Interiorssneak peeks

Jeanine and Bryan’s Crown Heights Home

by Shannon Grant

Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason may have only lived in their Crown Heights, Brooklyn home for nine months, but they’ve already made it feel like home. As founders of AphroChic, an interior design firm and home decor blog, Jeanine and Bryan know a thing or two about design.

Jeanine and Bryan’s apartment search began over a year ago, when they decided to move from Philadelphia to Brooklyn. They wanted a home with historic and architectural details that would give them a place to showcase their style and their growing art and cultural artifact collection. After months of searching, they found exactly what they were looking for on the top floor of a pre-war limestone building in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood.

“From the moment we walked in, we could see that the original layout must have been astonishing. We were grateful to see that the apartment retained much of its original detail,” Jeanine explains. “We’ve spent the last nine months working to highlight the historic elements of the apartment, while creating a modern, creative home that reflects our African-American heritage with the contemporary aesthetic that we refer to as AphroChic.”

I love the way Jeanine and Bryan have combined so many stylistic and cultural influences into one space, all while also celebrating local makers from their newly adopted home borough of Brooklyn. Click through to see their full space and read more about their decorating process. –Shannon

Photographs by Patrick Cline

DesignSponge Home Tour
In their entryway, Jeanine and Bryan display one of their favorite art books, The Gift, featuring photographs by their friend Delphine Diallo, a Bushwick-based photographer.
DesignSponge Home Tour
Jeanine and Bryan's home doubles as a showcase for their design studio/blog's brand and style. "We think of this space as having a grown up AphroChic vibe with a New York twist. To get that feeling we wanted to start with a subdued palette accentuated with pops of color. Dark, aubergine curtains literally frame the living room."
DesignSponge Home Tour
Jeanine and Bryan's sun-filled living room. "The credenza is great for entertaining, and beneath it we can organize files, swatches, etc.", Jeanine explains.
DesignSponge Home Tour
"Just above our media unit hangs a gallery wall featuring eight pieces by our friend, Leigh Viner. We have been collecting her fashion illustrations for years and the living room walls with their beautiful feature molding became the perfect spot to showcase the complete collection that has hints of pink, purple and blue throughout the mix of pieces," Jeanine says.
DesignSponge Home Tour
The black and white mantel in the living room gives the space a modern feel without distracting from the home's original architecture.
DesignSponge Home Tour
DesignSponge Home Tour
A collection of carved African statues decorates the living room mantel.
DesignSponge Home Tour
In the living room hallway, a beautiful black and white photograph by another Brooklyn-based photographer, Gregory Prescott, is highlighted next to the couple's own collection of batik pillows. Even their media unit has a unique Brooklyn story to it, created by Egg Collective, a New York-based design company founded by three female designers with a background in wood-making.
DesignSponge Home Tour
Jeanine and Bryan chose a rich black paint for their bedroom. "We went for drama...using a matte black paint to create a moody, but cozy feel. Where the living room is mostly white, we wanted the bedroom to be enveloped in color, and painted the walls and doors in the shade."
DesignSponge Home Tour
A 1971 photograph of Melba Moore hangs above the couple's bed. "The photo is something we both gravitated to," says Jeanine. "Her afro is a wonderful display of Black beauty."
DesignSponge Home Tour
Jeanine and Bryan installed a wall of baskets that they had made in Rwanda (as part of a new product line for their LA pop-up.) "The colors and design were inspired by Solange Knowles' spread in Lucky Magazine last year. They look absolutely stunning against the black wall."
DesignSponge Home Tour
Jeanine and Bryan decided to bring some glamour to the kitchen as well, adding a crystal chandelier to the space. "Because essentially we thought, why not?" Jeanine says.
DesignSponge Home Tour
To highlight the room's exposed brick wall, the couple installed a hanging herb garden. Thonet-style chairs and a round table create an in-kitchen seating area that, "feels like a little bit of Paris right here in Brooklyn," Jeanine says.
DesignSponge Home Tour
Jeanine and Bryan at home. Photo by Leon Shipp Belt
DesignSponge Home Tour

Suggested For You