This Tranquil Home Just Mastered Decorating With Neutrals

Peek inside this dreamy Long Island retreat.
Anna Kocharian Avatar

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Renovating a home can be a lengthy and arduous process. Throw in a tight deadline, and things get exponentially more difficult. Such was the case for  and interior designer , who both found themselves pregnant about a week into the renovation of Charbin’s home. With their due dates only a month apart, Chaus had less than a year to complete the project.

The original configuration of the home featured a 950-square-foot layout, two bedrooms, and one bathroom. The reno entailed adding an additional 400 square feet for the master bedroom and bath, tearing out the dropped ceilings, and designing the entire space from square one. Here’s how they did it. 

What was the primary inspiration behind the decor?


Lacey Chaus

: Susannah was drawn to the light that came into the house and the existing peaceful quality of the woodland surroundings, so our goal was to create a home that would complement and embrace that. To do so, we added as many windows to the house as we could, which means that anywhere you stand or sit in the home, you have a view of the outside. We pushed the ceilings up throughout the home, allowing the sun to flood into the lofty, airy rooms.  

The home featured a mix of high-low design elements, which included Ikea kitchen cabinets.

We love the little nook with the table. What’s the story behind that spot?


: I just love the kitchen dining table nook. This area originally housed the washer / dryer and had a very small window, we redesigned the area completely, adding in a larger window and creating space for a small dining table with a window seat banquette. The kitchen is quite small even after we gained some square feet by eliminating an existing bathroom. We couldn’t give up cabinet space for windows there, so the best location to allow light in was above the built-in banquette. It worked out perfectly. Susannah and I found the lamp at the FAIR showroom and we both immediately knew it was the perfect piece. The rest of the kitchen furnishings came into place around it.  

What led to the decision to keep the overall palette of the home on the neutral side?



: We wanted the home to complement its surroundings. Our inspiration was simply found just outside the windows. The aesthetic of the home is timeless, serene, and welcoming. 

What is your favorite spot in the home and why?


Susannah Charbin

: My favorite area in the house is the very zen master bedroom that Lacey designed around our request for a fireplace and window seats. We were allotted  limited square footage to create the room, but Lacey did such an amazing job of visualizing what the space could be beyond the size restrictions. As we couldn’t expand out, Lacey went up with the high ceilings, which gave the room a very airy and tranquil feel. 

The tranquil feel was further emphasized by the oversized AY Illuminate light fixture, which was affectionately nicknamed “the shrimp net” by the contractors, and is one of my favorite pieces in the house.

How did you use texture to instill a more dynamic element to the decor?



: As the house was small we kept the color palette muted and neutral so that the rooms could flow, but this meant that adding texture to elevate the tones was important.  To accomplish this, we installed bamboo wallcoverings, woven rattan kitchen chairs, locally crafted wooden pieces from the Hudson, chunky throws, and velvet fabrics from one of Susannah’s clients. The home exudes a peaceful quality that is perfectly in tune with the glorious woodland vistas.  


Where there any challenges involved with the design?



: About a week into this renovation project, Susannah and I found out we were both pregnant with Susannah’s due date a month before mine. Susannah’s due date was the hard fast completion date for this project, which definitely added a level of pressure. We needed to get her family into their home in time for the new arrival. In some ways, it added an element of humor to the entire process and the time flew by quickly.

Related reading:

Trend We’re Loving: Decorating With Desert Neutrals 14 Sweet Nursery Ideas You’ll Want To Steal ASAP 10 Rooms That Prove Neutral Doesn’t Mean Boring

Anna Kocharian Avatar

Anna Kocharian


Anna has a penchant for travel, fresh flowers, and books. You can usually find her on some sort of culinary adventure, seeking the best burgers or waffles in the city.