sneak peek: alessandra olanow


Canadian-born illustrator Alessandra Olanow now calls Brooklyn home and today we get a look into her wonderful old Cobble Hill brownstone, which is full of original details, including moldings, plank-wood floors and French doors. She primarily works from her home, so keeping the space simple and clean is crucial, while also surrounding herself with a mix of her own drawings, art from friends and prints that inspire her. But comfort is key for Alessandra, which means having plenty of places for friends and family to sit, relax and laugh. Enjoy the full post below, and click here for additional images, and here for more of Alessandra’s work. Thanks, Alex! Anne

Image above: The apartment gets so much sunlight that I wanted to keep the living room very neutral and just have color in the artwork. This Ben Shaun poster above the dining room table is another favorite. He is a real inspiration for me as an illustrator. The chairs are from Poltrona Frau — I love the combination of the wood and leather.

Image above: In my living room, I really wanted the painting made by an incredibly talented artist Ayca Koseogullari to be the focal point.

Image above: This built-in was a genius idea by my mom who is an interior decorator. There was an awkward space between my living room and my bedroom, so she and her handy man created this daybed with storage underneath.

Image above: My bedroom is where I spend much of my time. I don’t have a television so I read a lot and one of my favorite places to do that is in bed. The drawing is one I made years ago of a close friend. Books are scattered throughout my place. I love all sorts of art books and furniture books. I found that great mirror at a sweet spot in the East Village called the Upper Rust. I like to have flowers around — I think they always cheer a room up and there’s a great flower shop in Williamsburg called Sprout. The coverlet I found in Marrakesh and the throw was a present from a friend from Turkey.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Alessandra’s sneak peek after the jump!

Image above: You enter my little office space on the left in this picture. So I have a few prints there to remind me that I need to keep relaxed. The “Be Calm” poster is one of my favorites made by the late Louise Bourgeois. You can find it at

Image above: My bathroom is kind of funny. There is a huge step as you go in and it’s very narrow. There’s not room for much so I just keep it simple with a few drawings and little plants.

Image above: These cabinets were built in to take the most advantage of this small room which I use as my office. I recently started a line of tote bags and letterpress cards with my partner Tim Chapman and I store a lot of our inventory here. The chair was a great find at the housing works on 10th St. and Hudson. I always get incredible things at that place. Otherwise I try and keep the space playful with color-coded books and drawings or clippings.

  1. Wow, such lovely light. I love the white with the plank wood floors. calming and cabin-y at the same time.

  2. Liz says:

    How soothing and pretty! Love it.

  3. Cary says:

    i’m really drawn to this one… it looks very calm and peaceful here. i wish i had someone to make built-in’s for me! looks great.

  4. Wendy Kelly says:

    Love the peace that shines through in this home.

  5. Marcelin says:

    Love the variation between the large plank hard wood floors and then the thin ones. You can tell they have been worn in very nicely.

  6. Anna says:

    I love the Une femme est une femme poster. Where is it from?

  7. frances says:

    would you share where you got the pair of tables in front of the couch from? i really like them.

  8. courtney says:

    where are those little coffee tables in front of the couch from?

  9. elana says:

    What a warm and stylish space!
    I’ve purchased fantastic tote bags and cards designed by Alessandra on her site

  10. Martha says:

    I will make a third request to know where the pair of tables in front of the couch come from… those are just what I’ve been looking for.

  11. greeneryart says:

    Oh, I love this one. It’s not even necessarily my style, but the modern+warmth+art+light+vintage combo is just so inviting. Thanks for sharing!

  12. sabrownin says:

    Are the ceilings in the living room original or are they tiles/paper? Our ceilings need to be covered and I think those are great.

  13. Kristen says:

    This is just so lovely and calming. I am now having fantasies about living in Brooklyn.

  14. Seema says:

    love the cosy office space . The idea of day bed with storage is excellent !

  15. alessandra says:

    thanks for all of the kind notes!
    the godard poster was a gift from a friend – but there are a bunch of shops that specialize in old movie posters if you google around or ebay.

    as for the 2 tables – they are from thomas o’brien

  16. alessandra says:

    the godard poster was a gift from a friend – but there are a bunch of shops that specialize in old movie posters if you google around or ebay.

    as for the 2 tables – they are from thomas o’brien

    and the ceilings are original.

    thanks for all of the kind notes!

  17. jill says:

    I am dyingggg over the flooring! Amazing.

  18. MB says:

    I love this space! Great colors and art work.

  19. melanie says:

    so beautiful! i think this is one of my favourites so far. the floors, the brick, the artwork, it’s just lovely! i would die to live here!

  20. ck says:

    the whole thing is lovely… pretty please where is the bedskirt from? It’s exactly what I’ve been on the prowl for…

  21. Petra says:

    I LOVE the coffee tables in the living room. Where are they from?

  22. Yvette says:

    I’m ready to move it! LOVE all the artwork!

  23. Yvette says:

    I’m ready to move in! LOVE all the artwork!

  24. Erica says:

    Those hardwood floor are stunning!

  25. Leah says:

    I’m with Petra — I love the coffee tables in the living room, and I’m looking for something just like them. Please, please, any idea where they’re from?

  26. Susan says:

    Where is that gorgeous glass & wood cabinet from? LOVE it!!

  27. cheryl says:

    beautiful! where did you find the matching table lamps in your bedroom?!

  28. alessandra says:

    the coffee tables and the bedside tables are both from thomas o’brien for hickory chair.

    the bed skirt is from legacy linens – hobe collection

    the glass cabinet is from interlude!

  29. melis says:

    love the office with all the built ins. I’m going to use it as inspiration for my own office.

  30. julian says:

    I love this apartment. So calm and soothing in the big city.

  31. Melissa says:

    I love your space. The artwork is amazing. I especially love the figurative one proped up in front of the fireplace. Where is it from?

  32. claire says:

    where is the couch from? Love everything here.


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