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Tricia Foley's Yaphank and Brookhaven

September 3rd 2019
Tricia Foley is a designer, author, material culture curator.

She was born and brought up on Long Island and is now based there again after many years of living and working in NYC in the worlds of design and publishing.  Her work has covered all aspects of home design from editorial to advertising, interior design and book design, product development and retail.   Most recently she has added historic preservation and exhibition design to her repertoire of design expertise.

In our September Scout feature, Tricia Foley shares a few of her favorite locations in the Yaphank / Brookhaven area of Long Island.

Yaphank - Location 3146


What was your route to becoming an interior designer?

I was an art history/photography major in college and then went on to study interior design and architecture at Parsons.  My interior design path was in magazine and book publishing, designing homes for the pages of House Beautiful and Country Home, and creating locations for Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart.

What have been your career highlights?

My work covers all aspects of home design and has taken me all over the world, doing books on British colonial design in India and Africa, tea rituals in Japan, nautical style in Nantucket and Maine and culling the best of 18th century design at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.  I’ve designed a manor house by the sea in Ireland for friends and most recently, designed comedian Chris Rock’s country house and NYC apartment.

I am now enjoying restoring historic houses in the Yaphank and Brookhaven areas and researching the stories of the amazing people who lived here in the past.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I love books, reading them and creating them!  Traveling to historic houses and gardens and going to museums and new galleries and restaurants. NY and London are my go to destinations for architectural and interior inspiration.

How long have you lived in Yaphank and what is it about the community you love?

After many years of living in the city as a magazine editor/designer and spending weekends in the Yaphank area,  I found the beach house of my dreams 5 mintues away and moved out to Brookhaven Hamlet full time. I love living by the sea, with farm stands down the road, and the growing artistic and international community here.

What’s your favorite season there?

The views from my windows on to the marshes are beautiful every season, but I love spring the best, seeing the flowering fruit trees and masses of daffodils along the picket fences and country roads here.

Brookhaven - Location 3146

Yaphank - Location 8056

What drew you to the houses you selected?

Yaphank’s Historic District has many 19th century houses which represent 100 years of local history and design and architecture.  I’ve always lived in old houses, and wonder who lived there, and what they were like…but I grew up in a very modern house, and now I’m living in another white modern house!

Architecturally what inspires you?

The Parrish Art Museum,  represents good architecture to me, which is natural for the Long Island landscape.  The Watermill Center, is another great Long Island cultural destination. I love old houses, barns, industrial spaces with honest materials, lots of wood and glass and natural landscaping and that’s what this area is about.. Space and light and classic proportions are so important and make a space feel comfortable and inspiring.

If you weren’t an interior designer what would you like to do?

I think I’m already doing it!

In addition to designing a beach house for a Florida client, I’m working on a new book on the houses of this area, as well as researching old houses and restoring them, designing exhibitions on local cultural life of the past.

Every day is different, and I’m doing what I love.


Yaphank - Location 8051

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