WRITTEN BY Kelly Lack
PHOTOS BY Tony Vu
STYLED BY Michelle Wong
No matter where your eye lands in Jeffrey’s living room, it will be on something visually arresting, from the ink drawing surrounded by McKenney & Hall Native American portraits to the Brunschwig & Fils Les Lac floral upholstery.
On three acres in the Long Island town of Locust Valley sits a country house. Not any old country house, but a magical one of three stories and more than 30 rooms that dates to 1668. The house was once in utter disrepair and for years deemed “uninhabitable” until it was lovingly and painstakingly restored. The man who took on the job? Design legend Jeffrey Bilhuber, who works with the kind of clients who show up on the covers of magazines (or run the magazines—Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, had him do her weekend place).
Nine years after buying the house, named Hay Fever for its previous owners, the Hay family, Jeffrey comes here from New York City nearly every weekend with his eight-year-old son, Christoph. For them weekends mean gatherings with friends, trips to the local farmers’ market, romping around outdoors, or just staying home and soaking in all that Jeffrey has created: bold, patternful spaces brimming with American antiques, heirlooms, and blooming floral prints. As you can imagine, we couldn’t wait to step inside.