Christine Stucker and James Veal are no ordinary couple – both are interior designers that make up the studio Stewart-Schafer in New York City. Having an impressive resumé to their name – Christine once worked with John Varvatos and James with Mario Testino – together they have a unique design perspective that they’ve brought to their projects. Now, with their own home as the focus, they were able to truly put their talents to task and take a few design risks. But like all couples, their transition to their new home came with some time and budget limitations.
“We were actually living four doors down the street when we saw this home go on the market,” Christine shared, “we love the neighborhood and its many gems, and wanted a bigger space for our growing family. The home was in great shape with beautiful bones but in dire need of a cosmetic facelift.” With their two-year-old son to consider and having already rented out their previous home, their window of time for their new home’s renovation was tight. As is the case with many historic homes, the space was divided into many small rooms. The narrow corridor at the front of the home was taken out to make for a more spacious formal living room. The floors, originally a deep orange tone, were replaced with light wood planks that fit the Scandinavian-style that they were going for.
Another drawback from the original design was that the home only had one and a half baths. They knew that they had to expand the second bathroom to help serve their family’s needs, while also being mindful of their budget. “To save money, we custom designed most of the furnishings, and we were able to salvage the original clawfoot tub in the master bathroom,” Christine said, “we had it re-enameled for an updated look.” The couple selected a bold tile that was a bit outside of their normal neutral palette. Its bright color and striking pattern transform the master bath making a visual impact when you enter.
As for the furniture and decor of their home, most of the pieces come from Denmark. Although they brought most of their found objects and art from their previous home, almost all of the lighting was designed by them. “Our living environment reflects our aesthetic viewpoint, and our home’s clean lines, contemporary art, and Scandinavian-inspired design allows us to feel relaxed and right at home,” she said. The result is a historical Brooklyn brownstone with a Nordic feel. “In warmer months we spend a lot of time out in the yard relaxing, laying in the sun, barbecuing, and entertaining with friends,” Christine shared, “during the winter we love to warm up next to the fireplace and listen to music with a glass of wine.”