Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

Fourth Floor Walk up Spaces

SPACES | Our Pied à Terre in Brooklyn

SPACES, LIFELauren CaronComment
Image Source:

Image Source:

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:

Image Source:

Image Source:

Image Source:

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.....


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.


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. 


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. 


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). 


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


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 | 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.


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 | Major Style in a 325 Sq Ft Apartment

SPACESLauren CaronComment

I met Emily at an event hosted by Octavia & Brown, where we immediately connected over our shared love of interiors and design as well the challenges of being independent professionals. Emily is an interior designer, living and working in NYC and remotely in Houston, TX. She has a strong point of view keeping things classic, tasteful and smart. She's also extremely well mannered, with a kind spirit, not something that you see too often these days. 

Emily has a great location on the Upper East Side, close to all of the compelling amenities including an easy walk to the the D&D building (score!). As is typical in New York, an affordable apartment in a great location means you have to compromise somewhere. In this apartment, the compromise is the size and while it is a little, it is mighty big on style.  Emily has thoughtfully designed the space into 3 separate areas i living, dining and workspace - that are all very functional, making it comfortable and cozy, not crowded and confined. The larger room functioning as the livingroom/dining/work space is all designed in a warm color palette of off-whites, buttery yellows and rich oranges, complimented by deep cobalt blues. A common motif that is cleverly used throughout the space is the classic greek key design that adds an extra does of style to her chairs and couch. This tour has even sparked two ideas to bring into my own home. One being the brilliant use of those popular sea urchins, and the other has me thinking of a way to add dining moment in my living room.


Emily shares this home with her boyfriend Jonathan and their sweet, curious kitty Penelope. Jonathan is a musician with several guitars and their accompaniments (all the dreaded "gear"..) which all had to be integrated into the space. I completely understand the challenges of storing instruments and any cords or amps that go along with them. Luckily Jack has a closet.... Penelope is also the kind of cat that likes to find her way into and on top of anything. So Emily must be mindful in keeping she (Penelope) and her fragile items safe. 

The last interesting design challenge that Emily had to work around is the apartment's railroad layout. Which situates the bedroom in the back with view's of the adjoining building's wall. There isn't much of any natural light in the space, so Emily decided to paint the room a deep blue-green that is surprisingly warm and very comforting. The deep walls highlight the integrity of the space, enhancing it's features rather than fighting against them.  

Continue reading to learn more about Emily and this apartment below...

Penelope keeping an eye on things | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Penelope keeping an eye on things | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Emily places cards in the brass sea urchin | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Emily places cards in the brass sea urchin | Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015



Years lived in New York  3.5 yrs

Born in: Houston, TX  | Grew up in: Somerset, KY

Occupation | Where do you work?  Interior Designer + Decorator | Work from home and yes, it's harder than it sounds!

Where do you go to get work done? I have a desk layered behind my sofa. I keep my files, printer, and samples tucked away underneath for easy access. If I need to get out, it is nice to work from pretty spots like Haven's Kitchen for a change of scenery.

Years lived in this apartment: 2.5 yrs

Own / Rent: Rent

Why did you choose to live in this place?  My friend learned her co-worker was giving up his rent stabilized one-bedroom, so I acted fast!

What were the major deciding factors?  Because I was upgrading to a one-bedroom from a studio space and paying less money for it, it was a very clear decision for me.

What is your favorite thing about your apartment? My first apartment was a dark studio on a low floor, so I love that this apartment has two nice size windows in the main living space that bring in a lot of natural light.

What is your least favorite thing about the apartment?  I only have one tiny closet that can't even fit a full size hanger. Sufficient storage is absolutely an issue with this apartment. 

If you could buy this apartment, would you?  I would love to actually. For being a small one bedroom, the apartment is a really functional space. With some storage/closet upgrades, this could be a really terrific apartment. 

What would be one that that you could change to this apartment that you can't do now as a renter?  Increase the amount of storage space. 

If you owned this, what would you do differently? Increase the size of the existing closet and take it all the way to the ceiling to maximize storage, rework the kitchen and take the cabinetry all the way to the ceiling, create a small walk-in closet in the bedroom, where there unfortunately is no closet. The space generally needs some cosmetic upgrades, but it honestly is a great little one-bedroom, I lucked out.

What inspires you?  I'm inspired by people who create real things - art, interiors, music - and really believe in those things. I started my career out in finance where I did a lot of Excel modeling. I didn't realize how frustrating it was to never create anything real until I finished my first interior design project and not only had something to show for it, but a happy client, too.

What or will be your biggest indulgence? My hope is it will be an apartment or home I own some day! I am itching for more space.

What would you call your decorating style? How would you describe it?  To borrow Katie Armour's phrase: Neo Traditional. I love modern twists on the classics, plus a healthy does of pattern + color when it make sense.

How have you decorated - on your one, with hand me downs, hired a decorator/designer?  Lucky for me, I come from several generations of stylish women who just naturally know how to design and decorate. I've inherited many family heirlooms from my mom and grandmother that I've slowly updated with new fabrics/trims over the years, collected vintage finds in my travels, and also mixed in some more modern pieces. I love having a little history around, even if it isn't all mine.

How did you think up the antler tie backs? My parents came for a visit when I first moved in and while I can't remember exactly how they came about, I am almost positive it was a collaborative idea with my dad. I hardly had any surface areas in that first apartment (you know, for deer shed decorating) and I think he had the idea (and elbow) to drill through them and mount them as tie backs.  

What do you like about your neighborhood?  Wonderful proximity to the D&D and the majority of my Manhattan clients.

Any favorite stores or restaurants in the neighborhood?  JG Melon for burgers, Maison Kayser for a sweet treat, and great shopping along Madison. What I really love about living uptown is proximity to so many museums.

Coffee or Tea: Chemex and French Press, I love both

Dishwasher or hand wash: Hand wash, and I hate it. 

Vacuum: Dirt Devil, nothing faaancy! 

Do you buy fresh flowers?  Sometimes! I more often buy plants - herbs and succulents are my favorite things to buy.

Do you cook at home? Eat out? How often?  I cook probably 5 nights a week and make many of my lunches at home, too. While I love my apartment, there aren't that many compelling dining options in the neighborhood, so I am more inclined to go the grocery store than I am to eat out. 

Bake?  More cooking than baking.

How often do you entertain? I used to entertain a lot, but New York can be hard for that. I would say once a quarter is about right, although I wish it was more.

I saw that you have a record player, which is so unique and great. What's your favorite record for cleaning, for cooking, for entertaining (if it's not the same!) I love to mix it up, but it's always fun to pull out all the girls (Carole King, Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, etc.) and load them up on the party arm. 

Pets? If so, do you let them on the furniture? Sleep in your bed?  Yes! I have a Maine Coon cat named Penelope. It's Penelope's world, so I am ok with her curling up in her special spots, even though it is on the furniture. I am usually able to keep a reasonable handle on the fur by vacuuming regularly and keeping her brushed.

Because you're a designer...

How would you describe your dream client and/or project? I actually think I have some dream clients and projects in the works right now. I've had a very lucky start getting to work with some young families who have been really receptive to ideas and change and it has been really thrilling growing with them, making their homes not only more livable  but spaces they are proud to share with family and friends.

What is your proudest project? This is a tough one. I'm really hard on myself and am really trying to learn, learn, learn and get better at what I do. I think my Proudest project has to be a work in progress, something coming up, on the tip of my tongue!

If you could have your dream home in the Tri-State area where would it be, what would it be, and how would you decorate it? It's definitely upstate, probably understated. It has big windows, painted floors, and at least two porches. It's filled with antiques, pretty patterned textiles, and collections of this and that. I imagine it to be welcoming, cozy, and just right. 

    I hope you enjoyed this tour and if you'd like to learn more about Emily and services please visit her website or follow her on Instagram & Twitter.




    CREATE | Artist Profile - Jake Messing

    SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment
    Paintings by Jake Messing | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

    Paintings by Jake Messing | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

    I recently visited the studio of the Brooklyn artist Jake Messing to get a glimpse into the life of a full-time working artist in New York City.  Jake was recently commissioned to sell a series of paintings at Bergdorf Goodman, the paintings are now on view on the Decorative Home floor on 7. The new Loft installation is a theme based loosely on a overgrown French Chateau showcasing a large collection of the Frédérique Morrel needlepoint animals.  

    The subject matter in Jake's paintings are lush and robust, Dutch Masters style still life paintings with a modern twist. I especially love the insects and vermin that creep throughout the beautiful elements.  Continue reading to learn more about Jake as an artist and of course, enjoy!

    Bergdorf Goodman Loft | Paintings by Jake Messing | Sculptures by: Frédérique Morrel | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

    Bergdorf Goodman Loft | Paintings by Jake Messing | Sculptures by: Frédérique Morrel | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015



    Years in space: 2.5 yrs

    Style: Representative

    Favorite Medium: Oils and Acrylics....and watercolors....and graphite

    Favorite Subject Matter: The surreal - anything that twists your brain a bit and questions what you're looking at. 

    Where did you study: Parsons School of Design

    How long have you been an artist full time:  6 years

    Your studio is in a great location, how did you find it? Through an old friend who had been in the space for years and an opening came up at the right time. 

    Where were you working before? I had a gorgeous studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn - directly on the water and perfect views of the Statue of Liberty. 

    Why did you leave? What were the deciding factors to move? Hurricane Sandy hit and completely wiped out the studio. I lost a lot of art and chose to move to "higher ground." 

    The collaboration with Bergdorf Goodman is a recent venture, but you have worked with other brands in the past, can you please list the other companies that you have partnered with, as well as some projects that you may worked on?  Yes. I worked with Tiffany & Co. for about 4 years creating original artwork and graphics for their windows and in-store experience globally. I have also worked doing windows displays and original art/illustration for Nike, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, Mrs. John L Strong (no more), Cynthia Vincent and the Brooklyn Public Library to name a few. 

    Tell me about this series: It is inspired by the Dutch Masters. I was drawn to the decadence, darkness, detail and overall traditional beauty of their work. I tried to emulate that style as much as possible and still put my own twist on it. The flowers in the pieces all bloom at different times of the year, and the feathers are from birds from different regions of the world. Each piece has an element of hidden yet imminent danger to them. I enjoy that dance between beauty and danger. 

    Where did you look to for resources and inspiration? I found most of my reference images online. I went to the Met a few times to see some of the original Dutch Masters work in the flesh. 

    Any specific detail or details that you find to be your favorite within these paintings? I love the "dark" or "dangerous" elements to them. i.e. - the snakes/wasps/rats etc. that lurk slightly beneath the beautiful veneer. 

    Any upcoming exhibitions or installations? I am presently showing in an Art Fair in the Netherlands and am working on getting a solo show with a gallery there in September. 

    Favorite Museum: Museum of Natural History

    Favorite place to go for inspiration: The ocean, my sketchbook, and google

    Favorite Art Galleries: Jonathan Levine, Lyons Weir, Driscoll Babcock, Paul Kasmin to name a few.

    Any activities that you do as an artist for fun, that you would suggest other creative people to do? I got to a bunch of obscure classes at Brooklyn Brainery and through


    "Last Voluptuous Moments" 36 x 42 | "Blue Apetition", 36 x 42 | "Thin Paper Veil", 36 x 42

    The paintings will be on view until June 10, 2015


    The Frédérique Morel loft and paintings by Jake Messing will be on view at Bergdorf Goodman until June 10, 2015. I recommend that you see this exhibit sooner than later, as they're all one of kind pieces. 

    Lastly, if you'd like to learn more about Jake, you can see he & his finance's home tour [here].

    TREND | Coveting Copper & Kitchen Updates

    TREND, SPACESLauren Caron4 Comments

    I've recently had several discussions with friends and acquaintances about how the rosy metal finish of copper is creeping into event design and interiors (mostly in seen kitchens and decorative accessories). Copper pots have long been a standby but the once too rustic or country finish is making a comeback in a more sophisticated and appealing approach. I would credit some of this comfort of the finish to the recent love of brass that came about over the past few years. With the quick turnaround of trends recently, people are clammering for the next best thing, which in turn leaves us to pine for something different. But when you really think about it, there are only so many metal finishes, and most importantly there are really only two tones - warm or cool. Luckily, going forward, I don't think any can be entirely out of fashion as we once projected. My mother loves to use the example of how, when they moved into their house in 1987, Stainless steel was so OUT and looking back over the last 10 years, Stainless Steel appliances were EVERYTHING. I think now it's about a mix. It's not necessarily in fashion to go with all one or the other but to create a smart mix of materials that pair well together. Adding subtle accents of copper will add an extra layer of warmth to your existing cool toned stainless steel appliances, or a touch of romance to table setting at parties and events. 



    My Kitchen - The new tea kettle and mills. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

    My Kitchen - The new tea kettle and mills. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

    My Kitchen - The recent update of my kitchen, with the almost finished backsplash, and the new copper accessories to bring in a touch of warmth. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

    My Kitchen - The recent update of my kitchen, with the almost finished backsplash, and the new copper accessories to bring in a touch of warmth. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

    As I'm slowly finishing my kitchen (if you follow any of my social media platforms you've seen that I'm unapologetically obsessed with my 35 sq. ft marble backsplash that was installed last month - still not finished, the grout is awaiting it's set) I've also started to slowly invest in 'over 30' accessories, which include an English Simplex copper tea kettle & brass and copper mills (happy finds on Amazon). I'm really excited about how the progress of this space, the back splash gives it a more sophisticated look and the copper accents are warming up all the stainless steel, grays and whites. it's taking an especially long time, I know. I am more eager than anyone to finish it!

    Additionally, I'm dreaming of the day when I can finally invest in a new oven and range. I'm not quite sure what that will be, but there are some dreamy options that are not all one finish of stainless steel, black or white. I especially am loving the Lacanche ranges that pair brass knobs, stainless details with a solid colored cooker (I'd go with white, black or anthracite for my kitchen).  Hopefully soon I can do a full kitchen reveal but for now you'll have to enjoy the above teaser.

    Want to see the before photos of the apartment, follow this link to what it looked like when we purchased this apartment. 

    Or these links of kitchen updates over the years...

    Kitchen To Do List

    Kitchen Updates: New Microwave 

    Kitchen Updates: New Direction 

    Kitchen Plans