We love neutrals as much as the next person, but we have to admit a beige living room isn’t exactly groundbreaking. But with the right shade and finishing touches, beige can appear warm, welcoming, and—yep, we’re saying it—exciting.
That’s exactly the vibe the Brownstone Boys’ Jordan Slocum and Barry Bordelon wanted to create when development company TF Cornerstone asked the duo to create a showroom model for its new Brooklyn apartment complex, 595 Dean Street.
“Something that Barry and I take great pride in with all of our clients and our design is that we love mixing old and new—and this project was essentially a white box,” Jordan explains “We call it our little love letter to New York City because we wanted to bring all the historical details into a new build.”
With DIY picture frame moldings, textural furniture and a fresh coat of Beigeing, the Brownstone Boys prove once and for all that beige isn’t boring. (In fact, a beige living room can be packed with design potential.) Want to get the look in your own neck of the woods? Jordan’s sharing his tips for recreating the couple’s love letter to New York City anywhere.
Take Neutrals to the Next Level
Since Jordan and Barry were designing a model apartment—one that would hopefully inspire visitors to put down an offer or zhuzh up their own space—it was only fitting to paint the living room a crowd-pleasing neutral. That said, white was out of the question. “The goal was to create a sanctuary where you could feel warm and cozy,” Jordan shares. “Not like you’re living in a stark white box.” With subtle reddish undertones, Beigeing has the right amount of richness without overwhelming the space.
“After we painted our first wall, we wanted to keep going with [Beigeing] as much as we could,” he adds. “It’s so pretty and even prettier in person, which we loved.”
Like any rental apartment, Jordan and Barry had to follow specific rules and regulations—for example, don’t paint the adjacent kitchen’s cabinets—but they used Beigeing on the walls, molding, ceiling and area around the kitchen cabinets.
Make A Statement With Molding
If you want to add some more visual intrigue to your beige living room, Jordan and Barry added a few DIY picture frame moldings. “Of course you want to check with your landlord before you just do it, but it's something that can easily come on or off,” Jordan says. “We just installed them with a simple nail gun; after, we patched the nail holes with a little wood filler.”
Though the molding’s profile will determine how many coats of paint you’ll need or if you should use a primer, Jordan says this molding’s slim profile required the same amount of paint as the rest of the walls.
New York might be the city that never sleeps, but it’s not exactly known for its sprawling apartments. When square footage is at a premium—as it was in this one-bedroom space—it’s important to be judicious with your floorplan. “We wanted to create a space where you felt like you could really relax at the end of a work day, but where you could also focus if you’re working from home,” Jordan explains. The Brownstone Boys did just that by allocating different areas of this common area for different functions: A small desk provides the perfect WFH zone, while a grouping of armchairs and a coffee table offer a cozy place to chill after-hours. And, of course, a console table and mirror are placed right by the door for a quick once-over before you leave.
Try a Textural Approach
When it comes to decorating a beige living room, the room is your oyster. Since beige gets an A+ in versatility, you can pair it with anything from bold colors to can’t-miss patterns. However, Jordan and Barry put the home’s cozy vibes front and center by sticking with a neutral palette—but experimenting with texture and shape.
“The curved couch allows the room to kind of blend together and creates an open space,” Jordan adds. “We splurged on a beautiful accent chair; the curvature on that design blended in so beautifully and those warm tones against the beige color just really popped. [We also] put in an oversized floor length mirror that reflected the natural light of the window.”
By reimagining the neutral color palette in materials like velvet, bouclé and brass, this beige living room has a lived-in luxury that creates the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of New York City.
Want more non-boring neutral inspo? This way.