The clients: Pat and Rika, newly engaged and the proud owners of a new apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This hip, artistic couple needed help to get the industrial/cozy look they desired. Bare walls, exposed lights and zero storage were not cutting it. Not only did Pat and Rika need lighting fixtures and artwork for their walls, they also needed furniture — we had a serious shopping list to tackle! With a blank slate space and a funky, cool couple, we new we could go crazy with this makeover.
Robert loved the idea of using chalkboard paint in an unexpected place — the ceiling! I wasn’t sold at first. (Robert’s the one with the crazy ideas. I’m more practical; he pushes me to take risks.) We asked DUMBO, Brooklyn based artist James Seward to draw an image in white chalk for the couple to look at from the bed. I love his creation… a playful deer Pegasus! And because wallpapering an entire room in designer paper can cost thousands of dollars, we chose to frame the bed with this hexagonal retro paper from SoHo’s Matter. By going with a bold pattern wallpapered on only one wall, we created a cool focal point for maximum design impact at a digestible price point!
If you’re working on a tight budget, here are two more design tips. We reupholstered the chaise using fabric remnants. An easy trick that can save you up to 70% on designer fabric. Robert and I also make a point to shop at local “mom and pop” stores for the bulk of our jobs. A lot of this project’s lighting came from a local NYC shop called A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and we scored some industrial furniture from Moon River Chattel. Independent stores like these are where you’re going to find something to call your own, something totally unique and not like your neighbors. They’re also more likely to work with you on the price. (I always start my offer at 20% below what it’s tagged.) While the design of Pat and Rika’s bedroom has plenty of whimsy, the dark color scheme, sophisticated wallpaper pattern and luxurious gold touches keep it mature.
Robert and I really let loose in the main living area. It’s fun, but still hip and grown-up. We kept the brick wall as is and added a signature Novogratz look with a cluster of misfit mirrors. (Pat and Rika couldn’t believe how much bigger the mirrors made the room feel. Important in an 870 square foot apartment.) And we stenciled an inside joke the couple shared with us for an “art” wall for less than $20.
Remember, it’s important to infuse your own personality into your designs. Something that’s personable, full of character and uniquely you always feels warm, inviting and cozy. Do what makes you feel good, and you’ll never be disappointed in your home!