a brooklyn living room

One early Saturday morning, when Mabel was about 4 months old, I headed to our local coffee shop for my daily cappuccino. In front of me in line was another petite gal with a tiny person strapped to her chest. We talked for two hours, exchanged digits, set up a family play date, and the rest is history. Mom dating is serious business.

Many moons later, she’s one of my best friends. We frequent her first floor through (and basement) brownstone rental almost every weekend and on one occasion she mentioned my helping her to decorate. She’s been waiting for this blog post ever since.


Best way to take a “before” pic is obviously while our children are running around like maniacs. The bones are terrific and just a few tweaks will help my friend to brighten and optimize her living space.

The foundation is a roomy, comfortable sectional and a high pile grey and yellow rug (awesome for the kids.)


And here’s a budget friendly ten step (in order of priority) plan for enhancing this Brooklyn living room.


I kept the grey and yellow color palette, and overall the changes are meant to just simplify and de-clutter the room – and by that I mean fewer, harder working pieces. A bright white paint job would clean the slate. A large armoire creates a place to store all the toys and adds some balance to the room as the rest of the furniture is lower. The TV gets mounted to the wall and a floating console sits over the metal radiator in the corner and 2 storage ottomans. The ottomans double as additional toy storage or coffee tables. Small side stools add seating or a place to set a drink. I especially loved the furry topper that transforms a simple stool. Instead of curtains, I chose simple white roller shades for privacy. I’d replace the bar stools with upholstered stools. They would ground the bar and also be a comfortable spot for chatting at the bar. A large arched lamp would add light into the middle of the room. The brick walls needs something large scaled – a great mirror or a large abstract piece on a wrapped canvas would do the trick. And finally, an assortment of pillows in various fabrics and textures add interest to the space.

Here’s how it works all together.


Hope you like it, friend!


Ikea Kivit Sectional | Ikea Birket Rug | Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace | Metal Cabinet via Chairish ($300, but I think we could find something for less) | Ikea Billy Cabinet  (under $190) |  40″ Floating Console in Ash ($260) | Storage Ottomans ($85/each) | Rattan Stool ($38.64) | Wood Stool ($32) | Stool Sheepskin Topper $28.41) |  JC Penney Quinn roller shade ($224 for two) | Threshold Brookline Tufted Stools $94 each x 3 | Shaded Arc Floor Lamp ($85) | Abstract Print ($350)|  36″ Mirror ($180) | Organic Pillows x 4 ($12+) | Grey Fabric ($30) | Dwell Studio Bella Porte Slub Citrine Fabric ($13.26/yard) | Jaclyn Smith Bassette Jacquard Soleil Fabric ($21.98/yard) | Dwell Studio Vintage Blossom Slub Citrine Fabric  ($19.75/yard) | 

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