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At Home with a Brooklyn Fashionista-Turned-Lighting-Designer

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At Home with a Brooklyn Fashionista-Turned-Lighting-Designer

Francesca Connolly September 05, 2013

Lighting designer Michelle James’ 1890s brownstone in Brooklyn is like the perfect pared-down wardrobe: a little black dress; a crisp white shirt; a touch of velvet; and, of course, a bit of jewelry-like glitz via her own glamorous fixtures (made, surprisingly enough, from parts scavenged on eBay).

A former fashion stylist, James has an eye for finding the exact piece that will make an ensemble–or, in this case, a room–special. She spends several hours a day on eBay foraging for vintage glass globes and brass hardware, which she collects and reconfigures in her basement workroom. For more information on her lighting fixtures, go to Michelle James.

Photography by Nicole Franzen for Remodelista.

Above: The classically detailed entry hints at the glamor to be found within.

Above: The walls ceiling, and trim on the parlor floor are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Simply White.

Above: James found the pair of vintage chairs on eBay and had them recovered in gray wool.

Above: The sectional sofa is custom from Swaim Furniture of North Carolina upholstered in Chocolate Martini mohair from John Hutton Textiles.

Above: James painted the existing glass-fronted cabinets white and added a marble slab to the island countertop. (For more on marble slabs, go to 5 Favorites: Marble Boards in the Kitchen.)

Above: The glass-paned doors leading from the dining area to the living room are original to the house. The marble-topped table is from Williams-Sonoma Home and the chairs are from Spanish company Andreu World.

Above: A glossy black tiled backsplash adds a hint of disco glamor to the kitchen.

Above: The top floor landing with a wire tray propped on a stool and James’ Globe Chandelier.

Above: A closeup of James’ Globe Chandelier.

Above: Michelle’s seven-year-old son, Gray, lives in one of the more sophisticated boy’s bedroom we’ve seen. A BluDot Modu-licious bed and side table pop against the walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy.

Above: Michelle’s attic office features a shelving wall painted Benjamin Moore Whale Gray; she found the vintage Italian light fixture on eBay.

Above: A marble mosaic floor and ebonized wood sink cabinet are softened by a fur-covered stool.

Above: A guest bedroom with vintage globe chandelier.

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