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text by   SHANI SILVER photography by   TIM WILLIAMS

You know when a space works, but sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why you love what you see. The beachside escape pictured here is one of those homes that makes you breathe a calming sigh of relief. It’s owner, Stephanie Michaan of The Interior, recently shared her pearls of wisdom on how you can take the decor rules she applied in her home and bring them into yours.

  1. less really is more

    Moving from an apartment in the city to a house meant I would have to buy a lot to fill the space. I quickly learned the importance of buying less but better and most importantly not overdoing it. Having a few strong pieces and keeping each room open and minimal created a soothing, breathable space.

  1. embrace the environment

    When I started the house I really focused on its location. It’s north of the highway in Bridgehampton, which means its surrounded by stretches of farmland. The house overlooks reserve but is only a five minute drive to the beach. I felt it was important to embrace both aspects, because that is a lot of what the Hamptons has to offer – farms and beach. I wanted the house to feel a part of the area but with a younger and more modern approach.

  1. use what’s existing

    This house has a ton of natural light. Lighting is so important in making a home feel open and happy, the last thing I wanted to do was take away from that. By using lightweight white linen shades and curtains throughout the house I enhanced the amount of natural light, while still providing privacy. The current floors weren’t in great shape but it wasn’t something I felt had to be ripped up and replaced. They were wide planked and gave a farm feel but needed an update. I had a lucky lesson in stripping and staining the yellow pine into a chic almost white natural color.

  1. don’t underestimate the importance landscaping

    When updating an older house I realized the importance of the entrance. The modern and minimal feeling we accomplished on the interior was not matched by the exterior. We lived with it for a few months and decided it was worth investing in a cleaner more thoughtful driveway. By planting some white crate myrtle, hydrangea and replacing an outdated brick path with bluestone, everything seemed more cohesive.

  1. be patient with the process

    The most valuable lesson I learned for my first renovation is to take my time. Sometimes you just need to sit back and relax and trust the plan you made. Living in a space and doing it gradually is so important in it actually becoming a home rather than just a beautiful space.

  1. kitchen & bathrooms

    If there is only one area you can renovate, make it your kitchen and master bathroom. Your kitchen is one room you use A LOT. Even if you don’t love to cook, it says a lot about your space. The kitchen in my house was a small galley kitchen. It was outdated and needed some brightening. By replacing the old appliances and giving it a little facelift, the entire house felt like it had a better quality. The same goes for bathrooms. We did ours slowly, starting with the master bathroom and working our way to the powder room and guest room. Its one of my favorite rooms in the house because it is SO clean and new.