June 17, 2024

Custom pieces and distinctive wallpaper keep the space clean and modern yet also cozy and welcoming.

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When a couple with two young kids bought an apartment on a high floor of a brand new luxury building, they realized that exactly none of the furnishings from their very different previous home — a rented carriage house in the neighborhood — would work in the new high-ceilinged space, with its bird’s-eye views of New York Harbor.

“We all felt their furniture was not the right fit for their new apartment,” said Brooklyn-based interior designer Laurie Blumenfeld, who masterminded the furnishing of the family’s new home. She designed a number of uniquely shaped custom pieces to suit the scheme, shopped for other all-new furniture and lighting, and made liberal use of distinctive wall (and ceiling) coverings, a signature of hers. “The goal was modern and clean, but also cozy and welcoming,” Blumenfeld said — “a refuge,” as she put it, from the high-powered career worlds of her clients,

Blumenfeld lit upon the soft watercolor tones one member of the couple gravitated toward as a taking-off point, working up mood boards and color palettes in a pastel range. When the clients shared a desire to support local artists and designers, Blumenfeld was delighted. “I love to do that as well,” she said. “I find them on Instagram, I find them at shows.”

The bespoke pieces Blumenfeld designed came about largely because of the building’s flatiron shape. “I had to work within the confines of rooms that were definitely not perfect squares or rectangles,” she said. Among the custom pieces are a bar cabinet with an arched top in the dining area, a pink velvet headboard and kidney-shaped desk in the primary bedroom, and bookcases for the children’s rooms. Brooklyn millworker Jonathan Galindo, whose shop is in East New York, did all the custom millwork.


The foyer features custom wallpaper from Eskayel, a Williamsburg-based design studio, an unusual mirror from Palecek at 200 Lex, and an organically shaped pendant light from Aqua Creations. “Because they’re so high up in the clouds, I thought it would be fun to use wallpaper that emulated their view,” the designer said.


The crescent-shaped sofa, from Safavieh, is covered in pale blue velvet from Castel. The round coffee table is from Croft House in Los Angeles, the rug — specially made in custom colors — from Eskayel. “Everything is contemporary,” said Blumenfeld. “Their prior home had a lot of old pieces and they wanted fresh and new.”

A console of corrugated wood from Croft House sits beneath a framed piece of hand-painted wallpaper commissioned from artist Kelly Porter. The barrel chair was sourced from the Danish Design Store, the end table found on 1stDibs.


Blumenfeld designed the bar hutch with an arched top to counterbalance the apartment’s angular architecture. It was also built by Galindo, who makes nearly all Blumenfeld’s custom furniture designs.

The wood of the hutch plays off the walnut of the long, marble-topped dining table from Future Perfect. Chairs came from the Danish Design Store; they were reupholstered in pale pink leather.

The wall art is by Robert Swain, who is represented by Minus Space in Dumbo. The bubble chandelier was sourced from Pelle in Red Hook.


In the kitchen, Blumenfeld added only stools and pink hexagon lights by Gabriel Scott, whose studio is in Montreal.


Blumenfeld designed the headboard, floating lacquer side tables, and kidney-shaped desk in the primary bedroom. “Because of the wonky angles, I thought it would be nice to nestle the desk in the corner,” she said.

A CB2 chair was recovered in marbleized fabric by British designer Beata Heuman. The fanciful gilded chandelier is the work of Brooklyn designer Rosie Li, whose studio is located near the Brooklyn Navy Yard.


Striking bubble-like wallpaper from Calico adds distinction to the developer-supplied primary bath. “It needed soul,” Blumenfeld said.


The homeowner’s two children share a room with a wild wallpaper treatment on the ceiling. “I wanted the room to be fun, like camping in the forest,” the designer said. The wallcovering was sourced from Boerum Hill’s Flavor Paper.

Bunk beds from Crate and Barrel, a Popsicle-stick chandelier from Lightology and expansive bookshelves designed by Blumenfeld round out the room.


Jungle-like wallpaper from Lulu & Georgia in the kids’ bath picks up the green palette of the children’s room “without feeling too thematic,” Blumenfeld said.

[Photos by Tim Williams | Styling by Katja Greeff]

The Insider is Brownstoner’s weekly in-depth look at a notable interior design/renovation project, by design journalist Cara Greenberg. Find it here every Thursday morning.

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