An East-Meets-West Boerum Hill Brownstone

An East-Meets-West Boerum Hill Brownstone

An East-Meets-West Boerum Hill Brownstone


Maggie Williams


Travel can give a person many things – insight, wisdom, a tan – but most notably, it can bring forth a wonderfully eclectic collection of design pieces. Homepolish designer Crystal Sinclair put the spotlight on such a collection and accentuated it with modern accents, ultimately creating whatever the antithesis to a culture clash is.

Photos by Genevieve Garuppo.

New York City is known as a place where you can get whatever you want, whenever you want, and from wherever you want, be it Chinatown, Spanish Harlem, or Little Odessa. The city and its many inhabitants hold pride in the way cultures meld and mingle, yet still preserve their integrity and originality. One such example of this is in Maggie Williams’ Boerum Hill brownstone – the bones are purely American, having been built in 1899, but the interior is an intoxicating synthesis of East and West. Homepolish designer Crystal Sinclair took to the space prior to Maggie and her husband JB’s move-in day and got to work right away on tying together the pair’s unique aesthetics.

To the naked eye it might look as though Maggie, who is wrapping up her nursing school studies, and her husband JB, who is an Emmy-award winning producer, might not have similar interests, but that would be a flawed judgement. The main hobby that tie the two together is travel – both are prolific explorers – a fact that greatly served Crystal due to the fact that the couple has bought myriad pieces back from exotic lands. As someone who loves to layer and add depth with differing colors or patterns, creating a space that had many artworks and decorative objects was a dream come true.

Starting out, the space wasn’t exactly a blank slate; because it was built over one hundred years ago, the home already had genuine stairs, bannisters, fireplaces, and floors that gave the space a warm, antique aesthetic that worked perfectly with the rich colors and intricate patterns of the Eastern travel pieces Crystal was able to work with. What needed to be added was Maggie’s cool, sleek modern sense of style. Crystal brought the aesthetic to life through pieces like a deep blue velvet sofa, a monumental marble coffee table, and a minimalist coffee table.

This space was crafted in a short amount of time (key decisions were made within one month), but that doesn’t mean Crystal left any stone unturned. One stunning home accent that oftentimes is left by the wayside is art. Because JB’s mom is an artist, there is an innate connection to the visual arts that translated beautifully to this space. Some of the art can be credited to JB’s mother herself, while others like the canvas above the fireplace can be found at Z Gallerie or One Kings Lane, which is where Crystal found the old-school horsebit found on the bar cart. When all the details came together – the antique home’s personality, the moody Eastern accents, and Maggie’s distinctly luxurious, modern sense of style – a house became a home.