Neighbor Stories

Designers | A Colorful Interior Design

Written by: Christine Broomhead

Photography by: Robert Socha



Color dominates in the renovation and redesign that took place in this home on Garden Street. Owners Lauren and Eric bought the space intending to just redo a few rooms – the kitchen, the master bath – but after starting to plan with interior designer Joanne Laurie, they got the design bug and decided to do the whole brownstone.

Joanne’s first task was to reconfigure the rooms. There was a partial addition in the back that didn’t maximize space and the layout of the first floor made the living room too small to be practical. She moved the dining room to the front, the kitchen to the middle and the living room to the back. This ensured that the room where the most time was spent – the living room – was large, comfortable, and flooded with sunlight. Since moving the kitchen to the middle made it a little dark, Joanne suggested the owners go light and bright with their color choices and fixtures. They used a light pewter for the cabinets, caesarstone counters, marble backsplash, and painted the walls a grey-beige. For fixtures they went with brass, a bright metal used throughout the first floor. This tone brings warmth and its use across the rooms gives a cohesiveness to the design of the open floor plan.

To create more space on all three floors, the owners replaced the addition which extended only on the first floor and brought it all the way up the structure’s three floors. This was crucial to give the owners the master suite they wanted. The home initially lacked an adequate master bath, but with the addition, they were able to create an elegant spacious bathroom and walk-in closet. When designing, Joanne wanted the room to feel soft and comfortable, so she went monochrome, painting the trim, walls, and windows the same grey. Even the curtains she kept tone on tone. This makes the room seem particularly spacious and calm, the perfect ambiance for a bedroom haven.

However, Lauren was adamant about incorporating and mixing color, so she and Joanne decided to do feature color with the furniture rather than paint or builtins. Joanne tends towards classic and understated styles for pieces that are expensive and difficult to switch out, while letting current fashion shine in seating, pillows and light fixtures. In the living room, a tufted emerald green couch, a bold black and white rug, and complementary burnt orange chair make a statement while remaining chic. Throughout the home, the light fixtures draw your attention, including a dining room chandelier with arms that extend in every direction. Also, In the dining room, teal chairs bring personality and the whole floor is tied together with the dining room rug. It features every color in all the spaces.

This home does a rare thing: it showcases the owners’ personalities while maintaining broad appeal. It’s an example of how to do color right.

Love this J Laurie Designs home? Check out Joanne’s personal space here