A Brooklyn Office Gets Some Flower Power

When Grace introduced me to Five Leaves last summer, it immediately became one of my favorite restaurants in New York. Located on the corner of McCarren Park in Williamsburg, it boasts a charming interior and food that is, for lack of a more adequate term, absolutely out of control. I dare you to try their ricotta pancakes and not think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Seriously, they’re that good. It’s because of this combination of lovely atmosphere and mind-blowing bites that I jump at any opportunity to visit the restaurant. When I was recently invited to photograph the updated 5 Leaves office, for example, I was so there.

Faced with a relatively small working space with very little natural sunlight, the owners of 5 Leaves decided to spruce up their digs with a bright accent wall. I’m usually a little bit leery of the term accent wall, my opinion of them colored by too many misguided projects on home makeover shows, but I was able to set aside my bias in this particular instance. Because this, my friends, this is how you make an accent wall. Rather than opting for the traditional paint or wallpaper route, the 5 Leaves team chose to commission a hand-drawn, one-of-a-kind wall painting from the very talented local artist, Katy Smail. With a portfolio filled with beautiful, delicate hand drawings, Smail seemed the perfect fit for the job. The final piece, a corner wall covered in a yellow-toned mural of giant flowers, is stunning—and a perfect compliment to the room. To see more photos of the wall, Katy’s process and some more of her own work, continue after the jump! —Max

Above image: The floral source material and Katy’s sketch for the final pattern.

Above image: The wall with the flowers prior to being filled in and finished with pen-line embellishments.

Above image: Some more of Katy Smail’s lovely work. Click here to view her online portfolio!

Brigit Dermott

Thanks for sharing the photos of the Katy’s process! It’s so inspiring to see how she created this beautiful mural. It reminds me of gesso paintings in Italy. I am curious to know what paint she used…


I think that’s almost more than an accent wall it’s really an art installation since she did it all by hand. Really stunning.


And I thought that was wallpaper at first! It’s beautiful…that mural needs to be wallpaper too. I know that makes the mural less unique, but shoot, flowers that gorgeous need to be shared.


This is just gorgeous! The flowers are so alive, because there’s not a repeat. I am so happy to see ochre making a comeback in interiors. : )

Thank you for the introduction to this artist. I also really enjoyed the images on her site that combine her illos with photography/models. And, I really love the work-in-progress shots up here.


Oh wooowwwwww… This is incredible! So elegant and cheerful. And thanks for reminding me that it’s been a few years too long since I had that five leaves burger. Definitely need to rectify that!


This is so pretty! I love her illustrate style and the wall looks perfect.


To die for floors, exposed brick, wood ceiling beams, and a masterpiece….A…MAZzzing!


Wow! This is absolutely beautiful. Very jealous – I was so hoping it was wallpaper so I could order some for our master bedroom :)