Bold Furnishings Enliven Greenpoint Rental

Design Studio White Arrow sourced a lively, color-forward mix of contemporary design and stylish furnishings dating mostly from the 1970s for a family’s new-construction rental.

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Who doesn’t wonder what goes on inside all the new luxury towers proliferating along the Brooklyn waterfront? In the case of this high-floor three-bedroom rental, it’s a lively, color-forward mix of contemporary design and stylish furnishings dating mostly from the 1970s.

In their projects, the interior design studio White Arrow, now based in Manhattan, often upgrades a developer’s finishes as part of their brief, switching out hardware, lighting fixtures, and the like to give their clients’ apartments a custom feel. That wasn’t necessary here, said Keren Richter, founder and principal designer at the 10-year-old firm. “For new construction that’s also a rental, the developer did a great job,” she said. “The finishes are clean and the windows are so striking, they do a lot of the heavy lifting.”


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When a couple of White Arrow’s former clients moved into the brand new building with their two kids, Richter already knew they had an interest in under-the-radar designers. “We’d done their house in Amagansett,” she said. “They had a few pieces, mostly random chairs. My goal was supplement what they had with other pieces, and make it all make sense.”

In sourcing furnishings for the space, Richter relied mostly on online auction sites such as Live Auctioneers, embracing the unsigned and obscure. When she couldn’t find exactly what she wanted, like a coffee table for the living room, she designed one and had it custom-made.

SIDEBOARD WITH PROPPED MODERN ART

A long Edel credenza from Design Within Reach stands to the left of the apartment’s entry door, holding overflow dishes and linens from the kitchen opposite.

A propped artwork by Los Angeles-based Maja Dlugolecki conveniently covers a circuit breaker panel.

KITCHEN COUNTER

The homeowners’ collection of colorful pottery and a pair of vintage ’80s stools from Denmark personalize the kitchen.

LIVING ROOM GREEN SOFA

The emerald green sofa that anchors the living room is by Los Angeles designer Michael Felix. Acquired early on in the project, it became “the impetus of the color story,” as Richter put it. More vibrant jewel tones followed, including a pair of roomy armchairs by South African design studio Murrmurr, upholstered in sapphire velvet.

Art by Yaakov Agam above the sofa provides a shot of color, the shaggy rug from Finarta a dose of warmth. The burled coffee table is custom by White Arrow. “I lost the auction for a burled ‘70s coffee table, so we made one,” Richter said.

DINING AREA

In the dining area, black lacquer ’70s chairs with teal velvet upholstery surround a late 20th century burled wood pedestal table.

CORNER LIVING ROOM VIEW DOWN HALL

A lacquered sideboard with brass trim “provides a ton of extra storage,” in the living room, Richter said. Above it is an “art TV,” whose screen can display rotating artworks by subscription.

Iconoclastic English designer Faye Toogood’s Please Wait to Be Seated chair defines a corner leading down the hall to bedrooms and baths.

PRIMARY BEDROOM

BOOKSHELF WITH POTTERY

DESK BY WINDOW

The primary bedroom is furnished with pieces both contemporary, such as the bed from Kalon Studios and shelving system by Skagerek, and vintage, including a dresser from the 1960s Janus Collection by John Stuart Inc. A Pamplona desk chair by Italian designer Augusto Savini sits at a custom desk commissioned from contemporary maker Jonah Takagi.

BEDROOM 2

It took some bold primaries in the son’s room to compete with the extraordinary view, including a blue armchair by Pierre Paulin for Artifort and a red 1972 desk chair by Rodney Kinsman that has become a modern classic. The bed is from Design Within Reach.

BEDROOM 3

A geometric patterned rug from Oyyo and unusual lighting pieces elevate the daughter’s room. The bed was sourced from Room and Board, the dresser from West Elm.

[Photos by Thomas Richter]

The Insider is Brownstoner’s weekly in-depth look at a notable interior design/renovation project, by design journalist Cara Greenberg. Find it here every Thursday morning.

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