New Elegance #8

A property once owned by an order of nuns has been turned into a glamorous family home that’s pure design heaven

Get the look: The sofa is a vintage find – try Circa for similar. This is the Beetle side chair by GamFratesi for Gubi. The Wisp side tables, by the sofa and chair, are by Ochre. The Enoki side tables are by Philipp Mainzer for e15 and the standing mirror is by Carl Auböck. The rug is from West Elm. This is the Triad 9 pendant by Apparatus Studio.


An 1830s townhouse in Brooklyn Heights, NYC. On the ground floor is the living room with dining area and a kitchen. On the lower-ground floor is a family room, kitchenette, guest bedroom, laundry room, bathroom and WC, plus a cinema room and wine store in the cellar. The first floor has the master suite with a dressing room and study. Upstairs, the three children’s bedrooms (plus two bathrooms) lead off a central playroom. The top floor has another family room leading to a roof terrace.

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The genteel peach-soft spectrum of pastels in the living room (pictured above) took their cue from its key artwork, an oscillating orb of colours by Charlotte Hallberg. With the shafts of natural sunlight that flow in through the tall windows, this space feels both sophisticated and dazzlingly simple. The living room pendant by Apparatus Studio is a lesson in advanced trigonometry.


Not many people can say they bought their latest home from an order of nuns. But, then again, there’s little about this Brooklyn Heights house that’s run of the mill. As the gritty photograph in the dining room says, when you walk into this home, ‘Be Prepared for the Unexpected’. The Studio Dunn lighting design over the dining area is as poised as a tightrope walker’s pole. The window offers views over lower Manhattan.

Get the look: This is the Strut table by Blu Dot. The Saarinen Executive chairs by Knoll are upholstered in Lace linen by Rebecca Atwood. The photograph is by Jeff Barnett-Winsby. This is the Sorenthia pendant by Studio Dunn.


The ground floor is largely open plan, but the owners work in this more intimate spot, which is warmed up with pops of lemon yellow.

Get the look: The chairs are from Amsterdam Modern in LA – try Homeplace for similar. The table is from White on White in New York – check out for similar. The patterned cushions are made up in Grove Citron linen by Wayne Pate for Studio Four NYC and 
the velvet cushions are from Ochre.


Moodier hues are given free reign in this glamorous lair. The walls of the study hum in a deep aubergine shade that lets the glossy lighting and furniture shine out in contrast.

Get the look: A similar paint colour is Brinjal by Farrow & Ball. This is a vintage Spoleto chair by Uffico Tecnico for Knoll. For a similar desk, try Andrew Martin. The photographs are by Jeff Barnett-Winsby. This is Serge Mouille’s Spider ceiling lamp.


The kitchen is chic and simple, with plenty of marble to add a natural yet sophisticated element. Details are all-important, from rounded cabinet corners to the brass footrest.

Get the look: The cabinetry is bespoke by Studio DB with a La Cornue range cooker. Mandarin Stone can supply similar marble. The pendants are from Crate & Barrel. These are Sable stools by Ochre.


Working on a grand scale – the house is spread over six floors – there’s a strong design ethos evident in this thoroughly modern townhouse. This is a place where architectural curves are echoed in sculptural furniture and lighting.

The classic sweeping staircase is the centrepiece, setting the tone and design template for the whole house. The curves soften the space and this idea is echoes on the furniture and artwork too. At the top of the staircase there’s a skylight, allowing natural light to flow all the way down.

Get the look: The staircase is bespoke by Studio DB. The side tables are from ABC Carpet & Home. 
The herringbone parquet flooring is from Brooklyn’s The Hudson Company.


Marble flooring in the entrance hall comes studded with brass for a museum-foyer vibe. A lift is concealed behind double doors on the left, providing easy access to the top floor.

Get the look: This is the Discus pendant by Jamie Gray for Matter-Made at Matter. The bench and cushion are from Ochre.


Although the entry floor has a flow-through feel, the spaces upstairs remain truer to the house’s 19th-century roots. While convention rules in terms of the architecture, furniture and surfaces are that bit edgier.

Here, bespoke units with recessed handles subtly echo the geometric mood of the mirror and lights.

Get the look: The vanity unit was made bespoke by Studio DB. These are Aurora pendants by Oregon brand Cedar & Moss. The mirror is by New York-based Matter.


Texture takes precedence over colour in this restful space.

Get the look: The bed is from ABC Carpet & Home. The storage bench is from Ochre. The bedside table is from US retailer Design Within Reach – West Elm sells similar. This is a Phillip Jeffries wall covering.


Art and real life happily coexist in this home.

Get the look: These photographic prints are by Anna Moller at Uprise Art. The bath is from Canadian brand Cheviot Products – the Camden bath at CP Hart is a good match.

To see more of Studio DB’s portfolio, visit

Photography ⁄ Matthew Williams

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