For most newlyweds, cohabitation can be a stressful test in compromise. Luckily, Danny and Gabriella West didn’t have to sacrifice much in the name of style. Fresh from their wedding, the Brooklyn-based couple returned to their new home in Clinton Hill with the intention to start nesting.
“They were really inspired by their travels in Morocco—that’s actually where they got married,” says Homepolish designer Andrea Jaramillo.
Tasked with finding the right mix for the duo’s home, Jaramillo let her clients’ worldly possessions lead the way. The designer set the tone in the living room by framing a pillow case the couple had sourced during their travels in Morocco. “They bought it before they ended up getting married there. It was a pivotal place for them,” she adds.
Working with a space that was as new as the homeowners themselves, Jaramillo’s first challenge was to introduce some much-needed character to the cookie-cutter condo. Custom details like the waterfall bench in the dining area set the stage for a layered look that was as exceptional as the love story that started it all.
Read on to learn more about how this blended abode came together, plus Jaramillo’s advice for new and just-married couples who want to make their nest their own.
This home feels far from cookie-cutter. What were some of the bigger changes you made to the space to give it charm?
Before, it was just this plain white box. There wasn’t much to it. We definitely focused on textured and something custom. For the bench in the dining room, for instance, we brought in a beautiful maple wood to create that piece. The carpenter, Ben Smithson, was a friend of theirs. It breaks up some of that cookie-cutter feel. We also changed out all the lighting pendants and added throw pillows and pieces with texture, as well as a rug that had pattern.
What advice would you pass on to a couple that’s moving in together for the first time?
Keep the main items neutral and add doses of personality through accessories and artwork. Use textures and unusual shapes to keep the space interesting. [This] should correlate to the mood you’d like to set in each room. [For Danny and Gabriella], I didn’t want them to be restricted by a specific style or patterns. I pushed them to be more contemporary in a lot of their furniture selections so that they could have a nice blend of bohemian and Moroccan as well as neutral designs that could easily blend with any other desired look down the line.
I’m loving the black accent wall in the bedroom. Was this a scary design decision for your clients?
[Gabriella] wanted something dramatic, so I suggested this particular color, which is a very deep charcoal. It’s Benjamin Moore’s Gray. It’s really beautiful in that particular space because the flooring in the room is very red. It tones it down. We had originally toyed with the idea of just going up half of the wall, but then we realized we could make more of an impact by doing the full wall, especially because that room gets so much light.
There are so many great accents and accessories scattered throughout. Is there a moment or piece that your clients (or you) really love?
I really love the mix of the dining chairs. Hay is one of my favorite companies, and those chairs are comfortable, lightweight, and easy to move around. As for the client, a lot of the accessories are pieces Gabriella has sourced from her travels. It makes it feel like home for her. The record player is Danny’s favorite!
Am I seeing things, or is that piece of art over the console actually a television?
It’s an art TV! This one is Samsung. We really didn’t want a shiny black TV to be the focal point of the space, so we decided we’d rather have something that looked like a big piece of art. It sets a certain mood and tone for the room. We were even able to choose the frame color.
What do you think are some of the most essential elements for a great outdoor space, especially in a city?
Invest in coverings for all exposed furniture. It’s incredible how much the elements destroy wood and metal. Be strategic about furniture placement and make sure you don’t overcrowd; try to buy pieces that can serve more than one purpose. Also, designating “zones” for different functions can actually make a small space seem larger. Add greenery! Especially in a place like New York City, it’s important to offset the urban environment with plants. Hang bistro lights in a nonconforming way (like along the lip of a ledge) to add warm light when you’re entertaining.
See more cool NYC home tours: