FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

Brooklyn Interior Design

SPACES | Our Pied à Terre in Brooklyn

SPACES, LIFELauren CaronComment
Image Source: Abkasha.com

Image Source: Abkasha.com

Last week we finally made the big 'move'  by packing up and moving 75% of our furniture and accessories into a POD, which is currently on it's way to Seattle and fingers crossed, everything arrives safe and secured. I have so much anxiety that we're going to open the POD and it'll be a mess of crumbled furniture, glass and boxes or that the door will have been opened and stuff will have been stolen. There's really nothing too valuable, we just have a lot of antiques that we really care about, and basically everything is fragile.

What's left in New York is for my pied à terre (or the apartment). I like thinking we are fancy now and have a second home in the city. We technically do, but realistically I'm going to be using it as a home base for my NY projects, and we're splitting it with my parents. We are going to wait until next year to decide if the current situation is working for us financially, or if we should rent it. 

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

For the time being, I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to redesign the space into a relaxing, yet productive space. I'm greatly inspired by real Parisian Haussmann pied à terres, where the decor is about less furniture, more wall space, no strict direction.  It seems to be very...  je ne sais quoi, let's call it laissez faire in style. You know, very French.  Removing the giant desk Jack built from the living room created a major domino effect, allowing me to test out different layouts and furniture placements (which I don't think is very French - except that I did it IRL not on a computer within CAD). It's so interesting how different you can make one space look by just moving around furniture. I'm breaking my own rules and doing things that I said I would never do. It's fun and it reminds me that you really can't take design too seriously. If you're intrigued to see more of my inspirations, you can find them [here]. So here are the planned ch-ch-ch-changes along with a few images of those that I've already accomplished.....

DINING TABLE

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

First up, we brought in an official dining table. It's for 4 people, I would love to find an extension table or one with a leaf that isn't expensive. For now though, this little french country style table is kind of perfect. We also had these neoclassical empire dining chairs that my mom has had for years, recently reupholstered in a Schumacher leopard print. I'm completely swooning over how they turned out. The table is set where the desk was and fills that space nicely. Also, when I'm not feeling the desk, I can sit here and work, it gives me a change of scenery - even if it's only a few feet away.

FURNITURE PLACEMENT

Next big change, is where the sofa is placed. The room is basically a box shape and is almost as wide as it is long, it's also the space that you pass through to get to the bedroom, so it can present some layout challenges. I always had the sofa set on the back wall opposite the built-ins and placed a coffee table in front with the two accent chairs near the bookcases. This made the seating area wider than the usual, but left room for a walk way. Now I'm trying to break the rules I set, and have moved the sofa several feet closer to the bookshelves. The seating area becomes more intimate. The walk way is yes, a little tighter but when it's just me who will be there most of the time, I don't really care. Behind the sofa I've moved the entry cabinet - which doubles as a desk to the back wall. For nights that I have guests, I can set it up as a dry bar and hide all of the desky things within. I don't have a great photo of the sofa yet, but I will share soon when I have all the elements well set and styled. 

ARTWORK

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

I love my artwork and gallery walls, but for this new design, I want to keep the artwork to a minimum. I think having the walls a little more clear and open feeling will add to the relaxing mood. With that said, my mom is lending a few beautiful pieces for the apartment. We set this gorgeous Chinese silk tapestry on the back wall above the bar to be the major statement piece. It is the perfect place for this piece too, since it can't be in direct sunlight and that wall, never gets the sun. Other artwork we brought in are some lithographs of Roman ruins for the dining area and two mirrors. We may bring a few other small pieces, but that's about it. 

PAINT

Image: Lauren L Caron

Image: Lauren L Caron

I'm slightly adjusting the paint in one place to tie together the colors. We've decided to draw a color from the silk tapestry to paint within the book shelves. I love the dark interior shelves but I'm now thinking since we have 4 black dining chairs, and a rug with black in it, there's too much black for the space. So a muted yet airy gray green will look really nice as a backdrop, the color I chose is by Ben Moore it's called Paris Rain (how appropriate). 

BEDROOM

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image Source: Paris Perfect

Image Source: Paris Perfect

For the bedroom I was greatly inspired by the image above and wanted to evoke the same mood as closely as I could. The window and room layout are similar, although slightly smaller. Originally I moved my dresser to the wall opposite the bed, but it felt too tight so I ended up moving it back to the wall it was on for the past 5 years. I plan to have a table cloth made to cover the Saarinen table, I haven't figured out what textile yet, something with a pattern would be nice. 

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

reflection_ffwu

We purchased a new bed frame (a very inexpensive one for $59 from Amazon, I'll link it at the bottom) and this gorgeous headboard that I've had my eyes on for quite some time from Urban Outfitters. We brought in a few French-y accents like the sunburst for over the headboard and this gorgeous gilt frame mirror. Last but not least, I plan to add some decorative pillows to make the bed feel more finished. 

Image Source: Rue Mag

Image Source: Rue Mag

Margaux Headboard - Urban Outfitters

Sunburst Mirror (similar) - Wisteria

 

Bedframe - Amazon

Bedroom Wall Sconces (similar) - Lamps Plus

 

Thank you to those of you who have been sending us well wishes about our move. It's been long winded to say the least, and I'm sure some of you are sick of hearing about this 'move' which doesn't seem like it will ever end. Believe me, I feel you! Check in soon for more updates because things are actually moving forward.  I plan to photograph the living room soon of the apartment updates, and in the next few weeks I'll be in Seattle, where I plan to accomplish a lot of decorating in that home. I'm excited to see how all of our stuff will look in the new place!

SPACES | Homepolish Featured Our Apartment!

SPACES, VINTAGE, LIFELauren CaronComment
The built-ins were built by Jack / the porter chair is my favorite seat in the home. 

The built-ins were built by Jack / the porter chair is my favorite seat in the home. 

Back in October I had my apartment photographed by Homepolish's talented photographer Claire Esparros. She spent several hours in my home capturing every nook and cranny, because there are quite a few! We munched on donuts and bonded over being vegetarians. I was excited because this is something I've been working towards for such a long time. I've taken pictures of our home but never had it professionally photographed until now. 

After 4 years of working on the apartment and documenting it here along the way, I can finally say, it feels 'done'. Which is great because we're now in the midst of moving to Seattle. In less than 3 months the entire home will be packed up a shipped and across the country. It's bittersweet, but I'm very happy to have had the opportunity to properly document it. 

my favorite gallery wall in the home that holds my favorite prints / that sofa doubles as a guest bed.

my favorite gallery wall in the home that holds my favorite prints / that sofa doubles as a guest bed.

The Doxie print was a find at Housing Works

The Doxie print was a find at Housing Works

Old New York. It's a style just as much as it is a feeling. Every once in a while, when walking into a Manhattan space, one is overwhelmed with the sense of history. Dark oak-paneled walls, cheetah-print plush carpets, saturated drapery, and antiqued mirrors. All things bright and beautiful from brass to gold are the accents. It's a sense best captured by those ladies who lived through the 60s and 70s, Upper East Side Mad Women. But half a century later and a borough away in Brooklyn, Homepolish designer Lauren Caron has brought that eclectic mix to her 1-bedroom apartment. 

Reading the that intro written by Homepolish's senior editor Matt Powell, gives me chills. It's funny that I didn't intend to have my apartment feel like Old New York, yet it's definitely a compliment considering I'm in love with all the above mentioned.... My goals for the space were for it to be the perfect mix of old and new, collected and curated, and of course to be a reflection of us. 

I think back to my interviews with Bergdorf's when who was soon to be my VP asked, "If you could have your dream home in New York, where would it be and what would it look like?" My answer: An apartment that you might find on Park Avenue, filled with treasures, collections and glamour but set in Brooklyn, so it's not too serious. For this home, I think I've accomplished a hint of that, I'd definitely take one or two more bedrooms and perhaps a dining room, though for the most part it's the perfect mix of what I was dreaming of and what was possible. 

These sorts of projects don't have a start and an end date. Lauren and her husband Jack have lived in the space for four years. Over time, they have amassed a collection of heirlooms and vintage items to fill what was once an empty, blank room. The step back in time begins right upon entry with a wall covered in prancing gilded zebras and arrows. An Indian heritage rug leads you inside to the living room with brass-framed mirrors and a cheetah-upholstered chair. In the kitchen, copper cookware glints a la Julia Child, and farther in the bedroom, a Chinese screen evokes Coco Chanel. It is a perfect reflection of Lauren and Jack, and perhaps of New York life in general. 
The Scalamandre Zebra wallpaper was so worth it! 

The Scalamandre Zebra wallpaper was so worth it! 

Max's favorite hang out spot, especially when he know's Jack is on his way home. 

Max's favorite hang out spot, especially when he know's Jack is on his way home. 

I originally upholstered this chair in a mod floral print, then I went for the Leopard and never turned back. 

I originally upholstered this chair in a mod floral print, then I went for the Leopard and never turned back. 

I recently wrote about how our little table was a late edition. It's the perfect breakfast nook and work space for when my desk is too cluttered. 

I recently wrote about how our little table was a late edition. It's the perfect breakfast nook and work space for when my desk is too cluttered. 

Finding that sideboard has added so much storage to once was a useless bar. 

Finding that sideboard has added so much storage to once was a useless bar. 

A little bit of country influence in the kitchen, and apparently it has a flair of Julia Childs. What a compliment!

A little bit of country influence in the kitchen, and apparently it has a flair of Julia Childs. What a compliment!

It'll be a year in March that I've joined the Homepolish team as a contract designer. It's been a fun ride, taking on a couple dozen clients, remote and local, and have had the opportunity to work with some of the most wonderful people! If you have any questions about Homepolish please feel free to ask! If you'd like to read the whole Homepolish feature about our apartment you can [here].

All photographs were taken by Claire Esparros of Homepolish | Interior design by: Lauren L Caron

SPACES | Beds: The New & The Old Part Deux

SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment
Our New Bed | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Our New Bed | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

I wrote in my previous post, that I made the decision to go with a new bed, but of course it didn't come without any challenges. I don't know if it's because we went from a vintage to a new bed and had to make adjustments or if this is a common issue but, I wanted to talk about our silly experience of feeling a little like The Princess and the Pea (for a few evenings) and a lot like Goldie Locks and the three bed elevations...

New beds have much taller headboards than vintage or antique beds and that's often to accommodate the present day, thick mattresses, but also because it's a matter of taste with the mass population believing that bigger is better. If you haven't noticed new homes are larger and virtually all new furniture is larger in scale. Not a trend I'm particularly fond of and also something that just doesn't work in New York City. Our bed is the perfect example as to why. 

When we first swapped the new bed in, I felt a slight bit of hesitation and I knew it was mostly because the new headboard felt really tall! I had to take the advice I often give my clients when they bring something new home, and that was to let it settle in and not make any decisions until after a few days of living with it. The next move was to get a box spring or foundation that would help bring the mattress up slightly, to more within a proper scale of the headboard. My big dilemma though was to choose between a standard foundation and a low profile. My first instinct was to go with the low. I purchased this one from Amazon [here], and felt pretty good about my decision. Then after speaking with a few people and after a little bit of research, I noticed that NO ONE else bought low profile foundations. Especially those with lower profile mattresses which is what we also own. So that led me to call, cancel my first order and reorder the same foundation in a thicker profile. 

Warning, the next few pictures are going to all look like the same picture unless you look a little closer....

The day came when the box was delivered and ohhhh my god, what had I done? It was huge! I felt like I was (no offense to anyone) in middle America or worse yet in a McMansion. The scale of the bed with the full foundation and mattress were just too oversized for our small NYC bedroom. By the way, for NYC it's not that small, you can easily fit a queen size bed in there, which is a true selling point in the Brooklyn real estate market!

The bed with the too thick foundation | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

The bed with the too thick foundation | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

The second the delivery person set my mattress on top, I asked him about the exchange possibilities and he told me to call Sleepy's immediately (which is the company where the foundations were locally dispatched from). Lucky me, the customer service associate got the approval to exchange my box spring for a low profile for free! Due to my schedule, we had to wait a few days for the exchange to come and in that time my husband and I joked about how we had felt transported to a hotel, and that I were the real life version of the Princess and the Pea. The dogs could no longer lick my elbow in the morning when they wanted to go for their morning walk and Max couldn't possibly sneak into the bed in the middle of the night. It was definitely fun to live a different kind of life, but only for a few days, thank you! 

LESSONS LEARNED

Don't buy a mattress and box spring that is out of scale for your home, even if it seems like everyone is doing it.  In case you're looking for the right mattress - buy a Simmons Beauty Rest at 13" thick (rather than the common 18") and buy a low profile foundation at 5 - 1/4" high, if a box spring is necessary. The other possibility could be, had we already owned the ultra thick mattress, would be to not purchase a foundation with the bed. 

Second lesson learned, go with your gut! If I had gone with my first instincts, we would have had the right box spring in the first place! 

Same view but showing the bed with the low profile foundation/box spring | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Same view but showing the bed with the low profile foundation/box spring | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Our bed | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Our bed | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015


To give you an update on my mother's bed dilemma. She also purchased a new bed from Restoration Hardware, because she wanted to upgrade to a queen sized bed. It's really hard to believe but she and my dad have been sleeping on a full bed for over 30 years. The one she chose was the Empire Rosette Sleigh bed, and don't worry about the crown, it's staying and she's figuring out how to make it all work with the new bed. As for the foundation, she also ordered the wrong thickness for her new bed, so they're waiting for the low profile to be delivered next week. 


SPACES | Squeezing In A Dining Moment

SPACESLauren CaronComment

When I photographed my friend Emily's apartment months ago, I recognized her ability to fit into her one communal space, a  living room seating arrangement, a workspace and a dining area. After several weeks of envy, I realized that I too could have a cute little dining moment in my one communal room if I shifted a few things around and gave up a few items. I also realized I would have a reason to bring in other pieces that I had long been coveting.

The Apartment Staged for the Listing - See Table

The Apartment Staged for the Listing - See Table

When we first looked at the apartment (4 years ago, woah) there was a round dining table for 2, to the right of the living room entryway. Initially, that possibility no longer seemed right after we added the bookshelves along that wall, which cut the depth of the room down about 15".  Also, Jack built a large desk in the other space where you would naturally allot for a dining area. Now I can see that the room is still wide enough to accommodate a small table on that wall but near the door still isn't the right place. The only space we can put it is where I've had the leopard chair for the past few years. That chair for your information is about 26"w x 29" long so it's about the size of a 28" - 30" bistro table. 

The first step was to move the leopard chair to next to the couch. It's a little tight, because it basically sits right in front of my desk chair, however one positive is that my desk chair now isn't a visible - I'm not a huge fan of the black leather chair but I have plans for that (I will disclose of those soon.)

Next, I moved the side table that was once beside my couch to the 'dining moment'. The side table is only 26" in diameter, but it gives you a good idea of how a dining moment will fit in that space. I don't think this table is right for a permanent set up but it has given me just enough foresight to know what to look for in a dining table. Which is: 1. something light in color, 2. something more modern to contrast my mostly traditional space, and 3. something no larger than 30" in diameter. 

I decided to do a little research looking at spaces that were a traditional mix and similar in look to my home, that incorporate round seating moments as well as just round tables within spaces that are not completely dedicated to dining rooms. I found I was most drawn to the simple pedestal style bases or the brass wheat tables, so these are the spaces that I focused my attention on.

Source unknown... please let me know if you have the source.

Source unknown... please let me know if you have the source.

Design Sponge

Design Sponge

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

Lonny Mag

Lonny Mag

Architectural Digest | Gomez Associates Inc. and Kean Williams Giambertone

Architectural Digest | Gomez Associates Inc. and Kean Williams Giambertone

Matthew Lucas | The Design Files

Matthew Lucas | The Design Files

After looking, I had a better understanding of the direction I'd like to move in. It's the rooms that pair the clean, modern tables with the more traditional chairs. Right now we have a balance of traditional and midcentury and I'm very carefully trying to retain that mix with out it seeming too crazy. In some of the more traditional spaces pictured above, I really enjoy the way the tables have dual use, such as moments for research and inspiration gathering. This is something I will definitely be doing at my table. It's only going to be less than 3 ft. from the desk, an ideal surface to use when splitting my work time between the computer and books.

I narrowed my search down to the following three options - keeping in my mind that I didn't want to spend more than $300 on a table.

TRIPOD TABLE / REEVE MID-CENTURY TABLE / EERO SAARINEN TULIP TABLE

In the end I settled on the Saarinen style tulip table from Lex Mod (for less money here). It's lines are so clean, it's classic, and I love the lacquer - a texture that doesn't compete with the rest of the space.

We ordered the table while on vacation hoping to have it when we returned. Which did happen but, unfortunately after opening it I discovered a crack on the finish. Ugh... How many times something like this has happened to me is kind of unbelievable. I feel like the shippers in the Brooklyn area take joys in kicking deliveries off their truck beds or something. Does anyone else run into this? Luckily, Lex Mod replaced the top, free of charge and didn't make us send back the damaged one. 

Here it is in the space and I have to say it will be a little adjustment getting used to a table being there but I think it will be a wonderful addition to our lifestyle. No more tv tables, an expansion of my workspace, and we can finally invite friends over for intimate dinner parties! 

Please ignore the bookshelves, they're not styled but this the reality of the situation, we have our resource/educational books on this side of the shelves, and the prettier, interiors books (still for resource) in the center of the wall and closer to my porter chair on the right side. The next #operationbistro segment (as I'm calling it) is all about the chairs! So stay tuned...

The current state of '#OperationBistro'

The current state of '#OperationBistro'

SPACES| Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. Tour

SPACESLauren CaronComment

Chances are, if you've been married in Brooklyn or NYC within the last few years, you've either heard about Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. or you've used them for your wedding. Betty Kalin opened her business in 2009, a year after she wed her husband, Josh. She catered her own wedding (I can't imagine!) and through that experience realized she could handle planning larger scale events and weddings. At the time she was already well versed in the industry having years of experience and two degrees, one in hospitality from Cornell University and the other in culinary arts at the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center). Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. first started in two locations, an office in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn and a food prep location in a shared commercial kitchen space, in Long Island City, Queens. The business quickly grew large enough that Kalin would need to relocate. In September of 2014, the doors of her Crown Heights, 1900 sq. ft. office and kitchen opened it's doors. 

This is the view clients see as they immediately enter to the left - it is Betty's office. The Betty Brooklyn Catering logo and sign is the focal point of that wall    | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.  

This is the view clients see as they immediately enter to the left - it is Betty's office. The Betty Brooklyn Catering logo and sign is the focal point of that wall | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015. 

I first met Betty at her opening celebration in October and although the office was cleared to host a large crowd and even more food set out to distract me, I could see that the design of the space was impressive and well planned out. Good design always excites me, so I really wanted to have a closer look and ask Betty more questions. 

I was intrigued because honestly, I've never thought about what it would be like to design a space for catering. Restaurants and offices yes, but nothing exactly along these lines. The challenge is, that in order for the design to be successful, it must cater (pun intended) to both; the very functional aspects of the business that are not necessarily pretty, as well as create a welcoming, memorable environment for first impressions of new or hopeful clients.

I want to preface this with the theory that good taste and talent, run deep and can span across many aspects of peoples' lives. Betty is a great example of such an individual, she is an amazingly talented chef with a great set of tastebuds, but she also has really great ideas and knows what's good and what's not, when it comes to interiors. I also really appreciate her understanding of restraint and editing. She knows when it's appropriate to appeal to market trend or when it's smart to keep some design aspects more refined and classic. Continue reading to see the entire tour of the office and kitchen, as well as a complete series of questions I asked Betty about her business and the process of designing and building the new location to suit the needs of the business. 

The Farm style table functions as a place to host client meetings and tastings, as well a working surface for office project or company gatherings. | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

The Farm style table functions as a place to host client meetings and tastings, as well a working surface for office project or company gatherings. | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

My vision for the places I work and the places I live are quite different. To me, work should be clarifying, bright and invigorating; home should be comforting, warm and restful.
— Betty Kalin

Betty wanted an open working environment with semi personalized spaces for her office employees. Each desk has all the necessary office supplies attached to the wall, in order to keep clutter off of the surfaces. Her favorite features are the movable sconces from One Forty Three.  The bright lanterns and glittered concrete floors add a little party spirit to the working environment. 

Kalin sourced this pitchfork style hanger to hold her keys and accessories in the office. It's functional, slightly humorous and works with the overall design of the space  | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

Kalin sourced this pitchfork style hanger to hold her keys and accessories in the office. It's functional, slightly humorous and works with the overall design of the space | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

Kalin at her desk. She chose to make her office semi private with a glass enclosure; the opaque film is set to the height of 5 ft, which is a consistent design detail throughout the entire space. Along all of the office walls, there is dividing line at 5 ft high. Above is white and below is a cream color.   | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

Kalin at her desk. She chose to make her office semi private with a glass enclosure; the opaque film is set to the height of 5 ft, which is a consistent design detail throughout the entire space. Along all of the office walls, there is dividing line at 5 ft high. Above is white and below is a cream color. | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

Kalin stores all of her favorite books at arms reach in her office. Her desk lamp is another fixture from One Forty Three, also another favorite | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

 

BETTY BROOKLYN CATERING CO.

BETTY KALIN - Chef & Owner

1,900 SQ FT | SINGLE LEVEL, CATERING BUSINESS WITH OFFICES IN FRONT + KITCHEN IN BACK | CROWN HEIGHTS, BROOKLYN

Years in Business - Since 2009

How did you get into this business? I've been in hospitality & restaurant business for 14 years. I started when I was in high school, working in a local pizzeria. From there, I went to The Hotel School at Cornell University and after that, I went to culinary school at The French Culinary Institute (now The International Culinary Center.)

Where are you originally from? I grew up in Texas & North Caroline

What made you want to move here? I moved to New York to go to culinary school and I fell in love with the city (and my now husband, Josh.) We stayed. 

How long have you lived in New York? 10 years. 

When did you decide you wanted to do this? After graduation, I worked as a cook in fine dining New York restaurants and as a private chef. Over the years, I took on lots of side jobs and people started asking me to do small parties in their homes. The business grew organically as clients started requesting larger and more complex parties. 

How did this idea come about? My wedding in 2008 (which I catered) was a jumping off point where I realized that I could really handle planning large scale events and weddings.

When was the decision to move to a new space made, and why? Consolidating our office and kitchen spaces saves tons of time. It also allows me to manage both sides of the business from a single location. 

What were the deciding factors of this location? What do you like about the neighborhood? Being a bit off the beaten path, we get a lot more square footage for our rent, and that in turn gave me more of a budget for our renovation. Our business doesn't require walk-in traffic, so we don't need to be in a fancy area. Since being here, I've grown to love the feel of the neighbhorhood and i eat lot of Caribbean food!

Who led the project to renovate the space? I led the project with the help of my architect, Quincie Williams

Did you hire an interior designer as well? Working with an architect was very helpful in applying for work permits, managing my contractor, etc. I also worked with the graphic designer that I used to design my logo (Kathleen Scudder of Partner & Partners) to make recommendations for the interior design of the space. 

Where did you gather the design inspiration from? I wanted my space to reflect my brand as well as current trends in the wedding and event industry. 

What would you call your decorating style and how would you describe it? Clean, simple & fresh

Is the decor of this space different from the style of your home? If so, how? Yes! Betty Brooklyn is designed to be appealing to my clients. My home is design just for my family and me. Home is a much more cozy and private space with a lot of colorful, personal touches reflecting both my husband and I. My vision for the places and the places I live are quite different. To me, work should be clarifying, bright and invigorating; home should be comforting, warm and restful.

What is the permit process like? Were there any specific challenges in the paperwork end of the project? The space had actually been renovated a year before by the previous tenant, so re-opening those work permits were pretty straightforward. Also, working with an architect was incredibly helpful in this regard. 

What was the construction company that you worked with, what made you decide to use them? Would you recommend them? I chose my contractor based on price alone. I wouldn't recommend them. 

How long did it take to renovate, from start to finish? 4 months

What were specific construction challenges that you faced during this process? We had a last minute compliance issue with the DEP that forced us to add yet another sink int he last stages of construction. 

What were some specific design challenges that you faced? Food service establishments have additional compliances that they need to conform to. So, we were limited with our choice of materials in the kitchen area. Sourcing the smooth coating for the walls the back area was a bit difficult for the contractor, for example. 

Anything that you'd never do again? Working with a cheap contractor! I found myself having to manage the project a lot more than I wanted to and I had to explain my vision several times over. 

What was your favorite part of the process? I love working in the space and having the things I designed really work!

What is your favorite element of the design? I love the cool light fixtures that we have in the office area (purchased from onefortythree.com). I also love the glitter in the polished concrete. 

Where are some resources you used to decorate that you would like to share? I found a surprising number of good things at Urban Outfitters. During the design process, I spent lots of time online research on blogs and Pinterest. I also paid lots of attention to local restaurant and cafes that I liked, trying to dissect exactly what stood out to me about their design. 

Any specific words of advice to others who would like to start a business or company in New York City? New York is one of the few places where you can really let your personality shine in your business. Find something that you do that is unique and different. 

Do you see yourself expanding the business? Right now, I'm happy just growing into our new space and filling out our bookings. There are lots of opportunities on the horizon, though and I'm open to what comes my way. 

Any future goals or expectations of the business? I want to be the best and most sought after caterer in Brooklyn!

The kitchen is designed to be functional. It is extremely organized with labels on everything  | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

The kitchen is designed to be functional. It is extremely organized with labels on everything | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

I visited the offices when Holiday party treats were being prepped!    | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

I visited the offices when Holiday party treats were being prepped! | Betty Brooklyn Catering Co. | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015.

The same company that designed the logo, also designed the awning. Kalin went through several iterations before finalizing on this version. She wanted the front to be attractive and welcoming but not look like a restaurant or cafe that would encourage passersby to enter. The 5 ft line design detail is carried through the glass on the front windows as well.


SOURCES

Betty Brooklyn Catering Co.

CALL | 718-832-3889

EMAIL | betty@bettybrooklyn.com

VISIT BY APPOINTMENT | 455 Utica Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203

Architect - Quincie Williams

Interior Design & Graphic Design - Kathleen Scudder of Partner & Partners

Hand Painted Signs & Illustrated 'Choking' Sign - Anne Marie O'Niel of Annie O's Sharp Shooter Signs (Megan & Leah of the Green Building are featured)

Photography - Lauren L Caron © 2015