A Designer's World Travels Bring Life to Her Home

Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo Shares Her Globally-Inspired Brooklyn Apartment

A Designer's World Travels Bring Her Home to Life | Interior Design by Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo of LBR Home | Photography by Tim Williams | Modern Sanctuary | Living Room Inspiration | Eclectic Living Room | Global Living Room | Art Inspiration
Photo by:
Tim Williams
04/05/2017

Life is a journey and for many of us, our homes are reflections of where we have been and what we have learned along the way. We celebrate our experiences by surrounding ourselves with meaningful treasures that fill our souls. Brooklyn-based designer Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo of LBR Home, has spent much of her life’s journey traveling the world and her eclectic, globally-inspired Brooklyn apartment is a testament to how these travels have influenced her life.

The 1890’s era brownstone was renovated from a single family home to co-ops in the 1980’s and her penthouse level apartment was added. Laurie describes the story behind her recent renovations:

“I had been living here for a few years, when I met the love of my life! Shortly thereafter we got married. After much discussion, we decided to keep the apartment and create our love nest/sanctuary in here instead of buying new one. We loved the neighborhood and the wall of windows – it stole our hearts.

“Our apartment naturally exudes charm and inherently had the ‘wow’ factor due to all of  the windows, and skylights allowing the natural light to flood the apartment. However, it needed some design love to accentuate its good bones and bring it up to my design standards. In order to create our dream home, I needed to instill a more modern, fresh vibe.”

The apartment’s open floor plan was a plus, so Laurie capitalized on the loft-like feeling in her design choices.

“Simple-lined furniture (and dog friendly!) was a must, along with an airy, soothing palette of several hues from the gray scale, rich wood tones and pops of color. Choosing a color palette that transcends the space without being the same for each room was key.”

Once the basics were decided upon, Laurie’s world travels (she has visited more than 40 countries) were the inspiration for the home’s furnishings.

Photo by:
Tim Williams

As a passionate traveler and designer, my goal was to weave pieces from countries I’ve visited into an overall design scheme without looking cluttered. I am as equally inspired by the Danish Modern aesthetic as I am to the quirky eclectic details of Indian design. Bringing them together is a great challenge and the contrast is elegant and full of personality.  Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo

Photo by:
Tim Williams
Large Artwork: Jasper Johns c1972, signed print | Two smaller works: Rocco Ungaro, Puglia, Italy

“We entertain quite often, so the dining area needed to be both glamorous and functional. The design was influenced by a recent trip to Copenhagen. I visited the Hans Wegner store and the Design Museum, and both blew my mind. It was clear my dining chairs would be Danish modern. The classic, casual and cool lines are works of art. I chose custom Boffi chairs to soften the lines of the space and serve as a contrast to the Hans Wegner chairs. I love the energy and texture of cerused wood, so the table was custom made and the perfect piece to bring in the glam. Every room needs a little sparkle; the Cellula chandelier was a natural choice.”

Photo by:
Tim Williams

“The kitchen is all for my husband. He’s an incredible chef and does all the cooking for us. Lucky me! I wanted the kitchen to have an industrial look while at the same time blending into the apartment. The stainless steel shelving system was custom made, and we painted the cabinets Purbeck Stone, a high gloss from Farrow and Ball. It’s everything an urban home chef could want all in a fairly compact space.”

Photo by:
Tim Williams
Sofa: Bo Concept | Glass Waterfall Console: allmodern.com | Black and White Artwork: Christine Dalenta and Benjamin Parker | Paint Color: Silver Satin and Steel Wool by Benjamin Moore

“The living room design is a confluence of all of our travels. I wanted to maintain the open floor plan and clean lines, but also it needed to be eclectic and showcase a well-curated collection of pieces from my travels. We chose a dark gray accent wall to ground the space, allowing the wood-burning stove to look sophisticated and integrated.

“The African mask and sandstone sculpture are from a trip to Cape Town, South Africa. The turquoise bowl is from our honeymoon trip to Santorini. The orange Burmese lacquer Hsun-ok offering bowl is from a trip to Myanmar. “

Photo by:
Tim Williams
Photo by:
Tim Williams

“The bronze Shiva statue is from India Mart, a boutique in Kochi, South India.” 

Photo by:
Tim Williams
Wall covering: Casamance | Chandelier: Kenneth Cobonpue | Sconces: FLOS | Bedding: Second Floor Studio and Shades of India

“The bedroom décor was influenced by my trips to India. The colors, textures and bling of India are romantic, soft and vibrant, all at the same time. I use two boutiques as my go-to for Indian bedding. The one I use most often is Second Floor Studio owned by a dear friend of mine, Punit Jasuja. The Ikat wallpaper came to be through the suggestion of an interior designer friend, Julia Mack.”

Photo by:
Tim Williams
Photo by:
Tim Williams

“The master bathroom needed a major renovation and re-design. I did a lot to change the overall flow of the space, including raising the ceiling almost a foot, and ripping out the tub to create a shower for two with double heads.  It’s both romantic and functional. 

“Design-wise, I wanted to do something wild! I was inspired by a trip to Ostuni, Italy. La Sommita, a boutique hotel where we stayed had exquisite marble bathrooms. The colors and striations of our Italian marble were so unique yet easily worked with the palette within the rest of the apartment.

“I chose un-lacquered brass fittings by Newport Brass. Neutral tiles by Porcelanosa for the floor and custom paint to match them and minimize the amount of contrast while keeping the design lines clean. I chose reclaimed wood in a hue similar to the marble for a custom shelving system. It’s a perfect organic and soft contrast to the marble.”

Photo by:
Tim Williams
Photo by:
Tim Williams
Photo by:
Tim Williams

“My husband and I feel like we live in a tree house! We are on the top floor with expansive views of both Brooklyn treetops and majestic Manhattan. I brought the outside in with my collection of plants and they love all of the direct sunlight.”

Photo by:
Tim Williams
Photo by:
Tim Williams

Travel is the most powerful influence in my design. I use each of my trips as inspiration. The colors, materials, and exotic nature of each location bring such rich and layered feeling to interior design. On my travels, I work to create and foster relationships with local boutique owners for future design projects.  Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo

Meet the designer Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo of LBR Home
Bio:

LBR | HOME is a full-service, boutique interior design firm in New York City founded by Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo.

The design philosophy behind LBR | HOME is your interior design dreams through Laurie’s eyes. The look LBR | HOME specializes in creating is “contemporary eclectic”. The result is chic, approachable and livable spaces grounded in Laurie’s expertise in global design. Her trained eye has been influenced by her extensive world travels, which have been far and wide, to Asia, South America, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and beyond.

In working with LBR | HOME, you will find a process that is client oriented with your design and decor desires at the forefront, and the stresses that so often come with renovations and redesigns are mitigated with Laurie’s corporate honed project management skills.

Laurie’s path to interior design and decorating was a natural, but unexpected one. She spent the first part of her career as a successful corporate event planner for a major TV network. Reaching the pinnacle of her profession – she was running the entire events department – she craved not only change, but like so many of us, to live her passion. It had become clear that after working so many years alongside some of the best designers in New York and beyond, that her own true passion was design.

Design obsessed and highly motivated, Laurie took the leap into her dream profession. She left the comfort of the corporate world, enrolled in Parsons’ highly coveted design program, and obtained a degree in Interior Design. All the while further sharpening her design skills by working for a top interior designer in NYC. Things fell into place naturally. Even before graduation day, she was being sought out for her design. It turns out that Laurie was a born designer, and today her growing company boasts both residential and commercial projects.

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Cynthia Baxter
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