A Bold, Contemporary and Cozy Brooklyn Brownstone

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Living room (Image credit: Julia Gillard )

Name: Talia
Location: Bedford-Stuyvesant — Brooklyn, New York
The basics: 1 year, owned | 1,350 square feet

After living in the smaller unit for a few year, Talia and her son moved down into the larger unit of their Brooklyn brownstone. Super bright and kid (and cat) friendly, the space feels stylish yet unintimidating.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Our apartment is on the garden and parlor floor of an old Brooklyn Brownstone. We bought the building ten years ago and I intended to live in this “owner’s unit”, but after renovating the space I was short of funds and stayed upstairs for nine years in a 650-square-foot unit instead. Last year we moved downstairs and expanded into the wonderful new space. I wanted my son (Rian, now almost 4) to have more space to play and we were very excited to have a garden (we’re busy planting it now and are particularly excited to be growing kiwi fruit and blueberries). We are loving having the bigger apartment and enjoy inviting friends over, — the living room looks pretty spectacular after a dozen 3- and 4-year-olds have assisted in the decoration. We also have two kittens, Titan and Calypso, who are sweet and sometimes crazy and enjoy their very stylish mid-century modern style cat scratchers!

What is your favorite room and why? I love the living room — it is stylish but so comfortable and there is plenty of space to play. It’s got great light and views and the colors, art and collectibles make me happy. There are some beautiful furniture pieces that I’ve wanted for years and finally splurged on (attractive but so comfortable). We spend lots of time reading, playing and entertaining in this room.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I’d like to update the kitchen, completely remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room, putting in a big island. I love to cook and the kitchen has limited counter space and doesn’t feel as integrated into the space as I’d like. I’d also love to open up the rear facade with a huge sliding door onto the deck!

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I made the mirror over the living room fireplace. It’s “antiqued” and has a mix of reflective surfaces and bold color. I mounted it directly on the masonry wall surrounded with a simple 1×2 frame that I painted grey. It reflects light deep into the space and blends well with the colors in the room.

Talia’s words of wisdom: Buy and collect things you love. My home has objects and furniture I’ve collected over 20 years, including things like a dragon water puppet from a trip to Vietnam. Mix things you make, things you find, things you spend more money on than you should (if you can). Make your home tell a story and be an adventure! And don’t be afraid of color!!

Thanks, Talia !

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