The Insider: River-View Duplex Condo Gets Interior Design Treatment with a Glamorous Edge

A three-bedroom, three-bath duplex with river views and a private terrace would be pretty fantastic even if it were empty.

Interior designer Crystal Sinclair, a Texas transplant who has a private practice as well as working through Homepolish, used plush furnishings, special wallpapers and a wide-ranging mix of textures and materials to make the condo even dreamier for her clients, a couple with a young child.

“They had just moved from Africa and wanted to pull a little of that into their apartment, but they also wanted a bit of a modern feel, so we layered,” the designer said. “We used a lot of glass for a city feel, wood for warmth in the decorative pieces.”

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The 2,800-square-foot bi-level space, in a converted warehouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park, is shaped like a slice of pie, with angled walls.

There’s room enough for several living spaces, including a sitting area near the upper-level kitchen where guests can relax and chat while meals are prepared, an intimate, dark-toned den for family movie-watching and a dramatic double-height lounge with a grand piano, used both for entertaining and as a playroom.

Sinclair considers ceilings a “playground” in décor. “Ceilings are always ignored,” she said. “I’m a big fan of doing something with them, considering the options.” She often specs wallpaper for ceilings, which are an unexpected delight in the entry hall, den and nursery of this residence.

Her clients came in with just the piano and their bed, and they had a sectional sofa already on order. Sinclair pulled together the rest of the furnishings and accessories from a variety of sources, many online, at price points from quite inexpensive to major splurge.

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Crystal Sinclair Brooklyn Heights

The banana-leaf wallpaper on the ceiling of the front entry hall, on the upper level of the duplex, immediately announces the decor’s bold ambitions.

A marble-topped console table, sun-shaped metal mirror and footed wooden stools combine to give a personal touch to the space.

Interior Design Ideas Crystal Sinclair Brooklyn Heights

Interior Design Ideas Crystal Sinclair Brooklyn Heights

The kitchen remains as the developer designed it, with the addition of black metal bar stools, new copper pots and the clients’ collection of Hermès dishware on display.

Interior Design Ideas Crystal Sinclair Brooklyn Heights

A white shag carpet and fluffy armchair, along with a pale sectional sofa and clear coffee table, keep the look light and airy in the upper-level sitting area.

Interior Design Ideas Crystal Sinclair Brooklyn Heights

The dining spot, with a round table and slipcovered chairs from Restoration Hardware, overlooks the double-height lounge.

Interior Design Ideas Crystal Sinclair Brooklyn Heights

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Crystal Sinclair Brooklyn Heights

The lounge on the lower level has access to a private planted terrace. The whimsical peacock-patterned rug is another out-of-the-box choice.

A caned console from Urban Outfitters and tufted yellow chairs from Anthropologie were relatively budget-friendly, while the leather and chrome Grasshopper chaise lounge from Suite New York cost in the low five figures. “We played with the budget, going high on some things, low on others,” Sinclair said.

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Crystal Sinclair Brooklyn Heights

The faceted coffee table and ceiling paper from Harlequin give a golden glow to the downstairs den, where a dark sectional sofa sits on a thick shag carpet.

Interior Design Ideas Crystal Sinclair Brooklyn Heights

Sinclair used white drapes throughout the apartment, including in the serene master bedroom, to maximize light.

Interior Design Ideas Crystal Sinclair Brooklyn Heights

Two wallpapers in the nursery — a cactus design by Pierre Frey on the wall and a turquoise grasscloth on the ceiling — make for a unique baby’s room. Custom shelving fills in an awkward corner.

[Photos by Claire Esparros for Homepolish]

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.

Got a project to propose for The Insider? Contact Cara at caramia447 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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