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A Cookie-Cutter Apartment, Transformed by Local Artisan Works

In her first solo residential project, Brooklyn-based designer of transformed a Boerum Hill three-bedroom high-rise apartment into a comfortable, dreamy home with meticulously curated pieces by local artisans.

Amber’s clients, Shashi Kumara and Arun Jayaram, a couple with two young children, knew they wanted their apartment to have a Brooklyn feel while also reflecting their Indian heritage. With this in mind, Amber introduced the couple to makers she loved from Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. “Shashi and Arun are really down-to-earth people, but they also have children and appreciate quality,” Amber says. “So I just started taking them in a direction that I loved, and they loved it too.”

Amber has spent 15 years working professionally in the design industry. After graduating from Pratt in 2004, she went on to work in commercial, residential, and hospitality design, sharpening her eye for exclusive design and nurturing her ability to create a visceral experience through space.

For this project, in a newly constructed high-rise, she was able to take her time on each interior detail. “I really appreciate something that is unique and not just big-brand design furniture, so I went to a lot of different shows and did my research. I just fell in love with all these artisans and their work,” Amber says. “I searched until I found my absolute favorite thing.”

In the living room, above, the central marble-cork-and-walnut coffee table is from Brooklyn-based . An “erased pattern” rug delineates the space while an oversize lamp by adds a spontaneous element. An side table flanks the couch. The marble sculpture, ceramic spheres, a floor lamp, the media unit, and the bar cart offer artistic flourishes. The Chatwin lounge and ottoman is from studio.

With the antique Indian Pichwai paintings and bronze Ganesh statue, the foyer incorporates culture and design. “We kept coming back to the little Ganesh,” Amber says. “It’s small but so special.” A marble bench stands against the entrance wall beneath the geometric mirror. Amber and Shashi took a trip to Jackson Heights to pick out the colorful saris hung here on element wall hangers. Photo: Argonaut Productions/©Argonaut Productions, Inc.
One of the first pieces the couple fell in love with was a glass coffee table, but they felt a glass dining-room table would be a safer option with young children. They visited Sukrachand’s studio in Red Hook, and he redesigned it to fit their needs on the spot. The rounded lines of the Gubi dining chairs contrast the Sukrachand table nicely. The Highwires chandelier and ceramic bowl create a fresh, industrial ambiance. Photo: Argonaut Productions/©Argonaut Productions, Inc.
Leather, brass, and walnut barstools complement the low kitchen island. kitchen pendants hang above London fruit bowls, and a vase by . Black-and-white pedestals sit beside the stove top displaying cooking essentials. Photo: Argonaut Productions/©Argonaut Productions, Inc.
With work as varied as candlesticks, a Vico Magistretti table lamp, and a bowl, Amber combined contemporary and traditional pieces to keep the master-bedroom aesthetic simple and relaxed. Photo: Argonaut Productions/©Argonaut Productions, Inc.
Amber’s master-bedroom design revolved around this bespoke, ethereal wallpaper, made in Brooklyn using internationally inspired paper-marbling techniques. The golden sconces are by . Photo: Argonaut Productions/©ArgonautProductions
For their son’s room, the couple wanted something playful that he could grow into. Volanti wallpaper with flying machines, whales, and hot-air balloons combined with many steampunk vintage nautical items create a magical, surrealist adventure theme. Photo: Argonaut Productions/©Argonaut Productions, Inc.
The clients wanted a vintage Hawaiian theme for their daughter’s bedroom, and Amber delivered. Instead of just putting posters up on the walls, Amber used tropical wallpaper to capture an island feel. Photo: Argonaut Productions/©Argonaut Productions, Inc.
A Cookie-Cutter Apartment, Transformed by Local Artisans