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Beautiful Bones

Interior designer Shanti Crawford renewed the grandeur of an 1860s Clinton Hill townhouse for a family with young kids.

The foyer. Photo: Heidi’s Bridge
The foyer. Photo: Heidi’s Bridge

Shanti Crawford’s clients found a graceful, forlorn beauty that had been through many design iterations. She had her work cut out for her: bringing the townhouse back to its former glory without having it look like it had been self-consciously messed with. Crawford, who grew up in Calcutta (now Kolkata), founded her interior-design business, Indigo & Ochre Design, in 2011, after her move to New York from Sarajevo in 2005. Crawford had been working on human-rights initiatives there, and she used her experience to start programs for women survivors of domestic abuse and trafficking, training them in textile designs that were sold to a boutique in Brooklyn. Which is where, not long after her move to New York, she met her client, someone who had “a painterly eye, a shared love of color and texture, and deep appreciation of the humans behind artisan work,” according to Crawford. Their shared aesthetic and commitment to what Crawford calls “the politics of sustainability and social responsibility” drove the design of this family home.

The renovation included taking down the wall between foyer and front door, bringing in more natural light. The addition of a full-length mirror and seating, pictured above, adds a note of elegance, along with the random sprigs of greenery seemingly sprouting from the wall.

The entrance foyer before Crawford’s renovation, with its original plasterwork design over the mirror. Photo: Courtesy of Indigo & Ochre Design
Crawford restored the magnificent original wood casings of the living-room windows. She added a blue Ploum settee from Ligne Roset. The Anders pendant light, made with banana fiber, is by the Future Perfect. The vintage Moroccan rug is from ABC Home. The plaster-topped coffee tables are by Mos Design. The custom-made vintage Banjara textile cushions are by Indigo & Ochre Design. The painting is by Indian artist Gauri Sharma, now represented by Indigo & Ochre Design, and the paint color is Simply White by Benjamin Moore. Photo: Heidi’s Bridge
The living-room windows were partially hidden by furniture, and the casings were painted before the renovation. Photo: Courtesy of Indigo & Ochre Design
Crawford’s addition of Softline’s swivel chair in fuchsia brightens the palette mixed with ABC Home’s gold velvet occasional chair in the corner. The painting is by the client, who is an artist. “We virtually placed it here before we even began the construction,” Crawford says. “It anchored many of our other choices and color palettes.” Photo: Heidi’s Bridge
A view of the kitchen before the renovation began. Photo: Courtesy of Indigo & Ochre Design
“We reconfigured the entire back wall out to the garden by knocking out the existing mud/laundry room,” Crawford says of the redesign of the kitchen. “There was an egress to the back, so we turned it into the windowed eat-in kitchen. We then added that massive door and built out a small deck and steps to the back garden.” Crawford worked the architectural aspects of the renovation in collaboration with Baxt Ingui. The pendant lights are Paris Au Mois d’Aout with fair-trade block-printed shades. The vintage runner was sourced by Indigo & Ochre Design, and the unlacquered brass plumbing fixtures are from Perrin & Rowe. Photo: Heidi’s Bridge
The fireplace mantel before the renovation was a catchall for collectibles, art, and photos. Photo: Courtesy of Indigo & Ochre Design
Crawford replaced the painted fireplace surround with a salvaged-marble mantel from Demolition Depot and created the plaster-covered chimney chase. “I color-matched the plaster to the clouds in the client’s artwork,” she says. The plasterwork was done by SoBro Studio Surfaces. Photo: Heidi’s Bridge
Crawford’s client’s love of exuberant color and pattern are illustrated in the master bathroom with a claw-foot tub from Victoria & Albert, a zenith-tile wall covering by Clé, and SMC Stone absolute black granite floor tiling. Photo: Heidi’s Bridge
A corner of the family room painted in Benjamin Moore Washington Blue with a Noguchi pendant light and custom-made ottoman and home sofa from Cisco Brothers. A vintage Moroccan rug completes the room. “Designing a home that channeled the personalities, interests, and rhythms of this vibrant, busy, wonderful family was a joy,” Crawford says. “They wanted something that was unique to them and that would stand the test of time so that they could rock their grandbabies to sleep here one day.” Photo: Heidi’s Bridge

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