In 2007, then-lawyer Jeanine Hays launched AphroChic, the design blog that celebrated modern decor and Hays’ African heritage and culture. Two years later, Hays and her husband Bryan Mason transformed AphroChic into an interior design service, shop and blog that continues to elevate cultural diversity in interior design. In this Brooklyn, NY, Pre-War brownstone, Hays and Mason created a global-inspired space for this multicultural family of seven.
BM: The biggest priority for the couple was creating a space that was conducive to family life and more time spent together. The original layout for the living room did not include enough seating for all of them to be in the room at once. The same was true of the dining room. Beyond that, the couple was interested in finding a way to blend their rather disparate design tastes together, while elevating both.
JH: The cultural touches in this space are intentionally subtle — better to facilitate the blending of different cultures into the space while maintaining a seamless and coherent look. The husband was very proud of his Jamaican heritage, which was displayed when we arrived in the form of a large flag hanging over the dining room table. When we sat down to talk about the things that he loved about the island, among the points that came up were the sunsets. Having been married in Jamaica ourselves, we were familiar with the sight and looked for ways to bring the sense of a Jamaican sunset into the home. We used one of our paint colors, appropriately called Bed-Stuy, to cover the walls of both the living and dining room. The color is a photo-reactive light gray with hints of lilac that changes color, looking more gray, purple or even slightly blue depending on the time of day.
JH: The wife was a big fan of French Country style. She had grown up in homes decorated in this style and already had a number of pieces that we were able to incorporate into the finished design, including the armoire that accompanies the dining room table and the bench that sits by the back door. Both pieces had a classic-yet-timeless look that fit well with the more modern elements we brought in.