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Eclectic Evolution

Designers are like the mad scientists of home decorating, often testing out their new ideas on their own spaces (and unsuspecting families). For hipper-than-thou décor guru Muriel Brandolini, her Manhattan town house—and especially her living room—has been the laboratory for 16 years’ worth of fantastic experiments.

As these photos from the October 2011 issue of Town & Country show, Brandolini’s style has evolved, but still maintains its thrown-together, eclectic approach. The earliest iterations of the room relied on riotous colors, frilly lighting, and Middle Eastern touches on the furniture. While the most recent revision features an almost all-neutral palette and is decidedly less crammed, it retains some of the charms of the previous versions, like mix-and-match art (from Masters-style portraiture to a ginormous modern piece by George Condo and a folk-artsy rooster painting) and showstopping sculptural elements such as table lamps, vases, the UFO-esque coffee table, the console table with turned gold legs, and the graphic pendant light.

While we love Brandolini’s color sense, painting the walls a neutral linen shade and incorporating bits of gold in the decor allows the room’s amazing trim to stand out. The maplike rug—a nod to her many travels—is a nice, geometric touch that balances the many rounded shapes in the room and introduces pops of blue and green. The decorative pillows and upholstery all have interesting details like embroidery, painterly designs, and squeeze-me textures. The room looks easy, chic, and comfortable—the equivalent of a “This old thing?” vintage dress that gets all the stares at a party.

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