The email interior designer Luna Grey received from a prospective client was a flat-out cry for help. The young woman and her partner had just purchased their first home, a detached 1901 wood frame. The house was in turn-key condition, but needed furnishing from the ground up.
“I am overwhelmed trying to figure out how to put together the new house, especially the open-plan living/dining space on the first floor,” she wrote. “Decorating is not my forte, and it needs everything from rugs to lights.”
“I’m attracted to various styles, like boho, mid-century modern, Scandinavian and global,” she went on. “My goal is to make the space feel cozy and lived in rather than a display of trendy items, and to introduce some color. I would also love to include pieces from Brooklyn’s independent design scene, as well as some vintage.”
With her client’s needs and desires so clearly articulated, Grey, who recently relocated from Brooklyn to Texas but continues serving New York City-area clients, set to work. The homeowners had two pieces of furniture to begin with, a rosewood media console and a marble coffee table, plus African masks, batik textiles and watercolor paintings acquired on their travels.
Grey, who is a whiz at online sourcing, stretched a budget of $35,000, including her design fee, as far as it would go. “I wanted the space to feel collected, not super designed,” the designer said. “We started with the couch, rug and dining table. I tried to incorporate as much vintage as possible, bringing in color with textiles and keeping the look light,” in keeping with the house’s pale wood floors.
A clean-lined contemporary sofa from Room and Board, upholstered in a neutral fabric, solved the all-important question of comfortable seating.
The subtle colors of a flat woven wool rug from Rejuvenation in the living area became the color touchstone for the entire space, which emphasizes accents of blue.
Framed inkjet prints from Betty Hart and indigo and pink throw pillows from a variety of sources boost the color and texture quotient.
Grey found a budget-friendly carved-wood daybed with a tufted mattress at Urban Outfitters that fit perfectly in a bay window, instantly creating an appealing reading nook.
The oversized rattan pendant lamp is from Anthropologie. Masks from the homeowners’ travels decorate the wall.
A faded Oushak runner and hand-carved teak stools from FTSNY bring warmth and color into a corner of the black-and-white kitchen.
[Photos by Luna Grey]
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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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