Friday, August 21, 2009

J.Crew's Jenna Lyons & Her {lovely} Brownstone

A big "thanks!" to Raina (check out her great blog "If The Lamp Shade Fits") who let us know that J.Crew's Jenna Lyons is featured over at a British interiors magazine called LivingEtc (click here to see all the images of her home).

A rundown Brooklyn Brownstone gets an elegant makeover
By LivingEtc

Jenna Lyons is known in New York as the woman who made American clothing giant J Crew hip. Not surprisingly then, Jenna has used her razor-sharp style intuition to dress her tall, slender 1890s house in Brooklyn, which she and her husband, artist Vincent Mazeau, rescued from devastating neglect. A virtual ruin, the town house had never been wired properly and had a heating system that pumped out toxic fumes. 'The house was a two-year project before it became a home,' explains Jenna.

This cool New York couple also fell for the space because it wasn't a fashionable loft. 'In this city, it's very unusual to have a front door and a back garden,' says Jenna. Now the former wreck oozes modern elegance mixed with a touch of faded English country-house grandeur. Jenna has made one dramatic style statement per room.

The couple deliberately chose furniture and decorative details that grow old gracefully and look good with a little mess. In their bedroom, which flows into their en-suite bathroom, the herringbone slate floors mature the more they're walked on and splashed with water. The concrete work surfaces in the kitchen also improve as they take on scratches, scrapes and red-wine spills.

In their search for fixtures and fittings with a history, Jenna and Vincent also tracked down vintage English taps, baths and even toilets. 'Yes, they're used, but in a good way. I treated the taps with a spray bottle full of sea water to make them look old and unpolished. The effect is lived-in and low maintenance.'

Awhile back, Domino did a story on Jenna Lyon's home too (refer to the "Domino Magazine Features J.Crew's Jenna Lyons {part 2}" post from October 27th). My favorite part of these articles is getting to look at her closet/ dressing room space. (The layout looks like a mini retail store –delicious!) It's always neat to spot the J.Crew items she owns! ;)

What are your thoughts on the article & photos? Do you enjoy seeing her living space? How much do you love her closet? ;)


  1. What I wouldn't give to have her closet! So gorgeous.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out, Alexis!

    I think the reason so many magazines are featuring her home is because it is so lovely.

  3. I have a spare bedroom that I use as my closet--it is fun to have a room as a closet:)

    However, I don't care for red wine stains adding character to my house or "cleaning" the facets in the bathroom with sea water. This article illustrates to me that Jenna lives in a different world! Not a fan of horns/antlers all over my walls either! Eeek!

  4. Love the closet & Kitchen! but antlers??? and in more than one room no less- what is up with that?

  5. It's very interesting to see people's homes and if their interior has a similar style. Most of us live a slightly different life than Jenna; but we can still gain insight or even inspiration from articles like these.

    Like Genny I prefer clean surfaces to be clean and not stained. I wonder if they have more personal spaces not shown in the magazine. Spots that they can totally kick back in, or are they all 'show off' ones.

  6. Thank you Raina and Alexis for sharing the article.

    It looks pretty to have all the shoes lined up by color but I can't imagine the dust collection if the cleaning staff doesn't do a good job. I keep all my shoes in original boxes with a photo so I can see everything at a glance and they stay dust-free. They are stacked on shelves similar to the back room of a shoe store. I too have a full room for a closet, although mine has custom built-ins like the shoe shelves as well as accessory shelves, hooks, drawers and hanging rods in enclosed cubbies. Not quite like the recent Heineken commercial, but close. They spent two years renovating the home, they chould have created a much nicer closet space.

    I think the archway between the master suite and the ensuite is a bad idea. If people have different schedules then it can get pretty annoying when one tries to sleep and the other is showering, etc and you cannot close the door to reduce the sound. The black walls are not something I would ever do either. It looks harsh and gloomy at the same time. Love the ceiling modling in the dining room - gorgeous!

  7. Love reading such articles - I hope she has blackout blinds down when not in use so all the clothes and shoes don't fade! thnxforposting!

  8. As many have said before, fatigue has kicked in. Is it to promote JCrew or JL, the uber fashion brand?

  9. Love this post! Thanks for sharing. LOVE her closet. :)

  10. Her house is very "magazine-chic", but seems a little impractical for real life. Is that a bathtub/shower combo in full view of the their bed? WTF?? And where is the shower curtain? I hope it's just for looks and there is actually a shower stall just around the corner that we don't see!

  11. Sounds like I'm in the minority, but looking at her house confirms for me why some of the recent JCrew fashions have been so out there for my taste. I'm more the House Beautiful or Traditional Homes type, I guess.

  12. Sounds like the same article, right down to the red wine stains on the counter. Single family Brooklyn brownstones rarely have front entries and gardens in the back? Really, Jenna? *eyeroll*

  13. Corry, I'm with you on this.
    J.crew has changed a lot in recent years with her in charge.

  14. Thanks for posting this Raina and Alexis!

    I *loved* seeing her gorgeous home again - her style is so fresh and modern without being too harshly minimal.

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  16. Love the dining area. Love the garden.

    I'm not a fan of having all my clothes and shoes lined up in a room. That would drive my inner Monica Gellar crazy. Or, maybe that's a closet and I just can't tell from the angle of the photo?? But it looks like living space to me. Closets make me happy. I feel like she would rock a fabulous walk-in a la Carrie Bradshaw in SITC the film.


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