Recently I’ve been doing more interiors photography, and I was thrilled to photograph the Clinton Hill, Brooklyn apartment of designer Lindsay Colby. Lindsay and I met a while back when I did a design internship for her employer, and I was so glad that she reached out to me about photographing her gorgeous space! It was published on Apartment Therapy a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to share some more of the photos here, along with some of my thoughts on what makes this space so appealing.
I was obsessed with Lindsay’s apartment right from the start because it reminded me of very high-end spaces that I’ve seen, but shockingly, was totally done on a budget. Not so easy to do! Lindsay employed outlet shopping, some great sale finds, a lucky Craigslist score (!), a treasure found at a stoop sale, and vintage family pieces to create a space that to me looks about ten times more expensive than it actually is. Another cool and budget conscious strategy is that Lindsay created all of the art in the apartment herself. She’s a talented painter and potter, and she made many of the pottery pieces that you see in the space – which to me look exactly like pieces I’ve seen used by super high-end designers. She painted that large-scale canvas you see above the sofa, which is a big money-saver – large-scale art like that is expensive. Still, even making your own art doesn’t come cheap – Lindsay had to haul that gigantic canvas home on the New York City subway! Ahh, city living.
This vintage secretary desk was the first thing that caught my eye in Lindsay’s space – I absolutely LOVE it! I’m such a sucker for a secretary and they’re perfect for small spaces – also perfect for working from home in these quarantine times. Isn’t it just such a lovely piece? The wood adds a warmth to the minimal, neutral space, and it has so much character and charm. The chair works double duty as a desk chair and living room seating, depending on the situation – again, important for small space living!
The space is mainly done in shades of white and cream, but as you can see these touches of black really ground the space. That is SO important when designing an all white room! The metal accent table is from Pottery Barn. Isn’t that surprising?! It doesn’t look like Pottery Barn to me! Ya know that saying, a rising tide lifts all boats? That’s so true in design – when you mix high-end (or even high-end appearing) items with more generic or budget pieces, they’re transformed!
Lindsay found the club chair and the coffee table at the RH outlet, and the marble pedestal in the corner was a lucky find on Apt Deco, for only $75! I wish I had that kind of luck looking for secondhand items!
The sofa, throw pillow, and sisal rug all add texture – another important element when designing a minimal space. The wood side table and brass lamp add that much-needed warmth that takes a minimal room from cold to cozy. I LOVE the lamp, which is from Vaughan, and the side table is IKEA. When I found that out I literally said are you effing kidding me. That does NOT look like IKEA! Like I said, a rising tide! Notice too that the curved lines of the pedestal and the side table further help to soften a space that could have come across as severe in less skilled hands.
An IKEA Ribba frame was used for a photograph that Lindsay took at the Rodin Museum in Paris. I love the glass globe lamp right there, it’s just perfect for adding to the mix of materials without stealing the show.
More money saving tricks – Lindsay reupholstered the stool seats herself, in a leather that’s perfect for dining chairs. You can see that the legs also have great texture.
Love that Lindsay injected some soft color into the bedroom, and the rug underfoot was super plush and cozy.
The rattan armoire is from Craiglist! Can you believe that? The goldfish vase is the piece that Lindsay found at a Brooklyn stoop sale for $30 – with the $400 price tag still attached! How amazing is that! This is why I got SO excited for Lindsay’s apartment – not only is it beautiful but it’s just full of these OMG budget finds that do NOT look budget.
The little tray fits perfectly on the back of the toilet…those small details are so important.
Overall I’m just beyond impressed that Lindsay created a minimal, neutral space that is still warm, full of character, and anything but boring. It looks effortless but in fact, that’s really hard to achieve! As I mentioned above, these are the elements that help keep a minimal space feeling dynamic and interesting rather than flat, cold and one-dimensional:
Wood pieces to add warmth.
Texture, to add interest and depth.
Black items to help ground the space.
Brass, metal, marble, glass, and other mixed materials to add interest and shine.
Vintage pieces to add character and a sense of the space being collected over time, rather than done all at once from retail stores.
Pieces with curved lines, to help make the space feel less severe and more soft.
Personal art, which makes the space feel, well…personal!
You have to also admire Lindsay’s restraint…something I’m definitely lacking when it comes to decorating!
The designer herself, Lindsay Colby! For more from Lindsay on her design progress and sources for all of the items in the apartment, check out the Apartment Therapy feature. And keep your eye on Lindsay, I think she’s going to be one to watch!