This Remodeled Brooklyn Home Has Dark Green Walls, Bold Built-Ins, and a Marvelously Modern Kitchen

As an artist , Melissa wanted to create a creative, inspiring home for her whole family. But function was clearly important, too, as the heart of the home reveals. “My favorite room is the kitchen; it’s my workhorse,” says Melissa. “When we remodeled I wanted to have the streamlined efficiency of a commercial kitchen without looking at all like one. I also wanted it to not scream kitchen by having classic kitchen elements blend more into the living space. No upper cabinets was my starting point.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern classic, intentional, and minimalist with a spirit of the deep, dark woods.

Inspiration: Nature is everything to me and my family. I wanted to design a home that embraced the “green” we were lacking in city life by emphasizing the visuals of wood, stone, and found natural objects while keeping the space modern and uncluttered.

Favorite Element: The garden. It is an oasis for city dwelling creatures, human and non-human alike! There are resident possums, snails, catbirds and cardinals, hawk moths, and praying mantis, raccoons, cats, and crows! Birds fight for the springtime delight of nesting in the rose bushes. I’ve learned much about the passing of time from my garden, watching the birds grow and take flight, the ongoing symphony of plants reaching their crescendo, passing on and making way for the next act to bloom. I planted every plant and tree in this garden over the past 13 years. There is a plum tree, yellow rain tree, crab apple tree, wisteria, and honeysuckle, roses galore, hydrangeas, and ferns. My gardening style is not professional, I treat it more like a painting, editing and fitting the branches and blooms as I go. I have much to learn but this space is an ultimate pleasure to care for and tend to.

Biggest Challenge: Making the rooms fit. I wanted to make the most of our living space so we sacrificed space in the two bedrooms. They are small and strangely shaped but with some clever storage we managed to keep them feeling open. Painting a small room a dark color seemed like it would feel claustrophobic but I went for it and found when you put very little on the walls, the space can continue into deep, rich depths. The key was to keep it very simple.

What Friends Say: Friends usually mention the green walls. It’s a bold choice and I think they are surprised in liking it!

Biggest Embarrassment: Not doing enough research before hiring the right contractor. It is a real struggle investing time, finances, and trust in the wrong company.

Proudest DIY: When our young, childless selves bought our home in 2007, we gutted and renovated every inch of the house ourselves. There were layers of flooring to peel up, rusted tin ceilings to pull down, we handmade DIY counters and cabinets. We sourced every used appliance and building material we could find from Build it Green. Fast forward 10 years and our unprofessional DIY house was a bit haphazard for our growing family. So this time around we hired a contractor to rehab the entire house. I guess I could say my proudest DIY in this incarnation of our space was designing every element from the ground up in our family home.

Biggest Indulgence: The counters. They are Cambria Brittanica quartz and cost more than I anticipated paying but they really made the space, especially with the slab backsplash. I cook every meal (and then some these days) and have a young child so a porous stone where I have to worry about staining was not for us. Those ribbons of grey are a total visual indulgence too.

Best Advice: Good design isn’t expensive, it’s thoughtful. Plan your space with intention, use a few nice pieces as the backbone of the look, and fill in the blanks with modestly priced structural elements. And most importantly, question what we as consumers are conditioned to “need.” Keep it minimal and purposeful.



Entryway, Living room and Kitchen — Sherwin Williams – SW 6440 Courtyard ; Eggshell on walls, gloss on trim and pantry

Bedrooms — Sherwin Williams – SW 6994 Greenblack ; Eggshell on walls gloss on trim and wardrobes


Vintage Mirror — Local thrift store

CB2 — Bird Basket Side Table


Art — “Sacred Space” (Large framed painting) – ​ Melissa Murray ; “Untitled” (Small black flower painting)-​ Jenn Dierdorf ; “Mine” (Baby nursing painting) – ​Madeline Donahue ; “Robin’s eggs” (Boy with red hat drawing) – ​Loren Erdrich

Body Fit Cushion, Green wool cover — Muji

Embrace chair, Pink velvet — ​Article

Sven Sofa — ​ Article

Ansa Charme Black Bench — ​ Article

Kilim rug — eBay

Mid Century Media Console, Acorn, Small — ​West Elm

Lush Velvet Pillows, Golden Oak — ​ West elm

Pink cotton pillows — HomeGoods

Eco Wise wool fringed throw — Pendleton


Seno Dining Table — ​Article

Classic Cafe Chairs, White — ​ West Elm

Globe pendant — Overstock


Counters — ​ Cambria, Brittanicca

Dishwasher — ​ GE Profile

Oven — ​ GE Profile

Cooktop — ​GE

Refrigerator — ​ Fisher & Paykel

Oak drawer pulls — Rejuvenation

Kolbjorn cabinet, green — ​ IKEA

Chopping Board, Coral — ​ Hay Design


Art — “After Work” (soft sculpture) -​ Rose Nestler ; “Storm Window ll” (painting) – ​ Ann Lee Fuller

Linen Duvet — ​ IKEA

Steel and Wood Minimal leaning rack — ​Yamazaki Home

Sculptural glass pendant — ​West Elm


Medicine Cabinet — My Grandfather’s whisky cabinet

Vanity — Aberdeen, ​Home Depot

Washer Dryer — ​Bosch

Removable wallpaper — ​ RoomMates, Black lily pads

Tub — Bellwether, ​ Koehler

Toilet — Memoirs Stately, ​ Koehler


Grill — ​Weber Genesis S-330

Dining Table — Hampton Bay

Counters — Carrara Marble


Armchairs — SKARPO, ​ IKEA

Lush Velvet Pillows, Golden Oak — ​ West elm

Thanks Melissa!

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