Interiorssneak peeks

A Brooklyn Brownstone

by Amy Azzarito

I think it’s already an established fact that when we get an email from Jessica Helgerson, we get pretty excited around here. (Proof here, here and here – we even did a post just on her color palette here.) This Portland-based designer is one of our absolute favorite interior designers working in the U.S. today She just manages to create homes that have an effortlessly modern, organic look. It seems so easy and simple – until you try to pull it off on your own. For this project, the team at JHID was asked to furnish a recently remodeled brownstone in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. Their clients were a young couple with a penchant for pop art, bright colors and fresh modern design.  They asked JHID lead designer and project manager Chelsie Lee for a decorating scheme that was bold with color and playful with the design. And she provided them with a vibrant, clean design and with modern touches. –Amy

Photography by Andrew Cammarano

Image above: The sunny master bedroom is painted in two tones, a fresh white and a deep grey that lines up with the headboard, wraps up over the ceiling and down the opposite wall.  We designed the headboard and Bertoia-inspired bench in bright turquoise. The pillows on the headboard are made from remnants of the sofa upholstery. The three thread-wrapped arrows were made by Brooklyn artists Fredericks and Mae.

Image above: The cut mirrors in the Master bedroom reflect the geometric terrariums that hang from the ceiling.

Image above: The family room, which opens up to a lovely little back garden, is comfortably furnished with a giant built-in sectional sofa upholstered in 18 vintage Peruvian blankets we collected over several months, and a custom fir coffee table of our design.  A dark charcoal grey wraps the room, following the stairs on one side, and playfully angling down from the ceiling on the other. The wall art is by Portland’s extremely talented Heather Watkins. She does really beautiful line work with ink & paint on paper.

See more of this Brooklyn Brownstone after the jump!

Image above: The modern dreamcatcher wall art hanging over the stairs is by New York artist Julie Thevenot.

Image above: In the dining room we designed a table where the two long slabs of walnut are joined by a series of butterfly joints, lacquered in various shades of turquoise.  The chairs surrounding the table are vintage Paul McCobb, lacquered in turquoise as well. The bookshelf wall is painted in a bold geometric pattern of four shades of red and orange.  The bright color is balanced by a collection of earthy wood, ceramic and glass objects handmade by Brooklyn and Portland artists.

Image above: The black globes of the David Weeks chandelier are echoed in the pendant lights we installed in the adjacent kitchen. The Portland sculptor who made the really beautiful organic wood carving in the center of the wall is Laura Buchan. And the Brooklyn sculptor who made the really interesting ceramic objects in quartz-like shapes on the lower shelves is Michelle Quan.

Image above: The kitchen is pretty simple, there was a small stainless steel hood & wooden shelves before – we designed the backsplash with new tile, floating shelves and the larger white hood. The stools are custom made by a Portland furniture maker and the pendant lights are Verner Panton topan lights.

Image above: This the guest room. We were really encouraged to “go crazy” with the color in there. So, we did! The light is from Niche Modern, the floor lamp is Arne Jacobsen & the pillows are a collection of travel finds and some textiles from India (found in Portland).

Image above: The outdoor table is from a design firm in LA – Scout Regalia. You can do any color of powder coating on the metal part! 

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  • Wow. The blue bench at the foot of the bed gave me chills. And the blue dining room chairs and the blue accents on the outdoor furnishings. I guess I’m just really feeling the color blue today? Gorgeous.

  • Beautiful home!! I’m in love with the very colorful rug in the bedroom. Where did you find that?

  • Oh man. Where is that rug from in the Master Bedroom? Would love to know the source. Great work with color and light, balancing the industrial and the natural. So, so lovely.

  • i love how the hot pink is a thread that runs through the whole house, but that it’s tempered by all the gray and white, so it’s not too crazy. except in that totally awesome bedroom!

  • This house rocks so hard! I love that the whole back of the house is windows. It can be really dark in row homes. Just absolutely gorgeous.

  • Please reveal the source of that walnut dress with the brass knobs –
    Vintage or new?


  • Tell me about that bedroom rug though! I’ve been looking for something exactly like it for so long and can never find colors that bright!

  • What a beautiful home full of amazing colors and textures! What is the source for the great rug in the bedroom?

  • Oh. My. God. Drat you, Design Sponge, my wee, modest home will never feel adequate again!

    Also, like someone said above, where in the frick did the rug come from? I want it!

  • This is such a stunning home. Can you tell me any details on the rug in the master bedroom?

  • holy cow, i mean…wow! if i closed my eyes and dreamed up textiles, colors, furniture, space– it would look like this. i love that kilim rug and the cut mirror, dream catcher, arrows all add interesting elements. brilliant use of the peruvian blankets– it looks modern and sleek. can you come decorate my home in colorado?! great post.

  • After a lifetime of hating pink, I’ve recently become rather obsessed with uber hot pink. And I LOVE bright textiles. So this house just blew my mind!!! I love it, I love it, I love it!

    I, too, would love to know more about the bedroom rug!

  • for those querying about the rug you can find similar ones on ebay fairly inexpensively, search for ‘kilim’ or turkish ‘kilim’.

  • This is my favorite post. Ever. The depth of the colors is mind blowing and that shot of the back of the house… Words cannot describe! So beautiful!

  • How beautiful! All of my favourite elements are in this home – the neutral clean backdrop in neutrals, a strong charcoal grounding the scheme whilst making it moody AND pops of stunning colour. LOVE>

  • Gasp! The sofa! Bohemian meets modern. I’m in love.
    The MBDR rug! I’ll bake cookies for the first person to divulge the name of the source. No, really, I will.

  • Love the bold use of colour and I especially like the last photo looking into the house from the back yard. It gives a great feel for how the design is laid out.

  • Love this home, fantastic design. I love the sharp colours and the fact its the perfect balance in each room and never looks overbearing. I love that the rooms are either really white and bright or dark and sultry and then contrasting with chosen bright feature pieces of furniture/features – looks stunning.

  • Really lovely!!! Could you provide the source of the curtains and curtain hardware? Thank you!

  • I think it’s a testament to a designer’s genius when she or he can create a space that isn’t to my particular taste, but is undeniably awesome. Great job!

  • This is one of my favorite tours. Every room is amazing. I want her to come design my house.

  • That staircase is a work of art, itself. What a fantastic home! Love all the turquoise, and I normally hate pink, but that guest bedroom rocks and rolls.

  • I think my heart stopped for at least 3 seconds. Then I managed to keep looking. This is so beautiful I can’t even explain it!!!! So many different things that somehow have been in my head lately, all put together in a beautiful space. Wow.

  • Absolutely stunning! Chelsie Lee you are amazingly talented and one heck of a funny gal. Miss your face. Congratulations on all your success!

  • Love this house! Any chance that the name and brand of the dark grey paint colour could be revealed?

    I’m looking for something similar for an upcoming bedroom redo and it’s seems just right.

  • Stunning interior design! Love everything about it – the geometrics, use of textiles, colour, and lighting fixtures especially. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Great job!!
    I live right across the street from this house and this property was in complete shambles for years. The whole entire back was completely missing and not trying to rebuild the rear was an excellent choice. If it’s already gone why re-create it…brilliant!

  • Of all the gorgeous homes on Design*Sponge, this is bound to be the most beautiful I’ve seen. It’s dreamy. Excuse me now, I’m just going to swoon.

  • Elegantly playful! Just like the designer! Love, love, love it!!! Congrats Chels!!!

  • Inspiring! I love the color of the dining room chairs. Any suggestions on what brand and color to look for? I have been to all local stores and could not find anything close.

  • Can you give us any indication as to where you got those FABULOUS carpets? I love them all and would love to look into whoever/wherever you got them for my upcoming renovation project!

  • It was so fun to read all of your lovely comments! Thank you! I have some answers for those of you who asked for more info…

    – The rug at the Master Bedroom was a lucky vintage find (sorry!). Try looking on eBay or in Vintage shops for turkish kilims.

    – The walnut dresser and bedside tables are from Design Within Reach.

    – The light fixture in the Master Bedroom is made by Schoolhouse Electric.

    – The curtains in the Master Bedroom were custom made, so I don’t have a source for you. The fabric is 100% linen and the hardware has a matte black finish.

    – The chair in the Master Bedroom is a Bertoia Diamond chair.

    – The grouped mirrors in the Master Bedroom were a custom shape we designed, had cut & then arranged on the wall in a pattern – it was very inexpensive & most mirror/glass supply shops can do something similar for you if you provide a design.

    – The terrariums hanging in the Master Bedroom are made by a company called Score + Solder.

    – The grey paint in the Master Bedroom is Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal and the dining chairs are lacquered in Benjamin Moore Poolside Blue.

    Thanks again!

  • One of the best tours I’ve seen in such a long time! The use of color and mix of styles is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing your home!

  • Usually, I gravitate toward whites and pale greys in interior design, for the way they help render space serene and uncluttered, but here that effect coexists with the bold energy of color and pattern. I am in awe of this shockingly well-designed home, with its unexpected calm simplicity and timelessness amid all the vivid color. Also, I appreciate the instructive and inspiring deployment of the diagonal. Thank you for this precious gem!

  • So wondeful. Wall of windows is just…well, no words to say how much I love. Makes me want to live in a more urban setting I do now! Colors are perfect.

  • Any chance you can share the name of the Portland furniture maker who made the custom bar stools? Thanks!

  • I like the dinning table and the chairs. Could you please let me know from where i can buy it. I live in uk and if it is been made in USA,, can I ship to here.


  • Where can I get the Bertoia Diamond chair w/ the ottoman that is in the Master Bedroom.