House Painting

Tour an Artist’s Brooklyn Condominium Designed by Patrick McGrath

The second artist Elle McGrath walked into the landmark Artwork Deco constructing in New York Metropolis’s unique suburb, Brooklyn Heights, she knew she was dwelling. Like all issues value having, securing the products wasn’t with out its challenges; “I got here dwelling so distraught as a result of we had lower than two weeks till transfer out and I could not discover an inexpensive condominium in a good location that was additionally dog-friendly,” she remembers. Elle and I have been roommates on the time, and after a couple of years, we lastly needed to settle for that we would grown out of our windowless, deeply sloped, impossibly loud condominium, and so our respective searches started. She had simply adopted Nala the AussieDoodle and was commuting to Manhattan extra continuously due to her work with a luxurious jewellery model, each of which factored into the search.


“The entry was one of many principal promoting factors,” she says, including that “the aim was practical storage that’s additionally fairly and simply disappears,” Elle provides. They put a dresser towards the wall to retailer Nala’s necessities in addition to winter stowaways. Whereas she did think about turning into an workplace, she determined it was extra calming to stroll into an area that wasn’t something greater than what it was and inspired rest.

Nicole Franzen

After touring numerous flats, every another exasperating than the final (one had a bathe located so near the range you might prepare dinner dinner whilst you bathed), she reached out to a contact I had from a constructing I would toured only for enjoyable some time again. Full with ornamental brick, tiered terraces, and elaborate motifs, it additionally occurred to be one subway cease from Manhattan—but seemingly a world away, because of the cover of bushes and 18th-century brownstones lining the road. Even higher? It was one of many few dog-friendly choices within the space. There was a nook unit opening up a month later, so after a little bit of ready and a aggressive software course of, the keys to the proverbial fort have been lastly hers. That is when Elle’s brother, Patrick, of Patrick McGrath Design, stepped in to assist rework it into an actual dwelling.

“Patrick has helped me embellish each rental I’ve lived in since I moved to New York Metropolis for varsity as an 18-year-old,” says Elle—so it is protected to say that he goes the additional mile to make her really feel at dwelling in type. “I am drawn to natural and nature-inspired items. And my precedence is all the time perform and luxury, so every thing I choose tends to be further cozy, and comfy,” she says. Talking about his personal type, Patrick provides, “whereas I undoubtedly do not take myself very critically as an individual, I do take interiors critically.” He is drawn to scrub strains and favors classical touches over fashionable ones. So what occurs once they be part of forces? “Patrick is available in to present it a sleeker edge,” Elle laughs, and the 2 concoct a magical mixture of easygoing class that nods at each conventional design and cutting-edge accents.

living room

As an alternative of placing the tv on the primary wall above the sofas, Patrick secured it on a aspect wall that results in the bed room hallway. This encourages significant connection and dialog, however, nonetheless permits for film marathons.

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This time round, he needed to furnish the 850-square-foot condominium in a means that will really feel timeless and be simple to decorate up and down over time and in several environments, so he determined to supply nearly all of the big-ticket gadgets from West Elm. He then integrated Farrow & Ball paint colours, vintage accents, and particular gadgets from household pal and designer Michael Bargo. Altogether, it is a magical, cozy mix.

One of many main perks of the condominium is all of the wall house. “I’ve much more room to show artwork than I’ve prior to now,” says Elle. “So I needed to reap the benefits of all of the wall house by recycling older items in addition to introducing new ones. Patrick noticed probably the most alternative for this within the spacious entryway. He reworked it right into a gallery because it does not have any home windows and since there wasn’t as a lot flooring house for furnishings, so using the partitions was of utmost significance within the entry.”

dining area

Nicole Franzen

Because of the condominium’s small measurement, the eating desk is seen proper once you stroll in. So Patrick repurposed a Ruemmler lampshade right into a pendant to highlight and separate the eating space whereas additionally creating visible curiosity upon entrance on the finish of the corridor. He had it wired so it could possibly be on a dimmer and plug proper into the wall as a result of he is a giant believer within the superiority of ambient temper lighting.

living room corner

Nicole Franzen

living room pull out bed

Nicole Franzen

In the lounge, Patrick landed on a format that will make it really feel like there have been “many rooms inside the room.” Using distinctive paint colours can be value noting. “You may see there’s that faint molding, so we simply adopted these strains after which painted over the beams whereas the flat and horizontal surfaces have been left white to play up the moldings,” Patrick says. In the lounge, he selected Peignoir by Farrow & Ball as a result of he all the time needed to strive the impartial purple and Elle was up for the journey. Greatest but, one of many sofas can be cleverly disguised as a pull-out mattress, which is right for such a tight-knit household who recurrently visits one another.


“The colours aren’t jarring in any respect,” he provides, and “I like Farrow & Ball as a result of the identical shade will look totally different in several lights, however in such a flattering means.”

Nicole Franzen

As a result of she loves blue and inexperienced a lot, Patrick additionally made certain to include it within the different rooms, like within the halls and kitchen. “We used the identical shade for the kitchen and the hallways to create continuity” however then opted for one thing distinctive and particular within the bed room and dwelling areas. The open plan additionally helps to suggest that they are visually and functionally separate. On the identical time, the shades he selected are sufficiently subtle to ease the attention into the transition moments.

bedroom corner

Framed polaroids animate the partitions and a comfy chair is the right perch for studying and catching up on emails.

Nicole Franzen

Except for repainting all the cupboards and including new {hardware}, Patrick reworked the kitchen by including a kitchen island that doubled the floor house. They selected one from West Elm that had a decrease shelf, allowed for stools to boost the look but additionally give Elle a extra informal space to eat, and work, and determined to place it towards the parameter as an alternative of floating it in order that the walkway was clear. There was additionally a white marble possibility, however he selected one thing easier and extra natural. as to not battle with the enjoyable wall shade and paintings. “It was additionally necessary to me to carry again that natural look and I really feel so “there’s much more wooden on this condominium than she has had in earlier ones and every thing is tremendous practical,” Elle shares.


Nicole Franzen

Patrick additionally used inexperienced within the bed room, and this time, he selected the deeper shade of Inexperienced, Mizzle, that he says was impressed by Carrie Bradshaw’s condominium (not the flowery one, he emphasizes, however slightly the one from “the early Intercourse & the Metropolis days”), and reminds Elle of the countryside. “It is so calming. I do not suppose I am going to ever have a bed room one other shade once more, regardless that I by no means would have thought that earlier than. Patrick recommended we use shade,” she tells us.

bedroom details

She’s unafraid of leaning into her extra bohemian aspect, and, as a visible artist, her environment have a direct influence on her temper “I should be impressed in my house.”

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Shade schemes and basic type apart, getting the size proper is of utmost significance, particularly in small metropolis dwellings the place it may be a problem to seek out gadgets that are not overly cumbersome and have been probably designed with a suburban dwelling in thoughts. If you wish to get the proportions proper, Patrick strongly suggests taking cautious measurements of each the house and the merchandise in query after which mapping it out. Both draw it up in an app or map simply use painter’s tape to dam it. Whenever you remove all of the guesswork, you are more likely to be pleased with the completed product. Within the bed room, this meant working towards restraint, because it wasn’t as spacious as the primary dwelling space, and simply highlighting her most particular gadgets. West Elm staples flirt with vintage collector’s gadgets, like Jackie O.’s childhood aspect chair.

dog print sofa

A cheeky oil portray of the ladies was a housewarming present from Patrick.

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Although the siblings’ trendsetting tendencies—for instance, she and Patrick agree that “leopard print is a impartial”—can simply steal the present, it is the layers of sentimental items all through each room that actually set her house aside. Keepsakes from her dad and brothers, artwork from her grandparents, beloved photographs of her mother, handwritten letters from mates who turned household, and therapeutic crystals are sprinkled like hidden treasures round each nook. This stuff, although ornamental, turn into grounding staples in a typically chaotic metropolis.

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