Designer Crystal Sinclair returns to her very first Homepolish project to help a family expand and elevate their space.
Photos by Nick Glimenakis
Our founder Noa Santos loves to say “design is a journey.” We believe when you find the right designer (and partner) you can navigate your space for years to come. For Patricia, the match was made with Instagram.
“We used to live in an apartment in Long Island City, and I followed Homepolish on Instagram—that’s how I first got hooked,” Patricia says. “When we moved out of the city worked on a few rooms with designerand for budgetary reasons, we needed a break. I always had in mind to work with her again.”
On Crystal’s side, the initial project was also the start of a journey—it was her very first Homepolish project.
“This project has been an on-going piece of art,” Crystal says. “They had just had their daughter and wanted to create a home for a family. We kept in touch and worked on small items and accessories from time-to-time. Then one day, she confided that she was expecting a boy and that we’d be working together on a nursery. It’s so exciting to have a part in the growth of a family, and putting together one of the most treasured spaces in a house. It’s such an honor to design a nursery.”
Crystal more then lives up to the honor: The nearly 2,000-square foot space radiates a relaxed, family-friendly vibe. Even the “formal” living room is more approachable than icy.
“This house greets you with a big hug as you enter and has you smiling as you turn each corner,” Crystal says. “It’s the feeling like you don’t have to use coasters for your adult beverage—a relaxed environment with sophisticated charm.”
That elevated aura is reflected in each of the refreshed spaces. The greenery from the initial project marks the perfect barometer for when it was time to upgrade the space.
“All the plants had matured so much (talk about her green thumb!) as had the family, so the decor needed a bit of maturing too,” Crystal explains. “We muted some of the bright pops of color and added even more texture to refine the space to that next level.
Patrica and Crystal decided on a muted palette with splashes of rich blues and yellows ranging from navy and ochre to robins and bright yellow. To help delineate some of the spaces and build depth to the clean scheme, Crystal layered in tons of texture, accessories, and bright hues in key areas.
“In the more relaxed spaces the colors are bolder and the textures not quite as plush,” Crystal explains. “The accessories are more fun and plentiful. In the more refined spaces, the colors are more muted, the textures more luxe and accessories are kept minimal.”
That means the family room loaded with wild textures (woven grass poufs, clay pots, natural leather, fur pelts) and patterns (a bold, black-and-white striped rug from IKEA). While the formal living room leans on luxurious materials like velvet, marble, and cashmere. While it’s definitely grown-up, the space is still kid-friendly.
“It creates a kind of calm even when we have two little kids in the room,” Patricia says. “I thought a white daybed would be an issue but it’s really not. My kids learned what they can and can’t do.”
That balance of form and function is reflected in the spectrum Crystal shopped as well. The home is filled with high-end statement pieces and smart selects that kept the budget in check. The less-expensive chairs saved funds for the coffee table and the formal living room’s stunning floor lamp.
“It’s rarely the same formula, but if I had to name one item that is usually a consistent splurge it’s lamps,” Crystal says. “A good lamp adds so much to a room.”
The rest of the home walks the same line of classic and modern, high and low. The dining room features a timeless marble table with groovy leather chairs. The breakfast nook juxtaposes a farmhouse table with sleek shell chairs. And the master bedroom shows small changes make big impact. Crystal swapped in new simple, modern lighting and chunky linens for an effect she describes as “casual sexiness.”
But, for now, the star is the nursery, which is filled with prickly friends that are still baby-safe. Cactus decals adorn the room and hint at the relationship Crystal and her client formed.
“I’m obsessed with cacti and usually, if the client is open to it, I source a cactus or two,” Crystal says. “Patricia fell in love with her low-maintenance friends and it became a running conversation between us. And so, when I came across the cactus decals I knew exactly what to do. That was the starting point, and from there we worked with the existing nursery furniture from her daughter’s room and completed the look with a fun rug, drapes, and modern acrylic shelves.”
That level shorthand is what makes working with a returning client so much fun for a designer.
“The trust has already been established for both of us,” Crystal says. “She knew I knew her style, so it was collaborative. In the end, I was allowed to push the boundaries from traditional/transitional to transitional/modern because you know how the client thinks and will react to certain things.”
Patricia agrees and she’s a big fan of the entire Homepolish process.
“I recommend Homepolish to my family and friends,” Patricia says. “It’s a unique design process, you aren’t going to get the same eclectic approach with someone else. And the concierge service was amazing and they were able to do everything for me. The whole process was much more seamless with an intermediary between the vendor and me.”