The Insider: Practical, Considered Design Gives Park Slope Condo Understated Appeal


The owners of this three-bedroom condo in a converted Park Slope mansion asked Jesse Parris-Lamb, an interior design studio with an office in Downtown Brooklyn, to furnish their apartment like a “friendly, lived-in Swedish professor’s home,” circa 1970.

“It was the funniest design brief we’ve ever gotten,” said Whitney Parris-Lamb, who formed a partnership with Amanda Jesse in 2014. The two women met at Pratt Institute a decade ago while getting their Masters degrees in interior design, then gained experience working for some of New York’s top interiors firms.

“Most clients tell us they like gray, or blue, or need a comfortable sofa. These folks gave us a real concept. They had a good idea of what they wanted, but needed some help getting there.”

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The 2,300-square-foot apartment had already been renovated and given a new layout, kitchen and baths by Pulltab Architects of Manhattan. Jesse Parris-Lamb came in at the end to handle the selection and purchase of furnishings and lighting. They also designed a long, built-in banquette that ties together the living, dining and kitchen zones in the main living space.

“An open-plan layout like this can be a challenge to furnish,” Parris-Lamb said. “We needed to create living, dining and kitchen areas that were cohesive enough to work together as one space.” They accomplished this in an understated way, using “a mix of pieces that don’t necessarily adhere to one style or another,” but share “strong 20th century notes.”

The couple were expecting their first child while the apartment was being furnished, and they own a dog, so durable, practical materials were called for. “This project feels light and airy, even though we used some dense materials like curly sheepskin and deep blue mohair,” the designer said.

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Jesse Parris Lamb Park Slope

A contemporary sofa with tufted button detail from George Smith‘s Commune Collection, upholstered in a Rogers and Goffigon woven fabric, and a pair of Mel Smilow lounge chairs, designed originally in 1956, custom scaled for the tall homeowners and upholstered in curly sheepskin from Garrett Leather, anchor the living area.

The two ottomans are actually stacks of pillows that come apart, covered in mohair fabric from Romo. “They get a lot of use as floor cushions, dog beds and even laptop work surfaces,” Parris-Lamb said.

The brass and glass coffee table is from Yield Designs. The “Sweater” rug from West Elm is “one of our favorite money-savers for families with dogs and young kids.”

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Jesse Parris Lamb Park Slope

Vintage nesting tables by Afra and Tobia Scarpa sit beside the sofa. The homeowners already owned the brass floor lamp.

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Jesse Parris Lamb Park Slope

The homeowners’ antique refectory table is paired with caned bentwood chairs, a classic Josef Hoffmann design.

A rice paper Akari globe by Isamu Noguchi hangs above. “They’re an incredible value and create warm, filtered light,” Parris-Lamb said.

The custom cushion on the new built-in bench, fit to the curved wall behind, is upholstered in bright orange Svensk Tenn fabric, a bold choice for an otherwise serene space.

Roman shades were custom-made of pale blue linen from Osborne and Little.

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Jesse Parris Lamb Park Slope

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Jesse Parris Lamb Park Slope

The designers chose BassamFellows wooden bar stools and brass pendant lights from Brooklyn’s Workstead for the kitchen. Tile for the backsplash came from Heath Ceramics.

The lighting selections were carefully considered, Parris-Lamb said. “If you’re sitting in the living room looking back toward the kitchen, you see three sets of fixtures, so they all had to be simple. The clean brass pendants and the simple paper of the Noguchi shade create a nice material balance with the three Flos Glo-Ball flush-mounts in the kitchen.”

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Jesse Parris Lamb Park Slope

Interior Design Ideas Brooklyn Jesse Parris Lamb Park Slope

In the master bedroom are a Case Study plywood bed, a powder-coated metal nightstand with a marble top from Asplund and a Noguchi Akari lamp.

The custom pink and ivory ombre area rug is from Tai Ping. The refinished vintage dresser belonged to the clients.

[Photos by Nicole Franzen]

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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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