On Wednesday, The Glam Pad featured highlights from designer Sallie Giordano’s classic portfolio, and today we will tour her historic Long Island weekend home! For the last 20 years, Sallie has led the New York branch of her mother’s legendary Palm Beach design firm, Leta Austin Foster & Associates. When Sallie and her husband, Mark, were looking for a family weekend retreat from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, they found a storied 17th century home that was visited by George Washington in 1790. It had an awkward layout but great potential. “The place was built in 1651, and it’s been added on to many, many times. When we first saw it, the front door opened directly into the back of a stairway,” Sallie said. But it was loaded with charm, so the couple quickly enlisted architect Tim Hook to rethink the floor plan.
They closed off odd doorways to create wall space in the six upstairs bedrooms, updated the bathrooms, designed period-appropriate mantels for the five fireplaces, moved the front door away from an intrusive staircase, and restored the ceilings to expose original beams. Sallie chose a soft color palette that wouldn’t compete with the stunning water views, and she selected decor that would conjure warmth and memories. For two of the guest rooms, she used curtains from her grandmother’s house. And for the living room, she used a bolt of blue and white fabric she had acquired years ago from her mother. The embroidered gingham bed curtains in the master bedroom are another classic Leta Austin Foster touch, she said. “My mother taught me how to take something formal—like a canopy bed—and make it feel luxurious and casual at the same time. I’ve learned so much from her. For example, she always says a whole house should flow. It should have one personality, and each room should reflect a different aspect of that personality.”