A Brooklyn Brownstone


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! 

  1. Norma says:

    Simply Amazing

  2. Erin says:

    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.

  3. Anna K says:

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

  4. Carmen says:

    I want to have a home like this!

  5. 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!

  6. Great job!!
    I live across the street from this house and saw it slowly transform into this masterpiece.

  7. beks says:

    tell us about the mirrors please!

  8. Alana says:

    This is exquisite! Probably the most inspiring, beautiful design job I’ve ever seen.

  9. Erin says:

    I don’t really see any actual brown stone to call it a brownstone

  10. Ali says:

    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.

  11. Stephanie says:

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

  12. Such an amazing house. I love the use of colour

  13. Native Hues says:

    Wow. I am impressed! You guys have now made me a fan of Jessica’s

  14. Celesta says:

    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.

  15. Pam says:

    Thanks for the tip on the dresser, Amy! One of my fav Sneak Peeks ever!

  16. An amazing place to live. Thank you !

  17. Kelly says:

    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!

  18. Love the bedroom. Any ideas as to where I could find cut mirrors and hanging geometric terrariums like the ones in the bedroom?

  19. Domenica says:

    The bedroom ceiling light is so simple and beautiful. Who makes it?

  20. addie wagenknecht says:

    PLEASE tell us where the rug is from.. PLEASE

  21. 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!

  22. Jill says:

    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!

  23. 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!

  24. kristin s says:

    Takes my breath away!

  25. Kristy Dugan says:

    Amaaaaaaazing! Totally in love with all of it- thank you for your source info. What great work!!!!

  26. Ruth says:

    I love the windows! And the use of black with colors is so amazing.

  27. Eileen 2 says:

    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.

  28. Rebecca says:

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

  29. Balsam says:

    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.

    Balsam

  30. Cora says:

    Hey everyone that’s interested in that amazing rug…
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/sofART?ref=pr_faveshops
    This place has several rugs that are almost exact as well as a bunch of beautiful pillows. I have not ordered a rug yet, but my pillows were exactly like the photos. I highly recommend checking it out!

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