For years, interior designer Rhea White and architect Steve Schappacher lived and worked in Manhattan and spent weekends on Shelter Island. But once they were on the island, they found it increasingly difficult to leave. The summer before they became permanent residents, they spent only seven or eight nights in the city, so “we decided to refocus and move to the island full time.” Their new house, which dates from the 1920s, was originally a single-room cottage with a stone fireplace. Added onto over the years, it had become an agglomeration of not particularly attractive little buildings and enclosed porches. Schappacher and White ended up demoing about 50 percent of it, while trying to maintain the integrity of the component parts. Then they expanded it, creating a nonlinear layout that they say they probably wouldn’t have done had they started from scratch, and turned the freestanding former garage into their office. Furnishings in the kitchen and throughout the house tend to hew closely to a chic, stark palette of black, white, and taupe. Deeply layered textures, from nubby linen fabrics to the hand-scraped floors, make up for the lack of color. “Our friends are such a colorful cast of characters already,” White says, “that we don’t want our house to compete with them.” HC&G, Sept 2016
Shanty Bay