sneak peek: susan and william brinson

susan and william brinson are high school sweethearts. the couple met at william’s 16th birthday party (when his parents were out of town – always an ingredient for a cool party!). after high school, the couple jointly attended the savannah college of art and design and then shortly after graduation, they moved to new york which has been home for the last ten years. then just six months ago, they moved into this loft in the newly christened NoMad neighborhood (north of madison square park). as a commercial photographer, william needed more space and the loft’s 2,000 square feet has been converted into mostly work space. susan is an art director and has her own stationery line – she also designs custom wedding invitations. the apartment is filled with friends and clients, and most days you’ll find them gathered around the huge dining table! (see additional photos on flickr!) {thanks susan and william! and particular thanks to william for the lovely photographs!}amy a.

[Overall, our style is about contrast: black and white, light and dark, masculine and feminine, old and new, rustic and modern. Many of our belongings are collected, or given to us by friends or family. The items that friends and family give us are our favorite because they mean so much. We also buy a lot of vintage on Craigslist, Ebay, and thrift stores. We are DIY junkies, we built all the walls, installed lighting, wallpapered, you name it we are into it!]

[image above: Our bedroom is a bit more feminine and softer than the rest of the loft. This is our retreat and a place we relax. We made it large enough for a sitting area so if I come home while William is shooting, I can sneak in the back and let him wrap up the shoot. The furniture is almost all vintage, the headboard was William’s grandparents, the dressers are from Savannah – we bought them in college. I have a tea cup collection that my Grandma, Mom, Aunts and friends have contributed to. Each tea cup has it’s own personality.]

CLICK HERE for more of Susan and William’s Peek (and all 20 images on one page!)

[image above: The lighting fixture is a DIY project we tackled. It has 100 bulbs. It took us a while to put it together! Only 10 bulbs are active, so they light up the non active bulbs. It is really beautiful when lit. The back wall with salon style art work was a great way for us to display collected art that was very different from each other. Pages from The Grammar of Ornament and a skull from William’s uncle are included. Our favorite piece is from artist Emily St John – an oil painting portrait of our boxer dog, Nero.]

[image above: The table is from Restoration Hardware. We had to think about seating everyone on a photo shoot, so the table is very large. We have eight Thonet chairs purchased from Craigslist.]

[My brother-in-law, Mickael Fonteneau designed and built two custom benches to increase the seating to 18 for large photoshoots/dinner parties. The benches are like having 8 folding chairs!]

[image above: Our kitchen is a bit unconventional. We have a very large open kitchen because William photographs food, so we needed a good work area for him and a food stylist. We also love to cook, so we use the space as well. There is almost no furniture  in the studio because William photographs using daylight and photo lights, so he needs a lot of empty space to set up. The cabinets, sink and counter are from Ikea.]

[image above: We wanted to make the kitchen feel ‘older’ so we added the embossed wall paper you can paint. We painted it with outdoor, high gloss paint.The island is a craigslist purchase. Most of our cookware is vintage, I like to buy little pieces for a few dollars, they are nothing fancy, and the more used they look the more I like them.]

[image above: The vintage bus stop sign (below) was a gift from our friend Nathan Kipe.]

[image above: The knife pattern on the wall is from Lamson & Goodnow, which is based in Shelburne Falls – it is the left over part after the knives have been cut out. We picked up at Brooklyn Kitchen.]

[image above:The desk is a DIY project made from plywood covered in cork tiles. Most of the desk objects are vintage. The horse shoes are really donkey shoes  (below) and were a gift from our friend Tiziana Agnello who brought them back from a trip to Mexico.]

  1. Marie says:

    It’s so refreshing/inspiring/hopeful to see a NYC loft space that hasn’t been destroyed with drywall by some developer and turned into a cookie cutter “loft” space without one particle of character left. This space actually speaks of the talented people who live and work there. As a native NYer I remember playing in these types of lofts as a kid. Bravo!

  2. Vanessa says:

    This is gorgeous! It’s like a page out of an “Anthropologie” ad. I love it!!

  3. annie says:

    It’s amazing how many brilliant ideas and collections you have packed into one apartment. It’s beyond gorgeous! I wish i could see that light fixture lit up at night! Lighting is the most important thing and i can just imagine that this is something to see.

    annie diamond

  4. Very nice design. nice room.

  5. Charlene says:


  6. Jamie says:

    Can I come live with you?

  7. Simon says:

    Hi. Would you mind sharing where you got the bedside table from in picture one. Thanks

  8. Tia says:

    I saw this one in the Design*Sponge hardcover coffee table book and had to check out more of it online. Fantastic space, Brinsons! My favourite pieces are the 100 lightbulb chandelier and the huge dining table.

    1. Amy Azzarito says:

      Tia – Thanks so much for coming over to visit us online. :) Hope you enjoy the book.
      xo Amy

  9. Courtney Crook says:

    This is really a beautiful and cozy home. What kind of headboard is that and where can i find one?? Fab.

  10. I’ve been searching for a bedspread similar the duvet in this sneak peek ever since I ran across it almost a year ago. I finally found a quilt on Etsy with the same aesthetic & I’m so excited I just had to share!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.