A Country Retreat Grows in Brooklyn

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When I first read about Miranda Brooks’ home in the January issue of Vogue, I stopped dead in my tracks and audibly exclaimed, “that’s it, take me to France!” It took me a few moments to realize that this was no French hideaway. It was Brooklyn! Totally fooled me. The landscape architect and her architect husband, Bastien Halard, bought this 4-story Brooklyn home in Boerum Hill (off Craigslist!) and completely gutted it and redesigned my dream house it in 6 months.

Miranda Brooks Gardening Room and Girls Bedroom

Creative Compromises

From what I’ve heard, renovating your house can be the source of many conflicts, but the couple settled on some pretty creative compromises. First, the ground floor was designated as the French floor with white oak flooring. The middle floor is English with hand-painted wallpaper for the girls’ rooms. The top floor was an ode to New York, their new home.

Miranda Brooks Home De Gournay Wallpaper

Recreating the countryside indoors

The two sought to evoke the countryside and did so in every detail of the home. Brooks was given free reign to create a luscious countryside garden and envisioned room enough only to walk through and she filled it with everything from poppies to erigeron. On the rooftop of the house she created an Elizabethan garden included one section of edible vegetables. In the master bedroom there is the lovely custom Tree of Life de Gournay wallpaper that magically transports the gardens inside. Halard spent much time scouring local shops to find old beams and doors to create the feeling that this house had been there forever. Those, complete with Paris flea-shop finds, creates an authentically charmed house that I, for one, would love to explore and reside in.

Miranda Brook's Brooklyn Country Urban House

Miranda Brooks has created many other lovely gardens that transport you to another place. Take a look at her portfolio here.

How would you recreate your dream house? Would it be similar to this one?

Image Sources: Vogue


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Brittany Watson Jepsen is an American designer and crafter who just returned to America after 2 1/2 years in wonderful Copenhagen, Denmark. Her motto is "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness" and she lives each day accordingly. During graduate school for interior design she spent one summer working for designers Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble and another summer studying textile design at the Danish Design School. She created her blog, The House That Lars Built, as a way to keep her designing and crafting. She currently runs her blog and her etsy shop, where she sells her home accessories and paper flowers.