Three years ago, soon after the birth of their second child, and her husband, Rem, realized they were outgrowing their apartment in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood.
Both natives of South Carolina, they had grown up in houses with front lawns and backyards. They wanted their boys to have the same experience, but in high-priced New York City, they knew the pickings would be slim and the prices high. They accepted the fact that they would have to make some trade-offs. “If the layout was reasonable and there was a yard,” Reynolds says, “my attitude was, ‘I can work with this.'”
Reynolds in the backyard with sons Oscar, left, and Bobby; the chair is from , and the bar is by .
The couple’s search led them to a century-old brick-and-limestone rowhouse in Windsor Terrace, a former blue-collar redoubt in central Brooklyn. Granted, the neighborhood wasn’t quite as trendy as Park Slope, its neighbor to the north, but it had tree-lined streets, front porches, and a park nearby, so the couple’s sons — Bobby, now five, and Oscar, three — would have easy access to a wide-open space where they could play.
A table from is covered in a fabric, the armchairs are from and the cedar banquette is a custom design.
At around 3,200 square feet, the two-story house had numerous small rooms and felt a bit too much like a rabbit warren. The couple removed several walls to let in more light and create an easy flow. Once that was accomplished, Reynolds, who loves decorating, finally had a playground of her own. To fill the house, she headed straight to the place she’s helped make an interior-design destination: , the Manhattan textile showroom she co-owns with her business partner, .
The pair have a knack for discovering independent design labels from around the globe and nurturing their careers. It’s akin to galleries supporting young artists, but in this case, the discoveries are textile and wallpaper designers like Brooklyn-based , Seattle’s , England’s , and, from Istanbul, of and .
The dining room’s vintage table was found on , the Eames chairs are from , the wallpaper is by and the rug is Moroccan.
“Kate’s always been a champion of new talent,” said fabric designer of . “There’s a sense with her of ‘be as wild as you can be.’ ” In her home, patterns are certainly the pattern — from the vestibule, which is sheathed in a hand-blocked leaf design, to lamps with vintage indigo shades in the den, and the Op Art–inspired tumbling-blocks wallpaper in the dining room. “
For me, all these patterns are like charms on a bracelet,” Reynolds says. There are nods to practicality, too: The nubby, sticky finger–proof striped fabric that covers the living room sofa was handmade by Soraya Shah, the in-house weaver at Studio Four NYC.
“Every line we carry has at least one thing I would use in my home,” says Reynolds. “But I don’t choose the fabrics just for their looks. I always have in mind the person who made them.” If her house is quirky and reflective of her sensibility, Reynolds admits she doesn’t know any other way to live. Recalling her upbringing in Columbia, South Carolina, she points out that her mother, an interior designer, “marched to her own drummer.
The laundry room wallpaper is by , the crab print is vintage and the abstract artwork is by .
The powder room’s shibori wallpaper is by and the mirror is by .
Reynolds’s own decorating drumbeat includes vintage textiles, neutrals mixed with jewel tones, colorful rugs (magenta in the dining room, lavender in the kitchen), and quirky statement lighting, from vintage lamps to the industrial-style black ceiling fixture in the kitchen. She also believes in pairing big-ticket items with budget finds.
The master bedroom’s bed by is upholstered in a fabric and topped with a vintage Moroccan blanket and a pillow from ; the light fixture is from , the sconces are by , the painting is by and the walls are painted in .
“I think a room balances out better when you have different levels of price and craftsmanship,” she says. “It helps you notice the statement piece more.” With the renovation, the couple’s goal was to conjure a place that fits the needs of a family that savors both time spent on their own and social gatherings brimming with friends.
In Bobby’s room, a bunk bed is dressed in vintage suzanis from Uzbekistan, the school desk is from , the shades are of a fabric by and the vintage rug is Turkish.
“The house feels hospitable now,” says Rem, a founding partner of a technology and design firm. The couple always provide a Southern-style welcome: Whatever else is on the menu at their frequent gatherings, pimento cheese is a sure thing. So is a festive cocktail — a martini if the hosts want to keep things simple, and perhaps a watermelon margarita if they want to mix things up a bit.
In the living room of Kate and Rem Reynolds’s townhouse in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, the sofa from is upholstered in a fabric by , the design showroom Kate Reynolds co-owns. The chaise is by , the cocktail table is Danish, the Akari pendant light is by , the shades are of a fabric, and the Moroccan rug is vintage; the walls are painted in and the trim in , the photograph is by , and the cameo portrait is by .
After a frenetic week at their jobs in Manhattan, Reynolds and her husband enjoy retreating to their cozy living room, where they crank up the jazz on the stereo and unwind with drinks.
The kitchen counters are Calacatta Gold marble, the backsplash tile is by , the range is by , the stools are from and the light fixture is by .
From here, they can see straight to the kitchen at the opposite end of the house, where their sons love to sit at the corner banquette, exuberantly upholstered in one of Profera’s striking florals, looking at picture books and playing board games. For the parents, it’s the perfect setup. “I like that we can still see them,” Rem says, “but we also have quiet time.”
The banquette in the breakfast room is covered in a fabric, the table is by and the pendant light is by .
This story was originally published in the May 2017 issue of ELLE DECOR.