– the trans­for­ma­tion of a Brook­lyn brown­stone into a whim­si­cal won­der­land


Wildlife mo­tifs and splashes of bright colour trans­formed this

dark Brook­lyn town­house into a whim­si­cal won­der­land.

Be­low: flora and fauna are dom­i­nant themes through­out the house, in­clud­ing this large statue of a deer and palm tree in

the liv­ing room.

Man­hat­tan-based in­te­rior de­signer Fawn Galli, has cre­ated the per­fect get­away from city life in her Brook­lyn brown­stone. Af­ter 15 years liv­ing it up as a hard-work­ing party girl in the West Vil­lage, a preg­nant Galli and her ar­chi­tect hus­band Julio Sal­cedo crossed the Brook­lyn bridge just over a decade ago to set up home in the fam­ily-friendly neigh­bour­hood of Car­roll Gar­dens.

They pur­chased a 760 square me­tre, turn of the 20th cen­tury town­house, which was painted red in­side and was some­what dark and dreary.

Galli im­me­di­ately set about bring­ing light into the four-storey home with a quirky de­sign aes­thetic she de­scribes as a mix of “70s disco, Alice in Won­der­land and mod­ern vin­tage”. Key to the look is Galli’s love of na­ture and her de­sire to in­clude flora and fauna mo­tifs through­out the home – in­clud­ing a life-size black fi­bre­glass deer ac­quired at the Chelsea Flower Mar­ket, which stands proudly by the fire­place in the liv­ing room.

“The nice as­pect of this town­house is the front gar­den,” says Galli, while dis­cussing her af­fec­tion for her home. “I feel like there’s a real kind of rest­ful mo­ment from the streets and the crazi­ness of New York City as soon as I en­ter the gar­den.”

The in­flu­ence of the gar­den is ev­i­dent through­out the house, thanks to Galli’s vi­brant colour pal­ette of bright green and hot pink. “I love colour and a sense of an­i­mal life and fan­tasy, which I wanted to in­cor­po­rate into the in­te­ri­ors,” she ex­plains.

Galli, her hus­band and sons, Gas­par and Las­zlo, oc­cupy a du­plex over the two lower floors of the brown­stone and rent out the up­per floors. The main floor con­tains the liv­ing room, din­ing room, kitchen and pow­der room, while the bed­rooms and

Be­low: an acrylic chan­de­lier hov­ers above the white mar­ble Saari­nen Tulip ta­ble, the chairs are vin­tage white leather, the wal­nut book­shelves were cus­tom-made.

bath­room are all on the lower floor at gar­den level.

The cou­ple kept ren­o­va­tions to a min­i­mum, in­stead choos­ing to open up the space with colour and clever de­sign tricks. “With most town­houses there’s an is­sue with light,” says Galli. “So I used some metal­lic wall­pa­per to re­flect the light from out­side, be­cause brown­stones can be very dark places to live.”

In the liv­ing room, two pieces of Roy Licht­en­stein wall­pa­per hang in frames by the win­dow, sur­rounded by the sil­ver metal­lic Florence Broad­hurst wall­pa­per. To­gether with a white leather Natuzzi sofa adorned with colour­ful cush­ions, the art adds a disco vibe to the space. Ei­ther side of the sofa sit match­ing ta­ble lamps, which Galli found in a store on the Lower East Side, and above it hangs a cuckoo clock she bought in SoHo.

Galli used green cur­tains (cus­tom-made for her from Lao­tian

Above: a pic­ture by New York artist Meghan Boody hangs above the fire­place in the din­ing room, Galli’s favourite space in the house.

fab­ric), a chair up­hol­stered in vi­brant green vel­vet, a sin­gle pot­ted palm tree and, of course, the fi­bre­glass deer, to bring the all-im­por­tant sense of na­ture into the room.

“I think it brings height to a liv­ing space and gives it a kind of trop­i­cal flourish,” she says of the tree, “and I re­ally love to use an­i­mals be­cause I grew up in the coun­try­side. I love an­i­mals in the in­te­rior. I feel like it gives it this kind of other-worldly am­biance.”

This ‘other-wordly’ feel con­tin­ues through­out the house where you find flo­ral wall­pa­per with match­ing cur­tains, a gold or­na­men­tal rab­bit by Paul Smith dis­played along­side a bright pink rab­bit on a mar­ble man­tel­piece, and ce­ramic birds dot­ted all around.

Down­stairs, a door leads from the gar­den into the hall­way off which the bed­rooms are lo­cated.

The cou­ple had a door put into the mas­ter bed­room to give them di­rect ac­cess to the gar­den and cre­ate a con­stant loop to the out­doors.

“Walk straight down the hall­way and there’s the mas­ter bed­room with a walk-in closet and doors that bring you out to the gar­den again,” says Galli, high­light­ing how the lay­out of the house em­braces its sur­round­ings.

A bright orange mo­hair head­board on the king­size bed brings warmth into the mas­ter bed­room, while cur­tains and wall­pa­per from Scot­tish com­pany Tim­o­rous Beast­ies sur­prise with their large images of igua­nas, birds, and other flora and fauna.

I re­ally love to use an­i­mals be­cause I grew up in the coun­try­side. I feel like it gives it this kind of other-worldly


Above: the cou­ple had a door added to the mas­ter bed­room to give them di­rect ac­cess to the gar­den, the orange mo­hair head­board was cus­tom­made, the Iguana wall­pa­per is by Tim­o­rous Beast­ies. Be­low left: a green rug from Star Car­pet and ce­ramic par­rot lamp from Roost con­tinue the

na­ture theme. Be­low right: the bath­room fea­tures white sub­way tiles and bird wall­pa­per from Stark.

White ce­ramic par­rot lamps sit on each of the bed­side ta­bles.

When not en­joy­ing the won­der­land she has cre­ated in her home, Galli does res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial work in New

York City, Con­necti­cut, and the Hamp­tons. Asked to choose a favourite spot in the house, she says she spends a lot of time with her fam­ily in the din­ing room, which is con­nected to the kitchen via a long pass.

An acrylic chan­de­lier hangs low over a white mar­ble-topped Saari­nen Tulip ta­ble, which is sur­rounded by four vin­tage white leather chairs. Cus­tom-made floor-to-ceil­ing wal­nut book­shelves loaded with the fam­ily’s books line one wall. “The chil­dren do their home­work there and we share meals there,” she says of the room. “In the warmer months, we like to have friends over for bar­be­cues on the ter­race off the kitchen.”

Then, of course, there is the gar­den, where Galli and Sal­cedo like to drink their morn­ing cof­fee when the weather al­lows and where the chil­dren play to the sound of birds in the trees and the hum of New York City in the dis­tance.

Be­low: a pal­ette of bright green and hot pink re­flects Galli’s love of colour. Right: the white leather sofa and framed Roy Licht­en­stein wall­pa­per add a 70s disco vibe to the room.

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