After seeing the work of Brooklyn-based designer Delia Kenza appear in a post about design, Brooklyn townhouse owners realized she was the right person to help transform their new home into their dream home.
The clients involved—a young couple, both working in finance—were looking for someone to inject character into the historic Park Slope Brownstone, which was renovated just before the sale. “The renovation was on the traditional side, so we asked Delia to make the space feel more modern without the need for any building,” the homeowner explains. “Once we met her alternative, we could tell she would be passionate about the job and easy to work with. We love that her aesthetic is modern, while still being functional, livable, and attractive.”
Kenza agrees that although the renovation went well, it was against the style of her clients. “The goal was to make this home better reflect the relaxed and adventurous couple,” explains Kenza, who launched her career as a lawyer a decade ago after renovating her home as well as a neighbour’s referral jobs. “The lighting and appliances looked particularly traditional, so we focused on changing those elements rather than tearing everything down and starting over.” Rather than forgoing the more traditional kitchen island, for example, Kenza chose to work around it, replacing brass fixtures with sleek chrome and streamlined pendant lights from Michael Anastasiades above.
Customers let Kenza run with the decor, with one caveat: no beige. “We tend to gravitate toward black and white with pops of bright and cool tones,” says the client. The designer took their wishes seriously, making sure that both homeowners were equally considered. “I really tried to take advantage of their aesthetic,” Kenza explains. “Modern, clean lines with lots of black can be harsh at times, which is what the wife was worried about, so we smoothed it out with furnishings that are comfortable, sexy, and elegant at the same time.”
However, in the basic bedroom, the designer doubled down on the homeowners’ affinity for black, spraying everything from walls to furniture and accessories in moody hues. “The bedroom has nice natural light, so it can tolerate a darker shade,” Kenza explains. “The black on black look brings a chic quality to a room without having to try too hard, and it’s comfortable too.” Kenza acknowledges it’s a bold choice, but one that has paid off, as she and her clients all agree it’s their favorite space in the home.
Durability was a major consideration throughout the residence, according to Kenza, joking that the clients’ cat “rules the house.” “We chose furnishings – like the black leather sofa in the living room – that would withstand cat hair,” she adds.
The mix of custom and contemporary furniture and lighting includes sculptural silhouettes and pops of blue, red, purple, green and teal. The couple wanted the house to be suitable for small gatherings, so she used Sweaters that had “fun seating in the living room that can be moved around easily,” she said.
In the dining area, a new floor-to-ceiling cabinetry designed by Kenza provides additional storage, while Tom Dixon teal dining chairs surround an elegant black-and-white marble table from Italy. “This table is actually our favorite piece in the whole house,” says the homeowner. The abundance of black and white serves as a soothing backdrop to the couple’s art collection – a contemporary blend of colorful works.
“This project was all about letting clients grow in their space over time and letting their artwork shine,” Kenza explains. “We didn’t want to fill it with too many accessories right away, so we chose interesting pieces of furniture that could hold that weight. This is definitely not your grandmother’s house.”
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