From Brooklyn-based designers Amanda Jesse and Whitney Parris-Lamb of Jesse Parris-Lamb, comes a stunning home situated in the heart of Williamsburg. The three-story townhouse is home to Christian Rudder, co-founder of OKCupid, and Reshma Patel, founder of Quiet Storms—who share the space with their daughter and family dog. Filled with worldly accents, rich textiles, and plenty of color, the space proves that a family-friendly decor scheme doesn’t have to skimp on style. Take a peek inside, and get the scoop on what exactly went into the revamp, according to uber talented pair who designed the interiors.
The sectional in the living room is a serious show-stopper, what’s the story behind the piece, and what led you to choose it for this specific space?
Since there is also a more formal downstairs living room we knew we could have a little more fun with this space. It serves as the family room for board games, watching movies, and listening to music. At the time we were looking at a lot of Living Rooms with a ’70s-style pit-seating and wanted to reference that concept without going full-on “love den.” The Mah Jong is a design classic. It’s an incredibly comfortable, versatile system and has beautiful traditional French mattress detailing. Unfortunately, you most often see it upholstered in loud patterns and colors that make it really difficult to appreciate the form and detail of the furniture itself. We wanted to celebrate that form and have the textiles compliment rather than detract from it. We chose a palette of deep reds that create a subtle tonal and textural shift. It’s funny, but we never have clients who want to use red in their space – everyone loves blue and pink (and gray). But somehow, that room is by far the one that is most often mentioned in new client meetings and interviews—people love it!
Did you encounter any challenges throughout the design process?
Mah Jong sofa, Roche Bobois
How would you describe the aesthetic of this home?
How did you approach the design process?
The existing architecture was very clean and modern and we wanted to respect that while also bringing some texture and warmth to the space through textiles, custom rugs, and one-of-a-kind art moments. Our clients love bold color and pattern so we focused on working in those elements in a way that was balanced and livable. We paired clean-lined mid-century and contemporary furniture pieces with bright hand-wovens, Indian block-prints, and custom pattern area rugs.
The kitchen is stunning! Can you tell us more about what specifically went into the design of that space?
CWB, the architecture firm who designed and coordinated the intricacies of the kitchen, touched on everything from the custom tile backsplash to the custom-fabricated metal hood above the stove.
We must know more about the hallway…
It’s a two-story bulkhead/stair hall that connects the third floor and roof of the house. The client wanted an art installation that would connect the interior spaces with the roof garden. We worked with an artist from North Carolina, Christopher Holt, to commission a custom lemon grove mural. He did an incredible job – the plants appear to grow up the stair walls toward the light of the bulkhead. We have always been obsessed with Noguchi Akari lights, and this double height space felt like the perfect home for one of his more unique designs—there aren’t many houses that can handle a 9.5 foot sculptural lantern! The warm, diffuse light created by the paper shade makes the bulkhead glow at night like a lighthouse.
Custom commissioned wall covering pattern by Australian textile designer Louise Jones.
The decor schemes of the various bedrooms really differ from one another, what was the thought process behind the implementation of each of these design schemes?
The bedrooms were done in phases so the last space we touched was the master bedroom. I think by the time we got there, our clients were done with color and pattern and really wanted a serene, calm space to escape to. When we were in school together we talked a lot about the sensual experience of space beyond the visual. So we worked with a Moroccan fabricator based in San Francisco to create the stunning hand-carved headboard made from unfinished Atlas cedar: the subtle scent it creates in the space is such an amazing way to unwind after a chaotic day on the streets of New York. We also specified a super thick (almost shag) cut pile rug for that room that adds a rich tactile experience when you kick off your shoes at the end of a long day.
What is your favorite spot in the home?
It’s tough to choose just one, but we really love the bedroom we designed for our clients’ four-year-old daughter. They wanted something that would grow with her and leave some space for her personality and individual touches as she got older. It also needed to be practical in terms of budget and durability. That space is all about the high-low mix! We found an amazing antique Indian Dhurrie that featured a menagerie of jungle animals that we paired with vintage travertine elephant lamps. The bed is an inexpensive vintage-inspired iron frame from Urban Outfitters and the Monterrey style nightstands are vintage from 1stdibs. The custom window treatments feature a hand block-printed elephant pattern textile that rounds out the animal safari!
Animal Faces, by Abigail Brown
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