She makes the space work by having a place for everything. In the entryway she insists upon a designated place to drop bags, keys, mail, coats and shoes. A custom wardrobe by Mhouse serves as a coat closet.
"At the same time I like some kind of dramatic design detail that will wow guests as they first enter — in this case the oversized mirror really has impact," she says. A Sputnik chandelier foreshadows more retro style moves in the rest of the house.
Console table: Ikea; rug: Elte
In addition to all of that painting, renovations included replacing all the flooring, cutting a window and sidelights into the front door, adding air conditioning, renovating the powder room, replacing radiators, completing a master bathroom that had been roughed in, working on the kitchen (more on that later), adding built-ins and reconfiguring closets. Later on the couple dug down and finished the basement, which took another six weeks.
Floors: Baltic oak, rustic gray; table: vintage; rug, lamp: EQ3; sofa: custom through Mhouse, bowl: Crate & Barrel
"I love vintage pottery for its color, texture and shape," she says. "In former homes the collection was scattered, but here I grouped them all together for big impact and a focal point the moment you walk in."
The 3-D vintage art piece is an embroidered horse made out of horsehair (who is missing his tail because he is made out of it; Meisels enjoys displaying a bit of dark humor too).
"I liked the way this lamp has a quirky organic feeling to it, reminiscent of branches, and the gold adds a hint of glam," she says.
Lamp: HomeSense; throw pillow: Crate & Barrel; Platner Chair: Knoll
Tip: Take inspiration for an entire room from one piece. A favorite 5- by 7-foot painting set the tone for the rest of this room, which is largely black and white; the only other colors come in through the wood and chrome.
Chairs: CB2; art: Jason Schwartz; light fixture: vintage
With open shelving, Meisels recommends storing a matching set of dishes to make the look more uniform. Note how neat and artistic the white china looks against the white tile and shelves here.
Tip: "The best trick for kitchen storage is to keep what you use close at hand. The rest needs to be purged," Meisels says. "Items that are a must but hard to store, I keep in the basement — for example, that superhuge stock pot only used a couple of times a year."
Tip: To cut down on clutter, have a place for everything. "I think that if there is an easy and reasonable place for everything, then the clutter can be contained," Meisels says. The counter has three drawers in it, one for each child's drawings and other things. "When they start to overflow, then that child is responsible for cleaning it out and only keeping what's important to them," Meisels says. "I tried to find practical solutions like this so that everyone can feel comfortable and at home ... and I could keep my sanity!"
Side table: CB2; pendant: Universal Lighting; floor lamp: custom through Mhouse
Counters: Ceasarstone; range: Thermador; vent hood: Vent-A-Hood
Tip: A floating sink creates a feeling of more space in a small room. This one has a built-in rack for a hand towel.
Paint: Black, Benjamin Moore; vanity: Duravit; mirror: custom through Mhouse; sconces: Universal Lighting
Shades: Hunter Douglas; chair, table: vintage; pendant: West Elm; table lamp: base from Restoration Hardware, shade through Mhouse
Tip: For easy mixing, go monochromatic. "The trick is not to fuss about matching," Meisels advises. "Creams and white, grays and beige ... being a bit off is a good thing." She also recommends varying textures within the monochromatic scheme.
Bench: vintage; zebra pillows: custom through Mhouse; wallpaper: Elitis
Bedding: Ikea; art: Lulie Wallace; lamp: vintage; nightstand: Target
Blanket: CB2; fan: Universal Lighting; paint: Black, Benjamin Moore
Bed, nightstands: custom through Mhouse; bedding: Urban Outfitters; wallpaper: Orla Keily
Mirror: CB2; chair fabric: Robert Allen; lampshade: Liberty of London; heart pillow: John Lewis