For interior designer Crystal Sinclair, revamping an 1899 Brooklyn brownstone was a leap of faith. First off, most of the initial talks took place via Instagram because her clients, a family of four, had been living in Nashville, taking care of a relative with Alzheimer’s. “We didn’t meet until things were really underway,” Crystal recalls.
The homeowners wanted to reimagine the Brooklyn home they’d purchased eight years ago, infusing it with Mediterranean and bohemian influences and making it more kid-friendly for their growing brood. (They happened to welcome their second child mid-renovation!) They were ready to part ways with the country-chic aesthetic, closed-off entryway, and claustrophobic hallways. Plus, they were hoping for more storage and an updated bathroom.
Through those social media conversations, Crystal saw a theme arise: “Muted green was a color I kept seeing over and over in what she would send me,” she says. There was also a love for texture, layers on layers, and an overall bright yet warm and cozy feel in the inspiration imagery.
One of the most noticeable design themes is the intentional collections, which appear all over the home. The den features seafoam-colored glass bottles, which the owners had already been collecting, but “we went off of that and blew it up a thousand times,” Crystal says. While there aren’t literally a thousand bottles in the home, it’s quite the curated sum, which adds a unique flair to the space.
Furthermore, Crystal was looking for something to hang behind the couch and art didn’t seem like the appropriate fit. Instead, she was craving something more organic and sculptural, finally landing on breadboards. “I scoured the internet and would look for them anywhere,” she says. “I traveled to my hometown of Comfort, Texas, and shoved some in my suitcase. The collection is really from all over.”
The entry has its own set of multiples, with soft, textured baskets, while the powder bath has gone full glam with antique gilded mirrors. Throughout the home, a balance between curated sophistication and unfussy child-approved pieces can also be seen. The parlor acts as a nod to the home’s history, with antiques, custom built-in bookshelves that seem to disappear on either side of the fireplace, an American flag, which is a family heirloom, and a hanging chair—one of the client’s favorite purchases.
There are also plenty of pieces with as much character as the home itself, from the detailed credenza from an antique shop in Hudson, New York; a Chairish lamp that had once been a hair dryer; the Donso ngoni instrument in the master bedroom that the couple purchased on their honeymoon in South Africa; and a fluorescent “Spread Love. It’s the Brooklyn Way” sign in the dining room. But one of the biggest successes in the home is the usage of IKEA cabinetry. In lieu of costly custom cabinetry, Crystal went for IKEA with Semihandmade and Reform fronts for the kitchen and architectural storage surrounding the powder bath.
“It was blend from the beginning,” Crystal says. “Their tastes were all over, so it was all about pulling it together to create one unique look.”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest