Interiorssneak peeks

In Brooklyn, a Sophisticated & Playful Home for New Beginnings

by Kelli Kehler

Moving to Brooklyn, NY after living in London for four years is a big shift for a family of four, and rooting into a solid community that will generate support systems is of utmost importance when it comes to finding a new home across the Atlantic. For a hardworking couple, their two young daughters, and their dog, they relied heavily on the advice of friends in their new Park Slope, Brooklyn neighborhood to point them in the right direction. They needed their new home to be kid-friendly and be near a park and great public schools. Once they sought out those must-haves — and found them all checked off in a building that is in a row of nine identical Renaissance Revival townhouses that were built in 1893 — the family brought in Homepolish designer Liz Lipkin to pull it all together.

“The client wanted a home that was elevated, but still family-friendly,” Liz begins. “In the open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas, I wanted to create spaces that were vibrant and welcoming, just like the clients. There are plenty of kid-approved pieces in the living room where the family gathers with friends and relatives. I opted for two upholstered ottomans instead of a coffee table here. They’re so much more functional and fun. They [serve as] extra seating, a place to put your feet up or set a drink down, and the girls love to lie together on the larger one to watch TV.”

The one-floor apartment features three bedrooms, a playroom, two full bathrooms, one powder room, an open-plan dining room, living room and kitchen all within 2,300 square feet — a bonus of the building’s developer restoring and combining two adjacent 1893 Renaissance Revival townhouses to create several spacious condos. Beautiful original details like exposed beams, abundant natural light, and oak floors, doors and trim remained, leaving a perfect canvas on which Liz could create a sophisticated yet playful decor palette.

“It’s always important to me to incorporate personal touches throughout a home,” Liz shares. “The family photo wall [in the foyer] was a labor of love for me and my client, and there are references to her English background throughout the space, but my favorite design element is the ‘oh darlings’ wall,” — a cheeky design detail which is arguably the most memorable. “We had talked about the need for a large-scale piece of art in the dining room, but before my search for one had even begun, I stumbled across a set of oversized plastic letters and immediately thought of her since she loves the color red. It was serendipitous that I was able to repurpose ‘Hollinger’s Hardware’ to read ‘Oh Darlings’, the client’s pet name for her girls.” Scroll down to tour the home of this London-transplant couple and their darlings — a comfortable and lovely place to create new beginnings. —Kelli

Photography by Christian Torres / @christiantorresphoto

Image above: In the living room that’s just off of the dining area, Liz opted for a couch with clean lines to give off a streamlined vibe, but it’s roomy and comfy enough for the whole family (dog included!) to snuggle in and watch a movie.


“The slightly off-kilter symmetry and unmatched chairs in the living room create a relaxed vibe,” Liz tells us.


Liz explains, “The home was developed by the Brooklyn Home Company as a double wide floor-through apartment. The developer restored and combined two adjacent 1893 Renaissance Revival townhouses to create several condos. Sections of the brick dividing walls were removed to create really spacious homes. Beautiful original details like high ceilings and large bay windows were maintained. The apartment also features exposed beams, great light, and oak floors, doors and trim.”


Liz was able to create a more minimal and modern vibe that is also full of texture and personality by choosing incredibly memorable pieces. Here, a leather armchair by Room & Board pairs beautifully with a print by Block Shop Textiles for a harmonious design moment.


Another woodblock print from Block Shop Textiles anchors this bar cart area that’s drenched in the apartment’s gorgeous natural light.


Liz’s design in the open-plan dining area makes a statement using few decorative elements, but they each pack a stylish punch — like this striking gold pendant light.


The family celebrated their daughter’s fourth birthday at home recently, and report that the “Oh Darlings” sign made a wonderful backdrop for all of their photos from the joyous event.


In the kitchen, the fusion of playfulness and sophistication at its best and another appearance from the client’s favorite color: red.


The family feels that the kitchen is the heart of their home, but upon first moving in, they weren’t sure how they’d style the shelves. Liz came to the rescue with the optimal balance of functional and beautiful items.


To the right of the range, a portrait of the family dog by artist friend Katja Lelic adds a personal pop of color to the clean and bright kitchen.


“The family’s mission control center is in the foyer,” Liz explains. “The paper roll tracks play dates and work schedules (and hides an oversized fuse box). The little desk and chair belonged to the client when she was a child.”


“Each of the girls was involved in the design of their rooms and they loved being a part of the process,” Liz says of the family’s two daughters.


“This gold dot wallpaper feels whimsical and sophisticated at the same time — perfect for a big sister’s bedroom,” Liz notes.


Liz offers a design tip: “Kids’ rooms are a great place to have fun with print and pattern. This mix works well because the bedding, rug, and wallpaper share the same ground color, and the accent colors are limited to warm colors and black.”


Julia Rothman’s “Daydream” wallpaper by Hygge & West adds movement and interest to the bedroom while keeping it light and airy at the same time.


“The watercolor above the bed [in the main bedroom] is by Kate Roebuck,” Liz says. “The client fell in love with her work and we had a piece commissioned for the room.”


Here in the main bedroom, Liz combines cool blue tones with warm shades of cream to strike a perfect balance of relaxing and chic.


Liz shares, “The [main] bedroom is designed as a serene retreat for the very hardworking couple. I chose a tonal color palette in contrast to the more vibrant shared spaces. The cool blues set a more relaxed mood. The botanical artwork was also chosen for its calming effect and as a nod to the lush backyards and trees just outside the windows.”


An Anthropologie mirror makes a handsome pair with this West Elm desk while also reflecting the beautiful Kate Roebuck piece across the room.


Liz tells us of the main bathroom, “I added a pop of yellow and wood accessories in the bath to contrast with the grey marble and to keep things from feeling too serious or subdued.”


A striking yellow wallpaper by Anthropologie and print by Kate Roebuck add so much beauty and personality to the main bathroom. Liz adds, “I love the surprise element that the yellow wallpaper provides in the ‘loo.'”


Living Room

Drum poufs – Design Within Reach
Nesting Tables – Design Within Reach
Leather Armchair – Room & Board
Bar cart – Crate & Barrel
Credenza – Hedge House Furniture
Rug – Annie Selke
Woodblock Prints – Block Shop Textiles

Dining Room

Pendant – ABC Home


Pendant lights – Iacoli & McAllister


Paper roll – George and Willy
Rug – Annie Selke

M’s Room

Bed – Restoration Hardware Teen
Rug – Pottery Barn Kids
Wallpaper – Juju Papers

L’s Room

Bed – Restoration Hardware Teen
Wallpaper – “Daydream” in Black by Julia Rothman for Hygge & West

Main Bedroom

Bed – Crate & Barrel
Bedside tables – West Elm
Lamps – Circa Lighting
Rug – Annie Selke
Chair and ottoman – Anthropologie
Reading lamp – Circa Lighting
Vanity – West Elm
Mirror – Anthropologie
Watercolor – Kate Roebuck
Botanical prints – Anthropologie

Main Bathroom

Wallpaper – Anthropologie
Print – Kate Roebuck

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