When we first saw this family townhome, we were instantly struck by its balance of warm, lived-in energy and fresh, elevated aesthetics—each room is well-curated and contemporary, but far from sterile. This careful balance is a signature of Shanti Crawford’s, the interior designer behind Brooklyn-based firm Indigo & Ochre.
Indeed, when she was hired to take on this project, she was determined to work with almost all of the preexisting pieces. And her process is as sustainable as it is stylish.
With four-and-a-half baths and five bedrooms, Crawford had a lot of square footage to cover. “The townhouse was built in the late 1860’s in the French Second Empire style… When my clients bought it, it had four kitchens and was a rabbit warren of small rooms. It was a gut renovation over the course of more than a year,” she tells us. To minimize waste, and because gut renovations tend to contribute the most waste to landfills, she focuses her sustainability efforts on responsible consumerism.
“The relationship between this aesthetic and the politics of sustainability and social responsibility is what drove every decision we made,” Crawford tell us. She sees sustainable decorating as simple a four-pronged deal: Repurpose vintage items, revitalize outdated pieces, shop vintage whenever possible, and source the rest from ethically-produced companies.
In this Clinton Hill home, that meant choosing vintage rugs, textiles, furniture, lighting, and decor, incorporating reclaimed wood as much as possible (like as floating shelves), and revitalizing banisters and window casings. As far as tiles, plumbing, and even furniture, she researched the companies’ employment practices to make sure they were aligned with Indigo & Ochre’s standards. Many of them ended up being smaller, independent makers in the U.S.
Rather than seeing it as tedious, Crawford’s design philosophy is all about taking something undesirable and making it look and feel intentional, beautiful, and meaningful. That challenge-turned-opportunity speaks directly to her personal style, something she describes as ever-evolving.
Read more: https://www.housebeautiful.com/design-inspiration/house-tours/a27306055/brooklyn-family-townhouse-vintage-design/