If you spend time in the Hamptons during the summer, no doubt you’ve come across exquisite home and lifestyle boutique, The Interior. Founded by interior decorator Stephanie Michaan two years ago, the space is one of the Hampton’s best-curated and tranquil stores. Inspired by comfort, a minimal aesthetic and natural elements, the store is centered around design that creates a sense of serenity and lightness, while showcasing a range of brands and talented designers from around the world.
The Interior opened its doors in East Hampton in the summer of 2017, and since then, it has become a covetable destination for homegoods – from beautiful textiles to tabletop decor, apothecary, furniture and accessories. From the moment you walk into the space, Stephanie’s refined beachside taste is evident, proving that less really is more. Welcoming and cozy, The Interior perfectly balances a clean and neutral palette. After studying Interior Design at Parsons, Stephanie worked with private clients until she realized what made her happiest was sourcing, meeting interesting designers and curating a mix of unique finds, which led her to open The Interior. She describes her aesthetic as serene, minimal, warm and inspired by the ocean and travel (clearly, we love!). She moved out of the city to Bridgehampton five years ago, where she’s now based.
We spoke with Stephanie about her source of inspiration, curation, favorite travel destinations, and what it’s like to live beachside year-round...
YOU LIVE OUT EAST YEAR-ROUND, CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT THAT'S LIKE?
Living out east year-round was an adjustment at the beginning, but now I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I’ve grown to appreciate the quiet in the winter and the energy in the summer. I love the sense of community and being more in tune with each season. I’ve always loved being home – cooking and being cozy – so the off season really allows me to embrace slowing down and staying in.
ANY LOCAL SECRETS YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?
My husband and I have a large pup, so we love to find new walks and hikes on the weekends. One of our Sunday rituals is going to the walking dunes in Napeague or Amsterdam Beach in Montauk, followed by brunch at Provisions or Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor.
We absolutely love your minimal aesthetic for The Interior, what is your ethos and the inspiration behind it?
Thank you! I’ve always felt a huge connection between my surroundings and my mood and well-being. I wanted to find ways to create a sense of serenity through simple and easy design, which led me to create The Interior. My original thoughts were to explore all things in the interior of someone’s home: the color palette, furniture, scents and even the foods we fill our fridges with and ultimately how we live and feel. One thing led to the next and I found myself most inspired by designers and creators and wanted to showcase work that I feel brings that sense of peace to a home. The Interior quickly turned into my store.
As lovers of curation, we always want to know what it’s like for others to curate. Can you tell us a little bit about your process?
The most important thing for me when buying for the store is finding special pieces made by people and brands with a similar vision. I have always been really drawn to muted tones and unique objects or pieces that tell a story. Some of my favorite brands that I represent are small designers I’ve found through friends or even on Instagram. I usually buy small amounts, especially if pieces are hand-made and limited and I see if my customers connect to the work as much as I do.
Any word of advice for fellow female entrepreneurs, or anyone wanting to follow their passion?
A piece of advice that was given to me when I wanted to open my store (but had many fears of doing so!) was to commit to a year, learn something, meet new people and if at the end of the year it's not working, that’s okay. But even more importantly, be prepared and have a plan and don’t be afraid to ask for help and support from others.
When you can get away, what are your absolute favorite summer destinations?
While summer is our high-season and it’s important for me to be in the store, I also love escaping. Traveling is one of the most inspiring things for me, especially for buying. I love St. Barths or anywhere in the Mediterranean. I recently planned a trip to Sicily at the end of the summer and excited to explore.
What are your tips for infusing a little Summer in your home?
Changing the materials and scents can be an easy way to transform a space from winter to summer. By using seasonal flowers and grasses, swapping out heavy bedding to lightweight cottons and linens, and using brighter and fresh scented candles and diffusers, the mood of a space can feel lighter and more summery.