Barri Leiner Grant is a sought-after stylist with a seriously chic 1884 home in Chicago and a bag full of tricks for making the grand old place looks fresh.

November 08, 2017

Barri Leiner Grant is a photo stylist, writer, jewelry designer, yogi, wife, and mother.She is also an avid traveler, a flea market aficionado, a framer of rumpled kindergarten paintings, and a collector of all things chipped, faded, or beachy. The woman has never met an object she doesn't want to monogram. She's a sucker for anything that has a history, stirs a memory, or tells a story.

Barri called on her talents, which attract styling clients like Crate & Barrel, to give her 1884 brownstone a youthful makeover. There were velvet upholstered walls, heavy curtains, and chinoiserie everywhere. With dark wall paint and statement furniture pieces, Barri maintained the vintage charm of the home while making it her own.

The bedroom started with simple linens and patterned pillowcases. A coral matelasse coverlet and pink throw work well with dark chocolate walls. Huge, colorful butterflies surprise. Mismatched side tables give the room a savvy thrifting vibe.

Wall Color Custom Mix (Night Shade 2116-10 and Ebony King 2132-20 from Benjamin Moore)

Casual Cozy

A pale backdrop and a light touch with supporting furniture (like the glass side table) make the yellow sofa in the office work. A symmetrical arrangement brings calm to the riot of patterned pillows. To keep the space from feeling formal, she chose a large geometric fixture to make the traditional-leaning room feel current. The white cabinets, which were once brown with natural bamboo, got a bright white coat of paint for an updated look.

Meaningful Mementoes

A portrait in the office was a flea market find, purchased because the subject reminded Barri of a friend. A mix of nautical and travel accessories reflect Barri's loves and interests.

Wall Color Pike's Peak (2127-50), Benjamin Moore

Look Here

Unexpected accessories add surprise to a room. In the living room, a pop art Jackie Kennedy pillow adds the fun factor. The bit of pink contrasts with the gray walls and chair. For a streamlined, modern look, the trim was painted the same color as the walls.

Wall and Trim Color Wolf Grey (2121-40), Benjamin Moore

Layered Loft

Barri's change agents for any space are pillows and throws. She chooses solid colored sofas to accommodate frequent swaps. Travel-inspired pillows and a bold black-and-white rug give this space a mod look. The teak coffee table can also be flipped on its side and become a console table. 

A Guide to Statement Rugs

Victorian Mod

A butcherblock island top gives the space a functional update. A Victorian-style ceiling in all white keeps traditional charm with a modern update. Black-and-white checked floors are timeless and graphic.

Floral Flair

A collection of flea market flower paintings create a gallery wall in the kitchen, with plenty of space to accommodate and integrate new finds. Off-white subway tiles and stainless countertops marry with the floral paintings for interest.

Eclectic Mix

The shine of the vintage brass shelves creates warmth along the cool gray walls in this room. A faux sheepskin-covered piano bench makes for a chic little coffee table. A Victorian-ceiling medallion paired with a streamlined light fixture transitions this space from outdated to charming.

How to Decorate With Dark Walls

Golden Glow

The rope mirror in the powder room was found at a kids' furnishing store. The rough texture contrasts the dressy metallic wallpaper for an unexpected combination. A gold floating shelf and faucet balance the warm and cool tones in the space.

Comments (3)

November 10, 2018
The bedroom with the butterfly art was beautiful. Very inspiring!
April 20, 2018
I love the makeover for this house. Getting tired of farmhouse and cottage styles. This house is cheerful, colorful, and very relaxed-looking while not taking away from the beauty of an old house.This is the modern way to love an antique house. Great interior designing.
November 10, 2018
I love the bold beauty of this home. I have a similar style. I get mixed reactions from friends. But it is me!