How a Designer Turned This "Modern White Box" Into a Lively—and Functional—Family Home

Photo credit: Heidi's Bridge
Nice from the house
If there is an interior designer in New York who knows how to give a warm personality with a sense of history to a modern, newly built apartment, it is Shanti Crawford from Indigo & Ocher Design. Against the backdrop of international human rights, Crawford's "first attempt to create design was to create ways to generate income for vulnerable women," she says. "It has evolved from there, but I've always stayed true to my roots by focusing on socially responsible and sustainable design." This reflects Crawford's colorful, carefully collected, and multi-layered approach to decoration.
Before their customers - a family of three human daughters and a dog daughter - could close this 2,600 square foot, four-bedroom penthouse in Brooklyn, they asked Crawford to share their expertise as a design consultant. "I was hired before my customers closed and the construction was completed to give instructions on how to add character to a developer's clean / white modern box," she tells House Beautiful.
Photo credit: Heidi's Bridge
Her customers have a busy, fulfilling life - she describes them as intellectual, sporty and musical (hence the guitar on the bed, which you will see more of in a minute) - and they travel a lot as a family. All of these interests are expressed in their new home. From the start of the project, they looked forward to a completely new start, especially as the children got older and changed to different family rhythms. But "they were less excited about how cold and sterile it felt," she tells us, "so my design guideline was to give the room warmth, color, character, and personality."
Crawford also wanted to work out areas with different uses from the larger open floor plan. The goal was to ensure that each family member had room to work, study, socialize and hang out, eat and play music "while others are doing their own thing on the same floor," she explains.
Photo credit: Heidi's Bridge
The difficult part was to create these "discrete and intimate areas while allowing the flow between the areas and to the spacious outdoor terrace". Crawford achieved this by adding fixtures and developing strategic furniture arrangements. Color was also transformative - she says color is "always declarative for space" and can do a selection of vintage and antique carpets, bespoke lights, bespoke fixtures, window treatments and plants (she worked with landscape architect Laura Harmon from LFH Studio) Work miracles.
Another welcome challenge was to integrate existing items that customers loved: a solid patchwork kilim that the family had bought on a trip to Morocco and a rustic sideboard. She wanted them to deliberately feel in the mix of new decor and feel at home in the open floor plan with streamlined and sleek elements.
Ready to see the rest of the room? Take a room-by-room tour to learn how she transformed the modern new building into a personal family home.

Photo credit: Heidi's Bridge
"We saw the entry as a forecast of what you would experience elsewhere in the home," says Crawford. Instead of sticking to plain white walls, she opted for a pale pink shade. "The dusty pink can be seen everywhere in upholstery and carpets. That is why we used it as an envelope for this room, which connects several others," she explains. Functionally, the hooks, baskets and cubes "all provide the necessary storage for this active family of five, and we've reduced every additional pattern / color to instead add more texture to the ceramic disc wall hangings and woven Tuareg mat."
living room
Photo credit: Heidi's Bridge
Because the formal living room is within this open floor plan, Crawford said it was vital to "consider that the lines of sight were such that all elements could be seen from anywhere. We wanted discrete but complementary and coherent emotional spaces that unite enable good flow. " between them. "She had a lively Moroccan patchwork kilim (more on that later) control the color palette. You can see his influence in" the strong color elements in the seating, works of art, accessories, "she says. Crawford also procured" a beautiful, gentle, ancient oushak to create an adjacent field that can hold its own without competing with the hustle and bustle of the kilim. "
dining room
Photo credit: Heidi's Bridhe
"It was important that the customer's kilim anchored the room, but not overwhelmed it," Crawford added. "To do that, we had to nod a few of the colors it contained and flute others. The painting helped us choose which colors to draw. I also found it important to soften the rustic and busier lines of customers' own sideboards, which are very slim and simple Lines of the solidly proportioned table and chairs. The brass legs of the latter provide warmth and we see the vintage coffee table come to an end in the adjoining seating area. Everything is intentional but not valuable. "
living room
Photo credit: Heidi's Bridge
"In the UK," says Crawford (the Briton), "we would call this" cozy "... a cozy, intimate room. That was the design guideline for this large niche in front of the Great Room shown earlier. We achieved this by I painted it in a warm, deep gray (also on the ceilings) and the lack of natural light with deep jewel tones in rich textures like velvet for the upholstery. The magnificent vintage Heriz carpet that I have covered has to do that contributed to anchoring the niche and giving it personality. "
Custom built-in functions also help. "I designed and built the custom walnut shelf to span the entire whale. The back was deliberately left open to ensure depth and delimitation. It turned out to be as good as I had imagined." says Crawford.
Photo credit: Heidi's Bridge
"Soothing neutral colors, simple and clean lines, texture over patterns" were the rules by which Crawford lived when he decorated the couple's bedroom. "The only notes of deep color are the deep peacock candlesticks and the glowing hand-blown carafe and the glass," she says. Otherwise, it was about setting the mood with happy neutrals.
Photo credit: Heidi's Bridge
"This room had to perform various functions - as a home office, occasional guest room, storage space for family games and personal artifacts, but is also open to the large living / dining area," says Crawford. To ensure that the space met this high demand, she custom-made the built-in bookcase that frames the day bed, and then sourced Paul McCobb's vintage desk to work with the lines and tone of the fixtures. "
Would you like more inspiration for decorating? Visit another Brooklyn home from Indigo & Ocher Design.
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