Tour a Summer Home on Shelter Island That's Relaxed by Design
A curved Ochre (ochre.net) sectional is perfectly positioned to take in the seaside view. Hints of brown in the gray linen give it a sun-washed look in bright light and also warm up the room in the darker days of winter. A woodburning stove from Chesney’s, a British heating-appliance designer, chosen for its streamlined look, stands on a marbletopped wood-storage unit. “I wanted to feature it, not hide it,” says Corrie.
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Corrie and Macdonald with their three children—Ivo (with skateboard) and twins Celia (held by Dad) and Alie.
Handblown glass on open shelves feels airy while also defining the dining area. The light fixture above the table only looks precious—it’s wooden, created by a basketmaker in upstate New York. Wall-to-wall sliding glass doors, leading to a wraparound deck, are almost always open to let in the breeze.
The master bath features a castiron enameled tub and tiles from Morocco. The flooring flaunts a graphic floral pattern yet feels right in step with the décor, thanks to the muted colors.
The outdoor shower, where guests can rinse off after a dip in the ocean.
The earthy design theme is carried right into the 4,500-square-foot home’s fabrics and tableware (all from Canvas; canvashomestore.com). It’s a look Corrie describes as reminiscent of something “passed down in the family” and “slightly shabby, but in a good way.”
No place for a fussy cheese platter here—just a large block of Brebirousse d’Argental with fresh figs, sliced peaches, rustic bread and crackers, prosciutto, and a chilled bottle of rosé.
A map of Shelter Island hangs above the cozy banquette in the dining area. “I like colors from nature,” says Macdonald—which explains the predominance of soothing grays, sky blues, and pinks throughout the home. Even the rare splash of deeper hues, as in the pillow covers and upholstery here, echoes what’s growing outside.
Purple, plumelike pampas grass thrives on the 1.4-acre property.
Chilled Melon, Cucumber, and Mint Soup
Macdonald’s signature dish—chilled minty honeydew-melon soup, made with Greek yogurt. “I thought the kids would like it with honey, so I added that too,” says Macdonald. She was right.
Clever design details expand an open kitchen: The refrigerator is built into the wall, not against it. A walk-in larder hides pantry staples, small appliances, and unsightly clutter. The countertop is zinc; the island boasts a heat-resistant glass top and deep drawers. (“A pleasure to use!” says Macdonald.) On the shelf, tableware in a soft palette reflects the ocean hues gleaming through the glass doors across from it.
The weekend routine? Sleep, eat, relax, repeat.
The master bedroom is awash in calming blues and greens.
Alie, perched on a Hans Wegner Wishbone chair, digs into breakfast. The oak table offers an ample 38-inch-wide surface for dining, but its slender profile keeps it from overwhelming the space.
A Niçoise-inspired main-course salad (tossed with grilled salmon, eight-minute eggs, fresh sugar snap peas, watercress, and boiled new potatoes) is a reliable crowd-pleaser.
Family meals often turn into casual gatherings of friends on the deck. The teak table—“nothing refined about it; just a nice, honest, simple table,” says Corrie—has lasted 14 years, predating the house’s rebuild. They liked it so much, they commissioned a second one in cedar, to accommodate a total of 16 guests. “The kids eat with the grown-ups,” he says.
Lemon ice cream—which Ivo makes himself using lemon zest and heavy cream—is served with summer berries.
A built-in banquette (as opposed to loose chairs) streamlines the look of the deck. The pergola provides shade all day long, and the pool is just steps away. “In the evening we sit out here and have a glass of wine,” says Macdonald.
Celia’s room is as bright and airy as the rest of the house, thanks to white paint on the walls, as well as glass doors that lead to the deck.