This living room makeover of a Brooklyn Brownstone RENTAL (!) is one of my favorites. The family is A) fantastic and B) out of time, and they needed help making their most commonly used living space into something usable and pretty. This required putting stuff on the walls and doing some cosmetic design work because the initial situation - bless its heart - was not OK. Friendly reminder, this is a rental, so we weren't necessarily looking for forever pieces or cheap-o placeholders. Really the goal was to get art and furnishings that we called "maybe forevers" -- pieces that could be repurposed for future homes, or not, without too much emotional torture.


Step 1 was to address the floor plan; there was the largest piece of furniture I've ever seen set between the windows, blocking light and creating two awkward sitting areas. We moved that sucker to the side, changed up the rugs to make two not-awkward areas, and declared one the dining nook and the other the living space. Side note: rugs that are 20 feet long are extraordinarily heavy. 

Step 2 was to style the walls. We purchased one large painting and framed it in a dark wood for over the yellow couch. The dark frame was key to creating contrast in the space because everything was a blonde-color at first. The opposite wall became an art gallery wall, filled with uplifting pieces in various media, including a photograph of the husband's first apartment when his family moved to America that we had reprinted and framed. Finally, in the dining nook, we put up some gray vintage mirrors in different sizes and shapes to reflect natural light and expand that space.

Step 3 was to style it all together. We got a ton of accents - baskets, plants, a plug in sconce, side tables and a pouf - to make it work as a whole. The most fun fact of it all was that the family was away during install AND they gave us the OK to style as we wanted, knowing that we got their taste. They came home to quite a (happy) surprise and were - and I quote "quite obsessed.”