Young Couple’s First Apartment

We’re excited to finally be able to share some of the photos of that Park Slope first apartment we blogged about over the summer (which Jenny from Little Green Notebook is featuring on her blog today). Our client, Natalie, had been a reader of the blog for sometime and was buying her first apartment with her husband when she reached out to us. She is a die-hard bargain hunter, and wanted us to find pieces for her apartment that were budget-friendly but also comfortable and unique. We love working on first apartments because the people who live in them are usually young, and adventurous when it comes to design. Plus, most first apartment dwellers come to the table with almost no previous furniture–a dream candidate for any interior designer! The living room of this apartment is a rectangle with a large window at the opposite end of the room- a challenging space. The first piece we bought for the apartment is this sofa, below, from the Lilian August warehouse in CT. We like to keep the major upholstered pieces in a room neutral so that we can play with color using accessories, pillows, art, and lighting. Here’s Natalie’s new living room!
The pink chair was purchased at Brimfield and came out of an estate in Maine.Here’s the original sketch for the furniture plan- and we stuck to it! The coffee table was snagged for $15 at our local Salvation Army store in Mount Vernon, New York. We cleaned this piece up with a little soap and water and a coat of glaze. We fell in love with these scallop edge side tables with uniquely small dimensions at Braswell in Norwalk, CT. We decided to give them a lux finish by lacquering them a dark navy blue Ralph Lauren paint.The fabrics were inspired by the colors in the bird prints hanging above the sofa. The bird prints pulled from the pages of a vintage Audubon book and framed in inexpensive A.I Friedman frames. A little corner of the living room before… We found this chair at Circa Who in Palm Beach, FL and painted it a slightly stronger color of blue and reupholstered the seat in a favorite Brunschwig & Fils fabric. And after…We custom made this roman shade and added a pop of color with a cherry tape from Samuel & Sons. The bird prints were found at Brimfield this past September. Natalie often works from home so she needed to have a desk somewhere in the apartment. We purchased a classic West Elm Parsons table so that it could function both as a desk and as a console table where a pair of stools could be stored below. Here are the stools we found at Circa Who before: After…The chevron ikat is a fabric from Duralee. When guests come over the stools pull out for more seating and when Natalie is home working she uses the Chippendale chair that sits in the corner. We found the art at a Consignment store in Greenwich, CT; it’s a print by a Japanese artist from the 1970’s. We had it reframed in a modern white frame. The oversized glass gourd lamp is from Wisteria. Playing with proportions is one of our favorite tools to add interest to a room.Here’s what the bedroom looked like before…The bedroom is actually a very small room, but we made it look grand by walllpapering the wall behind the bed. Natalie really wanted her bedroom to feel feminine and a little fancy. Here’s Lauren presenting some pretty papers to Natalie over the summer…We found an amazing headboard at an antique emporium, tucked behind many others. Upholstering it in a cotton velvet just made it look so luxe. Inexpensive swing arm lamps save room when there isn’t any for bedside tables. Natalie’s new bedroom!The kitchen is very long and narrow but it was important to Natalie to have a place to sit and eat (since there is no dining room). We came up with a design for a built-in breakfast nook space which would utilize every square foot of space, and look like it was always there. We chose an adorable print fabric to make a custom seat cushion with, and it immediately looked welcoming and comfortable. The client found this table top at a thrift shop, then had a custom pedestal made to allow for leg room.We made another custom roman shade for the kitchen, this time using a lime green Samuel & Sons tape. 

We had so much fun creating a first nest for Natalie and her husband. They love it, and and so do we! What do you all think?

  • Sandy Grodsky

    Wow!!! You two did an amazing job!! I love bargain hunting for great quality older furniture (the old Braswell’s was a favorite – I am not loving them since they moved to Norwalk) but I don’t have the eye or the vision to turn it into the beautiful objects you have created. Thanks for sharing!!

  • TheLittleBlackDoor

    Amazing!! What a beautiful apartment to call home.

  • Reshma Sanjeev

    Its beautiful. The bedroom looks the best.

  • Kathy

    I love it! Great job!

  • Keeping It Cozy

    I love it! It’s bright, fresh and beautiful. I am not usually drawn to wallpaper, but the bedroom is gorgeous! I love everything you did… what a wonderful, stylish place to call home.

  • Katie Muncie

    I adore the wallpaper in the bedroom. I have tried searching online through duralee wallpapers and cannot find this print you used. Would you mind telling me the name of the wallpaper print? If you have a source that would be amazing!

    Many thanks!


  • Lauren

    Hi Katie,

    It’s Clarke & Clarke for Duralee. Design is Dahlia, color is sky.

  • Andrea Larson

    would love to hear more about the red tape on the roman shades…lovely touch!

  • Rachel

    The washer/dryer imbues a great European look to the kitchen – love that! (Great use of space, too.)

  • Tonya

    Love the whole space, but my favorite are those amazing, amazing floors.

  • JennyR

    I love everything about this space! Airy and bright with pops of color. My favorite palette. Can you tell us more about how you cover a canvas with fabric? Love that trick! Thanks!!

  • rcwillman

    Saw your room at Little Green notebook! Love your bog and work!

  • Rosemary

    I love the creative use of a small space. And the bright color palette makes the whole space feel large and airy.

  • herrbrahms

    Are you serious that you painted those two mahogany scalloped tables navy blue?

    I’m beside myself with revulsion. 😮