Name: Danielle Colding
Location: Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: Almost 2 years; Rented
"Everything in here is from so many generations," explains Danielle as I ooh and aah at an apartment packed with style and sentiment. At every turn there is a beautiful something and a story attached to it. Danielle is not afraid to let me know that for her, "more is more" when it comes to creating a home you want to come home to.
Danielle grew up in Queens, went to high school in Brooklyn, has had a number of creative jobs over the years, and entered an HGTV design contest on a whim and won! Now she is a thriving interior designer.
Along the way, she lost her mom and found herself with a house full of incredible pieces, inherited and acquired over the years. Danielle grew up with many of the objects with which she now surrounds herself. She has managed to arrange and adapt them to her own lifestyle, but they still bring warm memories of her mother and her childhood.
To put together her new home, Danielle started with the finishing touches, the art, the accessories, the things she knew she couldn't live without. From there, she figured out the furnishings and the layout.
When choosing paint colors, she planned out the mood of each individual space, as well as the experience of transitioning from one space to the next. The hallway connecting the light living room and the very airy bedroom is dark, to create a dramatic shift as one moves through the apartment.
This is a space with depth and character. It draws you in and charms you, just like Danielle!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic, Global,
Inspiration: My life, it is an apartment filled with inherited items from my mother and grandparents. I grew up with most of these items in my own home, so the apartment very much represents my journey.
Favorite Element: Ohhh that’s tough. Probably the dressing room. It has always been a fantasy to have one, and now I do. It used to be my office. And then it was a storage room. And now it's a place for all my girly things.
Biggest Challenge: As with most designers who are around stuff all day long, it takes me forever to make decisions for myself. I went through a million options of curtains before making the final decisions for the living room and bedrooms.
Aside from that, the biggest challenge was definitely deciding what to use from my mother's collection. I had to move everything out of my mother's house in Queens to a two bedroom apartment and a storage facility. So I had to sort through 40 years' worth of stuff. It was and continues to be a major undertaking.
What Friends Say: Cozy! That’s the number one descriptor from anyone who comes and hangs out in my place.
Biggest Embarrassment: Probably that my dressing room used to be a serious junk room! Not very designer like, thank you very much. Now the “junk” has moved to the storage room downstairs. Hey, I’m a work in progress.
Proudest DIY: It’s a super simple upgrade but I have to say the room changed when I installed my new kitchen knobs. It was transformative.
Biggest Indulgence: I really didn’t indulge in any one thing in the apartment. However, after inheriting furniture I did have a huge upholstery and refinishing bill. I did everything at once, and it was a huge splurge for me.
Best Advice: Surround yourself with things that you love and that tell your personal story. Every single item in my apartment has a story and some special meaning. It is a real comforting haven from the outside world.
Dream Source: Nest in Chelsea! They just have the most amazing accessories and art.
Resources of Note:
- Caned Sofa, inherited from Mom who was given it by a friend, I repaired and reupholstered
- Elephant Coffee Table: Inherited from mom
- Arm Chair: bought from friend for $50. Reupholstered in fabric scraps I got from working at Irvine & Fleming. I think it’s Clarence House.
- Bar cart: Inherited from my grandfather and refinished
- Lamps: Andrew Martin
- Chinese Chest: purchased with my mom in San Francisco
- Marble demi-lune table: inherited from my grandfather
- Eye art: by artist friend Jerome Lagarrigue
- Mirror: West Elm
- Juju Hat: Purchased from Authentic Africa
- Throw Pillow: Kuba Cloth: Wisteria.com
- Throw Pillow lumbar: west elm
- Throw pillow silk: made by my upholsterer from my mother’s skirt from the 80’s
- Curtain hardware: West Elm
- Curtains: Restoration hardware
- Lucite Tray: Baker
- Paint: Benjamin Moore: Dragons Breath
- Chair and ottoman: inherited from mom, reupholstered in Norbar linen
- Desk: West Elm
- Stool: Inherited from mom, recovered in Scalamandre fabric
- Rug: Design within Reach
- Roman shade: made by David Haag Curtain Maker
- Fabric for Roman: Mood
- Throw Pillow: Fuego 718 in Williamsburg
- Lucite jewelry storage: The Container Store
- Kimono: The Red Collection consignment store, now closed
- Hooks: Anthropologie
- Art: inherited
- Chairs: Repop, Williamsburg, Vintage
- Table: My Little India @ Brooklyn Flea Market
- Shade: Fabric: Brunschwig & Fils/ Kravet Trim: M&J Trimmings
- Shade maker: David Haag Curtain Maker
- Artwork: Mostly inherited
- Frida Kahlo art: Purchased in Tulum
- People dish: purchased in Zinbabwe when I studied abroad
- Haitian art, from my mom’s honeymoon
- Basket: I purchased in South Africa
- Cabinet knobs: Anthropologie
- Paint: Benjamin Moore, Ticonderoga Taupe
- Shower Curtain: West Elm
- Rug: Ikea
- Table: Grandfathers
- Black and white Urns: Inherited from my mother
- Lucite containers: home goods
- Tooth brush holder: West Elm
- Headboard: One Kings Lane
- Bedding: Frette from Bloomingdales
- Starck Chair: a gift from Keith Irvine from Irvine and Fleming Kips bay project
- Lamps: Safievah
- Night Stands: Inherited from mom and refinished
- D Pillow: made by my aunt
- Dressers: From consignment shop in Riverhead, now closed called the Red Collection
- Brass Lamp: Baker
- Accessories: all inherited vintage
- Paint: Benjamin Moore, Newberg Green
- Light fixture: my grandfather's
- Art: from my mom
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(Image credits: Jill Slater)