Welcome to our series, "At Home with...," where we sit down with our favorite design tastemakers to learn about the inspiration behind key spaces in their home.
When it came to designing her Brooklyn Heights apartment, Refinery29 Global Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich was very clear about the aesthetic she desired. The media maven and design enthusiast, who just launched a home collection with The Inside, opted for an inspiring mix of bold patterns and unique furniture, including a slew of vintage finds. But there was another design element that was important for Barberich and her architect husband to address. "The initial goal was to turn this tiny apartment into a virtual lightbox, due to its unusually high ceilings and gigantic skylights," Barberich said. "The apartment is constantly flooded with varying degrees of light throughout the day, and we wanted to really emphasize that in the renovation and the design." Here, in her own words, Barberich shares just how she pulled that off.
Probably the main reason we fell in love with this space was because of the loft-like roof with huge industrial skylights in every room. This is a view from the loft office we fashioned from a few feet of extra space at the highest point. The chairs are vintage Milo Baughman and the bar stools are from Target.
The entryway is one of my favorite features, because it’s anchored by this old, modernist filing cabinet. I originally bought it for my husband for his studio (he’s an architect), but it didn’t really work in his space. I loved it too much to sell it, so we decided to use it as an entryway console for books, a makeshift bar, and a platform for an ever-changing arrangement of artwork above.
The kitchen is another example of applying real design ingenuity to small dimensions. My husband found the best appliances he could that were all smaller in scale, so nothing felt out of proportion. I love the XO relief tiles that create the white backsplash. They’re
just fun because you might not notice the pattern until you’re up close. We had the concrete countertop made in Bay Ridge by this three-generation family of concrete designers. We loved the idea of having this major industrial moment right in the middle of
the apartment and it really does serve as an entertaining area, workspace for cooking, or flower arranging. It’s unexpected in its brutalist vibe against the white backdrop and softer, colored details. The vintage Rolleiflex pendant lamps are also one of my favorite things in our home. I found them on eBay for next to nothing and they cast the most beautiful glow.
My loft desk is one of my favorite places to write and work, especially during the winter because it feels so cozy. We're working on designing cabinets—given the open shelving we have now that makes me slightly nuts.
I am not a believer in being precious with design, and to be honest, my only goal with our bedroom was to make it as zen-like and restfully inviting as possible. The dresser is by West Elm and the pillows are from Anthropologie. There are no TV or screens allowed in this space—just an ever-changing rotation of comfy, pretty quilts or bedspreads to freshen up the look and keep it comfortable and simple above all else. I am maniacal about keeping our bedroom as minimal as possible, because when you come home to a clean and organized space, it makes the environment and experience even more rela and restorative.