Confident, casual, cohesive…those are some of the qualities designer Sheena Murphy, founder of Brooklyn-based Sheep + Stone Interiors, brought to the decoration of the two-bedroom apartment she shares with her husband and baby daughter.
The 900-square-foot unit in a newly constructed building benefits from high beamed ceilings, blackened steel windows, white oak floors and a high-end kitchen.
“It was an easy backdrop to work with,” Murphy said. “We made a few cosmetic changes, including switching out the architects’ choice of tile in the kitchen and painting light fixtures we weren’t crazy about the same color as the ceilings to make them blend in.” They also added a window in the bathroom — “an invaluable upgrade,” as Murphy put it.
Murphy came to the United States from England, studied interior design at Parsons, and spent time working for legendary decorator Bunny Williams and color wizard Amanda Nisbet before establishing Sheep + Stone two years ago.
She approached her own home much as she does for her clients, creating a comfortable, livable space with clarity and structure provided by spare modern furnishings. Warmth comes from textured materials, including metallic lighting, salvaged wood, linen upholstery and woven baskets. (Sheep + Stone also offers staging services for real estate development and marketing.)
The strictly neutral scheme, with walls painted warm pale gray (Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball) throughout, affords great flexibility. “You can move pieces around from one room to the next and they will always work, because the overall palette connects them,” Murphy said.
Another hallmark of Murphy’s: her immaculate styling and careful curating of accessories, many handcrafted or sourced locally. “That’s the most fun part for me, playing with the final details and seeing everything come together,” she said.
What’s her styling secret? “Honestly, I don’t think there’s a specific logic to it. You just have to play around until it feels right.”
A vintage sofa with curved wood slats from Eccola in Los Angeles anchors the living room, along with a leather Hans Chair from DwellStudio (top photo).
The unusual carved coffee table is from South of Market, the ceiling fixture from Ay Illuminate.
A wall lamp designed by Brooklyn’s Workstead illuminates the area above a wall-hung console from Blu Dot.
A custom dining table by Brooklyn-based design studio Coil + Drift is surrounded by vintage Eames chairs Murphy bought on eBay and reupholstered with African mudcloth.
The nearby dresser is from Design Within Reach.
Murphy replaced the developers’ kitchen tile with simple white subway tile with contrasting grout. “It allows for more options when decorating and plays into the industrial feeling of the overall space,” she said.
Stools are from French Connection UK.
[Photos by Nicole Franzen]
The Insider is Brownstoner’s 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? Please contact Cara at caramia447 at gmail dot com.