sneak peek: kate hayes and jack ehrbar


Interior designer Kate Hayes and Jack Ehrbar like a little bit of everything — from Deco to Danish to warm modern — and their Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, home reflects this eclectic mix. Kate feels so lucky to love what she does (she started in women’s wear but found her love of design went beyond the mannequin), and as an independent residential designer, her work spans a wide range of projects, from a 10-year-old girl’s bedroom to a downtown penthouse. Being southern, Kate loves a sense of history and soul in a space, keeping it personal and warm with a dose of whimsy. In her client work, she often turns to Baldwin, Maugham, Duquette, Frank and Hicks for inspiration, believing you can’t go wrong with designs that look relevant 50 or even 100 years later. Thanks, Kate, and thanks to Eddie McShane for the great photos! — Anne

Image above: My favorite place to sit . . . the café table was my great grandmother’s, and I am a map nerd. I like the combination of history and adventure in one spot!

Image above: This is Jack’s “man corner,” but I commandeer the chair every now and then to plop down with a good book. The nautical lamp (from Filaments on 13th Street) is a favorite and provides the perfect reading glow.

The rest of Kate and Jack’s sneak peek continues after the jump!

Image above: The “E” is from my brother and sister in law, and holds my grandmother’s old aprons, which I wear frequently. The chalkboard paint wall creates a clean matte-black background for pots — we cook a lot and like having them easy to grab off a hook. I especially love my True Grits and How to Cook Everything cookbooks!

Image above: The dining room paint color is BM Grey Timber Wolf. Our dog Rosie guards the dining table. She’s cantankerous hilarity in a ball of black fur, and we love her dearly. The Parsons table is West Elm and Windsor chairs are hand-me-downs from my in-laws. The pendant is Ikea. The large photograph is by Jack’s talented cousin, Mikael Kennedy. Jack and I both have family who live in Portland, OR, and the image of Cannon Beach reminds us of our western kin. The funny print tablecloth currently on our bar was my grandmother’s — definitely retro. We love having people over for dinner parties, and the proper dining room (a treat in New York) is wonderful and a first for both of us.

Image above: We fashioned the side table out of a large Peanuts book and Saarinen base (can still read it if desired!). The pensive African statue is Jack’s from Tanzania. We have way too many books, so we decided to stack them, which isn’t ideal for the bottom ones, but we keep frequented ones toward the top. I love how they make the corner feel so inviting.

Image above: Oh, that Sisyphus bookend! His shape is beautiful, and the other end is, of course, a huge (comparatively) stone. The “globe” is an antique cigarette holder, and the gorgeous gold-rimmed bowl was a wedding present. If you haven’t noticed, I adore gold.

Image above: Our living room floor is covered with a smattering of rugs, which add interest and fun lines and also hide dog hair well. The largest one is Madeline Weinrib and was found at her sample sale. We recently moved the work desk by the window, and I love having the light stream in late afternoons while working. The red pillow adds a much-needed punch to the ABC Home warehouse chair. I had a pair made from a Marc Jacobs fabric from Mood in the garment district. The pendant is from the same successful ABC trip and has a distinctly Japanese feel. “Drinking man” (center photograph) is another of Mikael’s and serves as a nod to our wild 20s. This room is where we kick back and unwind from our strenuous days.

Image above: One inspired weekend, I painted our bathroom in the style of Christian Berard, with trompe l’oeil lines that add interest to an otherwise straightforward black and white space. The playful artwork is a sock puppet of Charles Dickens by a New York artist named Marty. It’s part of “The Three Guys Named Charles” series of Dickens, Darwin, and Charles in Charge. It makes me smile every time I see it.

Image above: Another book stack serves as our bedside table, consisting mainly of my often-referred-to design books. The lamp was a great find in Queens at a shop near Build it Green. The bed throw is from a recent trip to England, and the all-wool plaid feels so cozy and warm that I had to buy it. Lavenham (where purchased) was a wool-manufacturing town during the Middle Ages and one of the wealthiest towns in England at the time!

Image above: Our walls are BM Pale Oats with Sage Mountain trim and hold a melange of artwork: my cousin’s watercolors, my friend Tori’s painting, a beautiful painting of Montmartre, two pieces my talented Mom did, old family photos, our wedding invitation, a National poster and even a floral painting I found by a trash can on the UWS and had to take home.
Image above: I found this great Deco armoire at Opus 418 when I lived down the street in Williamsburg. The owner told me it was from an old New York hotel room. We are grateful for all the closed storage it provides. Our overflowing hat collection sits on top.

  1. I love that there are books everywhere, even in the construction of furniture. Very cool.

  2. catherine says:

    I am a huge fan of Kate’s work. She knows how to find a style that brings out who you and your family really are.
    And I love her place… I’m having envy issues over the rugs.

  3. Kate says:

    love this home! so warm and creative.

  4. Tammy says:

    Well done, Kate! It’s beautiful.

  5. Thomasin says:

    Kate’s home is elegant, warm, charming – clearly the design reflecting its designer (what a lovely portrait!)

  6. I really love these sneak peeks. They are pure inspiration and creativity boost. Love the details of this house interiors, the piles of books and the wood floor. Cozy and sophisticated.

  7. Kathryn Bradwell says:

    Love this apartment! Well done, Kate! It looks so cozy, inviting, and well edited. I especially dig the chalkboard paint in the kitchen…I just painted chalkboard paint to the backsplash in my own kitchen a few weeks ago!

  8. Tasha says:

    LOVE IT!!! my next two google searches are: christian berard (feel inspired to do a little decorative painting myself) and gold foo dogs (the one next to their tv set is amazing!)
    Thanks for the great post.

  9. Matt says:

    I had Kate help me with my own place in Red Hook Brooklyn. She changed it from just an apartment into a place I call home.

  10. A++ not much more can be said. Gorgeous apartment!

  11. Oh my, gorgeous! Anyone have a source for those amazing pillows with gold dots on them?

  12. Jenny says:

    Love the polka dot pillow! Can you tell me where you found it?

  13. Mary says:

    Fresh and unique…and great fun! You have created a charming environment.

  14. Kate Hayes says:

    Thanks all! The kind words are very much appreciated. The gold dot pillows are West Elm and should still be available (recent purchase)!

  15. Evita says:

    I love it all, but I want that ‘E’!

  16. kamila says:

    yay..just did my daily design sponge check and saw this. Congrats guys! xoxo Kamila and Eron

  17. Madie says:

    I love the relaxed and bohemian vibe!

  18. Ranie says:

    Oh so wonderful!!! I love the rugs – love the lamps- love the pillows – love the designer!

  19. Beautiful Kate and Eddie ;) I feel so “at home” in this home! xo

  20. Katie says:

    Wow. I wish I could just move into the first picture.

  21. Jemma Smith says:

    Really like the clean, bold look of the white table with the large black light shade above.

  22. Margaret says:

    I’m a map freak too! So nice to hear there are others.

  23. I want to live here! I love my books but I especially love the man in my home too. :)

  24. midori says:

    One of my favorite sneak peeks ever! Great style and an enviable sense of what makes a home livable and unique to its inhabitants. The portrait at the end just captures the designer’s confidence and whimsicality perfectly, too.

  25. Lauri Eisenberg says:

    looks great! What a beautiful home you guys have- congrats!

  26. Colleen from the Bronx says:

    Lovely, lovely home. Warmth and joy are evident. Great job!

  27. Tiffany says:

    beautiful! i want the world map<3


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