Interiorssneak peeks

Making the Most of Tall Ceilings in Brooklyn

by Amy Azzarito

I always love checking out the work of the Homepolish team. I think because they are all about mixing high end pieces with budget and vintage finds, their rooms always feel modern and fresh. Homepolish designer Will Saks stepped in to help Matt and Allie Bond, a couple moving from Dumbo, Brooklyn to Williamsburg, who wanted to utilize as much of their existing pieces as possible. The apartment has large windows and high ceiling from its former days as a factory so the team decided to channel a rustic, Americana aesthetic, with a touch of mid-century modern. They decided to keep the walls white adding color and texture through artwork and vintage pieces, but to make the space feel cozy, they painted the ceilings in the living room a dark gray. Everything looks so at home in it’s new place that you’d never know it had been purchased for an entirely different space!  –Amy [Designed by Will Saks, Photography by Homepolish]

(p.s. If you missed it, Grace interviewed Noa Santos of Homepolish on After the Jump and you can see what Homepolish did in the Design*Sponge office right here.)

Image above: “Matt and Allie had an awesome collection of art that they had acquired over the years and really wanted to showcase. A gallery wall in the living room was the obvious choice to do so. We literally laid all the pieces we wanted to display on the floor in front of the wall and shifted around the images like a giant game of Tetris until we collectively decided on our final layout.  I’m pretty sure Allie is still trying to level everything…I probably should’ve left her some extra poster tack!  Rehanging the gallery wall in the living room was a great way to make Matty and Allie’s artwork feel fresh and ended up becoming one of the couples favorite design elements.”

Image above:”For the bedroom, we created a focal wall of vintage gold mirrors and brass wall sconces above the low platform bed to create drama and height. The mirrors are all vintage which makes the space unique. I spent hours with Matt and Allie in a thrift store called Junk in Williamsburg to find the perfect mix of shapes and sizes. The vintage wall behind the bed was one of my favorite parts of the project. If only, every client I work with had ceilings so high!”


See more of this Brooklyn apartment after the jump!


4The bonds Image above: “One thing the couple was adamant about was lighting. They did not like the existing overhead lighting in the apartment and knew they wanted to update it with something more industrial and less NYC rental. We ended up swinging a set of custom made brass string lights (from onefortythree) across the space which was a super fun way to address their concern. The ceiling height was another concern for the clients. I suggested painting the ceiling, which in conjunction with a few large gallery walls, really helped to ground the space.  The dark slate gray ceiling, gallery walls, and texture rich furniture (wood, metal, velvet) really help to cozy the space up.”

6TheBonds Image above: “Most of the furniture in the space the clients already owned.  We were able to repurpose and reuse a lot of the existing furniture.  One of the pieces we did purchase was this great mid century media stand which gives Matt and Allie tons of hidden storage…a total plus in an apartment.”

Image above:”Matt and Allie didn’t need or want a home office but they had the designated space for one.  Brainstorming together, we decided to turn a wall of it into a modern, industrial library complete with metal garage shelves. Add some color coded books and some fun accessories, and this potentially neglected space became an awesome little nook.”

Image above: “The mid-century media cabinet also becomes a great place for display. Lean a painting, stack some books, and throw in a bust of your favorite president, and you’ve got a lovely little vignette. A vintage camera lying on the chair doesn’t hurt either.”

Image above: “We went back and forth with what to do with the wall behind the desk…wallpaper? Paneling? Being a rental we didn’t want to invest too much into it but we knew it needed something. As soon as Matt showed me these blueprints from his childhood home in San Francisco, (which his father helped design) I knew we found our solution. We had them framed in simple walnut frames and the oversized blueprints fit perfectly into the desk nook.”

Image above: “The couple had these cute animal portrait plates and I thought where better to showcase these than in a kitchen. They really fit in with the aesthetic of the space and are a great little moment in a wall that easily could’ve been neglected.”

Image above: “These bedside sconces from Schoolhouse Electric are some of my favorite fixtures on the market right now. They are industrial and mid century all at once and the exposed fabric cord means they can be hung anywhere without hardwiring them! Matt, Allie and myself looked at a lot of bedding to find the perfect one. We ultimately chose this birch tree print one which was a great nod to the the wood pieces in the living room and library. It was a way to bring in wood without bringing in actual wood.”

Image above: “Every bedside table needs two things: books and an ashtray. I prefer the classics (they make you look smarter) and it’s not that I advocate smoking but a vintage ashtray makes a great vessel for jewelry or a coaster for your water glass.”

Image above: “What can I say about Matt and Allie other than what a dream they are to work with. Although Matt’s not in this picture, you can see how in love they are in the adorable portrait behind Ally. I only wish they had more space for us to design together!”

Suggested For You


  • Animal heads hanging on walls……….again? Even though I can see that this one is not a real animal, why does Design Sponge promote this tacky type of décor? What is attractive or stylish about it? As yours is a site that I love to look at for innovative and new ideas, I’m stymied by this.

    • Linda

      I know the concept of referencing hunting or anything in that area isn’t ok with everyone, but in this case I felt the distinction between actual animal and plaster cast sculpture allowed it to pass. In terms of overall trends and styles, I’m not personally a fan of animal head decor, but a large portion of our audience enjoys this style and re-emphasizes that by frequently Pinning images like this. We work hard to share a wide range of homes, from bohemian and modern to innovative and more classic ideas. While this look (midcentury, some 2000’s era trends) isn’t cutting-edge in the larger sense, it’s comfortably within the realm of what a lot of people still ask for and enjoy. I hear your overall complaint here though and will definitely keep it in mind. We’re actively working to find more unseen homes to share here on the site that combine something exciting and new with the other aspects people like here: small spaces, realistic budgets and DIY elements. It’s not often we come across a home that combines all those aspects in one space, but we are as passionate and committed to trying to find as many of them as you are in desiring more of them.


  • This apt is so unique, I love the mix of modern and classic done in such an original way. Sign me up for some Will Saks!

  • Wow Grace, your response to that comment was so well spoken. As a fellow Homepolish designer, I understand where you are coming from. My clients are constantly pinning inspiration images that encompass the faux taxidermy trend. Of course it is not in everyone’s taste, but (in my opinion) your site holds the purpose of bringing various design elements and styles to all, and this post certainly did that. The space is dynamic and unique, and the Design Sponge team did an excellent job of showcasing that. Love

  • How refreshing that for once, the comments section is so polite and on-point. You ladies rock, keeping it classy.

    This sneakpeek made me totally rethink ceilings, but the dialogue here blew me away more!

  • Thank you for the technique on how to hang a gallery wall. Laying out the framed pictures on the floor in front of the wall and arranging that way sounds like a good way to do it. Beautiful space.

  • Linda– the plaster bust of a former president and a fake deer head made out of plaster –but you are so upset by the deer’s head? I do not like real stuffed deer heads either, but neither would I like a bust of an actual person! It’s not like the designer or the homeowners had a real deer head on the wall. Surely you can distinguish between the two! To be so highly offended by something that’s not even real just doesn’t make sense. I think the designer did a fabulous job and the apartment looks very chic!

  • I am sorry to be redundant on this, but I was very happy that someone commented on the animal’s heads. I am amazed by how popular they are. Even if some of them are very imaginative and nicely designed, I cannot avoid feeling a bit uncomfortable. A plaster deer head and a president bust are not comparable, because animal heads are indeed stuffed and hanged on walls, and fake deer heads make reference to that. If Jefferson had been killed and his stuffed head had become a decorative object, you would probably find it gross to put a replica in your fireplace mantel.

  • This apartment is beautiful! I love using a dark ceiling to anchor a big space. I did this same technique in my bathroom (not that my bathroom is big). I’ll add my thoughts about the comments quickly too. I also am impressed at how respectful and polite the comments continue to be on Design Sponge. I have actually boycotted design blogs due to the negative comments posted after a house tour. Thanks for keeping it real here! The respectful community vibe keeps me coming back!

  • Please share where the rug and the blanket at the foot of the bed are from. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks for your thoughtful response, Grace. I appreciate your thoughts and concerns on the animal/hunting topic! Your site is great – and it reaches so many people that we animal lovers worry about any possible negative influences. Some strange things have passed for “style” in our world, such as fur coats, ivory jewelry….
    I appreciate your answer and thanks for taking the time to explain!!

    • Linda

      I really understand your concern. Our entire team is made up of major animal lovers and animal rights supporters, but every now and then there is a grey area (well, what we see as a grey area) when it comes to design. While I don’t personally enjoy animal heads on walls, if something is a replica or a naturally fallen/found item I think sharing it feels ok with me. But I completely understand if the notion of any animal product (from real sheepskin throws to fake plaster heads) is not ok with you or anyone else. I will always do my best to make sure we think clearly and look closely at everything we post. Thanks again for your feedback,


  • ya know… I would rather overlook some minor ” offense” ,if it is indeed that, and be grateful that we are even ALLOWED to sneak peak into someone else’s private space! would you be a guest at a party and make those kinds of comments?? Today at church the message was basically on ” think before you speak” ( proverbs) and some wisdom here : smart is knowing what to say, wise is knowing if you should say it! amen!

  • I am not sure how having any kind of taxidermy on a a wall, fake or otherwise, classifies a person as *not* being an animal lover.

  • Also, I think the bedding is from Bliss Living. I saw it on the Bed Bath and Beyond website.