Maison KoduZen

Brooklyn Apartment Transformation - Reportage


A little blog post to give you more details about the story recently published on our home page

This young American couple living in this great apartment in Fort Greene came back to the US in October 2016, after 3 years spent in Zurich, Switzerland. Shortly after their move, they contacted us to help furnish their main living space and figure out how to make it look 'together'. 

The starting point

When they left for Europe, they knew their expat situation was going to be temporary so they did not purchase anything of value and did not bring much from Switzerland (apart from a few souvenirs here and there) so we were starting pretty much from scratch. The only things that we had to work with were:

  • The artworks inherited from a grandfather, finally in their possession after their few years abroad. 
  • A dining table purchased at Ikea and 2 wishbone chairs (the last two being inherited as well).
  • A black TV console (and flat screen TV).
  • Rugs purchased at Target.
  • A gray sofa they had already purchased and were waiting to be delivered.
  • 3 Empire lamps (mid-size).

The process

When we first met, the couple had already filled our style questionnaire so we already knew what their favorite colors were (purple and blue), whether they liked patterns (not really), how much color they wanted (pops of it here and there), how much accessories/furniture (a balanced amount) and what style they were attracted to (modern and contemporary). Our initial discussion went deeper into those questions, understanding how they were using the space so far, how they felt about the current layout and what was their biggest concern at this point (lighting in the evening as they had just 3 lamps, great for a traditional office space but not ideal for a living room).

After that initial meeting, we gave them 10 days to create and share a Pinterest board with us to see what aesthetic they were gravitating towards and understand better their preferences.  

Personal selection from the client (detail)

Personal selection from the client (detail)

After careful review of the items they had selected, it became clear to us they were gravitating towards airy elements, preferably with some sort of wires that got us immediately thinking about the American sculptor Alexander Calder. 

Examples of Calder's work.

Examples of Calder's work.

You can admire Calder's work at prestigious places such as the Guggenheim, the Tate Modern, MoMA etc - and his work is famous for being light, airy and whimsical at times. He was the inventor of the mobile structure as we know it today - a great mix between art and design. 

With that, we got started and shared with them the concept below.

Concept board submitted

Concept board submitted

Typically, we present this board in person to discuss but since the couple was traveling for the Thanksgiving break (and we wanted them to take advantage of the Black Friday sales), we recorded a little video to walk them through the concept... And they loved it! 

They picked the option 1 of the chair to match the wishbone chairs they already owned and we shared with them the full shopping list (after suggesting alternatives for the rug they were not fond of). 

The challenge

A few elements were from a vendor that has an average 4 to 6 weeks lead time for delivery, plus, the sofa they had ordered was being delayed every week. In other words, our client was on a roll to wait until March to get it all complete which was far too late.

The solution

We searched alternative options with vendors that would deliver quicker - the clients also searched on their end, providing options and asking what we thought would be best for their interior. After a few back and forth, we managed to update the entire shopping list with more acceptable delivery times - for the same price (sometimes even lower).

The result

Mid-January, everything had arrived, had been installed and they sent us pictures of their new space. As the last step in the process, we offered to go shopping for staging elements on their behalf and scheduled a last meeting to stage their interior and take pictures of the final result. Yay!


If you wish to view the full gallery, go here.

We want to warmly thank this lovely couple as it was such as great experience working with them and let us take pictures of their new interior. They also left us a stellar review which is always greatly appreciated!

New Year, New Service!


First of all, we hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season and we wish you all the best for the year to come! May 2017 be full of love, happiness, laughter and creativity (things we dearly value here at Maison KoduZen!).

We are also very excited to announce a new service: e-design

We have been providing e-design already for a few months as we wanted to test the waters and make sure it was an efficient process to follow and it is - so here you go! Powered by Laurel & Wolf, we discovered delivering e-design services via their platform was easy, delivered a great user experience and streamlined the communication process a great deal!

Who can use e-design?

EVERYONE: whether you have a small project, or a big one - whether you are located in New York and do not wish to have in-person meetings (or do not have time), or you are living elsewhere in the US or in the world, you can now book us for your design project from the comfort of your home!

What is the process?

Upon clicking the link here to work with us, you will be prompted to enter details about your project: room dimensions, photos, who we are designing for, style preferences etc.

Then Aurélie at Maison KoduZen will be notified and will post within 48 hours a concept board for your review. The platform will offer you to comment on the overall board or on specific items so you can say what you like and what you don't. Depending on your feedback, Aurélie will keep what you like for the final package or will offer alternatives for you to choose from. Thie back-and-forth process takes about 10 days per room (and typically 2-3 concept boards are presented during that time period).

Typical e-design project workflow

Typical e-design project workflow

Once the design period is over, Aurélie will put together the 'Final Design Package' which includes a rendering of your room, a floor plan, set up instructions and a shopping list. You will then be able to get assistance from the Laurel & Wolf team for ordering your items (or order them on your own). Et voilà! 

Example of e-design rendering

Example of e-design rendering

We are very excited about this new service and hope that it will help us contribute to make your homes happier and more beautiful in 2017! 

Here is our extended e-design portfolio and here (again) the link for the actual booking.

Happy New Year!