Design

Happy Menocal’s Apartment Has Surprises Around Every Corner

Happy Menocal House Tour

Happy Menocal — a designer, painter, and the creative director of Happy Menocal Studio — lives with her husband, John, and two kids in Park Slope, Brooklyn. “The building was originally a mechanic’s garage that repaired pieces of cruise ships,” she says. “I’m glad that we renovated it before Pinterest — I wasn’t so overwhelmed by all the choices. I just looked at some magazines!” Here’s a peek inside…

LIVING ROOM:

Coffee table: vintage. Blue sofa: vintage, reupholstered in Schumacher Rolling Hills fabric. Green sofa: vintage. Rug: ABC Carpet Outlet similar

On mixing patterns: I’m like a five-year-old when it comes to patterns — whatever I like, I just put together. And I’m a messy person who likes visual noise! For me, if the canvas is blank, it feels scary.

On making a change: The red coffee table was my grandmother’s. It was originally turquoise, but she took it to an autobody shop and had them spray it with car paint when she got tired of the color. My favorite design inspiration ever is Goodnight, Moon — it’s really the basis of my aesthetic. I originally wanted to make our living room all red and green, like the book — but the blue sofa feels good, too, and connects with the kitchen.

Happy Menocal House Tour

Throw pillows: Fabric from Clarence House and Décors Barbares. White dresser: Time Galleries. Wooden mirror: found on the street in the West Village. similar

On choosing a color palette: The blue sofa used to be pale grey, but it suffered so much with the children — with breastmilk, food, etc. — that we needed to reupholster it. I love this blue fabric from Schumacher.

On the best neighbors: We live in the two top floors of the building, and we rent out the bottom. Our tenants are really into Halloween. John and I could care less — the morning of, I ask my kids, ‘Oh, wait, you need a costume?’ If it were up to me, we would just turn off all the lights. But our neighbors are empty nesters and are really into it. They get a dry ice machine, they get a Broadway makeup artist to come do all their friends in super scary faces, and there’s cobwebbing everywhere. Our kids LOVE it. Kids can be so macabre!

Happy Menocal House Tour

Dining table: Thos. Moser. Dining chairs: Design Within Reach. Pink plates and bowls: Ikea. Candlesticks: Etsy, similar. Chandelier: Pelle.

On nicknames: This is a painting of my grandmother. She drove very fast, well into her 80’s; played the piano beautifully; read a thriller every day as she got older. She died last year at 96. My real name is Harriet, after her, but my parents called me Happy from day one. I was premature, and I think it felt a little grandiose for them to call a five-pound baby Harriet. I’m grateful for it, honestly; I think people are nicer to me because of my name. I get into a cab and the driver’s like, ‘Happy!!!’

On naming kids: Daisy is five and Rip is two. I like zippy, American names, and I wanted Daisy’s name to be easy and positive. It turns out she’s cerebral and serious, so that’s pretty funny. We spend a lot of time in upstate New York, and Washington Irving, who wrote Rip Van Winkle, was from there. So, that’s where Rip’s name came from. We thought, we should research Rip Van Winkle — what if there’s some horrible feature of his personality?! But it turns out it’s a nice story.

KITCHEN:
Happy Menocal House Tour

Napoleon plate: melamine reproduction of Vernet’s portrait of Napoleon, National Gallery. Yellow pitcher and yellow dish: thrifted. Flower pot: Happy’s friend Courtney Reagor

On cooking for kids: My daughter won’t eat anything, but she loves pancakes, so once a week I make a huge batch of pancake batter to last three days. I dump oats, eggs, a banana, Greek yogurt, flax oil and a TON of greens — like a whole head of kale — into the blender. Then I fry up the batter in salted butter with maple syrup and blueberries. The consistency isn’t as fluffy as regular pancakes, but they’re delicious and so healthy. And they’re bright green! I’ve been making these pancakes since they were little, so the kids aren’t freaked out by the green. It has been grandfathered in. When we go to a diner, Daisy is like, ‘But these pancakes aren’t green!’

Happy Menocal House Tour

On entertaining: Almost every year, we have a big Christmas party and invite a ton of people. My dad is from Cuba, so I have a very Caribbean palate. I love rum and sugar, and I’ll squeeze a billion grapefruits and make a big rum punch. When we just have people over casually, I’ll make chicken with shallots and tomatoes and mustard from the New York Times and add white rice. Or I love a baked potato with butter and chives. My trick is that if you chop chives really, really tiny, it looks like you’re a professional chef. They’re so beautiful.

FOYER:

Wooden lamp: vintage. Vase: New York Stoneware. Blue candlestick: Paola Navone, via eBay

On collaboration: I worked on this table with Stewart Hoyt, a carpenter in Brooklyn. He’s a Vermont hippie with a graying Willie Nelson ponytail. I drew up the specs for the table and he made it; I love it so much. The blue candlestick was designed by Paola Navone. She’s an Italian designer who did an epic line with Crate and Barrel. You can find pieces on eBay sometimes.

Happy Menocal House Tour

Stool: Thos. Moser. Frame around baby clothes: Simply Framed

On personal art: It’s so easy to frame kids’ clothes — I’d recommend it to anyone. I sent this little outfit to Simply Framed and asked them to mount it on white. It’s crazy how tiny baby clothes are. To be honest, my kids mostly wore spit-up-covered Carter’s onesies, but this outfit felt more frameable.

Happy Menocal House Tour

On documenting memories: I write a letter to each kid on their birthday; I keep an email draft to myself during the year about funny things they’ve said. My mom kept journals for me, and what I really valued about them were the daily things I did. She’d also add history on top of it — like, “Ronald Reagan was shot and it was so scary.” I try to tell my kids what happened that day when I write their birthday letter, and then I fold the letters and put them in a box. Eventually I’ll give them all to them.

GUEST BATHROOM:
Happy Menocal House Tour

On creating an oasis: I’ve always wanted to paint a mural in our home — I’ve done a few in other people’s homes and in restaurants — but because our apartment has an open plan, I didn’t know where to start and stop. The bathroom felt like a perfect space. It’s the powder room right off our kitchen, and I personally feel awkward going in there when everyone’s around. I’m always running the water and shuffling things around! I wanted guests to walk in and not remember that they were in our house anymore.

MASTER BEDROOM:
Happy Menocal House Tour

Bed frame: Thos. Moser. Trunk: vintage from John’s mother. Red and white bedding: Biscuit Home. Blue and white pillowcases: Biscuit Home.

On bedroom greenery: We had two plants on the bookcases next to the bed, and I wrapped the vines onto the bed frame. At night, the shadows they cast on the ceiling are really cool.

Happy Menocal House Tour

On a favorite author: Right now I’m reading an advance copy of a book of essays on writing by Lydia Davis. She’s such a frank and offbeat writer. She writes short stories that are a paragraph long, and she also did an amazing translation of Madame Bovary.

Happy Menocal House Tour

Orange chair: vintage from John’s grandfather. Magazine holder: vintage, via eBay. Gold lamp: vintage, via stoop sale. Framed wedding invitations: Happy Menocal for her own wedding.

On building a business: I’m super proud of my studio and team. Our bread and butter is doing weddings and events. It started 10 years ago when my close friend got married and asked if I could make her invitation. I was in advertising at the time, and I thought, what if I reinterpreted the idea of a medieval coat of arms? That wasn’t a thing back then. It was such a joy — and it’s especially fun for me because, while I’m an artist, I don’t have the typical artist temperament of wanting to be alone in a cabin for hours. I’m very social and curious, so getting to know people’s story and making something beautiful within the parameters of who they are is a really fun challenge.

BATHROOM:
Happy Menocal House Tour

Happy Menocal House Tour

On a shower solution: We love our double shower. Every morning, it’s like chat chat chat. Honestly, it’s not erotic at all. We just talk!

KIDS’ BEDROOM:
Happy Menocal House Tour

Rug: Ikea. Artwork: Caroline Hurley. Rip’s toddler bed: Ikea. Small bookcase: Ikea. Black swan: John Derian, similar. Red ship kite: Haptic Lab. Daisy’s pink and blue blanket: Layla. Rip’s pale blue blanket: Faribault. Rip’s red and blue checked blanket: Fahari Bazaar. Window shade: sewed by Sarah Anzai, art director and calligrapher at Happy Menocal Studio; fabric is “Burmese” by Sister Parish.

On the best place: I freaking love Ikea. We have Ikea beds for the kids, an Ikea dresser, an Ikea rug, this little Ikea bookcase. I love this Fado lamp — it’s $20, but you plug it in and it looks so fancy. I could spend a whole day at Ikea, eating Swedish meatballs.

On inexpensive art: I made some throw pillows made and had a scrap leftover, so I framed the fabric and painted dots onto the frame. It’s so easy to do and makes great DIY art. [Ed. note: You can see them leaning against the window frames.]

Happy Menocal House Tour

“D” pillow: Jonathan Adler. Apple pillow: Oeuf. Floral bedding: Biscuit Home. similar

On joyful chaos: At bedtime, I hear Daisy and Rip running around, then a thud, and then hysterical laughter. It feels like the height of happiness to know that they’re conspiring against John and me. They have this little language, and they love taking apart our house.

Thank you so much, Happy!

P.S. More house tours, including a Minnesota home with the cutest dog and John Derian’s Provincetown house. Plus, 11 cool ways to hang family photos at home.

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Styling by Cecilia Elguero.)

  1. Kristian says...

    Okay, so this is now an “old” post as I catch up on CoJ but this Home tour is everything! WE are building and I went- “Yes. This. This is the vibe I want in my home too.” What struck me the most was how the owner, Happy, both creates memories but also displays them. Framing baby clothes or wedding invitations as art?! How have I never thought of that! Brilliant! As is all the home-y touches and things they do as a family like the pancakes. Trying to decide if my two year old will try one if its green….

  2. So gorgeously colorful! No rules in her decor… love it.

  3. Rachael says...

    Who is the artist of the interior scene in the foyer? It’s my dream painting!

  4. Cait says...

    I love her home and style so much!

  5. katie says...

    I have so many thanks for this, chief among them hearing a designer state that they’re a messy person! I did not realize how much I needed to hear this. Every time I see house tours & stuff I’m like, “Cool, cool – but where’s all their shit?” I loved the lived-in feel of their home & that at least their shampoos were askew & not like, decanted in matching cylinders from Murano or something. I’m so inspired & totally redecorating my place this weekend. Also, I love IKEA. So much. THANK YOU!!!

  6. Susan says...

    Are the bedside cabinets in the MB from Ikea? If so, what is the name of them? I find the Ikea website very difficult to find anything unless you have the specific name. Thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask!

  7. Jenny says...

    Can I have her home please??? It’s gorgeous!

  8. mina says...

    I feel so inspired to frame stuff and get it up on my walls – wedding invitations! Baby clothes! Pieces of fabric!

  9. Elliesee says...

    Thisbis the best bathroom I’ve ever seen!

  10. Laurel says...

    Best Home tour. Not only does Happy have incredible taste, but her home is full of the most thoughtful touches.

    I’ll be starting the letter writing for my children this weekend. My younger son turns four so a little late but that’s ok. Thanks for this!

  11. Nam Aster says...

    Writing letters to your kids is the best gift you can give them. My mum was killed when I was 13 and my most cherished positions are the letters she wrote to me. No one loves you like your mother! No one. Without judgement, your mum sees you for who you are and what you have the potential of being. What a gift that is.

    An excerpt from my 13 year-old letter…”you are a lovely girl, but you are too young to be wearing eyeliner! I think you might regret that blue eyeliner one day! But honey, you look beautiful in everything. Honestly, I am most impressed by your keen curiosity and kindness towards others.”

    She was right, I did regret the blue eyeliner. But every year, on my birthday, I wear blue eyeliner and read my birthday letter and smile. My mum has been gone for 32 years, but that letter reminds me that I always need to be kind towards others and be curious about the world!

    Letters from you mother are more impactful than you know.

    • Laurel says...

      What a beautiful thing to share. I’m sorry for your loss. I’m crying and not terribly eloquent…..this comment blew me away.

      My younger son turns four in a few days and I’ll be starting this tradition. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Amy says...

      Thank you so much for sharing. I am sorry for your loss because you had a wonderful mother. My daughter is 20 but I will be writing her letters from now on. Hugs to you out there.

    • Sylvia says...

      thank you so much for sharing this. it made me tear up in the best – appreciate-the-people-closest way. <3

    • Maria says...

      Wow – Thanks for your comment. I just love that you wear blue eyeliner every year on your birthday. What a tribute to your mom, and what a gift from her to you.

  12. Lydia Davis is one of my favorite writers! I love your home.

  13. CathyMA says...

    Beautiful, fun home, but my favorite is the portrait of her grandmother. I, too was named after my grandmother, and I wish I had a portrait of her in my house. She died last year at 101, and had her hair dyed and nails polished until age 100!!!

  14. Elise says...

    My favourite home tour so far 😁 Would love to read more about her clothing/beauty style too!

  15. Gabby says...

    On documenting memories: every time I’m sending a congratulations card to friends or family members who just had a baby, I always add a newspaper from the day he/she was born (if I had a text the day they were born, I just rush to a store and buy a newspaper) + a letter for them to read when they grow up, telling them about their parents and the state of the world. I can go very dramatic like “if women are still making less than men when you’re able to read this, first I’m so sorry, then, please, fight!”. My godparents did that for me when I was born and it is still SO cool to read! (Also if you’re French there’s a company in Paris that sells every newspaper published on the date you request. Great birthday gift!)

    • Nicole says...

      This is such a sweet idea. What a good friend you are!

    • Ann says...

      Delightful! ( the owner, her perspective and her home!)

    • kl says...

      what a fantastic idea!

  16. Laurie says...

    Love all of this! Made me ‘happy’ just looking at it. I’m curious- when do you plan to give the kids the BD letters- when they leave the house? Near the end of your days? And how long do you think you will do it? Up to 18? their whole lives?… as my kids get older I’ve been looking for something lasting and meaningful I can do for them. Thanks for this wonderful idea :)!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great questions! she told me during the interview that she’s thinking of giving them the letters when they go to college, which feels like such a sweet gift.

    • Mauresa says...

      I write my kids birthday letters on the eve of their birthdays. I always planned to secretly save them until they were 18 or so, but my son found out last year about my little tradition and begged me to read them to him. He was nine. I didn’t know how it would go over, but he got really choked up about them and now I let him read his letter first thing on the morning of his birthday. My seven year old daughter hasn’t caught on yet, but I suspect she will soon. Even though I originally thought to stop once they were out of the house, now I plan to continue into adulthood. And for the first time last year, I wrote myself a birthday letter on the eve of my birthday too!

  17. Susan Mills says...

    I love this home! And what a surprise to see Stewart Hoyt mentioned. He grew up near me in Vermont, his dad was my chemistry teacher in high school.

  18. EC says...

    This house is just my style. I’m infamous for hiding little whimsical touches and mixing crazy prints. Happy does it in such a beautiful way. Those spotted frames in the kids’ room are genius!

  19. Karen says...

    LIGHT BULB MOMENT: framing baby clothes! My daughter was 9 months old when we got married, and I have her little dress hanging in the closet next to my wedding dress. It’s so cute, and obviously sentimental – framing it is the perfect idea! THANK YOU!

  20. And I thought I was the only one who loved the design aesthetic of Goodnight Moon! It’s been an inspiration ever since having a baby and reading him that book as part of his bedtime routine.

  21. Abby says...

    Her home is fabulous!! Favorite home tour. I loveeee her work so its really fun to see her taste at home. Not surprised how warm, creative and fun it is!

  22. MB says...

    What a ray of sunshine – a nice boost to my day

  23. Hanna says...

    Love this house and mix of happy fabrics everywhere! Can you please tell me about the rounded chair and couch in the sitting room? Gorgeous fabric too!

  24. A.M. says...

    What a lesson in confidence when styling ones home. Perhaps she inherited her incredible style from her ingenious grandmother – what a charming story about how she changed her coffee table color! Also, the children’s room is lovely. It’s so real and live-able, and yet still shares the aesthetic of the rest of the home. And a huge gasp when I saw Doctor De Soto in the children’s book shelf – my childhood favorite!!

  25. Roxana says...

    Beautiful home! Perfect balance of fun/whimsy and elegance. I LOVE that blue sofa.

    Also, please share the pancake recipe!

  26. Kate says...

    Healthy pancake recipe please!?

    • kl says...

      second this request!

    • mina says...

      I do something similar for my kids (makes crepe-style pancakes):
      1/2 cup oats
      1/2 almond flour
      1 cup flour
      4 eggs
      2.5 cups milk (nut milk, oat milk, whatever)
      1 tin lentils (any kind in a can)
      a ton of spinach (even frozen)
      2 teaspoons baking powder
      A dash of cinnamon
      Pinch of salt
      Fry them like crepes in a bit of butter. I serve them with chia jam (mash upp berries – frozen are fine, add a table spoon of chia seeds and honey or maple syrup to sweeten).

  27. Kim says...

    Oh I love this!
    One of my goals for this year is more fun! And this house screams fun.
    Love so much about this, but the powder room is tops!

  28. What a beautiful home. I love home tours, especially those in Brooklyn :)

  29. Katie says...

    I love this house! It’s just my style. I now feel better about keeping our 1970’s green floral grandma couch. I’m just going to go with it! Thanks so much for sharing.

  30. Traci says...

    I’ve been following Happy’s work for years now – always admire her granny-whimsical style, and I love this tour.
    I emailed her a fan note once, as part of a concerted effort to give positive feedback to creators, and was so surprised to get a thanks right away. It’s always a relief to admire a kind person.

  31. Thank you guys for such kind comments! Our apartment is blushing. Here is the PANCAKE RECIPE. I’ve never actually measured any of it, so this may need some tweaking:
    Blend in the blender on “smoothie” setting:
    as much kale or spinach as you can fit
    3 cups oats
    2 cups greek yogurt
    4 eggs
    2 small bananas or 1.5 large
    3/4 cup flax oil
    If I’m out of yogurt I just use milk, if I’m out of flax oil I use coconut oil. Fewer eggs = fluffier pancakes.
    Fry up the batter in salted butter, serve with blueberries and maple syrup. Serves a family of four. The batter keeps in the fridge in an airtight jar for 2 days, 3 max.

    • Kara says...

      Thank you!

    • Karyn says...

      🥞💕

  32. Kristin says...

    Beautiful home! And that portrait of your grandmother is FANTASTIC. x

  33. Bec says...

    Love love love this! Colour! Happiness!

    Side note: it’s funny how Americans say ‘could care less’ instead of ‘couldn’t care less’?! I’ve just started noticing it! And now it’s everywhere. If you ‘could care less’ it means that you *do* care!

    • Elizabeth R says...

      It is not an American thing. Some Americans know this rule and some do not. I understand the sentiment either way, but try to say couldn’t care less.

    • tina says...

      That’s what I was thinking, too! I grew up with British English, so I say “couldn’t care less”. But, yes, saying it differently means that you care.

  34. Thank you so much! The painting in the foyer is by Sybil Goldsmith. The big round chair was my mother-in-law’s, and it’s covered in a Schumacher fabric (it’s black and white, not blue). The blue paint on the bookshelves is Benjamin Moore Chesapeake Blue. The yellow table I designed and painted myself.

    • Elizabeth R says...

      Thanks for the info. Amazing work!

  35. Ks says...

    THIS! T.h.e M.o.s.t L.e.g.i.t H.o.u.s.e T.o.u.r E.v.e.r!!!
    Well done COJ. She comes across as an amazing, whimsical yet approachable and real :).Hands down the best house tour on site and not coz others don’t have a great house but coz her design and life philosophy reflects in every corner of the house.

  36. Jo says...

    I echo previous comments – love, love, loved looking at this home! Super inspiring, not just decor, but attitude to life as well. I love that Happy’s go-to chicken recipe is the same as mine (hehehe). I’d love to know what the white radio/mp4 player in her bathroom is. Thanks to all involved for sharing :)

  37. Carol says...

    This home is beyond Happy;) The fearless use of color is impressive.

  38. Karin says...

    I love the combination of old and new items in this home. It feels so realistic and attainable.

  39. K says...

    If that coffee table disappears from their living room, you all can know right now that I’m yo blame.
    Not really. But really, it’s perfection.

  40. MelissaB says...

    My kiddo also loves pancakes and use the same healthy kitchen sink method, to make them more fluffy I add in a tad of apple cider vinegar and it plumps them right up!

  41. Maybe this is too weird for the comments – but did you live in Bedford Hills as a child? My next-door neighbor from many years ago was nicknamed Happy. Since you live in NY and are about the correct age…it seems like maybe it’s not too much of a stretch…??

  42. Laura says...

    I love the tour, what a beautiful home! I’d like to echo the other comments asking for the pancake recipe … my daughter is a super picky eater and generally won’t even try dinner food I put in front of her. However, pancakes are one of her faves! This post really got me thinking about how to make that work for dinner. I’m sure I could start experimenting with the ingredients listed in the post, but I’d love to get the tried and true version from Happy! Thanks for considering!

  43. Midge says...

    Once a year, my teenage son and I DO spend a whole day at Ikea! We love it. We go to the cafeteria two or three times for snacks or dessert in addition to meatballs, and pick the room we’d want to live in, and talk about his future apartment, and look at every single thing. I think it makes the sometimes-scary future so appealing to him — someday he’ll get to go to Ikea and make a whole apartment look and function exactly the way he wants.

  44. Elizabeth R. says...

    My favorite home tour here ever. Hands down. Can we please get sources on: the art in the foyer, the table in the foyer, the blue and white chair, and the name of the blue paint on the bookshelf? Please and thanks!!

  45. A really joyful home. It just radiates warmth.

  46. Alex says...

    Wondering where the sconces in the living room come from?

    • They were multicolored enamel from One Kings Lane. I spray painted them gold and “antiqued” them with black acrylic.

  47. Amy says...

    Would love to know the maker of the rug in the sitting room with the thin striped chair and sofa! It looks like it is black and white, or maybe with some brown? Thanks!

    • Hi! We got it at the ABC outlet many years ago. It’s brown and cream.

  48. Abby says...

    My son’s first birthday is tomorrow, I just wrote him a letter :)

  49. Jess says...

    This home is so beautiful! I confess I spent the entire post thinking “How did they afford an entire brownstone in Park Slope?” I would love to see a series about this – maybe not all as extreme as buying an entire building in NYC, but a combination of “How I Got This Baby” (from The Cut) with Money Diaries (Man Repeller) to result in “How I Got My Home” – walking through the steps, savings, good fortune, mishaps, etc.

    • Midge says...

      This is a fantastic idea!

    • lauren says...

      I love this idea! Not in a judge-y “how to they afford this” way but more hearing about people’s journeys towards buying a home. Jess, FWIW several employees of Emily Henderson have written about this on their blog and I think it’s been fascinating. What they saved, what they put into renovations, income from the property etc

    • Ha, I feel you! And thank you for saying it’s beautiful. The short answer is that my father-in-law acted as our contractor, and generously built our house with his team of guys. We are able to offset expenses with our rental income. We feel extremely fortunate.

    • Kristin says...

      Completely second this. I live in Manhattan, am 38, and everyone I know that’s my age who owns a home in NYC has had extreme help from their parents. Would love to see what normal people are doing to purchase property…

    • R says...

      I really enjoyed the post and Happy has a lovely home, but one thing— I think labeling certain types of names as “American” is problematic.

    • Meg says...

      As part of my job, I research wealth, and I have learned that subsidizing home buying is a common way for wealth to be transferred in between generations. It’s these types of quiet/invisible transfers of wealth that make some lifestyles seem impossible (“He/she does WHAT and can afford THAT?” kind of reaction) when they are, in fact, subsidized. This is not a comment about the house in this post (!), as I know nothing about it, but to the comment about asking for home buying tutorials.

    • Maria says...

      Researching wealth sounds like fun – ha! I am very numbers driven and always love to hear the financials behind things. So would love an ongoing series about this as well.

    • Jess says...

      @Lauren I have loved those, too! I should have mentioned them. @Happy thank you so much for your reply! Really appreciate you being so candid. Again, your home is so beautiful!

  50. Rachel says...

    I love everything about her home! She has such great style!

  51. Kristin says...

    Amazing! I love everything. What a beautiful, joyful home.

  52. Katy says...

    Her home is gorgeous, but it as the crayon on the wall that made me the happiest.

  53. Jennifer says...

    PLEASE can we get the pancake recipe?? Sounds delish AND something my kiddos would eat!

    • Jessica says...

      Seconded!!!

    • Emily says...

      I make something similar using the smitten kitchen chard pancake recipe. It’s really adaptable too! (we usually skip the garlic and make it into waffles, and you can use any kind of greens)

    • zoe says...

      yes please!

    • Kahani says...

      I came to the comments section to say this!

  54. I love that her name is Happy!! It’s always magical to have a look in people’s houses that are filled with them and not other people’s style. And her comment about visual noise is great, pattern on pattern of all the things you love is where its at!

  55. Susannah Machelak says...

    Love the wall colour! Would love to know the shade(s) of white used.

    • Thank you! We used Benjamin Moore White Dove.

  56. Luz says...

    Fifth request for the pancake recipe!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      for sure! she said she’ll answer queries tonight! xoxo

  57. Vero says...

    Joyful! That is what this home is evoking to me. You seem like exactly who you are, Happy, no pretence! It’s so nice in the internet age to see someone who seems love wear their eagerness, curiosity and true self on their sleeve. Thank you for sharing :)

    • Miri says...

      Totally agree!

  58. jen says...

    Wow, I saw the blue sofa and I was in love. I want this whole place. So so pretty and cool.

  59. Lauren E. says...

    I love this home!!! It’s so bright and homey and joyful and personal. I absolutely love it. Thank you for inviting us inside.

  60. Aneeqa says...

    Lovely home. Where is the painting in her foyer from?

    • Bobby says...

      Yes! Please tell us! I need one like it!

  61. So so so lovely.

  62. Kelsey says...

    Such a lovely & cheery home! Would love to know who Happy used to frame her wedding invitation suite. Was that done by Simply Framed as well, like the baby clothes?

    • Thank you! Our wedding invitations are framed in an old frame that was already made, so I just forced the collage layout to work and bought a piece of acid free pink paper to put it on. I had it framed at San Art Framing in Prospect Heights, in Brooklyn. UV glass is important, as printing inks for invitations aren’t lightfast.

  63. Such a joyful home! Thanks for sharing xoxo

  64. Rachel says...

    I’ve been writing in a journal weekly for my daughter since a couple weeks before she was born. Sometimes I wonder if it is silly to write about the things she eats and her favorite words as a 2 year old… thank you Happy for giving me hope that she’ll treasure them.

  65. Aida says...

    I feel happy just reading this! Thanks for sharing, beautiful home and family :)

  66. Lindsey says...

    My husband and I also have a non-erotic double shower, and it is the best! Thanks for sharing this Happy home :)

    • Angela says...

      Same. I used to think double showers were sooo sexy. Now that I have one I see it more as a meeting room. Most of the time, it is me showering with 2 kids fighting over one of the shower heads (spoiled!!), but it is a luxury when my husband and I get to use it together and chat about the day. Never would have guessed that a double shower still wouldn’t be big enough.

    • Jeannie says...

      My husband and I were just YESTERDAY talking about how many other couples might shower together in the morning… we definitely want our next place to have a double shower (right now, we have a double shower head and I just hold it while we talk (and talk and talk)).

  67. issa says...

    Her “apartment”?! Okay, if this is just an apartment, then I can’t even begin to know what you’d call my tiny 1-bedroom on the UWS. This place is unbelievable!! WOW! I love every single thing about it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, they have a duplex above another apartment in their building. it’s so lovely and airy!

  68. Can I get the pancake recipe??

  69. Kara says...

    Green pancake recipe, please?!?!

  70. Cyd says...

    PLEASE!!! Give us recipe for green pancakes! I need to get picky kiddo to eat!

  71. Colleda says...

    Happy, can we be friends?! I absolutely adore this post and her point of view.

  72. Alec says...

    “It feels like the height of happiness to know that they’re conspiring against John and me.” I LOVE this take on siblings and letting them foster their relationship! So sweet and way more fun than always spoiling the bedtime play (my sister and I used to crawl back out of bed and play with our toys in the dark).

  73. Jessica says...

    The painting in the kids room of the people in water, not sure the credit is correct. Can’t find anything like that on the page. I’d love to know the artist.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, yes, it was her work from years ago. her new work is in a new direction. both so beautiful!

  74. Lana says...

    I love this. I used to try to be cool and decorate my home according to what looked stylish via blogs or my amazing neighbor who’s house looks like a hygge dream, but then I had an epiphany that bold colors are what I was naturally drawn to, not the light neutrals that seem to be everywhere these days. So I embraced it! And you know what? Things don’t always match and some times they might look a little shocking to a less adventurous soul, but everywhere I look the color makes me feel so happy. I feel like the boldness matches my personality and shopping has become so much less stressful. It took me forty years to finally not give a rip if my house was “stylish”. Do you!

    • Wink says...

      Lana, are you by any chance Danish? I feel like there are so many unspoken rules in DK about what is “allowed” to be considered stylish. Glad you found your own way!

    • E says...

      It’s funny–I grew up in a house with almost exclusively white walls, and I am really drawn to neutrals (I pretty much only wear black and grey), but my house is a highlighter-yellow on the outside and all sorts of colors on the inside. I’ve been slowly working through the rooms and changing things, but the longer I’m here, the more I appreciate colorful walls! The first room I repainted is an off-white shade that works really well there–it gets northern and eastern light, so cooler tones of light and the warm white feels really airy to me. The next room was pepto bismol pink and I repainted that in the same white and I love it–that’s where I have the most stuff on the walls. But the kitchen is blue, the bathroom is really bright sunny yellow, and I just painted the ‘office’ a sort of coral hue that is really nice because it gets east and west sun and the walls always have the feeling of sunset. I’m more and more going with what feels right in the house with the light versus what I instinctively like on paper.

    • Roxana says...

      Lana, hear, hear! I am right there with you! I felt this tension with “decorating” our home a certain way that I thought would look “cool” (e.g. a West Elm vibe, which I do actually like), but then I was reading a post (maybe it was here on CoJ?) and the woman was like “I love primary colors,” and in my head I was like “So do I!!!” And while many things in our home already reflected that, I felt license to just go with it! So, while I do very much appreciate and admire a chill/modern/minimalist vibe (white walls and all), I realized it’s just not me. I love color and plants and things that draw my eye. . . it makes me feel happy ;).

      Maybe it’s also because I hit forty. What is it about turning forty that brings on so much self-acceptance!? I’m here for it.

  75. Alex says...

    Love this house – so cheerful! Framing the baby clothes – this is genius. I saved the layette my daughter wore home from the hospital and then used it again for my son’s trip home. It’s been sitting in a drawer for 9 months now because I had to keep it but didn’t know what to do with it. Now I know!

  76. Elizabeth C Terry says...

    I laughed so hard when I saw this incredibly vibrant & uplifting (but NOT overwhelming or overdone) home was designed by a woman who’s called “Happy” …………because that’s the first thing I felt when I saw the pictures, even before I read the text & learned about Happy!

  77. Jackie says...

    I have loved Happy’s work since I was planning my wedding 7 years ago and came across her amazing invitation designs. Really love her use of color and overall aesthetic. Definitely want to be friends :)

  78. Sara says...

    Awesome and fun space.

    I would love to know from Happy herself or anyone else who owns the rug in the kid’s room (which I’ve admired many times at Ikea) how the rug holds up with kid life/sickness…

    • Thank you! Re: Ikea rug in kids’ room: to be honest it’s not an ideal rug for kids. It is fluffy and cozy and hides stuff, but hard to clean. I wish we had done something flatter and woolier.

  79. Sasha L says...

    Extreme tangent, but my husband just found his father and his family recently, through a DNA search, and although she’s sadly already passed, his grandmother was named Happy. We all love that name and learning about her. Not a common name but such a lovely one!

  80. C says...

    I have never before commented on a home tour post, but I have to say I think this is my favorite ever! I love all the color and pattern and the big portrait of her grandmother. It all looks so uniquely like HER family home, not at all like something generic in a magazine that could belong to anyone!

  81. Mika says...

    She’s incredible! I’m not getting married anytime soon, but I’d want her to be involved! I love her curiosity and all the bright colors. What an inspiration.

  82. Courtney says...

    Love this! Totally inspired to frame the dress that both my girls wore for their Baby Naming’s.

  83. Carly says...

    I love this home! I don’t know if Happy still does commissioned pet portraits, but about 7 years she did one for me of my parents’ yellow lab (my childhood dog). I gave it to them as a thank you present for my wedding. Our dog has since passed, but Happy’s portrait of her is on display in their kitchen, and makes me smile whenever I see it. Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that’s so lovely!

    • Gah! This warms my heart, thank you Carly. So glad they like portrait. Sweet Bonnie!

  84. Sarah T says...

    This home reminds me of being little and thinking about what my “adult” house would be like, it is perfect in all its comforting chaos. I love it.

  85. jrg says...

    framing our wedding invitation suite is on my list of things to do! love how happy’s looks – thanks for the reminder!

    • Kristin says...

      Me too!

  86. CaraM says...

    I love, love, love this home! It feels like it breathes personality and yet so comfortable and lived in. I cracked up on Happy’s comments regarding the dual shower in the morning (not erotic!). My husband and I do the same thing and it starts our day off in the best way possible. I sometimes mention “oh my husband and I talked about in the shower” and feel the need to make the same caveat when I mention we always shower together.

  87. Megan says...

    Would love to know that pancake recipe!

  88. Gillian says...

    We LOVE that chicken recipe at our house. It was in the NY Times magazine several years ago. I have been making it ever since.

  89. Charlotte says...

    The couch fabric looked cool, turns out it’s $179/yd… on sale. Whelp. People really do live in different worlds nowadays.

    • Becca says...

      Schumacher is very high end. Those dining room chairs are likely extremely expensive as well–they are from Design Within Reach and aren’t knock-offs. Happy has got some good taste, but her stuff is going to last and last.

    • LC says...

      Why are you bothered by the price of a stranger’s couch if it makes her happy and fits her personal budget? Maybe she saved for it, maybe she cuts back in other areas of life, and maybe she works very hard and deserves to spend her money as she likes.

    • Tracey says...

      When you cost it out it was probably cheaper (and way better for the environment) than buying a new couch.

  90. Manda says...

    the pancakes made me laugh… My dad always made buckwheat pancakes, so they were thin, flat and black! I never understood the golden fluffy ones! they were foreign to me!

  91. Jo says...

    OMG!! Love love love this home.
    I think for the 1st time, I am envious of someone else’s home, LOL!

  92. Lesley Porcelli says...

    Thank you for the beautiful idea to write birthday letters for your children. I decided to do the same and just drafted my first for my daughter’s birthday this Friday.

  93. AJ says...

    love all of it. How do i get an invite to that Christmas party?

  94. celeste says...

    Love all the color! Monochromatic is just not for me.

  95. o wow,really beautiful home.just love it.

  96. Mary Pearson says...

    Who made that great painting in the foyer?!

    • Lea says...

      Came down here to ask the same! Would love to know please!

    • Isn’t it great? The painting is by Sybil Goldsmith. She lived from 1917 – 2005, a Nantucket painter.

    • Lea says...

      Thank you!!

  97. Rachel says...

    I love this home so much! The birthday letter idea is so sweet. Going to file that away for when I have children!

  98. julie says...

    what an amazing house and amazing personality ! loved it.

  99. Becca says...

    OMG this is my favorite apartment ever! The blue couch – I love that fabric and want it so bad! Love everything about the aesthetic of this place. It’s so fun without being overwhelming.

    I had to laugh thinking about my husband’s reaction if I tried something similar with the plants on the bedframe. He would just be like, why? why are you doing this to me?

    • Haha my husband wasn’t wild about the plant thing either, but I think he appreciates it now. Thank you for your kind words!

  100. Justine says...

    That house made me so happy. And made me want to run home and redecorate with fun things that make me and my family happy.

    • Ashley says...

      SAME!