Designer Maggie Burns helps a young family in Brooklyn create a sunny, city-chic home in Park Slope.
Photos by Sean Litchfield
New York City families are a little different. For young couples with babies in the city, the lifestyle is less about open space and more about what neighborhoods offer access to restaurants and bars where tots are welcome. More about what prints nod to dad’s DJ past than Disney motifs. Which is why designer Maggie Burns helped this couple create a Park Slope townhouse that reflected the city—literally, the built-in bar’s mirrored backsplash reflects the city’s views.
“The clients recently moved from their Manhattan apartment to Brooklyn for more space for their soon-to-be growing family,” Maggie explains. “They liked Park Slope for its proximity to Manhattan and baby-friendly atmosphere—you can bring your baby to brunch…or a bar! They had looked at a few townhouses before landing on this more modern unit so one of the main design objectives was to infuse some character and charm into the space. The couple is always entertaining family and friends so they wanted somewhere that felt warm and inviting.”
To make the 1,500-square-foot space more inviting and contemporary, Maggie was super selective, curating a mixture of modern touches that gelled perfectly with the couple’s personal pieces.
In the dining room, that meant taking time to find the right fixture.
“The dining room chandelier was one of the last pieces to come to fruition,” Maggie explains. “It took us over a year but we finally found this piece and I’m obsessed with the way it looks in the space. The clients wanted something that wouldn’t block their amazing Manhattan views, but we also didn’t want it to feel too similar to the fixture above the kitchen island is very modern and linear.”
The fixtures looping graphic lines are echoed in the art in the dining room—and in the built-in bar Maggie carved out.
My favorite part is the antique mirror backsplash which reflects the amazing city views so that you can see from the dining table even when not facing the windows.- Maggie, Homepolish designer
“The bar was originally a closet that we turned into an extension of the kitchen by using the same marble countertop,” Maggie explains. “My favorite part is the antique mirror backsplash which reflects the amazing city views so that you can see from the dining table even when not facing the windows.”
About that marble countertop, the massive slab makes for an impactful statement in the kitchen—and made instillation a bit of a challenge.
“I aged 20 years because of that kitchen island but it was so worth it,” Maggie laughs. “The stone slab was over 9.5’ and wouldn’t fit inside the elevator so we either had to have a seam running down the middle, which would have broken my heart, or crane the slab up the building which would have been super pricey and way over budget. We ended up working with the building and contractor to hoist the 800-pound-slab on top of the elevator!”
The calm kitchen makes a perfect foil to the living room, which is filled with a plethora of personal art from the couple.
“The clients had lots of great pieces of art from their previous apartment so whatever didn’t find a home somewhere else in the apartment landed here,” Maggie explains. “Each piece has its own story. For example, when the first met, she was living in Baltimore and he lived in New York City. She got him that Baltimore Domino Sugar painting the first time she came to visit him in New York and it was displayed on his nightstand until she moved to NYC. The middle piece in the top row is by Erina Davidson. They had only been dating for a few months when they saw her work on exhibit at the Joe’s Coffee Shop across the street from his apartment in Union Square. They both loved her work and completely independently contacted her to buy something as a surprise for the other. The artist ended up making them this custom piece to share.”
While the bathroom didn’t get a full overhaul, Maggie layered in some extra personality with Flavor Paper wallpaper that celebrates the client’s love of classic hip hop (see Biggie in the mix?). Those touches of character infuse the modernist space with a friendly edge, and the baby’s room is no different. Here the vibe is more cool-than-cutesy, with adult-appropriate art and an incredible ombre wallpaper that will be a favorite for years to come. Maggie liked it so much that she ended up reusing the paper on another, very special project.
“I didn’t find out I was pregnant until the nursery was well underway but this room definitely influenced my own nursery design,” she admits. “I even used the same wallpaper in a different colorway. I don’t like to pick favorites but if I had to this room might be it. The muted primary colors of the wallpaper and soft pinks throughout the room create a very therapeutic space.”
Therapeutic, the perfect foil to city life.
You can see more images of this space in the gallery, or if you are ready to make the best of city (or country) life, sign up for Homepolish today.