About a year ago we posted this Brooklyn interior designed by and lived in by the lovely Louisa Roeder. Well, she’s back! This time with an East Village home she designed for clients Alex and Kylie van Hoek (pictured) — oh and of course, the family pug, Mugsy, who, as you can see, mugs quite well for the camera. Enjoy another fabulous interior by Louisa!
When starting a new interior project, where do you begin? Is there a room you like to start with? Or a central piece you’ll design around?
Louisa: I start with whichever room(s) is likely to get the most use – usually the family room or kitchen. Like a lot of NYC apartments, Alex & Kylie’s home has a combined kitchen / living / dining room, so I started there, tying the space together cohesively with blue accents.
What was the inspiration behind the design of this home? Client’s heritage, personal preference, the space itself, or a mix?
Louisa: Alex, the husband, was raised in England and we used his background as design inspiration. British dens are traditionally wood-paneled or painted in bold colors, so we used a red paint on the built-ins and colorful wallpaper as an homage to Alex’s upbringing. But we also gave the den a modern twist with a leather chair and an exotic rug. All in all, the den is the ideal winter retreat for snuggling up and watching some telly.
How did you collaborate with Kylie and her husband, Alex, when designing this space?
Louisa: Right off the bat, my clients knew they wanted a traditional botanical chinoiserie wallpaper in the bedroom and a traditional red den. With those items set, we each selected landmark items that we loved and built each “landmark room” around those pieces.
What do you hope to achieve with all your client’s homes? What do you like their spaces to feel like?
Louisa: I love homes that are cozy, but with personality. Ideally, every corner is a little design vignette. However, no design should ever be so precious that the room isn’t livable. Homes should feel inviting and livable to my clients and their families and friends, while also expressing their personalities.
What pieces can you skimp on price and what pieces do you need to splurge on?
Louisa: Alex and Kylie have an adorable pug named Mugsy. We didn’t want to splurge on upholstery items that would inevitably get scratched up by little Mugsy, so we kept the sofa fabrics pretty simple.
However, since the drapery would escape Mugsy’s clutches, we splurged on the living room curtains. The curtain panels are simply decorative so we didn’t need to commit to purchasing enough fabric to cover the windows in their entirety, but you still get the visual impact of the pattern.