Bringing the Outdoors Inside in Brooklyn

Bringing the Outdoors Inside in Brooklyn

Bringing the Outdoors Inside in Brooklyn


Liz Lipkin utilizes the open floor plan of an adventure-seeking newlyweds’ Gowanus townhouse to create a seasonally-themed home inspired by natural elements.

Photos by Christian Torres.

When you live in the wilds of the concrete jungle that is New York City, you savor any ounce of nature you can get. For Brad and Jessica who are, in the words of Homepolish designer Liz Lipkin, “young newlyweds with a deep love and appreciation for the outdoors and friends and family,” a standard-issue NYC abode wasn’t going to cut it. Instead, they wanted a sun-soaked Gowanus townhouse with its very own private garden.

The outdoor space was taken care of, but the couple found themselves struggling with the great “indoors” after a couple of months. Enter Liz.

“Jess needed help furnishing the garden level by pulling things together, brightening up neutral decor, and creating a cohesive look for three distinct areas within the large open space,” Liz explains  “In terms of end use, every room had to feel inviting and every chair had to be comfortable! Jess and Brad love having friends and family over and their large gatherings spill from one room to the other and outside to the backyard.”

That spillover meant that the large open plan needed to feel cohesive, while still distinct. The task of decorating three isolated areas that are visually connected can be daunting, but Liz found inspiration in the changing of time.

“I designed each space and thought about color and decor—the sitting room fall and winter, the front room came to represent spring and summer, and the neutral TV room represents the full calendar year, overseen by a giant moon,” Liz shared.

If each room has a purpose, the sitting room is meant to be a spot to lounge and relax. The room is perfect for cozying up by the fireplace, listening to a few favorite records, and chatting over wine and appetizers. (According to Jess the arms of the chairs are the perfect size for resting a drink!). A sturdy, distressed console supports the record player and a vase of arrows—a nod to the bullseye from their outing to Gotham Archery and to Jess’ company, Paper Arrows Studio.

Liz approached the space with the couple’s personality as a priority. Each corner is filled with at least one piece that recalls happy memories for the couple, thanks so Liz encouragement that people did want to see their finds.

“Sam, the ram that’s mounted above the fireplace, is a piece that Brad inherited from his grandfather, while the shotskis are from their wedding in Jackson Hole,” Liz said. “Jess was hesitant to bring out the commemorative shotskis from the Wyoming wedding because she was shy about displaying something so private, but I insisted that they be featured and celebrated. The end result is nothing short of perfectly personal.”

The sun room, which is perpetually bathed in rays due to its south-facing position, is a lovely spot to nap, read, and entertain friends and guests.

“The space is a casual, cozy, understated bohemian retreat for active outdoors enthusiasts,” says Liz. “I drew so much inspiration from the clients themselves–their lifestyle, needs, and existing furniture and decor really drove the design.”

The sun room’s current palette was featured beige with pops of yellow, but Jess wanted to amp up the contrast with sunnier hues and deeper blues for contrast and to reinforce the beachy vibe (Brad’s bright marine surfboard really helps). The same sisal carpet found in each room (here layered under a geometric flatweave rug) gives the home a cohesive feeling.

In the back of the house, the outdoor space that the couple so craves is easily accessible, thanks to massive foldable glass doors.

But you can’t always be outside, which is why the TV room in the back offers a bit of a cozier vibe. The deep, binge-worthy grey sofa is complimented with a blue moon print and textural accents that would beg anyone to hang out. The couple’s been known to take their competive spirit to video game tourneys here too.

Now the adventurous pair have a place that matches their wanderlusting vibes.

“Their favorite spot as a couple is Jackson Hole, where they travel several times a year to ski, hike, fish, and snuggle by roaring fires,” Liz tells us.

But when the couple can’t escape into the snowy mountains of Wyoming, they have a warm, welcoming home of their own for a breath of fresh air.

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