Decorating tips from a Long Island interior designer

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Locust Valley interior designer Meg Braff is in love with color, and nowhere is that more apparent than in her new book, “The Decorated Home: Living With Style and Joy” (Rizzoli, $45). The 240-page book features color photographs of boldly designed and lushly colored rooms, many on Long Island.

The book, her first, is a collection of some of her more recent projects, which range from Long Island and Rhode Island to Florida, Jamaica and other locations. “This book spans about 10 years of my 25-year design career,” says Braff, whose store showcases patterns from her wallpaper company, as well as a revolving inventory of antiques, new furnishings and lighting.

The pages are filled with Braff’s vibrant, signature style. “Some of the elements I use to showcase my design style are cheerful, bright colors, chinoiserie, and midcentury furnishings,” says Braff. But she insists that anyone can bring ideas to life. “I hope that what readers take away about decorating is to embrace the things and the colors they love,” she says. 

Locust Valley interior designer Meg Braff in a
(Credit: Audrey C. Tiernan)

Interior designer Meg Braff in a seating area inside the master bedroom suite of her Locust Valley home. 

The cover of the latest home decor book
(Credit: Rizzoli)

Her first book, 'The Decorated Home, Living with Style and Joy," has been published by Rizzoli of New York.

It doesn't take a lot to complete a
(Credit: J. Savage Gibson)

It doesn’t take a lot to complete a room. In this apricot-colored Centre Island living room, a comfortably cushioned seating area gets a finishing touch with a bold painting. “Start with art,” says Braff. “One well-chosen painting can inspire and pull together an entire room’s palette.”

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This Southampton bedroom is surprisingly soothing, with its
(Credit: J. Savage Gibson)

This Southampton bedroom is surprisingly soothing, with its multiple shades of crisp spring greens. Braff says that even with this much color, standout pieces emerge. “One outstanding detail can really make a monochromatic bedroom,” says Braff. “Here, the curtains are the showstopper.”

The soft blue in this Locust Valley bedroom
(Credit: Francesco Lagnese)

The soft blue in this Locust Valley bedroom strikes a balance that’s neither overtly masculine nor feminine. “Paired with crisp white, it’s serene without feeling too saccharine,” says Braff. “I like to tie in a key color in several places throughout a room for a cohesive look. Here, the legs of the bench and the trim on the draperies match the light blue in upholstery.”

In this bright Locust Valley living room with
(Credit: Ashley Linger & Co./James Merrell)

In this bright Locust Valley living room with its green checkered couch, blue accents add a subtle pop, while antique furniture seamlessly blends with new pieces. “In new construction, it’s important to mix in pieces that have some history,” says Braff. “Here, traditional furniture pieces and an old-fashioned coffee table do the trick.”

Don't limit yourself to neutral colors when it
(Credit: Frances Janish)

Don’t limit yourself to neutral colors when it comes to furniture. In this Locust Valley living room, a red game table pops against bright yellow curtains. “Painting vintage furniture a vivid hue is a great way to freshen up the look and give vintage pieces that might not be in perfect condition new life,” says Braff.

When planning an outdoor room, Braff likes to
(Credit: J. Savage Gibson)

When planning an outdoor room, Braff says she likes to find solutions that allow for a seamless transition between inside and out. For this Locust Valley terrace, which is situated between the pool house and the backyard, Braff also made a point of creating ample space for entertaining. “I love entertaining outdoors,” she says. “My advice is to choose the biggest table you can fit, and then invite over some friends. The more the merrier.”

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A feature on Buying In Locust Valley, this
(Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan)

On Saturday, April 29, Meg Braff will be working with the Locust Valley Chamber of Commerce to host the Locust Valley Spring Shopping Celebration. As part of the event, many Locust Valley shops plan to donate 15 percent of their proceeds to The Elizabeth R. Woods Foundation at the Cold Spring Harbor Lab, which benefits lung cancer research. The event includes an open house at Meg Braff Antiques & Decoration (92 Forest Ave., Locust Valley), where Braff will be on hand to sign books from 1 to 5 p.m. Other participating shops include J. McLaughlin, Mint, Tessa Reed, Le Joaillier, G Willikers, Daniel Gale Realty and Trois Jour. Most stores are planning refreshments, and the weekend also features the Locust Valley Public Library annual book sale. 

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