Name: Kelly & Greg
Location: Brooklyn — New York, NY
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months — rented
As a fashion blogger and photographer combo, Kelly and Greg have a special knack for revealing the glamourous in the unassuming. Behind the doors of their simple and sleek modern apartment lies a whimsical, elegant and diverse collection of finds that is telling of the couple's adventures in taste-making.
"You're just in time! Come downstairs and see what my Grandmother just mailed us from Texas!" This type of greeting, along with a friendly kiss-kiss, is nothing out of the ordinary when paying a visit to the home of the fashion stylist/photog duo (and good friends) Kelly & Greg. As the bubbly and inventive personality behind the fashion blog TheGlamourai.com, Kelly spends her days mixing high and low to create chic and unique, trend-setting looks - and her personal style in the home is no different. We scoop up Bunny (their irresistibly adorable Papillon) and follow Kelly down into the office to find Greg assembling a vintage aluminum Christmas Tree. "It was in my Great Grandmother's attic, still wrapped in newspaper from 1962. Isn't it perfect?"
It is. You see, Kelly and Greg's home is a menagerie of glittery, one-of-a-kind objects, set against a crisp, white backdrop of a modern apartment. By smartly mixing new furniture pieces with an impressive assemblage of vintage items, the two succeed at what many residents of new buildings struggle to achieve - bringing warmth and personality into a stark and minimal framework.
But warmth and personality are only the beginning of the list of impressive traits of this creative super-couple. The two are also matched in a harmony of finesse and ingenuity - equally gifted with a keen eye for snazzy, one-off items and welcoming of the challenge of making shabby or unusual pieces work in a sophisticated way. Neither are afraid to get their hands dirty when they see a must-have item - like the time Kelly spotted three, giant theatre marquee review signs on the sidewalk across from her former office in Times Square, hauled them across the street herself and convinced a doorman to let her store them in his lobby until she could find a friend with a truck.
As savvy deal hunters, the two make regular trips to yard sales in the Hamptons and the flea market in Brimfield, MA. They love discovering and sharing the stories behind their special finds - like Greg's framed lithograph by Hermann Zapf: "He's the guy who created Wingdings!" But as we've heard them politely (yet ever-so seriously) reiterate time and time again to those who enthusiastically invite themselves on their thrifty excursions, "You are always welcome to join us, but you must provide your own transportation...we usually pack every square inch of the car by the end of the day."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Midcentury-simplicity meets ramshackle-regency.
Inspiration: The apartment itself is quite modern, so our goal was to work with the best parts of that (the clean lines, the black, white & chocolate brown palette), combine it with my [Kelly's] love of unique, vintage oddities, and tie it all together with glam metallics.
Favorite Element: Greg loves to cook, so for him it's the big (by NYC standards), open kitchen.
I really appreciate the absolute separation between our living and working spaces. When you're in either of them, you are almost unaware that the other exists ~ they even have separate entrances. We tried to reinforce this division by decorating each differently. The studio is much more casual than the apartment proper. It's a place to get inspired, get messy, get crafty. Meanwhile, upstairs is totally geared for relaxing and entertaining.
Biggest Challenge: The living room is set on an odd angle. We played with a lot of furniture configurations in an attempt to maximize that space.
What Friends Say: They're always surprised by how warm and cozy the place feels, despite the desaturated palette.
Biggest Embarrassment: When you live with a small pup in the big city, "weewee pads" are an unavoidable fact of life. We hide them as best we can (in a nook off the kitchen), and clean the area multiple times a day so that it never, ever smells!
Proudest DIY: Greg custom-built the table behind the couch, which makes brilliant use of the oddest possible angle. And though we didn't do it ourselves, reframing the windows to let the blinds hang midway down (creating skylights while maintaining privacy) was an exciting makeover. This little change brought a new architectural element to the living area, gave us a ton more light, and saved us from having to invest in new, more expensive window treatments.
Biggest Indulgence: Because we're renting, we've been pretty thrifty with everything in this space. But I must admit that Greg has been very 'indulgent' of my love for all things shiny! Fortunately, he's slowly growing to love brass as much as I do.
More pragmatically, I think lampshades are a really important investment. Most of the shades in our house cost ten times what the lamps below them did. It's the sort of finishing touch that makes a world of difference.
Best Advice: Greg says: compromise. I say: It doesn't matter if you're living in a space for one year or ten - put the effort into making it a place that inspires you and reflects your personality. You deserve to wake up every morning and feel excited about your environment!
Dream Sources: The classifieds! Or their modern equivalent, EstateSales.net. We love treasure hunting.
I also dream-shop on First Dibs all the time - then try to track down my favorite specimens for a steal on eBay!
Resources of Note:
- • Mirrors: Antique stores and yard sales
• Table: Reclaimed Wood
• Painting by Kelly Framel
- • Paint Colors: Decorator's White by Bejamin More & Wenge by Behr
• Couch: Crate & Barrell
• Rug: Walmart (via Beso.com)
• Coffee table: Two Jakes
• End Tables: Various Yard Sales
• Illustration by Alex Daniel
• Pillows: Etsy and Urban Outfitters
• Lamps: Junk
• Candle: Church tag sale
• Hanging Screen: Ebay
• Framed Prints: French Vogue
- • Antique Frame: Texas vintage store
•Glass Table: Brimfield Market
•Stools: West Elm
•S-Curve Photograph by Greg Kessler
Lithograph by Hermann Zapf
- • Glassware: Mercury Tip Collection by Dorthy: Various antique markets and Ebay
• Bar Cabinet: Yard sale in NJ with a DIY touch.
• Flower Flutes: East Hampton
• Appliances: Bosch
• Stools: Sidewalk find!
• Marble Sugar Canisters: Brimfield Market
• Mismatched China: Junk
• Scrabble Notebook (For Wine & Cheese Notes): Artists and Fleas
- • 1970's Sculpture by C. Jere: Brimfield Market
• Step Stool: Hamptons Yard Sale with a DIY touch
• Corner Chair: Brimfield Market
• Sconce: Junk
• Bed: Ikea
• Bedding: Restoration Hardware
• Table Lamps: Brimfield Market
• End Tables: Brimfield Market
• Dresser: Craigslist with a DIY touch
• Prints: Sam Haskins
- • Floor Lamp: Sidewalk find!
• Painting: Austin-based artist Marlin Linville
- • Daybed: West Elm
• Pillows: Ikea & Future Perfect
• Coffee Table: A DIY project. Plate stand & mirror from Junk
• Directors Chair: Junk
• End Table: Sidewalk Find!
• Panther: Antique store in Florida
• Shelves: Ikea
• Desk: Ikea
• Theatre Marquee Review Signs: Sidewalk Find!
• All Lampshades: Just Shades
• C-Stand with Clamp Light: Greg's own photography equipment
• Cowhides: Ebay
Thanks, Kelly & Greg!
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