Design

A City Apartment With a Cabin Vibe

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Illustrator/designer Liz Libré lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, with her husband and three kids. (Her third child, James, was born on Sunday!) She’s one of the warmest people I’ve ever met. Although their high-rise building is very modern, Liz has made their space feel like a “cabin in the sky.” Here’s a peek inside…

LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN

Liz Libre's Brooklyn Apartment Tour

Sofa: Restoration Hardware. Chairs: vintage.

On creating a cabin vibe: When we first saw the apartment, we loved the modern feel but wanted to warm it up for our family. I kept saying I wanted it to feel like a Scandinavian cabin in the sky — clean lines, but comfortable. And, amazingly, that’s really what it has become. My friend, Lizzy, who is an interior designer, suggested staining the floors and putting wooden shelves around the fireplace. Those things added instant warmth.

On Scandinavian influences: My husband’s mother was Swedish, and even though she lived in the U.S. most of her life, her connection to her homeland was very important to her. She taught her five children to speak Swedish, and amazingly, all five children have taught their children — so all 13 grandchildren speak Swedish, thanks to this one woman, which I think is just remarkable and so special.

Liz Libre's Brooklyn Apartment Tour

On meaningful knick knacks: Everything is a mix of old and new, pretty and familiar. We have photos of both of our moms who have both passed away. Griffin made the wooden sculptures. I designed our framed wedding invitation, which shows the two old T-shirts we used to always wear.

Liz Libré's Brooklyn Apartment Tour

On having a family home: Keeping things practical for our family has been a top priority. Our couch, rug and coffee table have all seen countless spills (red wine, coffee, even barf and blood) and they’ve bounced back so well. We couldn’t live with anything too precious, so I think that has helped keep things cozy.

Liz Libré's Brooklyn Apartment Tour

Bar stools: vintage and Restoration Hardware. Tiles: Popham Design.

On go-to dinners: Lately, it has been homemade pizza and a salad. John makes a mean four-cheese pizza, and I make a solid salad dressing. Five-year-old Griffin is the biggest salad eater in our house because of this dressing. He always has seconds.

On that magic dressing: I never measure, but it’s basically a good amount of olive oil and champagne vinegar, juice of half a lemon, one or two minced garlic cloves, a little Dijon mustard, a little mayo, and salt and pepper.

DINING AREA

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Farmhouse table: Bellboy New York. White chairs: Tolix Marais. Navy chairs: Eames. Wooden kids chair: vintage. White pendant lamp: Allied Maker.

On easy entertaining: We love our table and use it for everything — eating family dinners (at one end), playing games, working, doing craft projects, folding laundry, paying bills. We celebrate all our birthdays around this table. But as much as I love sitting around a bustling table, when it comes to hosting, I secretly prefer sitting on the floor of our living room, around our coffee table, wine or cocktail in hand, with a mean meat and cheese plate two inches from my nose. Casual, boozy, picking at good food over the course of a night — that’s my entertaining jam.

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

On a handy sliding door: Our friend Mat is a furniture maker, and he helped us make a sliding door to separate the living area from the bedrooms once the kids are asleep. We put up the kids’ artwork, and I plan to switch it up eventually and let them paint directly on the door. I think they’d love it.

KIDS BEDROOM

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Bunk beds: Land of Nod. Blue rug: Dash and Albert. Chair: street rescue, reupholstered. Viking art: vintage. Baskets: Greenhouse. Dragon bedding: Designed and made by Liz, based on an ongoing story that she and Griffin made up about two dragon characters who travel the world. Wallpaper: Abigail Edwards.

On the magic of bunk beds: Right around the time we found out I was pregnant with our third, out of nowhere Griffin and Louise said they wanted to share a room — which of course was going to need to happen anyway. But to make it seem like it was their genius idea, we moved Louise’s crib into Griffin’s room and told them that if they were good about going to bed for a week straight, then we could get bunk beds! Their heads exploded. They did it and were so proud and excited. Now they love having friends over and playing up on the top bunk. It makes me nervous, but they’ve been careful. So far, no broken bones.

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Dresser: DWR. Round mirror: Bellboy New York.

On bedtime nerves: When Griffin was young, to help him go to bed without angst, I would turn off the lights and play a little game with him that would make him smile. I’d say “Goodnight, my little _____” and fill in the blank with a funny word — like “radish” or “ice cream sundae.” He’d giggle and then repeat it back to me filling in his own word. We’d go back and forth a few times and laugh. Sometimes I’d interject “Oh that was a good one, buddy!” — to which he was very proud. It always ended the evening on a happy note.

BATHROOM

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Wallpaper: Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn. Wood mirror: vintage. Sconce: Cedar & Moss.

On a bath ritual: My husband John plays music — usually reggae — on our speakers really loudly. I must be getting old because it’s almost too loud for me. It’s a real party in there! They come out singing Bob Marley in their towels.

On deciding on wallpaper: It’s called Paradise by Josef Frank (one of my favorite designers) from 1940. It’s on three walls in this little bathroom.

NURSERY

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Wooden crib: Oeuf. Crib sheet: Lewis. Round wheat wall hanging: souvenir from Onora in Mexico City.

On choosing baby names: Our new baby is named James — he’s four days old! Each of the kids has a family middle name. To name any of our kids after one of our parents that has passed away seemed like a lovely tribute, but too heavy. So, we tucked those in as their middle names.

On remembering family: My dad was the funniest person I’ve ever known and a gifted storyteller. I want our kids to know that, so I tell them “Pop stories,” which are like my dad’s greatest hits. I try to make them as animated as my dad did and tell them as he would have. It’s amazing to see the kids’ reactions — they get that they’re funny, just like I do.

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Blue armchair: Restoration Hardware. Stool: IKEA. Concrete lamp: Nannie Inez. Blue basket: Serena & LilyQuilt on wall: vintage.

On an essential baby item: As a new parent, you definitely need the NoseFrida. That little bulb thing they give you at the hospital doesn’t do squat.

MASTER BEDROOM

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Artwork: Jen Garrido, framed by Simply Framed. Wooden bed: Room and Board. Side tables: West Elm. Sconces: custom.

On the wooden wall: Continuing the whole cabin-in-the-sky idea, we wanted to bring wood into the apartment. These are actual planks of reclaimed wood. Using them on just one wall of the room helps keep it feeling clean.

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Bench: Chairloom with Josef Frank fabric. Bassinet: vintage.

On falling in love: My husband and I met during college in Maine. We were in the same group of friends. I played lacrosse, but senior year, I tore my ACL and couldn’t play the rest of the season, so I was around a lot more than usual. We joke that I finally slowed down enough for him to make a move!

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Green dresser: vintage. Otomi embroidery: souvenir from Mexico City, framed by Simply Framed.

On a bedtime routine: Before bed, I like looking through magazines on Texture. You get hundreds of magazines. I read so many different things because of this app. Of course, I only make it through a few pages before falling asleep.

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Desk: Blu Dot. Rattan chair: IKEA. Planter: More & Co. Blue artwork: Elkeland.

On favorite stores: For the home, I love everything that More & Co. does and stands for. They started my ceramics obsession, thanks to the Chloe May Brown pieces they carry. Peace Towel makes great towels. And, of course, Lewis! I’m so proud of our debut collection of organic crib sheets that don’t feel super cutesy.

PLAYROOM

Liz Libré's house tour

Wooden floor lamp: Circa Lighting. Sofa: Blu Dot. Pillows: vintage and Jenny Pennywood. Striped rug: vintage.

On framing family photos: These black-and-white shots show the older kids in our favorite place on earth — the Jersey Shore! Griffin is skimboarding, and Louise has shed her bathing suit and is walking up the beach path carrying her backpack beach chair, as she does. I have the best memories from spending summers on this same beach as a kid. Now our siblings have 13 kids (!) between us, and I love nothing more than to see them play just like we did.

On pulling off a family beach day: Everyone always gets hungrier and thirstier at the beach. The key is to pack more chips than you think your kids will eat and more beer than you think you’ll drink.

Liz Libré's Brooklyn House Tour

Kids table: Retro Furnish. Blue stools: Land of Nod.

Thank you so much, Liz! Check out her paper goods shop, Linda & Harriett, and her new crib sheet line, Lewis, if you’d like.

P.S. More home tours, including a colorful home in Utah and a a laid-back Victorian in Sonoma.

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Styling by Lizzy Ott.)

  1. Liz has the best wall art of any home tour so far!

    She has such a great eye. I love the textile pieces she’s collected from Mexico City and then framed. Beautiful, simple, and sophisticated. Also such a great record of her travels.

  2. this is such a gorgeous home.

  3. Karen says...

    Congratulations on the new arrival. What a lovely home for James to come home to. It really does capture the cabin in the city vibe. I especially love the fabric on the reupholstered rescue chair in the kids room. Could you give details on its source?
    Thank you!

  4. Sara says...

    What a beautiful home! Any chance you have a source for the green pendant lights in the kitchen? I love them!

  5. Catherine says...

    Beautiful place… This makes me want to have a third kid! :)

  6. Alyssa says...

    Such a gorgeous home, family, and tour! I saw your street-rescued chair and gasped, because I have the same one. Purchased from a Rotary Auction last year and yet to be reupholstered, it has fabric from Guerlain. I’ve never been able to find out who made it, so I love thinking about my chair’s twin in NYC.

  7. Wow, absolutely stunning!

  8. Julie says...

    Hi, love your house. Can you share color/ fabric of RH sofa. Have been eyeing them but there are so many choices and wasn’t sure how kid friendly it was. Also do you have the down cushions? Thanks so much!

    • Amy says...

      Julie – did you ever figure out the color / fabric for the RH sofa? I love it too but can’t tell online which one it is!

  9. What a lovely home! I absolutely agree with having clean lines, yet a warm feel. Also, I remember really wanting to get a bunk bed too haha

  10. Mary Kathryn says...

    Love this. I still have an old Linda & Harriett calendar from 2009 (I think?) because it’s far too pretty to throw away. :)

    Liz, do you know the name of the paint color in your kid’s room, with the bunk beds? I’ve been looking for a perfect subtle light blue. Thanks!

    • Hi Mary Kathryn –

      So happy to hear you (still) have the calendar! :)

      It’s called Borrowed Light from Farrow & Ball. It’s very pretty!

      Liz

  11. Rachel Agostini says...

    Where is the hanging planter from in the last picture. Many thanks!

    • Hi Rachel –

      It’s from IKEA.

      Liz

  12. She has the sweetest rituals with her kids! Loved bath time and the goodnight stuff!

  13. Lindsay Marie says...

    Love her style. Ive been planning to go get that rattan chair from ikea but just had a baby myself, and I am impressed she was able to do this interview with a 4 day old!

  14. First and foremost, this is a stunning home! So many beautiful, personal touches. I especially love the reclaimed barn wood in the bedroom. Secondly, any chance you played lacrosse at Bates (go Bobcats)? I’m a Bates lacrosse alum and your love story sounds very familiar to my own!

    • Leah yes I went to Bates! Feels like a lifetime ago but love that place so so much.
      – Liz

  15. So bright and airy, and absolutely cosy!

  16. Liz Pearce-Diennet says...

    I’m obsessed! just gorgeous!

  17. Jenny says...

    Beautiful home and beautiful family.

  18. Shana says...

    Really love this home tour. Just wondering what kind of wood the floors are made of and what stain/color they are stained with. Really love it!

  19. beautiful and cute mama and i love her crib sheets! what a wonderful feature!!

  20. This place is an absolute DREAM! *heart eyes*

    I always love love love the homes you share Jo!

  21. This apartment is gorgeous! So clean and minimalist, yet inviting and cozy. AMAZING! :)

  22. Weird but I notice the drinking glass that her daughter is using is same as mine! From my fave peanut butter brand! I feel so cool now =P

    • Elizabeth R says...

      What peanut butter brand?

  23. Amy says...

    I really love this one! ‘Swedish cabin’ sounds like a great name for the vibe I’m shooting for. I’m terrible at actually decorating/styling my place (it’d be fun, but right now I’m choosing to use my time and money to prioritize other areas of my life) but it’s a good general direction to meander in :) I love the prints above the bed in the master bedroom!

  24. Christina says...

    Just beautiful, all of it!

  25. Hearher says...

    Favorite tour ever. Love the simplicity mixed with pops of pattern and texture. And such beautiful light throughout! 🙌🏻

  26. Kat says...

    Can you share the salad dressing recipe please?! So intrigued

    • adrienne says...

      Ditto! Would love to make it too.

    • Jen says...

      Me, too! Always on the hunt for the perfect salad dressing!

  27. Kristin says...

    Wow! I really love everything. Her taste is amazing. Blue is my favorite color to decorate with too, so this apartment really spoke to me.

  28. I think I want to be her when I grow up. She seems like such a wonderful mother and it radiates into the style of her home!

  29. justine says...

    NoseFreda – yes.
    And how does wallpaper hold up in a bathroom with a shower/bath? I’ve been wanting to do this, but was wondering if it’s durable?
    Thanks!

  30. Lydia says...

    This apartment is insane! It feels personal. And I’m always endeared to a person who says “pack more chips and beer”.

  31. Katie says...

    Love your home! Do you remember the paint color in the kids bedroom?

  32. omg i run by this building every morning. it’s so cold from the outside, so i love love love to see how she’s warmed her apartment up.

  33. Laura says...

    Love Liz’s apartment and approach to style and home.
    I have collected stationary and prints from Linda and Harriet for years and follow Liz on Instagram. She is so creative and cool!
    Congratulations on baby James! That is my son’s name also. :)

    • Thanks Laura!

      And great name :)

      -Liz

  34. Roxana says...

    Gorgeous place!

    LOVE that bathroom wallpaper.

    Every time I see one of these tours, I want to re-do our whole home :P.

  35. Julia says...

    I love, love, LOVE this apartment!

  36. Cori says...

    I would love to know where those lovely wooden shelves are from.

    • Hi Cori –

      They’re beams from an old NY building. We selected the beams and had them installed as shelves.

      – Liz

  37. Rob says...

    How did she affix the wooden shelves to the wall by the fireplace? Trying to do something similar in my house.

    • Hi Rob –
      It was a doozy. Our contractor installed it but it took some testing and even had some fall off at first so I’d seek professional help if only for advice. Test too! Good luck!
      – Liz

  38. Annie says...

    Beautiful. Would love to know where the rug in living/family room (that is under coffee table) is from? Looks like a beautiful and functional rug for a family with children. Can you share source? Would be greatly appreciated! :) Thanks!

    • Thanks Annie – it’s from ABC Carpet and Home. It’s multi hued as you can probably tell which helps w concealing dirt and stains but I think it being wool really helps it stay clean and manageable. We really have spilled every possible liquid on it and you can’t see anything.
      – Liz

  39. eleanor says...

    Lovely home! Can you share where the other table in the dining room is from? Many thanks.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! serena & lily.

  40. Jill says...

    OOOOh. Home design goals. This place is amazing!

  41. Beth says...

    I adore that space! What a sweet family. Excited to get my hands on some Lewis crib sheets as well!

  42. Aplu says...

    Such a beautiful home! I think you do such a great job of representing a diversity of people on your site. I would love to see economic diversity reflected in the home tours. This home is so special but really out of reach for most. Aspirational is great but sometimes attainable is even more rewarding for your readers.

    • Ivy says...

      Ditto! I found myself thinking the same thing. I’d love to see some economic diversity represented in these posts.

    • Couldn’t agree more! Gorgeous home, but yowza on some of those links!

  43. Kellie P. says...

    My favorite home yet!

  44. Margit Van Schaick says...

    So lovely! I especially enjoyed Liz’s tips about parenting rituals–like saying good-night in a fun, creative way, so reassuring for a kiddo (and probably one of his eventual lasting childhood memories) and storytelling, as well as how to honor and keep alive memories of passed family members, such as grand-parents. One tip I may recommend,, concerning Commenter #1 ‘s question about neatness: Montessori was a key revelation for me when raising my three daughters! Her concept of organized play (and organized play areas) –playing with one toy at a time and putting it back in its place before getting another toy or activity– that can be the basis for a much calmer and much neater home environment! Having appropriate storage available for things is also a huge help. For me, so much of it was trial and error upon error, with some wonderful discoveries along the way.

    • Hi Margit –
      My two older kids have gone to Montessori school and we adore it. I’ve tried to set things up similarly at home. Not incredibly successfully but I do love the Montessori philosophy.
      – Liz

    • Hooray for Montessori! My husband and I are both Montessori trained. We try our darnedest to do Montessori at home, but it’s tough. The classroom serves one purpose, whereas a home serves many purposes, a lot of which are at odds with a children’s environment! Looks like you’re doing a great job with the kids table and chairs and art wall. Having plates and stuff where they can reach to set the table on their own is a good one, too. :) Huge congrats on the new baby!!! xo

  45. Jo says...

    Oooh! One of my favorites! I’d love to know where the green pendent lamps over the island are from!

  46. Danni says...

    Man, I always love your home tours! The styling is gorg, the photos are consistently beautiful, and the personal anecdotes and notes really give you a sense for who lives there. With so many home tours out there, the sense of warmth that provides is so fresh. Always a pleasure to read and view.

    • Yes!!

  47. Justine Clark says...

    I love everything about that home. And Liz sounds like the kind of person I’d love to hang out with. Especially the bits about sitting on the floor with a glass of wine 2 inches from the cheese and meat plate :-)

  48. Marie O. says...

    This is so great – the style they’ve accomplished in such a modern/clean edged style apt isn’t an easy feat. These dwellings seems to be the only option in new bldgs. in NYC so it’s great to see how to warm them up if you like more of a laid back, not-so-modern vibe. Thanks for this post!

  49. Marki says...

    I love this so much! Would love to know the source for that black and white plaid rug in the nursery.

    • Marki – it is from dash and Albert !

  50. rebecca says...

    Oh I love it! Fabulous colors and patterns throughout. A beautiful home and family.

  51. Alice Quin says...

    We have been considering bunk beds for our two kids and now this makes me want to pull that trigger! Beautiful home.

  52. Jessica says...

    Who printed/framed the photos of the kids?

    • Hi Jessica –
      I had the photos printed at Staples (b&w engineering prints – cheap!) and frames are Ribba from Ikea.
      -Liz

  53. Loved this beautiful home!

    Quick question, do you know where those white frames are from? (The ones right above the section about framing photos.)

    Thanks!

    • Hi Rebecca –
      The white frames with the b&w photos are Ribba frames from IKEA.
      – Liz

  54. Absolutely beautiful. Stylish yet livable. This is my favorite ever.

  55. My favorite home tour yet on this blog! Thanks for sharing. Such an amazing use of color!

  56. Lena Corwin says...

    Beautiful home, beautiful people!
    Lucky baby James, joining in!
    I love the new Lewis bedding.
    Congrats on all, Liz!
    Hugs,
    Lena

    • Thanks Lena!! ❤️

  57. Juliet says...

    What a lovely woman, home and family! Congratulations on your newest addition!

  58. Natalie Brennan says...

    oh my gosh, this house! it is my favorite one you guys have done. the parents bedroom and the kids bedroom are especially beautiful.

  59. Nina says...

    Beautiful. I despise wallpaper but love that bathroom one. And i love the Jersey shore too! What great pictures of your kids, they really stood out to me in the first picture. So…so many of these seem very clean almost empty. much neater than I feel my place will ever be! is that staged? are there boxes of what you use everyday somewhere or what it the secret to so much neatness and no stuff around? do you all have junk drawers? I have a crate for my large dog and that is a terrible gathering place for everything. I”ve covered it with a table cloth which my dog actually loves and he goes into his crate more but…I just am at a loss for how to be so neat. (and sadly my family would say I was probably the neatest of everyone growing up)

    • Breena says...

      I agree I wonder the same thing.

    • Madie says...

      I wondered the same thing… where is all the stuff?? Absolutely gorgeous home, though… I aspire to be that minimalist.

    • Nina –

      This is the cleanest our home has ever been, and I loved it! We do have a junk drawer- where you can find anything and everything you’ll ever need. :)

      – Liz

    • jen says...

      my friends ask me the same questions when they come to my house “where is all your stuff? how do you keep everything so neat, especially with a kid?” — the answer is really we just don’t have a lot of stuff and the stuff we do have, we use and then put away when we’re done.
      we do have a catch-all drawer, but that is also organized for ease of finding things.

    • Alex says...

      You guys, these photo shoots are staged. By a professional. The homes are professionally cleaned, the clutter is thrown in boxes or closets, fresh flowers are placed just so, and everything is Photoshoped to be overexposed so it looks like they have the most amazing daylight ever… No one actually lives like this every day. And that’s okay! These tours are for inspiration, not for copying or comparing your own homes to them.