Inside the Brooklyn Brownstone of J.Crew's Jenna Lyons

After 18 years honing her vision of what it means to be an American classic, J.Crew creative director JENNA LYONS was ready to work her magic at home. Behold the power of unexpected contrasts: luxe meets humble, formal meets playful-adding up to a whole new (and incredibly livable) definition of elegance.

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The Living & Dining Room: Juxtaposition As Reinvention

An old-school George Sherlock sofa gets updated with vivid yellow (key to J.Crew's fall collection), kicking up a turn-of-the-century parlor.

Jenna Lyons' living roomJenna Lyons' living room


In the dining room, an old French farm table is paired with geometric chrome chairs and a chandelier custom-made from cracked and mismatched crystals. The black candles in the chandelier are real, and yes, they've been known to drip on dinner guests.

Jenna Lyons' dining roomJenna Lyons' dining room

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In the kitchen, new stove ducts were left exposed to spare the tin ceiling ("It would have been a sin to cover it!" Lyons explains); for the floor, the couple salvaged wood from old barns and oversaw the placement of each irregular plank to best highlight its qualities. "I prefer things that naturally look better with age, as opposed to those that feel pristine and perfect," she says.

Jenna Lyons' kitchenJenna Lyons' kitchen

Drama in the Bedroom

"There's a certain drama in something being unexpected," says Lyons, "and an air of formality because it's dark. But there's also an ease you don't usually find." Why? It's chalkboard paint. Likewise, feed sacks tacked to the headboard and rumpled, always white linens bring a casual rusticity to the majesty of the marble fireplace and crown molding.

Jenna Lyons' bedroomJenna Lyons' bedroom


A Non-Traditional Nursery

Lyons-who was one month shy of giving birth when she moved in-dislikes traditional baby rooms, but still wanted a space where her child's imagination and burgeoning aesthetics could run wild (long live black chalkboard paint!). "We were trying to establish a way for design to be playful and engaging, without being exclusionary," says Lyons, applying even to the nursery her characteristic philosophy of democratizing sophistication.

Jenna Lyons' nursery