sneak peek: olga naiman

today’s second sneak peek comes from creative director and prop stylist, olga naiman. olga styled for domino magazine on a regular basis and was the event designer for the magazine’s various events over the years. she currently designs spaces for magazines, catalogs, events, restaurants, and is a creative director for a visual brand development business she is starting with communications strategist amy morris this summer. . her home oozes the sort of style that i can only aspire to one day have, so i’ll cut to the chase and let these beautiful images, and olga‘s text, do the talking. [thank you to tara donne for sharing these photos with us, you can visit tara’s site right here]

[When I moved into this Williamsburg, Brooklyn railroad, I decided I’d spend as little money as possible on re-doing the apartment while staying true to my design aesthetic. Except for the pricey living room rug (vintage Madeline Weinrib at ABC), everything is from flea markets/hand-me-downs/ebay/Ikea : and my goal was to pull everything together and make everything feel like a deliberate choice, not a collection of randomness. I wanted to create an charming, easygoing, imperfect yet intriguing space with each room conveying a different mood. There were no doors in my apartment (save for the bathroom), and I decided to not go to the cost of putting them on. I put curtains onto each doorway instead, and they created softness and provided privacy. The bedroom fits the bed and not much else. Buying a headboard and footboad would have taken away precious inches from the narrow walkway of my railroad, so instead of a bedskirted boxspring on legs situation (felt too formal, too closed in), I went industrial (and cheap!) with these home depot cement blocks. I put a plank of wood on the blocks to provide support for the mattress…but decided the setup needed some glam. The gold painted on ‘headboard’ poshed up the room and add some glitz to the industrial cobbled together bed….the gold lamps pushed it even more into glam. Yellow bedside table from A&G Merch in Williamsburg (around $250)*Top Image by Ditte Isager]

[The living room was windowless pass through room with the ugliest stucco walls imaginable. I decided to not spend the money on redoing the walls, and hung fabric on them instead, for a rich, Tangiers in the 70’s opium lounge feel. I bought the low silver coffee table (around $150) at Butala Emporium in Queens and some pink sarree fabric (around $75) from one of the many saree shops across the street from Butala Emporium. The sleek 1970’s chair is from ebay (around $200)…..and this couch was the tiniest I could find, 55″, that folded out into a double bed. It came from Surprise Surprise in NYC, and was also around $250. I never had good art, but solved the problem by hanging what I did have in an interesting way. *Image by Ditte Isager]

[The Office: The front room + biggest room in the apartment. I spent the most time there working and consuming endless cups of coffee. It faces the street and gets the most light. The middle curtain panel hides a HUGE brown air conditioning unit that was inserted into the wall in the 70’s. The curtain could be pulled aside when the air conditioning is on during the summer months. I tacked all my inspiration pictures right onto the wall to the left of the desk, willy-nilly. I bought these file cabinets through craigslist (they were a beat up black) and had them spray painted a fresh apple green. Pink and gold vase from Ikea (around $60). Stainless steel plant pot under the desk is used as paper recylce bin (around $75)]

[The kitchen was big (for NYC) but had no counterspace to speak of. The pluses where pretty 1950’s appliances and the nook sink that I prettified with some lace I bought off ebay. I went to home depot and knocked together this open cupboard/countertop which is perfect for preparing food. I filled the walls with Eastern European odds and ends to push the vibe into eastern european granny kitchen, and make the whole thing visually cohesive. The kitchen table is a Saarinen knock-off from Ikea (about $200). *Third Image Above by Ditte Isager]


CLICK HERE for additional, full-sized images after the jump!

[*Image by Ditte Isager]

[*Image by Ditte Isager]

  1. joy says:

    wow..just stunning…

  2. Begoña says:

    muy personal , donde se nota la espiritualidad

  3. Laura says:

    oh. my. what a gorgeous space! I love her taste-I would definitely want that apartment in a second. I love the light and little touches that make it special and cozy. Beautiful

  4. Shandell's says:

    Love the bedroom, the shoe storage is great.

  5. Gary says:

    Great creativity and ingenuity at creating this cool and comfortable space.
    I really dig the cinder block and wood bed!! Just my kinda thing :)

  6. Dana says:

    Wooow, those pics are just awesome!

  7. Manuela says:

    Delicious. Bedroom my favourite ever. Kitchen also beautiful!

  8. sharon says:

    wow the colors are just amazing…she is so talented! wish we could have seen what it looked like before to get the full before-and-after effect!

  9. Jezebel says:

    it’s inspiring enough, but then add the fact that the raw space is almost exactly like my apartment…i might have to nick some ideas!

  10. Mouse says:

    1. HOT PINK!! Love it.

    2. What’s with birdcages? I quite like them, and I’ve seen several around all of a sudden…

  11. Olga Naiman says:

    Hey Mouse!

    I actually have a cockatiel, and that cage is his……I bought it at Pearl River in Dowtown Manhattan….they have all sizes, and several colors. This one cost around $175 if memory serves me correctly. Thanks for your post!

  12. Johanna says:

    Just utterly lovely… so relaxed and beautiful.

  13. nath says:

    really interesting and individual.

  14. Amanda Fall says:

    Okay, pick up my jaw from the floor…

    That living room is amazing–the hot pink fabric just blows me away!

  15. absolutely beautiful! i really love that kitchen!

  16. chloe says:

    Loving loving loving that yellow bedside table – Olga, how long ago did you buy it?? I didn’t see it on the A&G website…it is perfect.

  17. Layla says:

    I love how the texture of someone’s home can tell you so much about them. I love seeing someone’s house for the first time and just…feeling them! This house has so much character and texture and with all the houses I love how the simplicity or sweet clutter give you a glimpse at a little moment/space in these people’s worlds. Love the sneak peeks!!

  18. Olga Naiman says:

    Chloe : I bought it in the summer of ’06. I would give A&G a call and describe the piece…… they may have it on the floor. If they don’t carry it anymore, they may tell you who manufactured it and then you can see if its still in production. I imagine a classic piece like this is still around…….if you run into a dead end let me know and I will ask around about it. Best of luck!!!!

  19. kim says:

    the large inkblot-esque/mirrored bw print above the green in the office is very nice- i don’t suppose anyone has any clues as to artist/purchase info?

  20. Kathryn says:

    fabulous! love the eastern european granny decor. perfecto!

  21. Elyse says:

    Yay! Greatness. =)

  22. This is such a lovely example of creativity! Bravo!

  23. Rossana says:

    I love the kitchen ! Gorgeous !

  24. There is just one word for all of this richness that I have seen here – opulence beyond belief.

  25. ali richards says:

    oh yeah… GREAT sneak peeks today Grace :)

    1. grace says:

      thanks ali :)

  26. Mariam says:

    I love the colors in the living room!!

  27. palindrome says:

    I love seeing what people can do with small budgets and thrift store finds. Your apartment is magazine-worthy.

    P.S. I really like the color of your kitchen/dining area’s ceiling — could you share the brand/name?

  28. Maya says:

    LOVE the kitchen!

  29. chelsea says:

    Absolutely stunning. And thanks for including a picture with a bird cage. I have three parrots and integrating their cages into my decor is challenging. Ditto my rabbit’s (indoor) cage and my dog’s crate!

  30. DesignerKim says:

    This is adorable. I’m not crazy about the cinder blocks supporting the bed but I think the designer did a nice job of making them work. I also love a girl who is not afraid of a little color. Brava.

  31. Olga Naiman says:

    Kim, Hello.

    You asked about the inkblot painting. Its actually a photograph by artist (and friend) Miranda Lloyd. You can see her work on

  32. Olga Naiman says:

    Hello, Palindrome

    I wish I could give you the name of my ceiling color- it was there when I moved in, and looks like its been there since at least the 70’s. Thanks for your query!


  33. Kelly M says:

    The fur throw on the bed is amazing. Where is it from?

  34. Lulu says:

    Hi Olga, These rooms look beautiful! I noticed you have beautiful drapes in many of the windows and in front of cabinets. I assume they are custom made? Do you have any tips on buying pretty but inexpensive curtains, how to decide correct length, etc? Thank you!

  35. Shaina says:

    i loved the yellow side table, as well…and was instantly reminded of this one from ikea:

    beautiful, beautiful, beautiful work! you have an amazing eye for design and i ADORE your attention to detail. i have a feeling that you would be able to design the nursery of my dreams for my daughter.

  36. kim says:

    olga, thanks so much for the link for the art- really appreciate it. :)

  37. Love the fuschia and other bright pops of color!

  38. Olga Naiman says:

    Hey Kelly M!

    The throw on the bed isn’t fur…its mohair! a fine, non-scratchy mohair that I got in a flea market in a small town in france…….sorry I can’t give you a better source…..


  39. Dawn says:

    I want to move in! I love a home that looks like people live there. I also like that your family’s personality is so evident in every room! Just stunning.

  40. jessica says:

    love love love the kitchen. i’m sad i didn’t get to see it in person!

  41. Geoff says:

    Pure beauty……Inspiring!

  42. Amy says:

    VERY COOL!!!! The space has so many cool new twists that make you mw WOW!

  43. A Despi says:

    my opium den dream space. i die!

  44. kendall Kerrigan says:

    hey olga! the pillows on ur bed…the striped ones, where might i ask did u get those, i found some like in a lighter chinois blue at dwell studio, but where did u get urs

  45. Hannah says:

    Great kitchen, love what you’ve done with such a small space.

  46. Hi Olga, dunno if this comment thread is still active, Re – wicker elephant in the office..

    I have one of these and people keep asking me where I got it, mine was a garage sale find ($5!) and yours?

  47. N_in_NH says:

    I know this is an old post, but does anyone know what that paint color is on the ceiling?


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