A Maximalist Wallpaper Appears Not Once But Twice in This Brooklyn Apartment
Warning: Other design risks ahead.
Published Dec 21, 2021 8:38 AM
“At one point, we were like, ‘There are too many boobs,’” says Jayna Maleri about decorating her and husband Jon Pack’s apartment. (Pack jokes that this design choice would have made his 12-year-old self very—hold for pause—nervous.) Sure, mammaries appear on wallpaper, on Cold Picnic pillows, and on vases, but the two creatives—she’s head of content at Madewell and he works in film—aren’t ones to shy away from a more-is-more aesthetic ethos.
Their one-bedroom in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, is a testament to their willingness to take risks by mixing patterns, materials, and design eras. “We both sort of have this maximalist vibe, and our apartment before this was covered in art because Jon is a photographer and his grandmother was a super-prolific painter,” says Maleri. “The idea of blank walls is pretty foreign to us.”
But art doesn’t only have to be something that hangs on walls. When the pair started to renovate their home (lucky for them, a neighbor sold them the apartment next door), they sought out design details—like the Dzek terrazzo countertops and Reform brass cabinets in the kitchen—and chubby furniture shapes in cozy materials. (Looking at you, Ryan Preciado corduroy chair in the living room.)
And then, of course, there’s the wallpaper. For years, Maleri had her eye on Maison C’s Coven pattern, which features women in the buff, some blindfolded, holding hands and dancing. And while most people would use the risqué paper to line a powder room, the couple displays it as a backdrop to their dining room table—so much chicer than a painted accent wall. “It feels like a fresco,” says Maleri.
But no visual moment in the apartment is more striking than the view from the home office to the bedroom, where not one but two versions of House of Hackney’s Phantasia wallpaper appear. “It’s kind of wild, and I love the shapes. It feels a bit folkloric,” says Maleri.
Originally the pair had planned on papering the bedroom only. Then a few months later, Maleri spotted the same pattern in a new colorway, and debated adding it to the adjoining office. “It’s the only time I felt nervous,” she says. “I was like, in the end will I regret this? Because with everything else—either because I had had my eye on it for so long or I just, I don’t know—I just felt more confident that it would work.”
The risk paid off, adding a new dimension of warmth (not darkness) to the space. “It makes me feel like I’m in a cabin—it’s very cozy,” says Maleri. In the bedroom, custom tie-dyed sheets and brass accents add to the homey vibe. And in the office, a bright white Chanel lamp, a Chairish find from the flagship in Paris, provides a cool, understated (as understated as Chanel can be) contrast to the dramatic wallpaper.
One moment of quiet from all the joyful noise is in the bathroom, where crisp, white Ann Sacks tiles mingle with simple brass hardware, a combo Maleri attributes to their minimalist architect.
A second bathroom, still unfinished, is where Maleri plans to have more visual fun. There might not be boobs (even maximalists have their limits!), and the pair is just happy to be able to see their visions come to life. “Getting the apartment next door and doing a renovation like this is a fantasy,” she says. “I feel extremely, extraordinarily lucky.”