and I were dating, we visited Shelter Island after the endless stories I would share with him about the area. We immediately fell in love with the charm and warmth the island has to offer,” she gushes. In a serendipitous stroke of luck, this home she and Brian now own overlooks the very vacation rental she and her family used to visit many summers ago.
As you take a look inside the four-bedroom house, there’s no doubt that the sea greatly influenced its design. Careful to avoid decorating clichés, Susan and her West Coast design partner chose “just the right mix of beach-chic furnishings that were sophisticated, yet not too terribly serious.” Most of the home’s furnishings are antiques picked up from all over the island and the U.S. Getting the treasures home via ferry is always a bit tricky, but many trips have made Susan an expert.
Since their retreat is nestled amongst ancient trees, Susan was sure to let the home organically mingle with nature. Not once will you find the family closing the curtains to shut out the outdoors. It’s an integral part of why they adore their seaside getaway so much — the breeze and fresh air help the family and their guests unwind. Since they do entertain so frequently, an inviting feel and the ability to comfortably accommodate visitors was also important to the home’s design. Their front door tends to resemble more of a revolving one on some weekends, so nothing in the home is deemed too precious. Without the stress of ensuring not a drop of wine or dinner smudges the home’s facade, Susan is able to enjoy her company to the fullest. She sure has crafted a gorgeous home for her family. Click through to see, and read, more about how she’s done it. Enjoy! —