Interiorssneak peeks

Sneak Peek: PJ Mehaffey & Dylan Hightower

by Amy Azzarito

Since we first featured their Brooklyn apartment, in Design*Sponge at Home, prop stylist P.J. Mehaffey and his partner Dylan Hightower have moved to a new apartment in Prospect Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn. P.J. has created an entire business out of love of repurposing found objects so when it came to his own home, he worked hard not only to find a new life for old things, but also to reuse furniture from his previous apartment in new ways and in new spaces- for example, the guest room daybed became the primary living sofa. He also got to exercise his DIY muscle – making roman shades, painting a giant mural in the bathroom, making the hallway runner and much more. Thanks P.J. and Dylan! And a big thank you to Bob Martus Photography for the lovely photographs! –Amy Azzarito

Image above: Vintage skis as salon shelving. (These appeared in Design*Sponge at Home, but they were in our bedroom in that apartment, here they are the perfect solution for our salon style gallery in the living room. In addition to my interior decorating work, I am also a prop and set stylist, which means I collect a lot of stuff. A cool way to store it, for me, is to just display it as a collection, or art. So often to make disparate groups seem unified, I get creative with the way I display things. The skis overall have a floral thing happening, but for interest, I added pieces from my beloved yarn art collection and then threw in some other organic, nature inspired elements. I also love making my walls work for me, so I will often hang things from them, but then add a ledge or display cube as well. i feel this approach makes for interesting layers that are alive and three-dimensional.

Image above: A clock collection on the kitchen wall.  You’d think that with all the clock action I have going on here that I’d always be on time, but sadly, that’s not the case. This is a great example of grouping like objects, but then going one step further and adding a ledge. It makes the display more layered and three-dimensional.  That red fruit bowl is one of my favorite items in the house and it’s Ikea! It’s just so sculptural and fun, and I think it cost all of $20 – amazing!

See more of PJ and Dylan’s house after the jump!

Image above: Here’s an excellent example of how cray cray i went with pattern on pattern, That black box is actually a small chest of drawers (folk art i picked up at a flea market years ago)  mounted to the wall. I also collect garden statuary, so that bird makes me smile.

Image above: These lockers were also featured in Design*Sponge at Home. They were both found off the street, near an old school! We had a helluva time stripping them and then retrofitting the insides with shelves, but they’ve been the best investment. Dylan is a huge gam-er and movie buff, so these gals help me hide all that ugly stuff that no one wants on display in their house. Obviously, we have a thing for globes. By grouping them and arranging them by their different heights,  it makes for a more impactful and curated display. I love using multiple surfaces and walls with ledges to keep the eye traveling around a collection, as opposed to a collection presented on one plane as a clump.

Image above: This is a great close up of our valances. I scored these at the Brooklyn Flea and adore them. There were actually the jumping off point for all the other textiles in the room.

Image above: A vintage console that I pretty much stole from my grandparents. It was rumored to have been in a church somewhere before they had it. I love how ornate all the carvings are juxtaposed to the poppy fun of all those globes.

Image above: This is our living room where we spend about 88% of our time. Our sofa is actually an old hospital bed that I had welded into a daybed and then topped with a twin mattress covered with simple custom canvas. I had bolsters and back pillows covered in the same canvas and it’s the best sofa I’ve ever had. So comfy. My most recent additions to the room are the two vintage mushroom ottomans I from eBay, then had reupholstered. I made the two simple white curtain panels (under the vintage valances) with muslin and twill tape trim from the Garment District.

Image above: We call this our salon and it opens off the living room. It’s technically the second bedroom, but our office is in here as well as my prop closet and all our books. The sofa was rescued from a street in the East Village and totally rehabbed. The side table is an old grocery cart that I had glass cut for each of the sections. you can just see my collection of vintage Samsonite Marimekko luggage which I use as the other end table. the chandelier was another eBay find that I spray painted matte black.

Image above: Here’s a detail shot of our industrial bookshelves which sometimes house more of my collections than books. In this case, the shelves are filled with vintage textiles, tin can doll furniture and Bitossi pottery…random, I know and I love it!

Image above: Pretty standard kitchen, though we jazzed it up a bit by painting out the horrendous oak cabinets in white. then we added the green enamel barn lights. I also made the roman shade out of an amazing DwellStudio fabric.

Image above: Detail shot of the salon sofa, vintage grocery cart turned side table and the patterned drapes. I  had the drapes and pillow made from Waverly fabrics that I got from fabric.com, which is one the best and cheapest fabric sources around.

Image above: Detail shot of my Dansk cast iron candle holder collection (or part of it, anyway). They’re displayed atop pieces of slate that I had cut as radiator ledges for our last apartment, but didn’t work in this current place, so I just re-purposed them as one large ledge. They sit on these vintage wooden medical cabinets that are supposed to be wall-mounted, but I think they’re cool and still totally functional on the floor.

Image above: This space was so narrow and awkward for a typical end table, so i just hung an old wooden crate directly on the wall.

Image above: This is our bird bath…get it? I hand painted this mural after taking inspiration from all those gorgeous rooms that are decked out from ceiling to floor in one pattern– usually a toile print. I thought it would be fun to use our Urban Outfitters birdcage shower curtain as the print. I wanted to play with scale, so I painted our cages much much larger. The yellow ceramic light fixture, which serendipitously is rather cage-like, is one of my favorites and was a score at Brooklyn Flea.

Image above: I made the roman shades in our bedroom. we painted one wall in Valspar’s Hang Ten, Satin Finish. The bedframe was a major find from Housing Works for $25. It had this heinous faux wood paint treatment when I got it, but I stripped that right off to reveal this amazing stainless/metal beneath. that’s our landscapes collection above the bed, some are painted, some needlepoint and even some done in yarn art. The bedside table is a vintage pie cabinet that I mounted to the wall.

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  • Oh my God!
    it’s like a little cabinet of wonders! beautifull!!
    the globe collection it’s absurdly amazing!
    what a great home :D

  • This sort of reminds me of my own aesthetic just because, though I like a minimal look I still end up collecting things and sort of…building a cozy den of found/purchased objects. I still like to keep them organized though. Nice home!

  • one of my favorite Sneak Peeks yet.

    I love all the colors and the ways in which the collections are displayed. really inspiring. thank you for sharing!

  • Eclectic, witty and totally lived in! This will keep all those people who complain about too many white, neutral interiors on D*S quiet!

  • I love every single detail and the whole of this apartment especially the bathroom curtains and all these globes! One day when I grow up I will collect them too.

  • This place is fabulous. I could dawdle around this apartment for ages looking at all the bits and bobs. I especially love all that yarn art.

  • Lovely! So many unique displays and wonderful color. Especially love the bathroom concept.

  • While I appreciate their creative display techniques, this place is too cluttered even for me.

  • Beautiful, reminds me of the home of a gypsy friend I had as a child! (not imaginary, real!)
    I personally couldn’t live in this much clutter – something would have to give – but it’s something I definitely appreciate the look of (just not quite so much of it in my own home, imagine all the dusting).

  • Maybe I’m not giving it enough credit, but for me, it’s just too cluttered. Clutter like that makes me physically uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of stuff, too…maybe it’s the photos…

  • That headboard! Fantastic. Also did not know about tin can doll furniture. What fun to spend a day in your house!

  • Hey, I grew up with that crewel embroidered picture of the chairs hanging in my house (in the 5th photo down)! My mother made it and it hung on our wall for many years. She sold it at a tag sale in CT or brought it to Goodwill. I wonder if that’s the exact one!

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE All the collections which add interest and delight to the eye.

  • Brilliant designs (I loved the different sized gloves all over the place, that always just feels so classy to me for some reason), although I didn’t like the giant Coca Cola sign in the middle of the wall! I suppose if you’re a massive fan of coke it would be great, although its health benefits aren’t very good (sorry coke fans).

  • Love this. It so obviously reflects the personalities of the owners.
    I especially like the industrial bookcases in the salon, because I use them myself. Maybe we’ll start a trend? ;)

  • You didn’t inherit your skills, sense of style from me- I “m not creative at all and don”t have the visionary, imaginative, insight. I can see the love, tenderness that binds you to each other, and to Brandon. It gives me happiness, a peace, to see this home of yours on sneak-peek. I’m so proud of the two of you. Thanks, Jen, for finding this article. much love, hugs, Mom

  • I LOVE this. What I think is amazing is that is breaks so many so-called design rules – there is a tonne of stuff, no unified colour palette – and it works so brilliantly because you guys just have such a sense of humour and don’t care about trends, as long as you love it.

  • This home is fantastic–so lively and fun. I am in awe of the bedroom. I have to ask: Where did the red-and-white patterned pillowcases and the diamond duvet from?

  • I found this old post via Pinterest, and then I pinned so many more pics! Love the quirky vintage decor, you can tell these homeowners are true collectors and live with what they love. So many great ideas, my favorite is the cabinet full of globes.