Location: Dumbo, Brooklyn
Size: 1,250 square foot — two-bedroom condo
Years lived in: 1½
Bella, an interior designer, not only set up a new home replete with husband and small child, but she took on a new borough. She is quite happy with all these decisions and since the apartment is a rental, it's a great experiment.
Bella lived in Manhattan, and most often in the East Village, for much of her adult life. As a family, Bella and her husband knew they needed more space. So, they brought most of their existing furniture to Dumbo, spread out, and exhaled.
Bella is practical to a certain extent in anticipation of her son's domestic exploits but for the most part, one would be hard pressed to say that the main living areas are child-centric. The apartment is full of light, and the design is easy-going but sophisticated.
Apartment Therapy Survey
Inspiration: The neighborhood, the industrial-modern style of the space itself, and our very busy 2 year old son, Paolo.
Favorite Element: well, for one thing I’d never had a washer /dryer in an apartment before so that is pretty awesome, but design wise I love the overall feel of the space — the tones of gray might be boring to some, but since I work with so much color in my day to day decorating world I love the calming combination of grays at home.
Biggest Challenge: My son’s room doesn’t have a window, so I had to make the room feel happy and cheerful without any natural light. The upside? He sleeps like a champ.
What Friends Say: I think most people comment on the light first, and then on the cool painted sign on the old factory building across the street.
Biggest Embarrassment: Gosh, the milk stains on the silk carpet are pretty embarrassing. So is my bedroom dresser, which is falling apart. I am pretty much the living example of the cobbler without shoes.
Proudest DIY: The text on my son’s wall. It was all my husband’s idea and doing, and I think it’s really just so sweet. I also love our chalkboard wall. We’ve all seen it done a million times, but I think it looks cool and it’s super useful with our crazy busy lives.
Biggest Indulgence: The living room rug (the one with milk stains all over it).
Best Advice: I approach interior design the same way I approach pulling together a wardrobe: I spend way too much on coats, bags and shoes, but I buy a lot of my clothes at J Crew and Zara. My advice is to spend money on key pieces in classic shapes that you will want to have for a long while and experiment with less expensive things like lamps, pillows, and other accessories. That, and ultrasuede is a fantastic fabric choice for sticky little fingers.
Dream Source: Maxalto, BB Italia, and BDDW. I would love to have a Maxalto sofa and a super slick BB Italia Flat C wall unit. I’d also take just about anything from BDDW.
- • Pierre sofa: Room
• Dunbar chair: Room
• Wassily chairs: Knoll
• Saarinen coffee table: Knoll
• TV unit: Desiron
• Rug: Carini Lang
• Floor lamp: Ligne Roset
• Bookshelves: IKEA
• Murano lamp: vintage
• Throw pillows: West Elm
• Dining table: CB2
• Pony chairs: CB2
• Credenza: Baxter and Liebchen
• Lamps: Christopher Spitzmiller
- • Bed: Room and Board
• Nightstands, dresser, and desk armoire: Crate and Barrel
• Tall cabinets: IKEA
• Bedside lamps: vintage and Jielde
• Rug: Carini Lang
• Bedding: Matteo + John Robshaw
• Throw pillows: Fornasetti
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