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Fashion designer Rebecca Taylor at home on Shelter Island


Taylor Made

By Sarah Bray

Photos Courtesy of Rebecca Taylor


At their cottage on Shelter Island, fashion designer Rebecca Taylor and her husband, artist Wayne Pate, embrace effortless style.

How has your quiet Hamptons escape inspired some of your pieces?
We’ve been going out to Shelter Island for 13 years. You don’t need much while you’re out there—some good food, good wine and family. It’s easygoing. You never have to dress up on Shelter Island, except if you want to wear a pretty sundress out for dinner.

What are you looking forward to this summer out East?
Our pop-up at The Surf Lodge Aug. 18 and 19.

You tend to design with a lot of free-flowing floral prints. Do these take their inspiration from your Hamptons gardens?
Yes, I do think some of my prints are inspired by my garden. My husband and I have a pretty big garden in Shelter Island, and we love working on it every weekend—it’s quite therapeutic. We grow everything from tomatoes to peonies.

Tell me about the house: Did you decorate it yourself?
It’s a 1920s bungalow and not necessarily historic, but [it] now enjoys a place in our family’s history. My kids have been coming since they were born. We can’t imagine a summer not on the island.

A coat rack near the entryway of her 1920s bungalow

You put your signature shabby-chic touch on much of the house. What improvement has really paid off?
My husband and I whitewashed all the wood, including the floors. It really opened it up and made it feel cool and airy. We use a palette of blue and white.

You’re married to an artist, is his art all around the house?
My husband decoupaged our bedroom door out of an old art book we picked up at local secondhand book store Black Cat.

Does Shelter Island remind you of your childhood?
I grew up in New Zealand, but Shelter Island reminds me of where I grew up, and my husband and I fell in love with our house there when we saw it. I love how quaint and quiet things are on the island, and my children love riding their bikes all around town, going horseback riding, swimming in the pool and eating dinner together under the stars.

What are your favorite family traditions?
I love sharing family meals underneath a huge tree in our backyard—there’s a great breeze and it feels like I’m back home in New Zealand.  

Wayne Pate waters the plants on the back deck.