A fam­ily em­barks on a whirl­wind up­date of a Brook­lyn pied à terre brim­ming with old and new ob­jects.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents - BY AU­TUMN KRAUSE

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.


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.

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