This Designer Home Masterfully Mixes Old and New

This homeowner and designer creates a laid-back home with a heady mix of old and new, and where imperfection is part of the charm. The renovation of his 1903 home in Brooklyn started with a clean slate.

Formal Front Parlor

chris benz designer blue family room

Several rooms in this renovated home, including the office, bedrooms, and parlors, got off easy with just fresh coats of paint in crisp whites, smoky grays, and a full spectrum of intense blues. Tie-dyed upholstery on the tufted 1970s Milo Baughman sofa and chairs softens the formality of the front parlor. Shapes, such as the globe light, repeat throughout the house.

Our Favorite Blue Paint Colors

Party in the Back

chris benz designer fireplace

A dated fixture was swapped out with a globe light in the back parlor. For a modern look in your older home, start with light fixtures. The original tiles in both fireplace surrounds of this home were intact but didn't truly show their beauty until the walls behind were painted.

Dining Spectacular

banquet dining chris benz home

The dining room displays the homeowner's 1950s-era dinnerware by Sascha Brastoff, a California ceramicist. Two tacked-up Bill Blass posters add splashes of sunny color and signature irreverence. Each piece is unique and a source of inspiration for the rest of the home.

Working with Bold Colors

Ode to the Past

chris benz designer kitchen

Low cabinets and light surfaces keep the kitchen feeling spacious, while raw wood ceiling beams add rusticity. A peacock blue door is original, something the homeowner says is a keystone to the entire property. Some of the original, worn-looking parts of the house remain, while others areas are brand new.

Art and Expression

chris benz designer kitchen island

A painting found at a Salvation Army showcases the home's cheerful color palette. Whitewashed brick walls and cabinetry let decorative accents take center stage. When you find ideal pieces of art, every inch of your home can brim with personality.

Kitchen Blues

chris benz designer kitchen rack

While other parts of this home required just a paint job, the kitchen translated to a total redo. The removal of crumbling plaster prompted the dusty job; when removed, it revealed lath work, brick walls, and ceiling beams. The original exposed beams were left as is, and the spaces between were filled with beaded board to cover electrical wires.

Put to Work

chris benz designer mudroom plants

This beautiful mudroom does three jobs at once. First, it serves as space for switching out shoes for slippers. With its shower and central drain, it's also ideal for washing dogs. The room also houses plants—both edible and just plain beautiful—as a makeshift greenhouse.

Glossed Over

chris benz designer home office

The colors for this home were picked so their tones and shades transitioned gradually with the floor plan. A high-gloss version of this matte wall color is used on the trim throughout the home. Walls and baseboards painted the same color give the illusion of height.

Learn About Trimwork and Molding

Curl Up in Style

chris benz designer bedroom

High-fashion fabric remnants dress the accent pillows in this master bedroom. A mix of furnishings, accessories, and art follows the new-meets-old trend of the house, with some high-low mash-ups thrown in for good measure. The bold yet casual style makes an inviting impact.

Learn How to Mix Vintage and Modern

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