I’m one of those people who attends open houses when I have no business (let alone money) to buy a home. Instead I like to wander through the old homes and imagine what I would do if I did have the money to give the place a facelift. Down with this wall! Off with the wallpaper! Bring in the light! Where is the vegetation?! Picture my hands mimicking Mickey Mouses’s hands in Fantasia, I’m conducting my own little mini orchestra of renovation destruction. Obviously this is nothing like the real process of renovating, as Lauren Snyder will attest. She and her husband recently gutted and renovated their Brooklyn brownstone. But read on to see their Fantasia-like results!
What are three things you want people to feel when inside your home?
Relaxed, welcomed, comfortable
Your husband, Keith Burns, is an architect and together you gutted and renovated this brownstone. What was your design mantra going into such a big overhaul of a space?
My husband and I both have particular taste and lean towards clean spaces but also really want a space to feel comfortable. It is something we’ve tried to accomplish at home and also in both of my shops. Im not a fussy person, and even if there are delicate objects in our home or in my shops they are meant to be used and a space is meant to be lived in. That was really our driving force when we started to work on our home.
What was the biggest challenge you faced renovating your home and how did you overcome it?
Renovating is a really stressful process with lots of ups and downs, and it is always that creates a lot of stress for me and makes me feel a little crazy. So throughout the process I am always trying to relax a little bit.
You own the cult followed home goods store, Primary Essentials, with locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. What do you look for, both aesthetically and emotionally, when choosing pieces to be housed inside your shop and home?
Im always looking for items that are unique but have functionality to them, and I tend to buy in a neutral palette, its just what I like aesthetically. As well I really like sourcing items that are handcrafted because even if more than one of them is made two are never the same, and they have a story behind them. When you are living with objects it is nice to have those connections to them and thats something I like to bring into both of the shops as well as my home.
Tell me about this open shower in your master bedroom! What was the inspiration to have the shower be such a focal piece of the room?
The shower was never something we had planned on in the beginning, it organically came about. In a brownstone you are working within a constrained floor plan and my husband presented a few different ideas for how we could maximize the space in our bedroom and keep it bright and this is what we liked the best. Its not for everyone but we really love it.