“I’m a collector,” asserts Jenna Chused, the interior designer behind Chused & Co. and a forager of vintage treasures. “I’ve been antiquing and going to yard sales since I was eleven.” Unsurprisingly, that skillset came in handy when decorating her own home—a charming Italianate town house nestled in Brooklyn’s leafy Fort Greene neighborhood. Chused, whose roster of clients includes actor Michelle Gomez, had selected the abode for its “expansive layout, 12-foot ceilings, clean lines, and gracious style.” Serendipitously, she finished the renovation six months before the start of the pandemic.
During the remodeling period, Chused relished making her own selections without having to wait on client approvals. Opening rooms up, moving fireplace mantels, and imbuing the space with an overall atmosphere of congenial elegance therefore proved to be relatively quick decisions. (Other renovations, such as adding windows in order to provide the structure with more natural light, weren’t so easy.)
One notable change is in the entryway, where Chused removed the original archway and replaced it with an older one. With its inset doors, the diameter of the area was thereby widened 18 inches. Transparent drapes and reflective oak floors only served to further lighten and brighten the ground floor interiors.
As for the furnishings, vintage chairs, custom sofas, and exquisite chandeliers help create a decidedly European feel. In the kitchen, Chused added open shelves in order to better present the house’s collectable items. But without a doubt, the high gloss burgundy lacquer and Lacanche range are the room’s two most show-stopping features. In the dining room, originally part of the kitchen, a Belgian tapestry is complemented by Angelo Mangiarotti dining chairs.
Despite these star attractions, Chused’s favorite room might just be the primary closet–turned–sitting room. Beautiful mural wallpaper by Anabo envelopes the interior, while a Flos Viscontea pendant light fixture, Cassina green velvet armchair, and sofa of Chused’s own design add to the cozy ambiance. In the primary bedroom, Chused had a chance to show off her flare for combining seemingly disparate elements. (Interestingly, the marble mantlepiece was taken from the now clean-lined and minimalist fireplace in the kitchen.) Elsewhere, a kids room is a cohesive rendition of streamlined colors and textures, alluding in part to Chused’s time spent working in fashion at Donna Karan. As the children play piano and Chused’s husband is a composer, a music room was practically a requirement.
Renovation long complete, decorating done, it’s clear that Chused has masterfully forged latitude and a lively sense of family life into a seemingly narrow town house. The definition of luxury in a city, it would seem.