11 April 2010

Stylish Homes: Lauren McGrath

A relative oldie (you wouldn't know it!), but a goldie - and I know it's well and truly done the bloggy rounds, and for good reason, but this one goes out to all those who have not yet had the pleasure of lucky little Lauren McGrath's so-perfect-I-could-burst Brooklyn Heights brownstone. PS Article after the pics. (Source: Traditional Homes archives - Which are fab, by the way).

(above) “Lauren assembled the Ikea bookshelf herself,” brags her mom. Because the white American pottery’s not precious, Lauren took liberties, guilt-free. “She spray-painted a couple of pieces to look like mercury glass,” notes Suzanne. “There are some incredible spray paints out there.”

(above) Lauren’s absolute favorite furnishing is an old desk-turned-vanity that Suzanne found cast out on a Brooklyn street 20 years ago. She appropriated it as a small corner writing table for her living room, then passed it on to Lauren for reinvention as a vanity. “Paired with an unusual vintage Lucite stool, it’s rejuvenated,” says Suzanne. “It’s probably not worth anything, but it has good bones.”

(above) An antique Murano mirror wasn’t a realistic option for the new college grad. Instead, the mom-daughter team found the next best thing—a new Venetian-style mirror with slight damage that resulted in a “great deal” from Anthropologie. Mounted on the wall above the desk, it completes the illusion--and real-life function--of the desk as a vanity. “We just cobbled together pieces for a great look,” Suzanne explains, noting that the Victorian brush-and-mirror dresser set and mail-order alabaster lamp lend yet more charm to the ensemble.

Fresh out of college and ready to decorate her first apartment on her entry-level earnings as a fashion writer, Lauren McGrath did what came naturally. She turned to her mother.
Always reliable for wise counsel, mom Suzanne Grua McGrath brought more to the creative table than a mother’s intuition. She’s an interior designer who, between design gigs, sandwiched in 10 years working alongside decorating maven Martha Stewart in TV development. Always up for a staging, Suzanne rolled up her sleeves and steamed ahead at the first whiff of a design collaboration with her daughter. And in the easy give-and-take that characterizes this mother-daughter relationship, she happily shared the driver’s seat with Lauren.
“We both knew that whenever I got my first apartment, we would decorate it together,” explains Lauren. “We actually started collecting things for it while I was still in college.”


  1. one of my favorites houses ever, I had it in my blog a while back too :) absolutely lovely

  2. Why can't I find dust coated lamps like that at op shops!!

  3. Wow what an amazing duo. Makes me miss my mom too much. :)


  4. Great talent. I posted a picture on my blog a few months ago with that beautiful yellow lamp.

  5. This was the cutest starter home I have ever seen!! Very inspirational, pretty, young and not so over the top.... the only thing that continues to catch my eye (bother?) is that the curtains are too short... at least to me they are, but such is life! ;)

    Northern Light

  6. This was the cutest starter home I have ever seen!! Very inspirational, pretty, young and not so over the top.... the only thing that continues to catch my eye (bother?) is that the curtains are too short... at least to me they are, but such is life! ;)

    Northern Light

  7. Great talent. I posted a picture on my blog a few months ago with that beautiful yellow lamp.

  8. one of my favorites houses ever, I had it in my blog a while back too :) absolutely lovely

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