A BROOKLYN HIDEAWAY
A family embarks on a whirlwind update of a Brooklyn pied à terre brimming with old and new objects.
Check out this updated Brooklyn pied à
terre, full to the brim with old and new prized objects.
“We recently have been inspired by geometric patterns. This blend of craftsmanship and modernism is a beautiful synthesis of old and new.”
When Cameron Schwabenton’s longtime clients requested a fast-tracked update of their new Brooklyn pied à terre, she was all too happy to oblige—after all, the motivating person behind the decision was a tiny new family member. Cameron explains, “The clients’ son and his family live in the apartment just below, so they were anxious to get into their new home so they could be close and help out with their grandson.” The apartment was only 800 square feet, but Cameron turned the small layout into a cozy place brimming with antiques, books, and items the clients purchased while traveling. It’s now the perfect place for sipping a cup of coffee with a good book—or snuggling with a sweet little baby.
The dining room reflects the couple’s love for reading and travel, so Cameron incorporated a global and historical feel into the design, creating an effortless way for the clients to share their passions with their grandchild. An African Korhogo cloth from the Senufo tribe hangs against the apartment’s original brick fireplace, adding a “playful touch and contrasting with the room’s colors,” while bookshelves maximize the space and showcase a
“We wanted to maximize seating and at the same time open the flow and feeling of the interior—not easy to do, but I think we accomplished that here.”
collection of antiques and old books. Cameron intentionally curated the books in red hues to “pop against the blue backdrop of the shelves” and, since the apartment has an open floorplan, the reds in the dining space tie in with the Pierre Frey curtains framing the living area’s windows. Cameron expertly incorporated a Midcentury Modern sensibility into the room with a 1965 honeycomb light fixture and a walnut dining set upholstered in wool Camira fabric. “The simple shape of the light fixture complements the small space without detracting from the other decorative elements in the room,” Cameron says. “When illuminated, it glows a watercolor blue, similar to the color of the dining chairs.” The dining area is eclectic, elegant and full of details that capture the imagination.
A SENSE OF SPACE
The living room was especially important because the homeowners knew they would create many special memories with their grandchild there. Cameron used the open floorplan—the kitchen, living area and dining space are all visible to each other—to create a sense of space, while still distinguishing the borders and uses of each area. She says, “We wanted to maximize seating and at the same time open the flow and feeling of the interior—not easy to do, but I think we accomplished that here.” She styled a cohesive and spacious living area with artfully scaled furniture, colors and patterns. Pierre Frey curtains elongate the space with both their height and intricate pattern, while lampshades, designed and hand-painted by Cameron herself, interplay beautifully with the curtain panels. She explains that “the lampshades’ geometry plays nicely off the intricate pattern on the Pierre Frey curtains, and both add height to the area.” The curtains are made from a reproduced 19th-century Persian panel. When enjoying their beauty, one is immersed in a narrative of a faraway place and time. Cameron selected a vintage McGuire rattan sofa because it is “stunning from all angles and floats beautifully in the room.” She shadowboxed a collection of Ghana fans and hung them in between the terrace doors and the window. They add exotic drama to the room, while being far above the orbit of a little one’s curiosity.
As in the living room, a pair of glorious curtains mesmerizes in the master bedroom, while a mix of unique furnishings gives the space a curated yet serene atmosphere. “The Dedar curtains were hand-painted in Milan,” Cameron says. “We recently have been inspired by geometric patterns. This blend of craftsmanship and modernism is a beautiful
synthesis of old and new.” She highlighted the curtains’ geometric pattern by hanging framed butterfly collections in between the windows, saying, “The pattern plays nicely off the organic shapes of the butterflies.” A Moroccan screen was used as a headboard, as Cameron explains, “to elongate the room and add visual interest to the ivory walls.” She chose a narrow 18th-century carved oak Spanish chest for its fascinating history and ability to fit nicely into the tight space. Two ebonized sycamore Art Deco pedestals function as nightstands but also provide extra room for books.
Under Cameron’s expert guidance, the speedy redesign was accomplished and the cozy pied à terre was opened up and filled with the things the homeowners love. In this beautifully curated setting, the clients look forward to sharing many cherished memories with their precious new grandchild and introducing him to the things that have made their lives rich and full.
|OPPOSITE| LAID-BACK BEAUTY. Cameron gave the living area a cozy, intimate feel by grouping the McGuire rattan sofa and 1970 leather armchairs in a conversation-friendly arrangement. “At the same time,” she says, “the family can easily move the sofa to open up the room for entertaining.” LOVELY LIGHT. While the living area is tight on space, it’s rich in natural light, which pours in from the window and terrace doors. Cameron stuck to an earthy, warm palette, which plays beautifully with the shafts of light.
| BOTTOM RIGHT| SMALL SPACE SMARTS. Each item was chosen with a view to its aesthetic and function—especiallysince space was at a premium. In the entryway, Cameron selected a Tommi Parzinger chest for its style and discreetstorage capacities.
|RIGHT| MODERN READS. An entire wall of the study is dedicated to a rosewood Midcentury Modern desk unit. “Prior to purchasing, the unit was used on the set of an upcoming Netflix show called Ronald,” Cameron shares.
MID MOD INFLUENCE. The classic black-and-white kitchen was updated with custom-made brass cabinet hardware and a pair of hand-blown Midcentury Modern globe lights, while compass-leg barstools were selected for their “small scale and visual interest.”
|RIGHT| PERSONAL ART. A handmade stencil of Frida Kahlo over a mixed-media collage gives an 18th-century Spanish chest a modern twist (and proves that the artistic genes run deep in Cameron’s family—the artist is her niece, Olivia Hock).
|ABOVE LEFT| SERENE STUDY. The study serves as an office, den and guest room. Cameron picked a compact-size sofa bed and had it upholstered in a Ralph Lauren wool herringbone fabric. One of her signature, round Mommy Pop pillows adds depth to the sofa. As in the other rooms of the home, eye-catching, patterned curtains make a statement yet, due to their soft nature, don’t weigh down the space.