For the last ten years, Jenny Kaplan has been making a name for herself as a premier fashion stylist and window display artist in New York City. With a resume boasting names like Theory, Levi’s, and Ann Taylor LOFT, she’s developed a discerning eye and an enviable air of great style. When she moved in with her boyfriend, Chris, she was faced with her most exciting project yet – turning a great bachelor pad into a whimsical first home. Lucky for her, Chris is also a fashion industry veteran (he’s the director of Capsule Show – a major fashion trade show that highlights emerging designers in both menswear and womenswear), so the space was off to a solid start. He had a gorgeous collection of furniture, but the home was filled with dark, heavy colors and needed a vibrant update.
When it was time to get inspired, she turned to her ultimate muse – color. Jenny explains, “When working with a client or approaching a new project, the first questions I want answered all pertain to color. Almost any space, any collection of stuff or things within, can be considered ‘styled well’ or even great design if you can establish a common thread of color. I always strive to help a space tell its story.” Once she had her vision set, she utilized her tricks of the trade to create the bright and airy space of their dreams.
So as not to be overwhelmed, she organized the overhaul room by room, piece by piece, tackling the dining room first. “I like to take an item, a piece of art, rug, or even a theme and use it as inspiration to build a room out. One of the LOFT stores was actually getting rid of the large palm that currently resides in our dining area and I grabbed it. It was a starting point for the overarching theme of the ‘tropical’ dining room.” She then turned to her close friend, artist Jenna Snyder-Phillips, for the two gorgeous paintings. The table and chairs were a lucky addition, handed down to Jenny by her grandmother. She reupholstered them in a modern fabric to complete the tropical-yet-urban vibe. (This would ultimately become Jenny’s favorite room in the house. “Everyone who comes over says it makes them feel like they are on vacation,” she says.)
The living room was originally covered, ceiling to floor, in a regent green. To brighten up the room without losing the dramatic effect, Jenny and Chris painted the top half a bright white. “It instantly gave the whole apartment a new vibe,” she says. They also added a neutral Moroccan shag rug (“It was such a game changer to the space!”), and a custom coffee table by Stephen Kenn. The mid-century chair was a gift from Chris in their early days of dating, and they added a large print by Troy Moth of Mammoth & Co. over the sofa.
The smaller bedroom, one of their guests’ favorites, is flooded with natural light and sentimental pieces. The wall hangings are from a trip Chris took to Morocco, and the dresser is actually from Jenny’s youth… proving a quick change of hardware makes a world of difference.
In the master bedroom, Jenny designed a custom macrame wall hanging. Used as a headboard, the white piece contrasts against the dark and moody wall (Gentleman’s Grey by Benjamin Moore). She added in additional shades of lighter blue, and a yellow chair—already owned by Chris—perfectly complemented her Georgia O’Keeffe print. Custom window treatments catch the breeze from the terrace, making this an ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Stepping outside, you notice Jenny’s eye for color reigning supreme. Not one to overlook any detail, she treated the terrace as an extension of the home, like a separate room in itself. “I chose a fun color story and based our flowers around it so it all tied together.” Chris built the table and chaise, where the couple can often be found enjoying a refreshment on warm evenings, their dog Zuko lounging nearby.
Though Williamsburg is known for incredible bars and restaurants, the couple loves to cook and entertain. With the beautiful design and its accompanying view, it comes as no surprise that they’re often found right at home. “We have an amazing view of Manhattan. I love being home to catch the sun setting over the city while enjoying a glass of wine. To be honest, our home is a difficult place to leave. We think that’s exactly the way it should be.”
Editor’s Note: Jenny’s latest endeavor, An Aesthetic Pursuit, is a lifestyle service that blends her two loves: fashion and home decor. Her platform offers both style consulting and personal shopping for the wardrobe and home. CLICK HERE to learn more!