For months, we worked with designers and professional organizers to transform a four-bedroom penthouse in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The end result is a beautifully efficient space, filled with ideas you can recreate in your own home.

By Real Simple
Updated September 20, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

You know when you walk into someone’s thoughtfully designed house and think, “Wow, this is beautiful! I want to know where that ottoman is from. I want to learn how they pulled off that wallpaper,” but you’re not comfortable asking for details? With that feeling in mind, we took over a four-bedroom penthouse in Brooklyn, and put our heads together with some of our favorite design pros. Each designer was given a room and an assist from the expert organizers at Neat Method. The result is a space full of designer secrets and organizer solutions—one we think is pretty swoon-worthy. Come on in and find answers to all your burning questions (including where that ottoman is from and how exactly to make that wallpaper work). Once you’ve toured each room below, visit the Real Simple Home hub for even more ideas and inspiration.

To shop everything you see in the home, download our Real Simple Home app from iTunes.

Christopher Testani

Living & Dining Room

Shearling sofas, antique wood armoires, and brass accent pieces make the room elegant and comfortable at the same time. 

Designers: Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent 

Design duo Berkus and Brent have partnered on their first product collaboration: a furniture collection for Living Spaces. The pair used some of those pieces to divide the large, open floor plan into more intimate zones. 

Christopher Testani

Kitchen

Add personality with a bit of unexpected pattern, like this removable striped wallpaper. 

Designer: Donna Garlough 

The style director of Joss & Main used tips from her book, Your Home, Your Style, throughout the cooking space. Even a functional room like this should be given decorative flourishes, she says, such as framed art leaned against the backsplash. 

Christopher Testani

Master Suite

Touchable elements, like linen-coated nightstands, keep the simple space from feeling boring. 

Designer: Shea McGee

Feel free to mix metals in a space like this, says the Salt Lake City, Utah-based designer. In fact, the variety prevents the room from feeling one-note. The key, she explains, is to "separate metals by height." Here, the lamps at eye level are nickle, while the nightstand knobs are brass. 

Christopher Testani

Entryway

This space should set the stage for the rest of the home while offering practical functionality.

Designer: Robin Henry Studio

The New York City-based designer gave the ceiling a high-gloss paint job in a subtle blue shade "to draw the eye up and through the space," she says. The glossy finish will highlight any irregularities in the surface, she says, so it's best to hire a pro.

Christopher Testani

Laundry Room

"Treat this work space like any other room in your home," says Soto. "It should be fun and bright—a place that might actually make you want to do laundry."

Designer: Sabrina Soto

The designer and TV personality wanted this windowless room to feel lively and personal while still supplying smart storage. An inexpensive countertop above the appliances optimizes the usable surface area for folding. Learn more of Soto's money-saving hacks for a luxe laundry room.

Christopher Testani

Guest Bedroom

Though no one lives in this room year-round, the guest space shouldn't feel sterile. A plaid bed frame brings a bit of whimsy and a masculine touch to a space that tends to skew a little feminine. 

Designer: Jessica McCarthy 

The interior designer and creative director at Decorist aimed to create a space that would appeal to any visitor. Blue is a particularly soothing shade for a bedroom, but if you're wary of color, McCarthy suggests keeping "the bones of the space neutral and incorporating color through accessories." 

Christopher Testani

Office

There's something calming about having open floor space—especially in a spot where you want to concentrate—so don't stress about filling the entire area. 

Designer: Ariel Okin 

The premier designer for Homepolish opted for elegant finishes with a practical execution. The sisal rug, for example, has a subtle pattern and is super durable and easy to clean. 

Christopher Testani

Kid’s Bedroom

"Pillows, bedding, shelf accessories, and even removable wallpaper are easy to switch out as children grow and tastes evolve," says Komenda.

Designer: Jenny Komenda

The interior designer and founder of Juniper Studio was inspired by her own 10-year-old daughter when planning out this kid's space. "The trick to designing for a growing child," she says, "is to invest in furniture you can see them using as adults. The accessories and soft goods are what make the space feel youthful."

Christopher Testani

Terrace

Don't overthink the design of your outdoor space. Opt for styles similar to what you would choose for indoors to make the look feel authentic.

Designer: Stephanie Sisco

Real Simple's home editor made this sprawling outdoor space more manageable by dividing it into smaller sections (one for lounging, one for entertaining). Potted greenery creates barriers between zones and adds extra privacy. Move the plants around to switch up your arrangement as needed. Not sure what to plant? Here are 5 low-maintenance outdoor plants perfect for decks and patios.

Arm & Hammer/Lutron/Mrs. Meyer's/Sherwin-Williams/Garnier

The Sponsors

Thank you to the Real Simple Home's sponsors: 

550 Vanderbilt

The Developer

Special thanks to 550 Vanderbilt, the location of the Real Simple Home.

See the space for yourself! On October 25, join our team of editors for a private tour of the REAL SIMPLE show home in Brooklyn and get expertly curated home décor and organization tips. Click here to buy tickets.