Monday, April 4, 2016

Before and After: Contemporary in Jersey City

Well hello there!

What a busy month it has been.  Last week was my girls' Spring Break, and we headed to our old home, New York City.  The impetus for the trip was photographing a project I finished a while back in Jersey City, but then we almost didn't shoot it!  I'm so glad we made the time in the end, even if it was a very quick venture and I didn't do as much styling or get as many details as I usually would.

Ready for the tour?

The space is a tall and narrow brownstone which got a modern update but kept many original details intact.  My clients planned the major architectural changes on their own and brought me in to help decorate the entry, living/dining room, powder bath, master and guest bedrooms.

I shared some of the design boards and floor plans along the way:

Guest Room
Living room/ Dining Room
Master bedroom

Now for the before and after!
(A major caveat: these clients have great taste.  They had JUST moved in so everything is VERY unfinished in the before photos.  Lucky for me--the "Afters" look that much better!)

Living space before:

From the front entry, you looked at this stairway; the door to the left looked into the living room.  That whole wall got opened up.)

And after:
(We flip flopped the layout--living room went to the front windows and dining room in the middle, next to the kitchen.)

(I can't believe I didn't take my coat off the hooks in the front hall for the photo!  And missed an angle that shows the chartreuse wall color in there.)

Before again, looking towards the front of the house:

And after:

 Living room before:
(you can see the fireplace at the left edge of the photo for reference.)

Now the dining room:

This is such a good example of choosing carefully in a space with few pieces--the special items like this leather-front sideboard and the fabulous chandelier can really shine.


This is the first space we tackled, on the top floor of the house.  We used the existing bed but put it on the window wall.  I had them take the accent wall color on to all the walls.  From there it was all about textiles and texture!




This one was the most challenging.  Obviously these clients love color, but they wanted a calm, soothing retreat for the bedroom.  The trick?  It couldn't be boring.  So we chose pale neutrals and brought in interest through the details--wallpaper that makes a quiet statement, studded lacquered bedside tables, a fabulous mirror, etc!  




Let's see a close up of that fireplace:



I also love that wool geometric runner that runs up both flights of steps.  Great pattern, but subtle, as it is tone on tone.


There's no before, as this space is brand new-- carved out under the stairs.  It's teeny tiny and SO cute!

We used the same cement tile here as in the entry.  We should probably look at that again, no?

One funny thing about this project--though complete for a while now, this is the first time I saw it with all the changes and selections we made!

I love all my projects, and have enjoyed sharing some more traditional spaces lately.  But this one is closer to my own style, making it that much more exciting.  Sometimes I do this weird thing where I think about which magazine a space would best fit it, if it were to be in a magazine.

I think this one is SO domino.  Don't you agree?


  1. Yes, it is SO very Domino. You did an incredible job complementing the traditional features of the house (windows, millwork and marble fireplaces) by adding in more modern, worldly details, like that living room rug. Awesome job!

    1. Thanks so much Ashley! So happy you are still reading :)


Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!


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