See a Brooklyn Brownstone’s Colorful Twist on Old-School Style

Tony Duquette and Albert Hadley were legendary decorators known for their Old World sensibilities and unapologetic originality. In different ways—Duquette was the ultimate maximalist; Hadley had a quieter sophistication—they redefined the course of American interiors. And they were both on Nicholas Obeid’s mind when he began working on his latest project, a spacious apartment in a mid-1800s Brooklyn Heights brownstone. “I wanted to pay homage to these traditional decorators and other old-school greats in a fresh and colorful way,” says Obeid, a young New York City designer who launched his eponymous studio two years ago. “My client and I had a shared understanding that this wasn’t going to be a safe, boring apartment— definitely not another white box.”

His client, Kelsey Brown, was more than enthusiastic about the idea of boldness. Brown is the cofounder of Pepper, a company that sells home textiles and wallpapers featuring whimsical prints. She wanted to include some of these prints in her home, which she shares with her husband, Alec Simpson, while also embracing her longtime affection for classic decor. “I grew up in a historical home with lots of antiques and also a lot of color,” she says. “Nicholas understood me and he also pushed me out of my comfort zone.”

<div class="caption"> Every corner of the two-story, three-bedroom apartment is full of personality, yet there is one particularly eye-catching nook: the so-called “sun room,” a cozy space facing the property’s leafy garden that’s used for informal meals. Here, the designer echoed Duquette’s famed Dawnridge estate in Beverly Hills (an over-the-top residence awash in green), painting the entire room a <a href="https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Benjamin Moore" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Benjamin Moore</a> color called Parsley Snips. To add drama, he created ribbons of green rising from the floor all the way across the ceiling. Vintage rattan chairs with velvet pillows in a burnt orange hue complete the fanciful look. </div>
Every corner of the two-story, three-bedroom apartment is full of personality, yet there is one particularly eye-catching nook: the so-called “sun room,” a cozy space facing the property’s leafy garden that’s used for informal meals. Here, the designer echoed Duquette’s famed Dawnridge estate in Beverly Hills (an over-the-top residence awash in green), painting the entire room a Benjamin Moore color called Parsley Snips. To add drama, he created ribbons of green rising from the floor all the way across the ceiling. Vintage rattan chairs with velvet pillows in a burnt orange hue complete the fanciful look.

Obeid did not hold back. He paired candy-colored walls with rolled-arm sofas, chinoiserie with abstract art, and rattan with velvet. In the vast parlor-level reception room, he replicated the colors of the existing ceiling fresco, a celestial scene painted sometime in the early 1900s, covering the decorative plasterwork and wainscoting in dazzling shades of blue. He then added pops of chartreuse and rose throughout the space. “It’s a pretty traditional room, it just has a brighter take,” says Obeid. “I mixed in some modern pieces to balance the weight of the more classic ones.” For example, he placed a substantial sofa with bullion fringe and two dressy velvet armchairs by Milo Baughman next to a Lucite-and-glass coffee table from the 1970s. At the other end of the room, past a central fireplace with an ornate wooden mantel and antique foo dogs standing guard, the designer mixed a Jean-Michel Frank sofa upholstered in camel mohair with a lacquered black coffee table and a Hollywood Regency brass torchère.

Although every corner of the two-story, three-bedroom apartment is full of personality, there is one particularly eye-catching nook: the so-called “sun room,” a cozy space facing the property’s leafy garden that’s used for informal meals. Here, the designer echoed Duquette’s famed Dawnridge estate in Beverly Hills (an over-the-top residence awash in green), painting the entire room a malachite shade called Parsley Snips. To add drama, he created ribbons of green rising from the floor all the way across the ceiling. Vintage rattan chairs with velvet pillows in a burnt orange hue complete the look. “My client and I share an admiration for design,” says Obeid. “Everything these days is safe and flat; we wanted something that evoked a little bit more.”

See a Brooklyn Brownstone’s Colorful Twist on Old-School Style

<div class="caption"> Kelsey Brown, cofounder of the textile brand <a href="https://pepper-home.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Pepper" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Pepper</a>, and her husband, Alec Simpson, a tech investor, live in this spacious apartment occupying the ground and parlor levels of a Brooklyn Heights brownstone from the mid-1800s. They hired designer Nicholas Obeid to create a traditional yet cheerful space with an eclectic mix of colors. The designer was struck by the ceiling fresco, a celestial scene painted sometime in the early 1900s, and decided to replicate some of its colors. Obeid says he left the walls of the dining room white as a “palate cleanser.” Nevertheless, there is plenty of color in the space, notably in the chair’s velvet fabric from <a href="https://www.kravet.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kravet" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kravet</a>. The tessellated bone table is a vintage piece by Enrique Garcés, purchased on <a href="https://www.1stdibs.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:1stDibs" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">1stDibs</a>. </div> <cite class="credit">GIEVES ANDERSON</cite>
Kelsey Brown, cofounder of the textile brand Pepper, and her husband, Alec Simpson, a tech investor, live in this spacious apartment occupying the ground and parlor levels of a Brooklyn Heights brownstone from the mid-1800s. They hired designer Nicholas Obeid to create a traditional yet cheerful space with an eclectic mix of colors. The designer was struck by the ceiling fresco, a celestial scene painted sometime in the early 1900s, and decided to replicate some of its colors. Obeid says he left the walls of the dining room white as a “palate cleanser.” Nevertheless, there is plenty of color in the space, notably in the chair’s velvet fabric from Kravet. The tessellated bone table is a vintage piece by Enrique Garcés, purchased on 1stDibs.

GIEVES ANDERSON

<div class="caption"> “It’s a pretty traditional room, it just has a brighter take,” says Obeid of the reception room. “I mixed in some modern pieces to balance the weight of the more classic ones.” For example, he placed a substantial blue sofa with bullion fringe and two dressy velvet armchairs by Milo Baughman (purchased on <a href="https://www.chairish.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Chairish" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Chairish</a>) next to a Lucite-and-glass coffee table from the 1970s (a Pace Collection piece purchased on <a href="https://www.1stdibs.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:1stDibs" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">1stDibs</a>). The rug is from <a href="https://www.abchome.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:ABC Carpet & Home" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">ABC Carpet & Home</a> and the chartreuse bench is a vintage Karl Springer waterfall model from <a href="https://www.horsemanantiques.net/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Horseman Antiques" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Horseman Antiques</a> in Brooklyn. He painted the walls in <a href="https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Benjamin Moore" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Benjamin Moore</a>’s Heavenly Blue and the wainscoting in Boca Raton Blue. </div>
“It’s a pretty traditional room, it just has a brighter take,” says Obeid of the reception room. “I mixed in some modern pieces to balance the weight of the more classic ones.” For example, he placed a substantial blue sofa with bullion fringe and two dressy velvet armchairs by Milo Baughman (purchased on Chairish) next to a Lucite-and-glass coffee table from the 1970s (a Pace Collection piece purchased on 1stDibs). The rug is from ABC Carpet & Home and the chartreuse bench is a vintage Karl Springer waterfall model from Horseman Antiques in Brooklyn. He painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Heavenly Blue and the wainscoting in Boca Raton Blue.
<div class="caption"> The reception room’s central fireplace has an elaborate wooden mantel decorated with vintage Chinese urns and flanked by foo dogs. “There couldn’t be a truly traditional space without chinoiserie,” says Obeid, who sought to pay tribute to some of his favorite old-school designers, including Tony Duquette and Albert Hadley. An American mahogany-and-marble table from the 1850s fits in nicely. </div>

The reception room’s central fireplace has an elaborate wooden mantel decorated with vintage Chinese urns and flanked by foo dogs. “There couldn’t be a truly traditional space without chinoiserie,” says Obeid, who sought to pay tribute to some of his favorite old-school designers, including Tony Duquette and Albert Hadley. An American mahogany-and-marble table from the 1850s fits in nicely.

<div class="caption"> In this eclectic corner of the main reception room, Obeid mixed a Jean-Michel Frank sofa upholstered in camel mohair with a lacquered black coffee table and a Hollywood Regency brass torchère. The checkerboard rug is a vintage Turkish piece found on <a href="https://www.etsy.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Etsy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Etsy</a>, and the contemporary abstract painting by Annie King was commissioned to match the colors of the space. </div>
In this eclectic corner of the main reception room, Obeid mixed a Jean-Michel Frank sofa upholstered in camel mohair with a lacquered black coffee table and a Hollywood Regency brass torchère. The checkerboard rug is a vintage Turkish piece found on Etsy, and the contemporary abstract painting by Annie King was commissioned to match the colors of the space.
<div class="caption"> Every corner of the two-story, three-bedroom apartment is full of personality, yet there is one particularly eye-catching nook: the so-called “sun room,” a cozy space facing the property’s leafy garden that’s used for informal meals. Here, the designer echoed Duquette’s famed Dawnridge estate in Beverly Hills (an over-the-top residence awash in green), painting the entire room a <a href="https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Benjamin Moore" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Benjamin Moore</a> color called Parsley Snips. To add drama, he created ribbons of green rising from the floor all the way across the ceiling. Vintage rattan chairs with velvet pillows in a burnt orange hue complete the fanciful look. </div>
Every corner of the two-story, three-bedroom apartment is full of personality, yet there is one particularly eye-catching nook: the so-called “sun room,” a cozy space facing the property’s leafy garden that’s used for informal meals. Here, the designer echoed Duquette’s famed Dawnridge estate in Beverly Hills (an over-the-top residence awash in green), painting the entire room a Benjamin Moore color called Parsley Snips. To add drama, he created ribbons of green rising from the floor all the way across the ceiling. Vintage rattan chairs with velvet pillows in a burnt orange hue complete the fanciful look.
<div class="caption"> The centerpiece in the main bedroom is a red velvet headboard with scalloped edges, custom made at <a href="http://www.averyboardman.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Avery Boardman" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Avery Boardman</a>. Above it hangs a single decorative plate. “I was playing with scale,” says the designer. “The bed is king-sized, and the plate is very small.” He used three different paint colors in the space: <a href="https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Benjamin Moore" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Benjamin Moore</a>’s Soft Sky on the walls, Sapphire Ice on the crown molding, and Poppy on the trim, both from Benjamin Moore as well. </div>
The centerpiece in the main bedroom is a red velvet headboard with scalloped edges, custom made at Avery Boardman. Above it hangs a single decorative plate. “I was playing with scale,” says the designer. “The bed is king-sized, and the plate is very small.” He used three different paint colors in the space: Benjamin Moore’s Soft Sky on the walls, Sapphire Ice on the crown molding, and Poppy on the trim, both from Benjamin Moore as well.
<div class="caption"> One of the bathrooms features an Italian arched mirror from the 1970s, and a Dutch sconce from the ’60s, made of enameled glass and brass. </div>

One of the bathrooms features an Italian arched mirror from the 1970s, and a Dutch sconce from the ’60s, made of enameled glass and brass.

<div class="caption"> Compared to the rest of the home, this guest bedroom looks decidedly sober, in spite of the variety of patterns and fabrics used. The white-and-blue wallpaper, called Ginger Navy, is from <a href="https://pepper-home.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Pepper" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Pepper</a>. The rug, custom-made in India for the client, matches the color of the raffia Kos bedside table from <a href="https://www.onekingslane.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:One Kings Lane" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">One Kings Lane</a>. </div>
Compared to the rest of the home, this guest bedroom looks decidedly sober, in spite of the variety of patterns and fabrics used. The white-and-blue wallpaper, called Ginger Navy, is from Pepper. The rug, custom-made in India for the client, matches the color of the raffia Kos bedside table from One Kings Lane.
<div class="caption"> The lower-level library could well be taken from a Wes Anderson still. In fact, Brown is a fan of the Instagram account <a href="https://www.instagram.com/accidentallywesanderson/?hl=en" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Accidentally Wes Anderson" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Accidentally Wes Anderson</a>, which features sights and interiors that call to mind the highly stylized settings created by the director. To fit the narrow space, Obeid designed a custom settee with a tufted back and rolled arms. The wallpaper, called Frida, is from Brown’s textile brand, <a href="https://pepper-home.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Pepper" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Pepper</a>. </div>
The lower-level library could well be taken from a Wes Anderson still. In fact, Brown is a fan of the Instagram account Accidentally Wes Anderson, which features sights and interiors that call to mind the highly stylized settings created by the director. To fit the narrow space, Obeid designed a custom settee with a tufted back and rolled arms. The wallpaper, called Frida, is from Brown’s textile brand, Pepper.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

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