When a retired couple based in China purchased a Brooklyn duplex as a pied-à-terre, they knew they wouldn’t be around to renovate the place. So they tasked their daughter (who lives next door to the Park Slope apartment) and French interior designer Margaux Lafond with giving it a full refresh. “I met the clients at the beginning,” Margaux says. “They trusted us to do the project and then rediscovered the home when it was almost fully done.”
The homeowners’ only request was a minimalist yet warm aesthetic with calm, muted colors. But since the existing finishes were extremely dated (think orange wood and beadboard), Margaux had to completely gut the space to achieve their desired look. After ripping everything out, she whitewashed the red pine floors for a Scandinavian-style look and painted all the walls in light, neutral hues.
The only exceptions are the dark blue powder room and the deep red office that Margaux created by cutting the previously dysfunctional L-shaped living room in half. Thanks to the construction of a single wall, the clients now have a moody maroon study, which is outfitted with a Pierre Chapo S34 chair, a custom sycamore desk, and a formal sitting area. An arched doorway connects the two.
In the now rectangular living area, creamy limewash walls, gauzy Nobilis curtains, and a Tuareg mat from Morocco serve as an organic backdrop for Margaux’s highly curated furnishings. “I’m very drawn to vintage pieces and mixing them with new things,” she explains. “Materials are really important—the feel of them and what they convey. So I like having rough textures and patina.”
A navy 1970s Sesann sofa by Gianfranco Frattini mingles with a pair of 1960s Ross Littell woven leather armchairs, a sculptural Carl Auböck Vice Versa floor lamp, and a Mexican terra-cotta vase. Custom creations include a bench upholstered in a speckled Kvadrat/Raf Simons Ria fabric and ceramic sconces by Lisbon-based artist Amande Haeghen. “Working with makers and artisans to fabricate furniture or accessories is really something I’m drawn to,” Margaux shares.