In Partnership WithWalmart

Before & After: One of Our Favorite Design Duos Made a Retro “Conversation Corner” in Their Study and We’re Obsessed with Their Choices

published Sep 19, 2023
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Credit: Brownstone Boys

Jordan and Barry, aka The Brownstone Boys, are living the dream. First, this DIY- and design-savvy duo turned their passion for Brooklyn brownstones into a gorgeous home for themselves. Then they started a renovation business to help other lovers of this classic architectural style restore their spaces to full glory.

While the Brownstone Boys have already done enough DIYs and projects for their home to be completely stunning, they’re always down for new ideas. Recently, they decided they wanted to cozy up their office space with a conversation corner for catching up, having a drink, or reading by the (gorgeous) window.

Credit: Armando Rafael

“Our office is where we each go to get our own personal creative time, but it’s also a place where we enjoy taking in the natural light,” they say. “We were looking to create an area where we can relax, but is also a space for us to get inspired.”

The Brownstone Boys are known for bringing a retro-inspired sensibility to their projects, incorporating modern elements while bringing out all the period beauty and drama inherent in their favorite architectural style. To achieve that balance here, they went shopping somewhere that you might not expect: Walmart. The everything-you-need store has captured our fall style with chic ’70s inspo and prices that might actually make you do a double-take.

Credit: Armando Rafael

“We were surprised how many directions we could go with all the options available from Walmart,” they said. “With a conversational corner, it’s important to be strategic about the zones you are designing for. For us, it was about gaining storage and creating a place to unwind and get inspired. There were so many beautiful options to choose from.”

Credit: Armando Rafael

The most important part of any conversation corner is comfy seating! (Good gossip sessions require proper lumbar support.) The mod vibes of this pillow-top futon are just right for settling in with a good glass of wine and a good friend. Plus, the warm faux leather fits seamlessly with the room’s rich wood tones. The Brownstone Boys added soft textures for a more touchable effect, with a pair of faux suede throw pillows in rich clay and a snuggly chenille throw blanket in a neutral stripe.

Credit: Armando Rafael

Next, everyone should have a surface handy for setting down drinks and plates. The Brownstone Boys started with an elegant pedestal wood coffee table. The rounded shape fits in with the room’s soft lines, and the dark walnut finish adds depth. They echoed the shape and material with a marble-topped end table beside the sofa.

Credit: Armando Rafael

We’re also firm believers that every room is better with a sideboard — they’re just that handy, whether they’re storing table linens, books and games, or miscellany from all over the house. This black wood and rattan model picks up on the midcentury vibes and natural materials all around the room.

“It’s a beautifully designed piece that gives the space new life and keeps our clutter under control,” they say. “And it’s made of solid wood! The rattan detail suits our style and gives the room a warm feel.”

Credit: Armando Rafael

The Brownstone Boys styled the cabinet simply and elegantly, with antique-finish gold candle holders, elegant taper candles, and earthy ceramic vases for a relaxed ambiance. Convo mode activated.

Credit: Armando Rafael

“It feels like it was almost meant to be, which is the highest compliment we can give to the space,” they say. “We created a simple moment that will go a long way. And we’re really excited for the extra storage!”