A Design-Savvy Duo's Enviable NYC Digs

Interior designers and lifestyle gurus Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason of AphroChic bring global cool to their Brooklyn space.

By: Jeanine Hays

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

Photo By: Patrick Cline

An Historic Canvas

White walls warmed with wood floors create the canvas on which this living room is created. Dating from the mid-1800s, this Brooklyn home is filled with original architectural accents. Interior designers and homeowners Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason tailored their design to accentuate those details for a subtle and sophisticated design.

Global Style

Jeanine and Bryan are the founders of AphroChic, a New York-based interior design firm. With the company’s motto of modern, soulful style, it’s no surprise that their home, located in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, is an ode to global culture at home. Their live-work space, part home, part design studio, is infused with a cultural aesthetic that is unmistakably AphroChic.

Statement Piece

Bright pops of color in unexpected places keep the living room feeling fresh and lively throughout. Above the fireplace, a bright pink juju hat, originally a sign of nobility worn by royalty and aristocrats in the Cameroon, hangs in a regal position, bringing color to the room.

Styling an Entryway

The key to the couple’s design aesthetic is layering contemporary, prewar and cultural elements seamlessly. In this entryway where crown molding sets the stage, a Moroccan pouf bought during travels sits together with a basket the two designed with a women’s collective in Rwanda. A collection of art also highlights this area including a silhouette photograph of Bryan and a message of social activism by artist Ann Lewis.

Hallway Decor

The hallway to the kitchen is covered in a rich blue and white wallpaper that highlights the lightly patterned design of the wall itself. The cool colors of the hall are a beautiful contrast leading into the warm, red brick kitchen.

An Indoor Garden

A hanging succulent garden is a wonderful feature for a kitchen. The plants accentuate the brick without obscuring it.

Warm Black Wall

In the bedroom, the black and white palette of the living room is flipped on its head with moody black walls. The color is Wrought Iron, from the AphroChic Brooklyn In Color paint collection. Bright pops of color from a decorative gallery wall of baskets and an antique Persian rug break up the dark colors in the room.

Archival Art

Jeanine and Bryan have a love of black and white photography. Above the bed hangs one of their favorite images, a vintage 1970s photograph of musician Melba Moore. The shot was originally done for Vogue magazine and is now part of the Conde Nast archives.

Colorful Styling

Beyond the neutral Persian rug and gray sofas, elements have been brought in to add a wash of color to the space. To highlight the home's high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling drapery in aubergine adds an unexpected infusion of color. Pastel shades of pink and blue are brought home with a gallery wall of fashion illustrations by artist Leigh Viner. Pillows from the couple's collection bring in a dose of color and pattern.

Vintage Element

In the kitchen, one of the first pieces brought into the space was a hutch from Bryan’s great-grandmother. The family heirloom is now the perfect piece to hold china and the couple’s collection of flatware and glasses. The wood elements of the hutch are repeated again in modern cabinetry and a small bistro table.

Wallpaper Install

For a fun weekend project, the two decided to back the bookshelf in one of their wallpaper patterns. The metallic sheen creates an eye-catching backdrop to the couple’s favorite books on design, history and culture.

Beyond the Gallery Wall

For a unique spin on the typical gallery wall, Jeanine and Bryan chose to showcase some unexpected pieces of art on the wall in their bedroom. Colorful baskets, handmade in Rwanda, add a powerful color story to the bedroom, and the shades of hot pink and yellow literally pop off of the moody black wall.

Books on Display

Art and pattern define this hallway while keeping with the largely black and white color palette of the living room. A stunning photograph by Gregory Prescott adorns the wall while geometric shelving designed by Jeanine and Bryan turns an originally empty alcove into a display area for books and small works of art.

Print and Pattern

A closer look reveals more of the detail in the hallway. Above the picture rail that is original to the home’s design, AphroChic’s Sister’s wallpaper, a collaboration with artist Samantha Hahn, adds an artistic touch in blue watercolor.

Highlighting a Bay Window

Bay windows can be a design challenge. For Jeanine and Bryan they took the opportunity to carve out both a dining and work area in the bay window. A large round dining table is a perfect fit. On the table, which is perfect for both work and entertaining, a dramatic arrangement of branches towers over a collection of favorite books together with a sculpture from artist Murjoni Merriweather.

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