The Insider: Exuberant Color, Eclectic Furnishings Enliven Young Homeowner’s First Apartment


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In furnishing her new top-floor two-bedroom in a prewar walkup in Park Slope, its owner might have gone neutral or leaned on IKEA, as she did in a previous rental. But deciding she wanted more color, polish and glamour in her first owned home, she hired Manhattan-based interior designer Tara McCauley, fresh off an eight-year stint in the office of noted New York tastemaker Nick Olsen.

The main living space had plentiful windows and useful built-ins, including a pair of bookcases on either side of the brick chimney breast, kitchen cabinetry painted dark teal, and a corner banquette in the dining area that morphed into a long row of cubbies running under the living room windows.

“The client showed me a Pinterest board with a maximalist aesthetic she liked but had no idea how to achieve, with images of Dawnridge, Tony Duquette’s house in Beverly Hills,” McCauley said. In the energetic spirit of the legendary Hollywood designer, whom McCauley also admires, they embarked on a painting and decorating tear.

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