Shelby & Chris’ Parisian-Inspired Brooklyn Flat

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

Fill 1Created with Sketch.

Published on October 22, 2019

We interviewed Havenly’s very own VP of Creative & Design, Shelby Girard on her move from Denver to Brooklyn. When Shelby and her husband Chris moved to their Brooklyn flat from there spacious Denver home they needed to make some big changes. For starters, they went from owners of a sizable house to apartment renters who needed to maximize their space. 

The stylish couple had to make some tough calls. They only brought a small portion of their furniture back east, namely artwork and vintage pieces that they had carried from home-to-home throughout the years. “While it was difficult to part with the old, it was an exciting opportunity to start fresh in a new city,” Shelby points out.   

The living room and dining room were smaller so they needed a sofa that was more compact as well as a smaller, round dining table. The bedroom was actually slightly larger than our previous one and Shelby wanted a bed that had an upholstered back to read before bed. 

Parisian modern design style
Shelby's round table

They did a lot of planning prior to the move to understand exactly what to bring and what to buy new since it was a cross-country move. “Having the plan of the apartment and pictures helped us understand exactly what we needed and will help your designer understand your layout needs,” Shelby recommends.  

The flat is on the top floor of a Brooklyn brownstone facing a residential street in Prospect Lefferts Garden. There are beautiful old trees outside of the front and back bay windows which makes it feel like an oasis in the city. Shelby was immediately drawn to the natural light, picture frame molding, and parquet floors throughout the space. She also loved that the apartment had the charm of an old space, that could be updated to feel more modern and personal. 

When Shelby and Chris arrived, they started by painting the walls a bright white (Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace) which immediately brightened up the space and made it feel clean and fresh. “I gravitate towards an all neutral color palette in my own home because it grounds me and creates a sense of calm that is a little relief after the visual stimulation I encounter in my day-to-day,” Shelby chimes in on her color choice. “I also think a neutral palette allows your eye to easily move from moment to moment and take in every detail as if you’re wandering around a museum and discovering beauty in each work of art.” Shelby explains. 

They also installed new lighting in each room (to replace dated ceiling fans), and even installed a ceiling medallion in the living room to elevate the space and embrace its history. 

Shelby's NYC apartment

Shelby categorizes her style as Parisian Modern. “My style is all about contrast and juxtaposition—old meeting new, sculptural alongside streamlined, minimal next to ornate, and contrast in neutral colors and texture. I love Parisian interiors and how they exude an effortless elegance and often position simple modern furniture within ornate old building,“ she explains.

“I love heavy materials like marble and steel—our movers love it too” she jokes. Shelby also recommends artwork to make a new space feel more unique and personalized. 

Find out what your unique interior design style is by taking our fun style quiz.

Words by Alena Courtney