Inside Out: Elise and Bryan's Comfort Zone with Style

Inside Out: Elise and Bryan's Comfort Zone with Style

Jill Slater
Jul 30, 2007

Inside Out: A showcase for those who transform their residences into homes via innovative intervention

Name: Elise and Bryan
Location: Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Size: 650 sqft one bdrm (made into 2)l

Built-ins have transformed the lives of Elise, Byran and their two kids.

After living in the apartment for a while and having a couple of children, it became obvious to both Elise and Bryan that the key to longevity was getting organized and sacrificing the dining room....

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In so doing, Elise and Bryan have managed to create room to breathe, as well as space for the children to play.

Elise contacted me and submitted all the photos as well as backround on the family's home. As a dedicated Inside Out reader, Elise thought it was time to share! We were thrilled to hear from her and enjoy the warmth and comfort evident in the apartment, and the way it is used by the whole family.

My Style: —"opposites attract": juxtaposing opposing design elements to create a personal narrative—muted tones with saturated jolts of color; modern rectilinear lines with pre-war architectural details, natural with man-made materials; pattern with solids, old with new furnishings and light fixtures.

Inspiration: countless shelter magazine spreads and interiors books, favorites being World of Interiors magazine and London Interiors (book),, my friends' apartments, the progressive, sustainable "downsizing movement."

Favorite Element: pre-war details like glass doorknobs, marble windowsills, heavy solid wood paneled and windowed doors, parquet floors.

Biggest Challenge: You may notice that we don't have a crib in our apartment. We use a bedrail on the bottom bunk to keep our baby girl safe when she naps, and we have been known to store a futon under the bed in the master bedroom, trundle style, and slide it out at night. We're still working on a permanent sleeping solution that will work for all of us.

Biggest Embarrassment: painting the living room eggshell diahrrea brown two paint-jobs ago.

What Friends Say:: It's so much more spacious than it used to be; you're great with color; Now you'll never have to move

Best advice: For small spaces I recommend using Benjamin Moore's Historical Color Collection, because they're muted. With their Classic colors, I find I'm itching to repaint within a week, since the color takes over the space. I can zone out surrounded by a muted palette. Also, if your walls are textured, go with a flat finish. To create the illusion of space, conceal your things behind doors and curtains.

Proudest DIY:Elise: designing spaceplanning solutions, especially hiding "media center" in a cabinet in the living room; making the kitchen mosaic for the price of a can of tile cement and grout.
Bryan: building the curtained armoire, triangular desk, and nighttables in the bedroom.

Biggest Indulgence the living room chair from Room & Board, upholstered in durable microfiber

Dream source: ABC Carpet & Home.


Paint color: Benjamin Moore "potourri green"
Metal submarine chair: Sunset Park Chinatown metal scrap store
Orange upholstered vintage office chair: Maine flea market
Green paint-chipped chair: vintage boutique in East Village
Brown chair: Bryan's brother's house
Faucet: Lowe's
Mosaic tiles: Hastings Tile and Bath
Cabinets, floor, appliances and countertop: Home Depot (installed by previous owners)

Living Room
Paint color: Benjamin Moore "van alen green" (HC-120)
Rug: Pottery Barn
Chair: Room & Board
Nesting tables:
Built-in cabinets: Slawomir Zlawadzki
Tree pattern pillow shams: Ikea
Black/grey oval pattern pillows: Refinery, Brooklyn
Chandelier and wall sconce: The Lighting Store, 39th and Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn
Glass bookcase: Bryan's brother
Black-framed mirror: Elise's grandmother
Blinds: Home Depot

Paint color: Benjamin Moore "Beacon Hill Damask" (HC-2)
Glass/brass lamp: Maine antique store
Marble lamp: Elise's grandmother
Chandelier shades: Home Depot
Chandelier: previous owners left it
Painting over bed: Laura Ricker
Rug: Pottery Barn
Desk: custom-built by Bryan with Ikea legs
Painting over desk: Kathy Calderwood
Cabinet over desk: Ikea
Desk chair: Covered Bridge Antiques, Delaware Water Gap, NJ
Blinds: Home Depot

Paint color: Benjamin Moore (HC-48)
Shower curtain:
Maxfield Parrish repro: Elise's father
Antique silver and glass vessels: Elise's grandmother
Painted wall shelf: antiques barn, Stroudsberg, PA

Kids' room
Paint color: Benjamin Moore "Palladian Blue" (HC-144)
Bunk bed and linens: Ikea
Bookshelf: garbage room in our building
Wall sconce: Covered Bridge Antiques, Delaware Water Gap, NJ
Table and toy shelves: Custom-built by Bryan
Chairs: Ikea
Checkered Rug:
Round rug: Ikea
Blinds: Home Depot

Paint color: Benjamin Moore "African violet"
medicine cabinet: Lowe's
Round mirrors: salvaged

Originally Posted on March 28th, 2007
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